Grey Maiden

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8 posts (79 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 alias.

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I've been trying to put together an expanded list of starship frames to increase potential options for customization. I think I've got a decent start here, but I'd appreciate some input on balance.

Google Doc here

Some notes:

1. The mouseover rule change on the "turret" column header has an outsized importance to balance. It's my answer to the discussion here but should probably be addressed separately from the rest of the frames' stat balance.

2. Not all frames are optimized for combat. The fact that the by-the-numbers "best" starting ship is a Light Freighter, and not the Explorer always bothered me. Thus the expansion bay rules on freighters and dedicated passenger craft.

3. I did not list, or touch on at all, supercolossal ship frames. My outlook is that these are going to be plot devices anyway, not something players are likely to touch.

4. The Tramp Freighter is probably unbalanced. It was a plot ship that I included in the list for my players' reference. Feel free to comment on it anyway though.

Credit where it's due:

1. Below the main table, I have the unmodified stats for RAW frames (in green), followed by a list of homebrew frames (in red) by Alex Olson that I borrowed from shamelessly.

2. All example ship images, along with several custom ship concepts are taken from Endless Sky, which I cannot recommend highly enough.

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The armor rules clearly state that ALL armor can provide protection from vacuum and other environmental hazards for a day per item level. This seems rather excessive to me, rapidly nullifying the danger of operating in the void, and ironically making spaceship battles in Starfinder environmentally safer than ship battles in Pathfinder (at least you can drown in rough water). Heck, as a recent discussion here brought up, it's potentially safer to vent your ship and fight in vacuum if boarded than it is to fight in atmosphere, as a number of threats are nullified without air.

It seems like this was a design decision change at some point in the writing process, which left some oddities behind. Like why would anyone ever have a space suit, when you can get stationwear armor for not much more cost, and not have your survivability threatened by every nearby pointy object? Why are Oxygen Candles a thing when every suit can let you breathe for days? Why do high-tech tents burn battery charges (that you have to pay for) to provide the same protection as armor provides for days (that recharge for free)?

Why is it a racial feature that Sarcesians can go 1 hour without breathing when the lowest level armor provides 24 times that?

Module spoiler:
Why does the Skitter Shot game module specify the presence of vacuum suits being available for players in the airlock when they all have armor already?

-(considered posting this in homebrew, but I'm hoping for discussion of the oddities in RAW too. If mods think it needs to be moved, feel free)

Original design intents aside, I'd like to restore the threat of operating in the void. The easiest method that I see here is to just flat-out remove vacuum protection from the list of environmental hazards that armor can protect you from. Then provide secondary equipment to make up the difference (with varying degrees of inconvenience to avoid people just running around with vac helmets on constantly). Operating freely in the void with fancy personal atmospheric force fields should be something restricted to higher levels, if it's available at all; not something existing as a throwaway descriptor for all armor from lowest to highest.

I'm looking here to hash out some specific rules to achieve the above goals. In addition, I'm hoping discussion here can help me:
1.) Avoid any major rules conflicts and balance pitfalls from overlooking edge cases, and
2.) Not make the rules too punishing, because pissed-off players means nobody is happy.

Has anybody else messed with these rules in play? Any thoughts on a good direction to go with this, before I dive into potential specifics?

Now that the frustratingly high DCs for mid-late game starship actions have been adjusted, per-FAQ, can we look at addressing the Operative's trick attacks? At 20+CR, the DCs are still at or above starship rolls. Operative's core ability requiring a +11 at first level just for even odds seems a bit much. Even moreso for Explorer/Detective/Hacker/Spy Operatives who need more than just one stat.

Has anyone looked at adjusting those numbers for non-Society play?

So, the Cyberborn Theme description contains the following:



You understand the potential vulnerabilities of cybernetics and have tinkered extensively with your own to make them more resilient. The DC to hack your cybernetic augmentations via magic or technological means increases by 5, thanks to the devious security countermeasures you have added to them. Additionally, your cybernetic augmentations grant you electricity resistance 5; this resistance stacks with one other source of energy resistance.

Italics mine, for emphasis.

But the Cybernetics entry for Augmentation says this:
Cybernetics are more than just machine implants: they are complex meldings of technology and the living host’s own organs. This allows them to be hardened against assaults that affect other technologies in ways robots and other entirely technological creatures can’t. Cybernetics are not subject to any effect or attack that targets technology unless it specifies that it affects cybernetics.

There is nothing in the hacking rules that says anything at all about cybernetics (nor is there anything about hacking them anywhere else I could find - let alone DCs to do so), thus cybernetics baseline cannot be hacked by any conventional means. So... what is the use of Hardened Systems? Is it just the resistance bonus?

Okay, so, my GM may be an ass. So here's the setup...

Epic-8 campaign (For those unfamiliar, level-capped at 8, continuing XP grants one extra feat per "eLevel")

Final boss of the campaign? The NORN. See previous statement about the GM being an ass.

There is a silver lining here. We have huge amounts of resources (we have a kingdom behind us), 9 months to plan, and full knowledge of her abilities. We may also have a bit of plot assistance negating an ability or two (like that +10 insight bonus if we can blind her view of fate), but the big issue here is how to keep her from killing us all, since Death Ward got nerfed into oblivion in Pathfinder.

Any recommendations on horribly cheap/broken/etc things we might be able to get our hands on? Immunity to death effects would be the priority here, but I can't find ANYTHING in Pathfinder that grants this, even temporarily.

Edit: Party would be Summoner, Ninja, Inquisitor, Cavalier, Cleric; with access to support from Sorcerer, Witch, Paladin, and Gunslinger.

We may also be able to cheat the level cap up to 10 if that would make a significant difference...

I'm doing some background for a fairly magic-rich setting, and trying to determine what formula to use for non-PCs who want to keep wizards permanently on staff. This is for jobs like personal casters to nobles, ships' wizards on sailing/air ships, etc. The only suggestions I've found involve ludicrous prices of a thousand or more gold per day for even a moderately-leveled wizard, using rules that seem mostly designed to discourage PCs from hiring other PC class characters to join them.

How would you determine a flat full-time salary for various level casters in a situation like this? Assume we're talking about generally non-hazardous work, and not adventuring.