Psychopomp, Shoki

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The way I understand it is:
- If you want anything specific from your form, you have to design it. So no Eoxian house cat without stating that it's an Eoxian house cat form.
- When you cast the spell, you can design your form in a very generic way. You can say if it's a male or female, for example. For a feline form, I would allow something like: It looks more like a lion or a cat because you have to look like some type of feline. But not a mountain lion. Otherwise, you just choose generic human, and you design whoever you want.

Ravingdork wrote:
I guess it would be one thing to disguise yourself as a cat and quite another to be able to look like a common house cat, a mountain lion, or the Castrovellian eight-eyed sphynx cat.

"You decide at the time of designing a polymorph form if its appearance is generic (allowing the target to look like any general example of that type of creature, but never a specific creature) or specific (causing the target to always look like one specific individual that does not change between castings)."

So, even if you choose "feline form", you would appear as a generic feline, and not a house cat or a mountain lion. If you want to appear as a mountain lion, you need to choose a "mountain lion form".

Nerdy Canuck wrote:
That is one of two possibilities; the other is that they will continue to lean on the only strategy that's really left to them (and perhaps even lean into it harder). When you have two possibilities, one of those two possibilities is catastrophic to player experience, and which possibility happens is driven solely by player behaviour, there is a very serious problem that needs to be dealt with somehow.

Most people will hardly get over 20% wealth on consumables. So a standard player will never stick to this strategy. Experienced players can, but they know what they're doing.

Even here, most people think casters need a backup weapon, for example.

In my opinion, the biggest issue with grenades is the save DC based on your Dexterity. Most Dexterity-based classes are the ones not needing grenades as they already have good enough weaponry. I would just make fixed DCs for grenades (14 + half their level + 1 every five levels for example). Even a little bit higher if you want grenades to be more reliable.

Reducing their cost won't change the fact that they are not good enough compared to weapons. As a player and a DM, I like the concept of grenades being used rarely, but having a good impact on the combat.

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For Summon Monster, when you buy a Spell Gem, you get the 4 elementals by default. It's something they forgot about Polymorph, but your DM can come up with similar "basic forms" you'll find on all Spell Amps.

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Claxon wrote:
Yes, specifically magic missile spam is a problem but we should probably not base things on how utterly abusive you can make a scenario if you use a spell that automatically hits and has no save to reduce damage by having 100 people do it to the party at once.

You have other ways to build a low level bunch of enemies and make them efficient against PCs. If you put an Envoy in the middle and a level 4 Operative you can give +3 to everyone.

A few spellcasters asking for low level saves or suck (Command being a perfect example if you ask the PC to run away) can also be a pain.
2 Longarms Envoys, 2 level 4 Operatives, 2 Mystics with good spell DCs and 2 Technomancers spamming Magic Missile, all scattered around to avoid AoEs, can easily be an equivalent threat to a party than a CR9 solo monster.

But if you just put 8 CR3 Soldier type monsters, you're losing everyone's time.

AtlasSniperman wrote:
Another option, instead of making running away easier; is making boarding more common.

I got an issue with my DM once. We had won a ship combat, and I was starting to "handle" the crew: Asking them to surrender by getting through the airlock unarmed, and if they fail to do so, blow the ship to pieces. And I got issues with the DM telling me I should board the ship. Board the ship? Why the hell would I take risks when I have won the fight.

If you face intelligent creatures (that the PCs are supposed to be) you ask them to surrender and any kind of resistance will meet a heavy nuclear missile response.

breithauptclan wrote:

So if a starship starts losing a fight and wants to leave, and has a speed 4 points higher than their opponent's ship, it will take them:
1 to 2 rounds to get out of the first range increment of the short range weapon.
5 rounds to get out of the first range increment of the long range weapon.
12 rounds to get out of the maximum range of a short range weapon.
50 rounds to get out of the maximum range of a long range weapon.

You forget a few variables:

- If you face the enemy starship at the beginning of a round, and if you win the Piloting roll, you should get away from nearly 20 squares unless the enemy ship has perfect maneuvrability.
- You can pay a RP to get +50% speed on your ship, the enemy ship can't. If you just want to run away, you can burn the RPs of all characters with 6 ranks in Piloting and stay at this speed for 20 rounds easily.
- Most of the time, PC ships are quite fast because they are quite small (and often very well equiped for a ship of their size).
- You can repair shields. So, at long distance, the shields will be replenished before being hit again.

If you want a house rule to get away, I would just say that, once at 0 hit points, most of the PC ship systems are disabled, but not the engine, drift engine and shields. And they have another full hull hit points before being blown up. Playing the chase knowing that a failure is a TPK can be stressfull but awesome.

Ascalaphus wrote:
This is nominally true by the encounter-building guidelines of the CRB, but in practice, it's not. A CR9 monster or two CR7 enemies are still somewhat comparable. But although by the book 8 CR3 enemies are equal to a CR9 enemy, it just isn't so.

Unless the CR3 enemies are technomancers. 8 x (3d4 + 3) per round isn't something to trifle with.

The issue with low level enemies is their difference in effectiveness against higher level PCs. They may be completely useless, or totally overwhelming.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

If something is undead and not advertising their undead status, have them wear a holy symbol.

"Make a knowledge religion check

10: Its a god... you think

15: That's Ibra's holy symbol

20: Thats Ibra's holy symbol and you may want to ask him about the previous owner, who he probably ate because he's a ghoul...


There are lots of variables:
- Planet gravity
- Planet atmosphere or absence of it
- Initial speed (if you are in orbit, you'll stay in orbit unless you find a source of propulsion)

It's very DM dependant in my opinion. Bringing a heat resistant armor, a jetpack and being able to cast Flight I is the most you can do.

Shaken is a fear and mind-affecting condition. It may be something they forgot, but no sane DM will accept a robot to be shaken :D

BigNorseWolf wrote:
What is an operative walking to the fridge doing different from one trick attacking? It's a very weird corner case where there's no distinction.

Both actions have nothing in common. A trick attack is a full action. If the move part of the trick attack was a common move action, then trick attack would be : "As a standard action, you can attack and blablabla."

But it's a full action, which means that, either the attack action and the movement action are intermingled in such a way that you can't separate them or they have specific durations and can't be split into the classical move and standard action. Moving to the fridge while doing a trick attack is clearly distinguishable from a common move action move.
And when xris describes a trick attack move, we clearly understand it's a trick attack move and not a normal move.

Now, you can say all moves are "slide your mini on a battlemat" and that you can't distinguish a charge from a move from a trick attack. It's true that the rules don't say you can recognize an action from another, it's kind of implied. It's a roleplaying game, after all, not a wargame.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
The two aren't the same.

Exactly what I want to point out. For the player, it's the same, it's rolling a die or moving on the battlemat. But for the character, it's not the same at all, he doesn't move the same way between a guarded step, a normal move, a withdraw, a charge, a run or a trick attack.

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xris wrote:
Do you find this OK?

When I play FPSs and have a rocket launcher, I very often shoot at places where "there is nothing". For example, I like to shoot in front of me when I'm in a corridor, so if someone arrives at the other end, the fight starts with one rocket coming in his direction.

So, it very rarely happen for me to score a kill, but it happened. Attacking thin air is a perfectly valid move if you are in a stressfull situation.

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
There's no declaration phase anywhere.


I roll a die, 1. Ok, this was my knowledge check.
I roll another die, 20. Ok, this was a full attack. So next attack.

Of course, there is a declaration phase. Every time you do an action you have to state what action it is. The fact that we don't state it when it's obvious doesn't remove the declaration phase when there is a doubt.

Garretmander wrote:
A combat maneuver is defined as a melee attack roll, therefore it hits, therefore you can attempt a trip at the same bonus you use for disarm.

A combat maneuver is resolved via a melee attack roll. But the result is different than an attack. Nowhere in combat maneuvers it speaks about "hit", and in attack roll, it says "hit and deal damage". So, I beg to disagree :)

In my opinion, it's GM's call.

Ravingdork wrote:
Relevant, but in no way useful. We SAW the monster fly down and envelope our comrade. The GM basically threw away the high knowledge check by not telling us anything we didn't already know.

That's what I say, he gave you only one piece of information. The fact that the monster flies is useless, and it's ecology, too. The fact that he envelops its prey can be relevant, if he explains you a bit more about the ability. He should have given you all three special abilities of the Cloaker, and there is no way you could have had more information by asking, as it's all about the Cloaker.

Ravingdork wrote:

Once got attacked by a cloaker, which flew down from the dark shadows of the cave ceiling and enveloped one of the PCs. Upon making a high knowledge check, the GM gave us the following three pieces of "relevant" info:

1) It can fly
2) It can envelop its prey
3) It is an ambush predator the hunts in the Underdark.

It makes only one relevant piece of information (the second one). So, the issue was with your DM, not about the rules.

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Nerdy Canuck wrote:
A question wouldn't be "what's it's damage reduction", but it could be "when does it sleep".

For me, asking questions is not logical, because when you learned about the monster you did not know in what situation you'd need the knowledge. So you just get the most interesting pieces of information. You know that it turns people to stone, but don't know when it does sleep because you were not trying to kill it when acquiring information about it.

Also, we all (here) know about the Medusa's petrifying gaze, and noone knows when it sleeps. Because most documents you'll find about monsters are not manuals about how to kill them.

Nerdy Canuck wrote:
Asking questions is how a player tells you what is relevant to what they're trying to do or figure out

I'm all with Ascalaphus. Relevant means that you don't give players the ecology or general alignment of monsters, but it doesn't mean you know exactly what you really want to know. The most relevant piece of information about a medusa is it's gaze, not it's damage reduction.

I remember a fight where I forgot to roll my knowledge check, and remembered it after making the killing blow. The DM told me to ask questions, so, I asked the only useful one:
"Is there anything triggered on this monster death?
- Yes, it explodes after one round!" :D

Unfortunately, the way it is worded, you can't use your Improved Combat Maneuver feat, which is silly in my opinion.
Hit means you must make an attack, I don't think combat maneuver "hits", I've never seen this wording for them. But it doesn't have to deal damage, just to hit.

I second HammerJack. Also, Greater Feint is not better than Clever Attack. The effect is better, but it's less reliable. Overall, Clever Attack is better if you have Get'Em.

Claxon wrote:
But yeah, this sort of situation can be hard to run and will vary GM to GM.

Clearly. As a DM, I would either consider the enemy is not around the corner and will arrive in a few minutes, or that one of the characters heard him, so I can continue initiative without screwing my players.

But technically, it's supposed to be 2 combats separated only by a few seconds...

HammerJack wrote:
There are other times when you are not actively in combat, but events are sufficiently time critical (inbound reinforcements, ticking down the last minute before the bombs you haven't found yet go off, building is collapsing around you, etc.) that you should be in initiative, though they are edge cases.

Technically, initiative has only to be rolled in combat. Outside combat, rolling initiative is a "DM choice".

I've seen DMs doing that, but if they keep the initiative track, you lose simultaneity. So, in the case of the ticking bomb, if a player wants to try to disarm it, another one can't help without changing initiative, and very quickly we end up with "ready actions to aid another" and players interrupting each other's initiative round to ask current player to wait for them.
I far prefer when the DM asks each player what they are doing, allowing them to coordinate themselves, and resolve the situation as a whole. Segmenting, if necessary, the action into small periods of time that you could call "rounds".

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Claxon wrote:
Also the meta is about acting on information that your character doesn't have. You character doesn't know they're in initiative order. But you as a player do need to know how to tell everyone else what you're doing, and by what rules elements you do it, so everyone knows how to respond.

If you are fighting, and thus making lots of noise, I would understand this kind of movement even if you actually don't know if there's someone.

And if there are no more enemies, then you're supposed to be out of initiative. If the DM stays in initiative, he has to expect players to act like in combat. If you are outside of combat, you should go out of initiative. I personnally dislike when the DM stays or goes in initiative outside combat.

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Claxon wrote:
Unless you really believe the Operative is intended to only move via trick attacking, unless they're trying to hustle (double move) or run. If you can just always be moving as part of a trick attack why wouldn't you unless you know you need to do something else. That just doesn't make sense to me.

Well, a player can do that, it won't change the fact that it's useless outside combat, as you will roll initiative as soon as combat starts and his trick attack will be lost.

During combat, this is a completely different story, and, yes, I do expect someone to move differently during combat. At least, I would :)

For me, forcing to have a target to make a trick attack will generate many issues. For example, if there's an enemy behind a crate, that you don't see but you know is here, can you trick attack him? As you don't see him, he may no more be there. And if you force a line of sight to trick attack, you greatly nerf the ability.

Same here, not a troll, but quite stubborn (which is the case for many a member here).

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Claxon wrote:

It is metaknowledge, but not based on something that you and your character don't know / wouldn't be aware of.

And what do you mean moves around every corner like that?
Do you mean by just deciding to declare a trick attack for every round to move?

My response would be that you're not allowed to declare a trick attack without a target. I understand that the rules are written saying "you can attack". So you could make a pedantic argument that it's not required. And my response will be "It's called Trick Attack, if you're not attacking you're not making a Trick Attack. And if you don't have a target to attack, you can't attempt to make a trick attack."

In my opinion, you are going too far away, Claxon. For example, if I full attack, I will just declare my first target, and declare the second one after the result of my first attack. So, stating the action at its beginning is necessary, but stating all the variables of an action at its beginning is too much. You can declare a trick attack, and move to the corner. You may end up not doing your attack, but it means your character is moving to the corner in a "trick attack style" (stealthy, bluffy, sense motivy or whatever type of trick attack he's doing).

BigNorseWolf wrote:
1) Combat has a certain level of bandwith. I'd really rather have the player describing their character doing something dramatic than calling chess moves.

Which means that, as a DM, you are nice with players. Otherwise, your players would complain too much.

It's ok to be nice with players, but it reduces the perception of challenge. As a DM, I prefer to "look like" a tough GM. So, my players think there is challenge.
As such, if one of my player moves around a corner, it's a normal move unless otherwise stated.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
You don't really. Because situations where it matters are so incredibly rare in actual play.

Incredibly rare, I agree. But seeing a game going for a one-hour halt because of such things is something I have sometimes seen. Because the DM doesn't like such kind of metaknowledge, because players don't like when you tell them what they are doing instead of them.

The worst cases I've seen were situations with a death involved, and players rewinding the whole combat explaining where the DM made a mistake that, obviously (for them), caused the death. And such a situation is an obvious candidate for endless debates. And an unfair death may be a showstopper for a whole campaign.

Anyway, the fact that a situation is rare doesn't mean you have to play ignoring it.
Most DMs I've seen consider you're doing a normal move if you don't specify what you are doing. So, if you just walk 5 feet, you take your attack of opportunity, and next time, you'll be more accurate in your action description.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

You're either confusing the thing being a guarded step with declaring a guarded or arguing from the idea that you have to declare in order for it to be a guarded step.

I move here and its 5 feet away thats going to be a guarded step. I move here and attack and its 10 feet away it's not.

Nice. So, I can move my whole movement, discover new areas, then stop and say it was no withdraw, so I go back in time, take my attack of opportunity, and finally move in the opposite direction because what I first saw was too frightening.

If you don't state your action first, you'll have tons of time travel and metaknowledge in your games.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Besides a readied action I'm not sure when that would come up

Attacks of opportunity due to movement? If I wait before the end of my movement to specify if it was a guarded step, a move or a withdraw...

Anyway, if you don't state the action before using it, you have issues with reactions.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

If an opponent has a reaction with the trigger: An enemy makes a trip attack, this reaction will be generated by your movement.

OH... do you meant the space squids?

Sorry, I don't see what you mean.

If an opponent has a reaction with the trigger: An enemy makes a trip attack, this reaction will be generated by the fact that you do a trick attack, so, when you specify the type of action you're taking, before even saying that you're moving or shooting.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
RAW if you ready to shoot someone because of a charge

I've never said anything like that.

I just said that charging generates reactions at the start of the charge, hence you have to specify a charge before making your first step.
And it's valid for all type of actions.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
I can't see why or even if someone would take that as the trigger for their readied action.

For a trick attack, it would be kind of odd, but for a charge, it's far less strange.

Damanta wrote:

Argument 2:

The action is signaled to the GM before anything happens on the battlemap. The operative takes a move action: move up to his speed, after which they only have a standard and swift left and are not allowed to trick attack.

The Operative Trick Attack is not a standard movement. First, you can't draw a weapon while doing it. Second, Starfinder has reactions. If an opponent has a reaction with the trigger: An enemy makes a trip attack, this reaction will be generated by your movement.

So, if you start to move, and then announce you're doing a trick attack, the DM may have to go back in time to tell you it generated an effect at the start of your action. You have to state the action beforehand to avoid that.
Also, I find it far more tactical to state the action beforehand. Are you doing a full attack or do you take the risk of only doing a standard attack to be able to move after that...

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
My question was about the Slayer's Studied Target. It starts out as a move action, but turns into a swift later on. The Lenses of Predator's Gaze up your Slayer level by 5. Say I'm level 4. Using the item makes me level 9. Does that allow me to use it faster?

Yes. Lenses of Predator's Gaze are worn items, you benefit from their bonus all the time. So, for you, studied target is a swift, because you have it at level 9, not 4.

And even with use activated items it would have worked. If you have a sword stating that you can attack with it as a swift action, then you can.

Xenocrat wrote:

This reading is consistent with your past contributions to these forums, but I don't think its one that many people will share.

Nice definition of RAW :)

Anyway, disagreeing with you is rarely a good thing, so I think we will agree to disagree.

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Xenocrat wrote:
That's a...novel...interpretation.

It may not be RAI, but RAW, I don't see an error in this interpretation. The attack is generating the AoO, they are flat footed against it, they can't make their AoO.

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Xenocrat wrote:
A target of Clever Feint is not actually subject to the entire flat-footed the condition, it is flat-footed only against attacks. Meaning you get the AC/to hit effects, but they can still make AOOs.

Yes, but they are still flat-footed against their attacks, so they can shoot with range weapons without incuring AoOs.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Where's the reliability improvement?

"At 6th level, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to treat a failed Bluff check for clever feint as if it were a success."

Clever Attack or Greater Feint. Both have their advantage. Greater Feint is better than Clever Attack, but less reliable. It's a question of playstyle.

We both agree that it's worse than flat footed, it's an alternative.
I also forgot to add the case where the Operative is not attacking the enemy you use Clever Attack against (either because he drops his target, or because he's attacking a badly placed enemy).
Edit: And quad attack. If you have an Envoy giving you +4 to hit, quad attack becomes clearly a very good choice. Ok, it's very high level, but it reduces the issue to level 7-12, only a third of the progression.

Ascalaphus wrote:
I think the Feint route is being undersold a bit.


If you play SFS, you don't know the composition of the party beforehand. If you have another Envoy, he will have Get'Em, and it doesn't stack. If he doesn't have Clever Attack (as it's more rare), you can apply both effects.
Clever Attack makes enemies flat footed against attacks, preventing AoOs when range characters are attacking in the enemy reach. Melee characters are not enough in Starfinder to hold the line like they were doing in Pathfinder. You have very often only one melee character around a table. Clever Attack clearly has it's use beside the +2 to hit.
Debilitating Trick can apply off-target. It's true that it's less good than flat-footed, but it's still good.
If you don't have Clever Attack, you can't get to +4 to hit.

I think the Feint route is fine if you really want to maximize bonuses. And the alternatives are not thrilling anyway (despite Get'Em, of course).

Xenocrat wrote:

Smoke grenades in front of their position, the same way real world infantry/armor screens movements when they have no cover or concealment.

Or just throw it in front of you and leap frog towards them on consecutive rounds if they're far away. All they can do is pick a square to shoot at random and hope you're there with a 50% miss chance. Or leave their cover to get line of sight on you.

Smoke grenades grant concealment, not total concealment.

Hi everyone,

I just figured it out, and haven't found any post about it: A 12th level Skald can grant energy immunity to the whole party. Against two energies, but with the Undying Word archetype, you can grant it to all but force at level 15.
You need Energy Resistance (multiple times), Greater Energy Resistance and Energy Absorption and restart your song every round to rage cycle.
Each round, your teammates will absorb entirely one elemental attack and convert one third of its damage to temporary hit points. Then, absorb half of a second elemental attack, apply their resistance and then their temporary hit points, roughly negating the damage. They will also ignore all small elemental hits (flaming weapons, burning condition) thanks to their resistance. So, affecting them with an energy attack will be nearly impossible without putting the Skald down. Your teammates will bath in lava!
I don't know if I find that overpowered or just funny. Granting energy immunity to all energies is quite powerfull, but you end up being quite a one trick poney.

HammerJack wrote:
use the 16 bulk for a medium creature

This rule means that a combat drone with a ridding saddle can't be mounted by a medium creature before level 7 (considering it carries no weapon on his own).

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The bulk system only works for items. A creature hasn't a bulk number. That's the reason why mounted combat rules completely ignore bulks and only speak of size.
In that case, I think it's a typo, and the target should be either a 1 bulk item or a construct.

Shinigami02 wrote:
And then there's Mystics. The Mystic trade-outs are a bit of a mess, and IMO a bit larger of a loss than pretty much any other class has, making them horrible for taking archetypes.

I tend to disagree. Losing your 2nd, 4th and 6th level Improvisations for an Envoy is basically killing it completely before high levels. Roughly, you start playing at level 8, and become efficient at level 12.

For the Mystic, the 4th and 9th level replacement are free (Connections Spells are bad for most of them and Healing Touch is even worse). The Connection Powers really depend on your Connection. You are trading your Connection for your Archetype, which seems to be a fair trade to me.
The 2nd level one is hard. You'll need to play around it.
The Connection Skills malus is also very bad.
So, only 2 of them are really annoying, and it's not that hard to find an Archetype not modifying both of them (at least).

I also think Mystic is the only class bringing something new to your party. And considering noone is specialized in Wisdom-based skills (unless the Operative has Wisdom as secondary attribute) I would go for a full caster, with as much Wisdom as possible.

If you don't want to play a Mystic, I think there is space for a heavy hitter, either Soldier or Solarian. It looks like you could use an extra character on the frontline, as the Vesk can't handle everything on his own (especially with only one healer behind).

Xenocrat wrote:
It does not give you that. It gives you an enhancement bonuses to Dex/Strength ability checks and skill checks. That's not entirely useless in combat (+1 on acrobatics checks, yay?), but it's of no help hitting, damaging, or dodging things.

You're right, I read it too fast. It's still a bit usefull (even if it's less usefull than what I read).

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Archetypes have one big flaw which can't be removed:
- Soldier asks for a few feats to get an archetype in. Feats are part of the Soldier, but not much of it. And you can get feats in the normal way.
- Envoy loses Improvisations. Improvisations are all the class gives you, and there is no way to get them out of the Envoy class features.

So, currently, for one class you don't lose much for another one you lose everything.
It would have been balanced if Soldiers were losing their fighting styles instead of feats. Or if Envoys could give up normal progression feats for Archetype features (actually, thinking about it, that would be awesome, trading feats instead of replaced features).

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