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My players beat the Fearful Symmetry pretty easily, but I knew that would happen. The players had a nearly max scan roll, so they new about the self-destruct mechanism and they were going to leave until I mentioned "the Azlantis might have some cool gear..."

The party boarded the Azlanti ship (there's a nice map of the ship in the back cover).
* The Aeon Guard Specialists are no slouches and they have nice armor, weapons and combat skills, so the real trap could be the firefight onboard the enemy vessel.
* The party knew from their way-above-average scan that there were two life signs on board. If you want to make this onboard combat surprisingly challenging, there could just happen to be 1 or 2 SRO crew members (I decided this part of the story didn't need to be extended that much so didn't add the extra challenge to my campaign)
* When the Aeon Guards were about to be beaten (around 10 HP left), they initiated the self destruct. (The Azlantis exchanged code words in their communicators and then typed codes into their forearm computer pads)
* The destruct sequence gave the party 5 rounds to get off the ship, one party member could read the Azlanti language countdown to estimate time left.
* The destruct sequence locks the outer airlock doors, the party unexpectedly has to make a DC 20 computer check to exit (if you want to add tension).
* My group was able to hack the computer to unlock the airlock doors and, since they had such an awesome computer roll, 15 above what they needed, they also reset the timer to give them an extra 6 rounds before detonation (but in no way would I let them deactivate the self destruct). They scrambled to grab a few boxes of mystery loot out of the cargo hold and made it off just in time along with the Aeon Guard bodies and gear.
* The Sunrise Maiden took some serious blast damage for their greed since they cut it down to the wire on the get-away. They got a few very interesting items of moderate value (mostly for story flavor and role play, nothing that breaks game balance)

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Our group has been enjoying Dead Suns, enough that we plan to finish out the AP, and I've bought the last two books recently as we play through book 4.

As far as time, if I remember right, we've easily gotten over 30 hours of play time from Dead Suns book 1. I was new to GMing and we were all new to Starfinder, so it was a little slower than typical, but we spent 3 and a half sessions gaming in the first book. When you consider entertainment for 6 people for 30+ hours, the price isn't too bad. Definitely only buy ahead one or two books at a time as you become certain your group wants to continue in that adventure path.

Thanks for the link. Several of these images would make great starship battle backgrounds. We use roll20, so no time need be spent to align hex grids, I can just turn on the grid and scale it to whatever feels appropriate.

I'd give players a lot of leeway in their character design. I'd suggest that many androids have a lung equivalent for talking, but don't need to breathe unless they want to speak, sigh, or perhaps play the tuba.

It's not specified by the rules, but my reasoning is that the biological portions of an android still need oxygen. One way this could be played is that androids have an oxygen buffer good for several days (like armor environmental protection systems) and that they breath and replenish the oxygen supply when they have access to breathable air.

With the wide variety of androids, it may even make sense that some come with short range radio instead of lungs and vocal cords, so they can talk directly to the comm units of those nearby (you might treat it as limited telepathy from a gameplay standpoint). Normal speech by androids without lungs could be accomplished by an electronic speaker just under the skin of their neck or the back of their throat.

MythicFox wrote:

Has anyone toyed with tweaking the ending to provide an 'out' for Osteth's sacrifice? Some way to perhaps save her, even if it means leaving her for now and coming back later after the AP wraps up?

I'm curious what ideas you had along the lines of Osteth's fate. Did your players end up following any of those paths?

Shisumo wrote:
Now that Alien Archive 3 has given us creature companions, I'm suddenly wondering what I might do if one of my PCs takes a shine to the velsasha. Would Mr Radney-McFarland have any thoughts on the matter, by any chance? Anyone else, for that matter?

I don't see any problems in letting the players get a creature companion--it would be a fun role play opportunity and the AA3 rules aren't too complex.

One more thing to note, Ysoki get to stand up from prone as a swift action (See the Moxie section on the first page of their race description).

Since the party is down 25% from 4 players, you can also reduce the encounter enemy HP by a percentage and run 3 players (which is great for the players to not have to wait as long for their turn). You could drop the enemy HP by as much at 25%, but since most encounters aren't supposed to be overly tough, try starting opponents out at 85% HP and see how it goes. Adjust enemy HP more or less depending on how tough the first few combats seem. I'd award the same XP as recommended. This is one of the easier ways to scale difficulty without the hassle of changing numbers of opponents. My group was quite pleased that they estimated the number of enemies in the final battle of book 2 by paying attention to the number of the bad guys mentioned at the beginning of the jungle trek and counting bodies along the way. If you change numbers of opponents, then you risk throwing off the storyline unless you go through the whole adventure in advance and adjust the numbers.

Make sure they are meeting the expected level advancement track spelled out in the beginning of each book of Dead Suns. Don't tell them you are throwing reduced HP enemies at them so it still feels exciting. If they tend to track enemy HP closely and read the Alien Archive they may notice the enemies aren't at full health, but explain that their opponents aren't always fresh and well rested--then mix in different tactics to control the difficulty of future encounters.

In such a large universe, you may have a choice of flammable or non-flammable sticky grenades. You may have to house-rule they are one type or the other by default unless you specify what type you bought.

Does anyone play sticky grenades as making the area of effect sticky? Or do you treat it as a momentary effect that only affects those caught in the blast radius and does nothing to hinder those that pass through the area immediately afterward?

Nicolas Grilli wrote:
Sorry for reviving the post. We are playing dead suns 3. I am reading the marrowbligth and its multi-attack is worse than a full attack (-5 to hit). What conclusion did you reach? Can monsters Full attack or not?

I noticed that as well. I think that the rule in Alien Archive shows that monsters can make full attacks, and in place of that full attack (two attacks at -4 with the same weapon), they can instead choose the multiattack. In this case a marrowblight multi-attack isn't the most optimal, but it may make for a more colorful combat with two types of damage in a single full action, albeit at -5 to hit.

However, there are some powerful creatures where the multiattack is a much more deadly attack than the standard full attack:

Example 1:
CE Colossal magical beast (colossus)
Melee bite +35 (4d12+29 P) or
claw +35 (4d12+29 S) or
slam +35 (8d6+29 B)
Multiattack bite +32 (4d12+29 P), 2 claws +32 (4d12+29 S), slam +32 (8d6+29 B)
Note how these multiattacks are only at a -3 from the normal attack!

Example 2:
LE Colossal outsider (devil, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Melee slam +32 (4d12+30 B)
Multiattack 2 slams +26 (4d12+30 B), 4 legs +26 (6d10+30 P)
Ranged hellfire glare +34 (8d8+19 F; critical burn 5d6)
Note how these multiattacks are at a -6 from the normal attack, but there are a lot of attacks!

Search for "multiattack" if you have the PDF Alien Archive for other examples.

I just noticed that AA2 and AA3 have a different wording:

Stat bloc description for Alien Archive 2 and Alien Archive 3 wrote:

Multiattack: If the creature can make more than two melee

attacks with a full action (usually with different weapons),
the attacks and attack roll modifiers are listed in this entry,
followed by each attack’s damage, damage type, and critical
effects in parentheses.
Rule description for Alien Archive 2 and Alien Archive 3 wrote:

Multiattack (Ex)

In addition to its standard melee or ranged attack, the
creature has a multiattack entry. When making a full
attack, the creature can make all the attacks listed in the
multiattack entry at the attack bonuses listed, rather than
make two attacks. It can make the attacks in any order.
Format: Multiattack bite +10 (1d4+11), 2 claws +10
Guidelines: Use the appropriate damage column for the
creature’s array for all attacks in the multiattack, and impose
a –6 penalty on these attacks (rather than the usual –4
penalty for a full attack).

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I'm running a party through the second half of Dead Suns #3 soon, so the discussion on Eox is very relevant now. I thought it apropos to cast "Raise Thread" to say thanks for all the great discussion, ideas and taking the time to write up things that are useful to other GMs, even a year and 7 months after the previous post.

Matt2VK wrote:

Question -

Can you take 20 on Medicine / Treat Deadly Wounds?

It looks like you can take 20 but I thought I read somewhere you had to make that D20 roll.

Although two medical tasks specifically state you cannot take 20 (First Aid and Long-Term Care) most GMs I've discussed this with will rule that you cannot take 20 on any of the medicine tasks, to be realistic.

Tryn wrote:


So why should I use the worst option to regenerate hp?

I think this a basic problem with Starfinder, the technological solution are most times more expensive and less effective then the magic ones.
I think a solution would be to reduce the price of the sprayflesh dramatically (especially since it already has three drawbacks (check, rest, RP spent).

I agree, overall, magic is much more powerful at healing in Starfinder than technology. Sprayflesh does at least give you a way to boost healing if you are using Starfinder rules to play in a non-magical Sci-Fi universe.

One of the biggest differences I've noticed is that the Remove Affliction spell is far better for a poisoned or diseased character than the medical skill tasks of Treat Disease or Treat Drugs or Poison, which only give a +4 to the character making fortitude saves. Technology doesn't come close until you buy a Regeneration Table, which ironically describes it's effects as if you went to a spellcaster:

CRB pg.221 wrote:
...A living creature using a regeneration table is affected as if a 6th-level mystic cure spell as well as the remove affliction and restoration spells were cast on it. A dead creature is affected as if raise dead were cast on it. A regeneration table has an effective caster level of 20th.

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One thing I'd like to see is an "Identify DC" added near the top of the Stat Block. Not just in Alien Archive #, but in adventure paths and anywhere else a new creature is published.

example wrote:


XP 600
NG Medium aberration (plantlike) >>>Identify DC 13 Life Science (Common)<<<
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft; Perception +12

With so many aliens to choose from, part of the fun for the players is figuring out what they are up against. Almost always the first action they will (should) be doing is an Identify Creature skill roll. It would be a nicety for the busy GM to have the skill (or skills, if more than could apply) needed plus the assumed rarity from the typical Pact Worlds resident perspective. Naturally, you'll need to adjust the DC up or down based on the character making the skill check as rarity is relative to where you're from; "Very Common", "Average" or "Rare" (CRB pg.133)

CRB pg.220 wrote:


...If you have
ranks in Medicine, a dose of sprayflesh allows you to attempt
a check to treat deadly wounds on a creature that has already
received its limit of treat deadly wound benefits for the day
If you succeed at a DC 25 Medicine check, the next time such
a creature rests for 10 minutes and spends a Resolve Point to
regain Stamina Points, it can instead gain the benefit of your
Medicine check to treat deadly wounds.

The way I run my campaign, exploiting the part I've bolded above, is that in the hands of a person with medical training, you can keep using sprayflesh to treat deadly wounds as long as the Resolve Points of the recipient holds out. You might argue that I'm breaking the spirit of the rules, but by the way they're written I don't think I am. There is the limit of Resolve Points, which you should use cautiously, and the cost of sprayflesh, which is a bit pricey for lower level characters, so I don't think my interpretation breaks anything badly.

"I've got my case of Sprayflesh here. You may look like the Michelin Man when I'm done, but by God I'm going to stop that bleeding!"

Koboldinator wrote:


As for just touching someone or hitting them with a nonharmful object, I'd houserule you can aim for a AC that's just 10+ their Dex modifier.

In general, I'd houserule that even harmful objects hit the target's armor/shield/magical-protection on 10+Dex Mod, but you need to exceed KAC/EAC to get through to harm the person inside.

Of course I can think of exceptions, acid-resistant armor or a good energy shield would probably shed a paintball mark the way a hot teflon pan sheds water.

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Owen KC Stephens wrote:

Kasatha do generally have a primary hand (and secondary and do so), it is a matter of choice made as a youth. In fact, their word 'sethekt,' often translated as 'idiot,' literally means 'accidental hand,' and refers to someone who gave no thought to which hand to train


I like this. In my homebrew universe, Kasatha are not just left or right handed, they also tend toward upper or lower handed. Those who are lower handed are generally considered to have better balance, while those who are upper handed are thought to have more lifting strength.

Instead of two names, "left" and "right", they have four hand names:
Kaloob (upper left), Sikrid (upper right),
Sathap (lower left), Maruq 'Ul (lower right)

I keep them straight in my mind by the letter at or near the end of the name, b, p, d or q, the loop is the body and the ascending or descending line indicates the arm.

Before standardization, some ancient pre-Gap Kasathan maps used a compass rose placed at 45 degrees with the directions named Lah'Kalo, Lah'Sikri (magnetic North), Lah'Maru and Lah'Satha.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

No faq required

[Fusions] and [fusion seals] are slightly different items. It really doesn't help that for an adventurer a [Fusion] is just hands down better than a [fusion seal]. You're reading them as the same item with the same rules and they're not.

Yeah, sorry, I jumped the gun and answered before reading some other threads on the subject where I think it was you who clarified that Fusions are just about always preferable to Fusion Seals.

A seal is only nifty if you have no skill in mysticism or engineering skill, either in yourself, the party or anyone you could hire.

ThermalCat wrote:

...Going by Off-Kilter (CRB pg.276), a character can’t take a move action, so I required them to end the off-kilter condition before they could move by expending a move action to make another DC 20 athletics/acrobatics check.


Minor correction here: An athletics/acrobatics check is not needed to end the off-kilter condition, just taking a move action to steady yourself is all that's required provided there's something to grab onto.

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Reminds me of D&D, where somewhere in the depths of the world on the 3rd level of the dungeon a 6th level Cleric is casting a 4th level Detect Lies to determine if the Dwarven Thief they captured is on the level when he says "aigh, this corridor ain't level, it's leading us down!"

Sliska Zafir wrote:

Looking to determine the value of a

called (fusion) dispelling (fusion) carbon steel curve blade.

Is it: (where both fusions are installed as lvl 4)

2230 carbon steel curved blade [Lvl 4]
680 called Lvl [Lvl 1]
680 dispelling [Lvl 3]
3590 total

OR: (where each fusion is installed at its level)

2230 carbon steel curved blade [Lvl 4]
120 called [Lvl 1]
440 dispelling [Lvl 3]
2790 total


After reading this thread, I would go with the first option, you need to buy the 4th level item version of the seals, 680 CR each, or even higher if you go with fusion seals that are easier to move to higher level weapons at a later time.

In my opinion, the wording of this rule is one of the more confusing--everyone should be hitting the "FAQ" button on the first post in this thread to request attention from Paizo developers.

Hawk Kriegsman wrote:
Pantshandshake wrote:

@Hawk: It's super, super rare for games, either tabletop or video, to get shotguns any kind of right. I don't know when the perception of a shotgun firing a huge cloud of shot that rapidly expands to cover tens of feet came to be, but it is very firmly entrenched that way in our entertainment.

That's a real good point.

About the only games I recall that got them somewhat right was the TSR games like Top Secret and Boot Hill.

Now a game that got it spot on was Phoenix Command. However firefights took hours to complete due to the detail and complexity of the rules.

Good observation that more realism often takes more time. I think the designers made the choice to be quick and cinematic for playability over realism. This is a game that usually doesn't care about facing and is played on a square grid (CRB pg.269), so cone effects tend to be a 90 degree spread. If they used hexes this would be a little better.

My interpretation of sprayflesh (CRB 220) rules is that you can continue to use it to treat deadly wounds if you have ranks in medicine and the patient has resolve points to spend--even if the patient would be at their daily limit. I believe the key play-balance factor here is the resolve points, which are used to limit many special abilities.

The Ragi wrote:

The wording is a bit wonky, but I'd say it covers everything.

Except ink jet printers, they only come with "starter" cartridges.

I've been thinking some of how I can toughen up encounters in my own campaign when the players are taking down the bosses too easily. My situation is 6 players going through a published adventure path. I do let them win the little fights easily, because there should be some that are easy, but the bosses need that danger of being a real threat.

I've heard suggestions of giving the enemies better equipment, but then when the players (usually) win, the party now has the loot that makes them more formidable. I've been relying on better grenades, so the bad guys benefit from good equipment that is expendable. When the players win, I might let them have 1 of the better grenades, saying "too bad most of them got used up in the combat."

We also mark minis on the board with colored tokens with 75%, 50% and 25% hit points indicated by yellow, orange and red. I subtly let the bad guys go a little into the negative HPs before they actually die, but I can't push it too far, or the players will notice that the enemy has taken quite a bit of damage after getting to "red". This lets me dish out a few of the more interesting attacks when the players would otherwise wipe out the opponents too soon. In role-play terms "He looks horribly bloody, but ironically, his great hatred for living things makes him cling to life just a little bit longer in hopes of taking some of you with him!"

As a new GM I've found that studying up a bit more in advance helps. I make a reference sheet of the main boss stat block plus additional info like spell ranges, save DCs and effects, damage rolls, duration and rule book page numbers for full details. Some small tweaks, like adding or boosting fire resistance (which reduces damage from laser, plasma and flame weapons) is often effective without being as drastic as changing the level of the main bad guy in an adventure path.

I was debating about adding a "Take 20 Allowed?" column on my reference sheet, but it seemed that you could argue that none of the medical tasks should have allow Take 20 (then why do only two of the tasks explicitly forbid it?) . On the other hand, I feel that Long-Term Stability and the treat Disease, Drugs or Poison, could be debated on the "adverse affect upon failure". Is it harmless in the sense that the patient doesn't gain the benefit of medical treatment and is no worse off than making the healing rolls on their own?

I suppose that brings up another question debated in the other thread about "Take 20 on Treat Deadly Wounds": Is the limit of 1 healing per day talking about successes, or attempts? Suppose you have 4 characters that have medical ranks and can attempt healing, it seems that one failing shouldn't prevent the others from applying their skill and trying to do better, until one of them succeeds or they all fail (for that day, for that particular patient). So is your character's failure on a Treat Disease roll harmful in that it blocks another character, with possibly much higher skill, from making an attempt?

I have another question on Take 20, I've assumed it allows you to add modifiers although the word "modifiers" is not mentioned like it is with Take 10.

I’ve seen the discussion on Can you take 20 on Treat Deadly Wounds? I am inclined to allow a Take 20 on Treat Deadly Wounds. Can you also Take 20 on the other medical tasks that don’t explicitly forbid it?

These are

  • Long-Term Stability,
  • Treat Disease, and
  • Treat Drugs or Poison

Also, would you require a Med Kit (or better, like Advanced Med Kit, Med Lab, etc.) before characters can apply Long-Term Stability?

The reason I’m asking these questions is to put together a Starfinder Medical Reference sheet for players (just in case anyone gets hurt while adventuring). See the “Starfinder Medical Reference Share” Google sheet in

Any suggestions for improvement are welcome.

As I see it, if you have medical ranks, Sprayflesh let’s you get around the daily limit on healing as long as your wallet and patient’s Resolve points hold out.

Unfortunately I'm getting an error opening the DATAPAD. Is this a temporary outage or is there an alternate location to get to it?

The Ragi wrote:
Chouru wrote:
I've been perusing the Dead Suns forums and I'm concerned with a couple of things being too difficult for my group, one of them being the deadliness of the diseases. I'm trying to think of ways to sort of "soften" these up so they don't outright kill my not optimized party of mostly newbies. Has anybody else done something like this? Does anybody have any suggestions on how I can make these things a bit less deadly while still providing a challenge to kind of "teach" the new players how RPGs work in general and how Starfinder works in specific?

The disease in this book is actually quite entertaining and can be used to bring the party together, when every works alongside trying to protect a diseased companion.

Instead of messing with the mechanics, I'd at most nerf the Akatas to have only one dose of disease per day, so they can infect only the first person they bite.

Since some of the diseases in Dead Suns happen in areas where hospital class medical care is not readily available, it would be reasonable to encourage new players to have ranks in medicine or a mystic healer. If they don't have to money to have medical gear, some of the loot they find can include a box of medpatches (normally 50CR each, Core rules pg.220). Medpatches will allow characters untrained in medicine to assist in treating disease (+10). A successful treat disease (Core rules pg.143) gives the patient a +4 on their next save. Note that they will still suffer if they have a string of bad rolls...

Thanks for sharing your experiences with this encounter. I'm going to be running this encounter in the near future, so it's good to hear all the ways the players will make this go off the rails. I like to have a general idea of how to deal with it so they can go where they like without breaking the story too much.

SuperBidi wrote:
ThermalCat wrote:
The PCs will have to attack the body itself, and with a total stealth of 1d20+21, the party will have to perform a visual search (move action Perception again) to find it before attacking.
Be careful, you can't attack and be hidden. As soon as you attack, you become visible to everyone, unless you snipe, but you do it at a minus 20.

Thanks SuperBidi and Cellion, I missed that rule. After one of them was hit by a shot, I let the PCs figure out that it came from the general direction of the statue. It turns out that starting in the southeast corner, they decided to run along the southern edge, to avoid the difficult terrain, which brought them to the shortest route over difficult terrain to the head. With the diminishing sniper stealth bonus as they got closer, they spotted the sniper at about 90 feet away. By staying off the plaza to minimize difficult terrain, they made quad moves toward the head end of the stargazer.

Encounter details:

There were a few hangups with skyfisher lasso's along the way, which pummeled and slowed a few of them (large party at 6 players). I saw that it was a bit frustrating for the players not to see the skyfisher, but eventually one rolled a nat 20 to see it, and got a crit with a laser rifle, which set it to burning enough that the steam trail made it much easier to see. I had decided earlier that the dark circles in the skyfisher illustration were buoyant hydrogen sacs. I gave a +15 bonus to the others to find it once that happened. The burning crit also made the creature flee sooner (as per the morale guidance), so it could go off and smother the flame. I reasoned that it would want to land somewhere safe where it could roll up (stop drop and roll) and then take off again.

The party did something extra for the Hardscrabble Collective in book 1, so was rewarded with a pair of Falcon Boots. The PC wearing them walked vertically up to the windows and did enough mind thrust damage to Salask to make her retreat. I described that the ceiling over the stairs from the shoulder to the hand of the statue had fallen in (leaving that stretch open to the sky, and vulnerable to the skyfisher). He then dropped a rope from the shoulder and the party entered there, with hazards from skyfisher lasso attacks.

Salask took her healing serums and joined the cultists in the main hall. The Solarian in the party made the mistake of charging in to the main hall two rounds ahead of the rest of the party. She was knocked down to 0 HP in two rounds. Despite her healing serums and staying out of the way, she barely survived because lots of grenades were used in the ensuing firefight.

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I think this is going to be a tough encounter. The scale of the Stargazer map is 10' per square, and Salask can hit the whole battle map without penalty (within the first 250' range increment) except for a little bit of the northwest corner. The plaza area itself will be difficult terrain--costing double movement. Sniping every other round until the party is within 70', and then shooting once every round at closer targets. Finding the sniper is hard, taking a move action to perform the Perception search task before the party can even know where to close in on the sniper let alone fire back. Since Salask is an expert sniper, it will be -20 to the perception check at 150+ feet away, and -10 to the check at 50 to 150 feet away to locate her (Natural 20 is your friend here).

To give reasonable challenge to the Skyfisher, I'm thinking its parachute shaped body will let it focus on an action and only fall about 10 feet. This creature also has a stealth of +11, and will go translucent for an additional +10 to stealth. Being translucent makes it staggered (only one move action OR one standard action), thus my parachute idea so it can attack without falling completely out of the sky. Since the filaments it attacks with are like spider webs, damage to those are not causing damage to the skyfisher's hit points. The PCs will have to attack the body itself, and with a total stealth of 1d20+21, the party will have to perform a visual search (move action Perception again) to find it before attacking. Also, once spotted, just because one PC sees it doesn't mean they all see it, I'll give a +5 to the Perception check for each PC that see's it and is helping the others find it. If anyone sets it on fire (for example a critical hit with a laser weapon) the smoke will give a +15 to spot it.

I'll report back after I run this part of the adventure.

Garretmander wrote:

1)The AC you have to hit would be your ally's EAC.

On the first question (as a GM I'd allow) it's an auto hit if it's an ally that knows your tactics well and the shooter yells to the ally something to tip them off like "Don't resist!". Being a combat situation, I'd still require an attack roll because a natural 1 always fails.

If you haven't pre-arranged this tactic, then I'd say you have to hit the normal EAC.

EltonJ wrote:

Depends on how living you want your living weapon to be. The Gamemaster should decide if it has a battery hook up or not, or if it eats.

Some time I'll be a player (I'm GMing right now); since it's alien technology (more alien than most), I totally want to play up it's weird properties. As a player I'd be willing to go out of my way a bit to use one of these.

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ghostunderasheet wrote:
I thought they explained it as the weapon feeds on the ammo/energy converting it to what it needs to continue surviving. But I wouldn't mind feeding my weapon the blood of my fallen enemies. Which sounds dark. But it's like those guys that would cut themselves on their blade to sate it's bloodlust in those stories animes and movies.

Ooh blood! I hadn't thought of that, but considering these were originally swarm technology that wouldn't be far fetched. I like the idea of a pact worlds version of these using very dense food bars that are equivalent to battery packs in cost, capacity, size and weight, but maybe a little harder to come by on the availability. If you have captured an authentic sting pistol of Swarm origin, I can see a GM requiring you to fuel it with blood or something else somewhat difficult or unpleasant to use.

I've been GMing and was just looking for a few unusual things to throw into the adventure now and then. Perhaps a Defiant fusion (CRB pg 193) on one of these, I could then describe it--"Little legs grasp your hand back as you hold it and a segmented whip tail wraps around your wrist. The smooth chitinous body snuggles into your palm, slightly warmer than room temperature. Through the translucent plate by your knuckles, you can see its stomach is fully charged."

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There are some big IFs that have to fall in your favor for Charm Person to work. A lot of it is situational, so it can only happen if the GM wants to let it happen.

I see the language as the primary barrier, because in addition to the Charm Person, you probably need to follow it up with a Big Bluff to fast talk the target into believing that maybe their associates are not true friends, and that's why you have to attack the non-charmed Azlanti co-workers.

Maybe you have a Mindlink Circlet Mk3, the only model that will let you telepathically communicate with someone who doesn't have a language in common with you. If your party can delay violence for a round, long enough to (telepathically) Bluff that "You are in great danger, those you are with are about to turn on you. In order to protect you we must attack them."

Maybe the GM rules that the target Azlanti doesn't really like his fellow co-workers. (These are the guys that hazed him cruelly in boot-camp.) If instead they are truly close friends, then an attack on them could easily be considered as if the target was attacked directly.

Maybe the Azlanti you choose to charm doesn't have the stereotypical "Every other race is inferior to us" attitude. Again the GM would have to enable this to let the plot twist in an interesting direction. Fate brings you into contact with one of the very few Azlanti that has sympathy for another race.

Maybe you and your party have some time to pull off some theatrics, a disguise to make the witchwarper look like another Azlanti, a way to communicate and a good story/bluff to give a good reason why a combat against the target's companions is about to happen.

That's a bunch of big Maybe's that have to go your way. In this unlikely of a situation it will take some effort on your party's part and a huge amount of luck to pull off. If the target of the Charm Person is a key NPC it's worth trying. You don't go to this level of effort to try and make the combat easier and ultimately kill off the charmed character at the end of the battle. Charm Person is a Finesse-and-avoid-combat spell rather than a combat spell.

So the new Armory book has these creepy Sting Pistols on page 16, with ant, yellow jacket, wasp and hornet varieties. There are some pictures on page 19. These are derived from swarm technology and I imagine they look and feel like holding the body of a two pound insect in your hand. These are listed as having a capacity of 20 or 40 charges like battery operated weapons. There is no special ammo listed in the ammo table (pg.25) and the weapon category description on page 54 doesn't specify anything on ammo either.

The ant sting pistol uses up 5 of its 20 charges per shot, so only 4 shots before you need to reload. The higher level models use fewer charges per shot and/or take a higher capacity cartridge.

So my question is, would you say these can use standard battery packs? Or would you be more colorful and say that you buy special nectar pouches? Same price as a battery, or maybe the advantage is that these are cheaper to "feed"--a 5 credit fruit smoothie instead of a 60 credit battery?

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Or the hostage taker has a needler loaded up with a scary deadly disease serum stolen from a military bioweapon lab. We all know no one's going to survive the Starfinder disease track.

Pantshandshake wrote:

Honestly, I’m the exact opposite. Playing a 2E AD&D game? Break out the Monstrous Humanoids book, daddy needs the closest thing to a Sasquatch he can find. Pathfinder? Don’t even talk to me unless I can use an Uncommon race. My Merfolk Monk needs a new pair of shoe-analogs.

That being said, there’s several PC races that are more human-ish than most. If that doesn’t do for you, how about an Uplifted Bear? They’re bears! Like from Earth! (or, actually, They’re bears, like from Bojack Horseman!)

Isn't Uplifted Bear the same thing as a Pathfinder Druid? Our entire last campaign in Pathfinder, I swear we never once saw our druid in human form...

Dracomicron wrote:

Nor is perfectly fine being LE (ignoring the extent that alignments are kinda dumb, anyway). Lawful Evil is a belief in using society to your best self interest. Rewarding people who do your dirty work for you is just how society works for LE people.

I find Nor a very interesting NPC. The way I've presented him to my players he could be mistaken for Lawful Good. But in the back of my GM mind, I know he could kill and destroy if necessary to advance the needs of Eox and the Pact Worlds. And what would he do if he had to choose, and just how far could the PCs trust him?

At first level the players really don't have a chance to judge his true character, Nor is such a refined diplomat and quite powerful. Suppose Nor gets "Bad news," and the glow in his eye sockets flashes a bit redder and brighter while the water-vapor condenses out of the air around him for a moment--was he really angered by this news, or was it all just for show? The players will have to stay in touch with Nor, observe him carefully, read between the lines, investigate him and go up a few levels and then, and only then, will they have enough experience to know what he truly stands for and is fully capable of.

He's a great ally, but can you trust him? I plan to keep him around for a while as a recurring NPC, and keep his true allegiances a little bit ambiguous for as long as possible.

pithica42 wrote:
There's an image of Duravor Kreel in the Dead Suns Pawn Collection. The collection also has images for the different gang members and some others that didn't get images in the book itself.

I just had the first two of the Dead Suns books and I tried an image search on the internet for "starfinder duravor kreel" and came up empty. After I made my own image of Duravor I discovered that there was a Dead Suns Pawn collection and promptly purchased it (good investment by the way). It was then that I realized that there was indeed a Duravor Kreel image already in existence.

pithica42 wrote:
Also, I'm not sure what you mean by separating this thread out by book, since this thread is only for the first book in the series. There are other threads for the other books in the series.

I was asking if there was a consolidated resource that boiled down the multiple pages of the forum into a more concise resource. Keeping the books grouping (as the forum already does) and also putting the material in chronological order by encounter area (as the forum doesn't--the discussion jumps around within a book as people think of topics, but it hasn't been kept arranged by encounter area as the players will encounter it).

I hoped for a set of companion wiki pages for the Adventure Path that could be updated and refined. The forum is still valuable as the original source of ideas, but it's more like a stream of consciousness. What goes into the wiki page would be a bit subjective, based on the judgement of the contributors, but at least all the gems that have earned a number of "favorite" ratings should be included. And then it would be easier to search, for example, all the good ideas for roleplaying Gevalarsk Nor could be collected together, including the nice resources contributed around this character such as the initial invitation to the Eoxian embassy and follow up communications.

Likewise, if you wanted all the ideas related to playing out the Garaggakal encounter, those ideas would natrually be all together near the end of the Incident at Absalom Station page. All the key points could be gathered into a concise bullet list so a GM can easily review it the night before leading their players through this encounter, including tips on keeping the challenge from being too hard or too easy. Ideally it would be nice to link back to the forum periodically so you could delve into the full discussion as desired.

An appendix at the end would collect all the contributed material such as artwork, ship and npc sheets, audio or video contributions, GM tally and cheat sheets, communications and handouts like the Astral Extractions meeting presentation.

Paris Crenshaw wrote:
Paris Crenshaw wrote:
Zaister wrote:
Hmm wrote:
Paris Crenshaw wrote:

Hey, Folks!

I put together shipsheets for the ships used in the campaign. I'll add pages to it when parts 5 and 6 come out, as well. The stats and DCs for some of the offensive actions on the enemy ships' sheets are based on fighting the Sunrise Maiden as she is presented in the first book.

Dead Suns Shipsheets.PDF


Paris, this is a life saver!
Indeed, thanks a lot for these!

I'm glad folks are finding them helpful. I am about to update the file to add the ship sheets for books 5 and 6. How would you like me to present the DCs? Should I assume that the PCs' ship tier is the same as the the proposed level for the portion of the AP in which the ship combat takes place? Or should I just leave those blank?

I went ahead and made a command decision. The sheets below include every ship involved in combat presented throughout the AP. The DCs are calculated based on the premise that the PCs' ship's tier will be equivalent to the APL recommended at that part of the campaign.

Dead Suns Shipsheets (DS 1-6).PDF

There are lots of numbers to juggle, here, so I may have made some errors. Please let me know if you find any mistakes.


I'm greatly enjoying the ship sheets you put together. I have a correction to suggest. The Sunrise Maiden's turret has a light particle beam. The damage listed should be 3d6 instead of 2d4.

When my players pointed it out to me (they noticed right after their first combat with it), all I could say was "I was wondering why you didn't turn off BOTH safety switches!" ;-)

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C.Scott Franklin wrote:

My first attempt at creating something here. I was concerned with trying to keep up with the environmental checks also and a "travel log" sounded like a good idea. So I made this for the 12 day trek to help me out. Maybe it will help some of you out also or maybe it sucks but like I said first attempt here so be kind :) Feel free to print it off and use if you wish. I printed at as a full page slide and it looks good to me. I also included some of the requirements at the bottom so I wouldn't have to keep flipping back and forth in the CRB and a few spaces to fill in appropriate data for each PC. I tried to color code the pertinent information together so that it would be easier to read quickly.

Hope this is useful. sharing

Thanks for sharing your chart. It inspired me to customize and create my own version. It's "Wilderness Trek Sheet share" in this Google drive folder

It incorporates a few of my house rules, like Lashunta Tempweave being free of the -4 penalty to heat dangers (CRB pg.402).

Black.k.9 wrote:
Garretmander wrote:
Hmm wrote:

I would second Into the Unknown, Now that I think about it, that's where I got my cheat sheet from. As well as the starship roles cheat sheets. It also goes through skill checks, combat and starship fights.

If you want a pure into to the rules instead of a learn as you go, it's still got a few good starting points.

Well then! Thank you very much! By hosting something that has all the basics covered saves me a lot of trouble!

One caveat, the Into the Unknown starship combat sheets use the original core rulebook DC checks (15 + 2 x your ship's tier), but the Starfinder rules FAQ has updated the values to (15 + 1.5 x your ship's tier) for most checks. I've made some revised handouts in Google sheets, so that you can enter PC and enemy ship tiers and have the values calculated for you.


Elinnea wrote:
That's a great idea! I have a group about to start Dead Suns and this sounds quite helpful. Thanks for sharing your work.

I'm happy if people can make use of it. For me, anything that helps me spend less time flipping through the rules during the game is good--I don't remember all the details off the top of my head. Our group is picking up a player, so keeping things moving is important.

I'm lucky to have a good group of players that help me out with rules. I'm going to start having them track their own diseases so they have a better idea of what's going on, and they'll enjoy doing this part. We're all very new to Starfinder.

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I find the disease tracks complex to track. I created some disease track reference sheets.

If you see any errors or have suggestions, feel free to reply here or share back your corrected copy.

Google docs Affliction tracks

You can give a printed sheet to the players if you want them to do their own tracking. For keeping track I recommend taking a slice of sticky note with the characters name and sticking it in the column representing their state. For diseases that need 2 saves, I put the characters name in the bottom of the column. When they save, they move to the top of the column, or to the bottom of the next improved column if they are already at the top of a column. If they fail a save, move their name to the bottom of the next worse column.

Check out the Thermal Capacitor and Filtered Rebreather armor upgrades, as they may interest the characters. If you want to allow your characters to use these, you may have to go off-script a little to give them an opportunity to acquire these at the beginning. Turhalu Point's decommissioned military base may still have a handful of staff, and some additional equipment that could be purchased with the right diplomatic rolls or additional credits.

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I ran this recently for our group. Here’s how I played it:

I ruled the max speed they could travel was 50% of their normal movement (zero-G paragraph at the top of CRB pg.402). The corridors were oddly shaped, 5ft wide and 15ft tall, which meant they were always within reach of a wall to grab onto. (You could even turn that sideways, and call it a 15ft wide hall with a 5ft ceiling.)

I had the players do the acrobatics or athletics check, whichever is better, at DC 20 to gracefully stop when they get to their destination, typically the wall they were aiming for. I considered this first check to be part of the movement so it didn’t use up one of their actions. If they fail, which will happen a lot, they take on the off-kilter condition, (flat-footed and -2 to attacks, except for Ysoki can ignore these penalties, see Moxie on CRB pg.54). To end the off-kilter condition, I made them roll the DC 20 athletics/acrobatics check, which expends a move action. Going by Off-Kilter (CRB pg.276), a character can’t take a move action, so I required them to end the off-kilter condition before they could move by expending a move action to make another DC 20 athletics/acrobatics check.

Unless the surface is especially “bouncy,” like a trampoline, I ruled that their collisions were inelastic, so they stopped when they ran into something. This was more for playability than realism. If they failed their roll to land or grab-on gracefully at their desired destination, they were off-kilter, but were stopped within easy reach of the wall to try another check. If you are ysoki and don’t plan to move anytime soon, you don’t need to waste a move action to steady yourself, unless it bothers you that you are not instantly ready to move if needed.

We game with miniatures on a map. We found that additional flat markers, like coins, were handy to mark current and last position, so if characters are drifting over a long distance it was easy to figure out their next position by continuing the line they were on. You can use a permanent marker to write character initials on the coins to tell them apart if needed.

If you like making house rules, you could allow them to move while off-kilter, but I suggest having the player make an acrobatics/athletics roll at DC 25 (or higher, like 30, if pushing off from a slippery or hazardous surface, or if they are trying to push off without stopping first). If they fail this roll, they don’t to go in the direction they want. Failed checks could result in a random d8 direction roll, with any directions into the wall meaning they just stop where they are, still off-kilter. I believe the rules picked 50% of your normal movement to represent careful movement without risk of injury. At some point, building up too much speed should make it harder to control their movement, increasing DC to move, and could start to incur a risk of injury if they fail their roll and the random direction roll sends them into the wall (sort of like the damage you take when falling), perhaps a 1d6 damage for every 10 points by which they fail their roll.

Pantshandshake wrote:
That's a bunch of neat house rules you made there.

Thanks, just trying to extrapolate from the existing rules to cover more cases.

Public fast charge stations in the rules cost 50% of an original battery's price for a full charge, replenishing 10 charges per minute. CRB p.234 also mentions free options that replenish 1 charge per minute (in better hotel rooms, upgraded starships). Also, mechanics get 10 minutes of fiddling with their drone during 10 minute rests, and armor upgrades take 10 minutes to install/deinstall. So I'd think the general cost and time for refurbishing things like filtered rebreathers would be similar.

Magyar5 wrote:

Our GM has come up with a really creative solution for dealing with these problems.

He never opens that Pandora's box.


There's something to be said for not drifting too far from the rules as written. I'm GMing Dead Suns for a group of mostly engineering type players. They are about to encounter the Castrovel jungle heat portion in book 2, so I know they will be asking about how to deal with these things. If they try to buy equipment intelligently, then I wanted to have some options available. I try to anticipate what they will look for, but they may do something totally different, as players often do. Just trying to think of these things in advance so I'm not muddling through it during gameplay.

I also don't mind discarding my house rules if Paizo makes some new rules in this area.

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