Thesing the Vampire

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Scarab Sages

Hey, I'm tinkering around with the monster creation rules, and I had a question. I'm trying to stick as closely to the rules as possible so answers like 'in a home game, do what you like,' will not be super helpful.

My question is, do spell power sources impart their tags onto spells? In other words, as a random example, the spell 'acidic burst' has the acid and evocation tags. If I cast it as a druid, does it also gain the 'primal' tag? If I were to cast it as a wizard, would it gain the 'arcane' tag? And while designing a monster, can I do things with these tags?

ex. Resistance/Weakness 5 Primal or Regeneration deactivated by arcane.

Just messing around with monster creation rules.

Discussion Thread

Please post the following information about your character:

Character Name
SFS Number (including character number)
Day job
Other important stuff I may need to know

Feel Free to Dot in here

Recruitment for 2-11, Decent into Verdant Shadow

Scarab Sages

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So ran into this problem earlier. I have a bard who is a miner. So, of course, I took the miner background. But lo and behold, turns out that is the wrong call if I want to be good as good at mining as I can be. Turns out I should take some other background and pick up the ‘additional lore’ skill feat at level 2, choose mining, and then it automatically upgrades at 3, 7, and so on.

Is it too much to ask for a skill feat that upgrades an existing lore skill at the same rate additional lore upgrades? As much as I want more skill to upgrade with class upgrades, Bard essentially assumes you sink those into perform.,

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

I mean, they are super good, and in-universe there is NO reason they wouldn’t work on a PC. Automatically activate in hazardous conditions and a long duration charge? I’d buy one just as an emergency. Prevents you from getting just destroyed by a smoke grenade. You’d spend at most a round in bad conditions.

Scarab Sages

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So a few years ago (man, has it really been that long?) I made a few starships from the Star trek series using the starship creation rules. They weren't perfect matchs, but it was a fun exercize. In case you missed it, here they are:

Federation ships
Non-Federation ships

I was thinking about getting back into it with a few more ships from popular culture outside of Star Trek, just for funzies (though I'll try to make them actual starship stats so that people can use them in their games.) The problem is, that while I'm a huge Star Trek nerd, I'm less knowledgeable about other Sci-Fi series. So anyone have any starships they'd like to see from NON-Start Trek sources?

This is what I have so far:
Non-Star Trek ships from popular culture

Scarab Sages

Do they stack? Because my medical envoy would love to add 2xchr mod to HP restored.

Scarab Sages

I was dinking around with build options trying to make one kind of character, and I accidentally stumbled upon this build. I dunno, it seems like an interesting way to go. Thoughts?

Vesk Ninja.
(M or F) Street Rat Vesk Operative (Ghost) (Comes online at level 4)

Str: 17, Dex: 16 (18 with personal upgrade) Con:12 Int:8, Wis: 10 Chr: 10
Skills: Acrobatics, stealth at whatever else you want.

Feats: (1st) Weapon Focus-Basic
(3rd) versatile Focus

(2nd) Death strike
(4th) Shuriken Assassin

Atk (Natural, operative)+8(1d3+7)(+1d8 with trick)
Atk (Shuriken, thrown)+8(1d4+7)(+1d8 with trick)

Scarab Sages

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So we've all sat down, looked at the COM, and had time to peruse it, so let's think about some things. Where do we go from here? What other types of classes would we like to see?

First of all, one of the things that I really like from Starfinder is that they consolidated the classes. Instead of having a separate class for 'guy who gets powers from a god' and 'guy who gets powers from a god but is all nature-ey about it,' we just have one class for that (mystic.) Instead of having Fighter/Barbarian/Monk/Ranger, we just have one class (soldier) that has fighting styles that sub in for barbarian/monk/ranger builds. So with that into account, what new classes or class options (if any) do you think would be welcome in Starfinder? What archetypes would we like to have but can't build yet?

Until recently, I felt we were missing out on a (for lack of a better term) tropes. There were a few character concepts that just weren't there, like a tech-based healer, and a lightly armored evasion-tank. But with the Biohacker and the Vanguard now (Vanguards can be built as lightly armored high-dex, high-con tanks), I think we have the tools to build most of the kind of builds I'd like to see. There are a few that come to mind that we still haven't gotten yet.

1) Gish. I know that any caster CAN also be built to fight fairly decently, but those are builds that can fight AND can cast spells. I want to see a spellcaster class that can turn spells into battlefield weaponry. Kind of like the Witchwarper's Infinate worlds class feature, but instead of control it is buffs or debuffs. I guess I'm saying I want to see a magus-like design, incorporating magic into a fighting style. I'm not saying a magus exactly, I'm saying magus-ish in feel. And no, I'm not saying it has to be overpowered, just that it's a class we don't have right now.

2)Duelist. I tried building one of these out the other day and it just doesn't work super well. Even a soldier with the Finesse Striker just doesn't hold up great. Plus the lack of melee operative weapons that aren't just 'a knife' is annoying (can we get a space rapier please? So we don't have to keep going back to the Cane Sword?). And while you can get that feel from the operative, they are usually being a spy or a detective or something else. I just want a soldier fighting style with the flair of the Swashbuckler (again, doesn't need to be that powerful, just want that feel).

3) Let's make use of the Specialty weapons. C'mon, they were put out there for a reason, but there is almost never any reason to use them. Let's get some bow-and-arrow builds, or Shuriken builds (more than JUST the carbon edge shuriken.) I could see it as a soldier fighting style, or as a new class centered around being a survivalist and forging your own weapons.

I dunno, those are just my thoughts late at night while I'm tired. Any of you have thoughts?

Scarab Sages

So I've always liked the idea of the Elegant Duelist. One of my great regrets is that I didn't make one in PF1. Now, with the COM out now, that can kinda-sorta maybe become a reality. The 'Finesse Striker' Gear boost allows a Soldier to add their full level to damage with operative weapons, allowing for a step closer towards that duelist concept, but I still don't see it doing well.

The problem is you still just can't compete with a melee soldier. I mean, 22 Strength +Melee Striker Gear boost=+9 to damage by around level 7. A dex-based duelest type soldier can't compete with that. Anyone have any ideas on how to make this not terrible? I mean, I'd be willing to take a minor ding to damage in favor of flavor, but 9 less damage.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

What qualifies you to buy an uncommon item in PFS2? Do you have to have a feat for it? Can a goblin fighter start off buying a Horsechopper? Or a dwarf ranger start off with a clan dagger, or do you have to get access to them with the specific (race) Ancestral weapon feats?
The rules seem. . . A bit unclear from what I can figure out, and my friends are stumped too.

Scarab Sages

I'm a bit confused over the Vanguard's Entropic strike. So page 52 of the rulebook, it says:
" . . . Your entropic strike is a magical one-handed advanced melee weapon with the operative weapon special property that targets EAC . . .You can also deliver an entropic strike with any melee weapon, or any shield that allows you to make unarmed attacks (replacing the normal attack with your entropic strike.) The attack's damage is equal to the entropic strike damage of a vanguard of either your class level or the class level equal to the weapon's item level, whichever is lower. When you use this option, your entropic strike is considered to be made of whatever material the weapon or shield is made of (for the purposes of bypassing DR or creature weaknesses.) Additionally you can apply any weapon special property, critical hit effect, or weapon fusion the melee or shield has to your entropic strike so long as the effect can be applied to a one-handed advanced melee weapon that deals acid or bludgeoning damage doesn't use additional ammunition or charges, and doesn't require information beyond that specified for your entropic strike to function.

Does this mean that I can run around with, a non-operative weapon and treat it as an operative weapon when using my entropic strike?

Let's make it a bit more concrete. Let's say I have Diffuse Hardlight Handwraps (Item level 5, 1d6 damage, with the force effect). These don't have the operative special weapon property. While wearing the handwraps, can I activate them and give my entropic strikes the force effect while they still count as operative (They can be applied to a one-handed weapon, they don't use additional charges i.e. no boost, and force effects can be applied to a bludgeoning weapon.)

Or . . . I dunno. How do you use your entropic strike with a weapon in hand?

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

Has anyone noticed this? Some of the DCs in these scenarios are just getting ridiculous, and I’ve actually had players quit tables because of the skill checks being too high to be reasonable. I mean, the formula is already a little out of hand (level x 1.5 means you have to have a class bonus AND full ranks AND ability crystals AND level 5/10/15 level up bonuses into the relevant stat just to keep pace). But then some of these numbers just get out of hand.

So easy checks are supposed to be 5+(1.5 x level)
Medium are 10+ (1.5xlevel)
And hard DCs are supposed to be 15 +(1.5 x level)
And maybe very hard are 20+

But I just read through a 7-10 scenario with basically every DC is 32 or above (which, at max level 10, would be above hard,). One check that is basically required for the mission to succeed is DC 42! That is 27 +1.5 x level! Heck, you’d have to have a +22 to the skill just to attempt it! Where are these DCs coming from? Even a level 10 character who specialized in that skill, and got a (let’s say) +3 insight bonus to it (class bonus or skill focus) with a 22 in the relevant stat would need a freaking natural 20 to succeed. You would need an entire full party all succeeding in the aid another check to just bring it down to even odds to succeed. WTF?! Now granted, that check does allow retries, but there are penalties for failure.

I think SFS writers are used to PFS 1st ed, which gave you a larger number of options to buff your skills. But in SFS, skill focus doesn’t scale at 10 to +6, and almost any skill bonus that isn’t a racial is an insight bonus so those don’t stack.

Scarab Sages

So the new alternate racial that Halfling's get, reload an injection weapon as a swift action instead of a move (as opposed to +2 acrobatics and athletics). With that in mind, how tempting does it make it to make a Halfling biohacker?

On the one hand, a swift action instead of a move isn't that big a deal. In starfinder you still need your swift action to full attack, but it does free up a move action for a few other things. Moving, getting up, opening a door, all that stuff. Is it worth it though? Halflings don't get bonuses to Int OR Wisdom, but they do get a bonus to Dex for shooty shooty biohackers, which is nice. Is there something else they can do with their move action that would make this a nice combo, or is it not worth it?

I just saw that and thought it was worth a discussion because no one else seemed to say anything about it.

Scarab Sages

Okay, so a year and half ago I made a thread called "Another list of things I want in upcoming Starfinder books" and I listed a few things I wanted to see in Starfinder. And as of the COM, I have had most of them given. So now it's time to look INTO THE FUTURE!

As a brief aside: the list of things were:

Shuttlepods/Worker bees for starships: The only one we haven't gotten yet, although we do have the 'launch tube' so a cruiser can haves shuttles now. I have my fingers crossed that the upcoming Starship Operation Manual will solve this issue.

Viable Martial arts build: Both the Vanguard and Qi Adept soldier fit nicely, as well as my own cobbled together version of Arcane Assailant+Raw Lethality+Improved Unarmed Strike+Ring of fangs (at least, it works mechanically)

Another healing option, preferably tech-based: Got it with the Biohacker

More themes: Got them in spades now

More Races: Now there's too many to count!

Update to Solarians: Have them, though I still say they need heavy armor proficiency or Longarm proficiency as a starting feat. One or the other.

So now, what do we want to see?
Well, I do have some ideas of new things I want to see, so let's get into it.

1)A damaging ranged build: So, unlike Pathfinder, where archery builds were super dangerous (rapid shot, deadly aim from 100+ feet away), ranged combat just . . . isn't good in Starfinder. I mean, after about level 8, any non-soldier, non-solarian might as well not attack. True story, in Dead suns, after around level 8 or so, my soldier did around 90% of the damage. The envoy's best use of his time was to shout get'em and hustle so I could move somewhere and still full attack with a bonus. And that's not fun. I mean, strength to damage just is such a huge benefit. Then you add an extra 1/2 strength to damage (soldier gear boost) or charisma to damage (solarian) and you just outstrip everyone. Granted we didn't have an operative, and I haven't seen them at higher level play, but, like, a bow soldier style maybe that adds strength to damage? Or a way for some class to add dex to damage? I dunno.

2) Better Mystic spells: One of the running jokes with my friends is that 'mystics don't get nice things.' They essentially get healing spells/restoration spells and that's it. I can't count the number of times a mystic has thrown up their hands and said 'my one attack spell (mind thrust) is mind effecting, and all the enemies are robots!" Or Undead . . . or whatever. Listen, Technomancers get the big boom boom spells. I get that. I'm fine with it. But give the mystics SOMETHING that they can do to robots at early levels. Let Puncture Veil be a Mystic spell. Or give them a starfinder version of searing light. Or . . . SOMETHING. Give them something to be useful. No one wants to sit back and be the healing bot, ESPECIALLY if the healing bot can't do anything else, and half the time healing isn't needed because they didn't deplete their stamina.

3) Mysticism theme: So I basically want the Roboticist theme for mysticism. Level 6 ability: create magic items at as if mysticism was 1 better. Call it artificer or something. Simple request.

4) Odd weapons expert: So right now, the community has basically figured out the 'best' weapons to use. Singing disks, certain small arms, certain sniper rifles, certain longarms. I've never met ANYONE who has even looked at the special weapons category because the feat only makes you proficient in one chain of weapons (so, for example, being proficient in the Bow doesn't make you proficient in the BATTLEBOW), AND to get maximum use out of it, you need TWO feats (weapon proficiency and weapon specialization.) Not optimal. I know we now have shuriken assassins for Operatives, and the biohacker can used grooved shuriken, but I'd like to see more. A soldier fighting style that makes use of certain unorthodox weapons might be great to do this. Like I said in 1, a bow soldier fighting style, or maybe an exocortex variation that are only proficient with hammers. Something that encourages not just going with the same choices over and over again.

Scarab Sages

Reading through their backstories, it seems that they would be:

Zemir: Male Human Witchwarper. Probably TN or CN. Almost certainly the new ‘sensate’ theme, but possibly scholar for physical sciences.

Velloro: Male Korasha Lashunta, Vanguard (dunno which type) , Probably NG or LN. 100% certainly gladiator theme from pact worlds.

Barsala: Female Kasatha Biohacker (given she worked in ‘reducing implant rejection’), seems like she might be a pharmacologist. Probably around NG Probably an intuitive biohacker, and her theme seems to be, interestingly, Icon due to her science space YouTube show.

Links to their backstories:

Scarab Sages

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So a bunch of people have gotten hyped about the new double tap feat, so, for fun, I thought it would be good to go through the small arms in the game and look for the best weapons to double tap with (assuming that we aren’t using the concerting fusion or the one that turns projectiles into battery charges).

1-4: Acid canon Micrergate: assuming you have swarm batteries, this thing can double tap 10 times before a reload, does acid damage (which is more rare to resist) and has a decent range.
5-8: Neutriad Pistol: another one with ten shots between reloads, and this one has the Benefit of the force descriptor so you can hurt ghosts with it! Too bad it targets the normally higher KAC
9-12 Acid Canon dinergate: same as earlier, though you only get five double taps with this bad boy.
13-16: Sting Pistol-Wasp: I’m not a fan of the dual kinetic and energy damage type weapons, and it targets the (usually higher) KAC, but it is the only weapon in their that grants more than a couple double taps (namely 5) before reloads.
17+: Sting Pistol, Hornet. Well, at the 17+ tier, the only options are this and the last swarm weapon. This one targets KAC, but has 10 double taps, where as the acid cannon only has 4. Makes up for targeting KAC vs EAC IMHO.

Hail Pistol, Subzero. There are a few options, but the others are either non-lethal, antibiological, or do the same damage for much more money, so the cheap option with 10 double taps takes the win

1-4 Hail Pistol, Subzero. There are a few options, but the others are either non-lethal, antibiological, or do the same damage for much more money, so the cheap option with 10 double taps takes the win
5-8 Zero Pistol, Frostbite: a toss up between this and the next stage of frostbite Pistol, but ultimately this one is cheaper, has the same ammo capacity, targets EAC, and doesn’t split damage types. Worth not doing the extra d6 IMHO
9-12: Zero Pistol, Hailstorm: It’s between this and the Shadow Pistol, and this has way more shots. The others in this level have something that they don’t damage (like undead or constructs)
13-16 Zero Pistol, Blizzard: Again, comes down to the hail or zero pistols, and again, Zero Pistol has more shots and targets EAC
17+ Zero Pistol, Avalanche: Only one of these pistols gives you more than five double taps, and again, it is the Zero Pistol.

1-4 Decoupler, Pusher: Two weapons from the same section, choose the higher level one that gives you 10 double taps.
5-8 Decoupler, Screamer: Only two in this category, and one has double the range and double the ammo capacity.
9-12 Desintigration Pistol, Decimator: . . . There’s only one option.
13-16 Desintigration Pistol, Executer: As Above
17+ Desintigration Pistol, Eradicator: As above

1-4 Scorchgun, Microwave. It is practically the only weapon in this category that is electable AND can hurt robots/undead.
5-8 Radshot, Electromagnetic: Twenty double taps, and the chances of you accidentally irradiating yourself are low if you make sure to wear your armor. All in all quite good.
9-12 Trilaser-Advanced: It’s between this and the dragon Pistol, and this one doesn’t require you to lug around heavy petrol.
13-16 Trilaser-Elite a few options here, but the Trilaser has more dice of lower level (4d10 vs 3d6 from the k-band scorch gun) so that is that translates to more consistent damage, which is what I aim for. Also has a farther distance it shoots.
17+ Radshot, Rapid Decay: all the available guns at this level give you the same number of shots, but the incredible 11d4s lead to a much higher minimum damage and more consistent damage than some of the other weapons. I’ll go with the Radshot.

I’ll see about finishing this list later. Let me know what you guys think and if you disagree, I’d Locke to hear your thoughts.

Scarab Sages

Discussion thread for against the aeon throne

Feel free to Dot in here.

Scarab Sages

Anyone notice that the new Shield Solarian is just . . . straight up better than the armor OR weapon solarian? Like, in almost all ways? At least for SFS and most Adventure Paths.

Okay, so First off, with the shield, they get a straight +1 to AC which increases if you 'align' it, only it stacks with heavy armor if your solarian takes heavy armor prof. That's clearly just, better than the armor solarian, which is +1 with only light armor, and goes up to +2 at 10th level.

But wait, THERE'S MORE! You can also make unarmed attacks with it as if you had the improved unarmed strike feat (which does 1d6 at 1st level, same as a solar weapon) and can take solar crystals, same as a solar weapon. Solar weapons go to 2d6 at level 6 (unarmed strike goes to 2d6 at level 7). Dead suns ends at (I think) level 12 where the difference is solar weapon does 4d6 and unarmed strike does 3d6. And let's not forget, this also benefits from fusions like soulfire and strength to damage.

"But wait!" you say, "The shield is an unarmed strike, so it only does nonlethal damage, useless against drones and undead!" and to that I say "Ring of fangs." This ring makes your unarmed strikes deal lethal damage and adds DOUBLE your level to damage, so that more than makes up for any lost d6s until very high levels.

So yea, Solar shield is just, the BEST solar manifestation choice I guess. Almost completely outclasses armor, and is competitive with solar weapon until very late game.

Just a check. I was wondering if anyone wanted to play only the first book of Against the Aeon Throne in Campaign mode (Reach of the Empire). At the end of the book I would hand out chronicle sheets for the first book for those interested in Starfinder Society. The Book goes from 1 to 3 I believe, but the chronicle sheet is for only 1 level (1-2).

The first book of Against the Aeon Throne has the repeatable tag, so you can replay it if you want. I am doing this primarily for people who want to play some of the new Character Operations Manual classes (or builds, or archetypes) and are waiting for them to become SFS legal, but any players are welcome. I suppose the plan would eventually be to do the entire 3-book AP if there is enough interest, but I am flexible. (in my experience, most play-by-post APs fall apart after a while, so I don't want to overpromise.)

If you are interested, please respond below with how interested you are, how often you can post, and what kind of character you'd like to bring (just a general idea is fine, don't need anything too concrete.)

I'll be allowing the new operations manual character classes and equipment, and may switch up some of the stuff you find in the first book to reflect new gear (this is campaign mode, after all, so I'm given a little leeway.)

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

So I know in PFS 1st edition there was a rule that you could replay modules/Adventure paths that had a chronicle sheet for levels 1-2 as much as you wanted (such as first level of Emerald Spire, or the first book of some shorter adventure paths.) Is that still a rule in Starfinder? If so, could someone point me to where it SPECIFICALLY says that? I want to make sure that I am on the up an up when replaying some stuff for credit.

Scarab Sages

So I’m going through the item creation rules as a GM trying to design some fun but not overpowered items for Pathfinder. Looking at the back of the book, an item that casts a spell for a number of times a day costs (spell lvl x caster level x 1,800gp)/(5/(number of charges per day)). Has anyone done any reverse engineering of items to find out what the formula is for an item that can be cast even less often? I’m thinking of doing a rug that does treasure stitching 1/week just so the PCs don’t have to leave behind particularly pricy but bulky items.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

I’m going to be running a non-PFS Return of the Runelords game soon and one of my players expressed an interest in playing a warrior poet. Now, I know I don’t have to follow PFS rules, but I also don’t want sythisest summoners ruining the campaign for everyone else. Was there ever a reason given why Warrior-Post was disallowed? Is there some broken thing about them I’m not seeing?

Recruitment for code beacon dilemma.

Discussion for 1-25, code beacon dilemma.

The Church of Triune approaches the Starfinder Society with a stunning discovery: a centuries-old Society starship has been found in the Drift! The PCs must search the Lorespire Complex for all the information they can on this starship before heading into the Drift and uncovering what befell the lost vessel.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

Preparing to run this at PaizoCon, and I want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row for the con. There are a lot of moving parts for this aid token section, and I want to make sure I have it right.

1)In addition to the normal character everyone is bringing that they will play, each person needs can bring up to 3 of their other characters as “aid characters.” Aid characters must be 5th level of higher. PCs can fill in any gaps with ‘generic’ 4th level pathfinders.
2) there are five roles-Scout, muscle, healer, spellcaster, and guard. Each aid character must be assigned to one and only one roll. A table is limited to 5 of any given roll.
3)At the start of the game, each player can choose if they want their aid characters (but not generic pathfinders) To try a ‘heroic’ aid. Depending on how they roll, a heroic aid may enhance an aid, but also may prevent them from participating in future stuff. They may also need to spend prestige to avoid getting hurt from this.
4)Throughout the scenario, you there are Oppertunities to send Aid Characters on missions, but not if they were injured from a heroic aid. If these missions succeed, the whole house gains a benefit but the character also runs the risk of being injured or even dying.

So: assuming that’s all correct, I have a question: So on page 7, it says “Each time the scenario calls for the Tokens, they can give one of these tokens to a nearby table.” (And later says 2 if one of them is heroic). But I can only ever find one instance of when Aid tokens are to be distributed (as soon as people roll for heroic aid, at mustering). Is that right? Are there other times to distribute aid tokens?

Also: is my assessment correct?

Scarab Sages

What are some fun/unique solar weapons people have seen in Starfinder?

I mean, the core book basically says anything goes so long as the mechanics remain the same, so what have you seen that are more than just swords and punching daggers?

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

So there is a boon for the dataphiles that lets you get bonus credit for doing games online. Is that only for Playing games online? What if you GM? Has this been addressed?

Scarab Sages

Recruitment for 1-31, Treading on History's Folly. A 3-6 with a lot of cool info. Xenoarchaeology-based scenario.

Tag: Second Seekers (Jadnura)

Signup here: dfKYcRR4/edit?usp=sharing

Place holder for discussion section of this campaign.

This is a place holder. Dot in if you want.

Scarab Sages

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Just played the SFS Scenario 'Return to Sender' with my Bounty Hunter Witchwarper at level 8 with a vanguard and a biohacker (3 man team.) We were all fairly experienced Starfinders, so we had no problem 3 manning it.

My Witchwarper went fairly heavy into charisma (22 at level 8) and had a combination of blasty spells and utility spells. I chose the Paradim shifts Shifting Step, the one that reduces damage, and Optimize.

For most of the scenario I was fairly useless. While I would like to have helped the Vanguard, he had his own damage mitigation abilities, and rarely full attacked (opting instead to use his move action to raise his shield) so I didn't ever get to haste with Optimize. Also, since there were only three of us, and only one melee guy, I didn't get much of a chance to use Shifting step to set up my allies for flank or whatever.

The last fight was where I was really able to do some fun stuff. Explosive Blasting the large number of mooks that came out, Force Blasting them off of the catwalk and making them fall 50 feet, all that stuff. I used Infinate worlds to block corridors and bottleneck enemies, that stuff was all great.

All in all, it was okay, but there are a few things that I'd like the witchwarper to be able to do. An unlimited times per day paradigm shift that buffed an ally or something (something similar to an envoy's get 'em') would be nice, as that would let me participate in 'trash mob' combats where I don't want to expend resources but still want to help. As it stands, I was left punching or shooting bad guys, but my accuracy was so terrible I needed an 11 or better on the die to hit enemies that were 4 levels lower than me. Some sort of go to minor thing would be nice.

Secondly, I didn't get to use my abiities, but that was mostly because the small party didn't need the things I built for. There were only 3 of us, so I didn't need to teleport people around the area, and like I said, haste didn't help our vanguard much. And he certainly didn't need damage reduction.

One thing I will say is it would be nice to get maybe 6 skill ranks a level. As it stands they are the least skilled spellcasters so far, as mystics get 6/level and technomancers have primary int as a stat so your average technomancer starts with, like, 7 and goes up from there.

As it stands, they kind of feel like the pathfinder Summoner. Bad saves, none of their stats contribute to saves they need, and low skills/level. Maybe give them 6 skill ranks a level and good will saves? As it stands I didn't have any problems, but because of the few skills/level and the class skill list, my Witchwarper wasn't able to help with hardly ANY of the skill checks in the scenario at all (I think there were like, two perception checks? Maybe?)

Scarab Sages

Out of curiosity, what is the point of only giving half level to damage on biohackers with weapons that they have gained proficiency with through their injection property training thing? I mean, they are proficient with all of them, so getting full level to damage is just a feat tax right? (specifically, versitile specialization.). It just seems like a needless feat tax to me. Especially if you want to make a melee biohacker and are already sinking feats into heavy armor and everything.

Scarab Sages

Discussion thread is here!

Scarab Sages

Recruiting for up to three starfinders for SFS 1-01 (the Commencement). It is a 1-2 repeatable. I have three others already reserved, but there are three slots open.

If you've never played it before, it isn't too difficult, but it is a good introduction to the Starfinder society and is a fun little scenario. I plan to start gameplay the day after I get enough people signed up, so if you want to sign up, please fill out one of the OPEN lines on the following google sheet.

If you are one of the people with a reserved slot, please fill in the relevant data.

Also keep an eye on this thread as I will say who got in here. tLqUMk70/edit?usp=sharing

Scarab Sages

I, will be starting a PBP for SFS 1-02, the commencement. Details to follow, feel free to dot in.

Scarab Sages

I’m sure this has been asked before, but there are a few archetypes out there for rogue/monk/etc. that get rid of evasion but not improved evasion. Is there a rule for that? Does getting rid of evasion also nix improved? Do you just get normal evasion when you would get improved? Do you always take half damage from Reflex saves? (half from successful save, half from failed save?)

Scarab Sages

So I've read over the biohacker bit a few times, talked with some friends, statted up a couple concept characters, and talked it over on the boards. And you know what? I think I have a list of things I would change. So Paizo, I know I'm not a professional game developer, but here are the things I would change and I'll try to put forth my reasoning.

1) Even up studious vs. intuitive biohacker. This one is very well documented on the boards, but just to reiterate, the two are not equal and studious is soooo much better than intuitive. So much so that people say Kasatha, who get a racial penalty to int and bonus to wisdom should still be studious biohackers. I think a decent way to even them up would be to give wisdom as extra skill ranks (instead of Int) for levels in biohacker, and add int to will saves at like, level 5 (to prevent mechanics one-level diping into biohacker just for the will saves.) Some others have suggested other ways of doing it. I like the concept of Int-to-will, it's just way too strong compared to what intuitive biohackers get.

2) Add more healing options. In base pathfinder, there were options if you didn't want to play a cleric to still have healing. Bard, Paladin, Druid, Use magic device and scrolls and wands. In Starfinder, unless you have someone regularly capable of making DC 25+ medicine checks, the ONLY class that can heal is the Mystic. Look, I'm not asking for a BETTER healer than the mystic, just more than 3-4 HP per boop for the first few levels. Something like healer's touch or the ability to speed up healing over night would be nice.

3) An actual Biohacker. Maybe it's just me, but when I hear the term 'biohacker' I think of some radical to the max 90s street kid who is super good at science but doesn't play by the rules, jumping turnstiles with his dad's briefcase of cobbled together injectables, not some drab gradstudent who is working on his theorem about increasing the range of a dart gun. Maybe an 'experimental drugs' branch of study or something . . . I want to play a escapist sci-fi-fantasy, not relive taking o-chem in college.

4) Skill bonuses. So biohackers are supposed to be the top dogs on their field when it comes to biochemistry, medicine, etc. So why are they behind almost everyone else? Every other class gets a bonus to some skills except soldiers. Heck, envoys, ENVOYS make better doctors than Biohackers because they can get their skill expertise bonus to medicine checks, can take an expertise talent to treat deadly wounds one more time a day (surgeon), and can take an improvisation that lets them add their charisma bonus to HP healed AND makes a successful save count as two successful saves vs. a poison or disease. (Bedside manner)

Maybe just have the bioscanner give them skill focus in one of a list of skills (medicine, life science, physical science, Engineering, computers) and the improved and master bioscanners just give skill focus in another skill? I dunno, but it just seems weird to give every other class a bonus to skills except the biohacker (soldier aside.)

Scarab Sages

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Something I'd like to see with these classes is a HOW they get their powers. In Pathfinder we knew how a class got it's abilities. A cleric devoted themselves to a god. A Fighter trained, a wizard studied, a sorcerer was born with innate ability, a monk meditated, all that.

And for Starfinder we kinda get that. Solarians (at least the original ones) meditate on the cosmic balance of the universe. If Raia's backstory is any indication, technomancers study much like the wizards of old to get their powers. Mystics devote themselves to some sort of cosmic calling (whether that is a deity or not.) Presumably Engineers study and tinker, and envoys forge social connections. Operatives and soldiers train and rely on their natural talents.

But what creates a vanguard or witchwarper? How do you go from average pre-teen to 'guy who can channel entropy' or 'guy who pulls favorable outcomes from alternate-freaking realities!' Are they born with the talent like the sorcerers of old? Is there a 'school for witchwarpers?' We know the Kasatha were the first society effectively mass-spread solarians to the stars, is there another race that pioneered Vanguards?

These classes are already very ethereal and hard to pin down from a 'what are they doing' standpoint, not knowing where they came from or how they work is . . . distracting. At least for me. Why doesn't everyone just decide to channel entropy or pull stuff in from alternate realities? I mean, presumably not everyone has the temperament for the meditation required for solarians, or the calling of a mystic or the money to get into a technomancer school. What prevents these guys from being freaking everywhere.

From a lore (not mechanics) standpoint, why would anyone choose to be a soldier, (or why would any company train soldiers) over vanguards? Why isn't EVERYONE trying to pull in stuff from other dimensions?

Scarab Sages

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So I'm one of those guys that always has ideas for characters. And I'll never play them all, so I thought I'd share the love and give people some ideas. So if you've ever wanted to play a pop culture character in Starfinder, here is my list of 20 of them you can play. Just ideas mind you, feel free to add your own!

20: Joel Robinson (Or Mike Nelson, or Jonah Heston): Mystery Science Theater 3000. Male human Drone mechanic with either Crow or Servo as your drone. Ranks in profession: Movie Riffer.
19: Johnny 5: Short Circut Male (agendered?) SRO Exocortex mechanic (seeing as he can hack anything he can see) If he's in the first movie, make sure to get that shoulder-mounted laser weapon!
18: Sgt. Calhoun Wreck It Ralph Female human Mercenary Soldier (Hit-and-Run or Bombard.) She's definatly ranged focused but has heavy armor and favors fully automatic assault rifles, but has a backup small arm. Even has a hoverboard you can duplicate with hoverskates!
17: John Wick: John Wick M Human Operative: Who's super good with gunplay? Also you can grab the Pistol Whip operative talent if not in SFS to be awesome in hand-to-hand martial arts as well, Can also sub in John Preston from Equilibrium or Bryan Mills from Taken.
16: Zapp Branigan Futurama M Human Envoy. I mean, he's boardering on NE what with how horrible a person he is, but he would be fun to play . . .
15: Starbuck Battlestar Gallactica M or F (depending on the version) Human Soldier (Ace Pilot). I mean, how much more ace pilot can you get?
14: Ruby Fifth Element M Human Envoy (Icon) I mean, who WOULDN'T want to play this guy?
13: The Android A.K.A. Kiva Ehrens Dark Matter F Android Exocortex mechanic. Pretty straightforward build. Need to take ranks in medicine?
12: Orin StarChaser M Human Solarian (Colonist? Cultist?) Dude can make a magic sword appear out of nowhere, and he's pretty and dumb as a box of rocks. Sounds like a solarian to me!
11: The Doctor Star Trek Voyager M Android? Envoy. I know what you are thinking, but there is no 'sentient hologram' PC option so Android is the best we got. And Envoys can make really damn good doctors, because they can get their envoy skill bonus to it, plus the bedside manner envoy talent can net them bonus healing.
10: Ayeka Tenshi Muyo series F human-ish mystic (Priest background) Honestly, anyone from Tenshi could be a starfinder character. Tenshi is a solarian, Washu is a technomancer. Honestly go nuts.
9:Aisha Clanclan Outlaw Star F Phatra Vanguard. Honestly while it would be hard to duplicate the ridiculous feats of physical strength and durability that Aisha displays, a vanguard would be a good middle ground between the anime and game balance I think.
8: Lucca Chrono Trigger F Human Technomancer (roboticist). Honestly, the entire cast of Chrono Trigger would also work well as Starfinder characters. Chrono the Soldier, Nadia and frog mystics. Robo could be an SRO fighter or mechanic.
7: Sajin Komamura Bleach M Vlaka Solarian. Before Bleach decended into unwatchableness, there were some solidly cool characters, including this fox dude who was also a master swordsman. Most people forget about him, sadly.
6: Doomguy/Flynn Taggart Doom M Human (or planar scion?) Soldier (marine.) Who better to call on in your sci-fi story that has been invaded by demons?
5: Groot Guardians of the Galaxy M(???) Oakling Ghoran Mystic. I am groot, I am groot, I am groot.
4: Bepo One Piece Male Uplifted Bear (Space Pirate). Giant uplifted bear medic? Yeah, we can do that.
3: Whis Dragonball Super M Planar Scion (aasimar) Mystic. Okay, so you can't make him as powerful as a god, but I think he'd be tickled pink that you were playing him at all.
2: Agent 47 Hitman series M human operative. I mean . . . it's just too obvious.
1: Cat Red Dwarf M Phatra Envoy (Ace Pilot) there are two things you need to be good at for this roll, piloting and dressing sharp!

Scarab Sages

So I wrote up a huge tirade about the witchwarper spell list, but I realized when I got to the end of it that wasn't what I wanted to talk about. What I wanted to talk about was just this.

I don't know how to build a witch warper.

Do I go heavy into a single stat like Keskadai? Do I split strength/casting stat like the proverbial 'fist wizard' technomancer? Do I do a dex/charisma build?

I don't see enough touch spells to justify a fist wizard build, but I see some. Just . . . what do you guys think? How do you build a Witchwarper?

Scarab Sages

Everyone seems to be talking about running with high dex, but a basic human could start with 16 Str and Int, heavy armor proficiency and weapon focus-basic melee, And could run around with an injection glove and some grooved shuriken. Level 3 pick up versatile focus and you could do a decent amount of damage in combat.

Maybe not the most optimal build, but possible, right?

If you were willing to hold off on versitile specialization, Elbarians would get you some extra Stamina with their con boost.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Scarab Sages

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So, as I have mentioned before, I really like the biohacker and the Vanguard, both were things that I had on my Starfinder wishlist from very early on. A superscience way of healing (like a 'starfinder alchemist') and a way of doing some variety of monk.

And, I really like the ideas behind the biohacker, there are a lot of interesting build options with them. Since there are melee injection weapons, you could get yourself heavy armor proficiency and be a giant strength-based beatstick (not doing as much damage as a solarion/soldier, but debuffs more than make up for that.). You could build what seems to be the go-to build with them and run around with injection pistols, debuffing enemies, buffing allies and such. You could even nab the skill synergy feat for stealth, and have a freakin poison ninja (grooved shuriken are injection weapons, so you know how to throw them!)

But, and here's the deal, it is quickly becoming apparent (at least to our gaming group) that mystics are not fun. No one in our group of 10+ people in our area likes playing them really. They are useless in Starship combat (unless they are a space mystic . . . or maybe a geneturge mystic with the brain modification). Many of their spells are complete garbage, and many more of their spells are useless half the time. Their only major damaging spell, mind thrust, doesn't work on half of what you fight (undead, robots.) Healing spells no longer damage undead, and a lot of their other spells are just terrible (lesser remove condition is terrible, and have you seen Terraform? 30,000 UPBs for, like, 2 weeks of transforming a very small area.)

But you need them for HP healing. Not for in-combat healing necessarily, but for out-of-combat healing, because they are literally the ONLY option. Sure the envoy can doctor you up twice a day with, like, a DC 30 freaking medicine check, but if you want reliable healing you need a mystic.

Here's the deal. Some friends and I recently played through the first book of Attack of the Aeon Throne. Two operatives, an envoy, and a melee exocortex mechanic. And without a mystic, it was BRUTAL. We'd go through a fight, scrape through it, but be down to half/less HP, and then rest the night, and the next morning, our stamina and resolve is back, but we've only healed 1 HP. And we had to go out on a mission again. And (minor spoilers) there wasn't a place were we could buy/make healing serums, and even though each of us started with 2, we ran out about halfway through level 1.

I'm just saying, it would be nice to have the ability to heal some people out of combat so that starfinders can regain a decent amount of HP after a night's rest or something. A theorem that doubles the HP recovery of when you sleep, or lets you have a mystic's healing touch ability or . . . something. I'm not looking to outshine the mystic in healing, but healing 2-4 HP a handfull of times a day from field dressing at level 2 just isn't cutting it.

Anyway, that's just my experience and my two cents.

Scarab Sages

Couple unarmed questions
1)Do you get weapon specialization damage with unarmed strikes? What if you have improved unarmed strike?
2)Can the feat Mystic Strikes apply to unarmed strikes?
3)Can you apply fusion seals to unarmed strikes?

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

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So first off, I know PFS 1 is ending soon, and that I shouldn’t be looking to build another character, but I just had this idea for a character that I’d really like to try out, and I really doubt I could build it in PFS2 for quite some time.

So for those that have played 9-24, you know that there are a group of undine trying to rebuild the former house of perfection for water (house of unbroken waves). I thought it would be super cool to build a monk from there that is trying to rebuild that style by learning the basics, then traveling around and trying to learn more about it, or trying to further define and refine the art.

Any ideas about the build? Undine monk obviously. Likely dex based/agile amulet of mighty fists. I am pretty sure he has to use snake style so that he can fight effectively underwater (snake style does piercing) But beyond that, I’m not sure.

Maybe master of many styles to fuse snake style and Marid style? Or do I want to go unchained monk? Maybe dip a level of unarmed fighter to get snake style ignoring prereqs? Thoughts?

Scarab Sages

So I'm currently running a PF2 Homegame as a bit of a playtest. So I thought it would be prudent to put our trials and tribulations, our thoughts, on the forums, and hopefully a member of the PAIZO staff will see it and look at our feedback.

So, some basics: Our game doesn't take place on Golarian, but I kept all the mechanical rules 100% as written in the book and errata. I did not change anything as to how the game is supposed to run except for one monster ability. First session started at level 1, and we used the fast XP track (800XP to a level). First session got people from levels 1 to 2 through a dungeon crawl.

Party consists of five people:
Human Rogue: (planning to go into fighter dedication)
Halfling Rogue:
Half-Elf Fey Sorcerer
Human Paladin
Half-Orc Cleric of Gorum

Session in General: PCs start as an entourage at a giant multi-race peace/trade accords summit. There was some initial schmoozing opportunities, where everyone got to interact twice with various dignitaries and some hints at the campaign in general were dropped. This Allowed the PCs to get plot and role-play. They got XP for overcoming a MODERATE social challenge (30 XP). There were generally no problems with this section.

Then the party was attacked by what appeared to be Goblins. Instead I had them be Goblin Dummies animated by magic, using the Animated object-Broom stats except (and this was the only change) Instead of the sweeping dust ability, I made it difficult to tell that the Goblins were constructs instead of real goblins, calling for several checks to figure it out.

After that the floor collapsed because of sabotage, and the PCs were deposited into an underground dungeon underneath the meet-and-greet grand hall, and had to explore to get out.

This was the meat of the scenario-with PCs fighting an encounter, entering exploration mode until they hit the next big encounter, so on and so forth. They fought-3 Goblin Skeletons, A summoning trap, 3 Giant Rats, 2 Goblin Dogs, a couple simple traps, 2 Hobgoblin Warriors, and finally 4 Goblin Pyros. I did some re-skinning (the Hobgoblins as half-elves, the pyros as humans) but did not change their stats at all. The Human Rogue did fail to see a trap and got crit, nearly killing him, but that was the only time anyone went down.

What worked well:

1) In a very straightforward dungeoncrawl, the transition from exploration mode to encounter mode worked fine, and it prevented shenanigans like: "I'll stealth and keep an eye out and keep concentrating on my detect magic!"
2) Despite the Paladin having a string of bad luck, everything worked out well combat-wise. Rogues are RIDICULOUSLY strong though. As their dex adds to hit, damage, AC and Reflex saves, they were out damaging the cleric of Gorum and Paladin most of the time. They had a pretty easy time of the combats, but I was softballing it.

What needed work:
1)It was hard for me to remember for enemies to make multiple attacks. Especially with three or four enemies on the board at once, remembering their to-hits, what attack they were on, if their attacks were agile or not, all of that was difficult for me (as a GM) to remember and keep track of. Often Times I would only attack once and then move on to the next guy, forgetting that the enemies could attack again.
2)Rogues were REALLY strong. Like, Stupid Strong. They had the Best ACs, the human rogue could dodge as a reaction for an additional +2, did the most damage, and had the best skills.
3)The cleric of Gorum's Anathema of "Never avoid violence through negotiation" was SUPER difficult to deal with, as he was a bodyguard at a social situation where the goal was promoting peaceful trade. We eventually handwaved it, but a more narrow Anathema like "Never try to diffuse a tense situation through negotiation" might make role-playing them a bit easier.
4)Our Sorcerer's player got confused by the character creation rules (which everyone agreed could have been written better) and gimped herself on her stats, essentially missing out on three stat boosts. We have fixed her for level 2

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