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I'm not sure what you mean by "AI". There are no rules for artificial intelligence in the core rules (though I did not look elsewhere).

Assuming you mean an artificial personality: As BigNorseWolf said, the action economy is not something that should be bypassed with rules hacks. If time is a factor (i.e. in combat) then you could instruct one computer or the other but you don't get two shots for free.

Languages the computer speaks: That's a good question and not addressed in the rules. One option is to say that the artificial personality upgrade allows it to interact in one language, and if you pay again, you can get more languages. Personally that seems a little steep, and if it were me I'd discount it from the 10% base price. But you're in homebrew/GM call territory.

The rules as written do not provide adequate information to answer this question. So we're left with opinion and speculation.

The spell gem works like, say, a scroll. The caster is still casting, must know spell things, must hold the gem, and so on.

A spell chip works like a gem mostly.

But all these go out the window when the computer is remote. Does it work the same and the caster is still the source of the spell? This seems, to me, illogical.

Does the caster trigger the spell at the spell chip's location? This is more plausible to me, but seems ripe for exploitation. I'd be nervous about this. The caster must still be able to cast the spell but how could the chip validate/"know" this remotely? Not to mention what evil players might come up with.

The simplest answer is probably to say "You can't be remote; the computer must be in your immediate possession." The necessary magical connection cannot be made with a remote computer. This may be a bit of a cop-out but it seems better than the alternatives.

Looking at absolute numbers has little meaning - it's an opposed check. If the enemy starship pilot is statted appropriately, they'll be competitive. From my experience in the adventure paths, you don't always win.

This is a damn fine question and one I've debated myself.

Winning the piloting check is a very powerful thing and lets me (the pilot) control the engagement a lot via respective shield facings. I've rarely been in a position where I needed the extra speed, but always want to win the check. So even for the -1, I'm disinclined to take the penalty.

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Scoutbot: By the rules as written, I wouldn't allow it. They have the trick for 10 minutes, but with that comes the ability to control the bot. Once the trick "goes away", the ability to control the bot does. That said, I don't think it's at all unbalanced (and a clever selection of tricks) and I'd let it go.

Quick patch: lasts 10 starship combat rounds. Lets not overcomplicate things.

Slime: sure. Why wouldn't it? Still minimum of 1. 8 BP is a lot of BP so that should have an effect.

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I'm with breithauptclan - that answer is correct across the board. I think you're reading to hard to find a problem.

The culture ranks give you bonus languages. Skilled Linguist gives you more bonus languages on top of that. It does exactly what it says.

As for temporary bonuses, you just answered your own question. You gain languages based on *ranks* in culture. Temporary bonuses are *bonuses*; they are not the same as actual ranks. Even the bonus you get for a skill being a class skill is a bonus, not ranks.

Sorry replies never seem to work right for me. Can't seem to edit it eitehr

Sc8rpi8n_mjd wrote:
If I am wrong then so be it but I just want some clarification.

In that case, I would say you are wrong. This isn't some kind of spell effect you use at range. You have darkvision to a range of 60 feet from where your eyeballs are.

I'm not sure what you're asking.

Page 263: Darkvision is the ability to see with no light source at all, out to a range specified in the creature’s description.

So you can see out to 60 feet via Darkvision. If you're 100 feet away from the darkness, you can't see into it with Darkvision.

No. This is detailed in the CRB, page 253 and 254.

None that I've seen. Out of curiosity, why would you want softcover?

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Garretmander wrote:
I believe you are technically correct, the best kind of correct.

Nice. I see what you did there. :)

Your post title has the answer. The hero handbook is not the core rulebook. They don't agree, and are not designed to.

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Are you saying that Firefly doesn't have it's share of comedy?

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I see no reason you couldn't do this if it seemed fun. There's a lot of possible overlap between technology and magic and creatures from the planes if you imagine it. For proof I offer you this:

(Minor Dead Suns spoilers ahead - sorry for the length)

Our party had cleared out the driftrock and exited in the Sunrise Maiden. Bear in mind the ship had been isolated in there for 70+ year. This was a bit of flavor our GM posted:

Sanjaval OS Version 14.04 Build 1793 Boot OS POST Completed.
Hello, Captain Nash. It has been 28032 Golarian days sent you last logged in
Attempting to find local area wi-fi connection... FAILED.
Attempting to find cellular data connection... FAILED.
Attempting to find direct line-of-site laser connection ... SUCCESS.
You are now connected to network PW_ABSALOMSTATION_NODE_JN0093.
Your network address is IPV8_2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334:2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e: 0370:7334.
ALERT: Your system clock is off by 432.4 seconds.
Attempting to synchronize time with SUCCESS.
Checking for Updates ...
ALERT: Your update service is out of date. Updating from Version 14.0 to version 87.4.
Downloading 56799 out of 56799 MetaBytes: SUCCESS.
Installing 56799 out of 56799 Metabytes: SUCCESS.
Restarting Sanjaval Update Engine 87.4: SUCCESS.
Checking Firmware ... ALERT! Firmware below version 57.0 detected.
The patch engine cannot patch your firmware to latest version within the current metamagical light cone of the ship's operating hardware.
A software daemon must be summoned/downloaded in order to upgrade the ship core matrix to accept the new firmware.
Your ship lifetime warranty covers all costs, both monetarily and spiritually, for this summoning.
Do you agree? Y/N: Y.
Summoning/Downloading ... SUCCESS.

Whoa, this is a tight fit. How much pr0n do you got eating up your hard disk? Heh. Just kidding...
Hmm... Wow! Where do you find this ship? In a museum? You got barely enough storage left to run the patch engine upgrade.
Well, good for you that you got the ship lifetime warranty and Sanjaval still honors it.
First things first: I am gonna have to increase your storage array to what Sanjaval is currently throwing into their ships. That will require summoning a few trillion nano-modrons who will sacrifice their meta-physical shells to form the new ship storage. Don’t worry, I am told they don’t feel pain or mind annihilation of the self.
Next, I will have to upgrade your firmware from 14.04 to version 57.0 … Done!
Now , I will have to upgrade it to 82.3 … now to 91.7 … now to … you know what: this may take a while. You might want to make a cup of synth-coffee.

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You are not wrong in that sniping is situational. That said, is it a problem? I'm not sure it is.

Structurally, an RPG like this really isn't about whacking dudes from a mile away. It's just not the thing it's trying to recreate the feel of. Now if you didn't include sniper rifles, there'd be complaints too. So they're there, just of limited utility.

Personally I'm not sure this rises to the level of a "problem that needs to be solved".

I would say that a completely inorganic SRO can't benefit from biotech - there's no organic system to sustain the organic parts of the implant. But there could easily be a SRO-compatible version made so you could hand-wave the whole thing.

What Garretmander said. The rules aren't built for what you're talking about.

Nothing we are using - we've avoided them.

I think one idea that might work is treating them more like armor upgrades.

Belafon is wise. The remote hack is a mechanic "thing", and it would be a bad idea to allow this to be replicated. It's not just the mechanics - it ties to the mechanic's Custom Rig and that's a core thing in the class. I'm not saying it would totally destroy your game (especially if you don't have a mechanic in the party) but it's bad policy to me.

Probably should be in the homebrew forum.

As for the matter at hand, I share the opinion with others that the whole weapon fusion system seems to be a bit wonky. I'm usually hesitant to mess with the RAW, but for fusions, I'd be a lot more inclined.

It's not RAW though.


The only exception to the "weapons fire only once per round" rule is point defense weapons. Other people have brought up other things in the past to try to get around it.

Just because the Captain grants an action doesn't change the fact that the weapon cannot fire. It's the same as one gunner shooting, and another gunner broadsiding - the weapon cannot fire twice.

"Orders" has plenty of uses - this just isn't one of them.

Greydoch wrote:

You know, once The Character Operations Manual Drops there will be two new roles for starship combat.


Whaaaaa?? (I haven't read any of the beta test stuff)

I know I saw something about linking drift engines. That's a problem easily solved.

The one I'm wondering about is a 7 person ship. Even if we assume the party is well distributed - captain, pilot, engineer, science, gunner gunner gunner?

That requires a lot of guns, and stuffs some people full time into some roles we've had better luck/satisfaction with rotating.

I'd almost suggest doing the two-ship thing, and being willing to rewrite history if it doesn't work. But then you need two pilots, two gunners, hopefully a computer/engineer on each ship, and one captain.

Ignore the 6 crew thing if you are all comfortable with the ship roles you've decided on.

Two ships is possible, but tricky. The system isn't really rigged for it but it might be more fun. You'd need enough diversity of skills

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You're reading in a complexity that does not exist.

Think of it this way: The party has a given number of BP. Period. If they want to completely rebuild their ship on a new frame, they can (in a rules-sense). There's no loss of BP.

In game, in a story sense, they may do a major rework on the frame, or "sell" the existing ship and "buy" a new one. Maybe magical nanites re-engineer the entire frame. Maybe the old ship crashes and they find a new ship. The context is up to the GM, but mechanically it does not matter.

There's no loss of BP, no deflation, no 10%. This is not credits - it's a completely different "economy" if you could even call it that. The party should have a ship with the appropriate number of BP spent. That ship will change and evolve over time or sometimes be completely replaced.

There's no official source - you're looking for proof of a negative. This is how ship building and BP work. Everything else is flavor.

Oh I thought it was more to scare your party members :)

Maybe this says something unpleasant about my personality...

The rule book is pretty clear on this - page 26:

Note that ability score increases
are effective retroactively; when your character’s ability
score increases, it increases his total number of ability-based
statistics—things like Resolve Points, Stamina Points, or skill
ranks—as if he had the higher value at previous levels as well.
For example, a mechanic with an Intelligence score of 17 has
a modifier of +3, and thus gets 7 skill ranks to spend at each
level (see Chapter 5). If at 4th level he increases his Intelligence
score to 18, he’ll have a modifier of +4, and thus get 8 skill ranks
to spend from this level forward—but he’ll also get 3 additional
ranks to assign, reflecting the ranks he would have received if
he’d had an Intelligence score of 18 at his first 3 levels.

Different suggestion:

You say it's an unstable junklaser. It looks like one. You tell people it is one.

But it's not unstable, and you pay azimuth price.

All the fun, but less gun-blowing-up-in-your-face.

Our approach to this is that we float certain roles. If there's no useful engineering, science (or gun if one is available) and vice versa.

Re: Hammerjack - Mount sizes are already limited in turrets by the RAW. (Of course you can limit it further)

Re: breithauptclan "Except that they are not ;-)".. um... oh. Well, that um... You know what? I'll just stop now. Outside my experience :)

I'll throw one more idea out there that's not often said - the thing about starship combat is that the party is supposed to win. Yeah, you can say that about regular combat, but the truth is there are a lot of ways to escape/survive if a regular firefight goes badly. One player can drop and the others keep going, heal him, whatever.

But if they lose ship combat... things get pretty ugly fast what with space being unforgiving and all. Being in a life pod isn't that appealing of a survival prospect either. I personally believe that the entire thing is therefore tilted slightly in the player's favor since the system and the plotline are pretty unforgiving about a bunch of bad rolls leaving them on the losing end of a space battle.

The math on PD: It was a while ago and it's hard to recall. I looked at build point efficiency comparing tracking defense (which was expensive), PD weapons, and just sucking up the hits. Shields are cheap and reliable and they work no matter what's shooting at you. tracking defense is very expensive, and PD weapons get into the odds of them actually doing their job correctly. It did not speak well to a case for using BP for things other than shields.

As for the gentleman's agreement to not death ball - I wouldn't say you're saying "no you can't do that". You're saying "Guys, I'd like to discuss something. We all want to have fun. This seems not-fun. I'm debating some house rules. If you'd prefer, we can skip that and just agree not to to there. If you'd prefer it or think it's more fun to make some rules, we can do that too." and see what they like. It's not "you" and "them". It's "you"..("youz"? "all y'all"?) it's you all together and you're grown ups. Work it out as such. I'm all about maximum fun for minimum effort.

First off, I believe you are fixing a problem that doesn't exist. Bear in mind that turrets count as being in all arcs, which means when critical damage time comes and you hit a weapon arc, those turret weapons will be quick to have problems. I also think that starship combat is a minor part of the game - a fun skill challenge activity. As such, I don't see it being worth a lot of effort tuning it.

Second, it's your game and your fun so if you think it's more fun a different way, go for it.

Unintended consequences: Putting a restriction on turret movement will draw out starship combat longer. Some people believe this is a problem already so you may not want to add to it.

As for point defense weapons you could just say they are automatically available for all arcs. They're point defense. Right now, having run some numbers, I don't believe PD weapons are worth it and those BPs are better put into shields. So you definitely should avoid nerfing PD further.

One house rule I've seen floated is that the turret can only move one arc per turn and that's part of firing. So if a pilot can put themselves "behind" where the turret was last time, they avoid the turret fire. This adds complexity of remembering where your turret was. It also is a fairly minor restriction with only 4 arcs.

Also what happens when I have multiple turret weapons? Are they each in their own turret? (I'd say yes, but not linked ones obviously.)

The other way to address this is to simply agree with the players to not get too crazy on this. If they make a death ball, you say no. Otherwise, we just play as is.

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Pantshandshake wrote:

Not to mention, the game assumes that when your players level, their ship levels up as well.

Adding a cost into that, especially if there's a choice between player loot and ship loot, means that however much they take as ship loot, you'd need to still be giving them however much much player loot they'd normally get, plus figure out how much the ship loot would be worth if converted to player loot and also give them that much more player loot, otherwise you're penalizing your players' power levels just to level up the ship.

Pantsandshake is wise. Right now players get ships "for free" or "by fiat" or "by elves" or whatever you want to call it. If you make ships have a price, you just have to give them loot to compensate, and in the end you've really changed nothing besides giving yourself more work.

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I disagree that this is a problem.

It may be a point in the rules you disagree with or would like to expand on. That doesn't make it a problem - it's a design choice. If you would prefer a different design in your game, that's great.

My group loves starships just as much as they love ground adventures and roleplay.

I hate to say it, but you may be playing the wrong game. Starfinder is not designed that way.

As for moving starships over to credits, you're tampering with a fundamental choice in the economic design. If I sacrifice on BP I can have a massive amount of credits. I can then go buy guns guns and more guns. One of the reasons they're distinct is to prevent thematic starship battles from ruining the ground-side player economic and scarcity. Additionally you've got a lot of contorted rules and exceptions to try and mitigate the effect of breaking the "wall" between starships and regular money. To me, it feels cumbersome.

Lastly, this should probably be in the House Rules section.

Wow. This is... not something I caught reading the Armory.

I think it's important we look at more than phrases here:

The Armory wrote:

A scope is a telescopic sighting device with an incorporated reticle that attaches to a small arm or railed weapon’s top rail. A scope can’t be added to a weapon with a sight (see page 61). As a move action, you can aim through a scope. This can be done as part of the same move action required to aim a weapon with the sniper weapon special quality, or as part of a sneak attack where you do not take any movement even if you also aim a sniper weapon as part of that action. Aiming through a scope reduces penalties to attack rolls due to range as well as bonuses to AC from cover.

In addition, a scope increases a weapon’s range increment for determining penalties to attack rolls due to range. For small arms, a scope increases the weapon’s normal range increment to 1-1/2 times its listed range for this purpose. For longarms and heavy weapons, the increase is 4 times the normal range increment. For sniper weapons, the increase is twice the range increment of the sniper special property. The reduction in penalties due to aiming with a scope applies only to the next attack roll you make with the weapon before the end of your next turn.

This is a mess. A scope:

1. Let's you "aim" which reduces penalties due to range and over
2. In addition it increases the range increment.
3. But then it says it's only for the next attack.

It's the paragraph break that's really making this difficult to parse. If the last sentence of the second paragraph were up with the first paragraph this would be easy.

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LotsofLore wrote:

You might be right. All I can say is that my players, and new players I introduce to the game, always complain that the weapon situation leaves them quite underwhelmed. The feel that there are too few choices at low levels (even counting Armory), and those that are there feel quite weak. They generally don't bother with fusions because they don't see them as impacting, mainly because most of the times unless they get a 20 on their roll, their money is wasted...

Maybe you can help me see it differently?

I doubt I can. :) I personally haven't really found fusions to be that interesting either. They're expensive for what they provide, and a sunk cost that you can't recover. Hey if we found one in a loot pile, sure I'd use it. But otherwise, I haven't considered them worth having.

Also, the rules are, in my opinion, overly complicated. Armor, by comparison, is much cleaner: Armor, upgrade slots, upgrades, done. Weapons get messy fast. And an armor upgrade, once bought, maintains it's usefulness and can be moved to new armor. A weapon fusion, not so much.

I'm hopeful that someday that whole 'thing' gets an overhaul.

Nevertheless, I'm not sure this is a sound solution. As I mentioned, if it works for you, that's great, and having fun is more important than anything else. Personally I'm always very hesitant to tinker with core balance mechanics, so it may be my risk aversion. Nothing wrong with trying it and telling folks up front "this is experimental and if it imbalances things, it will need to be changed."

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This really sounds more appropriate for the Homebrew forum.

My overall impression is that if it makes you happy, that's great. Personally, when I noticed the lack of critical-enhancement abilities, I concluded it was likely a deliberate choice of the designers. So personally I'd be hesitant to tinker with it. The risk is that this becomes practically mandatory, and encounter balance has to change across the board to compensate.

Whether that's a real risk is up to you. I think the item levels might be somewhat low regardless.

If cost is the issue, there's always the PDF.

I agree it's a big book, but it's kind of just life. Again, there's the PDF.

I have not heard of any plans for a paperback.

First off, thanks for providing the full rule text here for easy reference.

- Are "Shield" mechanics same as "Force Field" mechanics or is this a special case? (specifically things like immunities/vulnerabilities)

I agree with Damanta - it grants you temporary hit points, exactly like it says. No more, no less.

- How exacly does the Shield protects against attacks like Life Leech (see: Garaggakal)

Because that's what the rules say it does.

- Does Boost Shield still require 10 minutes cool-down that does not meet Regain Stamina Points condition to be re-used or can it be basically used again and again without cool-down and in combat as long as the mechanic has Resolve Points left (this would give a level 10 Mechanic at least 200 temporary hit points)?

No. It doesn't say it needs 10 minutes. It says you can spent a resolve point to bring the shield to full.

- Does Boost Shield require the Shield to be fully cycled through Hit Points before it is re-charged or can you re-charge the Shield while is is still active with partial pool of Hit Points left and therefore do so without action penalty since Boost Shield does not list any?

No, it doesn't say anything like "it must be depleted". It says you can spend a resolve point to bring the shield to full.

"This is all quite reasonable though as someone who is not very proficient with practical play of all classes I am trying to find another class that can basically produce 200 hit points plus (more if your INT is high and you have extra RPs) at a moment's notice and without any kind of vulnerabilities..."

First off, you're ignoring the action economy. The shield takes a standard action to activate, which means you're not shooting that first round. I can tell you from personal experience that it's... painful to give up that action.

Second, resolve-point abilities are supposed to be powerful. They are a limited use thing and as such are intended to have substantial benefits. Aside from "not dying" and "recovering stamina", Mechanics do not have a lot of abilities that use resolve points.

Third, a mechanic optimized for it can be pretty tough. Energy and kinetic resistances, shield, and you can absorb a fair bit. If you want to tank, you can.

Fourth, let's consider context. Using my own mechanic, I'm seeing about 90 stamina and 64 hit points by level 10. So sure, 200 hp is a lot of staying in the fight, if you have time to get the shield up over and over again (as opposed to one massive attack that blows through it and into you) but I think that's a somewhat far-fetched example. If a player wants to blow all those resolve points and somehow has time, 25 hit points at a time, then I guess it's ok.

I guess my bottom line is I don't see an obvious problem here.

UPBs are, by definition, a raw material of whatever. There's no info on how they're made. It's just generic raw material, akin to currency. (And nobody says what the currency is made from.)

Why would you need to know?

I'm not a GM. That said, Dead Suns includes guidance for the GM, I'm told.

"The party should be level 3 by now" type of thing. Just use it. Computing xp is a hassle. Just tell them at appropriate points "Level up to 5 for next game".

Now I realize some groups don't like that and it removes some feeling of incremental progress. But it is way easier.

Hm. I wonder if planetary mass is a stat included in Pact Worlds and if you could simulate it...

Agreed. Anyone familiar with KSP (Kerbal Space Program) has realized that being "in orbit" isn't about being high up - it's about moving really really fast. You are falling towards the planet and missing because you're going so fast. To go out of orbit, you have to "slow down" quite a lot so gravity can do its thing without you missing the planet. So If the ship is in orbit and you throw a PC out, you'll all just putter around in orbit. Of course the ship can leave, but the PC won't automatically fall out of orbit.

"expansion" bays

We have a tech lab, cargo bay, escape pods, and a rec suite. Three of those were on the ship when we got it, and I put in the tech bay to have it handy for fixing things (as a mechanic it seemed useful).

The tech bay has technically been used. None of the others have really come up during play.

First off, you want to check the errata.

It adjusts the "whatever is worse" phrase to say "whatever is worse for detrimental effects" and "whatever is better for beneficial effects".

"When determining what abilities affect an android, and how, replace the first sentence of the constructed ability with the following. "For effects targeting creatures by type, androids count as both constructs and humanoids (whichever type allows an ability to affect them for abilities that affect only one type, and whichever is worse for abilities that affect both types).""

I'm not sure this makes life any better here though. :) Is the android getting polymorphed willingly or unwillingly? Lacking the spell description handy, I'm not really sure.

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What's a VA?

I don't think a "threatened area" is a "thing" in the way you're using it. I think the implication is that it's per map square.

If I try to run by four creatures, I think I should expect to get slapped silly. :)

There's absolutely nothing in the rules that says a ship must be mechanical. If you want the flavor, just use the exact same rules.

Just for the title alone I want to try to reply to this :) But the need for a map/visual element makes it tricky so I'll see if avr's answer helped.

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