Starfinder Near Space

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Starfinder Near Space

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Journey to Near Space, the galactic region that contains the Pact Worlds, the Veskarium, and many of the planets discovered and colonized by explorers from those civilizations. This hardcover rulebook expands the Starfinder campaign setting with details on dozens of worlds and cultures found in Near Space, each perfect as a locale for science–fantasy adventure!

Inside this book, you'll find in–depth gazetteers of the nine worlds of the Veskarium, the interstellar empire founded by the warlike vesk; detailed entries on other planets and civilizations of Near Space; new starships from the Veskarium and beyond; alternate racial traits for playable Near Space races; and new themes, archetypes, equipment, spells, and more for any character!

ISBN-13: 978-1-64078-228-0

Note: This product is part of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscription.

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A highly original fiction fluff shot in the arm to Starfinder's universe

5/5

I love Starfinder. I've been supporting it with subscriptions since the core rulebook came out -- but I have to admit I found Pact Worlds a bit lacking in imagination. Part of this is probably because they were dealing with legacy content (Distant Worlds already basically declared who lived where and what the worlds were like).

But with Near Space the Starfinder writing team has been able to spread their wings and go a bit crazy, and the delivered product is fantastic from end to end.

Art - 5/5, love it, each Veskarium world's description is riven with detail and great art. Seeing how Skittermanders interact with their Vesk overlords will help me to describe them in future encounters. I suspect that instead of viewing Skittermanders as cute, cuddly carebears, my players will now wonder if there are Skittermanders nearby if that means that Vesk are too. I want that art of Conqueror's Forge in a gas cloud as a wallpaper or poster.

Worldbuilding - 5/5, again, the Veskarium is just as interesting of a place as the Pact Worlds, and you could build an entire campaign here and never leave the system. The dynamics of Vesk-6 I found especially interesting, as I think the Pahtra/Vesk conflict has a lot of potential for some great plot hooks. The rest of Near Space has some fascinating locations as well, my favorite being the Dyson Sphere and the Toe Jam & Earl-like planet of Orry.

Most importantly though, I never felt like any of the write-ups of the Veskarium insulted my intelligence. The book doesn't shy away from pointing out that some Pahtras really don't like the situation on Vesk-6, or that hey, Skittermanders are in fact the Grotz/Goblins/Gretchens of the SF universe.

Mechanical Options - 5/5. I'm glad someone on the team clearly thought that not having +STR Pahtra was a missed opportunity. The Vesk, Skittermander, and other Veskarium races all equally got showered with variations as well to bring them out of their shells. Or pouches. Whatever Skitters have.

Gamemastering Mechanical Options - 3/5. This is the only place I felt was lacking a bit. I would have liked some fleshed out Veskarium NPC blocks akin to the ones provided in Pact Worlds Chapter 3 "Supporting Cast". I wouldn't have needed a whole 12 pages like Pact worlds, but I have a good idea in my head of what say, a Pact Worlds mercenary or criminal is armed with, and what an Aeon Guard infantryman is armed with. I have no idea what your average Level 3 Vesk infantry is armed with, though if I had to hazard a guess it would be a Peacekeeper's Aegis, a Doshko, and some sort of Laser weapon and 2-3 pages devoted to the Veskarium's military make-up in that respect would have been nice.

I consider almost every Starfinder splat a must-buy, but to be honest if you had to pick between Pact Worlds and this, I'd pick this. That's how good it is. Probably the best splat I've read in a good long while.


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Product blurb wrote:
Inside this book, you'll find in–depth gazetteers of the nine worlds of the Veskarium, the interstellar empire founded by the warlike vesk; detailed entries on other planets and civilizations of Near Space; new starships from the Veskarium and beyond; alternate racial traits for playable Near Space races; and new themes, archetypes, equipment, spells, and more for any character!

So very likely to have something for the new classes.


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
As Quidest points out, ghosts are the exception, and look over Undead entries. Pretty much all of them have an innate need to murder for some reason or another.

Except for one ghostly lady on Eox who does color commentary for the undead Howard Cosell (SFS #2-01).

Not to run counter to what Steve wrote, but I rather enjoyed reading the discussion, and am personally with Rysky on this one. I may have even seen the bit of Pharasman lore about harming the cycle of souls, and if I can track it down I'll try to link to it.

Grand Lodge

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I am just looking forward to seeing the book come out! I want to see some of the worlds I wrote about, as well as the worlds that others wrote about!

Hmm

Wayfinders

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hmm wrote:

I am just looking forward to seeing the book come out! I want to see some of the worlds I wrote about, as well as the worlds that others wrote about!

Hmm

And player options! I can't wait to see what people think of those.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

It's almost like this book is opening up several worlds worth of opportunities!

Hmm


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Hmm wrote:

It's almost like this book is opening up several worlds worth of opportunities!

Hmm

Oh, you mystics of Eloritu. Alright then, keep your secrets.

<_<

>_>

Casts Detect Thoughts and dives behind a rubbish bin. Stealth check natural 1.


Selene Spires wrote:
I always thought the Desk Empire had more than 9 planets...

but when they were first encountered hadn’t they somehow missed out on the Drift Tech rollout? They stole and reverse engineered it fr whoever it was that made first contact from the Golarian system


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just hope that the bulk of the player options (much like COM or Pact Worlds) are available for SFS.

It'd be rough to see all the neat new stuff... and then be told "Well, it's good for background, at least".


But think of all the new boons this could make way for :3


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
But think of all the new boons this could make way for :3

As long as they stay with paper instead of 'OrgPlay Fun Points', I guess that would be fair?


You will accumulate your fun points and you will like them.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd whine about them right now, but I don't have the energy.

Instead, I'll point to how awesome it is to get an expansion of play space with lore and history to go with it!

Dataphiles

"I ah, tol' folks that ah, the jocks were ah, trying to rule everyone but ah, did ah, anyone listen? Nooooo."

Man, those Vesk, I'm telling ya.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Received shipping notification and subscriber PDF. It looks cool, wish I had time to dive in and read it. New spells defrex hardiness and personal gravity look fun.

The battle leader archetype also looks cool. Like an envoy and stackable. It uses reactions to give similar buffs. "Got 'em!" "Regroup!" "Listen up!", "Keep moving!", Etc.

Capital ships can get ramming weapons. Hahahahahahaha. Get out of their way.


Any new Infinite Worlds options? Paradigm Shifts?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
GeneticDrift wrote:

Received shipping notification and subscriber PDF. It looks cool, wish I had time to dive in and read it. New spells defrex hardiness and personal gravity look fun.

The battle leader archetype also looks cool. Like an envoy and stackable. It uses reactions to give similar buffs. "Got 'em!" "Regroup!" "Listen up!", "Keep moving!", Etc.

Capital ships can get ramming weapons. Hahahahahahaha. Get out of their way.

Even supercolossal? Imma ram'em with the Deathstar!

Wayfinders

Just ordered the book, now waiting begins!

Dark Archive

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I feel kinda vindicated of my opinions regarding that deities should be still be considered big deal in Starfinder because of Nemenar's backstory xD


CorvusMask wrote:
I feel kinda vindicated of my opinions regarding that deities should be still be considered big deal in Starfinder because of Nemenar's backstory xD

Just read that portion in question.

I mean, yeah deities are still a big deal but so are 20th level PCs and threats like Koyokors. In Nemenar's case it really sounds like a cruel and powerful individual (in this case a god) forced the entire planet into subservience with their power. Thematically, the deity Nylessa could be swapped out with an advanced species threatening the population with a potent bioweapon after demonstrating their might in a potentially crippling way and the results would be similar. In the end it turned out okay for Nemenar's population but the initial encounter was impressively vicious.

Individuals with power will always be a big deal, the question is whether they are ethically entitled to special treatment or obeisance because of that power.


Anyone else having an issue adding the PDF to their cart? I keep getting a "Your request produced an error" message


Troodos wrote:
Anyone else having an issue adding the PDF to their cart? I keep getting a "Your request produced an error" message

Same error happened when I attempted to add the PDF to my cart.

Dataphiles

Heine Stick wrote:
Troodos wrote:
Anyone else having an issue adding the PDF to their cart? I keep getting a "Your request produced an error" message
Same error happened when I attempted to add the PDF to my cart.

Customer Service got back to me crediting it to a caching issue of some kind. Try using an incognito window or a different browser than usual and see if that's enough.


Vanwa Nellmyr wrote:
Customer Service got back to me crediting it to a caching issue of some kind. Try using an incognito window or a different browser than usual and see if that's enough.

Yep, switching to a different browser (from Firefox to Chrome) worked. Thanks for the tip!


The Giant Blooded theme's Oversized Weapons options is a blatant trap option. Since using it means you just take a -2 penalty for using a large weapon + have to deal with more bulk, with literally 0 benefit compared to just using a normal weapon. It should reduce the penalty to 0 or it shouldn't try to trick people into thinking they're not screwing themselves over to use oversized weapons.


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To be clear when I say "trap option", I don't assume the writer was maliciously trying to make a bad option. Just that it is an option that looks like it'd be good to some players but actually is a detriment to your character if you try to take and use it. I'm sure no starfinder writers would have malicious intent when writing the mechanics for this game.


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Okay, I was about to say that 'trap option' always seems to imply malicious intent and harkens back to the more gatekeep-y days of DnD. I think the folks at Paizo have proven themselves better than that.

As for the power level of the theme ability in question, I'd say it is pretty limited and niche... which is about where I'd expect theme abilities to really lay. They're supposed to be niche and minor abilities to give your character interesting flavor and reflect backstory, not be the sort of thing you base an entire build around.


Master Han Del of the Web wrote:

Okay, I was about to say that 'trap option' always seems to imply malicious intent and harkens back to the more gatekeep-y days of DnD. I think the folks at Paizo have proven themselves better than that.

As for the power level of the theme ability in question, I'd say it is pretty limited and niche... which is about where I'd expect theme abilities to really lay. They're supposed to be niche and minor abilities to give your character interesting flavor and reflect backstory, not be the sort of thing you base an entire build around.

Limited and niche would be good, but it isn't actually even niche. It is only downsides that penalize your character. Theme abilities are rarely strong, but it shouldn't make your character worse to use one. This power does actually make you worse if you use it regardless of circumstances. There is no situation currently in starfinder where this ability actually makes you stronger, using it just means have chosen to penalizing yourself for flavour reasons.

It would be a very poor situation if this was the sort of power level that themes were designed around, since then you would have most people take themeless because they'd want to not just take a pile of extra penalties with no benefit, which would be quite disappointing and obviously would not be the intent for the starfinder writers.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It’s a useful ability for bombard soldiers (heavy fire), anyone who wants to use a dragonglaive, anyone who wants to use heavy weapons...and maybe getting heavy armor prof.


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Milo v3 wrote:

Limited and niche would be good, but it isn't actually even niche. It is only downsides that penalize your character. Theme abilities are rarely strong, but it shouldn't make your character worse to use one. This power does actually make you worse if you use it regardless of circumstances. There is no situation currently in starfinder where this ability actually makes you stronger, using it just means have chosen to penalizing yourself for flavour reasons.

It would be a very poor situation if this was the sort of power level that themes were designed around, since then you would have most people take themeless because they'd want to not just take a pile of extra penalties with no benefit, which would be quite disappointing and obviously would not be the intent for the starfinder writers.

...I'm sorry I'm really not seeing how the ability is a penalty.

It helps mitigate the strength requirements for heavy weapons and reduces the penalty for wielding oversized weapons. With the number of large-sized aliens already out in Starfinder, I could very easily see a situation where a Giantblooded character and his party are pressed for resources and don't have the time to adjust the size of looted equipment.

Is it the cornerstone of a build? Definitely not. Does it let your character toss his gun to one of his puny allies and then pick up the ax a fire giant was using to wade into the fray? Yes.


GeneticDrift wrote:
It’s a useful ability for bombard soldiers (heavy fire), anyone who wants to use a dragonglaive, anyone who wants to use heavy weapons...and maybe getting heavy armor prof.

Okay, to be clear, I'm talking about the part of the power which alters how oversized weapons works. +2 Effective Strength is sorta useful, but rarely so. I should have said that. Not sure how bombard soldiers or heavy weapon users really benefit from the bit which is just "You still suck at using oversized weapons."

Master Han Del of the Web wrote:
..I'm sorry I'm really not seeing how the ability is a penalty.

Because it will trick people into thinking oversized weapons will be not horrible to use, when there is no reason to use them over a normal sized weapon except for flavour. And if flavour is the only reason then why penalize people for playing a certain concept when they even have flavour-excuses for using oversized weapons.

Quote:

It helps mitigate the strength requirements for heavy weapons and reduces the penalty for wielding oversized weapons. With the number of large-sized aliens already out in Starfinder, I could very easily see a situation where a Giantblooded character and his party are pressed for resources and don't have the time to adjust the size of looted equipment.

Is it the cornerstone of a build? Definitely not. Does it let your character toss his gun to one of his puny allies and then pick up the ax a fire giant was using to wade into the fray? Yes.

Why are you ever "tossing a gun to your puny ally" instead of using the weapons you're assumed to have as part of the math of the system?

Dark Archive

Also huh. Apparently Gap didn't just remove records and memories it uh, also turned statues of heroes from time of gap into shapeless blobs of material they were made of.

...Geezus that is honestly kinda terrifying and confusing xD


Milo v3 wrote:
Okay, to be clear, I'm talking about the part of the power which alters how oversized weapons works. +2 Effective Strength is sorta useful, but rarely so. I should have said that. Not sure how bombard soldiers or heavy weapon users really benefit from the bit which is just "You still suck at using oversized weapons."

That's like saying Weapon Fonus is useless as a feat because half of the ability is only a +.5 bonus to attacks with the chosen weapons or Weapon Specialization is useless as a class feature because in addition to the weapons you use, it applies to weapons you don't. The two abilities are a packaged deal. +2 effective strength is also pretty handy as it allows characters with no interest in melee combat to put those points elsewhere, like say, Dex or their key ability. Heavy weapons mechanics, for instance, would find that a boon.

Milo v3 wrote:
Because it will trick people into thinking oversized weapons will be not horrible to use, when there is no reason to use them over a normal sized weapon except for flavour. And if flavour is the only reason then why penalize people for playing a certain concept when they even have flavour-excuses for using oversized weapons.

It's not like the language of the ability is particularly unclear. It pretty much says 'There is a penalty, this ability reduces that penalty but does not remove it'. You're also acting like we have not all seen TTRPG players make even bigger sacrifices for the sake of their aesthetics.

Frankly, by this logic, no one should ever use kinetic weapons. The penalty generally works out to be roughly the same in most cases.

Milo v3 wrote:
Why are you ever "tossing a gun to your puny ally" instead of using the weapons you're assumed to have as part of the math of the system?

Because hyper specializing in a single weapon is not nearly as much of a thing in Starfinder? Because the DM is running your party through a harrowing last stand and you're strapped for resources? Because it is available and you can't afford to run back to town for more ammo/repairs/engineering? Because you're willing to take a penalty to preserve the overall effectiveness of your party? Because Covering and Harrying fire are both remarkably useful (more so if you're a heavy weapons specialist with the right feats)? Because you're a full BAB character and can afford to take the penalty?


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CorvusMask wrote:

Also huh. Apparently Gap didn't just remove records and memories it uh, also turned statues of heroes from time of gap into shapeless blobs of material they were made of.

<snip> that is honestly kinda terrifying and confusing xD

Well, that's something I'll definitely be retconning away.

I mean, having statues/monuments to individuals/events that no one can remember & for which all records are lost creates greater mystery (& adventure hooks!) & adds to the sense of loss that is the Gap - at least, for me.
A pile of shapeless material, while potentially interesting to academics (& scavengers looking for usable/saleable material), I feel would have far less of a connection with the general population.

I would, however, remove any inscriptions/commemorative plaques (maybe symbols...). These monuments/statues are supposed to be mysterious (whether intact or broken apart).

But that's just me.

Carry on.

--C.

<disclaimer> It's possible that I'm missing some context. I do not have the book (yet); I'm just going by what was posted in the quote. If one thinks that what's stated in the book is fine, great! <shrug>


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Psiphyre wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

Also huh. Apparently Gap didn't just remove records and memories it uh, also turned statues of heroes from time of gap into shapeless blobs of material they were made of.

<snip> that is honestly kinda terrifying and confusing xD

Well, that's something I'll definitely be retconning away.

I mean, having statues/monuments to individuals/events that no one can remember & for which all records are lost creates greater mystery (& adventure hooks!) & adds to the sense of loss that is the Gap - at least, for me.
A pile of shapeless material, while potentially interesting to academics (& scavengers looking for usable material), I feel would have far less of a connection with the general population.

I would, however, remove any writing/commemorative plaques (maybe symbols...). These monuments/statues are supposed to be mysterious (whether intact or broken apart).

But that's just me.

Carry on.

--C.

<disclaimer> It's possible that I'm missing some context. I do not have the book (yet); I'm just going by what was posted in the quote. If one thinks that what's stated in the book is fine, great! <shrug>

No! No! Go the opposite way! Have your civilizations poe-facedly stating that clearly during the Gap there was a time where oozes did many great services for them. Why else would there be so many shapeless blobs on these pedestals? Have them produce whole speculative Gap historical dramas about the first ooze president and their cabinet or war hero oozes holding the line against implacable enemies!


Master Han Del of the Web wrote:
Psiphyre wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

Also huh. Apparently Gap didn't just remove records and memories it uh, also turned statues of heroes from time of gap into shapeless blobs of material they were made of.

<snip> that is honestly kinda terrifying and confusing xD

Well, that's something I'll definitely be retconning away.

I mean, having statues/monuments to individuals/events that no one can remember & for which all records are lost creates greater mystery (& adventure hooks!) & adds to the sense of loss that is the Gap - at least, for me.
A pile of shapeless material, while potentially interesting to academics (& scavengers looking for usable/saleable material), I feel would have far less of a connection with the general population.

I would, however, remove any inscriptions/commemorative plaques (maybe symbols...). These monuments/statues are supposed to be mysterious (whether intact or broken apart).

But that's just me.

Carry on.

--C.

<snip>

No! No! Go the opposite way! Have your civilizations poe-facedly stating that clearly during the Gap there was a time where oozes did many great services for them. Why else would there be so many shapeless blobs on these pedestals? Have them produce whole speculative Gap historical dramas about the first ooze president and their cabinet or war hero oozes holding the line against implacable enemies!

LOL!

Or that!

:D

--C.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder

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CorvusMask wrote:

Also huh. Apparently Gap didn't just remove records and memories it uh, also turned statues of heroes from time of gap into shapeless blobs of material they were made of.

...Geezus that is honestly kinda terrifying and confusing xD

To be clear, that's what happened to the Pantheon of Honor on Vesk Prime. There's nothing that says it was a universal effect of the Gap. In fact, there's nothing to say that the Gap "did" anything. Maybe someone purposefully damaged or removed those statues during the Gap. Something clearly happened there during the Gap, but no one knows what or why... :)

Dark Archive

Oh that could be true too. It would honestly be kinda too "Well s+&%, if Gap can remove physical carvings, then how the heck you are supposed to find any relics or such about Gaps that would be anyway scientific or reliable" xD


Near Space not to be confused with Over There Space and definitely not Slightly to the Left Space.


The NPC wrote:
Near Space not to be confused with Over There Space and definitely not Slightly to the Left Space.

Or the ever illusive Where? Space


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Psiphyre wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

Also huh. Apparently Gap didn't just remove records and memories it uh, also turned statues of heroes from time of gap into shapeless blobs of material they were made of.

<snip> that is honestly kinda terrifying and confusing xD

Well, that's something I'll definitely be retconning away.

I mean, having statues/monuments to individuals/events that no one can remember & for which all records are lost creates greater mystery (& adventure hooks!) & adds to the sense of loss that is the Gap - at least, for me.
A pile of shapeless material, while potentially interesting to academics (& scavengers looking for usable/saleable material), I feel would have far less of a connection with the general population.

I would, however, remove any inscriptions/commemorative plaques (maybe symbols...). These monuments/statues are supposed to be mysterious (whether intact or broken apart).

But that's just me.

Carry on.

--C.

<disclaimer> It's possible that I'm missing some context. I do not have the book (yet); I'm just going by what was posted in the quote. If one thinks that what's stated in the book is fine, great! <shrug>

The plagues are washed away, and no one is really sure what happened to the statues to make them that way, just that they were once the examples of the Vesk's greatest heroes. The only statue left untouched is of a strange alien the Vesk have never encountered with a plaque that says one word, "Serenity".

Also, there is plenty of examples of ruins, murals, and statues surviving the Gap within the book and others. The Gap isn't this void where everything was taken away, it's mutable amnesia that effects worlds in a different fashion. The Gap didn't even end at the same time in certain locales.


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I'm personally more intrigued by the colossal escape pod buried on the Osharu's homeworld.

Or the fact that Vesk were trying to breed Vesk/Swarm Hybrids.

Or the fact that the worst threat to Vesk rule would be the Skittermanders if they ever realized how honestly poorly the Vesk treat them.


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VerBeeker wrote:

I'm personally more intrigued by the colossal escape pod buried on the Osharu's homeworld.

Or the fact that Vesk were trying to breed Vesk/Swarm Hybrids.

Or the fact that the worst threat to Vesk rule would be the Skittermanders if they ever realized how honestly poorly the Vesk treat them.

As they increasingly realize how poorly the Vesk treat them, you mean? My impression was that in a generation or two the Vesk are going to have another rebellion on their hands once there is enough social pressure for the Skittermanders to overcome their instincts. They're not blind to what is happening, it is just that their in-born instincts are being pretty effectively subverted in the favor of their colonizers. It probably wouldn't take much more abuse before their instinct to help reclassifies the Vesk Empire as something to help others survive as opposed to something to help.

Dark Archive

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In general more you read the Near Space book on Veskarium planet, more you realize that "are content with their lives and support—or at least tolerate—their government." part either applies purely to Vesk or is propaganda.

Like besides non vesk being treated as second class citizens(for example, vesk consider themselves superior so they favor vesk), they ignore conquered people's culture, have musem for artifacts from people they conquer, very grossly ignore their cultural taboos and things that make them uncomfortable, exploit them, scoff at High Despots who are perceived to be "softer" to them and only have one token non vesk high despost because they maneuvered themselves into situation where if they didn't nomitate them they would have lost the face.

Also I noticed that while there were only three named LE vesk characters in book, two of high despost are NE so 3 of 9 are evil while 6 of them are LN(some of them make sense, but some of them lean over to evil too xP)


VerBeeker wrote:

I'm personally more intrigued by the colossal escape pod buried on the Osharu's homeworld.

Or the fact that Vesk were trying to breed Vesk/Swarm Hybrids.

Or the fact that the worst threat to Vesk rule would be the Skittermanders if they continue to realize how honestly poorly the Vesk treat them.


Master Han Del of the Web wrote:


That's like saying Weapon Fonus is useless as a feat because half of the ability is only a +.5 bonus to attacks with the chosen weapons or Weapon Specialization is useless as a class feature because in addition to the weapons you use, it applies to weapons you don't. The two abilities are a packaged deal. +2 effective strength is also pretty handy as it allows characters with no interest in melee combat to put those points elsewhere, like say, Dex or their key ability. Heavy weapons mechanics, for instance, would find that a boon.

It'd be better if it was Just the +2 effective strength in my opinion.

Quote:
It's not like the language of the ability is particularly unclear. It pretty much says 'There is a penalty, this ability reduces that penalty but does not remove it'. You're also acting like we have not all seen TTRPG players make even bigger sacrifices for the sake of their aesthetics.

Why mechanically penalize people for aesthetics? Why screw people over for trying to play a concept that 1) Is completely balanced and 2) they have the flavour to justify it (the giant-blood)? Starfinder is meant to be a relatively balanced game, there is no reason why a mechanic should be unbalanced when the player even has in-setting justification for why they should be able to perform that sort of action.

Yes, people take mechanical sacrifices for aesthetics in tabletop. But that isn't something to strive for and I would hope isn't the actual plan of tabletop writers to arbitrarily go "Lets make characters with this aesthetic mechanically worse". It is the sort of thing that I would actually call malicious if it was on purpose, that would be "trying to make an option purposefully bad", which we should not be assuming of the writers.

Quote:
Frankly, by this logic, no one should ever use kinetic weapons. The penalty generally works out to be roughly the same in most cases.

There are benefits to kinetic weapons, they generally do more damage than energy weapons and will allow you to harm creatures when your other weapon might be resisted/immune by one or more energy types. There is no benefit to using a large weapon.

Quote:


Because hyper specializing in a single weapon is not nearly as much of a thing in Starfinder?

Nothing I said suggested hyper specializing in a single weapon. I even said "weapons". In which case, ... why not use a weapon that isn't "the same weapon worth the exact same amount of credits but directly worse".

Quote:
Because the DM is running your party through a harrowing last stand and you're strapped for resources?

Ammunition is transferable regardless of size.

Quote:
Because it is available and you can't afford to run back to town for more ammo/repairs/engineering?

Would nearly always be better to just keep using your pre-existing weapon that you're already assumed to have as part of the games math.

Quote:
Because you're willing to take a penalty to preserve the overall effectiveness of your party?

.... but you'd be providing a bigger amount of overall effectiveness to the party to Not use it. @_@

Quote:
Because Covering and Harrying fire are both remarkably useful (more so if you're a heavy weapons specialist with the right feats)?

That doesn't make it useful, that's closer to "my bonus is so high that I succeed on rolling a 2 anyway". The fixed non-scaling ACs of Covering/Harrying Fire makes it like saying "oh this penalty to attacking is fine because it wont prevent me from swimming", since it basically is a completely different roll at that point compared to the normal math of the situation of trying to target enemies with AC that scales with your level.

Quote:
Because you're a full BAB character and can afford to take the penalty?

You can also afford to not take the penalty and just be a directly better character.


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
VerBeeker wrote:
Also, I don't see where the info of Iomedae and Sarenrae being biased against undead in the Starfinder setting.

I haven't seen anything saying their views have changed.

And again, we have the Designers not able to make up their mind if Starfinder is a possible future or alternate reality.

I don't think its about designers making up their minds. Like the Gap, they purposefully want to leave it up to GMs.

Some campaigns are better served in "future Pathfinder". Some campaigns are better served in alternate reality.


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Master Han Del of the Web wrote:

However, I couldn't find anything in Pathfinder lore referencing them actively damaging the cycle of souls.

Its a bit of a weird topic. You have to read James Jacobs forum posts to get a definitive answer, but he certainly treats it as true for the game. When non-evil undead have slipped through(like Juju zombies), he erratas it and gives that as justification.

I am not sure why they aren't willing to just outright say it in books.


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Starfinder is a setting where you have undead priests of sarenrae, since Sarenrae doesn't believe undead are irredeemable, and there are even undead PC races.

I think it's important to realize that starfinder is a different setting to golarian made by different writers with different tones in mind so some things are going to be different.

As far as I could see, James Jacobs main reason behind wanting undead to always be evil outside of niche circumstances in Golarian is because he prefers for undead to always be an element of horror, because of how big a horror fan James Jacobs is. But starfinder uses undead in more than just horror contexts, it has whole planets of undead who are just average people. It has heroes and allies who are undead.

As for "pharasma doesn't like it" "it disrupts the natural process of souls", that doesn't imply it as something actually morally bad. Pharasma is a Neutral god, not a Good one.


Milo v3 wrote:
*A lot of stuff, snipped down because I now understand the issue.*

Okay, I think I see where you're coming from, I don't agree but I can see it. Instead of responding to each response individually (because I'm frankly so tired of the pattern of subdividing every debate on this site), I figured addressing the pattern would be more useful. Your complaints seem to boil down to 'this is not a permanent net bonus for my character therefore it is as useful as a skin tag', which is fine. If this were Pathfinder 1E, I'd even be agreeing with you.

This is not Pathfinder 1E, the math is tighter and optimization ceiling is considerably lower. There are only three classes that have full BAB (four if you count the exocortex mechanic) and having run Dead Suns with a fairly optimized melee soldier, I can definitely say they can afford to take some hits to their raw effectiveness before they have to start worrying.

From play, the game seems fairly balanced around the assumption of 3/4 BAB for most characters. It frankly does not take much to build an effective character. It's a game where optional penalties can represent an interesting tactical choice and from the pre-written material I've seen it is assumed that there will be plenty of fights where you don't necessarily have to bring your A-game.

Now, I could list out a hundred different interesting situations where taking a -2 on attacks in exchange for using an oversized weapon would be an interesting choice to make and probably even a mechanically/tactically sound one. However, situational arguments like that typically don't go over well with optimization-focused people like yourself. So I'll just reiterate my initial point:

This ability (taken as a whole) is from a theme, themes are meant to be interesting and niche, this is about the correct power-level for an ability from a theme.

It's not about punishing an aesthetic choice. I know Starfinder isn't the most simulationist game but it makes sense that weapons not designed for someone of your size would be harder to use so they put in a rule to reflect that. The penalty is reduced enough that it goes from being 'incredibly inconvenient' to 'possible if unwieldy'.

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