Starfinder and the Pathfinder Classes


General Discussion

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thejeff wrote:

Except that may be something they don't want in the game, even if it's a logical outgrowth from a Pathfinder with high tech and centuries of development. They may not want a crank the dial up to 11 approach.

If so, then they may choose to make magic less common and effective than it was back in the old days. That's not a bad decision. Design your game mechanics around game play, not around theories of how magic should have developed alongside technology.

It does feel a bit hard to admit, but that will likely be a good decision mechanically... It's just that if the balancing aspects that this may have on it result in too wildly nerfed form of Pathfinder Magic, that too could be done poorly.

If they're going to keep the magic system as appealing as it is in pathfinder, there needs to be more than just across the board nerfs, there need to be improvements in areas that fall behind.

For example, they could take an overpowered 7th level spell from pathfinder and push it to 8th level with a few mild improvements that place it above a Pathfinder 7th level spell, but still a bit bellow the average 8th level Pathfinder spells. Also balanced out by making an alternate version of Magic Missle that's a cantrip that has to make an attack roll for each missle... Mostly so that it's 5 1d4 attacks will be comparable to a Rogue's 5 dagger attacks once their BAB is high enough (not counting Sneak Attack).

Changing a class dynamic isn't as simple as putting it in line with other classes, it still needs to be internally balanced as well so that the changes still feel like an improvement in some way... Otherwise, people will ignore all the changes made and use all the old spells instead.

Making sure everyone still wants to use low level spells as well as high level ones instead of going full exploder is one way of doing it. It's also good if people think the higher level spells are something they should hang onto for when they'll be more useful rather than being "the only thing helpful right now". If they can fix that issue while also trying to balance it with the other classes, then I doubt there will be much reason to complain.


thejeff wrote:

Except that may be something they don't want in the game, even if it's a logical outgrowth from a Pathfinder with high tech and centuries of development. They may not want a crank the dial up to 11 approach.

If so, then they may choose to make magic less common and effective than it was back in the old days. That's not a bad decision. Design your game mechanics around game play, not around theories of how magic should have developed alongside technology.

And for all we know the transition from pathfinder to starfinder may involve one or more apocalyi in the "death of magic" category.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Except that may be something they don't want in the game, even if it's a logical outgrowth from a Pathfinder with high tech and centuries of development. They may not want a crank the dial up to 11 approach.

If so, then they may choose to make magic less common and effective than it was back in the old days. That's not a bad decision. Design your game mechanics around game play, not around theories of how magic should have developed alongside technology.

And for all we know the transition from pathfinder to starfinder may involve one or more apocalyi in the "death of magic" category.

I was thinking of a long in depth "yes but no" point... But then I noted one word that changes my entire point.

"Appocalyi"

Normally if you cited "Death of Magic", I'd say "no, that's not how magic or physics works", due to my understanding of what magic represents somewhat intertwining the nature of the soul and magic together.
But if most of the planet gets wiped out and forced to live in post-apocalyptic tatters, then yeah, that would kind of dampen the amount of energy you can call from, since the only source of energy left is yourself...

Or other planes such as from gods I guess, but still, hard for even that point to fly when there's not even enough people left to pray.

The other problem though is that it nuking the world like that and starting over would reset the technology level as well. But I suppose the fact it would take magic longer to recover when even your best sorcerer can at best bring light where the sky's blocked out for centuries and keep you warm when there's nothing really left to burn.

Otherwise, I was going to bring up the fall of Greece and Rome, the subsequent loss of technology and picking it up again much later... Only to again point out the whole "kinda irrelevant" point once enough time has passed that they're in space, and likely have relearned all they forgot.

I'm really not sure what point to make here now.

Really, in balance terms, all I really want to be sure of is if magic can still be used to do "fun things" that often are just for fun, so I'm not worried about how many damage dice are in an attack spell. They can mess with damage ratios all they want so long as I can still play a character that can shape reality to their whims.

... Those whims being perhaps to make a demi-planar village of intelligent space cats, or to disguise the party diplomat to look like a Kobold so they can seduce the leader of a Kobold gang while we sneak past. You know... Foolish things.


A game system where "high-level magic is scaled back to non-absurd levels" would feel too much like D&D 4E to me.


Luna Protege wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Except that may be something they don't want in the game, even if it's a logical outgrowth from a Pathfinder with high tech and centuries of development. They may not want a crank the dial up to 11 approach.

If so, then they may choose to make magic less common and effective than it was back in the old days. That's not a bad decision. Design your game mechanics around game play, not around theories of how magic should have developed alongside technology.

It does feel a bit hard to admit, but that will likely be a good decision mechanically... It's just that if the balancing aspects that this may have on it result in too wildly nerfed form of Pathfinder Magic, that too could be done poorly.

If they're going to keep the magic system as appealing as it is in pathfinder, there needs to be more than just across the board nerfs, there need to be improvements in areas that fall behind.

It would be impossible to balance, well, impossible without excessive rule bloat, without nerfing magic in some way... I could see fullcasters being "NPC only".


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Maybe I'm the odd one out here, but I'm actually really hoping that Starfinder class design is so far removed from Pathfinder that the current classes are not easy to use out of the box. Pathfinder's character balance (or more accurately, the lack thereof) is arguably intrinsic to the system, probably most strongly tied to the amount of options spellcasters gain against non-casters. Given the things that have come out recently (Advanced Weapon and Armor Training, Combat Stamina, etc.), it's clear that the PF devs are recognizing it and doing what they can to rectify it. I'm not expecting a second edition of Pathfinder, but I don't want Starfinder to be tied down to the old concepts of class balance when it could be an opportunity for a clean slate. The prevalence of technology has already been stated to obsolesce some of the simpler magics (Why take the time and dedication to learn to cast light when you could buy a flashlight?), so I'm really hoping that magic is fundamentally reworked, to evolve into a system that complements the new setting instead of overpowering it. I'm under no illusions that magic won't be present in the system, even if my personal tastes lean towards less common magic, but I really do hope the overall role of magic isn't as overbearing as Pathfinder, nor are magic solutions to problems the only solutions to problems at high levels.

As for how non-magical PF classes shake out, they really should not be able to compete to Starfinder classes when they're both geared appropriately, in my opinion. As Sutter mentioned in his interview for Game Informer, a shirtless Barbarian running around with a longsword should have no chance against someone with an assault rifle. Maybe it sounds awesome that your Barbarian beats up soldiers with laser rifles, but what's awesome for one person is absurd and immersion-breaking to another.


Now if that same barbarian has a magic sword that deflects laser fire then I would be fine with it. Also it depends on the level and maybe race of the barbarian. What if the barbarian is some ancient mythic person who mysteriously came back to life when they found his bones in a archeological dig. Maybe he is from a powerful race that are highly resistant to harm or at least resistant energy weapons.


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Jorshamo wrote:

Maybe I'm the odd one out here, but I'm actually really hoping that Starfinder class design is so far removed from Pathfinder that the current classes are not easy to use out of the box.

......

As for how non-magical PF classes shake out, they really should not be able to compete to Starfinder classes when they're both geared appropriately, in my opinion. As Sutter mentioned in his interview for Game Informer, a shirtless Barbarian running around with a longsword should have no chance against someone with an assault rifle. Maybe it sounds awesome that your Barbarian beats up soldiers with laser rifles, but what's awesome for one person is absurd and immersion-breaking to another.

I agree with the first part, and not even due to magic. I want Starfinder to be the absolute best it can be, and if that involves breaking class compatibility, I'm all for it.

As to the second point - it's all flavor. Change "shirtless" to "jedi robes" and the broadsword to a lightsaber, flavor rage as "battle focus" and he fits - no mechanical differences. But by that point, the flavor changes have completely reworked the image to one fitting Starfinder.


Hmm... Something has occurred to me that almost feels like I've noticed something but not quite. Namely regarding the exact nature of the "Pathfinder conversion chapter".

They could have simply left it up to fans to figure out if the systems aren't all that different, but instead they're kind of implying its different enough to require some kind of conversion rules.

That's a key focus on what they're saying is different: the system, not the setting. Which makes me wonder why they'd forget to even suggest that you shouldn't be playing a classic class for thematic sake. If it was something they'd considered no doubt they'd have a mind to say it shouldn't be done for story reasons, but they didn't...

... Which leaves me to wonder... What if there's a reason they phrased it that way?

It's too far a jump to the answer I wish was true, given that there are several options as to why; not discounting the obvious answer of "you're overthinking it, there's no hidden meaning".

Getting my wishful thinking out of the way first... It could suggest that individuals of classic classes, including wizard's list of spells, are all still present with all their abilities; but the system is different enough that several mechanics the classes expect to be there are missing. (Such as proficiency). However, someone could probably find a fault with that idea better than I could.

Option two was the "old classes are unbalanced" possibility... But now that I'm thinking about it, I don't recall balance actually being mentioned by the dev team about the classic classes compared to Starfinder Classes, so much as Starfinder Classes in regards to each other. And if there's one reason why they might have singled out Technomancers, it may be because the fact they have power over machines gives them a unique advantage over wizards, so they may be trying to account for that by scaling back its more wizard-like capabilities compared to wizards.

This itself can be considered to follow into an "Option three", that Technomancers are likely just less specialized in magic than Wizards, for the same reason that Spellslingers have to forsake two opposition schools and loose cantrip slots for not specializing in magic. (Mitigated by the prevalence of technology)

Option four I'm sure someone brought up, the possibility that all the classic classes will likely show up in APs on some under-developed worlds as "NPC Classes", or perhaps as PC classes for people playing characters that are native to a primitive world that decide to join these space born adventurers.

Then there's option five... These are all a stretch, but this is perhaps more so; they actually intend to adapt the Pathfinder Classes into Starfinder Classes somewhere down the road anyways. Either an evolution of the classes or a straight up remake.

In any case, I don't know why it suddenly struck me as strange that they phrased it the way they did, its that for some reason it felt like I was missing something and hadn't figured it out yet... And I still don't think I figured it out.

Maybe this is what they call paranoia.

...

More on topic, I recently discovered the "Vigilante" class in Pathfinder, and some part of me suddenly wishes something like it and its archetypes would show up in Starfinder... But then again, I suppose everyone wants to be Batman, even in Space.


Got to have a place for Dr. Strange in Starfinder . . . .


UnArcaneElection wrote:

Got to have a place for Dr. Strange in Starfinder . . . .

Asmodeus, I have come to bargain.

In nearly every futuristic RPG I've played in, I still usually play melee, whether it is biotic charging in the Mass Effect universe, or Force Leaping in the Star Wars one . . . or what have you.


I hope there are light sabers and monoblades to make melee fun.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I want to see caster guns; a fusion of tech and magic.


Lord Mhoram wrote:
Jorshamo wrote:

Maybe I'm the odd one out here, but I'm actually really hoping that Starfinder class design is so far removed from Pathfinder that the current classes are not easy to use out of the box.

......

As for how non-magical PF classes shake out, they really should not be able to compete to Starfinder classes when they're both geared appropriately, in my opinion. As Sutter mentioned in his interview for Game Informer, a shirtless Barbarian running around with a longsword should have no chance against someone with an assault rifle. Maybe it sounds awesome that your Barbarian beats up soldiers with laser rifles, but what's awesome for one person is absurd and immersion-breaking to another.

I agree with the first part, and not even due to magic. I want Starfinder to be the absolute best it can be, and if that involves breaking class compatibility, I'm all for it.

As to the second point - it's all flavor. Change "shirtless" to "jedi robes" and the broadsword to a lightsaber, flavor rage as "battle focus" and he fits - no mechanical differences. But by that point, the flavor changes have completely reworked the image to one fitting Starfinder.

Don't even need that much of a change. The barbarian may be shirtless, but he'll have a person energy shield around him to deflect the blasts, and his sword would be made of an advanced alloy, composite, or combination, that allows for a super-sharp edge to slice through their armor.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
I'm going to make the guess that the closest comparison for how things will wind up will be the Dragonstar setting produced for 3.0 by Fantasy Flight Games, which was abandoned when WOTC transited to 3.5.

I true gaming tragedy that was, a setting with so much potential that was just left to die. FFG has made no announcement on the future of Dragonstar since they acquired the license in 2012 (that I know of).

SF would be a perfect rules set for FFG to reintroduce Dragonstar and bring the game back to life.


Jorshamo wrote:
Maybe I'm the odd one out here, but I'm actually really hoping that Starfinder class design is so far removed from Pathfinder (+ more).

You are not alone on this request (specifically classes as in your post, and more broadly in general); as someone with multiple dozens of Pathfinder & D&D 3.5 books the least compatible they are with Starfinder the happier I will be. :)

Or to rephrase that, the more Starfinder can stand on its on as a modern Science Fantasy game without having to reference any other gaming materials, the better I believe it long term prospects will be.

Scarab Sages Developer, Starfinder Team

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Obviously there's a lot we're not saying yet, and that can be frustrating from both sides of the screen. But as a for-profit company, certainly Paizo needs to think about what the best way to reveal new information is for any product. I'm sure that as we get closer to release, we'll talk a lot more about exactly what we are doing, and how that figures in to the Starfinder-Pathfinder compatibility issue.

But I do want to say -- rpg balance is incredibly tricky, and we all know that. We have put in a lot of time and effort trying to make this the most fun game we possibly can, and considerations of balance are a huge part of that even though they aren't everything. A perfectly balanced game can be dull. A badly balanced game can be fun and exciting. Obviously it tends to work better if a game is both.

No one knows how magic actually develops over time, because magic isn't real. We have our best guesses. Even questions of truly advanced technology advances are more theory than fact, since once we are talking about any form of ftl travel, or the ability of computers developed over centuries, we are guessing. There are some great past trends and theories we can look at, but noting that tells us what a computer would actually look like centuries after digital technology was invented.

We're not looking at any one factor. Game balance, fun options, legacy of the game system, legacy of the campaign universe, sic-fi and fantasy tropes, and what we think the final game should play like have all be considered, and often pitted against each other. I've had longer discussions about this than any rpg project I have ever been part of.

I like our answers. I hope most of you do, too. I don't think anyone has guessed exactly what we are doing, though I have seen some of our ideas been closely described in these threads... and also people dismiss our final solutions as obviously not the case.

I'm really excited to see what every thinks, once you all have the book in your hands.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

Obviously there's a lot we're not saying yet, and that can be frustrating from both sides of the screen. But as a for-profit company, certainly Paizo needs to think about what the best way to reveal new information is for any product. I'm sure that as we get closer to release, we'll talk a lot more about exactly what we are doing, and how that figures in to the Starfinder-Pathfinder compatibility issue.

But I do want to say -- rpg balance is incredibly tricky, and we all know that. We have put in a lot of time and effort trying to make this the most fun game we possibly can, and considerations of balance are a huge part of that even though they aren't everything. A perfectly balanced game can be dull. A badly balanced game can be fun and exciting. Obviously it tends to work better if a game is both.

No one knows how magic actually develops over time, because magic isn't real. We have our best guesses. Even questions of truly advanced technology advances are more theory than fact, since once we are talking about any form of ftl travel, or the ability of computers developed over centuries, we are guessing. There are some great past trends and theories we can look at, but noting that tells us what a computer would actually look like centuries after digital technology was invented.

We're not looking at any one factor. Game balance, fun options, legacy of the game system, legacy of the campaign universe, sic-fi and fantasy tropes, and what we think the final game should play like have all be considered, and often pitted against each other. I've had longer discussions about this than any rpg project I have ever been part of.

I like our answers. I hope most of you do, too. I don't think anyone has guessed exactly what we are doing, though I have seen some of our ideas been closely described in these threads... and also people dismiss our final solutions as obviously not the case.

I'm really excited to see what every thinks, once you all have the book in your hands.

As always, the fact that that Paizo actually listens to their customers is (one of) the reason(s) I love Paizo so much.


Since paizo is listening... I'm not saying I want to see the technomancer iconic but, if you want to share it I won't hold anything against you for it. But in all seriousness this is one of my, if not my number one, favorite gaming companies and communities.


Lord Mhoram wrote:
As to the second point - it's all flavor. Change "shirtless" to "jedi robes" and the broadsword to a lightsaber, flavor rage as "battle focus" and he fits - no mechanical differences. But by that point, the flavor changes have completely reworked the image to one fitting Starfinder.

I don't think it necessarily has to be like that. Every setting needs to be its own thing, and still be interesting, without mimicking or borrowing ideas from other worlds. Remaking the shirtless barbarian with a magical laser-deflecting sword made of an exotic-metal into a Jedi knight with a crystal-powered energy blade just makes it Star Wars derivative, and doesn't let the setting or the character find their own path.


Matthew Shelton wrote:

Want a reason for grandfathering 'archaic classes' into modern society?

Medieval dungeoncrawling as a sport. If someone has levels in barbarian, samurai, druid, ninja, monk, cavalier, shaman, etc., it's because they are involved in the Starfinder equivalent of the Society for Creative Anachronism. They are reenactors and LARPers, keeping it 'old school' for the sake of nostalgia and tradition.

With god knows how many planets some are going to wind up likely being still pretty primative so in exploration coming across stone age type people or barbarians/shaman what not does not seem totally weird.


kaid wrote:
Matthew Shelton wrote:

Want a reason for grandfathering 'archaic classes' into modern society?

Medieval dungeoncrawling as a sport. If someone has levels in barbarian, samurai, druid, ninja, monk, cavalier, shaman, etc., it's because they are involved in the Starfinder equivalent of the Society for Creative Anachronism. They are reenactors and LARPers, keeping it 'old school' for the sake of nostalgia and tradition.

With god knows how many planets some are going to wind up likely being still pretty primative so in exploration coming across stone age type people or barbarians/shaman what not does not seem totally weird.

Which doesn't mean they'll have Pathfinder classes, since this is a different game.


As far as magic only going up to level 6 spells, and this being a new take on the Pathfinder system, has anyone thought/heard that all 0-9th level spells may have just been "mushed" into 0-6th? I think they were playing 2nd level characters in the playtest video, and the technomancer was casting magic missile with 2 missiles. So unless I'm missing something, it seems like instead of chopping off 7-9th levels spells, they just spread out the rate at which you get new higher level spells and only put out 6 levels of them. As far as a chapter on backwards compatibility goes, the Advanced Class Guide (my favorite supplement) has a chapter on designing classes and prestige classes, but the whole thing takes up only 10 pages. Also, it's been said that we're supposed to be able to use the Pathfinder Bestiaries for Starfinder antagonists with minimal conversion work, so the conversion chapter in the Starfinder book is probably similar.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CKent83 wrote:
As far as magic only going up to level 6 spells, and this being a new take on the Pathfinder system, has anyone thought/heard that all 0-9th level spells may have just been "mushed" into 0-6th? I think they were playing 2nd level characters in the playtest video, and the technomancer was casting magic missile with 2 missiles. So unless I'm missing something, it seems like instead of chopping off 7-9th levels spells, they just spread out the rate at which you get new higher level spells and only put out 6 levels of them. As far as a chapter on backwards compatibility goes, the Advanced Class Guide (my favorite supplement) has a chapter on designing classes and prestige classes, but the whole thing takes up only 10 pages. Also, it's been said that we're supposed to be able to use the Pathfinder Bestiaries for Starfinder antagonists with minimal conversion work, so the conversion chapter in the Starfinder book is probably similar.

Except they said they may add 1-9 casters later if there's an actual need for it, and I believe during the playtest the spell only shot extra magic missiles because they did it as a full attack action. Like how some of them got 2 attacks during a full attack action.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:


I like our answers. I hope most of you do, too. I don't think anyone has guessed exactly what we are doing, though I have seen some of our ideas been closely described in these threads... and also people dismiss our final solutions as obviously not the case.

I'm really excited to see what every thinks, once you all have the book in your hands.

That one line gives me pause-usually if someone says something is obviously not the course of action being taken, it usually means its because its obviously a bad idea, not because its obviously too good to be the right answer. I hope its the latter, as opposed to the former ^_^;


CKent83 wrote:
As far as magic only going up to level 6 spells, and this being a new take on the Pathfinder system, has anyone thought/heard that all 0-9th level spells may have just been "mushed" into 0-6th? I think they were playing 2nd level characters in the playtest video, and the technomancer was casting magic missile with 2 missiles. So unless I'm missing something, it seems like instead of chopping off 7-9th levels spells, they just spread out the rate at which you get new higher level spells and only put out 6 levels of them. As far as a chapter on backwards compatibility goes, the Advanced Class Guide (my favorite supplement) has a chapter on designing classes and prestige classes, but the whole thing takes up only 10 pages. Also, it's been said that we're supposed to be able to use the Pathfinder Bestiaries for Starfinder antagonists with minimal conversion work, so the conversion chapter in the Starfinder book is probably similar.

i would bet that we will see some condensing of the spell effects, just like a lot of 6th level casters in Pathfinder have "stealth" spells from higher up on other caser's lists. but i dont think it will fully encompass all 7-9 level effects. The draw to a 6th level caster is having class abilities aside from casting spells, if you dont have those abilities than why not just be a full caster and if you do than you dont need that and full casting anyways.

I would also caution that they said we could use bestiary entries in Starfinder but not that is would be minimal work to do so...


Luna Protege wrote:
IonutRO wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:


IonutRO wrote:
Technomancers are BOTH hackers and Wizards with an iPad.

Took me a while to notice that was true. If they're capable of any of the high end stuff Wizards are, I could switch to saying "Wizards have evolved into Technomancers"... But if they aren't, then well...

If they're missing some of the really fun spells like Create-Demiplane, Mind-Swap, clone, Polymorph any Object, or any other of that fun stuff that allows for bending all of the lines of space, bodies, and minds, I will be disappointed, and probably end up trying to ram a packet of Wizard into it.

Yes... I am the kind of person who would probably cast Polymorph any Object on a human just to turn them into a Kobold.

IIRC the kind of high end magic high level wizards do in Pathfinder no longer exists, it's lost knowledge because technology has replaced most of its uses.

For one, the assumption they can just "lose" that knowledge is silly in the face of "IMMORTAL WIZARDS!" who never seem to forget; especially when some of them spend the rest of their immortal lives in quiet hermit like calm in their private demi-plane, meditating on their arcane art so that their art will never be forgotten.

And second, try to think for a minute the scale of energy required to create a hole in space. Do you really think a power source of that scale is as portable as, say... A book or Ipad? If you have to call in a tank-sized generator in order to summon the highest level of angels in a sudden and unexpected emergency, you're not doing it right.

Meanwhile, there's Polymorph, which has no way you can get that to work and not just be "kill the people and use the matter to build a new thing" unless you're working on an essentialist model of reality, which is not something a physical technology can do, and in order to create a technology that does work under that principle, it requires being designed as a magitech device by a wizard who understands that process in order to...

Also why bother spending years of your life for how to cast a fireball when you can just buy a rocket launcher or plasma gun. I think a lot of magic is going to specialize in more utility buffs/debuffs and stuff that is hard/impossible to create via tech. For a lot of things that magic currently gets used for in pathfinder it is basically just trying to recreate something that is better done via other means faster/easier and more cheaply.


Technology also could have made it easier to perform magic as well. Magipedia entries abound. Apps. Using a flamethrower to learn how to cast Burning Hands, in case you're disarmed.


Technology being able to outperform magic for the same investment of time, money, or effort ought to argue against the study of low-level magic as obsolete solutions to everyday problems.


Magic generally isn't a solution to everyday problems. It's a solution to specialized adventuring problems.

So, yeah, Mystics and technomancers probably won't be picking up mount or unseen servant, and probably won't be required to burn a slot on Mage armor (as it's fairly inadequate as a space suit). Other than that there is a lot of stuff they will want.


Protection from Vaccuum
Repair Drift Drive
Phantasmal Starship
Detect Life 10,000 mile radius
Reflect Lasers


Voss wrote:

Magic generally isn't a solution to everyday problems. It's a solution to specialized adventuring problems.

So, yeah, Mystics and technomancers probably won't be picking up mount or unseen servant, and probably won't be required to burn a slot on Mage armor (as it's fairly inadequate as a space suit). Other than that there is a lot of stuff they will want.

Even with magic not often being the solution to everyday problems, that's pretty much the realm of cantrips. I really hope that cantrips continue in starfinder. Cantrips were the reason I was able to picture a bookish scholarly wizard even surviving in the wild. To lazy to grab your spellbook? Use mage hand. Can't be bothered to carry those heavy torches or lanterns with you? Light has got your back. Robes starting to get that dungeony smell? Prestidigitate them. They were the perfect magical tools. I just hope that cantrips, if they do exist in starfinder, will finally be usable in a combat capacity. It would've been nice if they did the same level of damage as weaker weapons, like telekinetic projectile did. It wasn't particularly strong, and in the end you weren't going to be doing a whole lot of damage with it, but it gave you a direct damage option that didn't seem laughable.


Archmage Variel wrote:
Voss wrote:

Magic generally isn't a solution to everyday problems. It's a solution to specialized adventuring problems.

So, yeah, Mystics and technomancers probably won't be picking up mount or unseen servant, and probably won't be required to burn a slot on Mage armor (as it's fairly inadequate as a space suit). Other than that there is a lot of stuff they will want.

Even with magic not often being the solution to everyday problems, that's pretty much the realm of cantrips. I really hope that cantrips continue in starfinder. Cantrips were the reason I was able to picture a bookish scholarly wizard even surviving in the wild. To lazy to grab your spellbook? Use mage hand. Can't be bothered to carry those heavy torches or lanterns with you? Light has got your back. Robes starting to get that dungeony smell? Prestidigitate them. They were the perfect magical tools. I just hope that cantrips, if they do exist in starfinder, will finally be usable in a combat capacity. It would've been nice if they did the same level of damage as weaker weapons, like telekinetic projectile did. It wasn't particularly strong, and in the end you weren't going to be doing a whole lot of damage with it, but it gave you a direct damage option that didn't seem laughable.

They remove Cure/Inflict Minor Wounds for a reason...


KM WolfMaw wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
Voss wrote:

Magic generally isn't a solution to everyday problems. It's a solution to specialized adventuring problems.

So, yeah, Mystics and technomancers probably won't be picking up mount or unseen servant, and probably won't be required to burn a slot on Mage armor (as it's fairly inadequate as a space suit). Other than that there is a lot of stuff they will want.

Even with magic not often being the solution to everyday problems, that's pretty much the realm of cantrips. I really hope that cantrips continue in starfinder. Cantrips were the reason I was able to picture a bookish scholarly wizard even surviving in the wild. To lazy to grab your spellbook? Use mage hand. Can't be bothered to carry those heavy torches or lanterns with you? Light has got your back. Robes starting to get that dungeony smell? Prestidigitate them. They were the perfect magical tools. I just hope that cantrips, if they do exist in starfinder, will finally be usable in a combat capacity. It would've been nice if they did the same level of damage as weaker weapons, like telekinetic projectile did. It wasn't particularly strong, and in the end you weren't going to be doing a whole lot of damage with it, but it gave you a direct damage option that didn't seem laughable.
They remove Cure/Inflict Minor Wounds for a reason...

True, but it's not the same reason. Cure has to go away if cantrips aren't limited, because it's used out of combat and thus not limited by action economy. A Cure Minor Wounds cantrip would mean that you'd cast it after nearly every fight to get everyone back to full with no resource cost.

An attack cantrip works differently. It is limited by action economy, so it doesn't really break anything if it's worse than your real spells, but better than pulling out a crossbow or something.


thejeff wrote:
KM WolfMaw wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
Voss wrote:

Magic generally isn't a solution to everyday problems. It's a solution to specialized adventuring problems.

So, yeah, Mystics and technomancers probably won't be picking up mount or unseen servant, and probably won't be required to burn a slot on Mage armor (as it's fairly inadequate as a space suit). Other than that there is a lot of stuff they will want.

Even with magic not often being the solution to everyday problems, that's pretty much the realm of cantrips. I really hope that cantrips continue in starfinder. Cantrips were the reason I was able to picture a bookish scholarly wizard even surviving in the wild. To lazy to grab your spellbook? Use mage hand. Can't be bothered to carry those heavy torches or lanterns with you? Light has got your back. Robes starting to get that dungeony smell? Prestidigitate them. They were the perfect magical tools. I just hope that cantrips, if they do exist in starfinder, will finally be usable in a combat capacity. It would've been nice if they did the same level of damage as weaker weapons, like telekinetic projectile did. It wasn't particularly strong, and in the end you weren't going to be doing a whole lot of damage with it, but it gave you a direct damage option that didn't seem laughable.
They removed Cure/Inflict Minor Wounds for a reason...

True, but it's not the same reason. Cure has to go away if cantrips aren't limited, because it's used out of combat and thus not limited by action economy. A Cure Minor Wounds cantrip would mean that you'd cast it after nearly every fight to get everyone back to full with no resource cost.

An attack cantrip works differently. It is limited by action economy, so it doesn't really break anything if it's worse than your real spells, but better than pulling out a crossbow or something.

Cure Minor Wounds on Undeads, Inflict Minor Wounds on living targets...


KM WolfMaw wrote:
thejeff wrote:
KM WolfMaw wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
Voss wrote:

Magic generally isn't a solution to everyday problems. It's a solution to specialized adventuring problems.

So, yeah, Mystics and technomancers probably won't be picking up mount or unseen servant, and probably won't be required to burn a slot on Mage armor (as it's fairly inadequate as a space suit). Other than that there is a lot of stuff they will want.

Even with magic not often being the solution to everyday problems, that's pretty much the realm of cantrips. I really hope that cantrips continue in starfinder. Cantrips were the reason I was able to picture a bookish scholarly wizard even surviving in the wild. To lazy to grab your spellbook? Use mage hand. Can't be bothered to carry those heavy torches or lanterns with you? Light has got your back. Robes starting to get that dungeony smell? Prestidigitate them. They were the perfect magical tools. I just hope that cantrips, if they do exist in starfinder, will finally be usable in a combat capacity. It would've been nice if they did the same level of damage as weaker weapons, like telekinetic projectile did. It wasn't particularly strong, and in the end you weren't going to be doing a whole lot of damage with it, but it gave you a direct damage option that didn't seem laughable.
They removed Cure/Inflict Minor Wounds for a reason...

True, but it's not the same reason. Cure has to go away if cantrips aren't limited, because it's used out of combat and thus not limited by action economy. A Cure Minor Wounds cantrip would mean that you'd cast it after nearly every fight to get everyone back to full with no resource cost.

An attack cantrip works differently. It is limited by action economy, so it doesn't really break anything if it's worse than your real spells, but better than pulling out a crossbow or something.
Cure Minor Wounds on Undeads, Inflict Minor Wounds on living targets...

Yeah, they do work as attack spells, but they got removed because of the healing, not the damage.


thejeff wrote:
KM WolfMaw wrote:
thejeff wrote:
KM WolfMaw wrote:
They removed Cure/Inflict Minor Wounds for a reason...

True, but it's not the same reason. Cure has to go away if cantrips aren't limited, because it's used out of combat and thus not limited by action economy. A Cure Minor Wounds cantrip would mean that you'd cast it after nearly every fight to get everyone back to full with no resource cost.

An attack cantrip works differently. It is limited by action economy, so it doesn't really break anything if it's worse than your real spells, but better than pulling out a crossbow or something.
Cure Minor Wounds on Undeads, Inflict Minor Wounds on living targets...
Yeah, they do work as attack spells, but they got removed because of the healing, not the damage.

They got removed because they work both ways.

Cantrip and Orison are meant to be utility spells more than "awesome sauce" type of spells.


thejeff wrote:
KM WolfMaw wrote:
thejeff wrote:
KM WolfMaw wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
Voss wrote:

Magic generally isn't a solution to everyday problems. It's a solution to specialized adventuring problems.

So, yeah, Mystics and technomancers probably won't be picking up mount or unseen servant, and probably won't be required to burn a slot on Mage armor (as it's fairly inadequate as a space suit). Other than that there is a lot of stuff they will want.

Even with magic not often being the solution to everyday problems, that's pretty much the realm of cantrips. I really hope that cantrips continue in starfinder. Cantrips were the reason I was able to picture a bookish scholarly wizard even surviving in the wild. To lazy to grab your spellbook? Use mage hand. Can't be bothered to carry those heavy torches or lanterns with you? Light has got your back. Robes starting to get that dungeony smell? Prestidigitate them. They were the perfect magical tools. I just hope that cantrips, if they do exist in starfinder, will finally be usable in a combat capacity. It would've been nice if they did the same level of damage as weaker weapons, like telekinetic projectile did. It wasn't particularly strong, and in the end you weren't going to be doing a whole lot of damage with it, but it gave you a direct damage option that didn't seem laughable.
They removed Cure/Inflict Minor Wounds for a reason...

True, but it's not the same reason. Cure has to go away if cantrips aren't limited, because it's used out of combat and thus not limited by action economy. A Cure Minor Wounds cantrip would mean that you'd cast it after nearly every fight to get everyone back to full with no resource cost.

An attack cantrip works differently. It is limited by action economy, so it doesn't really break anything if it's worse than your real spells, but better than pulling out a crossbow or something.
Cure Minor Wounds on Undeads, Inflict Minor Wounds on living targets...
Yeah, they do work...

An infinite healing spell is one thing, but a spell like telekinetic projectile is (debatably) equivalent to a shortbow. The spell has shorter range and no x3 crit multiplier, but it also doesn't require the individual to carry a weapon or ammunition, and yet still do relatively acceptable damage (although depending on your dexterity modifier and the opponent, a cantrip like acid splash may actually be prefered). My point is, low level combat cantrips offer something that isn't game breaking to classes that want a magical combat option, without using more powerful and expandable options that will quickly run out in the early levels. I'd hope it wouldn't become anything that would be critical to playing the class (maybe you want to have your caster shoot his pistol when you've run out of spells to cast), but it would be nice to have as a viable option. Does the fact that most damaging cantrips are ranged touch attacks justify them doing so much less damage? I always feel a bit wimpy when I use one personally but I've never really calculated it.


Attack cantrips are generally not worth the action. Disrupt undead might be the exception, if it's worth the slot (generally not). The main purpose of the damaging cantrips is troll disposal.


Voss wrote:
Attack cantrips are generally not worth the action. Disrupt undead might be the exception, if it's worth the slot (generally not). The main purpose of the damaging cantrips is troll disposal.

"cut" ropes and chains, weakening support structures, helping apply oils, paint, poisons, etc, minor distractions, attracting the curious, etc...


KM WolfMaw wrote:
Voss wrote:
Attack cantrips are generally not worth the action. Disrupt undead might be the exception, if it's worth the slot (generally not). The main purpose of the damaging cantrips is troll disposal.
"cut" ropes and chains, weakening support structures, helping apply oils, paint, poisons, etc, minor distractions, attracting the curious, etc...

That can depend a lot on your GM though, without rules to back up using those cantrips for non combat purposes (I think. Is there a rule that says spell-based acid damage can actually melt things other than enemies?).

Edit: Apparently, so it seems, you can use spells to damage inanimate objects to a degree. There are so many times that this could've made pathfinder so much easier, and I had no idea.


Malefactor wrote:
I suspect that the old Pathfinder classes would be mostly limited to "primitive" worlds, and would not be of much use in regular play. This will probably stem from the base classes in SF being at higher power level than the PF ones, if only because the idea of a barbarian in hide armor wielding an axe beating a power-armored space marine wielding a chainsword is just silly.(I believe one of the developers {Sutter} said much the same thing in the Game Informer interview.)

On every planet in the Galaxy? No Primitive planets?


kaid wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:
IonutRO wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:


IonutRO wrote:
Technomancers are BOTH hackers and Wizards with an iPad.

Took me a while to notice that was true. If they're capable of any of the high end stuff Wizards are, I could switch to saying "Wizards have evolved into Technomancers"... But if they aren't, then well...

If they're missing some of the really fun spells like Create-Demiplane, Mind-Swap, clone, Polymorph any Object, or any other of that fun stuff that allows for bending all of the lines of space, bodies, and minds, I will be disappointed, and probably end up trying to ram a packet of Wizard into it.

Yes... I am the kind of person who would probably cast Polymorph any Object on a human just to turn them into a Kobold.

IIRC the kind of high end magic high level wizards do in Pathfinder no longer exists, it's lost knowledge because technology has replaced most of its uses.

For one, the assumption they can just "lose" that knowledge is silly in the face of "IMMORTAL WIZARDS!" who never seem to forget; especially when some of them spend the rest of their immortal lives in quiet hermit like calm in their private demi-plane, meditating on their arcane art so that their art will never be forgotten.

And second, try to think for a minute the scale of energy required to create a hole in space. Do you really think a power source of that scale is as portable as, say... A book or Ipad? If you have to call in a tank-sized generator in order to summon the highest level of angels in a sudden and unexpected emergency, you're not doing it right.

Meanwhile, there's Polymorph, which has no way you can get that to work and not just be "kill the people and use the matter to build a new thing" unless you're working on an essentialist model of reality, which is not something a physical technology can do, and in order to create a technology that does work under that principle, it requires being designed as a magitech device by a wizard who

...

Two words: Weapons Detector. How do you detect for magical spells one has committed to memory. If you can cast a fireball spell, you don't need to bring a rocket launcher! Rocket launchers aren't easily concealable, fireball spells are!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tom Kalbfus wrote:
Two words: Weapons Detector. How do you detect for magical spells one has committed to memory. If you can cast a fireball spell, you don't need to bring a rocket launcher! Rocket launchers aren't easily concealable, fireball spells are!

Easy. A spell to detect casters. Or a device, for that matter.

Not all that uncommon in genre.

Grand Lodge

thejeff wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:
Two words: Weapons Detector. How do you detect for magical spells one has committed to memory. If you can cast a fireball spell, you don't need to bring a rocket launcher! Rocket launchers aren't easily concealable, fireball spells are!

Easy. A spell to detect casters. Or a device, for that matter.

Not all that uncommon in genre.

Jammers and anti-magic/psionic fields are also common devices in genre. It could be a really unpleasant experience to accidentally walk into a suppression field.

SM


One possible complication is that Starfinder has gear that requires both magic and advanced technology to function. The Drift Drive is the most obvious example, but Holy Flamethrowers have also been mentioned.

So, would such items cease to function in both an anti-magic and an anti-technology field?

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