The creature size scale and spacecraft sizes


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Tom Kalbfus wrote:
How about an 18th level wizard on a primitive planet?

Get worshipped as a god comes to mind :D


The Official Explanation (tm) is that advanced technology has made 7th level magic and above mostly obsolete. It still exists, but hardly anyone bothers to study it anymore.

The biggest weakness of high-level magic is its rarity. In ancient Pathfinder days, it was already hard enough for a national military or private army to scrap up enough smart brains to leverage that kind of magical might on the battlefield. In those days the only counter to a powerful arcane user was another arcane user, or a powerful divine or psychic caster, or a [high CR] creature, or perhaps an artifact. But again, lack of availability makes a difference.

In modern Starfinder times, however, we now have high technology. Its advantages are (a) you can mass-produce heavy weapons all day long, and (b) the learning curve for the wielder is a lot less steep.

For most adventuring groups, while the lure of Real Ultimate Power might still be a thing, if it's easier just to get a BFG-9000 that can clear a field of baddies at range than to spend years studying how to do the same with with Meteor Swarm, BFG wins every time.


So they have "wishing machines" that replace a ring of wishes?


thejeff wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:
A wish can duplicate the effects of any other spell 9th level or lower, so all you really need are wishes. You can open up your Pathfinder Core Rulebook and state that you wish for the effects of that particular spell, Meteor swarm for instance! Or you can wish for a scroll to appear before you with a spell on it, you then take the scroll with you, and you cast the spell from the scroll whenever you need to using the Read Magic spell if you have to.

Starfinder is not Pathfinder. They are different games.

It is no more obvious that you can use a Starfinder wish to duplicate a Pathfinder spell than a spell out of Call of Cthulhu or Mage.

More to the point, if you HAD the ability to cast Wishes, by definition you must have already gotten access to at least some spells above 6th level.

Liberty's Edge

I didn't know aboutthe 6th spell level cap. That's... quite disheartening, to be frank. I hope full-spellcaster classes do become available sometime in the near future. I never play anything but full casters, regardless of the system and setting, unless I'm absolutely forced to, but then I tend to lose interest in those games pretty quickly.
And a full-fledged wizard would be so much fun to play in space.


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Tom Kalbfus wrote:
How about an 18th level wizard on a primitive planet?

I say we take off and meson gun the whole site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.


Bluenose wrote:
Tom Kalbfus wrote:
How about an 18th level wizard on a primitive planet?
I say we take off and meson gun the whole site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

If you can make the antiquarks for the mesons, why don't you just throw those at them?


A wall of force spell would still block them.


Matthew Shelton wrote:

The Official Explanation (tm) is that advanced technology has made 7th level magic and above mostly obsolete. It still exists, but hardly anyone bothers to study it anymore.

The biggest weakness of high-level magic is its rarity. In ancient Pathfinder days, it was already hard enough for a national military or private army to scrap up enough smart brains to leverage that kind of magical might on the battlefield. In those days the only counter to a powerful arcane user was another arcane user, or a powerful divine or psychic caster, or a [high CR] creature, or perhaps an artifact. But again, lack of availability makes a difference.

In modern Starfinder times, however, we now have high technology. Its advantages are (a) you can mass-produce heavy weapons all day long, and (b) the learning curve for the wielder is a lot less steep.

For most adventuring groups, while the lure of Real Ultimate Power might still be a thing, if it's easier just to get a BFG-9000 that can clear a field of baddies at range than to spend years studying how to do the same with with Meteor Swarm, BFG wins every time.

There's more to spell casting than just blowing up stuff. I'm not sure how tech obsoletes magic if that's all that's being considered. They could make tech cover almost everything a spell caster can do in this game, but that's just not a realistic thing to expect in Starfinder. I also doubt that magic is a weaker form of tech in this game like you're suggesting.

Really, something like a BFG (the weapon from the Doom games, right?) is similar to a Beam Cannon, a 3d6 energy weapon that has a charged attack that affects everything in a 20ft. radius for 6d6. It's not even a replacement for Fireball, let alone Meteor Swarm, which isn't even that good of a spell anyway.


Zahariel wrote:

I didn't know aboutthe 6th spell level cap. That's... quite disheartening, to be frank. I hope full-spellcaster classes do become available sometime in the near future. I never play anything but full casters, regardless of the system and setting, unless I'm absolutely forced to, but then I tend to lose interest in those games pretty quickly.

And a full-fledged wizard would be so much fun to play in space.

There are spell focused classes in the corebook but perhaps they are just expected to better leverage spells, class abilities and available technology to accomplish the same as 9th level casters once did with their lower lever spells. we have already seen a level 2 caster cast a spell that would require a level 3 caster in Pathfinder so the new rules might support stronger spells or a wider range of effects at lower spell levels now.


Tom Kalbfus wrote:
A wall of force spell would still block them.

Actually we dont know how force effects interact with anti-quarks or other less common states of matter/anti-matter/radiation. wait, scratch that, doesnt the tech guide mention that force effects and force fields cant intercept lasers or other forms or radiation? Its possible the meson cannon will still ruin your day.


Sauce987654321 wrote:
Matthew Shelton wrote:

The Official Explanation (tm) is that advanced technology has made 7th level magic and above mostly obsolete. It still exists, but hardly anyone bothers to study it anymore.

The biggest weakness of high-level magic is its rarity. In ancient Pathfinder days, it was already hard enough for a national military or private army to scrap up enough smart brains to leverage that kind of magical might on the battlefield. In those days the only counter to a powerful arcane user was another arcane user, or a powerful divine or psychic caster, or a [high CR] creature, or perhaps an artifact. But again, lack of availability makes a difference.

In modern Starfinder times, however, we now have high technology. Its advantages are (a) you can mass-produce heavy weapons all day long, and (b) the learning curve for the wielder is a lot less steep.

For most adventuring groups, while the lure of Real Ultimate Power might still be a thing, if it's easier just to get a BFG-9000 that can clear a field of baddies at range than to spend years studying how to do the same with with Meteor Swarm, BFG wins every time.

There's more to spell casting than just blowing up stuff. I'm not sure how tech obsoletes magic if that's all that's being considered. They could make tech cover almost everything a spell caster can do in this game, but that's just not a realistic thing to expect in Starfinder. I also doubt that magic is a weaker form of tech in this game like you're suggesting.

Really, something like a BFG (the weapon from the Doom games, right?) is similar to a Beam Cannon, a 3d6 energy weapon that has a charged attack that affects everything in a 20ft. radius for 6d6. It's not even a replacement for Fireball, let alone Meteor Swarm, which isn't even that good of a spell anyway.

i have been led to believe that magic and technology can seamlessly integrate so magi-tech and tech exist side by side with most people not bothering to pay any difference between them.

We wont really know until the rules are released but it sounds like the UPB system makes up for a ton of previously restricted to creation/transmutation spells.

I am still curious to know how teleportation and dimensional effects have changed, if at all, due to the Drift. Based on the Drift pulling in pieces of the outer planes it sounds to me that it is a new plane that acts as a barrier between some of the older planes and that might block off some magical effects that used to be possible. it would also explain somewhat why higher level spells aren't used as much if many of the more powerful abilities (Gate, Summon X X, Teleport, Wish, Create Demi-Plane etc.) are not possible anymore. It would be a nice twist to have old school wizard revivalist cabals who want to destroy the Drift to return to the days of easy magical dimensional manipulation.

So a Beam Canon as you describe it could be available as a two handed weapon with a suggested level of 6, meaning most characters could pick one up on the expected level 6 WBL or earlier if they wanted to dedicate a larger portion of their WBL to a single item and the GM is cool with it. Now almost any character can reliable drop a 6D6 blast at level 6. We just dont know how weapons progress yet other than the developers saying they put a lot of work into changing damage progressions. We did see an auto rifle at level 2 do a pretty good job of replacing burning hands and based on that effect coming from a drone i would hazard a guess that most classes could pick up the rifle and do the same. In fact i would expect a Soldier or Operator to be able to raise the DC on the save or increase the damage roll of the attack. There was a spell to increase the damage of the next shot by 4D6, what if you could drop that on the auto rifle and then spray n' pray for a 5D6 cone effect at level 2? That is something that would require a good bit of system mastery under Pathfinder but looks fairly basic in Starfinder. I get that you are saying those arent the strongest effects to compare against but there is too much unknown right now to really speak to what the new balance of capacity is or how it compares to a Pathfinder character.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Torbyne wrote:
Zahariel wrote:

I didn't know aboutthe 6th spell level cap. That's... quite disheartening, to be frank. I hope full-spellcaster classes do become available sometime in the near future. I never play anything but full casters, regardless of the system and setting, unless I'm absolutely forced to, but then I tend to lose interest in those games pretty quickly.

And a full-fledged wizard would be so much fun to play in space.
There are spell focused classes in the corebook but perhaps they are just expected to better leverage spells, class abilities and available technology to accomplish the same as 9th level casters once did with their lower lever spells. we have already seen a level 2 caster cast a spell that would require a level 3 caster in Pathfinder so the new rules might support stronger spells or a wider range of effects at lower spell levels now.

Another thing to consider is that some of the spellcasting classes in Starfinder may have ways to cast spells of level 7-9. As an example from Pathfinder, the Medium supposedly only has access to spells of levels 0-4 but with one spirit legend eventually gains the ability to cast a single spell of up to 9th level 1x/day.


David knott 242 wrote:


Another thing to consider is that some of the spellcasting classes in Starfinder may have ways to cast spells of level 7-9. As an example from Pathfinder, the Medium supposedly only has access to spells of levels 0-4 but with one spirit legend eventually gains the ability to cast a single spell of up to 9th level 1x/day.

Maybe, but that implies that the Starfinder Rules will include a full list of spells level 7-9 that can only be cast through such tricks. Or that they'll have direct references to PF rules. "This ability allows the caster to use any Pathfinder divine spell once per day."

I could be completely wrong, but I think they're looking to avoid such direct linkage. That's why it's a separate game, not a expansion book for Pathfinder.


Umbral Reaver wrote:

With vehicles becoming a more integral part of the game, what are we to do with spaceships (and creatures) that are above Colossal in size?

Both the Millennium Falcon and a Star Destroyer are bigger than Colossal, but one is clearly magnitudes larger than the other.

Do we need an extension of the size categories? Or something else?

I'd use the Dragonmech size system myself, renaming the "city-mech" size categories as appropraite.


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I thought I read somewhere that the Starfinder core rulebook will have spells of levels 7-9. Of course, it won't need anywhere near as many spells of these levels when standard PCs won't be casting very many of them.


Zahariel wrote:

I didn't know aboutthe 6th spell level cap. That's... quite disheartening, to be frank. I hope full-spellcaster classes do become available sometime in the near future. I never play anything but full casters, regardless of the system and setting, unless I'm absolutely forced to, but then I tend to lose interest in those games pretty quickly.

And a full-fledged wizard would be so much fun to play in space.

It may be this game just isn't for you, if you're not interested in playing anything but PF style full casters. There's plenty of games that don't really support anything along those lines.

Others where you can play a "full caster", but that doesn't really mean the same thing as in D&D/Pathfinder.


David knott 242 wrote:

I thought I read somewhere that the Starfinder core rulebook will have spells of levels 7-9. Of course, it won't need anywhere near as many spells of these levels when standard PCs won't be casting very many of them.

They could have a selection of effects that are in the 7-9 range and list them as things to consider for artifacts, ancient scrolls, spell powers to find etc. it would take a lot less space than having five separate class lists plus brief descriptions and then actual spell entries i bet.


Torbyne wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

I thought I read somewhere that the Starfinder core rulebook will have spells of levels 7-9. Of course, it won't need anywhere near as many spells of these levels when standard PCs won't be casting very many of them.

They could have a selection of effects that are in the 7-9 range and list them as things to consider for artifacts, ancient scrolls, spell powers to find etc. it would take a lot less space than having five separate class lists plus brief descriptions and then actual spell entries i bet.

Yeah, but leads directly to this problem: "We need a class that casts them. See, they're right there!"

You can set up items that do such things without actual spell lists. Like all the existing items that don't duplicate spells.
They might well, but I don't like it as game design.


Torbyne wrote:
...

Well I'm not just hypothetically coming up with a damage value for a Beam Cannon type weapon for Pathfinder, because they do exist

My point is that there is more to spells than just destroying stuff, and that some random soldier with a laser rifle/cannon or whatever is not on equal footing with a spell caster just because their guns can destroy stuff, too, let alone a high level one. I don't know why people forget this type of stuff all of a sudden when high tech stuff gets released, because the game has never worked like that and I don't get why people pretend it does.


Sauce987654321 wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
...

Well I'm not just hypothetically coming up with a damage value for a Beam Cannon type weapon for Pathfinder, because they do exist

My point is that there is more to spells than just destroying stuff, and that some random soldier with a laser rifle/cannon or whatever is not on equal footing with a spell caster just because their guns can destroy stuff, too, let alone a high level one. I don't know why people forget this type of stuff all of a sudden when high tech stuff gets released, because the game has never worked like that and I don't get why people pretend it does.

There should certainly be more to technology than just destroying stuff as well. Science Fantasy has a large share of futuristic technology that isn't related to war, and if there's influences from Space Opera to fill out some of the gaps, so much more.


Should there be ray guns that turn people into frogs or vermin? Does that even happen in science fantasy? How about a simple shrink ray, or a freeze ray, is Starfinder going to have any of those? How about a potion of invisibility, or a paint that when applied deflects gravity? Are these technological devices going to be included in Starfinder?


Tom Kalbfus wrote:
Should there be ray guns that turn people into frogs or vermin? Does that even happen in science fantasy? How about a simple shrink ray, or a freeze ray, is Starfinder going to have any of those? How about a potion of invisibility, or a paint that when applied deflects gravity? Are these technological devices going to be included in Starfinder?

I've seen something like the first, technically as a projectile weapon, but one SF comedy had a nanogun that fired a swarm of nanobots that consumed their target and turned it into a flamingo.


Sauce987654321 wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
...

Well I'm not just hypothetically coming up with a damage value for a Beam Cannon type weapon for Pathfinder, because they do exist

My point is that there is more to spells than just destroying stuff, and that some random soldier with a laser rifle/cannon or whatever is not on equal footing with a spell caster just because their guns can destroy stuff, too, let alone a high level one. I don't know why people forget this type of stuff all of a sudden when high tech stuff gets released, because the game has never worked like that and I don't get why people pretend it does.

well the devs have moved away from the tech guide so i wouldnt use that as a solid example of how Starfinder mechanics will work.

I mentioned UPBs just to bring in things we know other than weapons. the UPBs can apparently be made into just about anything which would duplicate a lot of other utility magic. Though personally, i would like it if magic and technology both were a little more limited in what they could do, no more Schrodinger's wizard.

Creative Director, Starfinder Team

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Hey, to answer the OP's original question (assuming Owen hasn't beaten me to the punch):

Starships have their own size categories entirely separate from those of creatures. In general, the starship system does not interact with regular person-scale combat (or character economies) beyond a few small intersections, at least at this point. This was a deliberate choice in order to make it viable for people to have starships from first level while still encouraging person-to-person combat, when otherwise we all know that nuking things from orbit is the only way to be sure.


James Sutter wrote:

Hey, to answer the OP's original question (assuming Owen hasn't beaten me to the punch):

Starships have their own size categories entirely separate from those of creatures. In general, the starship system does not interact with regular person-scale combat (or character economies) beyond a few small intersections, at least at this point. This was a deliberate choice in order to make it viable for people to have starships from first level while still encouraging person-to-person combat, when otherwise we all know that nuking things from orbit is the only way to be sure.

Ah ha, but what about characters at levels 12+ who can nuke from orbit WITHOUT a ship?!

But thank you for chiming in, its good to have the answer even if it does raise other questions... like, if we cant nuke from orbit can we at least have hostile landings? Not landing under fire per se but more of landing on top of enemies in a hostile nature? I am reminded of Xeno Gears wherein the PCs can cheat by dropping a battleship on top of an enemy, you know, the old Wizard of Oz special.


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Tom Kalbfus wrote:
Should there be ray guns that turn people into frogs or vermin? Does that even happen in science fantasy? How about a simple shrink ray, or a freeze ray, is Starfinder going to have any of those? How about a potion of invisibility, or a paint that when applied deflects gravity? Are these technological devices going to be included in Starfinder?

You need to watch Red Dwarf.


^Also that Star Trek Old Series episode (that I can't remember the name of) in which the villain is 1 of 2 aliens from another galaxy who morphs into a witch and has a techno-magic wand that can make and change all sorts of stuff. Complete with an early scene that is a purposely really bad ripoff of the 3 witches scene from Macbeth(*).

Spock to Kirk: "Very bad poetry, sir."


Catspaw.

But the thing about science fantasy is it's basically a licence to include whatever the hell you like, the wierder the better.

Doctor Who is also full of examples.


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Umbral Reaver wrote:

Given the attack/AC modifiers from size, it would be useful for ships to operate on a different scale, with a quick rule for converting into 'personal' scale. Such as if a person is shot at with a turbolaser.

-20 to hit, x10 damage or something?

I believe that would only apply if they were ramming. Then again if i were to design it, the penalty to hit would come from the weapon that was firing :) Just to make it easy.

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