How will you change Starfinder in your home games?


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Liberty's Edge

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I find this discussion interesting, though I think it will be far more interesting 6-12 months after release than now.

To me, the most important thing about Starfinder is not the rules, it's the Adventure Path that comes with it. I have a LOT of SciFi and SciFant rules on my shelf that I don't use. What I don't have for any of them is a slick, professionally developed AP; not for a single one of them.

Paizo style? A SF AP has never been done before.

So the AP is the most important thing to me; all else takes a back seat to that. For that reason, I don't think I will be inclined to mess too much with the rules, so that it is fully compatible with the assumptions of the underlying AP I plan to run with it.

I also will keep the setting **mostly intact** as to mess with it is probably going to make running APs for Starfinder out of the box more difficult.

My instinct, however, is to turn up the SciFi, and turn down the Fantasy. I love the idea of aliens. I am less taken with the idea of Elves, Dwarves and Goblins in SPaaaaaaaaace. Mysticism producing Star Warsy supernatural Force effects is okay, Outright MAGIC? Not so much. Again, this is not so much a mechanical complaint; rather, one of look and feel.

One thing I am especially not a fan of is the idea of specific Gods who grant spells to their followers. I am entirely okay with mystical Cults and the traditions of their saints and founders as a means of differentiating their mechanical benefits and philosophical approaches. But spell power as evidence of actual gods (plural)? No. This is WAY too FRPG for me. If it is present, I'll reskin it so that it mechanically operates the same way, but "feels" more SF, less Fantasy.

It may be that the monsters used in the APs as well may channel a "monster" feel instead of an "alien" feel. I am getting this sense from the "Goblins of Absalom Station", for example.

Again, a reskin of the proffered monster to make it seem more alien, less Pathfinder Monstery is my knee-jerk anticipated approach. I don't want to mess with any underlying mechanics at all. Whether something is lost in the translation is a matter of taste. Perhaps the Goblins may prove to be fine. I have to have it in my hands. We'll see.

But all of this is so much conjecture without books and artwork in my hand.

It's a great topic though and I would LOVE to revisit this at great length when we have more concrete data in our hands to work with.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

I might change the Drift so that it does not rip out pieces of outer planes.

I struggle to see interesting storytelling from it because it begs the question of why most PCs would care about it. It doesn't really affect creatures on the Material Plane aside from occasionally having to wipe an angel or demon off your windshield, which sounds more comical than fun or interesting. It also doesn't make sense lore-wise because the Material Plane does not overlap with the outer planes.

If I wanted to add an environmental risk to the Drift, I think it would make more sense that using the Drift too much in a location might rip a hole in the Material Plane.


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How will I change my games? Simple: Let the player use the Pathfinder Advanced Race Guide. It makes the remnants of Golarion in space feel more real, and less homogenous compared to the more interesting and more alien races of other planets.

Steel_Wind wrote:
I love the idea of aliens. I am less taken with the idea of Elves, Dwarves and Goblins in SPaaaaaaaaace.

Honestly, the Elves, Dwarves and Goblins angle is still fine for me; I like acknowledging that the fantasy aspects exist, and utilizing those races.

That said, I feel that they're something best put in the hands of players than in the hands of the GM; baring jaunts into familiar space, such as Absalom station.

I say this with affection for the similarities between the appeal of fantasy and sci-fi; the idea of exploration and discovery. It's important even in a fantasy story to have adventurers traveling far afield to meet up with weird looking, almost alien new races beyond the horizon of where they live. This is part of the reason I'm not entirely taken with Pathfinder's core races; they're too "normal".

But more than anything, I understand why they're the core races, they're familiar, and having a handful of familiar races to draw from makes it easier to set up the right flow from "ordinary world" to "fantastical world". The fact they're not all humans also prevents the starting land seeming TOO mundane to the point of being ignored; the land they come from still has to stick in their minds in order to make a good mental contrast to the new land.

... Translating this to Starfinder, you start in Absalom station with its familiar Space Elves, who are literally just elves who happen to be in space the same way humans who happen to be in space are space men; and then you pick a random star and meet up with dancing pink squid people with dogs for hands.

Really, in the end, having more familiar fantasy races, or at least ones resembling them are kind of nessacarily for humans to even feel relevant on a stage of a dozen truly alien aliens. If Starfinder had instead forgone including Pathfinder core, and Lashaunta weren't a thing, then more than anything, it would be the humans who feel the most "alienated" compared to the other aliens. And by alienated, I mean both the usual meaning of that word, and the idea that if we took a group shot of the core races in Starfinder; you'd say the humans are the most "alien" creature in the whole image.

That's basically a good rule of thumb: don't let the humans feel like aliens compared to the actual aliens.


Cyrad wrote:

I might change the Drift so that it does not rip out pieces of outer planes.

I struggle to see interesting storytelling from it because it begs the question of why most PCs would care about it. It doesn't really affect creatures on the Material Plane aside from occasionally having to wipe an angel or demon off your windshield, which sounds more comical than fun or interesting. It also doesn't make sense lore-wise because the Material Plane does not overlap with the outer planes.

If I wanted to add an environmental risk to the Drift, I think it would make more sense that using the Drift too much in a location might rip a hole in the Material Plane.

Actually, the Drift can pull from any and all planes, not just the outer planes. Chunks of the material plane can also end up in the Drift, and in theory, one day all the planes will have been sucked into the Drift if Drift travel continues uninterrupted.

The Drift sucking parts of other planes into it has quite some bad implications. Normally the flow of quintessence through the river of souls follows a set order, with the souls judged by Pharasma adding to the substance of their god's domain (for the most part).

By literally stealing bits of those domains, Triune is essentially bypassing the entire River of Souls and getting a free influx of quintessence into her realm. This has made Triue very suspicious in the eyes of others, and some think that the Drift stealing parts of other planes is intentional on her part.

It also allows for space travel to have random encounters.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The planes are infinite, no worries about them disappearing. Stay calm and drift on.


IonutRO wrote:
Cyrad wrote:

I might change the Drift so that it does not rip out pieces of outer planes.

I struggle to see interesting storytelling from it because it begs the question of why most PCs would care about it. It doesn't really affect creatures on the Material Plane aside from occasionally having to wipe an angel or demon off your windshield, which sounds more comical than fun or interesting. It also doesn't make sense lore-wise because the Material Plane does not overlap with the outer planes.

If I wanted to add an environmental risk to the Drift, I think it would make more sense that using the Drift too much in a location might rip a hole in the Material Plane.

Actually, the Drift can pull from any and all planes, not just the outer planes. Chunks of the material plane can also end up in the Drift, and in theory, one day all the planes will have been sucked into the Drift if Drift travel continues uninterrupted.

The Drift sucking parts of other planes into it has quite some bad implications. Normally the flow of quintessence through the river of souls follows a set order, with the souls judged by Pharasma adding to the substance of their god's domain (for the most part).

By literally stealing bits of those domains, Triune is essentially bypassing the entire River of Souls and getting a free influx of quintessence into her realm. This has made Triue very suspicious in the eyes of others, and some think that the Drift stealing parts of other planes is intentional on her part.

It also allows for space travel to have random encounters.

Huh... I suddenly realize that the implications of those stuck in the drift is something very similar to THE APOCALYPSE STONE!

Or more specifically, since regular planar travel is restricted in this realm, anyone who dies there cannot leave, even in death.

I'm not sure if you were already implying that, but yeah, its more than just physical matter being poached and stuck there. Forget simply stealing raw materials for their domain, its straight up accidental petitioner poaching.


Yeah, basically what I meant, I simply lumped the petitioners and outsiders together with the rest of the quintessence, since it's from the deaths (or absorption) of petitioners and outsiders that the "lands" of a god's domain form.


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Cyrad wrote:

I might change the Drift so that it does not rip out pieces of outer planes.

I struggle to see interesting storytelling from it because it begs the question of why most PCs would care about it. It doesn't really affect creatures on the Material Plane aside from occasionally having to wipe an angel or demon off your windshield, which sounds more comical than fun or interesting. It also doesn't make sense lore-wise because the Material Plane does not overlap with the outer planes.

If I wanted to add an environmental risk to the Drift, I think it would make more sense that using the Drift too much in a location might rip a hole in the Material Plane.

Subplot idea: One particular angel has been sucked into the Drift on hundreds of different occasions by pure bad luck. Including one time where he'd just found a way back to Elysium only to be brought back into the Drift 5 minutes after arriving. He's now starting to think that the mortals are doing this to him on purpose.

Well, if those mortals are so intent on disrespecting him by dragging him out of his home whenever they feel like having a laugh, then maybe he should show them why it isn't a good idea to mess with a member of the heavenly host...


Fardragon wrote:
Mashallah wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
Fiction, even fantasy fiction, does not exist in isolation from the culture that spawned it.

Not everything has to be a perfect reflection of our society. It's fine if a fantasy culture has different values from our own.

Moreover, different fantasy cultures having different value is what makes them stand separate and be interesting.
Each fantasy society having different norms and values makes for a far richer and more interesting setting than everyone being the same.

If you create a fictional culture that has different values to the cultural norm, people are going think "why have they done it that that way" and draw - possibly quite erroneous - conclusions about the motives of the writer.

Consider Tolkien. Most people are quite happy to accept his male dominated world as reflecting the culture at the time of writing, and if you make a modern film you just beef up the female parts a bit. However, if The Hobbit where first published in 2017, do you not think it would be ripped apart for it's lack of female characters?

Also consider the Handmaid's Tale. It's quite clear that Atwood is not advocating the fictional society depicted. In fact it's obvious she is entirely opposed to it.

But that's the thing, you can't just say "it's fantasy" and expect people to just accept it. People are always going to ask "is the author pro or anti this?"

This seems like a disingenuous argument if we're only talking about ONE fantasy race in a vast spectrum that has some distinct sexual dimorphism and characteristic roles within their culture, while most other races and cultures have more varied and flexible roles for the sexes.


It's not one race in a vast spectrum though. It is a core player race, one of seven.

Yes, if it had remained peripheral as it was in Pathfinder there would have been no reason to make changes.

Liberty's Edge

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Are you seriously having a difficulty with the depiction of a transgender, or flexible gender alien species in a SciFant RPG ?

How can an imaginary narrative construct possibly pose a threat or challenge to anybody or anyone?

Imagine for a moment the horror and miserable discomfort *you* would feel if you were trans in this current society or otherwise questioned your own gender. Can you try to put yourself in those shoes for a moment? I suggest that you would feel shot down behind enemy lines 24/7 no matter where you are, at all times. Think of the number of suicides this has caused. This is a real issue; this isn't conjecture. It is *not* a hypothetical. Have some compassion ffs.

Can it really cause any harm, can it do nothing but good, to portray an imaginary species where this is the norm as a token of inclusiveness? As a game of "let's pretend", what harm could this have? Wouldn't the benefit outweigh the harm if any could be found?

I don't see this as an issue worth commenting on other than noting general praise and then moving on.


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Steel_Wind wrote:

Are you seriously having a difficulty with the depiction of a transgender, or flexible gender alien species in a SciFant RPG ?

How can an imaginary narrative construct possibly pose a threat or challenge to anybody or anyone?

Imagine for a moment the horror and miserable discomfort *you* would feel if you were trans in this current society or otherwise questioned your own gender. Can you try to put yourself in those shoes for a moment? I suggest that you would feel shot down behind enemy lines 24/7 no matter where you are, at all times. Think of the number of suicides this has caused. This is a real issue; this isn't conjecture. It is *not* a hypothetical. Have some compassion ffs.

Can it really cause any harm, can it do nothing but good, to portray an imaginary species where this is the norm as a token of inclusiveness? As a game of "let's pretend", what harm could this have? Wouldn't the benefit outweigh the harm if any could be found?

I don't see this as an issue worth commenting on other than noting general praise and then moving on.

I AM transgender. The "are you threatened" argument is nonsense. I still massively preferred the pre-retcon Lashunta as they felt more interesting.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mashallah wrote:

I AM transgender.

That's not an argument. There are antisemitic Jews, homophobic homosexuals and, well, vehemently misanthropic humans out there, to name a few. The "I am X" does not rule out "I have a problem with X". Of course, I'm not saying that you have a problem with X, it's just that I can perfectly imagine somebody being transgender and having a problem with transsexuality or some of its aspects at the same time AND/OR not having a problem with negative depiction of transsexuals. Humans are funny creatures like that


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Gorbacz wrote:
Mashallah wrote:

I AM transgender.

That's not an argument. There are antisemitic Jews, homophobic homosexuals and, well, vehemently misanthropic humans out there, to name a few. The "I am X" does not rule out "I have a problem with X". Of course, I'm not saying that you have a problem with X, it's just that I can perfectly imagine somebody being transgender and having a problem with transsexuality or some of its aspects at the same time AND/OR not having a problem with negative depiction of transsexuals. Humans are funny creatures like that

You know what's very ironic?

In my experience, most often, the people implying I'm transphobic or something equally silly are cis themselves.
"You're transphobic" is not an argument in any way, shape, or form. It's a pretty disgusting way to shut down discussion by throwing negative labels at the opponent.


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Guys, reign it in... you are going to draw the attention of a moderator. The question was what would you change... now we know. Move on. Please.


I plan on reskinning Starfinder to be the future of my homebrew setting rather than Pathfinder. Other than that I'm not going to make any predictions about house rules until I see the rules.


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Been doing some thinking on porting/reskinning SF to Mass Effect.

Also thinking of making a custom setting using Stellaris to generate societies.


Alfray Stryke wrote:
Also thinking of making a custom setting using Stellaris to generate societies.

I think a decent thought should be to minimize AI players, and then make note of all the pre-sentients and pre-warp societies. Mostly, because that feels like the most probable reason to explain why your guys haven't run into them... Yet.

Like... A 30 AI map will be so full, that you'd have barely reached the next star over before you're contacting a neighbouring empire, and are left blocked in on all sides by the next 3; all because of planet rush reasons.

If its at most 5 AI empires, in a map with 1000 stars, then you're going to have a better time with all that. You'll have a start with like... Vast space between empires, and lots of isolated planets that aren't quite as spread out.

Alfray Stryke wrote:
Been doing some thinking on porting/reskinning SF to Mass Effect.

To be honest... Not a fan of Mass Effect. The setting relevant parts mostly being the whole robot-zombie-Cthulhu-monsters.

Other than that, I prefer playing characters who are "freelancers"... Or better put "mercenaries" or "adventurers", rather than... Well... Actual disciplined military figures like Shepard is.

If there was a mercenary force in Mass Effect, and we got to play those guys... Then yeah, that might be fun. Andromeda may have fallen flat, but its premise did sound interesting, and what I've seen was more light-hearted.


Alfray Stryke wrote:
Been doing some thinking on porting/reskinning SF to Mass Effect.

Interesting. I would imagine Mystics, Technomancers, and Solarians would all use Element Zero as a source of their 'Biotic' powers somehow? Same for any other Supernatural or Spell like abilities in the game?

Then all you have to do is create the Mass Effect Races, use the Planets from the Mass Effect games as your settings, switch out the Drift for Mass Relays and... I think you might actually be done!

Being able to swap 'Biotics!' for 'Magic!' as an explanation for anything non technological makes things simpler maybe.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

In reverse order:

Azih, my mapping so far is
Envoy -?
Mechanic - Engineer
Mystic - Adept
Operative - Infiltrator
Solarian - Vanguard
Solider - Solider
Technomancer - Sentinel

I'll be creating the ME races once I have my SF rulebook!

Luna, sounds like a good idea. I had also thought of just using the Ethics/Civics system to create societies for the PCs visit.

Grand Lodge

This may at 1st glance sound like a negative comment but it's not really. More of a generation issue perhaps. Back in the day running a game was a creative outlet, stories were written, maps were drawn, minis were painted & character development was worked out with the DM. Now prefix adventures are hastily read, low quality prepainted plastic minis are purchased in bulk & power gamers can dig through a rediculous number of options till they select for themselves the perfect game breaking combo.

What would be the point of reskinning Starfinder if the overwhelming majority of lazy & unimaginative players AND GMs want to be spoon fed their setting by Paizo? Put up your lonely flyer advertising your Home brew game at a Convention or FLGS Game night and you'll be Lucky to get a few divergent souls. Yet the place will be filled to bursting with scores of loud Starfinder Society tables. Paizo wove the setting into the Core Rulebook from the start and presented that's how Starfinder is played...& so 99.8% of the fan boy & fan girl culture follows suit. Observe closely & see if this is what comes to pass.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Drovnar Strongbrew wrote:

This may at 1st glance sound like a negative comment but it's not really. More of a generation issue perhaps. Back in the day running a game was a creative outlet, stories were written, maps were drawn, minis were painted & character development was worked out with the DM. Now prefix adventures are hastily read, low quality prepainted plastic minis are purchased in bulk & power gamers can dig through a rediculous number of options till they select for themselves the perfect game breaking combo.

What would be the point of reskinning Starfinder if the overwhelming majority of lazy & unimaginative players AND GMs want to be spoon fed their setting by Paizo? Put up your lonely flyer advertising your Home brew game at a Convention or FLGS Game night and you'll be Lucky to get a few divergent souls. Yet the place will be filled to bursting with scores of loud Starfinder Society tables. Paizo wove the setting into the Core Rulebook from the start and presented that's how Starfinder is played...& so 99.8% of the fan boy & fan girl culture follows suit. Observe closely & see if this is what comes to pass.

Because most of the games I play and run are in custom settings?

I've run a PF game in "new world" colonisation/exploration game (inspired by EU4), I've played Tales from the Loop in a game that used an ordinary rural British town instead of the Swedish or American settings with all the sci-fi gadgets they have.

I might end up using the Pact Worlds setting to inspire bits and pieces of what I run, or steal things from the SF scenarios or adventure paths, but I like putting my own spin on things (and having players contribute to the setting ideas).


Drovnar Strongbrew wrote:

This may at 1st glance sound like a negative comment but it's not really. More of a generation issue perhaps. Back in the day running a game was a creative outlet, stories were written, maps were drawn, minis were painted & character development was worked out with the DM. Now prefix adventures are hastily read, low quality prepainted plastic minis are purchased in bulk & power gamers can dig through a rediculous number of options till they select for themselves the perfect game breaking combo.

What would be the point of reskinning Starfinder if the overwhelming majority of lazy & unimaginative players AND GMs want to be spoon fed their setting by Paizo? Put up your lonely flyer advertising your Home brew game at a Convention or FLGS Game night and you'll be Lucky to get a few divergent souls. Yet the place will be filled to bursting with scores of loud Starfinder Society tables. Paizo wove the setting into the Core Rulebook from the start and presented that's how Starfinder is played...& so 99.8% of the fan boy & fan girl culture follows suit. Observe closely & see if this is what comes to pass.

By implication if I read closely enough I will find the positive or at least the non-negative in this statement. I am most likely from your generation and I appreciate the work PF has done. I may or may not use their setting from game to game as seems appropriate... that's entirely up to me.

I still, even when using the Golarion setting sit down with my players and discuss backgrounds, and because I am using a setting that is ever evolving and well written their backgrounds are even better in my estimation. Of course they also shine when we build a world together.

I've never painted a miniatures... my hands aren't steady enough. I enjoy the prepainted variety and since I am often cash strapped I enjoy the cheap prepainted variety even more.

I enjoy options. They aid me in creating unique characters. Powergamers are, were and most likely always will be.

Yes, the setting is baked in. If you want different I can name some SciFi games that are setting neutral. If the problem is they don't include a magic system... port one in or exercise that vaunted creativity and build your own.

I get that you feel marginalized. That the community has changed in ways you don't appreciate... and hey I have my own issues. I loathe the dumbing down of games. I like Crunch and detail... but that is neither here nor there... on reading your post several times trying to find that nugget of not negative... I come away with this...

You sometimes, luckily, find a handful of souls who embrace the kind of game you like to run. I really couldn't ask for more than that.

And if we're gonna talk about the loud people people in the FLGS... let's start with the card game players. (That is a joke really.... levity inserted in the hopes of managing what I hope is not too brusque a tone).

Oh, I am in San Antonio, Texas. If you need a gamer, are in the area, and are running one of your homebrew variety I would play.

(Excuse any typing weirdness doing this on my kindle means there will be about 50 amazingly odd autocorrections..)


Drovnar Strongbrew wrote:

This may at 1st glance sound like a negative comment but it's not really. More of a generation issue perhaps. Back in the day running a game was a creative outlet, stories were written, maps were drawn, minis were painted & character development was worked out with the DM. Now prefix adventures are hastily read, low quality prepainted plastic minis are purchased in bulk & power gamers can dig through a rediculous number of options till they select for themselves the perfect game breaking combo.

What would be the point of reskinning Starfinder if the overwhelming majority of lazy & unimaginative players AND GMs want to be spoon fed their setting by Paizo? Put up your lonely flyer advertising your Home brew game at a Convention or FLGS Game night and you'll be Lucky to get a few divergent souls. Yet the place will be filled to bursting with scores of loud Starfinder Society tables. Paizo wove the setting into the Core Rulebook from the start and presented that's how Starfinder is played...& so 99.8% of the fan boy & fan girl culture follows suit. Observe closely & see if this is what comes to pass.

I think its a case of how much globalization has changed things. I'm not even sure if I'm using the word globalization right, but it seems to fit in terms of scale regardless of what aspect you apply it to: the fans, the companies making the game, the companies, the culture.

In order for companies to appeal to a global market, they've needed to lower the barrier of entry to the lowest it can go. The activities of "Society Play" are in a way the manifestation of the needs of this global market.

Conversely, the globalization of the economy has reached a level that makes it difficult if not impossible for a corporate entity to thrive in the marketplace unless it tries to reach for the global market. Niche markets are now a dying art for anyone short of the growing independent scene. Where before a multi-million dollar company could get by on the good will of a devoted but scattered niche fanbase, now they're unable to stay afloat unless they try to reach everyone.

This isn't a good or bad thing. It's just a sign of the times.

Long term, it might not last though. Trying to push globalization as far as it can go is reaching its limits; the natural audiences of a franchise has to be exhausted eventually, and growth will eventually slow to a crawl once it has. But the globalization strategy requires a constant increase of spending in order to gain growth of customer base. The inevitable outcome is diminishing returns.

That said, I'm not really an expert; I'm mostly relying on intuition and second hand knowledge.


Alfray: Envoy is the 'Shepard' class :). I don't think you need a 1:1 Mapping to create a great Mass Effect skin of Starfinder.

Drovnar: I started playing Tabletop RPGs in 2015. And through PbP I'm in a completely by the book AP where the GM flat out tells us what the book is saying so that we can just get through the adventure fast, and I'm in a completely custom Meso American inspired setting that swapped out Magic for Spheres of Power, does not have alignment, is using almost every option from Unchained including the Alternate Action Economy, and is E6 to boot.

Both approaches are fun. And I'm glad to have both options.


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Drovnar Strongbrew wrote:
Put up your lonely flyer advertising your Home brew game at a Convention or FLGS Game night and you'll be Lucky to get a few divergent souls. Yet the place will be filled to bursting with scores of loud Starfinder Society tables.

And this is part of why I keep my gaming to my isolated group of friends, rather than trying to recruit from an LGS or at Conventions. Well, that and I don't actually have an LGS and can't make it to conventions, but that's a whole other issue. But basically, in a more contained group of friends it's easier to run a homebrew setting or even homebrew rules, because you know your players and what appeals to them. For a stranger among strangers they'll have an idea what Paizo's setting will be like, but if all they find for this stranger's homebrew setting is "a lone flyer" there's no telling what that's going to be like.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Azih wrote:

At the start I think I'll play it pretty vanilla just to see how it actually works before going in to start messing around.

I will be replacing length units with 'metrons' though (5 feet = 1 metron) and junking ability scores. Barely affects gameplay but I want dat streamlining.

You might actually want to keep the Strength score, because you need it to calculate encumbrance limits. A character can carry an amount of bulk equal to half his Strength score without gaining the encumbered condition, and can never carry an amount of bulk higher than their Strength score.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

After seeing the adventure, I now know what I would probably change, and that is the paradigm that NPCs follow different rules than PCs, don't even have levels, or don't seem to get stamina points which means they can only take half as much damage as a PC of comparable power. That just makes no sense to me. The rules to create an NPC aren't even available anywhere. The don't have levels, but they have classes and class features, but how are those supposed to be assigned? And some standard race characters don't even have a class. I don't like this. At all.


Yeah I brought this up in the other Starfinder thread. Not a fan of the "ballpark and tweaking and hadnwaving" enemies to match the PCs as the actual "rules". I already did that as a GM. I don't want those as rules, I want actual rules.

Sovereign Court

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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
I already did that as a GM.

--->

Quote:
I don't want those as rules.

What?


I don't want "just handwave it to be whatever" as the rules, I want actual rules that I can use and tweak if need be. With this the creature sounds superfluous to the stats.


This also also sounds like it's going to be a pain in the ass for GMs wanting to run their own stuff, as it seems like there's not really going to be anything premade so you'll have to build everything from the ground up using this system.

Scarab Sages

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All of the creature stats in First Contact were built using the system. There are some similarities between the different CR 4 entries, but they are all distinct with different abilities and a different feel.

The rules are faster than the old method, but they aren't just handwave it to be whatever. The combat roles and grafts offers a high level of customization without needing to recalculate stuff based on hit dice.


I thought those were quick/light rules like the Beginner's Box stuff...

Sovereign Court

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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
This also also sounds like it's going to be a pain in the ass for GMs wanting to run their own stuff, as it seems like there's not really going to be anything premade so you'll have to build everything from the ground up using this system.

Did you miss this product?

Are you also opposed to the Pathfinder Bestiary's templates?

The rules are there to help you give stats to the creature you imagine in your head. If you don't care about stats, don't bother with a statblock.

Your concerns are terribly unfounded.


Zaister wrote:
You might actually want to keep the Strength score, because you need it to calculate encumbrance limits. A character can carry an amount of bulk equal to half his Strength score without gaining the encumbered condition, and can never carry an amount of bulk higher than their Strength score.

There do seem like there are a lot of tweaks I might need. For one thing it looks like Themes are happy to give a lot of +1s to score which is the kind of crunchy detail that I'd like to get away from.

*sigh* I might have to resort to saying 'if you get a +1 to 'score' by any means then just put a mark next to your modifier. If you get two marks then increase your modifier by 1'. Clunky! But I am Determined! Death to Ability Score (in my home game)! :).


@King,

No, and I'm hoping it alleviates my concerns, bu that still leaves the issues of having NPC that should have class levels or the like.

No, I use templates all the time, but those are specific rules you put on things that already have a specific structure for.

I do care about the stats, that's why I am concerned about this, I like having a framework to build off and tweak, not build a stat block and then add a monster afterwards.

I don't believe they are, as everything I've been told so far about monsters and NPCs I am not liking.


Bulk is easy to convert though.

"A character can carry an amount of bulk equal to his Strength modifier + 5 without gaining the encumbered condition, and can never carry an amount of bulk higher than double his Strength modifier + 10."


Rysky, There will be actual rules. Those rules are just going to be a lot like the Monster creation rules published in Pathfinder Unchained and will be completely different from the PC creation rules. I think I heard someone from Paizo mention on a podcast that there will be 'grafts' or something that you can put on aliens that are kind of the equivalent of templates.

There's nothing keeping you from converting Paizo NPCs to full PC style stat blocks though.

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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
No, and I'm hoping it alleviates my concerns, bu that still leaves the issues of having NPC that should have class levels or the like.

Is there any particular reason an NPC needs class levels? The whole reason templates and class grafts exist is that adding class levels to high CR monsters does not make a satisfying challenge.

If you are only using class levels to give NPCs class abilities, why not make easier rules for determining appropriately an NPC's class abilities that are appropriate for the CR?

Monster creation rules are just that- for monster creation. If you want to use published monsters, go right ahead!

Ultimately, I think it is weird that you object to a practice of tweaking that you use already and like (presumably because it makes your life easier) so much that you don't want other people to enjoy the same benefits.


I know there's rules, I just do not care for them compared to the rules in Pathfidner in this regard.

And I probably will have to convert at this rate.


Azih wrote:

Rysky, There will be actual rules. Those rules are just going to be a lot like the Monster creation rules published in Pathfinder Unchained and will be completely different from the PC creation rules. I think I heard someone from Paizo mention on a podcast that there will be 'grafts' or something that you can put on aliens that are kind of the equivalent of templates.

There's nothing keeping you from converting Paizo NPCs to full PC style stat blocks though.

True, but alas we must wait until October for those rules. Unless Paizo posts them online before that.


KingOfAnything wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
No, and I'm hoping it alleviates my concerns, bu that still leaves the issues of having NPC that should have class levels or the like.

Is there any particular reason an NPC needs class levels? The whole reason templates and class grafts exist is that adding class levels to high CR monsters does not make a satisfying challenge.

If you are only using class levels to give NPCs class abilities, why not make easier rules for determining appropriately an NPC's class abilities that are appropriate for the CR?

Monster creation rules are just that- for monster creation. If you want to use published monsters, go right ahead!

Ultimately, I think it is weird that you object to a practice of tweaking that you use already and like (presumably because it makes your life easier) so much that you don't want other people to enjoy the same benefits.

Monsters? Probably not. Humanoid races that can't really do anything without classes? Yeah, kinda.

That doesn't sound like it's easier, that sounds harder, with a class you had the whole thing put together (skills, HP, Saves, abilities), with this it seems like you have to build a human as a monster and then add class abilities, rather than just build a human of a certain class at a certain level.

I do use prepublsihed monsters, I also like making my own.

It's because it's just that, "tweaking", slightly altering things that are already they're. I don't want to pay money for something to to just be told to handwave it. Maybe my mind will change when I look at the whole things but it stands it doesn't look like it will be easier, that's why I concerned about it.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

We were talking about rules for NPCs, not monsters. Alien Archive is a monster book, not an NPC book.

It seems NPCs are geven a class and a CR and then are assigned some class features in a seemingly arbitrary fashion. What makes matters worse is that not even all of the assigned abilities are listed in the new abbreviated statblock.

I really don't get how this is supposed to be an improvement over simpy using class levels. I wonder why was this done? What is gained by this change?

This is really dampening my enthusiasm for this game. :(


It's definitely different from Pathfinder in this regard Rysky. It might be that Alien Archive will change your mind on the new approach. At least give it a fair try when it comes out.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

As I said, it's not really the monster rules that bother me, although I'm not too happy with then either. But monsters have always been mostly on their own, ruleswise.

What I don't like is that characters follow different rules depending on who plays them. A CR 5 soldier played by a player is something entirely different from a CR 5 soldier player by the GM, and the player version will always win against the GM version, because he can take twice as much damage. Not even considering resolve points.


Zaister summarized my issues more succinctly then i did.

@ Azih, oh I will, I am a subscriber to the line after all ^w^


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Zaister wrote:

We were talking about rules for NPCs, not monsters. Alien Archive is a monster book, not an NPC book.

It seems NPCs are geven a class and a CR and then are assigned some class features in a seemingly arbitrary fashion. What makes matters worse is that not even all of the assigned abilities are listed in the new abbreviated statblock.

I really don't get how this is supposed to be an improvement over simpy using class levels. I wonder why was this done? What is gained by this change?

This is really dampening my enthusiasm for this game. :(

Arguably, given the design principle of having as many "monsters" able to be used as PC races as possible, Alien Archive is a bestiary, player companion, and npc codex rolled into one. However, there is nothing stopping you from building an npc using the same method as a pc.


Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
Zaister wrote:

We were talking about rules for NPCs, not monsters. Alien Archive is a monster book, not an NPC book.

It seems NPCs are geven a class and a CR and then are assigned some class features in a seemingly arbitrary fashion. What makes matters worse is that not even all of the assigned abilities are listed in the new abbreviated statblock.

I really don't get how this is supposed to be an improvement over simpy using class levels. I wonder why was this done? What is gained by this change?

This is really dampening my enthusiasm for this game. :(

Arguably, given the design principle of having as many "monsters" able to be used as PC races as possible, Alien Archive is a bestiary, player companion, and npc codex rolled into one. However, there is nothing stopping you from building an npc using the same method as a pc.

Will that skew encounters?

Instead of human with a certain set of stats and pick and chosen abilities from a class at a certain CR you would have a human with a enough levels in the class to have those abilities and stats, which might give them more abilities. If my understanding of the system is correct.


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Zaister wrote:
[T]he player version will always win against the GM version, because he can take twice as much damage. Not even considering resolve points.

A quick look at the enemies available to me gives them about 11-15 hit points per CR (except CR <= 1, which has 18-20 per CR). Characters get 10-14+Con modifier total hit points + stamina points per level, plus a few extra at first level.

Is this a big difference?

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