Starfinder: Early Impressions


General Discussion

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Throne wrote:

But, overall, I feel value of the product is closer to the pdf price than hardcopy price.

Like I said, the danger of a preorder ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I'm not sure if this has been pointed out, but with Paizo there isn't really a danger in pre-ordering and then perusing a friend's subscription PDF since they don't charge for PDFs until the shipping label is printed (and you'll know that's happened if you have been granted access to your PDF).

If you haven't got your PDF yet then they haven't charged your card and you can cancel your pre-order at no cost and just buy the PDF on August 17th.


Saashaa wrote:
Is it intentional that they all do not stack? I'm fine with it if it is. Such a thing lowers the skill modifiers a bit.

Insight bonuses and...I think they might have been originally designed to stack. As the Operative gets 2 different Insight bonuses to the same skills, which right now don't stack. So the two features end up a bit redundant.

And to be honest, I'm ok with that. The Operative really didn't need MORE 'I am better than you' during out of combat. He's already the utterly dominant force there.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So I guess, I am missing what is being meant outside of combat. If we are talking about specific class abilities that make them be able do things out side combat. Survival is class skill. Intimidate may have its uses in certain situations and is class skill. I think the archetype helps with that some. To be fair though, I cannot think of game where the soldier/fighter has things built into the class as abilities that have the out of combat utility some may want.

Dave2


Ikiry0 wrote:
Saashaa wrote:
Is it intentional that they all do not stack? I'm fine with it if it is. Such a thing lowers the skill modifiers a bit.

Insight bonuses and...I think they might have been originally designed to stack. As the Operative gets 2 different Insight bonuses to the same skills, which right now don't stack. So the two features end up a bit redundant.

And to be honest, I'm ok with that. The Operative really didn't need MORE 'I am better than you' during out of combat. He's already the utterly dominant force there.

I believe Owen also mentioned that any skill an Op has skill focus in can take ten on it at some point. so even if the actually skill focus bonus doesn't work you still get something out of it.


Dave2 wrote:

So I guess, I am missing what is being meant outside of combat. If we are talking about specific class abilities that make them be able do things out side combat. Survival is class skill. Intimidate may have its uses in certain situations and is class skill. I think the archetype helps with that some. To be fair though, I cannot think of game where the soldier/fighter has things built into the class as abilities that have the out of combat utility some may want.

Dave2

Even in this game, every single other class gets bonuses to skills it's supposed to be good at to help it out of combat. The Soldier could have easily gotten similar bonuses.


Casting in melee combat is a very bad idea, except for some spells (like some touch attacks) you always provoke and if you get hit and take damage, the spell automatically fails and is lost. As such Combat Casting now gives you a bonus to you AC and saves to avoid being inturrupted
You're not helpless when paralyzed
Taking an AoO is a reaction now (which you only get one per round) and there is no combat reflexes feat to be able to take more.
Your HP can't drop below 0, once there you're unconsious and start "bleeding" resolve points until you stabilize (via spending RP, being healed, etc) If you run out of RP at the end of your turn you die.
Also another error, p275 "Dying" condition says you must spend 3RP to stabilize but p251 says 1/4 your maximum RP (min 1-max3)

Dave2 wrote:
It is(DM thing) when you are saying there has to be some kind of skill to......

It's not that they can't do anything out of combat it's just that other classes get stuff in addition to the skills that can be used.

Dave2 wrote:


Using the example of non combat expertise what does solarian, mystic, and technomancer do outside of casting spells, and using abilities outside of combat.

First, casting spells is something the casters can do out-of-combat. But for sake of your argument I'll ignore them.

Base Solarion can get a +1d6 to some skills
Solarion Revelations can: Make light; give bonuses to athletics, reduce falling damage, and a limited spider climb; cast augury; gain energy resistance; heal his own HP; cast a limited charm person/monster; grant self an additional save that straight up ends an affliction

Base Mystic gets a scaling bonus to 2 skills; cast mindlink and telepathic bond
Mystic Connections can: act as if you have full ranks in a skill, share memories, and create a knowledge palace; get blindsense/blindsight(emotion); gain protection from space and vacuums as well as a fly speed in space, teleport between planets with resolve points alone; speak with animals and travel through plants

And I don't feel like going over the Techonomancer but they get "magic hacks" that can affect spells and tech.

So what does the soldier bring to the table for out of combat stuff?

Dave2 wrote:


Also for the sniper rifle indeed would be 1000ft away. The range is the point of the weapon.

True, I'm saying that it's gonna be rare for that distance to come up often. In that situation either you're separated from the group or doing your sniper thing while the party waits.

More answers to follow


Saashaa wrote:


I am curious however about the large amount of inharent bonuses, as has been pointed out before. For Example: the Mechanic, I believe, gets a class inherent bonus to comp and eng that scales. Skill Focus is a +3 inharent bonus. And the other one that gives +2 inherent to two skills.

Is it intentional that they all do not stack? I'm fine with it if it is. Such a thing lowers the skill modifiers a bit.

Those are all actually "insight" bonuses, which don't stack. Which brings up the issue of the free skill focus feats given to the operative eventually becoming useless that came up a few pages ago....

Dead Phoenix wrote:


I believe Owen also mentioned that any skill an Op has skill focus in can take ten on it at some point. so even if the actually skill focus bonus doesn't work you still get something out of it.

True, but that's a class feature, you're still left with two bonus feats that do nothing.

Dave2 wrote:
To be fair though, I cannot think of game where the soldier/fighter has things built into the class as abilities that have the out of combat utility some may want.

Which is the problem, the same problem that the fighter had. And there are several 3pp classes that do the "fighter with out of combat" stuff just fine.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If using a sniper rifles in short combat range is sub-optimal, that sounds like design functioning as intended to me. You're always able to switch to better suited long-arms or short arms if needed.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
If using a sniper rifles in short combat range is sub-optimal, that sounds like design functioning as intended to me. You're always able to switch to better suited long-arms or short arms if needed.

That can work decently in say, Shadowrun, where you can get a decent sniper rifle for a very low price that will serve you well but I don't think Starfinder's equipment system works well for it as Starfinder went more towards an MMO-style 'You want the biggest gear as they give most of your effect' system rather than the aforementioned Shadowrun being more 'The gear itself has minimal effect compared to the rest of your character'. Sniper rifles cost just as much as any other weapon for ones that are exceptionally situational equipment.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
If using a sniper rifles in short combat range is sub-optimal, that sounds like design functioning as intended to me. You're always able to switch to better suited long-arms or short arms if needed.

Thing is how often are you gonna be at super far range to justify carrying a sniper rifle. Weapons are expensive, and looking at the WBL table each weapon of equal level is about 20% of your wealth for that level. Keeping multiple high-level weapons around is just as bad of an idea as it was in PF.

Silver Crusade

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sunderedhero wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
If using a sniper rifles in short combat range is sub-optimal, that sounds like design functioning as intended to me. You're always able to switch to better suited long-arms or short arms if needed.
Thing is how often are you gonna be at super far range to justify carrying a sniper rifle. Weapons are expensive, and looking at the WBL table each weapon of equal level is about 20% of your wealth for that level. Keeping multiple high-level weapons around is just as bad of an idea as it was in PF.

Selling items only nets you a 10% return, which means you're better off keeping the random sniper rifle you find on an enemy body than selling it off. Which means that in reality cheap sniper rifles are only as expensive as what it cost you to kill the guy you take it off.

Sniping is an incredibly potent strategy when it's used. Being able to fire off shots from a long-distance mostly keep your stealth and do so multiple times before the enemy can close range is just very powerful.

Sniping should be situationally powerful, but not a day-to-day strategy.


Let me see if I have this right. Take a 1st-level human technomancer with Dexterity 18 and Intelligence 14. Give them Longarm Proficiency and Weapon Focus (longarms) for feats. Buy them an azimuth laser rifle.

Four times per day, they can cast Supercharge Weapon as a standard action. They can then make a ranged attack with an attack bonus of +5 vs. EAC, dealing 1d8+4d6 (average 18.5) fire damage.

By 2nd-level, they gain another 1st-level slot from their spell progression and yet another 1st-level slot from Energize Spell. In other words, they can now cast Supercharge Weapon six times per day, with an attack bonus of +6 vs. EAC, still dealing 1d8+4d6 (average 18.5) fire damage.

Is this the case? If so, does that not make a technomancer terribly powerful at taking out enemies, considering that a soldier with an azimuth artillery laser deals only 1d10 damage with each shot? Does this not obsolete the technomancer's Empowered Weapon magic hack as well?


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sunderedhero wrote:
Dead Phoenix wrote:
I believe Owen also mentioned that any skill an Op has skill focus in can take ten on it at some point. so even if the actually skill focus bonus doesn't work you still get something out of it.
True, but that's a class feature, you're still left with two bonus feats that do nothing.

The class feature explicitly makes the feat do something. It may not be the thing you want, but it is by definition not nothing. Unless there is something I am not aware of about the ability, in which case please fill me in.


Set wrote:

Yeah, you end up with bags full of crap and most of it is only going to sell for half it's value.

There are days I would be fine with going so far as to just give everybody their WBL in gear, and allow them to re-allocate at when they go to town. (As in, everything they are wearing just dissolves into sparkly mist, and reforms into the new gear they want, because I hate, hate, hate shopping, whether it be buying or selling.)

No more prybarring up stuff that might sell, or haggling with the potato farmers for a bigger reward for dealign with the ankheg infestation, or dumping out all the copper in your handy haversack to make room for only silver or higher denominations, or using shrink item to take the bajillion gold piece jade statue / altar that the writer of the adventure never in a million years thought the party would be able to take and sell (and wreck the balance of the rest of the adventure). No more being 'behind WBL' and getting stomped in encounters balanced for a better equipped party with magic weapons (against, for instance, creatures more or less immune to non-magic weapons) because you missed a secret door that you were 'supposed' to find that included the magic weapon or potions of fire resist or scroll of neutralize poison you were going to desperately need in the next room.

Unfortunately, those are all still things in Starfinder. It's just credits (ugh), space potatos and space ankhegs now. You're still collecting treasure items (gems and art pieces are still the examples) to sell and harvesting the gear of fallen enemies, and you still have a WBL. If you don't do that and continually replace (you can't upgrade anymore- you have to sell your weapon for 10% of its value and buy a much more expensive model for full price) your gear you're in for a bad time.


why can't you upgrade your weapon?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Colette Brunel wrote:

Let me see if I have this right. Take a 1st-level human technomancer with Dexterity 18 and Intelligence 14. Give them Longarm Proficiency and Weapon Focus (longarms) for feats. Buy them an azimuth laser rifle.

Four times per day, they can cast Supercharge Weapon as a standard action. They can then make a ranged attack with an attack bonus of +5 vs. EAC, dealing 1d8+4d6 (average 18.5) fire damage.

By 2nd-level, they gain another 1st-level slot from their spell progression and yet another 1st-level slot from Energize Spell. In other words, they can now cast Supercharge Weapon six times per day, with an attack bonus of +6 vs. EAC, still dealing 1d8+4d6 (average 18.5) fire damage.

Is this the case? If so, does that not make a technomancer terribly powerful at taking out enemies, considering that a soldier with an azimuth artillery laser deals only 1d10 damage with each shot? Does this not obsolete the technomancer's Empowered Weapon magic hack as well?

Or you could save two feats and cast it on the soldier's weapon.


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Saying 'MMO' is basically a rallying cry to an internet argument but I'll admit I'm having a hard time working out how to describe the equipment system otherwise. It gets a little comical when a late game pistol punches through stuff an early-game rocket launcher can't touch so you need to keep constantly upgrading weapons and armour to the newest tier of gear. It does hurt the heroic feel when so very, very much of your function is defined by having a purple gun or armour.

It feels like, rather than having weapons scale basically...not at all, a better system would have been to build more inherent scaling into the base system. If you got +level to your armour values for example, the amount needed to go between various gears gets a LOT smaller rather than having a mid-range light armour provide more protection than early-game power armour.

That sort of inherent scaling worked well in Star War Saga (Another thing Owen K. C. Stephens worked on) and was also demonstrated (on the weapon front) pretty well with 4e's X[W] system. Where a 1d8 sword could do 7d6 before too long because the person personally using it is better at swording.


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
why can't you upgrade your weapon?

Have you ever tried turning a Remington 700 into a Dragunov? It's kinda like that.

Dark Archive

Ikiry0 wrote:
Where a 1d8 sword could do 7d6 before too long because the person personally using it is better at swording.

I agree with the sentiment (of preferring that the character is more important than the loots in his loot slots), but also love the sentence. 'Swording' needs to be a word. :)


Swording like fencing but with more sword.


Dead Phoenix wrote:


The class feature explicitly makes the feat do something. It may not be the thing you want, but it is by definition not nothing. Unless there is something I am not aware of about the ability, in which case please fill me in.

Actually you're right, I misread things.My apologies. The ability that you gain at 7th level(when your scaling bonus equals the +3 given by skill focus) lets you take 10 with any skill with which you have the skill focus feat for. So while you no longer gain a numerical bonus from them you can take 10 with them and any other skill that you have skill focus for.

TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
why can't you upgrade your weapon?

I may have missed it, but I don't see anything about being able to upgrade your weapon. In fact in the crafting sidebar it says that at GM's discretion you can salvage a similar item to make up 10% of that items value toward the new item.

Colette Brunel wrote:
Is this the case? If so, does that not make a technomancer terribly powerful at taking out enemies, considering that a soldier with an azimuth artillery laser deals only 1d10 damage with each shot? Does this not obsolete the technomancer's Empowered Weapon magic hack as well?

You're forgetting that you need a standard action to cast the spell, then fire it next round.

Something else that I don't think has been mentioned about the Operative, when in light or no armor you gain a bonus to your land speed that scales.(+10/3rd, +20/9th, +30/15th)


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Is it just me, or is the solarian so badly designed that any solarian wants to ignore *both* solar armor and solar weapon?

The solarian is a Strength-based melee class locked into melee attacks with certain mandatory class features. That means a solarian needs heavy armor in order to avoid dying horribly in the front line. Solar armor is compatible with light armor, yet explicitly unusable with heavy armor (powered armor is a murky grey area that could use clarification). Thus, every solarian should be taking Heavy Armor Proficiency and ignoring solar armor.

The solar weapon is horrid. It deals only 1d6 + Strength modifier kinetic damage and targets KAC. Perhaps that might suffice at 1st-level, but by 2nd-level, a solarian wants to buy an ember flame doshko for 750 credits, letting them target EAC (often 1 to 3 points lower) and deal 1d8 + Strength modifier damage instead.

By the time a solarian reaches 6th-level, they can probably afford a wrack devastation blade for 5,500 credits that deals 2d8 damage. This is decidedly better than using a solar weapon with a solarian weapon crystal.

At no levels in the game does a solarian ever want to use solar armor or a solar weapon, unless it turns out that solar armor is compatible with powered armor.

What in the world is going on here? The solarian is so terrible a class that it wants to ignore its choice of signature armor and signature weapon! Why?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Has anyone even tried playing the game, or is this all fun with numbers. :-)


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captain yesterday wrote:
Has anyone even tried playing the game, or is this all fun with numbers. :-)

Look at you going around and hitting nails on their poor little heads.

Dark Archive

Swashbuckler and rogue are trap options? :P Clearly you haven't seen my pain with high level swashbuckler that is impossible to hit without spells and touch attacks.

But yeah, I'm somewhat glad that I planned to get pdf first, I mean, overall Starfinder is good system from what I heard, but Gencon seems to always result proof reading being rushed, so when I get hardcover, its better to get it in second printing since Paizo does reprint and patch core books unlike campaign settings and player companions.

Silver Crusade

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CorvusMask wrote:

Swashbuckler and rogue are trap options? :P Clearly you haven't seen my pain with high level swashbuckler that is impossible to hit without spells and touch attacks.

But yeah, I'm somewhat glad that I planned to get pdf first, I mean, overall Starfinder is good system from what I heard, but Gencon seems to always result proof reading being rushed, so when I get hardcover, its better to get it in second printing since Paizo does reprint and patch core books unlike campaign settings and player companions.

You do, of course, realise that not buying the hardcover reduces the chance that you'll see the second print happen :)

Dark Archive

Gorbacz wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

Swashbuckler and rogue are trap options? :P Clearly you haven't seen my pain with high level swashbuckler that is impossible to hit without spells and touch attacks.

But yeah, I'm somewhat glad that I planned to get pdf first, I mean, overall Starfinder is good system from what I heard, but Gencon seems to always result proof reading being rushed, so when I get hardcover, its better to get it in second printing since Paizo does reprint and patch core books unlike campaign settings and player companions.

You do, of course, realise that not buying the hardcover reduces the chance that you'll see the second print happen :)

Hmm, that is problematic indeed, but thing is, I was planning to get pdf first anyway since my wallet is on hardship(especially since I subscribed to both adventure paths) :D And my current shopping list when I have money is to get Bestiary 6 hardcover. So I consider it more of lucky coincidence that it seems waiting for better reprint that fixes typoes while trying to buy other hardcovers I want in meanwhile.

...Though that does mean I need to buy mythic adventures as hardcover instead of waiting for reprint as well. Well, I guess I'll have to see whether I get chance to buy hardcover before reprint is a thing, I'd hope Starfinder core sells better than Mythic Adventures at least :'D


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I love when posters have positive educational conversations^^


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captain yesterday wrote:
Has anyone even tried playing the game, or is this all fun with numbers. :-)

The lovely thing about numbers is that they are very easy to compare with other numbers and run statistical analysis on.

I must admit, I do find 'You have not played yet' as an argument for discarding people's opinions rather annoying. Play is only a single tool for evaluation, as is data analysis.


captain yesterday wrote:
Has anyone even tried playing the game, or is this all fun with numbers. :-)

By the time a solarian reaches 6th-level, they can probably afford a wrack devastation blade for 5,500 credits that deals 2d8 damage. This is decidedly better than using a solar weapon with a solarian weapon crystal.

At no levels in the game does a solarian ever want to use solar armor or a solar weapon, unless it turns out that solar armor is compatible with powered armor.


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Colette Brunel wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Has anyone even tried playing the game, or is this all fun with numbers. :-)
By the time a solarian reaches 6th-level, they can probably afford a wrack devastation blade for 5,500 credits that deals 2d8 damage. This is decidedly better than using a solar weapon with a solarian weapon crystal.

because those numbers would be...? And cost how much?

Here's the thing- I'm happy to see a number based argument. But you need to actually include the numbers and the context, not just decree that it sucks.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Colette Brunel wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Has anyone even tried playing the game, or is this all fun with numbers. :-)

By the time a solarian reaches 6th-level, they can probably afford a wrack devastation blade for 5,500 credits that deals 2d8 damage. This is decidedly better than using a solar weapon with a solarian weapon crystal.

At no levels in the game does a solarian ever want to use solar armor or a solar weapon, unless it turns out that solar armor is compatible with powered armor.

While there are some levels where purchased weapons compare more favorably, 6th isn't actually one of them. The solar weapon solarian could do 2 less damage than the 2-handed weapon you listed with their one handed weapon at 6th at no cost (notable because 5,500 credits is a good bit of your money at 6th), and with a less expensive weapon crystal (over half that price but not by too much) is doing higher damage with an extra critical effect as a small cherry.


Personally, I see the opposite problem. Most classes are far to dependent on gear for thier damage progression. This pretty much ties you into a "civilised" campaign. Put the soldier somewhere there are no shops and enemies aren't using weapons they can loot and they are completly screwed over.


Mark Seifter wrote:
While there are some levels where purchased weapons compare more favorably, 6th isn't actually one of them. The solar weapon solarian could do 2 less damage than the 2-handed weapon you listed with their one handed weapon at 6th at no cost (notable because 5,500 credits is a good bit of your money at 6th), and with a less expensive weapon crystal (over half that price but not by too much) is doing higher damage with an extra critical effect as a small cherry.

As an aside: What does the Solarian DO with his other hand in combat? Starfinder never included rules for shields unless you are wearing power armour.


Mark Seifter wrote:


While there are some levels where purchased weapons compare more favorably, 6th isn't actually one of them. The solar weapon solarian could do 2 less damage than the 2-handed weapon you listed with their one handed weapon at 6th at no cost (notable because 5,500 credits is a good bit of your money at 6th), and with a less expensive weapon crystal (over half that price but not by too much) is doing higher damage with an extra critical effect as a small cherry.

Meanwhile, if a solarian spends 9,200 credits (obviously a larger number than 5,500 credits), they can purchase a minor gravity crystal for +1d6 damage and knockdown as a critical effect.

And... they are still not dealing as much damage as a wrack devastation blade (2d8 vs. 1d8+1d6). That critical effect is not particularly strong, and there is a good chance that critical effects in general are wasted by the enemy dying.

Never mind that this is supposed to be a signature, scaling class feature of the solarian.

It is not as though solar armor is much better either, considering that it cannot be used with heavy armor.

Edit: See update and revision below.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Ikiry0 wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
Has anyone even tried playing the game, or is this all fun with numbers. :-)

The lovely thing about numbers is that they are very easy to compare with other numbers and run statistical analysis on.

I must admit, I do find 'You have not played yet' as an argument for discarding people's opinions rather annoying. Play is only a single tool for evaluation, as is data analysis.

Honestly, ever since I was a playtester on these forums before working here, I also wasn't happy when people dismissed my analysis for lack of sufficient play data: after all, most play data, while empirical, is anecdotal, whereas analysis, in theory, is sound on principle. The problem is that it's really hard to agree on an analysis point and it's very easy to get mixed up or misled during analysis by analyzing one factor while missing something else that would have been important in practice, or just making a math error that you might have caught in practice. It's one reason why I prefer an approach that combines both.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Colette Brunel wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


While there are some levels where purchased weapons compare more favorably, 6th isn't actually one of them. The solar weapon solarian could do 2 less damage than the 2-handed weapon you listed with their one handed weapon at 6th at no cost (notable because 5,500 credits is a good bit of your money at 6th), and with a less expensive weapon crystal (over half that price but not by too much) is doing higher damage with an extra critical effect as a small cherry.

Meanwhile, if a solarian spends 9,200 credits (obviously a larger number than 5,500 credits), they can purchase a minor gravity crystal for +1d6 damage and knockdown as a critical effect.

And... they are still not dealing as much damage as a wrack devastation blade (2d8 vs. 1d8+1d6). That critical effect is not particularly strong, and there is a good chance that critical effects in general are wasted by the enemy dying.

Never mind that this is supposed to be a signature, scaling class feature of the solarian.

It is not as though solar armor is much better either, considering that it cannot be used with heavy armor.

I think one of us is misreading. Apologies in advance if it's me. But I'm looking right at the solarian solar weapon damage and it says 2d6 as far as I can tell, not 1d8. Add a 1d4 crystal for ~3k and you'll be above 2d8 by a small amount, plus the crit effect, with substantial credit savings.


It seems to me that a mechanic (hover drone) focusing on longarms is one of the game's most potent combatants, at least at the earlier levels.

Consider a 3rd-level human mechanic with Dexterity 20 from a personal upgrade, Improved Initiative, Longarm Proficiency, and Weapon Specialization (longarms). They have initiative +9, a ranged attack bonus of +7, and deal 1d8+3 damage with an azimuth laser rifle, costing a mere 425 credits. They can full attack for two attacks at +3 each.

They also have a flying hover drone with weapon mount ×2 (including the free weapon mount), weapon proficiency (Longarm Proficiency), Weapon Focus (longarms), and Weapon Specialization (longarms). They act on the same initiative count as the mechanic, they have a ranged attack bonus of +7, and they deal 1d8+3 damage with an azimuth laser rifle. They cannot full attack, but that is fine, because they are pumping out extra attacks.

A 3rd-level soldier would be hard-pressed to compete with such a mechanic's action economy advantage, even considering the opportunity cost the mechanic has placed into their build to wield longarms. Extra actions are no joke.


Colette Brunel wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:


While there are some levels where purchased weapons compare more favorably, 6th isn't actually one of them. The solar weapon solarian could do 2 less damage than the 2-handed weapon you listed with their one handed weapon at 6th at no cost (notable because 5,500 credits is a good bit of your money at 6th), and with a less expensive weapon crystal (over half that price but not by too much) is doing higher damage with an extra critical effect as a small cherry.

Meanwhile, if a solarian spends 9,200 credits (obviously a larger number than 5,500 credits), they can purchase a minor gravity crystal for +1d6 damage and knockdown as a critical effect.

And... they are still not dealing as much damage as a wrack devastation blade (2d8 vs. 1d8+1d6). That critical effect is not particularly strong, and there is a good chance that critical effects in general are wasted by the enemy dying.

Never mind that this is supposed to be a signature, scaling class feature of the solarian.

It is not as though solar armor is much better either, considering that it cannot be used with heavy armor.

It feels like a return to the DnD 3.5 Soulknife, which was widely agreed to just be bad because it couldn't scale, couldn't make effective use of its abilities (which were often lackluster anyways) and feels like the class sacrifices mechanical power for the sake of fluff. the fluff is good. Cool even, but it's just not backed up by the mechanics, and the class doesn't even have the fallback of "well you don't have to pay for a weapon" because it has to pay for focus crystals.


Colette Brunel wrote:

It seems to me that a mechanic (hover drone) focusing on longarms is one of the game's most potent combatants, at least at the earlier levels.

Consider a 3rd-level human mechanic with Dexterity 20 from a personal upgrade, Improved Initiative, Longarm Proficiency, and Weapon Specialization (longarms). They have initiative +9, a ranged attack bonus of +7, and deal 1d8+3 damage with an azimuth laser rifle, costing a mere 425 credits. They can full attack for two attacks at +3 each.

They also have a flying hover drone with weapon mount ×2 (including the free weapon mount), weapon proficiency (Longarm Proficiency), Weapon Focus (longarms), and Weapon Specialization (longarms). They act on the same initiative count as the mechanic, they have a ranged attack bonus of +7, and they deal 1d8+3 damage with an azimuth laser rifle. They cannot full attack, but that is fine, because they are pumping out extra attacks.

A 3rd-level soldier would be hard-pressed to compete with such a mechanic's action economy advantage, even considering the opportunity cost the mechanic has placed into their build to wield longarms. Extra actions are no joke.

I thought I heard the droid takes a action from its owner. Did I misunderstand that?


Vidmaster7 wrote:


I thought I heard the droid takes a action from its owner. Did I misunderstand that?

Limited A.I. does not require an action.

Grand Lodge

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Varun Creed wrote:

Did pages from the Envoy get cut?

Their max tier improvisations is level 8. All other classes have more powerful "talent tiers" on higher levels.

The Envoy seems to be weaker then a PF Bard (waiting judgement until real play). Yes I know it's wrong to compare a PF class with a SF one.. I really like the improvs diversity, except that there is no damage buffing one without spending Resolve (like a Bard's Inspire). Furthermore the Envoy doesn't get spells, with not much in return? Maybe if a lot of the improvs would be a shorter action (stnd>move, move>swift)?

Quoting myself to change my opinion on the Envoy buffing. I just realized that weapons don't get enhancement bonuses to Attack anymore. That the only to-hit improvement is your Ability score going up while you level.

So it seems an Envoys attack bonuses are more valuable then in PFS.


Mark Seifter wrote:


I think one of us is misreading. Apologies in advance if it's me. But I'm looking right at the solarian solar weapon damage and it says 2d6 as far as I can tell, not 1d8. Add a 1d4 crystal for ~3k and you'll be above 2d8 by a small amount, plus the crit effect, with substantial credit savings.

Update and revision to my previous statement: I was misreading the table.

It turns out that there is an actual point to the solarian's solar weapon after all! ... At 6th-level and above.

At 1st-level, a solarian chooses solar weapon, but completely ignores it as they spend 240 credits on a tactical doshko. It is an unwieldy weapon, but at 1st-level, judging from First Contact, a melee character wants to try one-shotting enemies. Dealing 1d12 + Strength modifier + 1 (photon mode) damage is a good way to try to kill people instantly at 1st-level.

At 2nd-level, the solarian purchases an ember flame doshko. They go down to 1d8 damage, but they now target EAC, and they are no longer using an unwieldy weapon. They keep to this weapon until 5th-level.

Only at 6th-level does a solarian bother to switch to their actual solar weapon. They purchase a least graviton crystal for 2,900 credits for +1d3 damage and knockdown as a critical effect, putting them on par with a wrack devastation blade, and having saved 2,600 credits.

Fast forward to 10th-level. A solarian now has a 3d6 damage solar weapon, and they can purchase a lesser graviton crystal for 24,000 credits to go up to a total of 5d6 damage (average 17.5). Or, for a more economical 18,100 credits, they can use an ultrathin curve blade for 3d10 damage (average 16.5), a mere 1 damage less.

In other words, the solar weapon is a dead class feature until 6th-level, and then it flips back and forth between "useful" and "dead." This is not good design.

Meanwhile, solar armor is still utterly useless unless it can work with powered armor.


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Aratrok wrote:
... and and traps still being totally undetectable if you don't specifically stop and spend actions to find them.

Well that is the ENTIRE POINT of a trap, isn't it?


What exactly is the point of the soldier (armor storm)'s 1st-level class feature, Hammer Fist? It effectively makes you deal 1d4+2 damage while wearing heavy armor and making unarmed attacks.

750 credits affords a soldier an ember flame doshko that deals 1d8 damage and, more importantly, targets EAC, which is usually 1 to 3 points lower than KAC.

I cannot see Hammer Fist possibly vindicating itself compared to, say, Blitz's Rapid Response for +4 initiative and +10 land speed.

I can understand Hammer Fist being intended as a backup weapon for predominantly ranged characters, but... at 5th-level, a soldier with Armor Storm is supposed to hop into powered armor, which already comes with a built-in weapon (which will outdamage Hammer Fist at 5th-level), so what gives?

Grand Lodge

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To people who say Soldiers don't have social class features: I don't understand.

Half of the Soldier class is Feats every 2nd level. Imagine having a chapter full of class talents available.. ;-) Yes, I understand that everyone can take feats, but for you it's a class defining feature. So the answer is: just take a social feat or two. :)


Zaister wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
... and and traps still being totally undetectable if you don't specifically stop and spend actions to find them.
Well that is the ENTIRE POINT of a trap, isn't it?

I don't think you understand. You do not get checks to notice traps passively. You only get a chance to find traps (and infinite chances to find them- you can take 20) if you stop in a space while exploring, roll dice (or take 10 "if the GM allows it", because that's a thing now), and resolve each check to search for traps. You have to stop and do that regularly while moving around, or else traps automatically go off with the victims having a 0% chance of detecting them before hand.

Literally all it accomplishes is forcing players to either tell their GM that they're crawling through complexes taking 20 on every square or roll a massive pile of checks while exploring, instead of just rolling notice checks once when it would matter.


Here is a neat little tactic with an operative. An operative's trick attack flat-foots the target if successful. A flat-footed creature cannot take reactions. Attacks of opportunity are reactions.

I have called the operative "space John Wick" previously, but this seals it: an operative can avoid an attack of opportunity for making a ranged attack while threatened this way. There is a chance it might fail, and it obviously will not work when threatened by multiple opponents, but it could very well be handy in a pinch.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Swording like fencing but with more sword.

So do you do your fencing with a fence?


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Zaister wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Swording like fencing but with more sword.
So do you do your fencing with a fence?

Only after watching to many Jackie Chan movies.

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