Starship Combat is the game changer


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Last night I ran some starship combat with my group and out of all the new rules in Starfinder ... they completely nailed starship combat. My group has been together for more years than I remember and for the very first time they truly acting together and acted like a crew.

And, of course, they all fell right into their roles like a real starship. PCs were asking the Captain for commands, the Captain was encouraging and pushing them, the Science Officer was scanning the enemy ship, the Engineer was keeping the ship together ... it glorious to behold.

Regular combat is fun, but in the end everyone does their own thing when fighting the monster. But with starship combat everyone had to work together and with the given roles, people acted and sounded like a real starship crew.

At the end my players said that was one of the best experiences they ever had in RPGs, and I had to agree. It is a game changer!


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Starship combat also involves the absolutely silly "optimal tactic" of having the pilot do absolutely nothing but grant passive bonuses, so that the party can use the Glide minor action to ramp up the ship's defenses. It is only marginally effective at the lower levels, but becomes gradually more obnoxious as Piloting ranks rise.

I would not be so quick to praise the starship combat.


Yay!

I agree, it looks like a blast!


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Colette Brunel wrote:

Starship combat also involves the absolutely silly "optimal tactic" of having the pilot do absolutely nothing but grant passive bonuses, so that the party can use the Glide minor action to ramp up the ship's defenses. It is only marginally effective at the lower levels, but becomes gradually more obnoxious as Piloting ranks rise.

I would not be so quick to praise the starship combat.

"He's drifting lazily to the left! He's drifting lazily to the left! Go left!! Go left!!!"

"Wow! That guy sure knows some maneuvers!"

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Colette Brunel wrote:

Starship combat also involves the absolutely silly "optimal tactic" of having the pilot do absolutely nothing but grant passive bonuses, so that the party can use the Glide minor action to ramp up the ship's defenses. It is only marginally effective at the lower levels, but becomes gradually more obnoxious as Piloting ranks rise.

I would not be so quick to praise the starship combat.

Glide can only be done if you don't have a Pilot, which is a required role. For a ship with a crew of more than 1 Glide will/can never be used.


Stonesnake wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:

Starship combat also involves the absolutely silly "optimal tactic" of having the pilot do absolutely nothing but grant passive bonuses, so that the party can use the Glide minor action to ramp up the ship's defenses. It is only marginally effective at the lower levels, but becomes gradually more obnoxious as Piloting ranks rise.

I would not be so quick to praise the starship combat.

Glide can only be done if you don't have a Pilot, which is a required role. For a ship with a crew of more than 1 Glide will/can never be used.

Not "if you don't have a Pilot" but rather as long as they don't do anything. That said, I'm sure it's in the "spirit" of what Paizo was intending.

Specifically, the CRB says that you can take a Minor Crew Action:
- regardless of your current role,
- only if no other action was performed for that role,
- once per round, and
- doesn't count as your action.

So, you can Glide as long as the pilot does nothing on their turn. With the RAW, it's tactically sound for the pilot to sleep through combat, and they'll add their Piloting skill to the ship's AC and TL each round.


I am pretty sure as a GM if the pilot is "taking no action" and there is an actual conscious pilot then the action the pilot took is fly straight ahead on their current course. Seems like something you would only ever have access to if the pilot was incapacitated or you were short on crew and they were filling another role at the moment.


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I know I'm not telling my thirteen year old daughter her pilot should just chill out and not do anything in Starship combat. :-)

Silver Crusade

nowa wrote:
Stonesnake wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:

Starship combat also involves the absolutely silly "optimal tactic" of having the pilot do absolutely nothing but grant passive bonuses, so that the party can use the Glide minor action to ramp up the ship's defenses. It is only marginally effective at the lower levels, but becomes gradually more obnoxious as Piloting ranks rise.

I would not be so quick to praise the starship combat.

Glide can only be done if you don't have a Pilot, which is a required role. For a ship with a crew of more than 1 Glide will/can never be used.

Not "if you don't have a Pilot" but rather as long as they don't do anything. That said, I'm sure it's in the "spirit" of what Paizo was intending.

Specifically, the CRB says that you can take a Minor Crew Action:
- regardless of your current role,
- only if no other action was performed for that role,
- once per round, and
- doesn't count as your action.

So, you can Glide as long as the pilot does nothing on their turn. With the RAW, it's tactically sound for the pilot to sleep through combat, and they'll add their Piloting skill to the ship's AC and TL each round.

Are we sure that the bonuses that can be applied are not mitigated by the equivalent raise in skills and base ship stats as level rises?

I think that the "annoyance" at low levels continues to be a fairly scaled as you raise in level with the abilities of what you are facing off against can do. I am doing this math based mostly on quick mental math and flipping pages....anyone that wants to actually run the numbers and present them is welcome to do so

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Even if you manage to use the Glide skill ... after our combat last night moving at half speed and not being able to get into a good position is a surefire way to get your ship destroyed.

Also everyone seems to be missing that you add your RANKS of Pilot during the Glide skill ... not your Pilot skill. So if you have +10 in Pilot and 2 ranks ... you get all of +2 to your AC/TL. There are other ways to get higher bonuses while actually flying your ship for real.

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Colette Brunel wrote:

Starship combat also involves the absolutely silly "optimal tactic" of having the pilot do absolutely nothing but grant passive bonuses, so that the party can use the Glide minor action to ramp up the ship's defenses. It is only marginally effective at the lower levels, but becomes gradually more obnoxious as Piloting ranks rise.

I would not be so quick to praise the starship combat.

The bonuses from Glide don't stack with the bonuses from being a pilot. If the person at the helm is taking no actions, they aren't the pilot.

Liberty's Edge

KingOfAnything wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:

Starship combat also involves the absolutely silly "optimal tactic" of having the pilot do absolutely nothing but grant passive bonuses, so that the party can use the Glide minor action to ramp up the ship's defenses. It is only marginally effective at the lower levels, but becomes gradually more obnoxious as Piloting ranks rise.

I would not be so quick to praise the starship combat.

The bonuses from Glide don't stack with the bonuses from being a pilot. If the person at the helm is taking no actions, they aren't the pilot.

Specifically, Glide is based upon the person doing it Pilot ranks, not he person who is the Pilot.

And Glide is not all that great. Go half speed with 2 more hexed added to the turn? No, you will want a real pilot whenever possible.


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The Glide minor action is obviously inferior to anything a character in the Pilot role could be doing as their main action. The only reason to use the Glide action is if your pilot needs to do something else (in a different role) and you are short handed.


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So, a Ship's AC is 10 + Pilot Ranks + Ship Stuff.

What do you have to do to BE the ship's pilot? You have to declare it when you board, and then not vacate it. There's not stipulation saying you MUST choose an action in order to be the ship's pilot.

In order to Glide, there have to be no other actions taken in the pilot phase. You then add your Pilot Ranks to AC and TL, while having a otherwise weaksauce movement phase.

So, there's nothing stating that a pilot can't choose to take a leisurely Glide Minor action every round, in order to add twice his pilot ranks to the Ship AC.

Naturally, this is dumb, and shouldn't (and likely won't) be allowed. But I can see how someone looking at it from a "I want to use the RAW to break things", would see this as an exploit.

If someone wanted to use this trick, I'd give them a "Evade really hard" Stunt, that allows them to take the penalties for glide, and add +4 instead of +2 on their Evade trick.

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I'd very eagerly argue against the RAW-breakers.

Quote:
The pilot acts during the helm phase of combat

I would argue that the above quote means that to be considered the pilot for the turn, you must act during the helm phase. If you don't take an action, you have vacated the role.


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I'll bet that the mention of Piloting skill ranks in the Glide maneuver description is not meant to stack with the basic calculation for the ship's AC and TL but to give you something to use in place of the pilot's Piloting skill ranks when you technically have no pilot. Otherwise, you would soon reach a point where the Glide maneuver provides more protection than the Evade maneuver does.


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This is a case where the GM has to apply common sense. It's not enough to simply wear a badge saying "pilot" and go to sleep. Any sane GM would rule that player cannot add any ranks to anything, for the same reason that a character who is dead cannot take any actions.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Actually once the Pilot is declared that position cannot be changed during combat (Captain as well). RAW rules as follows (pg 322):

Quote:
You can switch to the captain or pilot role only if that role would otherwise be vacant (or if the character in that role is unable to take actions).

So once again, if you want the pilot to do nothing and have someone else fly the ship, which I also don't think is allowed according to RAW, with a Glide action ... and then lose the AC/TL from the original Pilot Ranks with the Minor crew member instead ... go right ahead.

Glide was designed as a last resort measure and unless the pilot has a completely crappy Pilot skill/ranks and another crew member decides to use Glide and add his ranks instead...

The more I think about it I more I realize this is just dump. Sure, use the Glide skill all you want. The NPCs will destroy your ship.

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Maneuverability is an important aspect to space combat. An enemy ship with a pilot will keep their strongest weapons trained on you and keep themselves in the arc of your weakest weapons.

Paizo Employee Developer

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The intent with that sentence was mainly to allow those single-pilot vessels (who are the ones who use those minor actions the most) to not get shot out of the sky so easily. It's certainly not meant for characters to be able to double up on AC and TL.

Basically, I agree with what some others said: If you don't take any kind of action in your role, you really aren't IN that role.


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I have a question that has come up about Star Ship combat. Just how long is a turn of Starship combat? It doesnt seem to be listed unless I missed it. its important to know because of drift drives. it states those take a minute to spin up. So if I want my party to be nail-bitting while avoiding laser blasts until that drive comes online just how many turns of ship combat is that minute?

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pg. 317 wrote:
a round of starship combat doesn’t correlate to a specific amount of time.

You can tailor the suspense as needed, but I might aim for 2-4 rounds in a minute. That lets you make the enemy super scary.


Illia- wrote:

So, a Ship's AC is 10 + Pilot Ranks + Ship Stuff.

What do you have to do to BE the ship's pilot? You have to declare it when you board, and then not vacate it. There's not stipulation saying you MUST choose an action in order to be the ship's pilot.

In order to Glide, there have to be no other actions taken in the pilot phase. You then add your Pilot Ranks to AC and TL, while having a otherwise weaksauce movement phase.

So, there's nothing stating that a pilot can't choose to take a leisurely Glide Minor action every round, in order to add twice his pilot ranks to the Ship AC.

Naturally, this is dumb, and shouldn't (and likely won't) be allowed. But I can see how someone looking at it from a "I want to use the RAW to break things", would see this as an exploit.

If someone wanted to use this trick, I'd give them a "Evade really hard" Stunt, that allows them to take the penalties for glide, and add +4 instead of +2 on their Evade trick.

p. 326

"Minor crew actions are computer-aided actions that allow a starship
limited functionality if it doesn’t have the necessary crew
to fill all the roles (for instance, the lone crew member aboard a
Tiny starship might always be the pilot but may need to fire one
of the vessel’s weapons in an emergency)."

This certainly implies that the pilot role must be empty in order to Glide.

It absolutely says that at least one of the roles must be empty... so which role goes unfilled?


Vexies wrote:

I have a question that has come up about Star Ship combat. Just how long is a turn of Starship combat? It doesnt seem to be listed unless I missed it. its important to know because of drift drives. it states those take a minute to spin up. So if I want my party to be nail-bitting while avoiding laser blasts until that drive comes online just how many turns of ship combat is that minute?

They wouldn't be able to do much avoiding as a ship can't use thrusters while activating the Drift Drive. I think it's intended that you can't just warp away in combat.


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Covering the retreat of a Drift-capable starship could be a classic space combat situation, though. And throughout the battle, that starship's captain would have to decide -- do I continue powering up the Drift Drive while remaining helpless to affect that space battle going on nearby, or do I temporarily give up on that effort to swing the tide of the battle in our direction? Depending on the situation, neither option should be taken for granted.


Vexies wrote:

I have a question that has come up about Star Ship combat. Just how long is a turn of Starship combat? It doesnt seem to be listed unless I missed it. its important to know because of drift drives. it states those take a minute to spin up. So if I want my party to be nail-bitting while avoiding laser blasts until that drive comes online just how many turns of ship combat is that minute?

It says the amount of time is vague, but it's specifically long enough to let you take 1 crew action or 1 normal character action. So it's actually about 6 seconds, like a normal round.


Stonesnake wrote:

Actually once the Pilot is declared that position cannot be changed during combat (Captain as well). RAW rules as follows (pg 322):

Quote:
You can switch to the captain or pilot role only if that role would otherwise be vacant (or if the character in that role is unable to take actions).

That doesn't say a pilot can't be changed during combat. It means if you are the pilot, then I can't be the pilot until you change roles or you are unable to take actions.

I haven't seen anything in the rules say that you can't leave your pilot role at the start of the round and become an additional gunner and no one takes the pilot role.


From what I've heard, it seems like the starship combat is similar to the starship combat from Rogue Trader in some ways, is that an apt comparison?


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Aratrok wrote:
Vexies wrote:

I have a question that has come up about Star Ship combat. Just how long is a turn of Starship combat? It doesnt seem to be listed unless I missed it. its important to know because of drift drives. it states those take a minute to spin up. So if I want my party to be nail-bitting while avoiding laser blasts until that drive comes online just how many turns of ship combat is that minute?

It says the amount of time is vague, but it's specifically long enough to let you take 1 crew action or 1 normal character action. So it's actually about 6 seconds, like a normal round.

its just odd that they would leave it vague then immediately give something very important a definite time value. How are you supposed to adjudicate that? I get that it can be house ruled but I dislike having to make a call on something so integral and likely to come up so often. I dont see any benefit rules wise at all to not defining the amount of time in the turn when they have very clearly done so with PC combat. it just strikes me as a omission and odd.

If we go with a standard 6 second round then we are talking 10 rounds of helpless which would make firing up a drift to escape suicide. If thats what was intended fine but that reinforces my point. It seems like the unit of time for a ship combat turn is very important as it has many in game consequences on various situations and should have been defined regardless.


KingOfAnything wrote:
pg. 317 wrote:
a round of starship combat doesn’t correlate to a specific amount of time.
You can tailor the suspense as needed, but I might aim for 2-4 rounds in a minute. That lets you make the enemy super scary.

How so? I'm unclear how more (or less) rounds per minute affects the 'scariness' of a space battle.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vexies wrote:
Aratrok wrote:
Vexies wrote:

I have a question that has come up about Star Ship combat. Just how long is a turn of Starship combat? It doesnt seem to be listed unless I missed it. its important to know because of drift drives. it states those take a minute to spin up. So if I want my party to be nail-bitting while avoiding laser blasts until that drive comes online just how many turns of ship combat is that minute?

It says the amount of time is vague, but it's specifically long enough to let you take 1 crew action or 1 normal character action. So it's actually about 6 seconds, like a normal round.

its just odd that they would leave it vague then immediately give something very important a definite time value. How are you supposed to adjudicate that? I get that it can be house ruled but I dislike having to make a call on something so integral and likely to come up so often. I dont see any benefit rules wise at all to not defining the amount of time in the turn when they have very clearly done so with PC combat. it just strikes me as a omission and odd.

If we go with a standard 6 second round then we are talking 10 rounds of helpless which would make firing up a drift to escape suicide. If thats what was intended fine but that reinforces my point. It seems like the unit of time for a ship combat turn is very important as it has many in game consequences on various situations and should have been defined regardless.

I think that's intentional. You're not supposed to escape by jumping into the drift, you're supposed to escape by defeating the opposing force or going into a chase sequence, and losing your tail that way.

Once you've lost a tail then you have 1 minute to spool up your drift drive and vamoose.


Is starship combat possible to do in the "theatre of the mind" or does positioning matter too much.

Silver Crusade

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Milo v3 wrote:
Is starship combat possible to do in the "theatre of the mind" or does positioning matter too much.

Positioning is a bit too important, especially when you have guns on different faces, and different guns have different ranges, and torpedoes have to travel through space to hit.

I could see a couple of ways to simplify it using keywords (Short Range, Medium Range, Long Range. Fore Facing, Aft Facing, Port Facing, Starboard facing), but I think it's easier just to use battlemats and minis to keep everything straight.


Does starship combat in the rules basically assume a flat plane between combatants, or is there some allowance for three-dimensional combat?


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Cthulhudrew wrote:
Does starship combat in the rules basically assume a flat plane between combatants, or is there some allowance for three-dimensional combat?

It uses a flat plane, for ease of mapping, but you can move through occupied hexes, because you could be passing above or below.

On the plus side, when there are three or fewer combatants, they're all on a plane at all times, anyway, regardless of system.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Positioning is a bit too important, especially when you have guns on different faces, and different guns have different ranges, and torpedoes have to travel through space to hit.

I could see a couple of ways to simplify it using keywords (Short Range, Medium Range, Long Range. Fore Facing, Aft Facing, Port Facing, Starboard facing), but I think it's easier just to use battlemats and minis to keep everything straight.

.... Sounds like I'm going to have to give starship combat a miss in my group's campaigns then. That's disappointing.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:

Positioning is a bit too important, especially when you have guns on different faces, and different guns have different ranges, and torpedoes have to travel through space to hit.

I could see a couple of ways to simplify it using keywords (Short Range, Medium Range, Long Range. Fore Facing, Aft Facing, Port Facing, Starboard facing), but I think it's easier just to use battlemats and minis to keep everything straight.

.... Sounds like I'm going to have to give starship combat a miss in my group's campaigns then. That's disappointing.

If your space battle only includes two combatants (like two big ships locked in a more "naval" battle), I think it would be possible to kit bash a system that doesn't rely on battle mats. It would take a bit of work, and you might have to cut out some options, but probably doable.

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Voss wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
pg. 317 wrote:
a round of starship combat doesn’t correlate to a specific amount of time.
You can tailor the suspense as needed, but I might aim for 2-4 rounds in a minute. That lets you make the enemy super scary.
How so? I'm unclear how more (or less) rounds per minute affects the 'scariness' of a space battle.

The fewer rounds combat lasts, the higher CR you can make the enemy combatant and still give the party a chance to survive.


Rek Rollington wrote:
Stonesnake wrote:

Actually once the Pilot is declared that position cannot be changed during combat (Captain as well). RAW rules as follows (pg 322):

Quote:
You can switch to the captain or pilot role only if that role would otherwise be vacant (or if the character in that role is unable to take actions).

That doesn't say a pilot can't be changed during combat. It means if you are the pilot, then I can't be the pilot until you change roles or you are unable to take actions.

I haven't seen anything in the rules say that you can't leave your pilot role at the start of the round and become an additional gunner and no one takes the pilot role.

If no one take the pilot role then "ranks of pilot skill" = 0.


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Fardragon wrote:
Rek Rollington wrote:
Stonesnake wrote:

Actually once the Pilot is declared that position cannot be changed during combat (Captain as well). RAW rules as follows (pg 322):

Quote:
You can switch to the captain or pilot role only if that role would otherwise be vacant (or if the character in that role is unable to take actions).

That doesn't say a pilot can't be changed during combat. It means if you are the pilot, then I can't be the pilot until you change roles or you are unable to take actions.

I haven't seen anything in the rules say that you can't leave your pilot role at the start of the round and become an additional gunner and no one takes the pilot role.

If no one take the pilot role then "ranks of pilot skill" = 0.

"You can take a minor crew action regardless of your role".

Glide: "You add your ranks in the Piloting skill to the Starships AC and TL for this around"

So if there is no pilot, but your gunner has high piloting skill (which he should as it also the gunner skill check) then the gunner can use the Glide action and add his piloting skills.

I'm not the OP I'm not suggesting this is a good idea but so far it seems possible.


Rek Rollington wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
Rek Rollington wrote:
Stonesnake wrote:

Actually once the Pilot is declared that position cannot be changed during combat (Captain as well). RAW rules as follows (pg 322):

Quote:
You can switch to the captain or pilot role only if that role would otherwise be vacant (or if the character in that role is unable to take actions).

That doesn't say a pilot can't be changed during combat. It means if you are the pilot, then I can't be the pilot until you change roles or you are unable to take actions.

I haven't seen anything in the rules say that you can't leave your pilot role at the start of the round and become an additional gunner and no one takes the pilot role.

If no one take the pilot role then "ranks of pilot skill" = 0.

"You can take a minor crew action regardless of your role".

Glide: "You add your ranks in the Piloting skill to the Starships AC and TL for this around"

So if there is no pilot, but your gunner has high piloting skill (which he should as it also the gunner skill check) then the gunner can use the Glide action and add his piloting skills.

I'm not the OP I'm not suggesting this is a good idea but so far it seems possible.

In which case the gunner is, at that time, acting pilot.

However, the GM could rule that the turret is to far from the cockpit, and there isn't an auxiliary control panel (if he felt the players where trying to exploit the rules).

I do think there seem to be a lot of people on this forum who are too hung up on the letter of the law, rather than playing the game for fun.


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Fardragon wrote:

I do think there seem to be a lot of people on this forum who are too hung up on the letter of the law, rather than playing the game for fun.

I don't think a single person here is saying that it's how it should work. But this is the place to give feedback to the developers for when errata is released.

One can also like rules and have fun. They are not mutually exclusive.


Fardragon wrote:
Rek Rollington wrote:
Fardragon wrote:
Rek Rollington wrote:
Stonesnake wrote:

Actually once the Pilot is declared that position cannot be changed during combat (Captain as well). RAW rules as follows (pg 322):

Quote:
You can switch to the captain or pilot role only if that role would otherwise be vacant (or if the character in that role is unable to take actions).

That doesn't say a pilot can't be changed during combat. It means if you are the pilot, then I can't be the pilot until you change roles or you are unable to take actions.

I haven't seen anything in the rules say that you can't leave your pilot role at the start of the round and become an additional gunner and no one takes the pilot role.

If no one take the pilot role then "ranks of pilot skill" = 0.

"You can take a minor crew action regardless of your role".

Glide: "You add your ranks in the Piloting skill to the Starships AC and TL for this around"

So if there is no pilot, but your gunner has high piloting skill (which he should as it also the gunner skill check) then the gunner can use the Glide action and add his piloting skills.

I'm not the OP I'm not suggesting this is a good idea but so far it seems possible.

In which case the gunner is, at that time, acting pilot.

However, the GM could rule that the turret is to far from the cockpit, and there isn't an auxiliary control panel (if he felt the players where trying to exploit the rules).

I do think there seem to be a lot of people on this forum who are too hung up on the letter of the law, rather than playing the game for fun.

A GM can rule whatever they want and if this is too OP they probably should block it.

But RAW, the minor crew action is computer aided so the gunner can do it remotely via voice commands.

This is a great rule for if you are in your own 1-man fighters as it allows them to move and attack each turn.

I think the major issue for players trying to do this is the NPCs will out manoeuvre them as the players would always move first with a 0 to initiative. I think it could be useful for a turn in combat when you already have them where you want them and they couldn't possibly get out of your range so you put everyone on the guns for the round.

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Sounds like it is saying that when you have no pilot, you cannot have reached added to your defences. So when you use the minor to glide, you are acting like the pilot and so add your pilot skill as if you were the pilot, not double up.


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As Ellias stated.

AC = Ship Bonus (Size + Maneuverability) + Pilot Ranks + Other ship bonuses (Armor, Countermeasures).

Glide means you dont lose AC for not having a pilot. It does not mean you get to double up the ranks, you instead use the piloting ranks of the person performing the glide. You lose maneuverability and speed but you dont have to lose piloting ranks to AC if someone is using computer assisted flight.

This does not mean you get to double up and add the ranks of the person sitting in the pilot chair and not piloting and the ranks of the person performing the glide. Whoever is acting as the pilot (whether the actual pilot or the person doing the glide) adds their ranks to AC, not both.


As I've said elsewhere, even if I don't use all the rules/setting as printed, the starship construction/combat rules are excellent, and can pretty much be pulled out of Starfinder and used in the old D20 Modern/Future rules with little to no changes, depending on how much you want either rules system to adhere to the other.


Colette Brunel wrote:

Starship combat also involves the absolutely silly "optimal tactic" of having the pilot do absolutely nothing but grant passive bonuses, so that the party can use the Glide minor action to ramp up the ship's defenses. It is only marginally effective at the lower levels, but becomes gradually more obnoxious as Piloting ranks rise.

I would not be so quick to praise the starship combat.

That is a quick way to die actually.

So let us assume we have a Pilot, A Captain, An Engineer, A Science Officer, and a Gunner in a Norikama Drop Ship and we are level 8-ish going up against another Norikama Drop Ship. Currently the PC is facing the enemy ship and is 1 hex away.

Engineer's Action:
Full Power to Engines (Increase speed by 2)

Science Officer:
Lock On (Gunner gains a +2)

Pilot Action: Pilot attempts a DC 32 Flyby with a +18 (+8+3+4+2+1-1+3) he needs a 14 and succeeds.

Captain:
Issues an Order

Gunner:
Broadside! (Science officer's bonus is negated)
Fire At Will! (Particle Beam and Coil Gun)

-----

What happens next is the stuff of legends. The Pilot flips the ship in close bringing the forward weapons to bear. The Gunner fires! Unloading with a Coil Gun (4d4) a Persistent Particle Beam (10d6) and 2 light plasma cannons (2d12) with a -0 range penalty. He fires the Coil Gun and the Persistent Particle Beam again at a -2 penalty each.

He has a +8 to attack, a +5 to dex, and a +2 from the Science Officer.

Meaning he's rolling 4 attacks from the broadside at +15 to hit a 26+4 for the enemy's slide, he hits! The Particle does 35 damage, ripping through the shields of the enemy ship (Shields are gone, 15 damage to the hull) as the coil gun rips into the hull for 10 more damage (25 to the hull) one of the plasma cannons finds its mark as well doing 13 damage (38 damage to the hull)! The coil gun's second shot misses (yes I am rolling these out right now, but am doing average damage) but the Particle Beam doesn't! (Used the other available +3 but rolled Natural 19! Doh) Tearing another 35 damage out of the hull (73 HP gone! The enemy ship only has 27 points left!) as the ship zips by.

-----

The enemy ship can't turn. Nor can it do anything as it slid. It... Fires back with its turret but has no chance to hit the PCs as they did a flyby and moved 2 squares to reach the square of the enemy ship and then 12 squares past it.

The enemy ship is shooting for an AC 26 with a -24 penalty per shot. Good luck. Assuming it has the same bonuses, and uses one of the +3's and even gets a +4 from the Captain giving a demand a +19 to hit an effective AC of 50 isn't going to cut it.

-----

For added benefit, this is how the scene is heard:

Captain: "Alright crew! Standby!"

Engineer: "Instructions captain?"

Captain: "Give me full power to engines. Pilot!"

Pilot: "Aye Captain?"

Captain: "I want you to bring us in as close as you can, I want to ram our forward weapons right up their nose."

Pilot: "Yes sir!"

The ship accelerates as the Pilot jams forward the throttle, he is committed now. The gunner lines up the cross hairs and anxiously awaits the order...

Gunner: "Now captain?"

Captain: "Wait for it... NOW!"

The weapons roar as a hail of projectiles and energy weapons are unleashed from the drop ship. The enemy ship's shields shatter as the armor beneath melts and shatters. Smoke and ash fill the enemy's bridge as PC's ship leaves it in the cosmic dust.

Weakly the enemy ship shoots back, but it is futile...

Pilot: "Orders captain?"

Captain: "Bring us around get us as close as you can. Engineering full power to weapons. Science officer lock onto the enemy ship. Gunner, let's put these goblin lovers out of their misery!"

Crew: "Aye aye captain!"


HWalsh wrote:

The enemy ship can't turn. Nor can it do anything as it slid. It... Fires back with its turret but has no chance to hit the PCs as they did a flyby and moved 2 squares to reach the square of the enemy ship and then 12 squares past it.

The enemy ship is shooting for an AC 26 with a -24 penalty per shot. Good luck. Assuming it has the same bonuses, and uses one of the +3's and even gets a +4 from the Captain giving a demand a +19 to hit an effective AC of 50 isn't going to cut it.

Range penalties are -2 to hit per range increment, not per hex. Short range is 5 hexes, Medium range is 10 hexes, long range is 20 hexes.

Light Plasma Cannons are short range. So they have -0 to-hit from 0 to 5 hexes, -2 from 6 to 10 hexes, and -4 from 11-15 hexes.

The enemy ship is shooting for an AC 26 with a -4 penalty per shot if you are 12 hexes away.

In any case, the glide action adding your ranks to the starship's AC should not stack with adding a different character's piloting ranks to the starship's AC. Only one character's piloting ranks get added in. If I were the GM, that is how I would run it. If I were running a SFS scenerio, that is also how I would run it. There is certainly enough evidence to make that version a reasonable interpretation. Partly because Glide doesn't describe it as a bonus, but simply as "you can add your ranks", which is only referenced in the 2nd term of each of the formulas presented on page 320 as a singular value (as opposed to a series of characters with piloting ranks getting summed in).


IMHO, what people are talking about above can be common in a lot of games today. In an effort to make the rules as simple as possible often confusion and strange interactions can occur.
If a few more words are given or rules slightly more complex often it makes things easier in the long run as well as prevents misconceptions.

MDC

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