DC 70


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IonutRO wrote:

Someone on Reddit recommended that the DCs could be fixed by being changed like so, with the CRB DCs on the left and the changes on the right.

10+2*tier -> 10+1.5*tier
15+2*tier -> 15+1.5*tier
20+2*tier -> 20+1.5*tier
10+3*tier -> 25+1.5*tier

These make way more sense and allows non-ultra-specialized skill monkeys to hit most of the DCs and completely remove the impossible DCs entirely once you factor in a decent on-board computer.

EDIT: Here's some maths that shows what the changes do: Original maths vs altered maths.

Changing the Tier multiplier would definitely be the cleanest solution. And those numbers for 1.5 look about right. Assuming there isn't some other factor that's being missed in the calculations.


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IonutRO wrote:

Someone on Reddit recommended that the DCs could be fixed by being changed like so, with the CRB DCs on the left and the changes on the right.

10+2*tier -> 10+1.5*tier
15+2*tier -> 15+1.5*tier
20+2*tier -> 20+1.5*tier
10+3*tier -> 25+1.5*tier

These make way more sense and allows non-ultra-specialized skill monkeys to hit most of the DCs and completely remove the impossible DCs entirely once you factor in a decent on-board computer.

EDIT: Here's some maths that shows what the changes do: Original maths vs altered maths.

That's helpful in making the checks at least possible at high tiers. Unfortunately doesn't help with the problem of putting players on a number treadmill where they never get better at tasks or learn to perform new, harder ones.

Sovereign Court

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Ya, here's hoping that we can find some form of progression that let's us feel like we are progressing.

Sovereign Court

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A bit of topic but still relevant. The DCs for vehicle chases are based on tier/item level of the vehicle as well. So best chase vehicle is clearly the goblin junkcycle.

Also actual speed seems to be irrelevant.


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Kiln Norn wrote:
Ya, here's hoping that we can find some form of progression that let's us feel like we are progressing.

You could always just call it (1 x Tier) instead of 1.5. That would allow the characters to feel like they're making progress. The sticking point would be if things like the Operative's bonus do apply. Wouldn't want to make it too easy for them.t Bu in that case, the issue becomes the discrepancy in class ability in a starship.

Silver Crusade

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Aratrok wrote:
IonutRO wrote:

Someone on Reddit recommended that the DCs could be fixed by being changed like so, with the CRB DCs on the left and the changes on the right.

10+2*tier -> 10+1.5*tier
15+2*tier -> 15+1.5*tier
20+2*tier -> 20+1.5*tier
10+3*tier -> 25+1.5*tier

These make way more sense and allows non-ultra-specialized skill monkeys to hit most of the DCs and completely remove the impossible DCs entirely once you factor in a decent on-board computer.

EDIT: Here's some maths that shows what the changes do: Original maths vs altered maths.

That's helpful in making the checks at least possible at high tiers. Unfortunately doesn't help with the problem of putting players on a number treadmill where they never get better at tasks or learn to perform new, harder ones.

Well, I presume higher tier ships are better in some respect. What you're getting is the ability to do the same things with a better ship.


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As long as we're posting suggestions, considering I would think actions would grow harder based on the enemies, due to stress and urgency, I'd see scaling as so:

10+3* or 20+2* = 20 + 5 * HP increment stage of highest tier enemy, +2 for every additional significant enemy.

15+2* = 15 + 5 * HP increment stage of highest tier enemy, +1 for every additional significant enemy.

10+2* = 10 + 5 * HP increment stage of highest tier enemy, +1 for every additional significant enemy.

This makes fights against multiple enemies have clear goals and additional tactics in combat, while still being easy to keep track of, and is something more hidden (which I personally like about DCs - they're a bit of a surprise, and checks are called for, not given). It's something I plan on using. DCs will still be high for some things at high levels, but not achievable. This makes 10+3*'s highest DC be 45, not 70. If they have a bunch of dog fighters, the DC could reach something as high as 70 potentially, but this is a problem that can then be rectified by intelligent use of tactics.

DC's as a base against a tier 20 enemy are at a rate of 45, 40, and 35, with the highest DC increasing harder with more enemies, but still only having a rough estimated difference of a 5 increase in difficulty between checks - similar to other d20 system's "easy, normal, and hard" DCs.

This also means that if you're fighting a bunch of weaker enemies, you're not crippled for having a better ship.

I think that the method IonutRO has shown would also work fine in the meantime as well, but still has the core problem of "things are getting harder because my ship is getting better". That said, these DCs are more dynamic and change more frequently - something not everyone's a fan of.

Sovereign Court

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I really like this one. I might have to steal it.


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Aratrok wrote:
IonutRO wrote:

Someone on Reddit recommended that the DCs could be fixed by being changed like so, with the CRB DCs on the left and the changes on the right.

10+2*tier -> 10+1.5*tier
15+2*tier -> 15+1.5*tier
20+2*tier -> 20+1.5*tier
10+3*tier -> 25+1.5*tier

These make way more sense and allows non-ultra-specialized skill monkeys to hit most of the DCs and completely remove the impossible DCs entirely once you factor in a decent on-board computer.

EDIT: Here's some maths that shows what the changes do: Original maths vs altered maths.

That's helpful in making the checks at least possible at high tiers. Unfortunately doesn't help with the problem of putting players on a number treadmill where they never get better at tasks or learn to perform new, harder ones.

I think that's all it really intends to fix, the really balls to the walls insane scaling at higher levels.

Sovereign Court

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Ya, still hoping for an FAQ or a book about space combat/ships that lists us actually have progression though.

I'm thinking that with vehicles I'm going to do a DC 10+your vehicles item level or the highest level enemy vehicle, whichever is lowest. Plus bonuses based on the spec of a vehicle versus pursuers.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

So, I know some of the people here are also commenting on the Starfinder subreddit, but for those that aren't, here's a little math I did about Skill Checks on ships. I just picked level 15 because it is relatively high but not max level.

Just doing a quick look at level 15, an average character will have a check bonus of at least +37 on important checks, with a max around +53.

At that level, the DCs for the book checks are as follows -
10+2*tier -> 40
15+2*tier -> 45
20+2*tier -> 50
10+3*tier -> 55

This means, for the majority of checks, you'll have a decently good chance of making your checks, and even the hardest are far from impossible. I don't see the need for a change.

Here's the breakdown of where I got the numbers:
Skill ranks - +15
Class Skill - +3
Ability score (assuming a 20 in the score and having one of your enhancement bonuses there) - +6-8
Computer (reasonable to assume a +8/+8 computer at this point to allow pilot and one other to get the bonus each round) - +8
Demand or Encourage - +2 or +4
Serum (they're ridiculously cheap at this point and work for everything but piloting and attack rolls) - +2
Race - 0 or +2
Theme - 0 or +1
Class bonuses or Skill Focus (these range from +3 for Skill focus to a max of 1d8+2 for Envoy, and everyone should have a bonus to at least one of their chosen role's skills) - +3-10

Sovereign Court

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You might be right in some situations there. But you error into adding in the computer for everyone.

15 ranks. 15
3 class skill. 18
7 from the stat. 25
2 from Captain, if he makes it. 27
2 Serum 29
2 Lashunta Ysoki Shirren 31
1 Pilot with ace pilot. 32
3 Skill focus. 35

That does make things possible without a computer. Somewhat.

-1 if you aren't a pilot, the only relevant theme.
-2 if your captain falls his check, or wants to say, grant a free action to someone (tell me how to roll a DC 70 at level 20).
-2 if you aren't the perfect race. Shirren for captain, Ysoki for engineer, or an optimising Lashunta.

Serums I hadn't taken into account but that would be like shooting up adrenaline before every military engagement and shouldn't be a standard.

So... -2.

So still a problem. Also with a duonode +8 computer your optimizing for that. It also doesn't change that the 20+2×tier and 10+3×tier are impossible at tier 20. Though an unofficial errata now says operative edge and envoy dice now work.


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Serums do not specify that they affect crew actions, so they don't. Even if they did, their benefit is an Insight bonus that doesn't stack with Skill Focus. Expertise and Operative's Edge don't apply either.

Having them apply would probably be a bad solution. You'd be setting up difficulties so that only Envoys and Operatives have any hope of being relevant in mid to high level starship combat, when the whole point of having different crew roles was to get everyone involved.


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Kiln Norn wrote:
Though an unofficial errata now says operative edge and envoy dice now work.

Where was this said?


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Kiln Norn wrote:

You might be right in some situations there. But you error into adding in the computer for everyone.

15 ranks. 15
3 class skill. 18
7 from the stat. 25
2 from Captain, if he makes it. 27
2 Serum 29
2 Lashunta Ysoki Shirren 31
1 Pilot with ace pilot. 32
3 Skill focus. 35

That does make things possible without a computer. Somewhat.

-1 if you aren't a pilot, the only relevant theme.
-2 if your captain falls his check, or wants to say, grant a free action to someone (tell me how to roll a DC 70 at level 20).
-2 if you aren't the perfect race. Shirren for captain, Ysoki for engineer, or an optimising Lashunta.

Serums I hadn't taken into account but that would be like shooting up adrenaline before every military engagement and shouldn't be a standard.

So... -2.

So still a problem. Also with a duonode +8 computer your optimizing for that. It also doesn't change that the 20+2×tier and 10+3×tier are impossible at tier 20. Though an unofficial errata now says operative edge and envoy dice now work.

Ok, let's break down your criticisms.

The computer bonuses should be prioritized to people who will be making the hardest checks. That's going to be 2 of 5 roles each turn. Is the pilot going to do a stunt or a sharp turn? If not, then he doesn't need to use the computer. Captain can just do a DC 10 to Encourage someone and never touch the computers. If one person does a sure thing check, that means half of the remaining checks can get the computer bonus. Heck, you could just have a +5 trinode instead of a +8 duonode and have 3 of the checks each round getting a +5 instead.

Skill Focus is the lowest possible bonus you can get from insight. Multiple classes get bonuses to Bluff, Computers, Engineering, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Piloting that exceed the +3 from Skill Focus. Star Shaman Mystics are some of the best pilots around, with a +5 Insight bonus at level 15. Only Solarions and Soldiers miss out on the bonuses to at least a couple relevant skills. Heck, Operatives can take Skill Focus to allow them to take 10 with any skill. That will allow them to easily make sure they can get the most common DCs (10 and 15 + 2xTier) by using the +5 computer I suggested above (without the Captain, Race, and Theme bonuses, they'll get exactly 45).

Regarding serums, do you say that potions and buff spells in Pathfinder shouldn't be used every fight? Because serums are exactly the same as potions.

Sovereign Court

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/342883946926833675/34680456356469145 6/Screenshot_20170814-195719.png

Sovereign Court

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Also weird do you use haste potions every fight? I don't.

Besides that this doesn't touch on the fact that there is no progression, I'm supposed to get better, not stay the same. Also you only get to DC 10 encourage if you have the appropriate skill.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Aratrok wrote:

Serums do not specify that they affect crew actions, so they don't. Even if they did, their benefit is an Insight bonus that doesn't stack with Skill Focus. Expertise and Operative's Edge don't apply either.

Having them apply would probably be a bad solution. You'd be setting up difficulties so that only Envoys and Operatives have any hope of being relevant in mid to high level starship combat, when the whole point of having different crew roles was to get everyone involved.

Uhhh, crew actions with checks are all worded as "a (skill name) check

(DC = X)". Enhancement serums state "The creature gains a +2 insight bonus to X and Y checks". Expertise states you add the 1d6 to "checks" with the relevant skills. Operatives Edge states you add it to "skill checks". Skill checks are simply when you use a skill. Any and all modifiers you would add outside of a starship, you add when you are in a starship. There's no reason not to.

Also, every class except for Solarions and Soldiers can get a bonus to skills that are relevant to starship combat. There's nothing making Envoys and Operatives solely effective in starship combat. In fact, Star Shaman Mystics are far better pilots than Envoys, and they're just as good as Operatives.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Kiln Norn wrote:

Also weird do you use haste potions every fight? I don't.

Besides that this doesn't touch on the fact that there is no progression, I'm supposed to get better, not stay the same. Also you only get to DC 10 encourage if you have the appropriate skill.

There's plenty of progression. It's just that your ship is getting better as well. A great analogy I saw elsewhere was that an average guy getting into an Indy car will not be able to control it at all, but a trained driver will. Despite that, even expert race car drivers have accidents on occasion.

A Tier 1 ship is an off the assembly line Mustang. Nice, but standard.

A Tier 20 ship is a custom made high performance machine that can only be wrangled by the best of the best.

Edit - Forgot to address the Haste potion question. I may not use a haste potion every fight, but I expect my party cleric or wizard to be casting some kind of spell to buff the party or debuff the enemy every fight. Also, at 475 credits, an enhancement serum is a drop in the bucket to a level 15 player with 500,000 credits to their name.


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someweirdguy wrote:

Skill checks are simply when you use a skill. Any and all modifiers you would add outside of a starship, you add when you are in a starship. There's no reason not to.

Also, every class except for Solarions and Soldiers can get a bonus to skills that are relevant to starship combat. There's nothing making Envoys and Operatives solely effective in starship combat. In fact, Star Shaman Mystics are far better pilots than Envoys, and they're just as good as Operatives.

One would think, but "Class features and items affect crew actions only if specifically noted in the class feature or item." (p322) So nope, by RAW none of those work.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
sunderedhero wrote:
someweirdguy wrote:

Skill checks are simply when you use a skill. Any and all modifiers you would add outside of a starship, you add when you are in a starship. There's no reason not to.

Also, every class except for Solarions and Soldiers can get a bonus to skills that are relevant to starship combat. There's nothing making Envoys and Operatives solely effective in starship combat. In fact, Star Shaman Mystics are far better pilots than Envoys, and they're just as good as Operatives.

One would think, but "Class features and items affect crew actions only if specifically noted in the class feature or item." (p322) So nope, by RAW none of those work.

It's not affecting the crew action. It's modifying the character making the crew action. There's a difference.

That rule is to exclude someone from trying to cast a spell on an enemy ship or use a mechanic's Boost Shield trick on starship shields. That's not to exclude modifiers to skills, and my statement is bolstered by the earlier mentioned statements from designers stating that both Expertise and Operative's Edge work in starship combat.


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The serum's are insight bonuses, so it doesn't matter that they're cheap, pretty much everyone will get at least a +2 insight bonus anyways.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
citricking wrote:
The serum's are insight bonuses, so it doesn't matter that they're cheap, pretty much everyone will get at least a +2 insight bonus anyways.

You're right. I assumed they were an enhancement bonus and didn't read close enough. So -2 to my earlier assessments, but still totally doable numbers.

Sovereign Court

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I'd still like to see math saying DC 70 is possible. See if you can figure it out.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Kiln Norn wrote:

Also weird do you use haste potions every fight? I don't.

Besides that this doesn't touch on the fact that there is no progression, I'm supposed to get better, not stay the same. Also you only get to DC 10 encourage if you have the appropriate skill.

I don't understand the argument, at all. You are getting better it's just that the thing you're fighting (or in this case piloting is better too.) If your level 20 character fought a cr 1 monster it'd kick it's butt or if it flew a tier 1 spaceship, if you fight a cr 20 monster at level 20 it should be just as tough if not tougher than a cr 1 monster at level 1. Why should the fights be easier the higher up you go. Now I agree the scaling appears off for starships but there's zero reason you should be relatively better the higher up you go.


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Shaudius wrote:
Kiln Norn wrote:

Also weird do you use haste potions every fight? I don't.

Besides that this doesn't touch on the fact that there is no progression, I'm supposed to get better, not stay the same. Also you only get to DC 10 encourage if you have the appropriate skill.

I don't understand the argument, at all. You are getting better it's just that the thing you're fighting (or in this case piloting is better too.) If your level 20 character fought a cr 1 monster it'd kick it's butt or if it flew a tier 1 spaceship, if you fight a cr 20 monster at level 20 it should be just as tough if not tougher than a cr 1 monster at level 1. Why should the fights be easier the higher up you go. Now I agree the scaling appears off for starships but there's zero reason you should be relatively better the higher up you go.

Seems off to me. "I got a better gun, so it's going to be harder to hit with it."?

Now, if the better ship lets you do harder things, even if you need to make harder rolls to pull them off, that's one thing, but this sounds like you need to make harder rolls just to do the same things in the upgraded ship.


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So...question. Do we need to have the highest tier ship? Is there anything forcing the PC's to fly a ship with a tier equivalent to themselves? How likely is a lower tier ship piloted by higher level PCs to beat a higher tier ship of an equivalent APL?


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Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
So...question. Do we need to have the highest tier ship? Is there anything forcing the PC's to fly a ship with a tier equivalent to themselves? How likely is a lower tier ship piloted by higher level PCs to beat a higher tier ship of an equivalent APL?

I think you need to have a ship Tier equal to APL but I'm not entirely sure.


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Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
So...question. Do we need to have the highest tier ship? Is there anything forcing the PC's to fly a ship with a tier equivalent to themselves? How likely is a lower tier ship piloted by higher level PCs to beat a higher tier ship of an equivalent APL?

Pretty sure I saw a dev post that players should be fighting ships of lower CR, because one ship vs one ship of equivalent CR isn't the same as four PCs against an equivalent CR challenge. Higher CR would be a more than 50% chance of your ship being blown up and a TPK.


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Xenocrat wrote:
Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
So...question. Do we need to have the highest tier ship? Is there anything forcing the PC's to fly a ship with a tier equivalent to themselves? How likely is a lower tier ship piloted by higher level PCs to beat a higher tier ship of an equivalent APL?
Pretty sure I saw a dev post that players should be fighting ships of lower CR, because one ship vs one ship of equivalent CR isn't the same as four PCs against an equivalent CR challenge. Higher CR would be a more than 50% chance of your ship being blown up and a TPK.

Yeah, I was under the understanding that the Tier of your ship was automatically the APL. It just happens...you all level up, and voila, your ship does too. You don't get the choice to fly a lower tier ship.


someweirdguy wrote:
Kiln Norn wrote:

Also weird do you use haste potions every fight? I don't.

Besides that this doesn't touch on the fact that there is no progression, I'm supposed to get better, not stay the same. Also you only get to DC 10 encourage if you have the appropriate skill.

There's plenty of progression. It's just that your ship is getting better as well. A great analogy I saw elsewhere was that an average guy getting into an Indy car will not be able to control it at all, but a trained driver will. Despite that, even expert race car drivers have accidents on occasion.

A Tier 1 ship is an off the assembly line Mustang. Nice, but standard.

A Tier 20 ship is a custom made high performance machine that can only be wrangled by the best of the best.

Edit - Forgot to address the Haste potion question. I may not use a haste potion every fight, but I expect my party cleric or wizard to be casting some kind of spell to buff the party or debuff the enemy every fight. Also, at 475 credits, an enhancement serum is a drop in the bucket to a level 15 player with 500,000 credits to their name.

This Analogy is spot on and important to remember. If a level 1 character go into a high octane level 15 fighter, they should barely even know how to turn the thing on.


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Hijiggy wrote:
someweirdguy wrote:
Kiln Norn wrote:

Also weird do you use haste potions every fight? I don't.

Besides that this doesn't touch on the fact that there is no progression, I'm supposed to get better, not stay the same. Also you only get to DC 10 encourage if you have the appropriate skill.

There's plenty of progression. It's just that your ship is getting better as well. A great analogy I saw elsewhere was that an average guy getting into an Indy car will not be able to control it at all, but a trained driver will. Despite that, even expert race car drivers have accidents on occasion.

A Tier 1 ship is an off the assembly line Mustang. Nice, but standard.

A Tier 20 ship is a custom made high performance machine that can only be wrangled by the best of the best.

Edit - Forgot to address the Haste potion question. I may not use a haste potion every fight, but I expect my party cleric or wizard to be casting some kind of spell to buff the party or debuff the enemy every fight. Also, at 475 credits, an enhancement serum is a drop in the bucket to a level 15 player with 500,000 credits to their name.

This Analogy is spot on and important to remember. If a level 1 character go into a high octane level 15 fighter, they should barely even know how to turn the thing on.

But when the 15th level character gets into the customized Porsche they shouldn't have more trouble doing a bootlegger's reverse than the 1st level character in a beat up VW Bug.


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Kiln Norn wrote:
I'd still like to see math saying DC 70 is possible. See if you can figure it out.

So let's see... say we have a 20th lvl Lashunta Themeless Envoy in the Engineering role trying to make the DC 70 Engineering check to do the Overpower crew action.

20 (from d20)
16 (from 2d8 Envoy True Expertise ability) [insight bonus]
20 (20 ranks in Engineering)
3 (Engineering class skill)
2 (Lashunta Student ability) [racial bonus]
2 (Themeless Certainty ability 1/day) [untyped bonus]
9 (28 Intelligence)
2 (Encourage bonus from Captain) [untyped bonus]
10 (Mk 10 duonode Computer bonus) [circumstance bonus]

That allows us to hit a DC of 84.

EDIT: Realized that the computer bonus was a circumstance bonus, and tweaked accordingly.


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I share people's unease about the scaling DCs for crew actions as things currently stand. But I'm not sure it's as bad as some have suggested, or that changes to these DCs are needed.

1. I'm not so worried about the DC 70 ones (though I agree that they're very high), because they're possible (if very difficult) to make, and because they're extremely good actions; they aren't the kind of thing you'd want to allow anyone to be able to auto-succeed at.

2. A bigger worry, voiced by a number of people, is that the run-of-the-mill DC = 15+Tier*2 checks (DC 55 at Tier 20) seem too high at high levels.

For starship combat to be fun, everyone should be able to at least have a decent chance (20% chance?) of doing something meaningful in a given turn. And the worry is that at higher levels, some classes won't be able to meaningfully contribute to starship combat.

That said, upon reflection, I'm not confident this is as big a worry as I initially thought, for a couple reasons.

--2a. All of the classes except the Solarian, Soldier and Mystic get class bonuses to relevant skills; skills which they'll generally have a high attribute in as well.

So these classes will generally have a relevant skill check (at level 20) like:

20 (20 ranks)
6-7 (class insight bonus)
3 (class skill)
7-9 (attribute bonus)
=
36-39.

That's borderline with respect to being able to effectively contribute. But if we add in one or two other bonuses they might have (Lashunta racial bonus, Theme bonus, captain's Encourage bonus, Tool kit bonus, computer bonus, ship/thrusters bonus), then they move up into the regime of being effective enough to contribute.

(Having a duonode computer bonus is especially important here. The two PCs who get the computer bonus will be in a good position to make their checks. So in a party of 4 PCs, if you have a captain (who can Encourage with a relatively easy check), a gunner, and two others making hard skill checks who are aided by the computer, then everyone will be able to contribute.)

--2b. At high levels, the Solarian and Soldier will have a hard time contributing meaningfully with skill checks. Happily, there's the Gunner role which only requires a high BAB and dexterity, and they'll both have high BABs and good-to-excellent dexterities. So they can still contribute, if only in this particular role. (Or, I guess, as Captains who spend most of their turn just Encouraging.)

--2c. The Mystic is the class that looks worst in this context. As is, it's hard to find a way for the Mystic to contribute to starship combat at high levels. I guess their best option is either to just be a Captain who spends their turns Encouraging, or picking an option that makes Piloting a class skill (and ensuring you have a pretty high dexterity), and being a Gunner.

Still, if they take some steps to make sure they're starship-relevant, they won't be in a position *that* different from Soldiers and Solarians.

3. All that said, the current DCs do look too high at high levels. In particular, it would be nice if the relevant DCs were (say) 5-10 points lower than they are, to make crew actions more viable possibilities for characters who aren't super min-maxed.

But I suspect we'll soon see the introduction of technological or magical items or ship upgrades that add (say) a +1-5 enhancement skill bonuses, or luck bonuses, or divine bonuses, or what have you, to some of these skills. And once those come out, I suspect the current DCs will end up feeling about right.

(I also suspect this is something they were taking into account when setting these DCs, since they wanted starship combat to remain challenging after the introduction of such items.)

TLDR: While the current DCs do look a bit too high at high levels given the options currently available (say 5-10 points too high at tier 20), I suspect they'll end up feeling about right once some of the obvious skill-boosting items and upgrades are introduced.

Sovereign Court

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Porridge wrote:

So let's see... say we have a 20th lvl Lashunta Themeless Envoy in the Engineering role trying to make the DC 70 Engineering check to do the Overpower crew action.

20 (from d20)
16 (from 2d8 Envoy True Expertise ability) [insight bonus]
20 (20 ranks in Engineering)
3 (Engineering class skill)
2 (Lashunta Student ability) [racial bonus]
2 (Themeless Certainty ability 1/day) [untyped bonus]
9 (28 Intelligence)
2 (Encourage bonus from Captain) [untyped bonus]
10 (Mk 10 duonode Computer bonus) [circumstance bonus]

That allows us to hit a DC of 84.

EDIT: Realized that the computer bonus was a circumstance bonus, and tweaked accordingly.

Ok, now say that you are anything that is not an Envoy and you are the captain. You are trying to give someone an extra action instead of say, give someone a +2. Also figure that you are playing a character that didn't start out with an 18 because you are not building a character that is a min/max character.

So say your 28 is actually a 26. Say you are trying to do something with that untyped once a day ability already expended (because you can do this once a day is also a very poor argument when you are dealing with actions you are supposed to be able to do in a ship). That alone says you lose 15 to your roll. And like that you fail that 70 roll. And this is assuming that you ARE an operative and only giving you -10 off the +16 from being Envoy you can get on a max roll.


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Hell, even with all those things and with the once a day bonus, you still fail more often than not - average rolls get you +19.5 instead of +36, leaving you hitting a 68. With an optimized character and help from the Captain, once per day.


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Kiln Norn wrote:
Porridge wrote:

So let's see... say we have a 20th lvl Lashunta Themeless Envoy in the Engineering role trying to make the DC 70 Engineering check to do the Overpower crew action.

20 (from d20)
16 (from 2d8 Envoy True Expertise ability) [insight bonus]
20 (20 ranks in Engineering)
3 (Engineering class skill)
2 (Lashunta Student ability) [racial bonus]
2 (Themeless Certainty ability 1/day) [untyped bonus]
9 (28 Intelligence)
2 (Encourage bonus from Captain) [untyped bonus]
10 (Mk 10 duonode Computer bonus) [circumstance bonus]

That allows us to hit a DC of 84.

Ok, now say that you are anything that is not an Envoy and you are the captain. You are trying to give someone an extra action instead of say, give someone a +2. Also figure that you are playing a character that didn't start out with an 18 because you are not building a character that is a min/max character. ...

Yeah, so you asked:

Kiln Norn wrote:
I'd still like to see math saying DC 70 is possible.

I was curious about this myself. So I worked it out, and it looks like DC 70 is possible. But that doesn't mean it's easy!


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I had written this up on another site, but I think DCs need to decrease as well:

(TL;DR at the bottom)
I was looking over this and reading some comments on this sub, and I see that the current rules for starship checks don't make much sense. Under the current system of 10,15, and 20 + 2xTier you will get worse in general as you level at piloting/fixing/etc. your ship. I wanted to come up with an easy fix, so I theorized 3 characters that want to perform a starship role. Min, Med, and Max.

Min has little stake in succeeding in this role. Maybe they only chose it because it would round out the party, they put in the minimum effort to slide-by. Min puts max ranks into the skill required, but started with a 10 in the relevant stat. They increase the ability score with level increases (since they can pick 4), but neglect to buy any ability enhancers for the stat as they level. They also forgo any of the skill boosting feats

Med is mildly interested in this starship role. Maybe it wasn't their first choice, or they prefer ground combat to ship combat, they put in a medium effort to do well at this role. Med also puts max ranks into the skill, but starts with a 14 on the relevant stat. They increase the ability score as they level, and buy modifiers for their stat as second priority. They want most of their feats for combat, but they grab a skill focus at level 9.

Max wants to be the best of the best in this role. They wanted to be this role and want to succeed as much as possible, they put in the maximum effort to succeed. Max of course puts max ranks into his skill of choice, and also gets an 18 into his relevant ability score. They also chose a starting theme to get a +1, and a race to get a +2 to this stat. First two feats are skill focus and skill synergy netting a +5 to their skill. Of course they increase their ability score with every chance, and purchase the highest ability score modifier possible.

With this in mind I built a spreadsheet calculating their chance of success by level for basic, average, and hard checks (10+2xTier, 15+2xTier, and 20+2xTier respectively). I'll summarize how well they perform over their long and illustrious carriers:

Min starts out with a 60% to succeed at basic checks, a 35% chance to succeed at average checks, and a 10% chance to succeed at hard checks. Not terrible, but all of these chances decrease every level, by 5%. By level 10 they can only perform the most basic of checks at a 25% chance, and will fail at everything else. At level 20 they can no longer perform any of these checks, and couldn't since level 16. You might want to think about running when you see enemy ships, hopefully Min isn't the pilot because they really have begun to sleep on the job.

Med has a 70, 45 and 20 percent chances at basic, average, and hard checks. Not bad at all, about what I would suspect, however, they too begin to get worse. At level 20 they can only perform basic checks 15% of the time, and fail at everything else. Level 10 has a 55, 30, and 5 percent chance, a good 15% decrease from that plucky starting adventurer starting to explore the vast galaxy. Boy the horrors of the void sure have changed you Med, and not for the better.

Max can succeed at basic checks 100% of the time, average checks 85% of the time, and hard checks 60% of the time, and rightfully so they are the best after-all. Sadly Max isn't performing so hot later on in their career. Max stops auto succeeding at basic checks at level 8, and by level 20 it's a 50/50 chance to perform that simple task. Average checks drop steadily as well becoming a 50/50 shot at level 13, and 25% chances at level 20. Hard tasks become impossible for poor max at level 19. Boy, you sure have gotten rusty. Turns out you never became the best-of-the-best Max.

I propose the following change. First the DC scales by the tier, not 2xTier. This will not outpace the characters, and they should actually get better (assuming they increase their ability scores and such). Second we increase the base starting number, otherwise it is all too easy. Basic should be 13+Tier, Average should be 18+Tier, and Hard should be 23+Tier. This gives us better DCs. Lets look at everyone under this system.

Min is a slacker, but they can succeed 55% of the time on a basic check, and 30% of the time on an average check, and only 5% of the time on a hard check. However, they don't get worse. Instead Min gets a little better increasing steadily to 75, 50 and 25 percent for basic, medium and hard checks. For someone not too devoted to their craft that's not too terrible.

Med tries a little harder, and they can succeed 65, 40, and 15 percent of the time for basic, medium, and hard checks. Eventually the basic checks are auto-successes (level 14), and at level 20 average checks are 80% successes and hard are 55% successes. Respectable Med. Your average amount of work has paid off.

Max the best damn pilot/engineer/etc. this galaxy has ever seen. They don't fail at basic checks, not even at level 1. Average checks start at 80% successes and become auto-passes at level 7. Hard checks never become too easy to always pass, but they start at 55%, and cap at 90%. As is expected of a character trying their hardest to be the best of the best.

What do you all think of this progression?

TL;DR Change the calculations to 13+Tier for basic checks, 18+Tier for average checks, and 23+Tier for hard checks. (I'm still Unsure about the captain order to give another action)

Sovereign Court

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Porridge wrote:

I was curious about this myself. So I worked it out, and it looks like DC 70 is possible. But that doesn't mean it's easy!

I'd love to see the math on that because I don't see it.

+8 from the stat (starting at 15). 8
+20 from ranks 28
+3 from class skill 31
+2 Lashunta/Shirren 33
+6 Operative Edge (insight) 39
+10 Computer 49

That's 49. Roll a D20 and it's still impossible.

Once per day, you can untyped bonus to -attempt- a 10% chance to do it. That is just dumb.

Also, play Lashunta to be good is a terrible concept to start with.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Kiln Norn wrote:
Porridge wrote:

I was curious about this myself. So I worked it out, and it looks like DC 70 is possible. But that doesn't mean it's easy!

I'd love to see the math on that because I don't see it.

+8 from the stat (starting at 15). 8
+20 from ranks 28
+3 from class skill 31
+2 Lashunta/Shirren 33
+6 Operative Edge (insight) 39
+10 Computer 49

That's 49. Roll a D20 and it's still impossible.

Once per day, you can untyped bonus to -attempt- a 10% chance to do it. That is just dumb.

The base problem is that tasks become harder as you level up. It should be the opposite, or at the very least they should stay the same.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This feels... messy. I'm hoping this sees some errata sooner rather than later.

Additionally, it does seem strange that your party's ship tier is always equal to APL.

Sovereign Court

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Also I'm ignoring the most blaring problem with this whole thing. Your captain is using one of your two +10 computer checks to grant another action, which is going to probably fail because it doesn't have a +10 computer check to use.


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Xethik wrote:
Additionally, it does seem strange that your party's ship tier is always equal to APL.

I like the thought experiments this provokes. Like, if a level 2 PC steals a Tier 10 ship, can they simply not fly it due to DCs being too high (fantastic anti-theft measures!), or do parts start falling off as the ship becomes Tier 2?

Can a level 15 PC grow equipment in a desert when they discover a buried Tier 1 ship and try to get it up and running to escape the planet?

Of course, there are common sense answers to these, but it's fun to imagine the absurd. :)


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bookrat wrote:
Xethik wrote:
Additionally, it does seem strange that your party's ship tier is always equal to APL.

I like the thought experiments this provokes. Like, if a level 2 PC steals a Tier 10 ship, can they simply not fly it due to DCs being too high (fantastic anti-theft measures!), or do parts start falling off as the ship becomes Tier 2?

Can a level 15 PC grow equipment in a desert when they discover a buried Tier 1 ship and try to get it up and running to escape the planet?

Of course, there are common sense answers to these, but it's fun to imagine the absurd. :)

Or if a higher level member joins the party, the ship suddenly becomes harder to fly the moment they step on board :).


gigyas6 wrote:

Yeah, this seems pretty odd. I think that, much like base Pathfinder, level 20 play isn't really optimized as much as compared to 1-10 (and a little after for "high level" play). Not too many groups hit 20 from level 1 in Pathfinder, or 1-20 rpgs in general, so that's to be expected. Even so...

Keep in mind that at level 1, you also have a roughly 50% chance on numerous actions. Attacking another starship is most of the time 50% or less (depending on armor), as you can get, at best, a +5 bonus on the role (capped to 18 at character creation outside of rolling for stats, +1 BAB or 1 rank in Piloting). Even attacking a small ship with basic Mk 1 Armor, that's still a baseline of 13 AC, meaning you're still missing 35% of the time - and that's assuming worse-case scenario for opponent and best-case scenario for you. Realistically, you're going to fall more in the 50% range (less dex on gunner and more armor/defenses on target).

Similarly, DC 17's, which are fairly common for starship combat early on, are usually also a coinflip for characters without things like skill focus.

The thing is, more than just skill focus and racials increase your skills.
Envoys (at 20th level) get 1d8+4 to their Expertise skills every time they use it if they have resolve, which not only includes diplomatic skills but also Engineering and Computers.
Mechanics receive a passive increase to Computers and Engineering, and can be aided either by their drone (albeit debatable... I've yet to see anything that says you can't aid somebody in starship combat but that doesn't mean it can happen).

Mystic can receive a similar bonus to a variety of different skills, including Piloting, Bluff, and Intimidate, to a point higher even than Mechanic's bonus (+7 at 20 to +6 for mechanic), and some Connection Powers interact with such skills.

Operatives can take 10 on any Skill Focus skills in combat, and gives free skill focus which can include on Engineering and Computers.

Solarions and Soldiers both are the only classes... etc...

What you said in that post, "tier x 3 + 10 being a typo" I assume is correct, especially when one considers the fact that throughout other checks in starship combat, the book generally states "tier x 2 + 10."

When in doubt, go with what the book more commonly states than otherwise for DC values.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kiln Norn wrote:
Porridge wrote:

I was curious about this myself. So I worked it out, and it looks like DC 70 is possible. But that doesn't mean it's easy!

I'd love to see the math on that because I don't see it.

...wait, what?

Porridge wrote:
Kiln Norn wrote:
I'd still like to see math saying DC 70 is possible. See if you can figure it out.

So let's see... say we have a 20th lvl Lashunta Themeless Envoy in the Engineering role trying to make the DC 70 Engineering check to do the Overpower crew action.

20 (from d20)
16 (from 2d8 Envoy True Expertise ability) [insight bonus]
20 (20 ranks in Engineering)
3 (Engineering class skill)
2 (Lashunta Student ability) [racial bonus]
2 (Themeless Certainty ability 1/day) [untyped bonus]
9 (28 Intelligence)
2 (Encourage bonus from Captain) [untyped bonus]
10 (Mk 10 duonode Computer bonus) [circumstance bonus]

That allows us to hit a DC of 84.

These are all bonuses are ones the game allows you to have at the same time... and they all stack... and they add up to a number greater than 70... huh?

(We must be talking past one another. When you said "I'd still like to see math saying DC 70 is possible", I took you to mean, well, that you'd like to see how making a DC 70 check was possible. But perhaps you meant something else? Like "I'd like see math saying DC 70 is possible *given restrictions X, Y and Z*"? Or something?)


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Porridge wrote:
Quote:

20 (from d20)

16 (from 2d8 Envoy True Expertise ability) [insight bonus]
20 (20 ranks in Engineering)
3 (Engineering class skill)
2 (Lashunta Student ability) [racial bonus]
2 (Themeless Certainty ability 1/day) [untyped bonus]
9 (28 Intelligence)
2 (Encourage bonus from Captain) [untyped bonus]
10 (Mk 10 duonode Computer bonus) [circumstance bonus]

That allows us to hit a DC of 84.

These are all bonuses are ones the game allows you to have at the same time... and they all stack... and they add up to a number greater than 70... huh?

(We must be talking past one another. When you said "I'd still like to see math saying DC 70 is possible", I took you to mean, well, that you'd like to see how making a DC 70 check was possible. But perhaps you meant something else? Like "I'd like see math saying DC 70 is possible *given restrictions X, Y and Z*"? Or something?)

they all stack, but for example to add 16 from 2d8 you need to roll 8 twice, which happens 1.5% of the time, roughly. And you need to roll that in exactly the roll you are using the 1/day bonuses, and so on. Which might work 1.5% of the time for *ONE* action in your ship from *ONE* of your crewmembers in a single given round.

So while this might be the highest theorycrafted roll possible, it's not something that is going to happen anytime soon in any game table anywhere.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Porridge wrote:
Quote:

20 (from d20)

16 (from 2d8 Envoy True Expertise ability) [insight bonus]
20 (20 ranks in Engineering)
3 (Engineering class skill)
2 (Lashunta Student ability) [racial bonus]
2 (Themeless Certainty ability 1/day) [untyped bonus]
9 (28 Intelligence)
2 (Encourage bonus from Captain) [untyped bonus]
10 (Mk 10 duonode Computer bonus) [circumstance bonus]

That allows us to hit a DC of 84.

These are all bonuses are ones the game allows you to have at the same time... and they all stack... and they add up to a number greater than 70... huh?

(We must be talking past one another. When you said "I'd still like to see math saying DC 70 is possible", I took you to mean, well, that you'd like to see how making a DC 70 check was possible. But perhaps you meant something else? Like "I'd like see math saying DC 70 is possible *given restrictions X, Y and Z*"? Or something?)

they all stack, but for example to add 16 from 2d8 you need to roll 8 twice, which happens 1.5% of the time, roughly. And you need to roll that in exactly the roll you are using the 1/day bonuses, and so on. Which might work 1.5% of the time for *ONE* action in your ship from *ONE* of your crewmembers in a single given round.

So while this might be the highest theorycrafted roll possible, it's not something that is going to happen anytime soon in any game table anywhere.

Given the dice odds of both the d20 and the envoy ability, you still have a 60% chance to fail on that once-per-day ability to do something you can do readily at only a 37.5% chance of failure when you get the ability without having to use any once-per-day abilities or the ships computer (you can get around +15+1d6+1 as a level 6 envoy).

It may be possible, even readily so, but it's almost twice as easy to do the same exact same thing at level 6, while spending no resources beyond the Resolve necessary to use the action to begin with.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
gigyas6 wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
Porridge wrote:
Quote:

20 (from d20)

16 (from 2d8 Envoy True Expertise ability) [insight bonus]
20 (20 ranks in Engineering)
3 (Engineering class skill)
2 (Lashunta Student ability) [racial bonus]
2 (Themeless Certainty ability 1/day) [untyped bonus]
9 (28 Intelligence)
2 (Encourage bonus from Captain) [untyped bonus]
10 (Mk 10 duonode Computer bonus) [circumstance bonus]

That allows us to hit a DC of 84.

These are all bonuses are ones the game allows you to have at the same time... and they all stack... and they add up to a number greater than 70... huh?

(We must be talking past one another. When you said "I'd still like to see math saying DC 70 is possible", I took you to mean, well, that you'd like to see how making a DC 70 check was possible. But perhaps you meant something else? Like "I'd like see math saying DC 70 is possible *given restrictions X, Y and Z*"? Or something?)

they all stack, but for example to add 16 from 2d8 you need to roll 8 twice, which happens 1.5% of the time, roughly. And you need to roll that in exactly the roll you are using the 1/day bonuses, and so on. Which might work 1.5% of the time for *ONE* action in your ship from *ONE* of your crewmembers in a single given round.

So while this might be the highest theorycrafted roll possible, it's not something that is going to happen anytime soon in any game table anywhere.

Given the dice odds of both the d20 and the envoy ability, you still have a 60% chance to fail on that once-per-day ability to do something you can do readily at only a 37.5% chance of failure when you get the ability without having to use any once-per-day abilities or the ships computer (you can get around +15+1d6+1 as a level 6 envoy).

It may be possible, even readily so, but it's almost twice as easy to do the same exact same thing at level 6, while spending no resources beyond the Resolve necessary to use the action to begin with.

How are you getting around the fact that RAW, expertise die (and operative's edge) don't work for crew actions? That 84 DC (with 3 perfect rolls on a char optimized specifically to pass crew action checks) becomes 68 without True Expertise.

Sovereign Court

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Porridge wrote:
Kiln Norn wrote:
Porridge wrote:

I was curious about this myself. So I worked it out, and it looks like DC 70 is possible. But that doesn't mean it's easy!

I'd love to see the math on that because I don't see it.

...wait, what?

Porridge wrote:
Kiln Norn wrote:
I'd still like to see math saying DC 70 is possible. See if you can figure it out.

So let's see... say we have a 20th lvl Lashunta Themeless Envoy in the Engineering role trying to make the DC 70 Engineering check to do the Overpower crew action.

20 (from d20)
16 (from 2d8 Envoy True Expertise ability) [insight bonus]
20 (20 ranks in Engineering)
3 (Engineering class skill)
2 (Lashunta Student ability) [racial bonus]
2 (Themeless Certainty ability 1/day) [untyped bonus]
9 (28 Intelligence)
2 (Encourage bonus from Captain) [untyped bonus]
10 (Mk 10 duonode Computer bonus) [circumstance bonus]

That allows us to hit a DC of 84.

These are all bonuses are ones the game allows you to have at the same time... and they all stack... and they add up to a number greater than 70... huh?

(We must be talking past one another. When you said "I'd still like to see math saying DC 70 is possible", I took you to mean, well, that you'd like to see how making a DC 70 check was possible. But perhaps you meant something else? Like "I'd like see math saying DC 70 is possible *given restrictions X, Y and Z*"? Or something?)

I mean show me any non min/max non envoy pulling off a DC 70 check more than once a day on an offchance he succeeds with a 1/day ability.

Better yet show me a captain pulling this off. Your example is a very light case that only works with an absolutely maxed out character. Racial bonuses, 3 max roll dice, computer bonus, and captain bonus. Without that envoy 2d8 and no captain/ themeless bonus not even an envoy can make the check.

Even with either a 1/day themeless bonus or a captain encourage no one else can make it. With both they have one chance in a day to attempt a miniscule chance so low it's not worth taking.

And that is not counting the fact that your captain just used one of your two +10 bonuses to try to grant someone else an extra action.

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