Jolting Surge 4d6 dmg at level 1?


Rules Questions


Jolting Surge does 4d6 dmg as a level 1 spell.

Is this a typo?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

No.


Yeah, it seems pretty much in line with other Technomancer spells. Other examples:

Overheat, 1st level - 2d8 damage to creatures in a cone.
Inject Nanobots, 2nd level - 4d8 damage to a single target + confused condition.


I remember one of the devs stating that spell damage didn't scale anymore, so all spells would do the max amount of damage they would have scaled to. That way spell A wouldn't reach max damage just when spell B came online to replace it.


This makes it difficult to design boss type NPCs. You'd have to adjust on the fly based on whether or not your casters have their level 1 spells left.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Pax Rafkin wrote:
This makes it difficult to design boss type NPCs. You'd have to adjust on the fly based on whether or not your casters have their level 1 spells left.

Or you can look at it from the other angle: your players need to be aware that they can't just blow through their spells and expect that they'll have an easy time with bosses.

Besides, at higher levels that 4d6 is literally almost nothing, so holding onto it is pointless. A level 11 doshko can do 4d12 on every attack, which you can easily have two of in many situations, while you can only ever cast one spell...and that's not even getting into the fact that weapons benefit from an array of damage boosts that spells don't.

Even the weapons a technomancer brings to bear at that level are a good tradeoff for that jolting surge. You're much, much more likely to spec Dex than Str as a technomancer, meaning you can full attack (say at 3d6 P with a level 10 semi-auto) and have a good chance of hitting from a safe distance, rather than having to jam your gun into an enemy in melee range, risking your delicate behind...

I thought about taking it, but eventually did the math and chose magic missile instead of jolting surge. The range is a huge issue. The squishiness of the technomancer does not lend itself to being that close to enemies. (They're not known for wearing the big, thick armor, really...) The need to do damage in close isn't something that you should dismiss, of course, but to pretend that your boss-killing strategy is going to rely on touch range spells?

Eeesh...


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Oddly, not only is this not a typo, but Jolting Surge is probably the worst of the 1st level damaging spells available to the Technomancer. Supercharge Weapon is also 4d6 damage but uses your ally's (superior) attack roll and doesn't need you to expose your wimpy body to melee.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cellion wrote:
Oddly, not only is this not a typo, but Jolting Surge is probably the worst of the 1st level damaging spells available to the Technomancer. Supercharge Weapon is also 4d6 damage but uses your ally's (superior) attack roll and doesn't need you to expose your wimpy body to melee.

But it costs an action to cast and an action to use. So it's an extra 2d6 for 2 rounds effectively that's not that great considering that a mechanic can add +1d6 every round at second level and an operative can add +1d4 every round at first level.


Corwynn Maelstrom wrote:
Pax Rafkin wrote:
This makes it difficult to design boss type NPCs. You'd have to adjust on the fly based on whether or not your casters have their level 1 spells left.

Or you can look at it from the other angle: your players need to be aware that they can't just blow through their spells and expect that they'll have an easy time with bosses.

Besides, at higher levels that 4d6 is literally almost nothing, so holding onto it is pointless. A level 11 doshko can do 4d12 on every attack, which you can easily have two of in many situations, while you can only ever cast one spell...and that's not even getting into the fact that weapons benefit from an array of damage boosts that spells don't.

Even the weapons a technomancer brings to bear at that level are a good tradeoff for that jolting surge. You're much, much more likely to spec Dex than Str as a technomancer, meaning you can full attack (say at 3d6 P with a level 10 semi-auto) and have a good chance of hitting from a safe distance, rather than having to jam your gun into an enemy in melee range, risking your delicate behind...

I thought about taking it, but eventually did the math and chose magic missile instead of jolting surge. The range is a huge issue. The squishiness of the technomancer does not lend itself to being that close to enemies. (They're not known for wearing the big, thick armor, really...) The need to do damage in close isn't something that you should dismiss, of course, but to pretend that your boss-killing strategy is going to rely on touch range spells?

Eeesh...

I'm not concerned with it at 11th level. It's level 1-3 that's its a problem


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

12-14 health pool technomancer with a low-to-mid teens AC pair is not going to want to mix it up in melee if they can afford to miss it.

At 1-3 the fragility issue is so pronounced that anyone actively seeking melee has a death wish...

This is not actually a problem. A soldier is probably doing 1d12+3 or 4 (and can manage 5) per turn, and can do 2d12+6 or 8 (or even 10) if they're in the thick of it. For zero resource cost...while usually having a better AC pair and of course a bigger health pool.

It's not the technomancers you need to watch out for at low level. It's the blitz soldiers.

*** stupid edit dumped my post ***

Long story short: jolting surge is not a problem, supercharge weapon is vastly superior except in situations you want to avoid, and Starfinder is MUCH different than Pathfinder, so a) it's going to take time to adjust (Alien Archive can't come soon enough) and b) you should worry more about the resources you KNOW the party will have available, because in most cases those are the more dangerous ones.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Shaudius wrote:
Cellion wrote:
Oddly, not only is this not a typo, but Jolting Surge is probably the worst of the 1st level damaging spells available to the Technomancer. Supercharge Weapon is also 4d6 damage but uses your ally's (superior) attack roll and doesn't need you to expose your wimpy body to melee.
But it costs an action to cast and an action to use. So it's an extra 2d6 for 2 rounds effectively that's not that great considering that a mechanic can add +1d6 every round at second level and an operative can add +1d4 every round at first level.

Or... cast it on an ally's weapon, so that it only costs one standard action instead of two (your ally would be attacking anyway).


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Standing next to an ally boosting their attack is just one way to use supercharge weapon. It's a great spell which can be adapted to the situation at hand, while maintaining your distance from the unpleasantness of a melee.


Pax Rafkin wrote:
I'm not concerned with it at 11th level. It's level 1-3 that's its a problem

I like the new design a lot. It's like 5e:you have limited resources as a lvl1 caster, but your spells matter. Doing 1d4 with a lvl1 burning hands (with REF save for half damage, no less!) is a waste of time. That's why sleep and color spray ate so popular at low levels, regular 1d4 or 1d6 (with RFEF for half) is not worth a spell slot and a standard action


How soon can they cast 3 level 1 spells? At level 2? (Guessing, no book in front of me) That plus spell cache and the whole party gets Weapon Surge.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

You can use jolting surge to make a pretty fun close combat mage.


Pax Rafkin wrote:
How soon can they cast 3 level 1 spells? At level 2? (Guessing, no book in front of me) That plus spell cache and the whole party gets Weapon Surge.

If they have a good Int score, they can cast 3 at level 1.


This spell seems fine at low levels (5-?) when combined with Spell Grenade hack.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Pax Rafkin wrote:
How soon can they cast 3 level 1 spells? At level 2? (Guessing, no book in front of me) That plus spell cache and the whole party gets Weapon Surge.

No. One person per round gets it. It has a duration which lasts until the end of the technomancer's next turn.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

FWIW, quest 1 of the 5-pack, my Technomancer granted an Android Soldier Supercharged Weapon. His hunting rifle one-shot the boss.


Given that it's a Melee Touch attack, it seems fine to me


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
The Imperator wrote:
Pax Rafkin wrote:
How soon can they cast 3 level 1 spells? At level 2? (Guessing, no book in front of me) That plus spell cache and the whole party gets Weapon Surge.
If they have a good Int score, they can cast 3 at level 1.

A Starfinder character can't start with a score above 18 at 1st level. Sorry, but no 20 Int for the extra bonus 1st level spell.

However, a spell gem containing a 1st-level spell is only 140 cr, well within the price range of a 1st level character.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Dragonchess Player wrote:
The Imperator wrote:
Pax Rafkin wrote:
How soon can they cast 3 level 1 spells? At level 2? (Guessing, no book in front of me) That plus spell cache and the whole party gets Weapon Surge.
If they have a good Int score, they can cast 3 at level 1.

A Starfinder character can't start with a score above 18 at 1st level. Sorry, but no 20 Int for the extra bonus 1st level spell.

However, a spell gem containing a 1st-level spell is only 140 cr, well within the price range of a 1st level character.

Partially true. You can't have a score past 18 at first level, but it only takes a 12 score to get the +1 1st level spell, for a total of 3 per day (and an additional +1 from a spell gem, for four). A 20 lets you get a +2 1st level spells.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Supercharge Weapon was pretty brutal, but so was full round Magic Missile. Hard to discount not needing to roll to hit to dish out 10.5 average damage.

All in all, Technomancers are much less crap at low level than Wizards. Which is a GOOD thing. Particularly for Society play.

Dark Archive

For Technomancers you could throw off 4 spells in a day at 1st level without consumables. 2 per day as base, +1 from an int of +12, and +1 from their spell cache. The spell cache is a 1st level class feature that works very similar to an item arcane bond from pathfinder. It lets you cast any spell you know, even if you've spent all your spell slots for that level, once each day.


Cyrad wrote:
You can use jolting surge to make a pretty fun close combat mage.

You can but it may well be a bad idea. You are looking at prioritising str to have any sort of reasonable chance to connect and you still need Int to power your number of spells. You cannot ignore dex as you only have light armour and ignoring con is a path to death in melee.

Basically you become very MAD if you want to do melee as a technomancer.


andreww wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
You can use jolting surge to make a pretty fun close combat mage.

You can but it may well be a bad idea. You are looking at prioritising str to have any sort of reasonable chance to connect and you still need Int to power your number of spells. You cannot ignore dex as you only have light armour and ignoring con is a path to death in melee.

Basically you become very MAD if you want to do melee as a technomancer.

Higher tier weapons (which - if powered - even can be used as a conduit for the spell) and armor can go a long way there, though...


I'll have to remember to combine that spell with a level 1 haan for reach with their touch attacks and get a 1/day 30 ft. long cone of 3d6 fire damage.


You could burn a feat on heavy armour, so Dex wouldn't be such an issue
A close combat technomancer might not be the most optimal build, but I don't see any reason why it couldn't work

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