Starfinder versus Pathfinder vote: BAB and combat


General Discussion


So I've got to read through the combat section and I think I really like the changes.

I was always slightly unhappy with the +20/+15/+10/+5 thing for one I had to calculate my to hit 4 times. minor really but the big one was how the die worked. lets say I need to roll a 10 to hit with the +20 that means that after my first two attacks the last two only hit on a 20. kind of a waste of time. vice versa if you can hit with your +5 attack on a 10 your first 2 attacks are guaranteed on anything but a 1.

With the new move attack or two attack at -4/-4 the bonuses are the same and completely removes my major issue.

I could go on but I want community's opinion SO Ill post the two options below and you guys favorite the one you like best and of course explain why below. :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Pathfinder +20/+15/+10/+5 old school way


16 people marked this as a favorite.

Starfinder +20 or +16/+16 Brand new way.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

C) More actual experience with the second option needed in order to make an informed decision.


Fair enough. I guess I should say conceptually it sounds better.


I'm digging the rework for power attack, and weapon specialization.


Have yet to play, but after eyeballing the stuff, I think I'm going to like it, especially from a GM's perspective. I think Starfinder looks a lot more approachable for newer players (which I'll soon be dealing with), and it looks like combat turns will flow a lot faster.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I'm digging the rework for power attack, and weapon specialization.

I am assuming you meant Deadly Aim and not Power Attack? Power Attack isn't even a feat unless it got renamed and I over looked it.


Yes I did mean deadly aim.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ok I was like if there is a power attack equivalant than I want to know about it haha.


Micheal Smith wrote:
Ok I was like if there is a power attack equivalant than I want to know about it haha.

Deadly Aim is the power attack equivalent. It works for both melee and range.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Deadly aim honestly strikes me as rubbish. In a game without a lot of bonuses to hit (and loss of pretty much all the stacking ones), the -2 hurts. Simultaneously, between the bonuses for weapon specialization and scaling weapons, the damage bonus doesn't really matter.

At 10th level the damage bonus of +5 is still kind of getting lost under the 3d8+10 or 3d10+10, and it just gets worse from there. 6d10+14+7 is just kinda meh. But the -2 (or more likely, -6/-6) that will make or break that roll happening at all really matters.

But for the actual question, yeah. The SF method is a lot better. I'm not quite sold on the damage scaling, but (especially as I prefer hybrid classes anyway), ditching iterative attacks for a set number makes a lot more sense.

My only real problem is caused by operatives getting trick attack or multi-attack 3 and 4. It seems to have caused a backlash which made small arms and operative weapons really bad for everyone else. Which I really don't care for, since the source material/genre really likes characters with pistols and light blades, and those are mechanically terrible choices for 6 of 7 classes.

Liberty's Edge

Voss wrote:

Deadly aim honestly strikes me as rubbish. In a game without a lot of bonuses to hit (and loss of pretty much all the stacking ones), the -2 hurts. Simultaneously, between the bonuses for weapon specialization and scaling weapons, the damage bonus doesn't really matter.

At 10th level the damage bonus of +5 is still kind of getting lost under the 3d8+10 or 3d10+10, and it just gets worse from there. 6d10+14+7 is just kinda meh. But the -2 (or more likely, -6/-6) that will make or break that roll happening at all really matters.

It's of somewhat niche usefulness, yeah. I prefer that to everyone needing to have it ala Pathfinder, though.

Voss wrote:
But for the actual question, yeah. The SF method is a lot better. I'm not quite sold on the damage scaling, but (especially as I prefer hybrid classes anyway), ditching iterative attacks for a set number makes a lot more sense.

Personally, I'm liking the whole thing. Seems to work out nicely.

Voss wrote:
My only real problem is caused by operatives getting trick attack or multi-attack 3 and 4. It seems to have caused a backlash which made small arms and operative weapons really bad for everyone else. Which I really don't care for, since the source material/genre really likes characters with pistols and light blades, and those are mechanically terrible choices for 6 of 7 classes.

Well, Small Arms are the equivalent of Simple Weapons in Pathfinder, ie: the weapons everyone can get. They're gonna be less powerful no matter what. And still seen commonly because only one Class and one build of another actually get Longarms Proficiency by default. Sure, dedicated combatants will buy them, but that's not gonna be everyone.

And Operative weapons actually make a really solid melee backup for a primarily ranged character, IMO. Way better for a Str 10 guy than trying to go with a non-Operative melee weapon.


Some of you commentors don't forget to vote!


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Dead Phoenix wrote:
Micheal Smith wrote:
Ok I was like if there is a power attack equivalant than I want to know about it haha.
Deadly Aim is the power attack equivalent. It works for both melee and range.

I didn't even realize that it just said with a weapon, and not specify ranged only weapons. Interesting.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I prefer Starfinders at first glance, but am growing a healthy disdain for the underlying math chassis that goes with it.

I actually think I would rather have just a couple of these starfinder changes for Pathfinder (BAB and the death of the 5 foot step) and leave the rest in the rubbish bin


I prefer Starfinder's. Its much simpler, and for the combats I've seen so far in person, quicker.

Admittedly I've only played at 1st level in Starfinder, but I haven't seen any monsters with complicated full attack routines. One monster, one roll (or two when full attacking). It might be described as a bunch of tentacles individually slamming into you, but its all one attack. You might have more rounds of combat overall, but I expect in the mid-levels and high-levels, fights are going to take less time than Pathfinder.


Well so far no one prefers the old way.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It will take a bit getting used to. I’ll miss the free 5 foot step. I do like the reduction in number of attacks.


Appreciate the feed back I may do one for 5 ft step vrs guarded step later.


When I first saw the iterative attack system for 3.0 I thought it sounded neat. Once I started using it I couldn't wait to drop it.

Whether playing an rpg that uses TotM or a grid, most systems don't use an iterative attack system. Having run a few combats in Starfinder I found that (unsurprisingly) I vastly prefer the "new" system. As an aside, I consider the non-iterative attack method to be the old-school way.


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

Well, iteratives beat 3/2 (or 5/2) attacks from AD&D Second Editon any time, I think, but I'm still happy to see them go.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Appreciate the feed back I may do one for 5 ft step vrs guarded step later.

Guarded Step every time. I've long lost count how often I've had to correct players that you cannot move and take a 5-foot-step in the same round, even players that have played this game system for more than 15 years. This is a detail that some players will never learn, so good riddance.


There are very pro Starfinder votes in both of these threads. This as far as I can tell could be for one of three reasons:

- It being shiny and new
- This being the Starfinder thread
- The Starfinder system being objectively better

I can't help but wonder if the results would be different if this was posted

1. On the Pathfinder General Discussion Board (as this one will have the people who have naturally gravitated to SF)

2. Posted up (on both boards) in about 6 months time...


Give it a shot, and let me know.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Played with this a bit at higher levels tonight just for fun.

Definitely started missing iteratives - combat really starts to drag unless someone happens to crit.

I think axing that OR the 5 foot step but not both should have been the way to go.


Interesting even with the much higher dice pools and bonuses to damage?

Liberty's Edge

Yeah, what level are we talking? Higher levels I'd expect full attacks a fair percentage of the time, which should speed things up somewhat.


Weapon damage does not make its first significant jump until about item levels 10-12. Full attacks for most characters have been an option for several levels at this point, weapon specialization applies everywhere and picking up versatile weapon focus or weapon focus along the way is definitely a nice way to bump that attack bonus up a point or two.


I'm personally anxiously awaiting someone to do a bench marking chart like the one for pathfinder for star finder. I am interested to see the differences.


Benchmarking chart? Won't be viable until the critter book comes out in, what, October-ish if you're describing what i think you are.

Going to be a lot harder to hit blue on those benchmarks. ;)


Yeah that is about what I had thought.


Part of it is that I suspect that the "average stats by CR" is significantly different from Pathfinder to Starfinder. In PF it is possible to stack up mountains and mountains of bonuses. This is not generally true in Starfinder, especially on attack rolls. Consequently (one hopes) that the expectations by encounter/critter CR are lower, in general, than they are for Pathfinder.

I anticipate sharp spikes in those expectations at two or three points starting after CRs of 9-11 or so.

I don't think damage output is going to directly be the issue so much as attack bonuses and save DCs are going to be the primary challenge for players to overcome. In Starfinder PCs look like it is in their own best interests to rack up the circumstance modifiers that are easily overlooked/forgotten in Pathfinder play.

It is almost a certainty that Weapon Focus and/or Versatile Weapon Focus are going to prove to be incredibly valuable.

I do believe that the save-boosting feats are similarly going to prove of greater worth than we're accustomed to if for no other reason than blanket bonuses on saves all day long via cheap magical trinkets is no longer an option.


I expect that the targets will need to be adjusted as well. Getting to half an average enemy's HP in one round doesn't seem like a reasonable possibility in Starfinder.


I don't know. If you pumped your BAB high enough you could hit monsters on the last two attacks which means they die faster in Pathfinder. I don't think I want monsters that hit above their CR such as giants to be on the battlefield longer. I really have no problem taking a -5 every time for the next attack.

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