Can Star Shamans Breathe in Space?


Rules Questions

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So, according to the text of the Walk the Void ability, a Star Shaman Mystic is immune to the "harmful environmental effects of outer space and vacuum." When I cross-referenced this to some of the environmental effects of outer space, it mentioned immediate suffocation and depressurization damage. I'm 100% certain that Walk the Void would protect a mystic from the damage (and probably the stellar radiation from being in the naked void of space, and the cold...you get me), but does it protect them from the lack of oxygen? Is "lack of oxygen" an environmental factor in respect to Walk the Void?

Incidentally, I'm aware that Walk the Void's specific effects would not refer to other circumstances, such as breathing underwater or what have you? But if a mystic with that ability were to take a space-walk, would they need to breathe, or would their abilities protect them?

Thoughts?


I would assume it would include breathing.

Liberty's Edge

Quote:
Walk the Void: You are immune to the harmful environmental effects of outer space and vacuum.

I cannot attest to the RAI of the above, only what I interpret the RAW to be, and sadly it's not very definitive. The CRB refers to a "vacuum" only a handful of times, and even then it only refers to the "environmental effects" of vacuums even less. However, it is pretty clear what the HARMFUL environmental effects are.

Quote:

A creature introduced to a vacuum immediately begins to suffocate (see Suffocation and Drowning on page 404) and takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage per round (no saving throw).

Decompression occurs when a creature suddenly transitions from a pressurized environment to a vacuum, such as by being flung out of an airlock or being inside a sealed structure that becomes heavily damaged. Such a creature takes 3d6 bludgeoning damage (no saving throw) in addition to any suffocation damage.

RAW I believe this ability makes you immune to the "depressurized" harmful effect of changing environments. So, no 3d6 bludgeoning (compression) damage, as well as the 1d6 bludgeoning (suffocation) damage. But it doesn't remove the need to actually breath.

RAI, I think it protects you from all of the above, as well as entropy from heat release. You still have to worry about radiation, gravitation, etc... as those effects are separate from vacuums in general. But the lack of warmth, air, and the depressurization effects should all be ignored for a Star Shaman. (And it's perfectly reasonable, since a 745 credit item removes the need to breath, and one even cheaper removes the need to eat or drink.)


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I would say that radiation is generally thought of as a harmful effect of "outer space."

As I understand it, the ability's intention is to let you go outside your ship without a space suit. That doesn't hold up if you need an oxygen tank or a radiation suit.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

There's also the fact that suffocation is the first harmful effect mentioned in the "environmental hazards" of vacuum, so I'm not sure if it's just the pressurization. Although I am willing to say because RAW is fairly ambiguous on this point, that's probably a reasonable interpretation. Also, it did mention "effects of outer space and vacuum" and cosmic rays are listed as one of the harmful environmental effects of outer space.

That said, a Star Shaman probably wouldn't be immune to, say, an unshielded ship's core just because they happen to be floating freely in the black. But since cosmic radiation is kind of a basic attribute of the void of outer space, I assumed that part was covered.

Liberty's Edge

Don't androids get the same immunity with a separate provision for not needing to breathe? I think the intention is that they only need an air supply, not a full seal, or they can space walk as long as they can hold their breaths.


Smite Makes Right wrote:
Don't androids get the same immunity with a separate provision for not needing to breathe? I think the intention is that they only need an air supply, not a full seal, or they can space walk as long as they can hold their breaths.

Androids can go underwater. They "do not breathe oror suffer the normal environmental effects of being in a vacuum." The first half does not limit the second.

Liberty's Edge

No, it sets the precedence for separately addressing not needing to breathe in a vacuum and not suffering from the harmful effects of a vacuum.


This is important, because I want to be Batman, and if I can't breath in space then what's the point?


Smite Makes Right wrote:
No, it sets the precedence for separately addressing not needing to breathe in a vacuum and not suffering from the harmful effects of a vacuum.

Which is really important when and only when you don't need to breathe in any situation. If the only situation in which you don't need to breathe is while in space, it doesn't need its own entry.

Scarab Sages

The ability to survive in space without needing equipment or to breathe is not really that powerful in starfinder and it is my belief that it is absolutely intended for the Star Shaman to be able to not breathe in space. Any first level character with 95 credits can survive an entire day in space thanks to the cheapest armor in the game. A sacerian is a pc race from first contact, and they have that as a racial ability.

Starfinder has a different design paradigm than pathfinder. Where in pathfinder this was an appropriate ability for level 10 when a necklace of adaptation is available, in Starfinder it's appropriate for level one.

Scarab Sages Starfinder Design Lead

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Star shamans can breathe in space.


Imbicatus wrote:

The ability to survive in space without needing equipment or to breathe is not really that powerful in starfinder and it is my belief that it is absolutely intended for the Star Shaman to be able to not breathe in space. Any first level character with 95 credits can survive an entire day in space thanks to the cheapest armor in the game. A sacerian is a pc race from first contact, and they have that as a racial ability.

Starfinder has a different design paradigm than pathfinder. Where in pathfinder this was an appropriate ability for level 10 when a necklace of adaptation is available, in Starfinder it's appropriate for level one.

Technically, all they need is a 25c space suit. Mobile Hotelier gets you longer for 50c, but that's inside of a tent. Still definitely worth having.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think if you buy a iridescent spindle aeon stone you can breath in space as well? But it won't protect you from the cold and so on.


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If Star Shamans are immune to the harmful effects of outer space and vacuum, does that include immunity to latent solar radiation (or lack thereof) drastically causing shifts in temperature while in space?

If they are immune to latent solar radiation, are Star Shamans able to ever get a sun tan? This is important.


The immunity only applies while they are in outer space or a vacuum. So,they can get a suntan planet-side, but are immune while outside an atmosphere.

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