Dermal plating, what's the point?


General Discussion


I don't understand why dermal plating exists when there's also the enhanced resistance feat. It just seems like an inefficient way to spend your credits. On that note why does enhanced resistance exist? It's basically a must take. And all it does is turn off another feat (weapon specialization) I could understand if they stacked but dermal plating explicitly says it doesn't.


What page does it say that dermal plating doesn't stack? I can't find it.

Liberty's Edge

You can grab Enhanced Resistance for a common elemental damage type (say, fire) and then also grab Dermal Plating. That's...possibly not optimal, but given how common laser weapons are, definitely not a bad call for a ranged specialist. Remember, you can't buy a Feat more than once unless it says so and Enhanced Resistance doesn't.

Scarab Sages

Also, most enemies are not built using pc rules, so you're not going to be facing very many enemies with weapon specialization.


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One costs a feat, which is a limited resource. One costs credits, potentially unlimited.

Also, the dermal plating rules specifically outline how they stack:

"If you have natural damage reduction equal to or greater than your dermal plating, adding dermal plating increases the value of your natural DR by 1. If you have natural DR of a value less than your dermal plating, the value of DR from your dermal plating increases by 1."


I thought it was to help cover your bases between other resistance and DR abilities, some armor upgrades, some class abilities and a feat that will seriously cut down on damage taken.

Liberty's Edge

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Imbicatus wrote:
Also, most enemies are not built using pc rules, so you're not going to be facing very many enemies with weapon specialization.

This is both technically true and deeply misleading. It's true that most NPCs, built with the NPC rules, will not have Weapon Specialization, but all enemies of CR 1+ built with those rules add their CR as a flat bonus to damage, which has much the same effect.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
You can grab Enhanced Resistance for a common elemental damage type (say, fire) and then also grab Dermal Plating. That's...possibly not optimal, but given how common laser weapons are, definitely not a bad call for a ranged specialist. Remember, you can't buy a Feat more than once unless it says so and Enhanced Resistance doesn't.

Aha! That's a good eye! You can ONLY have Enhanced Resistance vs. one type of damage! There's no special addendum saying that you can take it multiple times for different types. Somehow I skimmed right over that.

Also, this means that you can only have Weapon Focus in one type of weapon. Your skills are, as they say, 'focused', and your enhanced resistance is indeed, "training your body to resist a PARTICULAR type of damage" [emphasis mine].

Also worth noting that lasers penetrate force fields, so Enhanced Resistance could be a good way to protect from them, while letting a force field help out against other attacks.


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Butch A. wrote:

Aha! That's a good eye! You can ONLY have Enhanced Resistance vs. one type of damage! There's no special addendum saying that you can take it multiple times for different types. Somehow I skimmed right over that.

Also, this means that you can only have Weapon Focus in one type of weapon. Your skills are, as they say, 'focused', and your enhanced resistance is indeed, "training your body to resist a PARTICULAR type of damage" [emphasis mine].

Also worth noting that lasers penetrate force fields, so Enhanced Resistance could be a good way to protect from them, while letting a force field help out against other attacks.

You can only take Weapon Focus once yeah, but once you have Weapon Focus, you qualify for Versatile Focus, so it doesn't really matter.

Basically, if you're going to spend more than one feat on weapon focus, you just get it for everything. Ditto with off-class weapon specialization with Versatile Specialization.


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Descrud wrote:
I could understand if they stacked but dermal plating explicitly says it doesn't.

It kinda does:

Dermal Plating wrote:
If you have natural damage reduction equal to or greater than your dermal plating, adding dermal plating increases the value of your natural DR by 1.

So, dermal plating exists for exactly one reason. You take Enhanced Resistance (kinetic), spend a feat to get by far the best DR in the game, and then spend 3,025 credits when you get around it to increase your DR by another point.

Seriously, someone must've been asleep at the wheel. Given all the other sources of DR in the game, dermal plating mk. 1 is a great bargain at mid-to-high-levels, while every other level is a waste of money. And yeah, I don't know why Enhanced Resistance exists either, especially (a) since they're explicitly trying to cut down on must-take feats, and (b) it pretty much invalidates lots of equipment and class abilities for anyone who can afford to take it. (For instance, it makes the last two abilities in the soldier's Guard fighting style basically a joke.)

Liberty's Edge

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Ludovicus wrote:
Seriously, someone must've been asleep at the wheel. Given all the other sources of DR in the game, dermal plating mk. 1 is a great bargain at mid-to-high-levels, while every other level is a waste of money. And yeah, I don't know why Enhanced Resistance exists either, especially (a) since they're explicitly trying to cut down on must-take feats,

Eh. I'm not sure it's a must-have. It's very cool, but most characters are quite survivable already, and unlike Pathfinder the vast majority of damage is not physical. It's more like half at most.

Ludovicus wrote:
and (b) it pretty much invalidates lots of equipment and class abilities for anyone who can afford to take it. (For instance, it makes the last two abilities in the soldier's Guard fighting style basically a joke.)

Again, you can only take the Feat once, and there are a lot more ways to get DR than Energy Resistance.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Also, most enemies are not built using pc rules, so you're not going to be facing very many enemies with weapon specialization.
This is both technically true and deeply misleading. It's true that most NPCs, built with the NPC rules, will not have Weapon Specialization, but all enemies of CR 1+ built with those rules add their CR as a flat bonus to damage, which has much the same effect.

Do you have access to rules that we don't?


Zaister wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Also, most enemies are not built using pc rules, so you're not going to be facing very many enemies with weapon specialization.
This is both technically true and deeply misleading. It's true that most NPCs, built with the NPC rules, will not have Weapon Specialization, but all enemies of CR 1+ built with those rules add their CR as a flat bonus to damage, which has much the same effect.
Do you have access to rules that we don't?

IDK what he's talking about, NPCs explicitly have weapon specialization, First Contact says all NPCs of CR 3+ add their CR to damage rolls.

Liberty's Edge

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Zaister wrote:
Do you have access to rules that we don't?

All the NPCs in First Contact follow the rule I stated. Invariably. So do all other monster stat blocks revealed thus far. Invariably. I inferred it.

IonutRO wrote:
IDK what he's talking about, NPCs explicitly have weapon specialization, First Contact says all NPCs of CR 3+ add their CR to damage rolls.

Where? I just did a word search for 'weapon' and 'special' in the PDF and couldn't find it.

Making it explictly Weapon Specialization would make sense...but your statement rather fails to explain the CR 1 and 2 NPCs who add their CR to damage.

Dark Archive

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I'm pretty sure the developers mentioned this in one of the seminars. All NPC'S get their CR to damage. It's a slight difference from the ways PC's do it, but it's consistent with monsters.

Liberty's Edge

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Ectar wrote:
I'm pretty sure the developers mentioned this in one of the seminars. All NPC'S get their CR to damage. It's a slight difference from the ways PC's do it, but it's consistent with monsters.

It's also only a very slight difference. PCs do exactly that from 3rd level on.


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unless they're Operatives or the like, then they only get half to damage.


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Shinigami02 wrote:
unless they're Operatives or the like, then they only get half to damage.

To be fair grenadiers get no bonus with their grenades at all regardless while everyone using small arms and operative weapons suffers the half-damage bonus.

Liberty's Edge

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Looking over First Contact, NPCs do appear to apply their full CR to Operative weapons and Small Arms, but do not apply it at all to grenades. Just for the record.


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Ludovicus wrote:


Seriously, someone must've been asleep at the wheel. Given all the other sources of DR in the game, dermal plating mk. 1 is a great bargain at mid-to-high-levels, while every other level is a waste of money. And yeah, I don't know why Enhanced Resistance exists either, especially (a) since they're explicitly trying to cut down on must-take feats, and (b) it pretty much invalidates lots of equipment and class abilities for anyone who can afford to take it. (For instance, it makes the last two abilities in the soldier's Guard fighting style basically a joke.)

In another thread it has been mentioned by a designer that Enhanced Resistances DR was supposed to be halved when all the other DR was halved late in development, but was missed in edits. My guess is it will likely receive an errata in the near future. It really should be BAB/2 (or alternatively vs only a single damage type of Bludgeoning, Piercing, or Slashing).

See Mark Seifter's post.

Liberty's Edge

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Ah! Good to know. Still a solid Feat choice even at 1/2 BAB.

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