Balance shields question


Rules Questions

Grand Lodge

Science Officer Balance Shields action wrote:
you can shift Shield Points (SP) from the shield in one quadrant to the shield in another quadrant, including to depleted shields (after rebalancing, every shield must have at least 10% of the total current SP).

Does anyone have real examples of how Balance is supposed to work?

Specifically, let's say my ship has 60 shields, 15/15/15/15.

It's clear I could balance to 21/15/15/9.

Let's say we get shot up and got to 15/15/0/0.

As written, it doesn't sound like it's legal to go to 3/15/0/12 (transfer 12 from front to rear.) Or really any shifting of shield points directly between quadrants, since there's no way to get both 0s to a legal point?

Are you forced to use the next option to distribute evenly?

Or can you transfer to/from any number of quadrants?

Or should that really read "the source and destination shields must each have at least 10%..."?


each quad needs to have at least 3 in your example if i'm reading that right, however there is a FAQ you should read:

http://paizo.com/starfinder/faq#v5748eaic9vwv

the even distro was altered to where you see fit (i assume the 10% min still applies since 'alternatively' was removed)

Grand Lodge

The question is, since you can only transfer from one quadrant to another, is it ever legal to transfer while you have two quadrants at 0? (since no matter what, you'll still have one under 10% when you're done.)

The even distro FAQ looks like it's only for repairing shields (Engineering), not "balancing" shields (Science)?

Liberty's Edge

The FAQ referenced only applies to the Engineer action of Diverting Power to Shields and does not apply to the Balance action of a Science Officer.

To the OP question, I believe you are correct. If you have a any shield that does not have at least 10% of the current SP in it, you have to use the second option to evenly distribute the shield power.

However, this would not prevent a second Science Officer from moving this newly evenly distributed power from one quadrant to another.

So in your example of 15/15/0/0. First Science officer action of Balance would make it 9/7/7/7. Now a junior science officer action could move 4 points from the rear to the front, making it 13/7/7/3. Another junior science officer could then move 4 from the port to the forward, making it 17/7/3/3. And yet another junior officer could move 4 from starboard to the forward, making it 21/3/3/3.

This is an extreme example but I see it as possible.


I kind of doubt Gary's interpretation is what they actually meant, but for the life of me the paragraph is so poorly written that I can't even guess what they were going for. I can think of at least three possibilities that seem reasonable, Gary's among them.

I can't believe I'm not finding this anywhere else, and that it hasn't been addressed in the FAQ.


I think the errata now is "Just put the pool of shield points however you want".

At least that's how I GM it anyway.


Lethallin wrote:

I think the errata now is "Just put the pool of shield points however you want".

At least that's how I GM it anyway.

You're thinking of the Engineer's DIVERT action. That's the one they addressed in the FAQ. They did not address the Scientist's Balance action (other than to change it's DC formula).


Starfinder Superscriber

I'm pretty sure that Gary's reading is the correct one, even though I can't remember seeing it actually run that way as a player (though, I honestly mostly pay attention just to my part, and when I play SO, I usually spend actions targeting power core). As a GM I usually only see balancing in rare situations. Usually, when I see it, the Engineer will divert earlier in the round and put the points wherever needed and then the science officer will balance to whatever facing needs the shields after movement. This only works, though, if the pilot goes second and/or if there's no way for the enemy to flyby. I can only recall seeing this tactic a few times. Most groups I run tend to go all out on offense rather than turtling.


Oh! Having the sci ofc go after the pilot and shunt shields to the enemy's side is a great point! :)

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