A party of 1d4 weapons. Should I worry?


General Discussion


So I'm going to be running Dead Suns and it seems like all of the players are going to be going for 3/4 non casters.

Should I be worried about combat dragging on and on if they all end up starting the game with 1d4 peashooters?


No it should be fine, most of the other starting weapons are that much more powerful. It may take them longer, but it shouldn't bee too bad.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Perhaps. You could encourage one or more of them to pick up longarm proficiency (or even advanced melee weapon proficiency, if they've really feeling brave). Any 3/4 class except for operative benefits very well from longarms.

Also, if you have an exocortex mechanic, they get longarms anyhow, and they can pick up heavy weapons.


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Baddies have low ACs so they're easy to hit. Full attacks mean 2d4 per rd for an average of 5 per player per turn. At least one operative means trick attack also at 2d4 per rd. A mechanic with a drone full attacks at 3d4.

And if anyone has any kind of decent STR score, drop a spear or a dueling sword for them in the first encounter and then force them into melee if combat gets slow.


Standard pistol does a d6


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GoofyGE3k, I don't know about other parties, but everyone in the campaign I just started scrounged and saved for the extra 110 credits to start with a laser pistol that does less damage. Nobody wanted a smelly old analog gun.


At level one that seems not that unusual. May want to have a couple auto pistols. I am guessing with everybody using small arms your group has ways to amp them or has spell casting ability for emergency punch.


Why worry? If they have problems with combat and don't correct the problem, then Darwinism at work. I'm sure the next group of characters will have a Vesk Beat-stick in it.


Ah there is an exocortex mechanic and an operative so maybe it won't be a problem.


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Operatives are basically the only class to use if you want pistols to be your go-to weapon (and deal decent damage at the same time).


Azih wrote:
Ah there is an exocortex mechanic and an operative so maybe it won't be a problem.

Indeed, those classes will definitely do more than just standard weapon damage. That said, if the players refuse to spend money or feats on good weapons as the campaign progresses (because outside the operative who must use pistols, getting longarm proficinecy and specialization is one of the best damage boosting feat trees in the game) don't coddle them. Keep combat as dangerous as you would for a more combat optimized party, and force them to either adapt or work harder to avoid combat.

I'm not saying to punish players for not optimizing for combat, but if they choose to spend their resources elsewhere then more difficult and dangerous combats are the price they should pay.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Since the difference between 1d4 and 1d6 is an average of 1 point of damage per hit, and the difference between 1d4 and 1d8 is an average of 2 points of damage per hit, it probably won't matter that much initially.


Dragonchess Player wrote:
Since the difference between 1d4 and 1d6 is an average of 1 point of damage per hit, and the difference between 1d4 and 1d8 is an average of 2 points of damage per hit, it probably won't matter that much initially.

Those are 40% and 80% increases.


Azih wrote:

So I'm going to be running Dead Suns and it seems like all of the players are going to be going for 3/4 non casters.

Should I be worried about combat dragging on and on if they all end up starting the game with 1d4 peashooters?

This was a concern I also had (but I played in the 1st SFS scenario) and really did not know what the others in the home game were going to play.

My PC plan was 1 level of Soldier(Blitz) the rest Operative(Stealth), just so I had the option to use a HvY weapon or Longarm right out of the gate.
I did look at the auto pistol and laser pistol stats and was very torn vs the damage vs range argument as well as the ammo vs charge argument.

For game feedback, we finished 3 of the 4 tasks and on one of them even with 2 nat 20's (players) we had 1 PC go below 0 hits. Yes the GM was rolling us Nat 20 for Nat 20 (I rolled 3 Nat 20's and 5 Nat 1's during the game).
We also had 1 PC who did not have a weapon until later in the scenario and 1 PC who was also what they considered not front line but good support. So it was mainly the two of us doing damage.
I think it was huge that I had a weapon that did a d10 damage vs 1d4+trick or 1d6+trick damage (brings to mind does trick damage double on a Nat 20 attack roll? Or a Nat 20 skill check to see if you can use the trick? Or both? Or none?) that simple fact saved us.

I have not played in Dead Suns so I can not comment on that front but if the SFS Scenario is close to the Adventure Path it might be something to be on the watch for.

MDC


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The Mighty Khan wrote:
GoofyGE3k, I don't know about other parties, but everyone in the campaign I just started scrounged and saved for the extra 110 credits to start with a laser pistol that does less damage. Nobody wanted a smelly old analog gun.

That sounds pretty dumb considering EVERYTHING STOPS LASERS. Fire resistance? Stops lasers. Magical barrier? Stops lasers. Energy barrier? Stops lasers. Fog? Stops lasers.

Yes, that's right: if you start your adventuring day too early, the gentle fog and glistening dewdrops of a quiet summer morning will defeat your party of technologically advanced spacefaring adventurers.
Unless the world is made of plexiglass and fine crystal, you might be screwed.


Use Semi-Auto projectiles for 1d6 same as most beginning weapons in Pathfinder. Exploit Vesk's heavy weapon and longarm ability out of the gate. Give everyone a handful of grenades. My party did plenty of damage in the AP.


Luv9rove wrote:
Use Semi-Auto projectiles for 1d6 same as most beginning weapons in Pathfinder. Exploit Vesk's heavy weapon and longarm ability out of the gate. Give everyone a handful of grenades. My party did plenty of damage in the AP.

IIRC, there are professions that do not get grenade proficiency so that could be a problem depending on how your group rolls.

MDC


Every party really needs a beatstick. Especially since pew-pew is worthless for interrupting casters.

Don't listen when others claim that it is super dangerous to melee (it isn't) and that Starfinder is built for the pew-pew.

1d4 pistol? Does 2-3 average.
1d6 rifle? Does 3-4 average.
1d10 reflex cannon? Does 5-6 average.

1d6 sword with a +3 strength? Averages 6-7

Yes. A jerk GM will borg plant all of his baddies together to focus fire every melee that ever pops its head up. That is fine. That melee still hits far harder.

Avg non-Con bonus having melee will have 17+ HP/SP

Vs a gunner?

A gunner with a rifle will get 3-4 damage per shot. They aren't going to be full attacking. The Melee just has to close distance, with a dash, a charge, or whatever method they want.

Once in melee, the gunner will have to use a move action to step back and shoot. No biggie. 3-4 damage.

The melee'er is going to hit harder and it will become a slugfest.

Gunner shoots - Melee'er takes 3-4 damage (13-14 remaining)
Melee'er closes and swings - Gunner takes 6-7 damage (10-11 remaining)
Gunner tries to full attack - Melee'er AoO's - Gunner takes 6-7 damage (3-5 remaining)
Gunner hits both times (assuming) for avg 7 damage (6-7 remaining)
Gunner gets utterly murdered on the next round.

Do not underestimate the power of melee.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mark Carlson 255 wrote:
Luv9rove wrote:
Use Semi-Auto projectiles for 1d6 same as most beginning weapons in Pathfinder. Exploit Vesk's heavy weapon and longarm ability out of the gate. Give everyone a handful of grenades. My party did plenty of damage in the AP.

IIRC, there are professions that do not get grenade proficiency so that could be a problem depending on how your group rolls.

MDC

Who needs grenade proficiency? You attack an AC 5 square, and can't add specialization damage anyways.

Liberty's Edge

Ravingdork wrote:
Mark Carlson 255 wrote:
Luv9rove wrote:
Use Semi-Auto projectiles for 1d6 same as most beginning weapons in Pathfinder. Exploit Vesk's heavy weapon and longarm ability out of the gate. Give everyone a handful of grenades. My party did plenty of damage in the AP.

IIRC, there are professions that do not get grenade proficiency so that could be a problem depending on how your group rolls.

MDC
Who needs grenade proficiency? You attack an AC 5 square, and can't add specialization damage anyways.

This is true as levels go up. At 1st it's a lot less true for people who are plinking away with ranged weapons, since throwing grenades, like all thrown weapons, is based on Str, not Dex.

Someone without Proficiency and Str 10 probably has a -4 to hit that AC 5 at 1st level, meaning it requires a 9 on the die. Not insurmountable by any means, but a legitimate concern.


Another important factor is that any penalty to grenade attack rolls, such as non-proficiency's considerable -4, also applies to grenade DCs. You are not only less accurate for your lack of competence, but your attack is more easily mitigated as well. While hardly an issue for smoke grenades, which are the only ones that seem reasonably useful and cost effective at all levels, every other grenade requires your targets fail reflex saves in order to function properly. Given their already low damage, cutting into it even more by letting enemies save for half damage that much easier makes them terribly unreliable for non-proficient characters.

Bloodrealm wrote:

That sounds pretty dumb considering EVERYTHING STOPS LASERS. Fire resistance? Stops lasers. Magical barrier? Stops lasers. Energy barrier? Stops lasers. Fog? Stops lasers.

Yes, that's right: if you start your adventuring day too early, the gentle fog and glistening dewdrops of a quiet summer morning will defeat your party of technologically advanced spacefaring adventurers.

Now, let's be fair. Fog does not stop lasers. It merely proves a significant impediment by providing a suitable degree of cover. If it's not thick enough to provide concealment, it's not thick enough to do that either. Still a substantial weakness, but not outright stopping anything.

As for the original question, I wouldn't worry too much. Even if 1d4 pistol damage is too weak to handle the challenge, you can just let them use the dice themselves as weapons. d4s are good for that sort of thing.


Thanks all for the grenade posts as those were the rules I was thinking of.

Also in some cases a -4 is a big deal and in others not so much.
I agree aiming at a square is at times better than a person.
I also agree that smoke can be very effective in SF and a good purchase .

MDC

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