We stopped playing Starfinder yesterday, here's why.


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I want to talk a little about the resource management issue...

In Pathfinder I play (primarily) a Paladin. As a Paladin I worry about 5 types of actions (Swift, Move, Standard, Immediate, and Full) I have 5+ resources to worry about (HP, Lay on Hands, Spells, Consumables (various types, which may range from potions to wand charges), and Ammunition (various types from normal and cold iron usually).

In Starfinder I play (primarily) a Solarian. As a Solarian I worry about 4 types of actions (Swift, Move, Standard, Full) I have (at maximum) 6 types of Resources (HP, SP, RP, Consumables, Attunement, and Weapon Ammo Remaining).

You cited that weapon ammo is a huge problem and is confusing...

I'm not sure what you find confusing about it.

Unless you are carrying 3+ guns it is very simple. Each gun has X number of shots. If it has a battery with 20 charges, and has 2/Use, then you have 10 shots. It makes book keeping easy and simple, it seems like a fairly obvious step.

You commented that Vanilla PF had more options and... That isn't true...

Core Pathfinder has 7 Races
Core Starfinder has 7 Races + 6 Legacy Races

Core Pathfinder has 11 Classes and 10 Prestige Classes
Core Starfinder has 7 Classes

Core Pathfinder has 0 Archetypes
Core Starfinder has 2 Archetypes

Core Pathfinder has 0 Traits
Core Starfinder has 10 Themes

Basically:
Core Pathfinder had more classes, that is it.

It is fine to not like changes, that is cool, but it isn't completely fair to state that one has more options than the other when... Sort of but not really?


Micheal Smith wrote:
I found most of reasons for this person and their group to stop playing SF due to a lack of knowledge of the system, and a bunch of petty reasons. But that is my view.

Sort of sounds to me like most of the group was expecting to play "Pathfinder in space" and were disagreeably surprised to discover Starfinder is actually its own system that requires adjustments of thinking. If so, no big deal, Pathfinder has plenty of interplanetary adventure content of its own, it's what Starfinder was built on.

Not a fan of PF bloat myself and I'm not looking forward to the day Starfinder matches it, which will probably come.

I have to admit I find the "it doesn't have more than 12 classes right out of the box, there's no excuse" thing particularly bizarre, the level of emphasis given it moreso. It's pretty normal for an out-of-the-box game to have 7-9 classes-or-archetypes-or-whatever built in, so you can explore the system and the builds. If anything Starfinder has vastly more variation possible out of the box than most, it's one of the attractions.


HWalsh wrote:

Unless you are carrying 3+ guns it is very simple. Each gun has X number of shots. If it has a battery with 20 charges, and has 2/Use, then you have 10 shots. It makes book keeping easy and simple, it seems like a fairly obvious step.

I truly think the ammunition system especially the battery system that Paizo set up in Starfinder is a work of art. It is incredibly simple and easy to use. It is really just long division. You can mix and match the batteries just as long as it "fits". It's perfect.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CeeJay wrote:
Micheal Smith wrote:
I found most of reasons for this person and their group to stop playing SF due to a lack of knowledge of the system, and a bunch of petty reasons. But that is my view.

Not a fan of PF bloat myself and I'm not looking forward to the day Starfinder matches it, which will probably come.

I have to admit I find the "it doesn't have more than 12 classes right out of the box, there's no excuse" thing particularly bizarre, the level of emphasis given it moreso. It's pretty normal for an out-of-the-box game to have 7-9 classes-or-archetypes-or-whatever built in, so you can explore the system and the builds. If anything Starfinder has vastly more variation possible out of the box than most, it's one of the attractions.

I agree. The problem I see with Starfinder is, it isn’t limited to 1 planet. It has a whole freaking universe. So there is SO MUCH MORE they can throw into the system.

I again feel that people have been spoiled with all the content in other systems. So when all we have is the CRB (yes there is AA and the 3 AP), I feel they don’t understand that this is new. So the more they throw out the more confusing things can be. Especially if it is based on a new system with new rules.

I said it in another post. But the developers are limited to so many pages and they don’t want to overwhelm the players right out the gate. Also they got to see if the new system even catches on. These are all things to take inconsideration.


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Game that just came out doesn't have as much options as the one that has been out for years...and I've read enough....


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Honestly, I pay because I like the background and "fluff."

When the RAW don't make sense, I go with the apparent intent and don't worry about it to much.

However, I know from long experience that some games just don't work for some folks - it's personal taste.


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Starfinder Superscriber
CeeJay wrote:
I have to admit I find the "it doesn't have more than 12 classes right out of the box, there's no excuse" thing particularly bizarre, the level of emphasis given it moreso. It's pretty normal for an out-of-the-box game to have 7-9 classes-or-archetypes-or-whatever built in, so you can explore the system and the builds. If anything Starfinder has vastly more variation possible out of the box than most, it's one of the attractions.

One of the reasons my group never switched from 3.5 to 4e or 5e was that almost all of us really enjoy the mechanical parts of building characters. In 3.5 and PF, the game is sort of built (or at least run) on the assumption that you can (and likely will) mix and match base class(es) with prestige class(es) (and feats/skills/spells) to get a character that plays exactly the way you want.

I think, in the history of playing 3rd ed and it's derivatives we've had maybe one character that spent more than 10 levels in a single class. It was a druid.

I know that most of the 7 classes in SF have choices, but it's honestly little different than the choices you get in PF as a Sorcerer, oracle, or wizard. Depending on what "style" of sorcerer you want to play, you're going to pick a particular bloodline, generally. But the build itself can still come out pretty complicated with a lot of options to mix and match (and min/max) the particular aspects of that style. Every build I ever made for 3e/3.5/PF looked something like X-Class 5/Y-Class 5/Z-Class 10 (or worse) w/ these 1-10 choices. Every "build" I've done so far for SF has been X-class 20 w/ these 5-15 "choices" (that aren't really choices, because they're all you can do).

I'm sure I'll have fun playing the actual game with the options I have. Personally, I'm still looking forward to that.

But what I don't find fun in this game, yet, is the experimental stuff I did playing with the builds and monsters and rules outside of actual play time.

I literally made 1000s of characters for 3/3.5/PF, just to play with the rules. I made over 100 just off the core book(s) alone (specifically for "core only" games). Many of them never got used, but a lot were used to inspire other players for their characters or got used as NPCs in games I ran. I actually sold some of them. I don't see that as even a remote possibility in this game, yet, and that, to me, is a major disappointment.

I tried sitting down and making a bunch of characters, but once I got past a couple of initial choices (race/theme/class/concept) every other choice felt like it was already made for me. If you want to play this kind of mysic you're going to be a mystic 20 with this theme and with no archetype and you have to choose this connection and these feats and these skills and these spells, because they're the only ones that don't suck for that kind of mystic.

My one complaint in 3.5 was that I basically always played a human (because I needed the feat, generally), and I am ecstatic that the race options are much better here. I haven't made a human yet.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm still trying Starfinder out, but moving more and more towards not playing for the following list of reasons:

1. Lack of meaningful character customization. As an example, what does picking your deity actually do for a mystic? It's just flavor. In Pathfinder, it changes what domains you can take, and also gives you a weapon proficiency.

2. The NPC builder. This has already been thoroughly discussed on this thread.

3. The lack of full casters. If a game doesn't have the kinds of characters I like to play, I'm not likely to want to play it. Of my 8 PFS characters, 5 are full casters and the other 3 are partial casters. I'm willing to wait for the first expansion book with class options to see if they fix this glaring problem.

4. The grey moral tone of the world. Sorry, but Eox should not be a Pact World, it should be the main enemy. Undead are evil, except in extraordinary circumstances, and then only for individual undead. Any character worth playing is going to smite undead on sight.

5. Lack of spell scaling. Magic missile should be 1d4+1 damage per caster level, with no cap on how many dice that should be. That way the spell is still valuable at level 18.

6. The deemphasis of religion. Where is detect evil? Where is a class with the flavor of a paladin?

7. The loss of the divine/arcane divide in magic.

8. The loss of iterative attacks. I don't really like Pathfinder before level 6, either, because iterative attacks are important.

9. The over-restrictive action economy. I think that Pathfinder had things almost perfect with free/swift/move/standar/full actions, and Starfinder is a step backwards.


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Redelia wrote:
3. The lack of full casters. If a game doesn't have the kinds of characters I like to play, I'm not likely to want to play it. Of my 8 PFS characters, 5 are full casters and the other 3 are partial casters. I'm willing to wait for the first expansion book with class options to see if they fix this glaring problem.

That seems unlikely to happen and, personally, thank all that's holy for that. We've got 2 classes right now that are primarily focused on being spellcasters without getting into the nonsense that was Pathfinder full casting. I'm really, really hoping we never get 9th level casters (And what would you even do with them? You've already got your two major spellcaster types (Arcane and Divine, thematically) in the existing stuff)

Redelia wrote:
4. The grey moral tone of the world. Sorry, but Eox should not be a Pact World, it should be the main enemy. Undead are evil, except in extraordinary circumstances, and then only for individual undead. Any character worth playing is going to smite undead on sight.

So the ethical response to 'Hey, we don't want to hurt anyone and want to cooexist' is 'Stuff you, we're going to rekill you all!'? Undead have always had a bit of an issue in Pathfinder of not really explaining WHY they are always evil (Since Negative Energy is very much not evil). It was kinda needed to either provide a good explanation of what makes undead evil or to admit neutral undead could exist (Which even in Starfinder are the Minority. Eox is one planet and even then, a lot of it's military left when they were told to not hurt the living and forced the corpse fleet).


Redelia wrote:
3. The lack of full casters. If a game doesn't have the kinds of characters I like to play, I'm not likely to want to play it. Of my 8 PFS characters, 5 are full casters and the other 3 are partial casters. I'm willing to wait for the first expansion book with class options to see if they fix this glaring problem.

Mystics and technomancers are full casters. Like it or not, they're what you get in Starfinder. There's nothing magic about 9 levels of spells. You even get Wish at 6th level.

If they added an actual "full caster" class with 3 more levels of spells, what are they going to put in it?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's completely unbelievable that undead would try to not hurt anyone and coexist. Undead are an abomination and by their very nature want to hurt the living.

In terms of full casters, I'm coming at this from the perspective that they're not nonsense, they are the big thing that makes Pathfinder fun. And to get them in Starfinder, you would take away almost all weapon and armor proficiencies, and instead give more spells, higher level spells, and damaging cantrips. Then they can use spells at all times, rather than having to resort to weapons. My full casters all have daggers, but the arcane ones have never used them, other than as a torch.


Ikiry0 wrote:
Redelia wrote:
4. The grey moral tone of the world. Sorry, but Eox should not be a Pact World, it should be the main enemy. Undead are evil, except in extraordinary circumstances, and then only for individual undead. Any character worth playing is going to smite undead on sight.
So the ethical response to 'Hey, we don't want to hurt anyone and want to cooexist' is 'Stuff you, we're going to rekill you all!'? Undead have always had a bit of an issue in Pathfinder of not really explaining WHY they are always evil (Since Negative Energy is very much not evil). It was kinda needed to either provide a good explanation of what makes undead evil or to admit neutral undead could exist (Which even in Starfinder are the Minority. Eox is one planet and even then, a lot of it's military left when they were told to not hurt the living and forced the corpse fleet).

The ethical response depends on whether those talking about coexistence can be trusted. If undead really are evil - whatever you're issues with having them be that way, it's entirely reasonable to view the entire coexistence offer as a ploy.

Which is an interesting possibility for a grand scale campaign - the entire offer was a ploy, including the "rebellion" of the corpse fleet.


Redelia wrote:
4. The grey moral tone of the world. Sorry, but Eox should not be a Pact World, it should be the main enemy. Undead are evil, except in extraordinary circumstances, and then only for individual undead. Any character worth playing is going to smite undead on sight.

Ummm, That's racist.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Farlanghn wrote:
Redelia wrote:
4. The grey moral tone of the world. Sorry, but Eox should not be a Pact World, it should be the main enemy. Undead are evil, except in extraordinary circumstances, and then only for individual undead. Any character worth playing is going to smite undead on sight.
Ummm, That's racist.

Please don't belittle important real world issues by such flippant comparisons.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Redelia wrote:
Farlanghn wrote:
Redelia wrote:
4. The grey moral tone of the world. Sorry, but Eox should not be a Pact World, it should be the main enemy. Undead are evil, except in extraordinary circumstances, and then only for individual undead. Any character worth playing is going to smite undead on sight.
Ummm, That's racist.
Please don't belittle important real world issues by such flippant comparisons.

You are saying that entire groups are evil by definition, abominations and that to even consider that maybe that isn't the case is a setting breaking premise for you. That is worse than what most real world racists think.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Redelia wrote:
I'm still trying Starfinder out, but moving more and more towards not playing for the following list of reasons: (...)

Its interesting to me how almost all the points you list as reasons to dislike Starfinder I find to be its main advantages. Things that have made it a joy to play.

1) Lack of mechanical character customization is a byproduct of this being mostly just a CRB game so far. Though as far as the Mystic comment is concerned, the deity just being flavor is the best part! And if you absolutely must have the thematic link between character options and deity choice, the CRB contains suggestions for which Connection goes with each god/goddess.

3) Technomancers and Mystics ARE full casters. Its just a matter of recalibrating expectations. They can focus entirely on spellcasting and do well for themselves + their class features do not lend themselves to doing particularly satisfactory damage with weapons anyway. Yes, spellcasting effectiveness has been toned down and moderated with technological options for creating some of the same effects. But that doesn't mean a character fully focused on casting is bad!

4) The moral greyness can add complexity and character to the stories your group explores, or you can entirely ignore Eox and what it implies. Undead are always evil bricked a huge number of potential plot concepts in Pathfinder and I'm glad they removed it. 'Undead are an abomination and always want to hurt the living' is a setting assumption that is obviously not true in Starfinder.

5) Spell scaling was one of the big problems with casting, as it allowed casters to exponentially increase their relevant resources as they leveled: they both had more spell slots and those slots became more powerful. Very glad this was removed!

6) Religion is still important, but narratively rather than mechanically. Detect evil might as well have been called detect villain in Pathfinder 99% of the time and made games less interesting.

7) Magic has been freed up. Now I can play a technomancer that casts by vocally manipulating esoteric sound frequencies that manifest into physical and visual effects. I don't have to fit in narrow thematic buckets for my spellcasting. In Pathfinder this character would have been stuck either praying to a god or making funny hand motions.

8) Iterative attacks are the scourge of Pathfinder, playing a big role in the skyrocketing player + enemy damage values at levels 10+ and producing issues around melee full-attack flexibility that are constantly being patched and fiddled with by Pathfinder supplemental rulebooks without finding a universally acceptable solution.

9) After playing for a while, I can say its not better or worse, just different. You have to commit your turn to a full attack to get the reward of extra damage, you have to make a real sacrifice in terms of effectiveness to move away from an opponent in safety, and so on.


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I mean, it's not really wrong. It's making an assumption about someone's nature based on what they physically are. I'm not sure if undead are a 'Race' per-say but it's at least some level of bigotry.


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Starfinder Superscriber
Redelia wrote:
It's completely unbelievable that undead would try to not hurt anyone and coexist. Undead are an abomination and by their very nature want to hurt the living.

They live in a world where all their needs (blood/flesh/living tissue/"life force") can be grown in a vat using bio-engineering at industrial scale. Their nature no longer requires that they hurt the living.

I don't understand how this is, in any way, "unbelievable".

I mean, you're free to not like it, sure, but it's internally consistent and totally believable.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
pithica42 wrote:
Redelia wrote:
It's completely unbelievable that undead would try to not hurt anyone and coexist. Undead are an abomination and by their very nature want to hurt the living.

They live in a world where all their needs (blood/flesh/living tissue/"life force") can be grown in a vat using bio-engineering at industrial scale. Their nature no longer requires that they hurt the living.

I don't understand how this is, in any way, "unbelievable".

I mean, you're free to not like it, sure, but it's internally consistent and totally believable.

Undead don't just destroy the living in order to eat. They destroy the living because that kind of malice is just part of what it means to be undead.


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pithica42 wrote:
Redelia wrote:
It's completely unbelievable that undead would try to not hurt anyone and coexist. Undead are an abomination and by their very nature want to hurt the living.

They live in a world where all their needs (blood/flesh/living tissue/"life force") can be grown in a vat using bio-engineering at industrial scale. Their nature no longer requires that they hurt the living.

I don't understand how this is, in any way, "unbelievable".

I mean, you're free to not like it, sure, but it's internally consistent and totally believable.

Technically speaking it doesn't gel with Pathfinder mythos where undead just come out of the box looking to murder stuff. After all, zombies and skeletons have no need for sustenance (and lack intelligence in general) and their default state is "wander around and kill anything with a pulse nearby"

Undead that need to feed are very much the minority out of them.

Starfinder messing with the formula isn't a bad thing, but undead suddenly getting the gamut of alignment options outside of a vanishingly small amount of exceptions is still a retcon.


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Oh jeez 100+ posts and it keeps updating! And here I thought this thread would just be another drop in the ocean. I'm glad I was able to start what seems to be a (decently) cordial discussion amongst the community.

I'll just say that my original post was really just meant to be an opinion post on the issues my group had with Starfinder. Some of them are arbitrary or petty (lack of 6,000 classes day one), some of them are actual issues that need addressing (confusing rule formats and poor rule book organization), and some of them are 100% pure preference of flavor (resolve points being loosely tied to a character trait). So for those of you who are reading my post as a review, I seem to have unintentionally misled you a bit. I blame the snappy title.

For those of you who have used this thread to discuss opinions and issues you have with Starfinder and how they do or do not affect gameplay, keep going! Even if we end up coming full circle on issues, threads like these where we just spout opinions and ideas are important. Whether Paizo reads this or another GM does, thoughtful discussion makes the game better!

And some of you just vehemently disagree with my post, and think that my group is just a bunch of stuck-up RPG snobs who sniff our noses at anything less than 1,500 feats. Well to you I say this; you come into MY thread, with your dirty peasant shoes and your 5e homebrews and you say such things to ME? ME?! Of all people?! ...Fair enough.

All that aside, I seem to have started a debate worthy of a Thanksgiving dinner table in election season, so I'm going to do the sensible thing for now and just back away....very....slowly....


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pithica42 wrote:
Redelia wrote:
It's completely unbelievable that undead would try to not hurt anyone and coexist. Undead are an abomination and by their very nature want to hurt the living.

They live in a world where all their needs (blood/flesh/living tissue/"life force") can be grown in a vat using bio-engineering at industrial scale. Their nature no longer requires that they hurt the living.

I don't understand how this is, in any way, "unbelievable".

I mean, you're free to not like it, sure, but it's internally consistent and totally believable.

Liches, which is what the Bone Sages essentially are, never had any such needs in the first place.

Nonetheless, they've always been evil.

Even in general, undead don't have needs. Which is why they can wait patiently in sealed vaults for centuries until accidentally released. At which point, they destroy the living when they can. Because they're evil. Because feeding on the living and particularly on living intelligent beings is what they do. Wraiths don't need life force to continue to exist, but they drain it from people when they can. It's their nature. Providing an alternate source doesn't change anything.

Or it can, if you want it to.

It's a question of which stories you want to tell and which myths you want to reference - though generally the non-evil undead are more recent reworkings - certain ancestral spirits and the like notwithstanding.


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Redelia wrote:
Undead don't just destroy the living in order to eat. They destroy the living because that kind of malice is just part of what it means to be undead.

Even assuming that's correct (Pathfinder has always been rather unclear on WHY undead are evil if Negative Energy isn't), Eoxian undead are sapiant beings. Is it moral to treat a group of people with unpleasant urges that they are actively fighting as monsters to be destroyed? Does the existence of the worse nature overrule the attempts to be more than it and embrace their better angels?

To quote Star Trek about humanity itself: "We can admit that we're killers, but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes."


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Redelia wrote:
Undead don't just destroy the living in order to eat. They destroy the living because that kind of malice is just part of what it means to be undead.

That is true in some worlds. It is not the case in Starfinder.

In Pathfinder the spells Animate Dead and Create Undead had the [evil] descriptor, making the very casting of the spell evil. Although that doesn't necessarily make the product of the spell evil, there is little evidence of non-evil undead. There was an exception made for JuJu zombies -- I'm not sure if there are others.

There was also the matter of those spells (as well as Death Effects) getting in the way of Raise Dead. Evidently something about these spells made it impossible to rejoin body and soul using the simplest spell capable of doing so.

In other game systems, creating undead zombies or skeletons was simply a matter of animating the dead bodies. There was nothing about that which was evil. They were no more evil than most consider constructs or robots to be evil.

In GURPS Magic, they specifically stated that you bound an evil spirit to the body in order to create undead. Although they don't use an alignment system, the default spell for creating undead did create an evil creature.

In Starfinder it is known that not all undead are evil. Furthermore, the spell Animate Dead no longer carries the [evil] descriptor and Raise Dead (at a slightly higher cost) can raise someone who was animated.

Something changed in the magical process between Pathfinder and Starfinder. They found a way to give unlife to people without using any evil methods.

Note that Planer Binding still carries an [evil] descriptor in Starfinder -- they didn't just get rid of alignment descriptors.

So, if you continue to use the primitive methods used on that lost planet of Golarian, yes creating undead is evil and likely any created using evil methods are evil.

If on the other hand you use modern methods it is no longer evil.


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Redelia wrote:
Undead don't just destroy the living in order to eat. They destroy the living because that kind of malice is just part of what it means to be undead.

That's not some absolute truth. It's just a Pathfinder convention, like color-coded dragons. If all the gods get together and say, "Lo! Let the undead be freed from malice!" then it can be changed.


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Starfinder Superscriber
Redelia wrote:
Undead don't just destroy the living in order to eat. They destroy the living because that kind of malice is just part of what it means to be undead.

Starfinder != Pathfinder. How undead exist in another game doesn't mean anything to this game. You may as well say that elves in LoTR are amortal so it's unbelievable that your elf character can die.

To be clear, without trying to repeat myself, anyone and everyone is free to not like this or any other aspect of the story. You can certainly use how SF decided to write undead as a reason to change the story in your home game or not play the game at all, or whatever. We're all special and all entitled to our opinions. I'm not trying to suggest that you have to like the way SF does undead.

I was referring exclusively to the use of the term "unbelievable", which implies either a lack of logic, a lack of evidence, a lack of internal consistency, or some combination thereof. All the evidence in the game, so far, consistently shows that undead in SF are not innately evil. They have no reason to be (negative energy isn't evil, they're healed like living creatures, they have no alignment restrictions, they abide by laws respecting the rights and lives of others, they have no dietary restrictions or compulsions that cause them to commit evil acts, they don't come from hell, et cetera ad nauseum). In SF, as written, undead != evil.

That, to me, defies the use of the term unbelievable.

Again, noone has to like it. I'ma walk away before I get jumped.


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Ikiry0 wrote:
Redelia wrote:
Undead don't just destroy the living in order to eat. They destroy the living because that kind of malice is just part of what it means to be undead.

Even assuming that's correct (Pathfinder has always been rather unclear on WHY undead are evil if Negative Energy isn't), Eoxian undead are sapiant beings. Is it moral to treat a group of people with unpleasant urges that they are actively fighting as monsters to be destroyed? Does the existence of the worse nature overrule the attempts to be more than it and embrace their better angels?

To quote Star Trek about humanity itself: "We can admit that we're killers, but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes."

Pathfinder liches were sapient beings too. As were wraiths, wights, vampires, etc, etc. And back then they always were evil.

Should we assume they were just people with unpleasant urges? Or the monsters that they were?

I don't believe Redelia is saying that despite the changes in Starfinder making them not always evil, they should still be treated that way, but that they disagree with the design choice to make them not always evil. Which is a reasonable position to take. It's my preference too, though not as strongly.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
Redelia wrote:
Undead don't just destroy the living in order to eat. They destroy the living because that kind of malice is just part of what it means to be undead.
That's not some absolute truth. It's just a Pathfinder convention, like color-coded dragons. If all the gods get together and say, "Lo! Let the undead be freed from malice!" then it can be changed.

While I agree it's not absolute truth, it's far more than just a Pathfinder convention.

It's not like PF made up the idea of evil undead. With few exceptions (generally ancient/non-Western or modern twists) undead have long been overwhelmingly evil in folklore, myth and legends, especially the standard FRPG monster kinds of undead.


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thejeff wrote:

Pathfinder liches were sapient beings too. As were wraiths, wights, vampires, etc, etc. And back then they always were evil.

Should we assume they were just people with unpleasant urges? Or
the monsters that they were?

Well, to be a lich you needed to actively go through a ritual that requires some truly horrible things. You were not exactly good BEFORE you became the lich, undeath didn't change that.


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Now, I may be taking my philosophy from the new kid on the block deity-wise, but all I'm seeing is that the judge for what is and isn't evil has a conflict of interest. That in itself is fine, I'm sure if the All-Code was in charge of matters, they'd lean towards declaring the Drift Good. But refusing to acknowledge it and refusing to cede the decision to a more neutral party isn't. Personally, I'm glad we got a second opinion before some crusade blew up Eox.

Secondly, what's all this about deities working closer with Mystics? I find that the tools of a Technomancer align much closer with my duties to Triune than the primary alternative. What association does the All-Code have with the First World to make their services as summons more likely than Triune's own domain of machines?


Ikiry0 wrote:
thejeff wrote:

Pathfinder liches were sapient beings too. As were wraiths, wights, vampires, etc, etc. And back then they always were evil.

Should we assume they were just people with unpleasant urges? Or
the monsters that they were?

Well, to be a lich you needed to actively go through a ritual that requires some truly horrible things. You were not exactly good BEFORE you became the lich, undeath didn't change that.

As far as I know, there's nothing to that effect in the PF description of becoming a lich. The process is different for every caster and we're free to assume there are evil things that must be done, but there's no explicit rule saying so.

I agree that you're likely evil beforehand, but that's because the pursuit of immortality to the extent you're willing to become an undead monster to achieve it, is itself evil.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Redelia wrote:
Undead don't just destroy the living in order to eat. They destroy the living because that kind of malice is just part of what it means to be undead.
That's not some absolute truth. It's just a Pathfinder convention, like color-coded dragons. If all the gods get together and say, "Lo! Let the undead be freed from malice!" then it can be changed.

While I agree it's not absolute truth, it's far more than just a Pathfinder convention.

It's not like PF made up the idea of evil undead. With few exceptions (generally ancient/non-Western or modern twists) undead have long been overwhelmingly evil in folklore, myth and legends, especially the standard FRPG monster kinds of undead.

The skeletons that Sinbad conjured didn’t appear to be evil.

There are plenty of ghost stories where the ghost was someone to be pitied rather than feared. I’m sure that if I did the search, I could find old ghost stories where the ghosts weren’t evil.

You are correct that it is a design choice that affects your world building. I just think non-evil undead are not as niche as you claim.

Silver Crusade

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There's a reason ghosts are treated as a rare exception in Pathfinder: there is reasonable precedent for them in the mythologies of Western Europe as non-evil. They meet the Pathfinder definition of undead, but not the traditional definition of undead. Undead traditionally are bodies that died, but somehow came back, and came back wrongly. I would be very interested in any precedents for this kind of undead not being evil coming from Western European culture before the middle of the 20th century.

By non-evil undead being 'unbelievable,' what I mean is that they don't meet the definition my culture has given me as to what undead means. Fantasy, to seem believable and fun to immerse oneself into, needs to keep many of our definitions and expectations, and break others, when that breakage is enjoyable.


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The "moral grayness" is a chief feature of Starfinder for me. In fact the universe is a chief feature of Starfinder for me. It's neither here nor there whether undead are still mostly-evil or not, their occupying a more complex niche here is a cool and gutsy decision that fits a science-fantasy setting.

Besides which, Eox isn't a Pact World because of their goodness and niceness, but because the Pact Worlds are banded together against a host of unthinkable threats, the latest of which took a run at wiping everybody out less than thirty years ago. It makes for a setting rife with adventure hooks and complexity.

(I will admit I was a little sceptical about things like the Gap when I started out. In fact I originally was going to just homebrew my own setting, but I kept finding that it was hard to get more balls-to-the-wall, entertainingly weird and just flat-out fascinating than what Paizo had already done. That's high praise for me, I often find official game settings pretty underwhelming. A lot of this ground was laid in Pathfinder but even so, they've taken that material in some great directions, there's already more stuff just in the CRB than I could hope to explore in three years of sessions.)

As for the Pathfinder action system and "full casters," meh. You can keep both of 'em far as I'm concerned. I do think there's a "supplement" out there that effectively does try to port Pathfinder into Starfinder as much as possible though, the Starfarer's Companion I think it's called? Perhaps Pathfinder fans having trouble making the adjustment should just consider checking that out?


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Redelia wrote:
By non-evil undead being 'unbelievable,' what I mean is that they don't meet the definition my culture has given me as to what undead means.

Science-fantasy has the job of doing things fantasy does not do. Part of its brief is screwing with your expectations and delivering the unexpected in something like the way science fiction does. If you just want fantasy, Pathfinder is certainly more likely to be your jam.

(At any rate, it's very questionable whether having straightforwardly evil undead would fit or make since in a high-tech setting like Starfinder. The angle of its simply being an adaptation to a planetary catastrophe generated by hubris is vastly more interesting than Vecna Mk. 5. You already have D&D and Pathfinder to do that stuff.)


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I do not see why undead being not evil is a problem. If you look into fantasy literature and other RPGs you will find enough instances of not evil undead like the oathbreakers in the Lord of the Rings or the city of Esmoda in the German RPG "Splittermond". Even the force spirits in Star Wars could be seen as some kind of undead.

I do also not understand why NPCs must follow the same rules as PCs. Especially if they stay NPCs and do not become PCs later in the campaign. Other RPGs do the same. Sometimes you only have the basic stats and a short description of their abilities, which allows you adjust them to your party.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Redelia wrote:
By non-evil undead being 'unbelievable,' what I mean is that they don't meet the definition my culture has given me as to what undead means. Fantasy, to seem believable and fun to immerse oneself into, needs to keep many of our definitions and expectations, and break others, when that breakage is enjoyable.

First, which culture?

Does it break your fantasy that the Pegasus is not a unique creature or that there are more than three Medusa? The first world doesn’t exactly match the fey realm of Irish culture.

D&D and it’s ancestors have rewritten much of the folk lore they derived from, and many of those rewrites in my opinion are inferior to the original lore. There are also modern writers that have taken expected lore and added a twist which I quite enjoyed.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CeeJay wrote:
Redelia wrote:
By non-evil undead being 'unbelievable,' what I mean is that they don't meet the definition my culture has given me as to what undead means.

Science-fantasy has the job of doing things fantasy does not do. Part of its brief is screwing with your expectations and delivering the unexpected in something like the way science fiction does. If you just want fantasy, Pathfinder is certainly more likely to be your jam.

Science fantasy is just fantasy set in a high tech setting. It's job is the same as medieval fantasy, or ancient world fantasy, or any other kind of fantasy. It's just a sub-genre. Science fiction can have a different job, but that's a whole different genre.


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Redelia wrote:
Science fantasy is just fantasy set in a high tech setting.

No, that is not correct. Science-fantasy is whatever mixture of science fiction and fantasy elements the creators and audience want it to be. It isn't up to you to define its parameters and clearly Paizo have used the hybrid genre for speculative purposes that also appeal to sci-fi fans, which is why you're here complaining about Eox.

Grand Lodge

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Redelia wrote:
CeeJay wrote:
Redelia wrote:
By non-evil undead being 'unbelievable,' what I mean is that they don't meet the definition my culture has given me as to what undead means.

Science-fantasy has the job of doing things fantasy does not do. Part of its brief is screwing with your expectations and delivering the unexpected in something like the way science fiction does. If you just want fantasy, Pathfinder is certainly more likely to be your jam.

Science fantasy is just fantasy set in a high tech setting. It's job is the same as medieval fantasy, or ancient world fantasy, or any other kind of fantasy. It's just a sub-genre. Science fiction can have a different job, but that's a whole different genre.

Science Fantasy is very much more than just "fantasy in a high tech setting". It is very distinct from normal fantasy in a multitude of ways and honestly that's a bit of an insult to the genre.

Science Fantasy blends elements of traditional fantasy and sci-fi, so the way Starfinder handles undead and morality can totally be considered Science Fantasy.


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A planet is attacked, attacker uses some gas/biological/whatever method to wipe all life off the planet. Only that doesn't kill them, it renders them physically dead but for some reason not truly dead and they live on as undead.

They didn't want to be, they made no decision to be undead. The beings also maintain the individuality of who they were whether good/evil/neutral what have you.

Just off the top of my head I came up with a planet of undead with differing moralities like any other that fits with a SciFi setting.


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I don't know if I'd go so far as "insult to the genre" but I don't understand why someone would come to the Starfinder forums to complain that there are sci-fi ideas in Starfinder. Of course there are, it's what a bunch of people came to Starfinder for.

If you want to play Pathfinder go with the Gods, but why come here to tell everyone that this should just be medieval fantasy with lasers? I mean, for the love, you can already have medieval fantasy with lasers in Pathfinder. Why not spend that time with Pathfinder players figuring out how to get more of that?

I mean, truly. Pathfinder already has a "Pathfinder in Space" setting, with supplements and everything. If you want to complain that Starfinder isn't Pathfinder-in-space (which it thankfully isn't), you can actually just seek out those supplements and play Pathfinder-in-space.

Dark Archive

I agree with this, most of starfinder seems similar to 4e and 5e D&D rather than pathfinder. When it first came out I was struck by the differences is because it seemed like they were going to do more of a "Pathfinder in Space". Also, there were so many issues that just felt like they didn't playtest it enough.
I enjoy Starfinder, but it makes my head hurt sometimes trying to figure out things.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It was this promise of 'Pathfinder in Space' that drew me in. I have found a list of things I dislike, or feel quite off to me. It's possible that I just feel that way because my expectations were wrong. It's possible that there is a synergy among the 'problems' so that together they become something good. That is why I am continuing to play Starfinder until I know for sure.


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It really does sound like the Starfarer's Companion would recommend itself to people who came in expecting "Pathfinder in space." Everything I've read about it suggests a product coming very specifically from that angle.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I hope they add 9th level casting back in. There's nothing innate to spell levels 7-9 that makes them "broken." No one is complaining that polar ray ruined their plotline. In fact, most of the spells that GMs complain about in Pathfinder are below level 6 - spells like fly, teleport, and speak with dead.

Remember that what most consider the weakest 3.5 base class was a 9th level caster. (Look up the Healer if you're not familiar with it. It was utter trash. Basically a cleric with less proficiencies, no domains, no turn/channel, who could only cast healing but no spontaneous casting.)

You can make a balanced class that has spell abilities spread over 9 levels and doesn't have much else. To me, the mystic and technomancer feel more like inquisitor or bard, rather than someone who solves most of their problems with pure spellcasting. What they should absolutely avoid doing is just tacking 3 extra levels onto the existing technomancer and mystic lists. 6th level mystic spells are not meant to be thrown around by 11-12th level characters. I'd also suggest going with only spontaneous casters as that helps with many issues as well.


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

I don't mind the lack of 7-9th level spells.


Me neither. They clearly rebalanced the magic engine with the specific purpose of not adding 9th-level spells back in, and that's to the good. The system's treatment of casters is a feature for enough of the player base that I doubt it's going anywhere.


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In my opinion Starfinder is what Pathfinder 2.0 might be. It is streamlined and much more balanced that Pathfinder. And that might be the reason its critics compare it with D&D 4e and D&D 5e.

Starfinder is pure science fantasy and it dis away with somethings from Pathfinder which were in my opinion more like a hindrance than a boon. Although some things were added which are unaccustomed for some players like two kinds of hit points (something which for example Star Wars D20 revised edition already had). Having two kinds of AC also needs getting used to, but is neceassary if armor is used to prevent being hit and to reduce the damage.


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Starfinder Superscriber
Redelia wrote:
Undead traditionally are bodies that died, but somehow came back, and came back wrongly. I would be very interested in any precedents for this kind of undead not being evil coming from Western European culture before the middle of the 20th century.

As someone that has read a lot of classic literature and 'fairy tales' from Western European culture, I can tell you that this feels to me like you have it backwards. In much of the examples, the undead or restless dead are tragic figures, not evil, and more often than not, humans in general or the gods/devils that cursed them or their mortal creators are the evil ones. The undead are often victims that are only undead to avenge the circumstances of their death or the desecration of their grave or something like that.

The use of their non-living nature is juxtaposed against the evil done to them specifically to illustrate how terrible mortal/banal evil can be. They come back 'wrong' because the world is wrong and they exist to set it 'right'. It's an object lesson meant to underscore some hidden point. (see Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, any story involving a revenant or poltergeist, The Christmas Carol, Braham Stoker's Dracula, stories from the 19th century involving mummies, et cetera). It's only a product of TSR's satanism scare in the 80s that we got all undead being all evil all the time.

I feel like the story of Eox is supposed to be something like that. There was a great evil and the Elebrians built a superweapon to stop it. But in their haste, the weapon destroyed their own planet as well. What's left is a tragedy that is in many ways pitiable, not innately evil.

Again, though, I'm not trying to say that it's "wrong" to want hard moral lines and all undead being all evil all the time. I still just find the use of the term 'unbelievable' to be questionable. It's just not your preference. Which, again, is fine.

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