We stopped playing Starfinder yesterday, here's why.


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Milo v3 wrote:
It's beginning to be hard for me to justify trying to rally a group to play Starfinder since there is very little chance of my groups playing Adventure Paths so the system might just feel like it's already dead in regards to new content coming out.

Huh? Why would it feel "dead in regards to new content"? There are several books' worth of official content planned for the first year alone, a bunch of Society modules in addition to the adventure paths if you need one-offs, the Adventure Paths themselves contain a bunch of extra usable content even if you're not using the adventures...

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Milo v3 wrote:
It's beginning to be hard for me to justify trying to rally a group to play Starfinder since there is very little chance of my groups playing Adventure Paths so the system might just feel like it's already dead in regards to new content coming out.

Why does your group reject the "Adventure Paths"?


Why are people not interested in trying a game if they feel there isn't new content coming out?

I can see how some might get bored with a game after playing awhile if there's no new content, but if you haven't even played it yet?


I've been curious about SF myself, but reading these kinds of threads has me in a holding pattern. I'm not saying it was rushed to it's final form, but the playtesting should have gone on longer with a much longer editing process, specifically the crazy cross referencing needed for things like the grenade example.
It seems to have slightly a kind of "prototype" vibe to the whole thing, similar to buying a brand new car model. I usually wait till the 2nd year or third year giving them time to refine it.

In the meantime, how do you make clarifications/fixes to the existing CRB without releasing a 2nd edition for printed book fans? Updating PDFs may be easier to fix with some considerable rewrites, but the print lovers will get the shaft with having to carry a binder full of errata.

IMHO, Star Frontiers of old did it better with Alpha Dawn (the basic set so to speak) followed by Zebulon's Guide as a better CRB (advanced version). Maybe this game needed a simpler starter set first.


thejeff wrote:
Why are people not interested in trying a game if they feel there isn't new content coming out?

If one didn't have time to make their own adventures I could see it, but I still don't see why anyone would say this about Starfinder, since they're producing a tonne of content for it.

Sunderstone wrote:
I've been curious about SF myself, but reading these kinds of threads has me in a holding pattern

Meh. The occasional glitch and problem of organization in the books notwithstanding, it's a perfectly good release from Paizo and the good vastly outweighs the challenges. The only really major "error" I've seen pertained to DCs in the starship rules. For everything else, barring the odd case here and there (mostly of powers designed for finer grains of the tactical rules than I'm using yet) the system has mostly impressed me with how tightly it's designed and conceived. I don't see any real shortfalls in testing or conception... excepting if the conception one required of the game was that it still be Pathfinder, as this thread mostly demonstrates.

Even if you do run into problems finding something in your hardcover CRB, Starfinder has the considerable advantage of the Internet and the SRD going for it. What problems there are, for the most part, are relatively easy to solve and compensate for. I'm perfectly happy with my Starfinder purchases so far and have not been hesitant in recommending the game to friends.

Quote:
IMHO, Star Frontiers of old did it better with Alpha Dawn (the basic set so to speak)

Star Frontiers was considerably less ambitious than Starfinder. And, fondly as I remember it, less interesting in many ways. I wouldn't compare the two, any more than I'd compare Traveller with Starfinder.


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While this subject has mostly blown over, there seemed to be a disconnect on what the game's intended audience is.

I'm someone who approached starfinder as a standalone Sci-fi game without any baggage so to speak, and my main reason for buying into it was that I didn't want to play pathfinder. And I really love the narrative function of the gap and how meta it is because that universe might as well not exist from a (my) perspective of someone that has not played it.


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We'll start to play next week. So, I guess, this is part of the cycle of creation and destruction of Starfinder players. A very solarian thing :P


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Redelia wrote:

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.

This is a perfect example of why games will please different people with different tastes.

Every single one issue you have with the game, is a huge bonus point for me. Every single one. Which obviously should not matter to you, as you have your own tastes and you should play what you want.

My point, however, is those aren't bugs, are features. The kind of features you don't like, but I do. Now, maybe I find other issues with the game once I start to play (or maybe my group does, because they also have their own tastes). But I fully love everything Starfinder does in every single point you singled out. So to each with its own.


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To explain a bit more:

1) I think there's not lack of "meaningful customization", I feel there is less glut of options. To take the example you gave us, having a god doesn't give you a domain, but that's because the choice is in a different place for mystics. A Mindbreaker mystic is different than a Xenodruid Mystic, an Akashic Record mystic, or a Healer Mystic. A blitz soldier is pretty different than a Bombard Soldier, and Exocortex technician is different than drone technician. The choices are meaningful, in my opinion. What you don't have, though, is a glut of options. Probably there will be glut in some point in the future (we didn't have glut in the Core book either), but currently in PF the number of choices is so big, that most players I know have to go to internet to read "guides" that clear out choices, so they only have to look at "blue or sky blue" options. Otherwise, they'll need literally HOURS reading stuff just to know what options they have. While this might be a good thing for those who like to read rulebooks for hours, many players don't have that time or don't want to spend it. I preffer fewer, but meaningful choices, over "ivory tower" design with 1500 feats, 1400 of them being "orange", to use the common color code used in guides everywhere.

2) Already discussed in the book, but I love the idea that NPC can have different stuff. In fact, every soldier, spellcaster, etc, should be UNIQUE. Wizard A way of casting balls of fire should be different of Wizard B. That's not feasible for PC, because we need a frame to balance things for them, but it works for NPC. In fact, it's a common occurence in Pathfinder too: Babayaga has stuff that only Babayaga can have. Same with Jatembe, with any of the Runelords, or with many other NPC that have unique rules for them. I don't think this is a problem, but I see why it is for others. Just it is not for me.

3)I like the 1-6 casters better in PF. They are more balanced, both from PC and GM perspective. They have things to do when magic doesn't fly, and their magic doesn't break things as often.

4) It's also common in Pathfinder, and something I love from Paizo. Sometimes, the guy that will help you to stop the big disease, is a Nosferatu. In Strange Aeons, in certain parts, you have to fight vs good celestials, who try to stop you to use an evil book to stop the world destruction. In same book, you probably will have to make deals with evil and grey guys, including trading for the most evil book ever. I like the idea that you can't decide who you have to kill just with Detect Evil. Eox is part of the Pact, but they are alse the bad guys in the first AP. I find it better when you know who the bad guy is, but you can't just go to their lair and genocide everyone because it is socially acceptable to do so if their skin is green or whatever. I like when my players KNOW that the Eox guy is a treacherous bastard, but they need proofs about that, because they can't just kill them "because he pings as evil in the Detect Evil test".

5) 1d4+1 spells at lvl 1 are pretty useless. so is 1d4 burning hands' damage. Those spells suck in PF when you get them, and in some cases, they become better later on, replacing higher level spells. In SF, when you get a new spell level, that spell level is the best you have. And when you gain a few more spell levels, those older spells fade out. I don't see why lvl 1 spells should still do CR appropiate damage at lvl 18. You have lvl 6 spells at that level. The point of Vancian magic is that you have stronger, but depletable resources. Having dozens and dozens of spells who are CR appropiate at level 18 (that is, every 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th spell, because they all scale) make the "powerful but depletable" become "powerful, but not really able to spend all of them so the depletable doesn't matter". It's the old "wizards are quadratic" problem.

6) I'm running without gods, at all, in starfinder. I find polytheistic pantheons work well for fantasy (and I love them and play PF with them), but doesn't click for me in Sci Fi. I still have religions in my game, though, but I feel that deistic approachs, of philosophies, work better as religion for Sci Fi settings. For example, Jedi religion (the belief in a cosmic force of balance between light and darkness, good and evil, etc), or the equivalent in SF (solarians), "feels" better for me than worshipping some magic butterfly just because he is more magically powerful than oher magic butterflies. That's something medieval cultures would do, no doubt, but in a spacefaring society, Deism, philosophy, etc, work better for my taste.

7) This is connected with the thing above. If there is no gods, then there is no "magic that comes from the gods". Everyone who has access to magic have a different way or reason to do it, but there is no "hard border" between them. Some guy has telepathy because he has psionic powers based on his genes like Charles Xavier, some other guy get it through training and meditation, like a Jedi.

8) and 9) go together. Itterative attacks make full round THE best option in EVERY circunstance, period. The only reason to not use full attack option is because you can't. That also make the game less mobile, because you try to avoid "wasting" attacks by moving. Moving and zipping around the battlefield make the game more tactically interesting in my opinion, and anything that encourage movement is a good thing. In SF, moving to a position where you are no longer affected by cover and shoot once, is a good choice, while in PF, often it's better to shoot the full itterative pack of attacks, even against cover, than moving to shoot from a coverless flank. That makes combat less tactically interesting, and more a math issue: get as many bonuses you can, and then full attack always.

Again, others might not agree with my view. This isn't confrontational. It's just to point out that not every game is for everybody. Some people will not like some of this features, or will hate all of them, while some others, like myself, will find them interesting and/or desirable.


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

Well said! All very good points!

The Exchange

Combat may end up far more static than you think, @Gustavo.

Moving to shoot the enemy often means also,giving up your own cover. The enemy almost always have a better chance to hit you than you do for them, and they deal more damage per attack based on weapon damage plus adds.

On that factor, staying in cover could mean the difference between getting your own shots off and getting out damaged into unconscious.

While some classes are difenitely going to be moving more (close combat oriented), others are going to be static for most of the fight.

Which is pretty much how most of my Pathfinder battles ran actually.

And isn’t too much of a stretch beyond what most games systems run. (A mobile assault group supported by a static gun line)

Some of my players found that their best option in a gun fight was almost always trying to debuff the enemy rather than trying to damage the enemy. The harrying fire and suppressive fire ? Options both have static DCs of 15. In firefights where the enemy is entrenched in cover, they just missed more often than not against their KAC values. So debuff it is.

Now, that’s perfectly fine in and of itself, but once you’ve had a number of battles where you’re relegated to debuff, then it gets stale.

The Exchange

Having said that (see my above post), I suspect the new equipment book will be releasing things that provide all sorts of options for less combat intensive characters.

I’d also like to see more options along the lines of hacking and counter hacking in combat to make a difference, or deployable energy fields for mobile cover, troop tracking deployable sensors so you know where the enemy is etc etc.


Wrath wrote:

Combat may end up far more static than you think, @Gustavo.

Moving to shoot the enemy often means also,giving up your own cover. The enemy almost always have a better chance to hit you than you do for them, and they deal more damage per attack based on weapon damage plus adds.

They don't. This is highly dependent on what weapons and armor the party are using and the specifics of how the opponents are built. Wrath is trying to generalize from a very small sample of play.

I do wish more people were more aware of actions like Covering and Harrying Fire, though.


CeeJay wrote:
Huh? Why would it feel "dead in regards to new content"? There are several books' worth of official content planned for the first year alone, a bunch of Society modules in addition to the adventure paths if you need one-offs, the Adventure Paths themselves contain a bunch of extra usable content even if you're not using the adventures...

The fact that the usable content is in the Adventure Paths is the problem. That I need to purchase Adventure Paths to get things which should just be in the big "rulebook" books, despite the fact that I will never play any of Paizo's adventures.

Lord Fyre wrote:


Why does your group reject the "Adventure Paths"?

For one, my group prefer to make our own campaigns than using premade adventures (Also.... we don't really like Paizo's style of world-building in general, but that's more a taste/opinion thing).

Also my RPG group only has 2 players + 1 GM, and if I try to access my other gaming friends to get a group large enough for an adventure path their schedules make it so that we only have one session every three months. There is no point in our group playing Adventure Paths.


Milo v3 wrote:
CeeJay wrote:
Huh? Why would it feel "dead in regards to new content"? There are several books' worth of official content planned for the first year alone, a bunch of Society modules in addition to the adventure paths if you need one-offs, the Adventure Paths themselves contain a bunch of extra usable content even if you're not using the adventures...
The fact that the usable content is in the Adventure Paths is the problem. That I need to purchase Adventure Paths to get things which should just be in the big "rulebook" books

If all the content in the Adventure Paths was in the CRB it would already be more than six hundred pages long, and we're not even at the end of the first year of publication. It is not practical for Paizo to put every possible ounce of content in the core books.

I think you could make a case that the NPC builder belongs in the core book. But all the detailed planet gazzeteers, extra races and items and maps and planet descriptions and so on in the Adventure Paths? No.

At any rate I was asking you why the game should feel "dead as to new content coming out." I still have no clear sense of this apart from your basically telling me that Paizo should be producing thousand-page corebooks. There is no shortage of new content coming out.


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CeeJay wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
CeeJay wrote:
Huh? Why would it feel "dead in regards to new content"? There are several books' worth of official content planned for the first year alone, a bunch of Society modules in addition to the adventure paths if you need one-offs, the Adventure Paths themselves contain a bunch of extra usable content even if you're not using the adventures...
The fact that the usable content is in the Adventure Paths is the problem. That I need to purchase Adventure Paths to get things which should just be in the big "rulebook" books

If all the content in the Adventure Paths was in the CRB it would already be more than six hundred pages long, and we're not even at the end of the first year of publication. It is not practical for Paizo to put every possible ounce of content in the core books.

I think you could make a case that the NPC builder belongs in the core book. But all the detailed planet gazzeteers, extra races and items and maps and planet descriptions and so on in the Adventure Paths? No.

At any rate I was asking you why the game should feel "dead as to new content coming out." I still have no clear sense of this apart from your basically telling me that Paizo should be producing thousand-page corebooks. There is no shortage of new content coming out.

It is something of an issue though. It doesn't have to be in the core book, but I've never really been fond of the way Paizo mixes rules content in with adventures and setting books. It's fine for those who want everything anyway, but if you just want the adventure you're paying for a bunch of partly irrelevant setting and rules content. Not interested in setting books? Well this cool feat is in the latest, so pick it up anyway!

Mitigated in Paizo's case of course by the rules being OGL and winding up on the web anyway, but it still applies to buying mechanics mixed in with the setting or adventure books.

All that said - it's not like Starfinder's been abandoned except for the APs. Alien Archive is out. Pact Worlds and Armory are in the works. Not as fast a pace as Pathfinder, but I'd put that down to not overcommitting to a new game rather than giving up on it. If demand is high, I'd be surprised if they didn't ramp up.


Starfinder Superscriber

I don't think he's arguing that should have all been in the CRB. I think he's arguing that the 'back matter' should be in other core books as generic material. I.E. He'd rather have an extra 'Rulebook' every couple months with what would have been in the adventures than buy the adventures.

I expect that they'll do this anyway and some of the info in the current AP, like the Gazetteer on Absalom Station from AP1 will be in, say, the Pact Worlds book coming out in March. The gear released so far will likely all be in the Armory in June, and all the monsters from all the APs will probably end up in the AA2 or AA3. It sucks for people like me that buy both, since I'll likely have 20-60 pages of repeated material in every rulebook, but I'm not too upset about it.


I'm not saying they should be in the CRB, that's why I didn't say Core Rulebook (I'm happy the equipment book will be a thing for example). My issue is that Paizo decide the Adventure Paths will be the primary method by which content is regularly produced for the game.

The primary method of starfinder content is not an option for my group, so I have the choice of regularly buying books which I will only use 10% of, or missing out on 50% of the games mechanical contents.

I'm not even sure whether or not there is much point buying Pact Worlds considering we play in our own settings, so even then Starfinder's secondary method of producing content has issues with my group.

Grand Lodge

50% is a vast exaggeration.

Additionally, I don't think I've seen it officially stated that AP's will be the primary way of getting new content out. There will easily be more content in the upcoming Armory Book than all of the APs released so far judging by page count. There's also the Alien Archives and the Pact World's book. Literally nowhere remotely close to "50% of the game's mechanical content" is in the APs.

The Pathfinder APs introduce new content in every book as well as a sidenote. New content in APs is nothing new.


Wrath wrote:

Combat may end up far more static than you think, @Gustavo.

Moving to shoot the enemy often means also,giving up your own cover. The enemy almost always have a better chance to hit you than you do for them, and they deal more damage per attack based on weapon damage plus adds.

On that factor, staying in cover could mean the difference between getting your own shots off and getting out damaged into unconscious.

I will have a more informed opinion in a few weeks, we finished Strange Aeons today and will start Starfinder next week.

In my theoricrafted opinion, the answer to that problem you say, is more cover. Several pieces of cover so people can try to move from cover to cover, while trying to outflank tbe enemy. I'll report bank obce I have real gameplay experience


Jurassic Pratt wrote:

50% is a vast exaggeration.

Additionally, I don't think I've seen it officially stated that AP's will be the primary way of getting new content out. There will easily be more content in the upcoming Armory Book than all of the APs released so far judging by page count. There's also the Alien Archives and the Pact World's book. Literally nowhere remotely close to "50% of the game's mechanical content" is in the APs.

The Pathfinder APs introduce new content in every book as well as a sidenote. New content in APs is nothing new.

The difference from PF is that there are more books coming out so that the new mechanics in the APs are a smaller percentage.

I agree it's not nearly half the content. Might seem that way, since it's coming out much more often.


Milo v3 wrote:
The primary method of starfinder content is not an option for my group

"Primary method"? The full first AP won't account for even a third of Starfinder official content by the end of the year.

Quote:
missing out on 50% of the games mechanical contents.

The game's "mechanical contents" are all in the CRB and to a lesser extent the Alien Archive. As pithica mentions, it's likely that new content in the APs will eventually be collected in other books, and putting new content in APs is nothing new. If you want to wait a bit of extra time for that, do so. That has nothing to do with whether the game is "dead in terms of new content." They're producing plenty of content.

It does help to have semi-reasonable expectations. It is not reasonable to expect a publisher to be producing a new rulebook every month because you've decided most of what other people consider content is irrelevant to you. What most people think of as "new content" is stuff like bew adventures, items, starships, monsters, goodies, story hooks, basically the kind of material Paizo is producing.

Quote:
I'm not even sure whether or not there is much point buying Pact Worlds considering we play in our own settings, so even then Starfinder's secondary method of producing content has issues with my group.

Up to you. I find that there's often plenty of stuff I can adapt in official content even when I'm homebrewing, so it's worth shelling out for even when I don't use the adventures as written.

(I personally considered turning my nose up at the Pact Worlds setting until I realized how hard it would really be to excel it for variety, vividness and a sheer mass of cool ideas. I might eventually decide to homebrew my own setting but I'm not remotely close to exhausting Pact Worlds ideas yet.)


thejeff wrote:
It is something of an issue though. It doesn't have to be in the core book, but I've never really been fond of the way Paizo mixes rules content in with adventures and setting books.

Although I actually don't think I've seen much new rules content in the Dead Suns AP so far, aside from slight adaptations of existing rules for certain things. It's mostly new setting information: gazetteers, creatures, starships, items and such.

I like the approach myself. You get an adventure plus some extra hooks and ideas for further adventures, it makes it easier to get excited about the setting. And it also makes it easier to use the AP for something even if you're not strictly-speaking running the AP.

The Exchange

CeeJay wrote:
Wrath wrote:

Combat may end up far more static than you think, @Gustavo.

Moving to shoot the enemy often means also,giving up your own cover. The enemy almost always have a better chance to hit you than you do for them, and they deal more damage per attack based on weapon damage plus adds.

They don't. This is highly dependent on what weapons and armor the party are using and the specifics of how the opponents are built. Wrath is trying to generalize from a very small sample of play.

I do wish more people were more aware of actions like Covering and Harrying Fire, though.

Actually, I’m basing it off the stats of critters in the bestiary book. But hey, keep telling me my stuff is limited and your homebrew is correct.

The Exchange

gustavo iglesias wrote:
Wrath wrote:

Combat may end up far more static than you think, @Gustavo.

Moving to shoot the enemy often means also,giving up your own cover. The enemy almost always have a better chance to hit you than you do for them, and they deal more damage per attack based on weapon damage plus adds.

On that factor, staying in cover could mean the difference between getting your own shots off and getting out damaged into unconscious.

I will have a more informed opinion in a few weeks, we finished Strange Aeons today and will start Starfinder next week.

In my theoricrafted opinion, the answer to that problem you say, is more cover. Several pieces of cover so people can try to move from cover to cover, while trying to outflank tbe enemy. I'll report bank obce I have real gameplay experience

Yeah, dropping scattered cover to enable enfilade movement and cover runs will definitely help the mobility of a game.

As will destroyable terrain elements.

Or sections that provide complete line of sight blocking and possible flanking positions.

I guess it depends how much you get to design and how much you rely on prepublished adventures.

There’s a current trend of thought in the Starfinder threads that suggest full attacking is always the better option. If that train of thought permeates your group it will also kill fluid combat.

It’s all group dependent I guess.


Wrath wrote:


Yeah, dropping scattered cover to enable enfilade movement and cover runs will definitely help the mobility of a game.

As will destroyable terrain elements.

Or sections that provide complete line of sight blocking and possible flanking positions.

This talk about cover actually being important for tactical options and to not get massacred makes me think of XCOM 2, and that's great in my opinion. Wish I had more opportunities to get in more combat experience since our group has... scheduling issues.


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Xcom 2 is exactly the kind of tactical approach I had in mind, yes. In that game you can entrench yourseld in cover and play a,war of attrition vs entrenched enemies, but often that's a bad idea, specially in higher difficulties and Ironman mode. Enfilading, flanking, overwatch traps, and selective use of melee assaults give uou a better edge. Mass effect 2 and 3 also give you a good example. Good positioning, flanking, and biotic powers to move people from cover is greatly beneficial, much better than just entrenching yourself until enemy dies.

About Hit Chance and damage, yes, the monsters and NPC have better attack and damage. They also have glass jaws. In theory, that was the approach in game design. I'll check how well the idea was developed soon.


I thought Starfinder was good enough as a game. I never expected some criticisms will cause players to stop playing. Then again, its a new game, trying to find it's legs.

I think you have stopped playing Starfinder prematurely. I agree that there are some points in which Starfinder can be improved. Perhaps they can be in time. However, you shouldn't stop playing Starfinder, the game's very good.


Wrath wrote:
Actually, I’m basing it off the stats of critters in the bestiary book.

Stats for which you have little in-play context by your own account.

Quote:
But hey, keep telling me my stuff is limited and your homebrew is correct.

My "homebrew" consists of reading the rules and having played the game for more than a few sessions at a stretch. We established that part last go-round, remember? I'm not insulting you, I'm just stating a fact: you're simply not in a position to make broad definitive statements about how the system works. And you cannot generalize how combat works from looking at attack bonuses in the Alien Archive, which goes to the discussion we just had about the limits of "theory."

(Hmmm. Do I want to know what happened to enemies being too "easy" to hit to the point where players were supposed to not care about armour, earlier claims which your most recent outing more-or-less directly contradicts? Probably not, I guess? If this is a fresh theoretical angle you've derived from reading the Alien Archive since that's fine, I just think you should be forthright that that's all it is.)

The Exchange

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CeeJay wrote:
Wrath wrote:
Actually, I’m basing it off the stats of critters in the bestiary book.

Stats for which you have little in-play context by your own account.

Quote:
But hey, keep telling me my stuff is limited and your homebrew is correct.

My "homebrew" consists of reading the rules and having played the game for more than a few sessions at a stretch. We established that part last go-round, remember? I'm not insulting you, I'm just stating a fact: you're simply not in a position to make broad definitive statements about how the system works. And you cannot generalize how combat works from looking at attack bonuses in the Alien Archive, which goes to the discussion we just had about the limits of "theory."

(Hmmm. Do I want to know what happened to enemies being too "easy" to hit to the point where players were supposed to not care about armour, earlier claims which your most recent outing more-or-less directly contradicts? Probably not, I guess? If this is a fresh theoretical angle you've derived from reading the Alien Archive since that's fine, I just think you should be forthright that that's all it is.)

Creatures are easy to hit, which again makes leaving your own cover to shoot them almost pointless.

For the few fights we had where the enemy AC was high, the less combat oriented classes were very restricted in what options were available. Basically debuff. Now we didn’t have too many fights like this, but the ones we did have lasted for quite a few rounds longer than many roleplay games. Again, this is the mechanical design of the game. It’s a stated design goal in fact. So now you face situations where some players are pretty much doing the same action each round (which isn’t perceived as doing much to the enemy) for 4 or five rounds or about 30minutes of real time.

Now let me again talk about my experience.
I’ve run two published AP sections from two different publishing companies who’s job it is to design adventures

I will only discuss the combat part of those (as indeed all my points to date have been about) since it’s the core mechanic which really turned our group off.

The monsters and NPCs in those games were designed to the rules in the Alien Archive. This was able,to be done because a) the first module was written by the very people who wrote the alien archive which were using the rules before the public got hold of them and b) the second module was using the same rules as the alien archive because a number of publishing companies also had access to those rules prior to the public getting access to them.

I ran one of my groups for 4 sessions and they got to level 3 at the end of the first part of the Paizo module. I had five players in that group.

I ran a second group for 9 sessions and got through to level five eventually in a second AP I’ve already mentioned to you. We honestly nearly quit by level 3of that one as well but I convinced th m to take a short two week break and come back to it. By level five the five players in that group also thought the combat was not up to par.

So I have DMd 14 sessions with ten different players using official and third party modules which in turn used official rules for combat and NPC design.

My experience is more than enough to make a judgement on a game system on whether I think it’s worth pursuing compared to the myriad of other games out there.

From what Youve states so far, you’re running homebrew games while making adjustments that you feel need to be made.

You have every right to enjoy your game, but do not denegrate my opinion on the game by saying my experience is limited so therefore wrong.

And all of that is just talking about the issues with combat and NPC design that my players had. None of it comes from “this needs to be pathfinder and it’s not” because apart from me and one other player, the groups I run with don’t do pathfinder any more.

There are other omissions in the system which the groups didn’t like, but they are far more subjective than the combat stuff so I haven’t bothered mentioning them in this thread.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Wrath wrote:

Now let me again talk about my experience.

I’ve run two published AP sections from two different publishing companies who’s job it is to design adventures

I will only discuss the combat part of those (as indeed all my points to date have been about) since it’s the core mechanic which really turned our group off.

The monsters and NPCs in those games were designed to the rules in the Alien Archive. This was able,to be done because a) the first module was written by the very people who wrote the alien archive which were using the rules before the public got hold of them and b) the second module was using the same rules as the alien archive because a number of publishing companies also had access to those rules prior to the public getting access to them.

I ran one of my groups for 4 sessions and they got to level 3 at the end of the first part of the Paizo module. I had five players in that group.

I ran a second group for 9 sessions and got through to level five eventually in a second AP I’ve already mentioned to you. We honestly nearly quit by level 3of that one as well but I convinced th m to take a short two week break and come back to it. By level five the five players in that group also thought the combat was not up to par.

So I have DMd 14 sessions with ten different players using official and third party modules which in turn used official rules for combat and NPC design.

Is this fixable?

(Is it worth fixing?)


Wrath wrote:

I ran one of my groups for 4 sessions and they got to level 3 at the end of the first part of the Paizo module. I had five players in that group.

I ran a second group for 9 sessions and got through to level five eventually in a second AP I’ve already mentioned to you. We honestly nearly quit by level 3of that one as well but I convinced th m to take a short two week break and come back to it. By level five the five players in that group also thought the combat was not up to par.

I have previously pointed out to you that you're probably encountering flaws in published AP design*. I still think that's the case, running of course on the assumption that there weren't other problems at work. I know perfectly well by now you're justifying this by talking about how "professional designers made these scenarios" and such and so forth, and I'm not going to repeat what I told you about that, which still stands; I'm just trying to tempt you into not trying to describe your experience, which doesn't seem to me to be all that typical and certainly looks nothing similar to my experience at the table, as a definitive description of the system.

* And saying this is not to say I think my adventures are "better" any absolute sense. They're just calibrated to my play style and knowledge of the rules and that of my players. This may just speak to different ideas of a GM's responsibilities. Even if we were running written adventures, I would still likely tinker with them here and there to better fit what my group is looking for at the table. Starfinder is, luckily, a system that makes this fairly easy to do.

As I said to the person you were replying to, the kind of flaws you recount running into would have to be highly situational and dependent at the very least on how the party was built and equipped, not to mention on how the AP was built. Enemies supposedly having higher to-hit bonuses? Enemies in Starfinder generally don't have access to the same buffs and feats that players do, it's pretty clearly part of why it's calibrated that way. They're built to be at least theoretically competitive with a well-built party that has some decent combat stats among its tanks. I would have to bend rules in my game for NPC opponents to be competitive in practical chances to hit or damage dealt with, say, our fifth-level Soldier or Operative.

Now, I'm saying all this as someone who has been running the same player group weekly since November, with no signs of anyone quitting or being tempted to quit, and who has yet to encounter these supposedly baked-into-the-mechanics problems you keep talking about as if they're definitive features of the system. I'm running homebrew adventures but tactically speaking they're RAW using the same system you claim has these inherent flaws (where I have homebrew rules widgets, they exist to give more granularity to story-related XP bonuses, they have no effect on the tactical rules). For you to have started in this thread in a certain place is understandable; for you to still be doing the same thing by this point is less so, because by now you know there are people running this system who haven't experienced what you did, and you should be able to comment like you've taken that in and understood what it implies.

(And again, I'm not saying I haven't made mistakes or run into slogs. I will say that Starfinder is susceptible to combat slogs, like any "crunchy" tactical system is, if the GM or the adventure designer -- in my case I'm both -- miscalculates something, which on occasion I have done. This is not news but is something much less specific than the kinds of claims you keep repeating.)

The Exchange

Lord Fyre wrote:
Wrath wrote:

Now let me again talk about my experience.

I’ve run two published AP sections from two different publishing companies who’s job it is to design adventures

I will only discuss the combat part of those (as indeed all my points to date have been about) since it’s the core mechanic which really turned our group off.

The monsters and NPCs in those games were designed to the rules in the Alien Archive. This was able,to be done because a) the first module was written by the very people who wrote the alien archive which were using the rules before the public got hold of them and b) the second module was using the same rules as the alien archive because a number of publishing companies also had access to those rules prior to the public getting access to them.

I ran one of my groups for 4 sessions and they got to level 3 at the end of the first part of the Paizo module. I had five players in that group.

I ran a second group for 9 sessions and got through to level five evuentually in a second AP I’ve already mentioned to you. We honestly nearly quit by level 3of that one as well but I convinced th m to take a short two week break and come back to it. By level five the five players in that group also thought the combat was not up to par.

So I have DMd 14 sessions with ten different players using official and third party modules which in turn used official rules for combat and NPC design.

Is this fixable?

(Is it worth fixing?)

I’m sure our group could come up with a plethora of new house rules to adjust the big issue they had, but why sink my time into it?

The whole thing felt stale to them combat wise. It’s a core mechanic.
Instead, we just went back to playing games we already enjoyed.

Nothing we try is a perfect fit for us. We do definitely tinker with things and implement house rules where necessary. But never for entire systems of the game.

As I stated earlier, I’m going to mine Starfinder for some ideas on computer stuff and some other elements and overlay those onto Fragged Empire. I’ll try that and see what happens. The base mechanics of Fragged were pretty fresh but it really lacked guidance and depth as a system. I’ve got a far better concept on how fix some of that having read Starfinder and the 40k roleplay books too. Most that is purely from a DMs perspective and ease of running games.

But, Fragged has a similar issue with its enemy design that Starfinder has. They have different stat styles and even some different mechanics in how they’re handled. Given the response to Starfinder in my groups, I get the feeling it will end up with a similar outcome.

The Exchange

@CeeJay,

Your argument works both ways.

For you to have started this thread believing there aren’t issues is understandable. But for you still be in that position after a number of people have said there are is less so.

None of which means jack squat. Your group obviously likes the game. They have no issue with stuff in the game.

My two groups do. So we don’t play it.

Again, given how many other game systems are out there, why bother chasing something you don’t enjoy?

Which brings me nicely to the point where I’ll bow out of these threads, since I no longer plan on playing the game. May all of you enjoy whatever game you play.


Wrath wrote:
For you to have started this thread believing there aren’t issues is understandable. But for you still be in that position after a number of people have said there are is less so.

Except for the part where I never said there weren't issues. I just said your specific points aren't especially definitive as issues with the system.

Quote:
Which brings me nicely to the point where I’ll bow out of these threads, since I no longer plan on playing the game. May all of you enjoy whatever game you play.

Good on you.


our main issue with combat is one of us, my character, dominates the battle. we are almost done with temple of the twelve. in all of our fights it's either my soldier kills everything or we lose. we have an envoy and a mystic in addition to my soldier. I see that I am a combat specialist class but it's the sci go combat logistics that are the issue. the ranges we fight at make the range penalty prohibitive for small arms users and if I close to melee my supioror speed leaves me alone. if the mystic and envoy run action to keep up it results in all 3 of us tanking at least one round of free shots. we use a battle mat and we had to scale the squares to 10 feet or 15 feet sometimes to avoid having to cover the entire table. I read a lot of posts and it feels like people are fighting at ranges less than 100 feet and I don't see why. also it's sucked most of the loot we have earned the mystic and envoy can't use and we can't sell for at real profit. sorry for punctuation but I'm posting this from my phone and also sorry since this isint the right thread but the last couple pages of posts prompted me to speak. we like the game but when you play it in a sensible way ground and space combat suffer.


Metaphysician wrote:
Honestly, fewer choices is *better*, in my eyes. Partly because the sheer bulk of accumulated choices available makes it much harder to do anything with Pathfinder. Partly because a good chunk of those 'choices' are not really choices at all, because they aren't especially balanced with each other.

Completely agree. I'm biased - I hate classes, and I think classless systems are much more fun - but I think fewer classes with more options and variations within those classes is far more fun than many more classes where each one feels like a straitjacket.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
argelfraster wrote:
our main issue with combat is one of us, my character, dominates the battle. we are almost done with temple of the twelve. in all of our fights it's either my soldier kills everything or we lose. we have an envoy and a mystic in addition to my soldier. I see that I am a combat specialist class but it's the sci go combat logistics that are the issue. the ranges we fight at make the range penalty prohibitive for small arms users and if I close to melee my supioror speed leaves me alone. if the mystic and envoy run action to keep up it results in all 3 of us tanking at least one round of free shots. we use a battle mat and we had to scale the squares to 10 feet or 15 feet sometimes to avoid having to cover the entire table. I read a lot of posts and it feels like people are fighting at ranges less than 100 feet and I don't see why. also it's sucked most of the loot we have earned the mystic and envoy can't use and we can't sell for at real profit. sorry for punctuation but I'm posting this from my phone and also sorry since this isint the right thread but the last couple pages of posts prompted me to speak. we like the game but when you play it in a sensible way ground and space combat suffer.

Most of these things are GM issues and others are player choices not system issues. Why are the adversaries allowing you to fight at that distance? From reading this and multiple other posts in this thread many GMs seem to be running combat like two teams at opposing goals instead of allowing for dynamic encounters. As a GM it is your responsibility to make a fun interesting game for the players and this does mean adjusting adventures to the players you have. It is a very common mistake for many new and experienced GMs to run adventures and encounters exactly as they are laid out in the book. I always adjust adventures in my prep and on the fly based on player decisions and the intelligence of the opponents. I've found that regardless of system this creates a more fun experience and game for my players.

So in this situation loot should be adjusted by the GM to fit the party and the encounters should be adjusted to allow others to shine and not just your soldier. The GM should not be allowing you guys to constantly fight at such long ranges. There a lot of opportunities to place the PCs in closer ranges especially in Temple of the Twelve. There are plenty of ambush opportunities. All of this comes down to the GM. As to you closing in melee and being alone unless the run to keep up. Maybe consider a slower advance? It's your tactical choice to outpace your party. None of these have to do with the system directly because combats from any system could play out like your examples if the GM allows it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CeeJay wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
The primary method of starfinder content is not an option for my group

"Primary method"? The full first AP won't account for even a third of Starfinder official content by the end of the year.

Quote:
missing out on 50% of the games mechanical contents.

The game's "mechanical contents" are all in the CRB and to a lesser extent the Alien Archive. As pithica mentions, it's likely that new content in the APs will eventually be collected in other books, and putting new content in APs is nothing new. If you want to wait a bit of extra time for that, do so. That has nothing to do with whether the game is "dead in terms of new content." They're producing plenty of content.

It does help to have semi-reasonable expectations. It is not reasonable to expect a publisher to be producing a new rulebook every month because you've decided most of what other people consider content is irrelevant to you. What most people think of as "new content" is stuff like bew adventures, items, starships, monsters, goodies, story hooks, basically the kind of material Paizo is producing.

Quote:
I'm not even sure whether or not there is much point buying Pact Worlds considering we play in our own settings, so even then Starfinder's secondary method of producing content has issues with my group.

Up to you. I find that there's often plenty of stuff I can adapt in official content even when I'm homebrewing, so it's worth shelling out for even when I don't use the adventures as written.

(I personally considered turning my nose up at the Pact Worlds setting until I realized how hard it would really be to excel it for variety, vividness and a sheer mass of cool ideas. I might eventually decide to homebrew my own setting but I'm not remotely close to exhausting Pact Worlds ideas yet.)

yeah even ignoring the worlds fluff there will be at the very least

between 7 and 14 themes
at least 1 archetype per class "likely more"
new tech
more races

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