are there any negatives for playing with a missing arm?


General Discussion


I know you can not use longguns at all. There is no negatives for using of two-handed range weapon one handed. Kinda sad but I get it. But i am looking for all the other negatives so I can evaluate if it's even worth it. I am thinking it may not worth it. Or i could just stick with the negatives and just use small arms and try not climbing. Til i got to a place that could make the attachment or i saved up enough for a new arm.


So far as I am aware, there are no straight numerical penalties for missing an arm. There are some specific things I've found skimming through the CRB, such as needing two hands to climb, but there's not much on the mechanical impact of being short an arm and a hand. So, here are the downsides I can find immediately.

1: You have one hand. No two-handed weapons, no wielding multiple things at once, etc. Weapon selection might not be awful if you account for it in build choice and such, but the action economy part could still be problematic in any number of situations.

2: You can't climb properly without something like Climbing Suckers or Spider Climb. This will be a complete non-issue right up until it isn't, at which point it may be quite significant.

3: It's an open invitation for a GM to hand out various penalties as they see fit to your checks. You would know better than any of us how likely that is to be a problem.

4: This isn't a mechanical problem, but a conceptual one. Why does your character still only have one arm? Why haven't they replaced it already? A cybertech prosthetic is only 100 credits. Biotech for a genuine flesh replacement is only 110. If you really have to skimp, you can get a necrograft version for only 90. This isn't an insurmountable problem, but it's one that would certainly need to be addressed.


Hithesius wrote:

4: This isn't a mechanical problem, but a conceptual one. Why does your character still only have one arm? Why haven't they replaced it already? A cybertech prosthetic is only 100 credits. Biotech for a genuine flesh replacement is only 110. If you really have to skimp, you can get a necrograft version for only 90. This isn't an insurmountable problem, but it's one that would certainly need to be addressed.

I was thinking if you lost an arm it would be somwhere you would not be able to replace it just yet. In the middle of no where, in a crawl filled with monsters and traps, or in the wild/space.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Unless you're an operative, your ranged damage potential will be completely shot since you will be limited to small arms, which only get half your weapon specialization bonus to damage.


Hithesius wrote:
4: This isn't a mechanical problem, but a conceptual one. Why does your character still only have one arm? Why haven't they replaced it already? A cybertech prosthetic is only 100 credits. Biotech for a genuine flesh replacement is only 110. If you really have to skimp, you can get a necrograft version for only 90. This isn't an insurmountable problem, but it's one that would certainly need to be addressed.

Yeah, it's literally the cheapest cybernetic augment available on the CRB (You could start the game with all four prosthetic limbs, for a Ghost in the Shell vibe).

On the other hand, have you seen the cyberpunk movie Mute on netflix? This might be such a case.


Point is if you lose an arm in an adventure there is most likely way you could just pull up stakes and go to a cyberdoc to have a cybernetic arm installed. You're most likely going to have to finish what you're doing before heading to the Cyberdoc. And even if you are one you would not be able to install it with out a proper place, lab or whatever.

Sovereign Court

I don’t believe you can get prosthetic arms in addition to your normal number - my reading is that they replace lost limbs only. You’d need the cybernetic arms version to get additional limbs and they are much more pricey.


While that is true, it's also completely irrelevant since extra limbs hadn't even come up in this thread.

Anyway, yes; having it lopped off mid-game is one way of addressing why you're missing an arm, though outside campaign specific peculiarities it probably wouldn't be a long-term situation. It's something that could have interesting consequences if used well.


You probably can't reload. Or maybe you can, if you can find a spot to brace your small arm of choice.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Pantshandshake wrote:
You probably can't reload. Or maybe you can, if you can find a spot to brace your small arm of choice.

I have yet to find a rule that says you need a free hand to reload in Starfinder. In fact, many of the game's mechanics don't seem to work as intended with such a rule in place (such as every longarm ever).


You're right, reload as called out in the book is woefully lacking in precise language. But good luck convincing any GM that because it doesn't say it in the book, you can manipulate two object at the same time while only having one arm.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Pantshandshake wrote:
You're right, reload as called out in the book is woefully lacking in precise language. But good luck convincing any GM that because it doesn't say it in the book, you can manipulate two object at the same time while only having one arm.

Good luck convincing your players that reloading a longarm, sniper weapon, or heavy weapon takes several actions.

Swift action - Switch two-handed weapon to one hand
Move action - reload your weapon (I'm assuming you don't need a separate action to draw the ammo)
Swift action - Switch two-handed weapon to two hands

That's a full round at least. Do you really think that was intended? It clearly isn't, otherwise they would have simply stated reloading two-handed weapons was a full action.

In any case, I've seen people reload guns with one hand. Takes little more than a bit of practice and maybe a special brace to hold the ammo against your body in the appropriate position.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Where does it say you need a swift action to switch your grip on your weapons?


CRB P.247 - Swift Action: Change Grips wrote:
Changing your grip on a weapon, such as going from wielding a two-handed weapon with both hands to holding it in one hand, is a swift action.

Actions in Combat, in the tactical rules chapter. It's the very first example of a swift action too. I'm inclined to think that it's simply folded into Reloading much like the implicit Manipulate an Item move action is, so by extension I would personally say that reloading a pistol one-handed shouldn't require any more actions than normal. Gear clamps and the like exist for a reason.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thanks. And yeah, put me in the "switching hands is part of the Reloading action" column.


All the relevant information on reloading I could find:

Quote:

Page 168

Reloading a weapon or inserting a new
battery (including ejecting a spent cartridge or battery if
necessary) takes a move action.
Quote:

Page 182

Quick Reload
You can reload this weapon as part of the same action as firing
it, instead of taking a move action to reload.
Quote:

Page 205

AUTOMATED LOADER
This device attaches to powered armor and consists of a small
robotic arm
and a storage compartment that holds up to 2 bulk
of ammunition and batteries. You can activate the automated
loader as a move action to reload or recharge a weapon that’s
mounted to the powered armor (but not to replace the batteries
of the powered armor itself). Abilities that let you reload faster
than a move action don’t apply to an automated loader.
Quote:

Page 247

Reload
Unless stated otherwise, reloading is a move action that includes
grabbing ammunition
you have readily available. Some weapons
require different actions to reload; see the weapon’s description.

The "robotic arm" and the "grabbing by the ammo" bits don't bode well for the reloading without a second limb side of the argument.

On the other hand, this is about 7 thousand years post medieval magic world, maybe reloading a weapon doesn't require as much mechanical effort as our current firearms?


Changing the number of hands you are holding a weapon with requires a swift action right?

Is it the designer's intent for Characters using longarms is to spend entire turns to reload?

1. Swift action, hold rifle 1 handed
2. Move action, reload
3. Second Swift, hold weapon two handed again

It seems odd that they aren't stronger than melee weapons if that is the case.


There's not even a single mention of swift actions on those quotes.

But they do insinuate that a move action to reload means "ejecting a cartridge or battery and grabbing new ammo while using an arm", if you put everything together.

Quote:

Page 168

When the rules
refer to wielding a weapon, it means you are holding a weapon
with the correct number of hands and can thus make attacks
with it. For example, if you are holding a small arm in your
hand, you are considered to be wielding the weapon.

Changing how you hold a weapon is a swift action.

Reloading doesn't mention needing to change your hold on a weapon, you bunch of paranoids.

Grabbing ammo =/= changing hold. At least in this game.

Some editing on my part as well, since the tone is nicer.

A in-game example: you're holding your laser rifle with both hands while exploring a derelict spaceship, ready to shoot. Then you run into some blue alien monster who happens to be resistant to fire. Swift action, change your hold on the rifle to one hand, move action grab your projectile pistol on holster, standard action, shoot.

The real conundrum is: five rounds later, the pistol runs dry and you need to reload - but the rifle is still hanging from your other hand... RAW, move action and reload away. Other than the Automated Loader mention, nothing says you need a free hand to reload.

Reloading a rifle is more realistic, since you only need to remove a hand from the gun and grab the ammo - but if you're carrying two pistols, now what? As I mentioned, maybe future guns practically reload themselves, just move the weapon close to the magazine and it'll jump into the gun by itself.

Although projectile weapons in Starfinder don't seem that futuristic to me.


They're asking if someone with one hand can reload a pistol. If the "can't" side says it's because you can't grab ammo with the same hand that wields the weapon, then that rule hurts Rifle users as well, lol.

The designers shot themselves in the foot with this swift action to change grip requirements. Well, it makes the 4 armed races more useful.

Can Ysoki grab ammo with their tails? It doesn't say you need a hand to grab objects that you aren't wielding.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Okay seriously, as a person who actually shoots a real gun in real life, you don't actually change your grip when you reload. You let go with one hand, grab easily accessible ammo (probably in a pouch at your hip) and then put it in the weapon. This could easily be put into a single move action. And again to reiterate you do not actually change your hold on the weapon.
-Beta


I actually do agree that reloading is not intended to be a full round action. You're not wielding that ammo you're reloading with. It would be like telling someone they needed a swift action to scratch an itch.

I'm just saying that if someone loses an arm, suddenly, a reload is a lot more than a move action 20 seconds later.

Also, gear clamps call out an object being attached or removed 'as easy as drawing or sheathing a weapon.' So sure, if you happened to have a gear clamp, a full round one handed reload sounds fine to me. You'd still need a move action next round to retrieve the gun.

I'd also be favor of some kind of... handicapped reloading device, using item creation rules we don't have yet to create.

Of course, a prosthetic arm next time you happen by Ye Olde Limbbe Shoppe is probably easier and cheaper.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I think that it's probably easiest to assume you just don't need a free hand (or at least no more than is necessary to wield the weapon). Nothing in the rules really indicates that you do, and it just causes more headache than is necessary.

Requiring a free hand not only messes with the intended action economy, it makes autofire weapons even weaker than they already are!


Sure, it's easier, but I'm going to stick with the commons sense approach of not being able to manipulate more items than you have hands at the same time.

I'm also going to point out that I've yet to see a rule in the book about what happens to your land speed, or ability to walk/run at all, if you're suddenly missing a leg. (Watch someone find it immediately now.)


I believe that rule is under the wound property in the weapons section of the equipment chapter, but I'm not sure...


CRB P.183 Table 7-11: Wounding Weapons wrote:

14-15 - Leg (Mobility) - Fort - Severed limb, -10 land speed

16-17 - Arm (Manipulation) - Ref - Severed limb, lose a hand

You can also lose an eye and take -2 on perception, or get your vitals injured, or what-have-you. But limb-loss is covered to an extent, and while losing a leg will impact your speed, losing your hand is somewhat less detailed.


To be honest the penalties for losing a limb are very generous. I would expect a person who only had two legs and lost one to be very hampered until they could create some sort of prosthetic. as it is, a regular person could lose both legs and if you had the fleet feat still be as fast as a dwarf.


Ah, the wound section, a place I haven't been yet.

That is super generous. If we get a quadruped player race, you think they'll start with +20 land speed to keep speeds even-ish with possible leg losses?

Also, think about a centaur standing on its hind legs and wandering around because the front two are disabled. It makes me chuckle.

Brief edit:
Ravingdork, I just re-read some of the posts in here, and I wanted to clear something up. I don't think you need a free hand to reload. The rules don't say that, and I'm fine with it. My contention is that you need to have more than one hand, total, regardless of what those hands are up to, to reload effectively.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Noted, Pantshandshake.


I should just take up one-handed juggling as a performance skill ahead of time as a kid. That solves everything. Ohh no! They got rid of performance as a skill!


Hey, one handed juggler could totally be your profession.


ghostunderasheet wrote:
I should just take up one-handed juggling as a performance skill ahead of time as a kid. That solves everything. Ohh no! They got rid of performance as a skill!

Move action: toss gun number 2 up in the air, eject spent battery on gun 1, grab fresh battery from belt, place it in gun 1, grab gun number 2 back as it falls down.


The Ragi wrote:
ghostunderasheet wrote:
I should just take up one-handed juggling as a performance skill ahead of time as a kid. That solves everything. Ohh no! They got rid of performance as a skill!
Move action: toss gun number 2 up in the air, eject spent battery on gun 1, grab fresh battery from belt, place it in gun 1, grab gun number 2 back as it falls down.

na na I was thinking was I eject the spent ammo clip. Then toss my gun up in the air. Then grab and toss up the ammo clip. Catch the gun and then slap catch the ammo clip in the receiver. then do a flourishing and bow with a tada!


ghostunderasheet wrote:
na na I was thinking was I eject the spent ammo clip. Then toss my gun up in the air. Then grab and toss up the ammo clip. Catch the gun and then slap catch the ammo clip in the receiver. then do a flourishing and bow with a tada!

If you are tossing up the gun that needs reloading, I'll do one over: toss the gun, toss the ammo into the receiver as the gun is falling back down and it lands on your hand ready to fire.

I think these three options are reasonable ways to reload a small arm without a free hand - just as is expect by RAW.

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Starfinder General Discussion / are there any negatives for playing with a missing arm? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.