Validation on Starship Shields in Combat


Rules Questions


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Wanted to clarify/validate a couple things regarding starship shields in combat.

In particular:
1) Balance (Helm Phase) says, "You can balance the shields, redirecting power from one quadrant to protect another. With a successful Computers check (DC = 15 +2 × your starship’s tier), you can shift Shield Points (SP) from the shield in one quadrant to the shield in another quadrant, including to depleted shields (after rebalancing, every shield must have at least 10% of the total current SP). Alternatively, you can add up the
SP from all the remaining shields and evenly distribute them to all
four quadrants, putting any excess SP in the forward quadrant."

So, say your ship has 50 shield points with a default load out of 15, 10, 10, 15.
Does that mean that you could move up to 10 points (all must retain at least 10% of the 50) from your aft shield to your front shield, giving you 25,10,10,5?
Alternately (if evenly distributing), you'd get 14, 12, 12, 12?

2) Divert (Engineering Phase) says, "... Evenly distribute the restored Shield Points to all 4 quadrants (putting any excess points in the forward quadrant."
That seems pretty clear, but what happens if you have two damaged shields and two full?
A) Are those shield points then split among all 4, with all the ones going to the damaged shields being lost? <or>
B) Are the shield points then only split among the 2 shields that aren't full?

The Exchange

1. Yes on both counts, you are correct.

2. Check out the Starfinder FAQ. The way diverting power to shields works has changed.

Also, flagged for movement to rules forum.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

One other related question, in SFS, are players required to start combat with the default shield default loads shown on the Drake/Pegasus (15/10/20/15 Drake, 10/10/10/10 Pegasus) or can they split them out however they want as long as they abide by the restriction (Shields Pg 302) that no quadrant can be assigned less than 10% of the total number of shield available?

That is, if you have a Drake (2) and start combat facing the other guy could you say, "Our shields are at 35/5/5/5" to start? [NOTE: Yes, that would be playing dangerously, but if you're confident you can always wind up facing their front, you might want to do this]


Can you guarantee that you will ALWAYS face the way you want? If not 100% guarantee, then don't even play. Intentionally weakening a shield to try and boost another is a POOR strategy. The only time this could even work is if you are chasing them and they can fire back. If they are chasing you the amount of damage they could do vs the amount you can repair is not worth it. Why keep fly in a manner so they can always fire at you?


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm not suggesting it's necessarily a great idea (especially if done to this degree). I'm just trying to clarify the rules on this.


So then why would you ever suggest to do this?

Sovereign Court

With the drake it's not such a strange idea to start with extra forward shields, since you're trying to be facing people head-on as much as you can. Wouldn't go all the way but a little extra isn't crazy.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Again, more interested in clarifying that a ship crew DOES have this option than in the application of the tactic.

As far as tactically, it would probably be more prudent to 18/12/12/8 or some such (note that the default load out is uneven -- with 15/10/10/15 -- it's not 13/12/12/13).

The entire point is, AT THE MOMENT COMBAT BEGINS, the crew has the option of splitting the total shield points (50 in this case) out however they want among the 4 shields as long as they abide by the restriction (Shields Pg 302) that no quadrant can be assigned less than 10% of the total number of shield available.

Heck, if they start out facing AWAY from the enemy and just plan to run, they may want to allocate them F5/P10/S10/A25. That might be the best plan tactically for any number of reasons -- if they either have no weapons, if they fear the arrival of reinforcements from the same place the enemy came from, or ir their weapons are longer range than the enemy's and they just want to keep the enemy from getting close enough to use their shorter range (but more numerous) weapons.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Absolutely, PCs can split shields wherever they wish. The stats provided in the starship sheets represent a roughly even distribution, just because we need to have some numbers on the base sheet.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

That is something that should be in the guide.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Absolutely, PCs can split shields wherever they wish. The stats provided in the starship sheets represent a roughly even distribution, just because we need to have some numbers on the base sheet.

I agree, and having those default shield allocation values in the guide (and a few adventures) makes it a tad bit easier for people doing starship combat for the first time -- one less thing for them to think about at first.

However, once a crew is familiar with the mechanics, they may find that in many situations some other allocation makes more sense to the combat at hand.


Jim H wrote:

Again, more interested in clarifying that a ship crew DOES have this option than in the application of the tactic.

As far as tactically, it would probably be more prudent to 18/12/12/8 or some such (note that the default load out is uneven -- with 15/10/10/15 -- it's not 13/12/12/13).

The entire point is, AT THE MOMENT COMBAT BEGINS, the crew has the option of splitting the total shield points (50 in this case) out however they want among the 4 shields as long as they abide by the restriction (Shields Pg 302) that no quadrant can be assigned less than 10% of the total number of shield available.

Heck, if they start out facing AWAY from the enemy and just plan to run, they may want to allocate them F5/P10/S10/A25. That might be the best plan tactically for any number of reasons -- if they either have no weapons, if they fear the arrival of reinforcements from the same place the enemy came from, or ir their weapons are longer range than the enemy's and they just want to keep the enemy from getting close enough to use their shorter range (but more numerous) weapons.

I get what you are quoting, and your scenario never even happen the way you think it would have. If we would have ran from combat, 2 ships with LONG RANGE weapons would have had 2 free shots every round for 5 rounds. Before we could have gotten out of of range. If the baddies started in a close range position then they would have been able to use their close range weapons before they even chose to use their long range weapons. So that could be another round to 2 maybe 3 rounds of 2 ships firing for free. Your 25 shields won't last nearly as long as you think. Then thats not to factor in crits that could hurt other actions. Especially only having 1 science officer or engineer. Then putting your ship into the range of 2 firing ships every round in itself is just a poor tactic.

If you want to try an quote scenarios then please quote what actually happen. Especially when YOU ABANDONED your own tactics. So then you suggesting to rebalance the shields to but everything in the back, then to turn into the other ships would have been suicide. You cost another member FAME that SHOULDN'T have been cost.

If you want to get rules clarifications then fine. But don't get clarifications to try an justify your poor tactics in a scenario.Just because you can do something doesn't mean it is a good idea. Also I like how you use the opposite ship in your scenarios. We had 10 SP across the board. That scenario was a simple starship combat that you should have not LOST.

As a side note I think Balancing shields needs to be renamed. As taking an action to Balance Shields and redistribute them like 28/4/4/4 is not BALANCED SHIELDS.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Again, I'm trying to rehash scenarios or discuss specific tactics -- I was clarifying an inaccurate rules interpretation.

Perhaps some other other term would be clearer, but it's essentially changing the current balance of the shields to something else. And, one of the two options is to balance everything equally.

Remember specific scenarios as conveniently as you wish.

Customer Service Representative

Moved to Rules Questions

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Rules Questions / Validation on Starship Shields in Combat All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Rules Questions
Remote Hack