Khizars and Perception Beyond 30 Feet

Rules Questions

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

How should perception beyond 30 feet be handled for khizars?

For reference, here is the text for their racial trait on senses.

Pact Words, page 212 wrote:
Khizars have no eyes or visual senses, other than the ability to perceive the presence or absence of light. Khizars have blindsense (vibration) and blindsight (life), each with a range of 30 feet. Khizars can't speak and can communicate only via telepathy.

It seems fair to treat Khizars as blinded in relation to any creatures that are farther than 30 feet. But I'm not even sure what that means in rule terms. Blinded states the following:

Creatures that become blinded but that have a precise sense other than vision still automatically fail all checks and activities relying on vision, but they suffer none of the other effects.

1) Khizar's blindsight is a precise sense. So, do khizars suffer a penalty to perception when attempting to perceive creatures beyond 30 feet? They can't use their precise sense (blindsight) beyond that range.

2) Should khizars be treated as flatfooted for attacks that originate beyond 30 feet from the khizar?

3) Can khizar's fire a starship weapon without penalty? Can Khizars even interact with any starship systems? khizar's can't directly perceive the starship with their precise sense unless they are in a living oma.

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Just realized that Khizars will have a tough day crashing into walls of all kind, with rules as written.

They are blind, and can only sense vibration and life. They are going to step on every nail, kick every stone, and crash into every corner.

Well depending how sensitive their ability to detect vibrations are walking into walls kicking stones may not be a huge issue. basically tap as you go would I think give you reasonable levels of situational awareness. As for flying a ship I could see rigging up some kind of acoustic system to basically give audio hologram type display that their vibration sense if it is precise enough should be able to utilize well enough.Functional if not amazing.

I forgot to mention I think they probably would be flat footed to anything beyond their sensory range and likely should be considered blinded to anything beyond their sensor range. If somebody wants to play something with that different sensory organs there are impacts. But there are probably a lot of worlds where their ability to sense things can be more useful than vision as well.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Being flat footed to ranged attacks beyond 30 ft is a pretty brutal handicap. I want to like khizars, but their lack of visual senses seems like a serious problem.

Grand Lodge

Well got to buy some augmentation, eyes that is, but the cheapest would be the darkvision capacitors

Being unable to interact with most machines, unless built for them, is a tough handicap too.

Not to mention that blindsight life does not help VS undead, golems and robots.

As far as interacting with machines go, I don't think khizars would particularly want to, anyway.

-Anything that is moving will be detectable with blindsense (vibration), which should include any activated machinery and anything in combat.
-Khizar senses effectively grant permanent See Invisibility, as long as the subject is either moving or alive (and if it is neither moving nor alive, it is probably not an immediate threat).

I think a common bio-augmentation for khizar PCs will be gene therapies that increase the range of their senses, which should be easy enough to design considering the number of items that improve other races' senses.

gustavo iglesias wrote:

Being unable to interact with most machines, unless built for them, is a tough handicap too.

Not to mention that blindsight life does not help VS undead, golems and robots.

I would imagine they would be buying and making use of a lot of bioorganic equipment. Brethda seems to be a big producer of such so probably not that hard to get a bio personal comp that lets them interact with tech easily enough. I think most who go this route probably go for some kind of bio implant eye option fairly early though.

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They could still interact with most machines as well as a blind person could, so I don't see that part being too horrible a deal. Considering that computers in _our_ world can do a decent job of reading the text aloud to you, I've no doubt the ones in Starfinder are even better at interacting with you despite not being able to see, and if it was that important, they could get a datajack (or biotech equivalent) to interface directly with a computer and not have to worry about it.

I hadn't thought about them being flat-footed against all attacks from farther than 30 feet away, though, just about them being unable to make attacks _against_ anyone farther than that, so that part is a rather harsh penalty, yes. I don't even necessarily want visual senses when I play one (different senses are part of the fun), but being able to take a feat or magic item that would allow them to double the range of their blindsense/sight out to 60 ft or more would help a lot -- small arms can still extend beyond that, and longarms/sniper weapons well beyond, but at least they wouldn't be quite so crippled in most Starfinder ranged combat.

Additionally, they're a race that just begs to be played as Xenodruids, and they can't even accurately perceive a full 1/3 the range of Grasping Vines, so they're much more limited in their ability to effectively use one of the more thematic and useful powers that the connection grants.

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I don't think they run into walls, as blindsense explicitly states on page 263 "Blindsense is the ability to use an imprecise nonvisual sense to operate effectively without vision".

I would tend to think operating effectively includes not walking into walls.

I'll note in real life, human eyes can detect very small numbers of photons, something like 2 or 3 is the minimum we need to detect a flash. Can blindsight (life) detect single cell organisms (i.e. bacteria)? At which point, the problem of detecting robots is pretty easy. Look at the moving surface with bacteria on it that isn't alive itself, or the space that's pushed out all the microscopic spores out of the way in the air.

The core rule book itself is silent on what things you can target with blindsight. It never actually defines blindsight (life). So I'm going to assume that it just lets you target stuff and move around effectively without running into things (hence the lack of strength and dexterity based penalties associated with being blinded).

Edit: Turns out attacking from hiding is in the Stealth section. So being flat-footed against targets you can't locate is in fact a thing.

Although, does that mean you're constantly making hearing Perception checks every round to determine if you can pinpoint the location of a target beyond 30 feet so that you're not flat-footed? If you can determine its location (Aware of location using a non-precise sense), then you're not flat-footed. Although that is going to get old fast rolling a stealth check every round for all enemies beyond 30 feet plus a perception check for each from the character.

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For the most part, that's exactly what blindsense/blindsight does -- though as you can see here, the lack of specificity in the core may mean a pretty wide range of interpretations on specific senses. For myself, I'd assume that blindsight (life) would show undead as a negative image, essentially; the equivalent of a really cold spot on a thermographic image, so they'd still be visible. A (non-sentient) robot, on the other hand, would just be so much scenery -- they'd know there was something there by virtue of blindsense (vibration), but there would literally be no perceivable difference between it and a statue until the robot moved (or unless the khizar was close enough to use equipment or other senses like touch.) One of the posters above suggested that undead wouldn't be visible at all to blindsight (life), and their interpretation is every bit as justifiable, if not moreso, than mine is.

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