Do we have a sense of the "OP" races yet?


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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

So now that Alien Archive and Pact Worlds have been out in the wild for a little while now - do we have any sense of how OP some of the crazier races are? I know I see a lot of people hemming and hawing over Dragonkin with their +2 Str, Large size, and 10 ft reach, or SROs with their immunities.

Then again, whenever it comes up, there's always people pointing out that, for example, being Large size isn't actually all that advantageous in a system emphasizing ranged weapons and cover, and that since you can't start with Str above 18, a +2 isn't that breaking. Same for the SROs: they're immune to a lot of stuff, but there's also a lot more spells and abilities that specifically target constructs and things with the technological subtype, seeing as how they are so prevalent in the world.

So, is there a general consensus? Has anyone played or GMd a Dragonkin, SRO, or other OP-seeming race and want to share how it's gone? I'm curious!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

SRO's and Androids top the list in my book. Both offer a lot of bonuses and exceptions to things that other races dont get. Love the flavor of both but the resistances and immunities are a bit much even if they make sense.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

none are particularly unbalanced imho

large is as much a hindrance as a help,
sros are frail,
vesk have better ac
etc
IMHO all of the races are pretty close powerwise .

though there is also enough differences to have there advantages in different areas which can weight individuals opinions of there respective worth.

Dataphiles

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jimthegray wrote:

none are particularly unbalanced imho

large is as much a hindrance as a help,
sros are frail,
vesk have better ac
etc
IMHO all of the races are pretty close powerwise .

though there is also enough differences to have there advantages in different areas which can weight individuals opinions of there respective worth.

Yeah. I mean, I love Nuar, and think that they're the best with their Natural Weapons, charge bonus, and extra speed, but that -2 Dex is a harsh pill to swallow for some folks.

Basically all the races do is allow you to tinker and either optimize a build around the race's bonuses and restrictions, or experiment with a unique idea by going against type.


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Humans, as they are in most games. They got extra feats, extra skill points, AND opposable thumbs. That last one is pretty much the dealbreaker.


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

Shobhads are the closest thing I can think of with their reach and high strength and speed. I wouldn't call them overpowered though, just on the high end of power.


This system is built to negate a lot of the outrageous stuff. I'm pretty sure you could homebrew a cybertronian and it would still be balanced.


Two races have a bonus feat which may be the single most powerful racial ability so far. Most other bonuses can be bought as items or armor upgrades and stat wise pretty much all races end up with a 13 point total buy so it's hard to call one out as better. Nothing shocking though.


The nice thing is while inborn advantages help most can be pretty easily duplicated by tech so if you really want to be able to do something an armor mod generally will let you make that happen. So they can have a bigger range of what is allowable without blowing the system up and even an OP race is more of a matter of better at some specific stuff at lower levels.


All jokes aside, even with races getting extra feats (I always did feel humans got a huge advantage there), the overall scale of SF feats is lower than in PF. And that helps with keeping the various races on a mostly level playing field. I haven't really found one that I think is overly problematic. Sure, I have a personal bias that it still feels like too many Dex+ races. But that was probably even more an issue in PF.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

You can't deny the racial immunities of the SRO make it one of the strongest races period. It doesnt breath, is immune to poison and disease.. which covers most hazards in the game and has bonuses to save vs particular spells. its a great race but those advantages put it well infront of others oh and it gets cyberware and a couple pieces of equipmeht for free. I had to enact a diversity clause in my group to keep them from all playing androids and SROs Androids mostly because there stats fit so many builds perfectly and the not breathing and racial bonuses to saves & built in armor mod is really strong.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The races are pretty well balanced, in my opinion. That said, below are my top 3.


  • SRO - great for any class; arguably the best racial traits
  • Shobhad - great for melee; imo they are better than dragonkin due to the penalty to INT instead of DEX
  • Astrazoan - their change form ability is underrated. Astrazoans might not make it into any optimization guides, but creative players can make great use of Change Form. Future books might change things, but Change Form is currently stronger than any similar magic, and it can only be pierced by a pretty high perception check and maybe True Seeing.


I think I get a bit spoiled, because my particular players tend to come to the table with ideas they want. Pursuing mechanical advantages (like the SROs) ranks a bit lower on their priority list, rather than "I need to build this concept." That being said, I don't even find the SROs mechanical advantages broken or overpowered. Within the setting of the Pact Worlds, they can face a lot of uphill social adversity (easily up to outright slavery alongside androids outside of Pact Worlds jurisdiction). For my own tastes, I felt like the balance was still there.

That said, agreed with the above. In my own eyes as a player, I really thought the Astrazoan racial ability was an absolute game-changer. There's just so much do with that on social or infiltration based characters.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dread Moores wrote:

I think I get a bit spoiled, because my particular players tend to come to the table with ideas they want. Pursuing mechanical advantages (like the SROs) ranks a bit lower on their priority list, rather than "I need to build this concept." That being said, I don't even find the SROs mechanical advantages broken or overpowered. Within the setting of the Pact Worlds, they can face a lot of uphill social adversity (easily up to outright slavery alongside androids outside of Pact Worlds jurisdiction). For my own tastes, I felt like the balance was still there.

That said, agreed with the above. In my own eyes as a player, I really thought the Astrazoan racial ability was an absolute game-changer. There's just so much do with that on social or infiltration based characters.

Shhh. If you talk about it too much, they might take it away. Better to upgrade the reptold than to downgrade the astrazoan.


Anyone know if the astrozoan bonus to disguise checks works with operative trick attacks, like from a spy operative?

They get a +10 to disguise checks to appear as a creature of the type and subtype of the new form... and trick attack can be based off of disguise for the spy specialization.


Ecliptic12 wrote:

Anyone know if the astrozoan bonus to disguise checks works with operative trick attacks, like from a spy operative?

They get a +10 to disguise checks to appear as a creature of the type and subtype of the new form... and trick attack can be based off of disguise for the spy specialization.

I'd say no. Just looking like another creature doesn't help your trick attack. I get the impression that the trick attack disguise bonus is more about disguising where you're pointing the gun.

"He's got a secret weapon that nobody sees," - Warren Zevon, "The Envoy"


Dracomicron wrote:
Ecliptic12 wrote:

Anyone know if the astrozoan bonus to disguise checks works with operative trick attacks, like from a spy operative?

They get a +10 to disguise checks to appear as a creature of the type and subtype of the new form... and trick attack can be based off of disguise for the spy specialization.

I'd say no. Just looking like another creature doesn't help your trick attack. I get the impression that the trick attack disguise bonus is more about disguising where you're pointing the gun.

"He's got a secret weapon that nobody sees," - Warren Zevon, "The Envoy"

True... and probably better in terms of fairness with trick attack. I could just see an argument for using disguise for trick attack as an astrazoan:

I make myself into a human, but I give myself an extra arm that is beneath a fake arm. The gun is held in the extra arm and "disguised"...

or somesuch. Just kinda trying to figure out how it works RAW, since trick attack doesn't really give exact descriptions on how each of the different skills works in conjunction.

*shrug*

Scarab Sages Starfinder Design Lead

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Ecliptic12 wrote:
Anyone know if the astrozoan bonus to disguise checks works with operative trick attacks, like from a spy operative?

I know. :)

Ecliptic12 wrote:
They get a +10 to disguise checks to appear as a creature of the type and subtype of the new form... and trick attack can be based off of disguise for the spy specialization.

Every time you are making a skill check to perform a trick attack, you are "making a skill check to perform a trick attack." So bonuses to do other things with that skill do not apply.

Even if you define your trick attack as surprising someone with a disguise, the game task you are performing is not "to appear as a creature of the type and subtype of the new form; it is "to perform a trick attack."

So only bonuses that apply to all checks for the skill, or that call out that trick attack is one of the limited things it apples to, can be used in conjunction with trick attack.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

SROs seem very powerful for the reasons stated upthread.

The other race that seems exceptionally strong is the Ferran race. They get the following racial trait:

Ferran, Dead Suns 2 wrote:

Momentum:

A ferran deals an additional amount of damage equal to its character level with its first melee attack after it moves at least 10 feet in the same round.

This allows melee operatives to get ahead of the damage curve set by melee soldiers and solarians (but only by a little bit and only at mid levels). It also makes unwieldy weapon soldiers / solarians significantly less far behind their full attacking brethren.


Torbyne wrote:
Two races have a bonus feat which may be the single most powerful racial ability so far. Most other bonuses can be bought as items or armor upgrades and stat wise pretty much all races end up with a 13 point total buy so it's hard to call one out as better. Nothing shocking though.

We're actually up to three races with a bonus feat; humans, ryphorians, and kish.


FormerFiend wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Two races have a bonus feat which may be the single most powerful racial ability so far. Most other bonuses can be bought as items or armor upgrades and stat wise pretty much all races end up with a 13 point total buy so it's hard to call one out as better. Nothing shocking though.
We're actually up to three races with a bonus feat; humans, ryphorians, and kish.

Oh, true. There is also a species now with a bonus on unpowered (or is it analog?) Weapons. Either way, a racial bonus to attack rolls is pretty strong in this game, especially when its tied to a weapon trait instead of a favored enemy.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cellion wrote:

SROs seem very powerful for the reasons stated upthread.

The other race that seems exceptionally strong is the Ferran race. They get the following racial trait:

Ferran, Dead Suns 2 wrote:

Momentum:

A ferran deals an additional amount of damage equal to its character level with its first melee attack after it moves at least 10 feet in the same round.
This allows melee operatives to get ahead of the damage curve set by melee soldiers and solarians (but only by a little bit and only at mid levels). It also makes unwieldy weapon soldiers / solarians significantly less far behind their full attacking brethren.

That would stack nicely with improved unarmed strike and a ring of fangs.


Vexies wrote:

You can't deny the racial immunities of the SRO make it one of the strongest races period. It doesnt breath, is immune to poison and disease.. which covers most hazards in the game and has bonuses to save vs particular spells. its a great race but those advantages put it well infront of others oh and it gets cyberware and a couple pieces of equipmeht for free. I had to enact a diversity clause in my group to keep them from all playing androids and SROs Androids mostly because there stats fit so many builds perfectly and the not breathing and racial bonuses to saves & built in armor mod is really strong.

Healing spells are only half effective on them, though.


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But they can be effected by construct repairing spell such as make whole for full as well.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Does anybody else avoid races with a Dex penalty?

Dex is so important in Starfinder that I ignore races with -2 Dex when I'm theorycrafting. I could handle the hit to Dex if it weren't for starship combat. On starships you really need Int or Dex. (Being the captain is fine, but I believe most characters should be able to fill a backup role.) The point-buy system certainly helps in this regard, but there are just so many other races to choose from that it's easy to disregard all the -2 Dex races.

Dataphiles

Dex is very important, but you can make a character that doesn't rely on Dex. Make a melee fighter who wears Golemforged plate: the Dex doesn't help that much. That's what I'm doing with my Nuar melee Technomage.

The starship thing is an issue, but you can get by as a Gunner if you have a good BAB.


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

^
Melee-focused solarian in the captain role.


You can also take a theme that gives a dex bonus to help compensate, and upgrades are affordable for level 2 characters. Might not be optimized but you don't have to be optimized, you just have to be good enough.


there's also those pre-statted arrays if you like some racial abilities but don't like the +/- on the stats.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Why would it even matter much? So your race has -2 to dex, it also has +2 to something else. Just spend 2 fewer points on Something Else, and two more on Dex. Its not like the racial dex penalty reduces your maximum Dex.


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We have a dragonkin soldier in our group. His primary function is to provide cover for our enemies against all other PC attacks. Once he goes down, then the rest of us can participate in the fight.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Calybos1 wrote:
We have a dragonkin soldier in our group. His primary function is to provide cover for our enemies against all other PC attacks. Once he goes down, then the rest of us can participate in the fight.

We have that issue with our melee shobhad. My sniper soldier gets a lot of mileage out of her ability to ignore cover. We also have a morlamaw in the party, but unlike the shobhad, he thought ahead, and decided to play an envoy, who provides boosts from the back row.


Bantrids are not overpowered. But they are loony. As for other races, I think dragonkin are a bit overpowered.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Calybos1 wrote:
We have a dragonkin soldier in our group. His primary function is to provide cover for our enemies against all other PC attacks. Once he goes down, then the rest of us can participate in the fight.

Why are they not shooting at other enemies? Or using abilities that aren't dependent on cover? Or, if there's only one enemy, just maneuvering so their one big ally is *not* between them and the foe anymore?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
EltonJ wrote:
Bantrids are not overpowered. But they are loony. As for other races, I think dragonkin are a bit overpowered.

in practice at least our dragonkin player hindered the party more then helped them, though she is a fun character


Metaphysician wrote:
Calybos1 wrote:
We have a dragonkin soldier in our group. His primary function is to provide cover for our enemies against all other PC attacks. Once he goes down, then the rest of us can participate in the fight.
Why are they not shooting at other enemies? Or using abilities that aren't dependent on cover? Or, if there's only one enemy, just maneuvering so their one big ally is *not* between them and the foe anymore?

Splitting damage is bad. So is depending on everyone to have abilities that ignore cover and environments that allow you to easily maneuver around.


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johnlocke90 wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
Calybos1 wrote:
We have a dragonkin soldier in our group. His primary function is to provide cover for our enemies against all other PC attacks. Once he goes down, then the rest of us can participate in the fight.
Why are they not shooting at other enemies? Or using abilities that aren't dependent on cover? Or, if there's only one enemy, just maneuvering so their one big ally is *not* between them and the foe anymore?
Splitting damage is bad. So is depending on everyone to have abilities that ignore cover and environments that allow you to easily maneuver around.

Correct. I keep hearing about these "maneuver around" ideas and wondering if we're the only group that never gets to fight in wide, open terrain. All of our fights are in narrow, cramped spaces with zero maneuvering options. Once the dragonkin blocks the only access point, the rest of us sit around behind him, unable to do anything until he drops.


That dragonkin needs Kip Up, so he can drop to the floor at the end of his turn with a swift action, then take another swift action to pop back up and keep fighting the next round.

He may be more vulnerable to melee, but at least he's not providing cover while he's down, and the ranged enemies will have a penalty to shoot him.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Calybos1 wrote:
johnlocke90 wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
Calybos1 wrote:
We have a dragonkin soldier in our group. His primary function is to provide cover for our enemies against all other PC attacks. Once he goes down, then the rest of us can participate in the fight.
Why are they not shooting at other enemies? Or using abilities that aren't dependent on cover? Or, if there's only one enemy, just maneuvering so their one big ally is *not* between them and the foe anymore?
Splitting damage is bad. So is depending on everyone to have abilities that ignore cover and environments that allow you to easily maneuver around.
Correct. I keep hearing about these "maneuver around" ideas and wondering if we're the only group that never gets to fight in wide, open terrain. All of our fights are in narrow, cramped spaces with zero maneuvering options. Once the dragonkin blocks the only access point, the rest of us sit around behind him, unable to do anything until he drops.

This was my thinking as well. There are very few wide open combats in published adventures so far, and even in homebrew games, many GMs have been setting up dungeon-styled encounters for so long (decades in some cases), that they naturally gravitate towards similar encounters.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

I've got a Dragonkin Solarion/Soldier in my group. I don't know if he's overpowered, but he's definitely got some serious advantages.

Partner Bond with the party Mystic means they usually go first. Combine that with flight and reach, and he's able to advance up and lock down shooters before they become too much of an issue (I'm glad there's not a Combat Reflexes feat at the moment)

His aggressive positioning does mean he tends to take most of the damage in a fight, though.


Tell the dragonkin to fly over the enemies and land behind them. Or are you fighting in somewhere cramped *and* with a low ceiling? That's just harsh.


The Ragi wrote:
Tell the dragonkin to fly over the enemies and land behind them. Or are you fighting in somewhere cramped *and* with a low ceiling? That's just harsh.

Against a normal enemy, the ceiling would have to be at least 15 feet tall for him to fly over.

Thats pretty high for normal hallways.


jimthegray wrote:
EltonJ wrote:
Bantrids are not overpowered. But they are loony. As for other races, I think dragonkin are a bit overpowered.
in practice at least our dragonkin player hindered the party more then helped them, though she is a fun character

On a planet surface dragonkin are pretty handy to have but on space ships/stations their size offsets most of its advantages. Pretty neat race but by no means OP.


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

I imagine access for everything Small and Large to be about as common in Starfinder as handicap access is in real life. There's just too many varied alien races out there for engineers and designers the worlds over to not have taken into account something as blatantly obvious as size.


Being Large, without multiple AoOs & increased damage, is a mediocre benefit. My party would have had much trouble if one of the melee PCs was large, blocking out aid and making it tough for that PC to maneuver into flanking. Tight spaces, furniture, etc.
The bonuses are you get one AoO (if they don't close while you're flatfooted) and broad melee attack range, which can make it worth it in this game w/o 5' steps!
I'd also be worried that you're such an obvious threat/target and will have a hard time finding cover.

In combat, if you primarily contribute via weaponry, you need Dex either to be ranged or to survive melee. In SF, there are few sources of AC (or save bonuses for that matter), so having a Dex at less than your armor's max means you'll get hurt that much more than "normal" (since the math accounts for max Dex).
A Dex penalty (since it can be fixed) isn't really the issue so much as not having a dump stat anymore (to boost something else). So not an obvious problem, but I prefer my problems/penalties to be in superfluous areas re: my PC's build, so that they can shine elsewhere.


Ravingdork wrote:
I imagine access for everything Small and Large to be about as common in Starfinder as handicap access is in real life. There's just too many varied alien races out there for engineers and designers the worlds over to not have taken into account something as blatantly obvious as size.

I'm sure the Skyfire Legion ships all have double-sized corridors, with high ceilings and poles for the Dragonkin to land and sleep on. But other ships so far, have been less than accommodating for large-sized species.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
The Ragi wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I imagine access for everything Small and Large to be about as common in Starfinder as handicap access is in real life. There's just too many varied alien races out there for engineers and designers the worlds over to not have taken into account something as blatantly obvious as size.
I'm sure the Skyfire Legion ships all have double-sized corridors, with high ceilings and poles for the Dragonkin to land and sleep on. But other ships so far, have been less than accommodating for large-sized species.

You're basing that on what? Art?


Ravingdork wrote:
You're basing that on what? Art?

The ships maps on the AP.


Ravingdork wrote:
The Ragi wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I imagine access for everything Small and Large to be about as common in Starfinder as handicap access is in real life. There's just too many varied alien races out there for engineers and designers the worlds over to not have taken into account something as blatantly obvious as size.
I'm sure the Skyfire Legion ships all have double-sized corridors, with high ceilings and poles for the Dragonkin to land and sleep on. But other ships so far, have been less than accommodating for large-sized species.
You're basing that on what? Art?

They're Triaxian-based, and their membership is entirely in a dragonkin-bond. Why on earth would they not build their ships to accommodate half their fieldable forces?


Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
The Ragi wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
I imagine access for everything Small and Large to be about as common in Starfinder as handicap access is in real life. There's just too many varied alien races out there for engineers and designers the worlds over to not have taken into account something as blatantly obvious as size.
I'm sure the Skyfire Legion ships all have double-sized corridors, with high ceilings and poles for the Dragonkin to land and sleep on. But other ships so far, have been less than accommodating for large-sized species.
You're basing that on what? Art?
They're Triaxian-based, and their membership is entirely in a dragonkin-bond. Why on earth would they not build their ships to accommodate half their fieldable forces?

Until they publish a triaxian ship map, we can only hope. Maybe they keep the dragonkin inside the cargo holds, and don't let them wander about.

So far I only have evidence that all ships in the AP have narrow corridors.

But there's a section of a ship in the free quests for Starfinder Society that is large-sized, although all the crew is medium.

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