Shield Projectors. How do they work?

Rules Questions

8 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Where do I even begin with these crazy items.

They are listed on the small arms table, but they are 2 bulk, and their description on P. 53 says they are heavy weapons. Which is correct?

I'm going to make an assumption that you don't need to make an attack roll to hit with them, if only because touch spells that effect allies don't require a roll to hit, so there is precedent, yet nothing clearly states either way.

Also they don't exactly cause damage, so does anything (specialization mostly, but also trick attack, deadly aim, overcharge weapon, etc.) make their temporary hit point gain scale? If not they seem under-powered. A 1d4 temporary HP isn't a lot, and they don't scale any better leveling up.

They don’t do damage or have anything listed in the damage colu, so damage boosters don’t help.

I assume you have to attack and hit or I don’t know why they would be listed as a weapon rather than than technological item. So you must be able to full attack, and you’d suffer a nonproficiency penalty if it were ever applicable.

But they seem both poorly conceived and written.

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

There's been some threads about that - and tied issues, like hitting willing allies - and I'll let you find them for more detailed discussions, but in short : "Badly", is how they work.

The shield is a property rather than some modified reverse damage, so boosters shouldn't work.
By all accounts, you still have to actually hit your allies.
The shield is really weak at most levels.
And they're unwieldy, so you can't shield multiple people a round to compensate.

The idea is interesting, and we might see better shield weapons down the line, as the property itself is fine.
But until then, if you plan to use them, I'd see about house-ruling them if you can.

Dark Archive r-Story

I made a post about this topic previously. After actually using it and talking with gms in my area we made some of the same conclusions. The thing that worked best was having a player hit the covering/harrying fire dc15. That way there is still a chance for failure but the item still sees use. As for it being called out as a heavy weapon in its written entry look at more as "its a HEAVY weapon." Which this would explain why it weighs 2 bulk.

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Where are you getting a heavy weapon version from? It's definitely not listed under Uncategorized Heavy Weapons in Armory.

There is only mechanically one version (aside from item level upgrades. So one product line).

And well frankly i think they mean "a heavy weapon" as in its freaking heavy. Not as in is a "heavy class" weapon. It has the special "unwieldy" which seems to back that up along with being a 2 bulk hand gun. Bulk isn't just weight of an object its is also how awkward it is to hold.

Shield Projector
A shield projector is a heavy weapon that encases its target in a short-duration force field, akin to that produced by an armor upgrade. Such force fields are of limited strength, but higherpaizo power shield projectors can create a stronger protective barrier around the target. Shield projectors see the most use among security forces assigned to protect diplomats and high-profile celebrities. Available models—from the least to most powerful— include sentry, defender, guardian, and warden shield projectors.

First one you get
[SFS Legal] Shield Projector, Sentry
Source Starfinder Armory pg. 52
Level 4; Price 2,180
Damage —; Range 40 ft.; Critical —
Capacity 40 charges; Usage 4
Bulk 2; Special shield 1d4, unwieldy

the next one you can get
[SFS Legal] Shield Projector, Defender
Source Starfinder Armory pg. 53
Level 9; Price 13,800
Damage —; Range 40 ft.; Critical —
Capacity 80 charges; Usage 10
Bulk 2; Special shield 2d6, unwieldy

Dark Archive

It strikes me as odd that the level 4 version does 1d4. If the idea is you're supposed to be protecting high profile people, it doesn't put much effort toward that. I've witnessed it saving a tank in my Dead Suns local group, but it earned a few disapproving grunts when I rolled 1...3 times in a row.

Hypothesis: at some point in development, the Shield Projector blocked the entire attack, not just the 1d4 points worth. Until the shield falls, the beneficiary doesn't take damage, so that 2 point shield will always block at least one attack. Higher level Shield Projectors are more about preventing the shield from being easily dropped by ping damage.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Blocking an entire attack seems unlikely, as that wouldn't be very balanced. I feel the design always called for a reduction in damage/providing temporary hit points. The curve for damage mitigation seems off to me, jumping from 1d4 at the earliest level three then 2d6 at 8... My hope is the intention was 2d4 and its been a typo. Then again the way damage is tracked and they ways to restore it? It is just a bad item that could of been great and inspired fun support roles.

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The Shield Project could be a very useful item for your drone to use on you or your melee team members. It could boost you each turn, which is not that bad over a few turns. Depending a little on the roll of the dice, its benefits over time can be better than the Force Shield items. However, that very first one that gives 1D4 temp hp, seems a little on the weak side. Should it have been 2D4 instead?

Dark Archive

Nimor Starseeker wrote:
The Shield Project could be a very useful item for your drone to use on you or your melee team members. It could boost you each turn, which is not that bad over a few turns. Depending a little on the roll of the dice, its benefits over time can be better than the Force Shield items. However, that very first one that gives 1D4 temp hp, seems a little on the weak side. Should it have been 2D4 instead?

This was sort of my thought on the matter considering the wide range of item levels. Shame really with the new play test classes out I was really inspired to use it again. The Witchwarper can be used to help mitigate damage, but it cost RP points to do so. Stack charisma and pick up bonus points where ever you can! BOOM! A "shield healer."

Semi revive here..

Did anything come up yet?
I would love to have one in my Biohacker's off hand..

I am pretty sure that the 1d4 is a typo and its meant to be 2d4.. they're all 2dsomethings

A random thing, but the description of Shield just says The Target, not specifying hitting or need. No clue if that is intentional or a strange reading-but it never specifies any impact requirements unlike other things. Ignite for instance, specifies "hit" doesn't it? This just specifies Target.
The more I read about them and look at the stats. and now with how the biohacker works The more I believe that whoever made it was thinking that all damage buffs would apply to the shield. and the balance was having to hit. like how Biohacker's injections auto work but you have to hit with them.

If they applied any damage boosts (weapon spec, deadly aim etc) directly to the amount of Temp HP then they would become fairly reliable and interesting. More so because you can't target yourself.

Honestly I hope they clarify that weapon boosts does increase this (and for - weapons as well). It is unwieldy sadly. I wish unwiedly didn't prevent using in a full attack as one of the two attacks. Sadly they do.

Was looking through my copy of the Armory and remembered this thread. Has there ever been any clarification on how these weapons are supposed to work? Or, for that matter, any news on new FAQs for Starfinder?

I haven't seen any clarification on these weapons, but like most other GM's I agree that they are just not quite enough shield points to be worth a standard action.

Maybe if you doubled the shield output or just made it the max on the die roll instead of rolling.

Also no I haven't seen anything on a new FAQ recently.

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

FAQ it, so that this gets the attention it needs.

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