Weapon Design rules.


General Discussion


Why doesn't Starfinder have custom weapon design rules yet? People told me to wait for the armory because surely they will be in there, but nope.

Also no, I am not talking about weapon creation rules. I am talking about rules/guidelines that tell you how to design a custom weapon and how much it would cost based on what abilities are on it.

The closest thing I have found is a random weapon generator (random weapon abilities and random price so no good) and some incomplete fan made guidelines.

I am really surprised that Paizo hasn't provided these rules from the very start and I won't be able to build a proper campaign settings until something is provided. I will be honest, this has really disappointed me and I simply can't spend money on a system that isn't getting the support it needs from it's creators.

If anyone has a homebrew weapon design system or I simply missed the rules somewhere, I would be very happy to get pointed in the right direction.


Sadly, weapon design rules probably aren't coming soon, because Paizo has a business model of releasing new weapons in APs and hardbound supplements.

There is an old quote attributed to Gary Gygax that says, "the secret that we can never let the DMs know is that they don't need any rules." If we have the tools necessary to make our own stuff, the developer's profit model falls off.

Now, some games do have these sorts of rules, but they don't rely on obsessive monthly purchases like Starfinder does.

Even if we do eventually get weapon creation rules, they will almost certainly not be legal for Society play, and they will probably result in weapons slightly weaker than what's officially available.


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They probably haven't included those rules because price and damage dice are non-linear. The huge number of special qualities and crit effects are also a barrier.

We're talking a separate table for every damage type of every weapon category of every base dice type. Another set of tables for what special qualities are worth, and how much they add to the weapon's item level, andany changes to dice size necessary, and then how much they are worth at the final item level. For each special quality. Another whole set of tables for crit effects.

Then you need several pages of GM guidelines as to what special qualities shouldn't be mixed, how to adjust for battery size and usage, what crit effects are appropriate where, etc.

Complicated GM only rules that most GMs will never touch are not a great thing to dedicate time, money, and printer space to.

There are hundreds of weapons between the core rulebook and the armory. If I was making a custom weapon, I'd look at those tables and interpolate the stats and price I need for a given item level.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This needs to be a thing. The scope of Starfinder is far more vast in the possibilities of magic and tech than in fantasy. give us the ability to tinker and create. At the very least expanded rules for adding weapon attachments and adjustments to our weapons needs to happen.


On the bright side after Armory we now have a wide range of weapon types, damages, levels, prices, etc to cross reference when building our own stuff, to help tell if it's balanced or not.


Dracomicron wrote:

There is an old quote attributed to Gary Gygax that says, "the secret that we can never let the DMs know is that they don't need any rules." If we have the tools necessary to make our own stuff, the developer's profit model falls off.

You know his word isn't golden right? Also didn't he run his company into the ground because he didn't feel the need to maintain the game? Also, why would I want to put my time, money, and effort into a system I know the creators don't want to support fully for their own gain? I started playing Pathfinder because Wizards screwed up, nothing is keeping me with Paizo if they decide to screw up.

Garretmander wrote:
They probably haven't included those rules because price and damage dice are non-linear. The huge number of special qualities and crit effects are also a barrier.
Garretmander wrote:
Complicated GM only rules that most GMs will never touch are not a great thing to dedicate time, money, and printer space to.

So how are they doing it than? They must have some system they are using and all I am asking is for them to share it. Also, are we talking about the same thing? Because designing your own weapons is at the top of a lot of peoples lists, it would be worth the time to spell out these rules, god knows they felt that starship creation and battles were worth printing. But weapon design is were you draw the line of "too complicated?" Are you even listening to yourself right now?

honestly, these responses are depressing. One person openly admitting this is only for Paizo to make more money and others just trying to say I don't need it I can just make stuff up. If I am just making the stuff up, why do I need their system at all? Why do I need Paizo?

This trend of defending any action, or lack of action, a company is doing doesn't lead to better products. It leads to stagnation and worse products.


legolizard wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:

There is an old quote attributed to Gary Gygax that says, "the secret that we can never let the DMs know is that they don't need any rules." If we have the tools necessary to make our own stuff, the developer's profit model falls off.

You know his word isn't golden right? Also didn't he run his company into the ground because he didn't feel the need to maintain the game? Also, why would I want to put my time, money, and effort into a system I know the creators don't want to support fully for their own gain? I started playing Pathfinder because Wizards screwed up, nothing is keeping me with Paizo if they decide to screw up.

Garretmander wrote:
They probably haven't included those rules because price and damage dice are non-linear. The huge number of special qualities and crit effects are also a barrier.
Garretmander wrote:
Complicated GM only rules that most GMs will never touch are not a great thing to dedicate time, money, and printer space to.

So how are they doing it than? They must have some system they are using and all I am asking is for them to share it. Also, are we talking about the same thing? Because designing your own weapons is at the top of a lot of peoples lists, it would be worth the time to spell out these rules, god knows they felt that starship creation and battles were worth printing. But weapon design is were you draw the line of "too complicated?" Are you even listening to yourself right now?

honestly, these responses are depressing. One person openly admitting this is only for Paizo to make more money and others just trying to say I don't need it I can just make stuff up. If I am just making the stuff up, why do I need their system at all? Why do I need Paizo?

This trend of defending any action, or lack of action, a company is doing doesn't lead to better products. It leads to stagnation and worse products.

Hey if you can make and publish a better game more power to you. Until then the rest of us will be enjoying Starfinder.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Hello Lego Lizard--

You do realize that none of us in this thread work for Paizo? So please do not take all our assertions as gospel. It's true that so far there has not been a weapon building table but they gave us alien building tables in the first Alien Archive so that you could build your own monsters and NPCs.

With so many weapons available in Armory, I'd advise basing your new weapons on existing ones. Take an existing weapon, change its energy type and its name, and voila -- new weapon. Just keep to the damage and range increments of existing material and you shouldn't create something too imbalanced.

Hmm


legolizard wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:

There is an old quote attributed to Gary Gygax that says, "the secret that we can never let the DMs know is that they don't need any rules." If we have the tools necessary to make our own stuff, the developer's profit model falls off.

You know his word isn't golden right? Also didn't he run his company into the ground because he didn't feel the need to maintain the game? Also, why would I want to put my time, money, and effort into a system I know the creators don't want to support fully for their own gain? I started playing Pathfinder because Wizards screwed up, nothing is keeping me with Paizo if they decide to screw up.

Jeez, buddy, it's just a quote I like. Whatever ol' Gary Gygax did or didn't do with TSR, his own company (and I was their customer through it all), it doesn't change the essential truth that RPGs have always just been a fancy facade for the make-believe games we played as children, where there were no rules except having fun. Don't miss the forest for the trees.

Nothing's stopping you from extrapolating weapon stats; Hmm just gave you a perfectly valid method to modify one of the hundreds of weapons that already exist for this game that is less than two years old.

Quote:
honestly, these responses are depressing. One person openly admitting this is only for Paizo to make more money and others just trying to say I don't need it I can just make stuff up. If I am just making the stuff up, why do I need their system at all? Why do I need Paizo?

You don't! Now you're getting it! If Paizo isn't making anything you like, then absolutely don't buy their product. We are offering potential reasons for WHY they aren't giving you the toy you want, but the fact remains that this specific thing has not been offered, and how you deal with this is your own prerogative.

Quote:
This trend of defending any action, or lack of action, a company is doing doesn't lead to better products. It leads to stagnation and worse products.

"Defending" and "explaining" are two different things. While I don't really think that Paizo NEEDS defending (I mean, they haven't actively refused to release the rules you want, they just haven't done it yet), we are just trying to detail why it hasn't happened yet.

Paizo is not your dancing monkey. They are a business. They will do what they deem best for their stakeholders, their customers, and their employees. We can certainly offer suggestions and be disappointed if they are not followed, but we can't see the whole picture. I recommend tempering expectations and resentment.


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There will never be any weapon design rules because there is no secret formula for them to publish. The weapons are obviously hand crafted with "this feels right" adjustments for damage type, level, capacity, special qualities (some of which get invented on the spot and then the rest has to be hand tuned to match), etc. And it's obvious that between the core book and Armory they realized they were off on some of this and changed their mental model of how this stuff should be balanced for some things.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
And it's obvious that between the core book and Armory they realized they were off on some of this and changed their mental model of how this stuff should be balanced for some things.

Like what? It doesn't seem nearly so obvious to me. Aside from plugging a few gaps and adding new unique abilities, the balance between the two books looks about the same to me.


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Honestly, the weapon building rules that we're given for Pathfinder 1E we're kind of underwhelming anyways...I would expect something similar if similar rules we're ever released for Starfinder.

Why? Because they can't have you building weapons that are outright better than their published weapons. Almost by necessity you have to only be capable of building niche weapons that might fulfill some specific role, but be generally worse than other weapons.


Dracomicron wrote:
"Defending" and "explaining" are two different things. While I don't really think that Paizo NEEDS defending (I mean, they haven't actively refused to release the rules you want, they just haven't done it yet), we are just trying to detail why it hasn't happened yet.

I understand why you think you are explaining, but you are actually defending or just making excuses on Paizo's behalf. Your "defense" just comes down to calling me entitled, that's it. I resently had to convince a friend of mine that starfinder wasn't dead on arrival (sold out first printing right.)

But if adding such a basic set of rules would damage Paizo's business model than I have to wonder if he was right. Your acting like I am asking for a gold encrusted toilet seat for 9.99 here, but I'm not. I am asking for some kind of ruleset/guidelines on how to design my own starfinder weapons. If that is "too much" and I am acting entitled for wanting that, than maybe you are the one who is expecting little to nothing from Paizo and would hand them money for little to nothing. The way you describe it, Paizo is on a needles edge and about to collapse at any moment and asking anything of them is too much.

Also having low expectations and calling me "entitled" is one hell of a self defeating attitude. If you never expect better from any business than you will never see anything improve. But I guess that is the difference in how we think. All you see is someone entitled and all I see is a fanboy who can't bring himself to want better.

So stop your "business" BS. I am not asking for anything big here.

Hmm wrote:


You do realize that none of us in this thread work for Paizo? So please do not take all our assertions as gospel. It's true that so far there has not been a weapon building table but they gave us alien building tables in the first Alien Archive so that you could build your own monsters and NPCs.

your first point is fair enough. I apologize if this came off as too aggressive to anyone, except "Dracomicron." Can't ignore just how bad his responses are.

But about your second point. The fact they added such a guide to building monsters is why I expected some kind of eventual weapons designing guide. The fact they had it doesn't suddenly mean we should never get any other guides. They kind of set a precedent.

They could have done the same thing, just made monsters and expected us to make our own based on the monsters they provided already. But they didn't, because they knew having rules to let people make their own monsters would add value to the game. I am wondering why they haven't done the same for weapons and gotten a bunch of weak answers that just don't make sense or are just fanboy excuses (not from you specifically hmm, that other guy I already mentioned.)


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Any time you give players cart blanche to play build a bear they will find something broken in the system and break it.

"If you stat it they will kill it" deadlands

You could probably go through the guns and draw up some guidelines, but like anything else there's probably something overpowered you could do with it.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Any time you give players cart blanche to play build a bear they will find something broken in the system and break it.

"If you stat it they will kill it" deadlands

You could probably go through the guns and draw up some guidelines, but like anything else there's probably something overpowered you could do with it.

Probably the best answer I have read. But at the same time, just don't let them design things in league play. I know for a fact they didn't allow crafting magic items in Pathfinder league.


legolizard wrote:


Probably the best answer I have read. But at the same time, just don't let them design things in league play. I know for a fact they didn't allow crafting magic items in Pathfinder league.

Pathfinder society is still going. There's also starfinder society. (which allows crafting but there's FAR less upside to making your own stuff in starfinder)

For a home game you could just work with your dm and finagle out what you wanted the weapon to do, do some comp shopping and make it. I doubt any codified system would be all that much better. (especially after seeing the armor upgrade system) I mean it's not horrible but the development time and print space vs. Just wing it doesn't seem to justify making it.


legolizard wrote:
I understand why you think you are explaining, but you are actually defending or just making excuses on Paizo's behalf. Your "defense" just comes down to calling me entitled, that's it.

You're asking Paizo to use their very tight and precious development time to produce a very specific rule, something that you could homebrew in ten seconds. I'm NOT saying that you're entitled, but I am asking you to step back for a moment and consider why you're having this dramatic reaction. It's just a game.

And I didn't say, "entitled," but you are coming across as very hostile over something exceptionally minor. Keep in mind that your problem is not that they refuse to release the rules that you want, just that they haven't done it YET, less than two years since release.

Quote:

I resently had to convince a friend of mine that starfinder wasn't dead on arrival (sold out first printing right.)

But if adding such a basic set of rules would damage Paizo's business model than I have to wonder if he was right.

"Damage" is kinda a strong word. "Disincent" the business model is a more proper word. If they would lose even one sale from releasing weapon design rules, why should they do it? It's more of a later production rule to make, after there are already so many weapons that new ones stop being as attractive to the customers.

How many years into Pathfinder did the custom weapons/spells/magic items/whatever rules appear? I'm legit curious now.

As far as anyone not at Paizo can tell, Starfinder continues to sell well; they even went from one published SFS scenario a month to two a month. The existence of a Beginner's Box should also be indicative of success.

Plus... they are largely implementing lessons they've learned from 10 years of Pathfinder to Starfinder, so I think the business model is pretty solid.

Quote:
Your acting like I am asking for a gold encrusted toilet seat for 9.99 here, but I'm not. I am asking for some kind of ruleset/guidelines on how to design my own starfinder weapons. If that is "too much" and I am acting entitled for wanting that, than maybe you are the one who is expecting little to nothing from Paizo and would hand them money for little to nothing.

Ah, I only buy Paizo's stuff when I want to buy it. I don't have a subscription. I ONLY buy Adventure Path volumes when there's something in it that I want to use for my Starfinder Society characters, including weapons (I bought Temple of the Twelve just so I could use the Painclaw on my playtest Biohacker), so in that respect the business model works.

So you are ascribing me motives that do not exist. Vote with your dollar. If Paizo isn't giving you the things you want, absolutely don't buy their stuff. Absolutely ask for what you do want. MAYBE don't come across as quite so angry that you are not getting your thing if it takes longer than a year or two.

Quote:
The way you describe it, Paizo is on a needles edge and about to collapse at any moment and asking anything of them is too much.

I don't think that's what I said at all. But now that you mention it, nearly all game companies operate on low margins and collapse all the time. The fact that Paizo manages to be a successful game company AND maintains as much good will with their player base as they do tells me that they have a pretty good idea of how to go about their business.

Quote:
Also having low expectations and calling me "entitled" is one hell of a self defeating attitude. If you never expect better from any business than you will never see anything improve. But I guess that is the difference in how we think. All you see is someone entitled and all I see is a fanboy who can't bring himself to want better.

Again, you keep using that word, "entitled." It's your word. I never used it. I told you that you had the power to sidestep this issue, to have fun without being told how to do it. If you think that I'm calling you "entitled," then maybe it is already on your mind. I don't know.

What I do know is that I am not a Paizo fanboy. Like I said, I only buy the product when I actually want the thing. I have also found their community outreach to be far beyond most companies', and they've earned a level of trust from me.

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So stop your "business" BS. I am not asking for anything big here.

It is a business, and your reactions suggest that what you are asking is a big deal to you.

Quote:
your first point is fair enough. I apologize if this came off as too aggressive to anyone, except "Dracomicron." Can't ignore just how bad his responses are.

That is uncalled for.


Ravingdork wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
And it's obvious that between the core book and Armory they realized they were off on some of this and changed their mental model of how this stuff should be balanced for some things.
Like what? It doesn't seem nearly so obvious to me. Aside from plugging a few gaps and adding new unique abilities, the balance between the two books looks about the same to me.

The sonic weapons got MUCH better between Core and Armory. The automatic sonic longarm is nuts compared to the awful sonic options available in core.


Xenocrat wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
And it's obvious that between the core book and Armory they realized they were off on some of this and changed their mental model of how this stuff should be balanced for some things.
Like what? It doesn't seem nearly so obvious to me. Aside from plugging a few gaps and adding new unique abilities, the balance between the two books looks about the same to me.
The sonic weapons got MUCH better between Core and Armory. The automatic sonic longarm is nuts compared to the awful sonic options available in core.

Not to mention the truly crazy singing disk, an analog thrown melee weapon that hits EAC for approximately the same damage and cost as a starknife.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Im surprised by all the negativity for those who want a better system to tinker. Some act like this has never been done successfully and balanced ever before yet it has in many systems. There is no reason why it couldn't be done in Starfinder and it will whether its in a 3rd party book or by Paizo officially because there is clearly a market there for this type of book. I mean just look at all the weapons manuals out for D20 modern?

Its quite disingenuous to pretend its beyond balancing or that Piazo never would this or that. They can if they want and this thread exists to show support for just that type of product. I for one feel its a sorely missed opportunity having had access to just these type of systems in other games and would love to see it happen for Starfinder.


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Vexies wrote:
Im surprised by all the negativity for those who want a better system to tinker.

We're trying to let you down easy by making you understand that there is no system. There is no chart with average damage by level, with modifiers for thirty types of weapon quality, EAC/KAC, type of energy/physical damage, ammo capacity, etc. Maybe there was for the laser and rifle as starting points, but everything after that has been eyeballed on a "this feels right" basis in light of what they felt about relative balance/realism at that point in time.


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Vexies wrote:

Im surprised by all the negativity for those who want a better system to tinker. Some act like this has never been done successfully and balanced ever before yet it has in many systems. There is no reason why it couldn't be done in Starfinder and it will whether its in a 3rd party book or by Paizo officially because there is clearly a market there for this type of book. I mean just look at all the weapons manuals out for D20 modern?

Its quite disingenuous to pretend its beyond balancing or that Piazo never would this or that. They can if they want and this thread exists to show support for just that type of product. I for one feel its a sorely missed opportunity having had access to just these type of systems in other games and would love to see it happen for Starfinder.

There's no intention to be negative; I wouldn't mind rules like that as well, and I'm certainly not going to jump on someone's back for wanting them.

As Xenocrat says, it's pretty clear that there is no master formula, because there are a number of weapons that are outside the damage curve (the base level Battle Ribbon, for example, a level 1 advanced Operative weapon that does 1d8 damage, for which one skill rank grants proficiency). If all weapons were based on a balanced formula, no weapons would probably need to be restricted or banned in Starfinder Society, and yet there are a number that are.

So they would have to actually come up with a formula, make sure it is balanced and can't be abused to make super weapons (which is impossible; give players customization rules and they will powergame them the next day), figure out the cost, minding the relation to the cost of existing weapons, and fielding the customer service aspect when players point out the inconsistencies with existing stuff.

...and all to provide discouragement for players to buy new supplements with premade weapons, which are featured in many AP volumes and hardbacks.

Which isn't to say that Paizo won't provide such a ruleset someday; it's just that I understand why they haven't provided them yet, after seeing their business model and understanding the complications.


If anything, what I would most expect to see is an ability to customize existing weapons by adding specific properties to them for a price (probably based on item level).

Sure, you can make you survival knife a (two-handed) reach weapon while retaining the operative property. But it will cost you.

I don't see them letting us custom build weapons including damage die and types because balance would be the main concern. Most weapon special properties as pretty underwhelming because they only apply on a crit. But if their rules had to take into account the value it would probably over value them relative to actual use. Since crit effects only happen 5% of the time, there not something you can build around. Honestly I forget the exist, because its so infrequent, and usually a crit is enough to finish off most enemies unless it's the first hit. In which case the critical effect is usually pretty meaningless.


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Claxon wrote:

If anything, what I would most expect to see is an ability to customize existing weapons by adding specific properties to them for a price (probably based on item level).

Sure, you can make you survival knife a (two-handed) reach weapon while retaining the operative property. But it will cost you.

I think that's the eventual intent of Weapon Accessories and Manufacturers, as referenced in the Armory. You can already use Manufacturers to, say, add Nonlethal to a weapon if you have Profession (Dancer) for 20% of the weapon's cost.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I do like the customization options that are available with selecting your manufacturer. Thanks for reminding us of those, because they were flavorful and fun tweaks. Another way that I like to 'customize' my weapons is with fusions. There are so many interesting ones that can change the feel of how a weapon works for me.

Who benefits from a weapon building chart?

The alien building chart in Alien Archive was absolutely needed because it was a GM tool that allowed GMs to build their own adversaries for their games on the fly. Given how thin Starfinder's monster list was at the time, that was a piece of work that allowed more adventures and homebrews to happen.

Player Options vs GM Options. A weapon building chart would be more of a player option than a GM option. I will say that as a GM, if I want to build something like the hutchket rifle (still one of my favorite pieces of chronicle loot) I could go ahead and custom tweak a weapon for my Adventure Path campaign and give it to my players as loot. I'd do it by shifting energy type on a existing weapon, or changing something from slashing to bludgeoning, or changing a small crit effect. Outside of Society play, GMs can still do what they need to do and build something really easily.

Personal Customization Example. I was looking at doing that for a character playing in my Aeon Throne Game, a Solarian who's very attached to his longsword. I wanted to find a way for his longsword to grow with him, especially since it's such an important part of the character. If I were to build a custom blade, I would have likely taken the longsword damage as a template, and then made it into a shock, sonic or flame weapon, and declared it to be a level 3 or 4 weapon so that fusions could be added.

(In the end, I decided to grab the Wailing Tympani Blade from Armory since it was described as being sometimes mistaken for a longsword. Why? Well, it exists and was interesting enough. Having something that Hero Lab can find, and that players can easily look up... That has advantages too!)

My opinion on the chart idea. Like Dracomicron, I don't think that a published weapon building chart is in Paizo's best interests because it might lock in their creativity. Weapons are built for the big books like Armory, but also as player-facing options in APs or in Alien Archive monster entries. They use a ton of freelancers for these projects, and want people to come up with wild and weird new ideas. If the chart existed, new weapons that were published would always get scrutinized against that chart. There would be outraged forum posts decrying or lauding those that didn't fit. I don't think that the existence of such a chart helps make adventures happen. So creating it would not in my opinion be a good investment in developer time.

Potential Twitch Starfinder Wednesday Topic! What would be interesting, I think, would be if we could get Lyz Liddell to comment on how she went about writing the weapons chapter of Armory. (YES, that whole chapter was written by one Paizo staffer.) I do think that she went about a balancing act, creating series of weapons that were upgraded at different levels, and wanted to make sure that all sorts of weapon properties were represented in that chart. But it would be neat if we could get her to talk about her process. Maybe we can request her for the Twitch Starfinder Wednesday Show.

Hmm

PS Regarding forum courtesy. Just about everyone in the Starfinder forum community here is trying to be helpful. Please don't assume maliciousness or ill intent from any of us. I find that assuming the best of poster intent means that the forums are a more pleasant and useful place for everyone!


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Dracomicron wrote:
How many years into Pathfinder did the custom weapons/spells/magic items/whatever rules appear? I'm legit curious now.

The original Custom Magic Item rules were in the CRB, as were basic NPC creation rules. Custom Weapons were in Weapon Master Handbook roughly 6 years after Core. Custom Monsters were in Bestiary 4, 4 years after Core. Custom Spells were Ultimate Magic, only 2 years after Core. Classes (and by extension Archetypes) were Advanced Class Guide, 5 years after Core. And Races were Advanced Race Guide, 3 years after Core (and about a year before Monsters, interestingly enough.) Those are all the custom rules I know of off the top of my head.

And I've really got nothing else to add to the conversation other than to say that these things take time, especially one something as chaotic as weapon design. Mostly posting to answer Draco's curiosity.


Shinigami02 wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:
How many years into Pathfinder did the custom weapons/spells/magic items/whatever rules appear? I'm legit curious now.

The original Custom Magic Item rules were in the CRB, as were basic NPC creation rules. Custom Weapons were in Weapon Master Handbook roughly 6 years after Core. Custom Monsters were in Bestiary 4, 4 years after Core. Custom Spells were Ultimate Magic, only 2 years after Core. Classes (and by extension Archetypes) were Advanced Class Guide, 5 years after Core. And Races were Advanced Race Guide, 3 years after Core (and about a year before Monsters, interestingly enough.) Those are all the custom rules I know of off the top of my head.

And I've really got nothing else to add to the conversation other than to say that these things take time, especially one something as chaotic as weapon design. Mostly posting to answer Draco's curiosity.

Awsome! Thank you, Shinigami! That's really interesting.

So, theorizing a similar life cycle to Pathfinder (though that may be erroneous, considering it took a few months to get monster creation rules that took Pathfinder four years to get), we are still about four years out from customization for base weapons. Honestly, I could see there being thousands of weapons out by that point, every level of every sub-type filled with options. At that point I'm not sure weapon design rules could cause too many problems.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dracomicron wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
And it's obvious that between the core book and Armory they realized they were off on some of this and changed their mental model of how this stuff should be balanced for some things.
Like what? It doesn't seem nearly so obvious to me. Aside from plugging a few gaps and adding new unique abilities, the balance between the two books looks about the same to me.
The sonic weapons got MUCH better between Core and Armory. The automatic sonic longarm is nuts compared to the awful sonic options available in core.
Not to mention the truly crazy singing disk, an analog thrown melee weapon that hits EAC for approximately the same damage and cost as a starknife.

To be fair, we kind of needed better sonic weapons.

Singing disk does raise the power level of thrown weapons a bit, but is hardly "crazy."


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Possible problem with the chart

Paizo makes chart

New weapons don't use chart

People say what the heck paizo


I remember fondly when Shadowrun would put out the custom gun rules for it's editions...as a player. As a GM, they are a nightmare if you let them in the game. I imagine it'd be much the same for Starfinder. Best just to take a stock weapon and scrub off the serial numbers and give it a fresh coat of paint.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
yukongil wrote:
I remember fondly when Shadowrun would put out the custom gun rules for it's editions...as a player. As a GM, they are a nightmare if you let them in the game. I imagine it'd be much the same for Starfinder. Best just to take a stock weapon and scrub off the serial numbers and give it a fresh coat of paint.

Hmm you see I had the exact opposite experience with that system and its the one I hold in the highest regard in terms of balance for a build and tinker gun system. I regularly ran games for First, 2nd and Third edition and never had a problem. I in fact encouraged my players to use it and found while fun and useful it didn't invalidate the many guns that were already created. Some of the "stock" in system already made guns would break the rules here or there but thats what made them unique and fun. The rules however allowed players to personalize their weapons or build that perfect weapon for their character concept and for a game as diverse as Starfinder its something I feel that would really add to the experience.

Shadowrun's system is exactly what I think of when I think of a well formed and fun weapon system. 1st edition started with a very bare bones firearm combat system but the gun book really took that and made into something special with rules for burst, autofire and the like. As well as the build your gun mechanics. What we have in Starfinder is barely better than ranged D&D. I love the game dont get me wrong but it was created by someone who gave or had little regard to the mechanics of actual firearms.


Vexies wrote:
yukongil wrote:
I remember fondly when Shadowrun would put out the custom gun rules for it's editions...as a player. As a GM, they are a nightmare if you let them in the game. I imagine it'd be much the same for Starfinder. Best just to take a stock weapon and scrub off the serial numbers and give it a fresh coat of paint.
Hmm you see I had the exact opposite experience with that system and its the one I hold in the highest regard in terms of balance for a build and tinker gun system.

yeah, must have, I remember SMG sized autocannons and sniper rifles that could 2 shot Dunklezahn (saw it happen...twice), auto-shotguns with no recoil penalties and more ammo than one could ever conceivably use. It was essentially a point-buy system in everything but name, and those are too easy to break for enterprising players.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
yukongil wrote:
Vexies wrote:
yukongil wrote:
I remember fondly when Shadowrun would put out the custom gun rules for it's editions...as a player. As a GM, they are a nightmare if you let them in the game. I imagine it'd be much the same for Starfinder. Best just to take a stock weapon and scrub off the serial numbers and give it a fresh coat of paint.
Hmm you see I had the exact opposite experience with that system and its the one I hold in the highest regard in terms of balance for a build and tinker gun system.
yeah, must have, I remember SMG sized autocannons and sniper rifles that could 2 shot Dunklezahn (saw it happen...twice), auto-shotguns with no recoil penalties and more ammo than one could ever conceivably use. It was essentially a point-buy system in everything but name, and those are too easy to break for enterprising players.

I have a very solid working knowledge of that system as I ran it extensively and though you may have well experienced that, it is outside the realms of the mechanics I am familiar with and the weapons you describe aren't possible to create. There were limits to both size and damage based on frame. Regardless that is not the point of this thread the point is that a system like that can add a great deal of customization and fun to any game. There is nothing stopping them from making a zilliion gun books and yet still give us a system for creating and modifying our weapons. Any system can be broken by savvy players. I reject the notion that just because something can be difficult to balance it shouldn't be made. the basis of the d20 system mathwise is not all that difficult, especially with the toned down interaction of bonuses and feats that the current environment of Starfinder is.


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Vexies wrote:
yukongil wrote:
Vexies wrote:
yukongil wrote:
I remember fondly when Shadowrun would put out the custom gun rules for it's editions...as a player. As a GM, they are a nightmare if you let them in the game. I imagine it'd be much the same for Starfinder. Best just to take a stock weapon and scrub off the serial numbers and give it a fresh coat of paint.
Hmm you see I had the exact opposite experience with that system and its the one I hold in the highest regard in terms of balance for a build and tinker gun system.
yeah, must have, I remember SMG sized autocannons and sniper rifles that could 2 shot Dunklezahn (saw it happen...twice), auto-shotguns with no recoil penalties and more ammo than one could ever conceivably use. It was essentially a point-buy system in everything but name, and those are too easy to break for enterprising players.
I have a very solid working knowledge of that system as I ran it extensively and though you may have well experienced that, it is outside the realms of the mechanics I am familiar with and the weapons you describe aren't possible to create.

nah, it was super easy to get a SMG sized weapon to do HMG damage, or have one that was slightly bigger than a Predator do LMG to MMG damage. Add in explosive ammo and it could do as much as the Panther Cannon.

Quote:
There were limits to both size and damage based on frame.
yeah and you could still break the system with them.
Quote:
Regardless that is not the point of this thread the point is that a system like that can add a great deal of customization and fun to any game. There is nothing stopping them from making a zilliion gun books and yet still give us a system for creating and modifying our weapons. Any system can be broken by savvy players. I reject the notion that just because something can be difficult to balance it shouldn't be made. the basis of the d20 system mathwise is not all that difficult, especially with the toned down interaction of bonuses and feats that the current environment of Starfinder is.

As much fun as I had breaking that system in Shadowrun and as much as I nixed it when I ran it because it was broken, Starfinder is special, in that it has some of the tightest math I've seen in a game, and when you step outside those carefully constructed bounds, you start to get real bad speed wobbles until the wheels just fly off in a spectacular mess.

Not saying it can't be done, but then with the plethora of guns we already have as a base, I don't see why just calling it something else, and changing the damage type isn't good enough.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
yukongil said wrote:
nah, it was super easy to get a SMG sized weapon to do HMG damage, or have one that was slightly bigger than a Predator do LMG to MMG damage. Add in explosive ammo and it could do as much as the Panther Cannon.

Im curious what edition of the rules you were playing as this shouldn't be possible in first, 2nd or third for a number of reason but im not hear to debate Shadowrun rules. It's a great game but im currently running Starfinder.

yukongil said wrote:

As much fun as I had breaking that system in Shadowrun and as much as I nixed it when I ran it because it was broken, Starfinder is special, in that it has some of the tightest math I've seen in a game, and when you step outside those carefully constructed bounds, you start to get real bad speed wobbles until the wheels just fly off in a spectacular mess.

Not saying it can't be done, but then with the plethora of guns we already have as a base, I don't see why just calling it something else, and changing the damage type isn't good enough.

Your right about one thing. The math is Starfinder is much tighter than in Pathfinder or 3.5 and I am very much a fan of that. Regardless a rules system set within the boundaries of the damage curve already established by existing weapons can be done and has been done as I can link a site that auto generates weapons that fall nicely in line with whats established. There is on reason a system cant be created that allows assigning properties, damage dice and item lvl. I have already created a number of items myself and while I can do that I much prefer to play a well formed system as is and see it add systems that fulfill a need rather than have to make the up on my own.

Again all this is simply to show support for a why not type of a idea but it would seem a lot of people would rather say why it can't be done rather than say that would be cool. It may never happen and thats fine but I see no reason why expanding on whats there and providing more options instead of less is a bad thing. Many seem to believe there are plenty of weapons now and thats fine for them. I however feel there are still many holes left in the existing weapon types and rather than have to wait to see if the designers come up with the exact weapon id like or make stuff up it would be nice to have a system in place to allow myself and my players to scratch that itch.


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I feel there are holes, but I don't really want an ad hoc system of customizing weapons.

Personally, I'd be happy if they just said "You can substitute any energy type for any other energy type, except substituting to sonic reduce damage die one step. You can substitute physical damage to energy damage by reducing 2 die steps."

Or something like that. I feel that would fill in most of the holes, as people are usually looking for an energy weapon with a specific energy type in my experience.

Heck if they just made sure that each weapon family line had weapons about every 3 levels we'd probably be okay as well.


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wow this is still going. Sorry I haven't been around to respond. I have been working with a friend on a solution to this problem.

It's not perfect, but hopefully it will be customizable enough to cater to each person who wants to use it. I don't want to go too much into detail, but the idea is its a simple program that will set up certain guidelines on what weapons of certain levels and certain types should be able to have and than suggest a price for the weapon based on what the user applys to the weapon.

A lot of work needs to be done and I don't want to raise anyone's hopes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
legolizard wrote:

wow this is still going. Sorry I haven't been around to respond. I have been working with a friend on a solution to this problem.

It's not perfect, but hopefully it will be customizable enough to cater to each person who wants to use it. I don't want to go too much into detail, but the idea is its a simple program that will set up certain guidelines on what weapons of certain levels and certain types should be able to have and than suggest a price for the weapon based on what the user applys to the weapon.

A lot of work needs to be done and I don't want to raise anyone's hopes.

If your looking for something to generate weapons there is this already.

Weapon Generation Site

its not perfect and you may have to generate a weapon in the level range a few times to get one close to what you want but in general it works.


Vexies wrote:


If your looking for something to generate weapons there is this already.

Weapon Generation Site

its not perfect and you may have to generate a weapon in the level range a few times to get one close to what you want but in general it works.

Yeah, I had my coder friend look into that program. It decides everything in a far too random way. The damage, the prices, almost everything is decided for you. Also it doesn't let you pic the specials and all the important details. Nothing even close to what I need.

I understand you are trying to be helpful and I appreciate it, but what me and my friend are making is very very different and more advanced than the random generator on that site.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
legolizard wrote:
Vexies wrote:


If your looking for something to generate weapons there is this already.

Weapon Generation Site

its not perfect and you may have to generate a weapon in the level range a few times to get one close to what you want but in general it works.

Yeah, I had my coder friend look into that program. It decides everything in a far too random way. The damage, the prices, almost everything is decided for you. Also it doesn't let you pic the specials and all the important details. Nothing even close to what I need.

I understand you are trying to be helpful and I appreciate it, but what me and my friend are making is very very different and more advanced than the random generator on that site.

Nice! when you get it up and running, if your willing to share, I would be very interested in checking it out. I agree the randomness of it is its biggest detractor. I linked it just to show that hey.. someone created a system for making weapons already and it didnt break the game lol. I dont use it all that much because of the inherent randomness either but it does occasionally spit out some really fun jewels. I find it entertaining to generate several in a row if I want a unique item just to see what it spits out. Good luck in creating your program. I hope it goes well.

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