did they not add equipment shields?


General Discussion


Could have sworn that they added equipment shield. Like those from pathfinder. Was I wrong?


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

There was a playtest of the Character Operations Manual that included shields. The Character Operations Manual will not be released until later this year. So there are playtest rules for them that you could use, but there have not been any final released product rules yet, and they may change.


Ahhhhhh okay. Just waiting to turn my parkour charger into a parkour charging shield slammer.


Thematically you can do that, but the shield rules as they are basically treat it as an unarmed attack without the archaic property....which isn't great.


Here is the info for the Tactical shield, basic if you want to look at it.


Claxon wrote:
Thematically you can do that, but the shield rules as they are basically treat it as an unarmed attack without the archaic property....which isn't great.

...though theoretically that stacks with Improved Unarmed Strike, which suddenly makes it... pretty good, actually.


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Dracomicron wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Thematically you can do that, but the shield rules as they are basically treat it as an unarmed attack without the archaic property....which isn't great.
...though theoretically that stacks with Improved Unarmed Strike, which suddenly makes it... pretty good, actually.

And you can put melee weapon fusions on it, making it even better.


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It would certainly combine with IUS. And you could add throwing and returning fusions on there, if you wanted to turn IUS into an option with some range.


Yes, with Improved Unarmed Strike it isn't bad.

I guess my point was more that Bullrushing "with the shield" doesn't really do anything mechanically. You can say you're doing it thematically, but mechanically you don't use a weapon to bullrush.


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

Riot shields actually do give a bonus to bullrush, if that's the goal, though they do impede mobility a bit, with their own movement penalty, ACP, and max DEX value.


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If I put a call fusion on it and toss the thing, I'm Captain America.


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Nah, Captain America's shield is definitely Returning, not Called.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd seriously like to discuss how people feel about shields and their broader impact on the game.

For the sake of argument, let's focus on the light shields which have no ACP, no max dex, and no movement speed penalty.

For melee, AC is hard to come by. Like, spending all of your money just to avoid being auto-hit hard. Since big bads hit melee characters ~90% of the time, I think it's perfectly fine to give them an easy way to get a few more points of AC. For now, let's not discuss ranged characters which have options for cover.

Melee soldiers have a minor bonus to armor.
Solar armor Solarians have a minor bonus to armor.
Solar weapon Solarians have not much.
Melee operatives have hit and run tactics, and evasion, but not much else.

Each of these characters would benefit enormously from having a shield, and besides the credit cost they have no reason not to. Even two-handed weapon users can easily play a multi-armed race or buy an extra arm if necessary. Operatives can pretty trivially pick up proficiency.

Solar weapon Solarians and Operatives are among the least thematically oriented toward using a shield, but have the most to gain. They both have a free hand to use it with as well.

So, are we going to see every single melee character pushed toward using a shield?

I sincerely hope there's a way to get a shield bonus without a shield, because based on the number of floor naps my Solarian has experienced (and the fact that I had to buy a phase shield already) I don't see a way I can ignore shields for my character.


I don't think so, because the tactical shields don't provide a bonus without spending a move action, and the riot shields have penalties for using them while providing a static Ac bonus. IIRC.

Edit: Sorry, thats only on the lowest level shields. The better version do provide a static benefit.

So yeah, I see everyone eventually getting an extra arm (or being a multi arm character) and wielding a shield of some sort, for the extra AC. Because, why not?


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Also, even if you use the move action to get cover, being able to carry cover around with you is a big deal for melee, particularly slow characters.

I guess dropping prone is always an option against ranged, but it sucks when the bad guy then rushes up to you.


Umm, unless I'm missing it someplace, shield in Starfinder don't grant any amount of cover. You can "align" them as a move action to grant a bonus to AC against one opponent.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Since it doesn't stack with cover and gives a benefit similar to using your move action to get to cover, I think it's fair to say a shield is like bringing your cover with you.


Shields are supposed to be rare in a space opera setting, not extremely common. So, I agree they are too easy to use. And at high level, they give an absolutely enormous AC boost (+2 without using an action). Considering how hard it is to just get a +2 to anything in SF, I would really reduce the tactical shield bonus when you don't use a move action to activaly use it.


I really hope shields wont screw up the math too much so that they invalidate all AA1 enemies which has then to be corrected in another AA book where everything has a higher attack bonus than old enemies.

And honestly, I would have been perfectly happy without shields in Starfinder.
It is supposed to be a futuristic setting and there archaic shields simply dont fit. Sadly SF is, and continues to get trated as, Pathfinder with slightly different descriptions with all the generic fantasy flavor you would expect from a PF or D&D game, and only a token SciFi.


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If the matchup between armor and weapons technology is at a point where heavy armor makes sense, then it's at a point where shields make sense.


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I'm okay with shields existing, but I'm not okay with every Jedi, Riddick, Gamora, and Street Samurai being pressured to strap on a shield because there is no reason not to.

At minimum, I hope there's a feat option that grants you a shield bonus if you have, say, a melee weapon and a minimum dex score.

Edit: A fusion that grants a melee weapon a shield bonus would be cool too, and would make dual wield characters more interesting.


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A "Blocking" fusion that allows you to use your melee weapon as a shield. Maybe 1 handed weapons functions as tactical shields and two-handed weapons functions as riot shields. And by attaching it to higher item level weapons it increases what level of shield it functions as.

Which is mostly a thematic thing. Getting an augment to have 4 arms is super cheap, and most melee characters will have the needed strength. Even with a two-handed weapon you have room for a shield and a free hand.


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Claxon wrote:

A "Blocking" fusion that allows you to use your melee weapon as a shield. Maybe 1 handed weapons functions as tactical shields and two-handed weapons functions as riot shields. And by attaching it to higher item level weapons it increases what level of shield it functions as.

Which is mostly a thematic thing. Getting an augment to have 4 arms is super cheap, and most melee characters will have the needed strength. Even with a two-handed weapon you have room for a shield and a free hand.

Not to mention tactical scaffolds!

Man, it's like the Pathfinder natural attack optimizer builds all over again.


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Claxon wrote:
Getting an augment to have 4 arms is super cheap

Er, ONE extra arm is an 11th level augmentation that costs 24,750 credits. For two arms you have to wait until about 14th level and pay 70,150 credits.

I wouldn't call that "cheap." Were you thinking about getting prosthetic limb replacements? Those are 100 credits but don't give you any other benefit except being able to tie your shoes unassisted.

Honestly I think that there is plenty of room in the metagame for multi-arm builds with shields; right now I barely see anyone playing kasathas as it is. I don't think that they will become the One True Melee Build, because enough people have such small faith in enemies ever missing that they've internalized that Armor Class means nothing. I mean, it does mean something, but tell that to someone who sees the wrong side of a 70% hit chance five times in a row.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I don't think it will be an issue as written as it forces you to either rely on weapons that do less damage, such as small arms, or else play a character with more than two arms.

A lot of players scoff at the seeming uselessness of extra limbs. (I disagree with that notion, but hey, what do I know?) Perhaps this will make them a little bit more desirable for a great many players.


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Ravingdork wrote:

I don't think it will be an issue as written as it forces you to either rely on weapons that do less damage, such as small arms, or else play a character with more than two arms. I suppose you could get a shoulder or eye laser, or something similar, but such weapons tend to be subpar as well.

A lot of players scoff at the seeming uselessness of extra limbs. (I disagree with that notion, but hey, what do I know?) Perhaps this will make them a little bit more desirable for a great many players.

Both Solar Weapon Solarians and melee Operatives have a hand free and deal very respectable damage, though.

Two-handed weapon Soldiers and Solarians can both use an extra arm augmentation, or use a tactical scaffold. Soldiers and Solar Armor solarians also get a small boost to AC so it's arguably slightly less valuable for them though.

For non-melee, the shield isn't really a good idea because one of its features doesn't stack with cover, and you're less frequently out in the open anyway.


The tactical scaffold only works with ranged weapons, though, and using up 2 upgrade slots, and only being usable in heavy armor, kind of makes it even a worse deal just for getting a little bit of AC for when there's no cover.

It does seem like it's a no-brainer for one handed melee types, and for anyone who can afford a cybernetic arm, though.


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Dracomicron wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Getting an augment to have 4 arms is super cheap

Er, ONE extra arm is an 11th level augmentation that costs 24,750 credits. For two arms you have to wait until about 14th level and pay 70,150 credits.

I wouldn't call that "cheap." Were you thinking about getting prosthetic limb replacements? Those are 100 credits but don't give you any other benefit except being able to tie your shoes unassisted.

Honestly I think that there is plenty of room in the metagame for multi-arm builds with shields; right now I barely see anyone playing kasathas as it is. I don't think that they will become the One True Melee Build, because enough people have such small faith in enemies ever missing that they've internalized that Armor Class means nothing. I mean, it does mean something, but tell that to someone who sees the wrong side of a 70% hit chance five times in a row.

You know what, that's fair. It's more expensive than I was remembering. At 11th level it takes about 25% of your total wealth to get the 3rd arm.


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Pantshandshake wrote:
The tactical scaffold only works with ranged weapons

How did I miss that?


Probably because between that and the gunner’s harness, you thought to yourself “No way Paizo put two items that are essentially the same thing, but do different things, and they both only help ranged weapons in the same book, with no items to help melee.”


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I realt want to play a Kasatha soldier focusing both ranged and melee. It would always be wielding 2 two handed weapons, one melee and another ranged. I’m surprised this is not mentioned more as I would have thought others might have come to the same idea that being able to wield both at the same time has its advantages.


It's got advantages, and I'm 100% positive there's no shortage of 4 armed characters doing exactly that.

It also has some disadvantages, coming in the form of expense from needing to keep 2 weapons current, reduced chances of hitting (in the earlier levels) because of splitting str/dex.

Personally, I went with the middle ground, an armor storm soldier. Once you hit power armor, it stops mattering what your str is, and you're always a swift action away from taking one hand off your giant gun to punch something in the brain.

Dark Archive

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SuperBidi wrote:
Shields are supposed to be rare in a space opera setting, not extremely common. So, I agree they are too easy to use. And at high level, they give an absolutely enormous AC boost (+2 without using an action). Considering how hard it is to just get a +2 to anything in SF, I would really reduce the tactical shield bonus when you don't use a move action to activaly use it.

I don't agree with any of this

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