Sniping useless - maybe change?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Greetings. Considering very short ranges of almost every scene (I remember only one scenario with thousand feet map) - sniping is useless.

We used homerule for sniping in Dead Suns: if you use aim with sniping weapon and hit target EAC\KAC - it is a critical hit (even if not natural 20). That is how snipers do their job: one hit = one target down (maybe for second shot).


Probably overpowered. Besides, at close range a sniper rifle is just a rifle, probably best to keep it that way instead of using video game logic.

But, yes, sniping is pretty hard to make work. Typically you need the entire party sniping, and you forgo the battlemap. Or one guy is way off in the distance and can't keep up with what's happening.


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You are not wrong in that sniping is situational. That said, is it a problem? I'm not sure it is.

Structurally, an RPG like this really isn't about whacking dudes from a mile away. It's just not the thing it's trying to recreate the feel of. Now if you didn't include sniper rifles, there'd be complaints too. So they're there, just of limited utility.

Personally I'm not sure this rises to the level of a "problem that needs to be solved".


Fedor Checherov wrote:

Greetings. Considering very short ranges of almost every scene (I remember only one scenario with thousand feet map) - sniping is useless.

We used homerule for sniping in Dead Suns: if you use aim with sniping weapon and hit target EAC\KAC - it is a critical hit (even if not natural 20). That is how snipers do their job: one hit = one target down (maybe for second shot).

One accurate shot/one kill is also the lethality of firearms in general.

For very good and obvious reasons, the game does not model this.


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Fedor Checherov wrote:

Greetings. Considering very short ranges of almost every scene (I remember only one scenario with thousand feet map) - sniping is useless.

We used homerule for sniping in Dead Suns: if you use aim with sniping weapon and hit target EAC\KAC - it is a critical hit (even if not natural 20). That is how snipers do their job: one hit = one target down (maybe for second shot).

Yeah, that's too much.

I agree sniper rifles are in a bad place, but I think the answer is to make more sniper rifles without the unwieldy quality and basically treat them as a normal long arm with extra range that can be used as a move action.

But allowing every shot that hits to be a critical hit is too much.

Edit: To clarify we have the coil rifle series which are a sniper rifle without the unwieldy quality.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In the rare cases that you do get to use the extreme range of the sniper rifles, you're generally really glad you can. In the game I'm in it's come up a few times, although it is a homebrew game.

I'd be really nervous about buffing sniper rifles too much.


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Unless you're playing in a society game, I'd talk with your players and GM about adding a sniper-friendly event once in a while. No reason a decent GM couldn't work one up.


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Pantshandshake wrote:
Unless you're playing in a society game, I'd talk with your players and GM about adding a sniper-friendly event once in a while. No reason a decent GM couldn't work one up.

The issue I have with that is unless the whole party can contribute to the combat, it's kind of not fun for everyone. And if everyone else can contribute, the person using the sniper rifle isn't using the range benefit of sniper rifles (which is really the only benefit they bring to the table vs long arms).

Unless you mean adding some sort of non-combat event where having a sniper rifle would be useful. I don't know what that would be, but I guess that could be okay.


I'd have to agree that the most elegant solution is more wieldy sniper rifles in line with longarms.


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

Not every encounter where a sniper is an option requires the rest of the party to be sidelined, if youre willing to risk splitting. If you raid a building with a lot of windows, sniper cover from outside is a real option, but limited by enemy positioning.


Sure, raiding a building with a sniper on overwatch is a good idea.

More sniper rifles without unwieldy would also be cool. Or if your sniper wears heavy armor, broach the possibility of a tactical scaffold.

Or just have a fight start with the PCs and the NPCs a couple hundred feet away from each other, instead of the 40-60 feet we're all used to.

(On that topic, my homebrew game's DM still starts fights like it was Pathfinder, and it sounds like the APs still do too. We all have guns now, it's totally ok if a fight starts with 4 turns before melee combat happens. Embrace the future, folks.)


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I'm lucky to have a big table and I can and have done that. It's harder if you're stuck to one playmat of game space.


I mean, that's true. If your group can't or won't pass the hat and invest in a bigger mat, or if you don't have room where your group plays for a big mat, then there's either no real chance for sniper activity or you have to get super creative. We used to put a smaller mat off to the side when we played Battletech and someone went aircraft heavy, for example.

But if those are the hurdles between someone using a sniper rifle or not, I'm still not going to blame Starfinder. That would be like blaming the game if where I played didn't have any lights and the person who owned the play area refused to fix that.


Pantshandshake wrote:

Sure, raiding a building with a sniper on overwatch is a good idea.

More sniper rifles without unwieldy would also be cool. Or if your sniper wears heavy armor, broach the possibility of a tactical scaffold.

Or just have a fight start with the PCs and the NPCs a couple hundred feet away from each other, instead of the 40-60 feet we're all used to.

(On that topic, my homebrew game's DM still starts fights like it was Pathfinder, and it sounds like the APs still do too. We all have guns now, it's totally ok if a fight starts with 4 turns before melee combat happens. Embrace the future, folks.)

The existence of melee characters would beg to differ. If it takes 4 turns to get to combat, then you would be better off ignoring melee options altogether.

We effectively have 4 combat ranges:
Super Long - Sniper rifles only, roughly beyond 1000' (max weapon range is 10 x range increment).
Long - 100 ft to 1000 ft. It's a pretty big range. To hit these long distances you'll take big penalties to your attack rolls.
Medium - 50ft to 100ft - Rifles and pistols go here. At higher level melee characters can close this gap too.
Short - 0 to 50ft. You're within easy charging range for melee. Ranged weapons work no problem.

So most characters operate pretty optimally in the 0 - 100ft range. Long arms can shoot farther, but are going to accumulate penalties for doing so. Also having clear line of sight can be an issue beyond this sort of engagement range.

Not to say you can't create situations to cater to sniper rifles, but when most of the party would rather not operate at that range....the answer should be to make sniper rifles competitive with longarms at normal ranges, and have an option for longer ranges.

Edit: In the end, Sniper Rifles should just be longarms with the "Sniper" quality that allows you to use a move action to extend their range/reduce their aim penalty.


Most longarms with scopes shoot 300-600' without penalty. Taking an action to aim doubles that.


To me, that's more of a reason to not use sniper rifles. You can already achieve long range shots, without needing a sniper rifle.

Though I include scopes since it's not a part of the core book, and not everyone will purchase one.


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dit: In the end, Sniper Rifles should just be longarms with the "Sniper" quality that allows you to use a move action to extend their range/reduce their aim penalty.

that would prertty much be a scope from armory


Xenocrat wrote:
Most longarms with scopes shoot 300-600' without penalty. Taking an action to aim doubles that.

I don't think scopes do anything if you don't take a move action to aim, though. Did I misinterpret you, or is one of us wrong?

And, BNW and Claxon make some good points. I wouldn't be against anything you've said, really.

Oh, aside from the melee bit, actually. If we're catering to how sniper rifles work in game once in a while by giving them a chance to shine, then yes, you're correct, non snipers will have to adapt.

Other people with guns can move up a little, either shooting or not, until they find a range at which they can operate. Melee characters can hang out and guard the shooters, or use the opportunity to maneuver and close with their targets while said targets are distracted by long range gunfire.

Honestly, I'd be super happy if every once in a while, we could exercise some proper tactics in our game instead of doing the same thing in every fight as we did in pathfinder, except by now most of my team understands to stop grouping up and stop standing in front of people shooting, either friendly or not.


Pantshandshake wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Most longarms with scopes shoot 300-600' without penalty. Taking an action to aim doubles that.

I don't think scopes do anything if you don't take a move action to aim, though. Did I misinterpret you, or is one of us wrong?

One of us is wrong. There was a thread discussing this in the last couple of months.


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I have enjoyed the couple times I was able to run a whole set of encounters across the four playmats sized map at the same time

Dead Suns 2,3,5:
The big statue part of book 2, the asteroid in book three, and the final boss area of book 5 I ran with every creature having initiative and responding in their own way all within combat rounds.

The part in book 2 worked particularly well with a sniper duel and other combats happening simultaneously. The operative with a sniper rifle tends to keep it out until they get in close quarter buildings. It's worked for him.

Claxon wrote:
Long - 100 ft to 1000 ft. It's a pretty big range. To hit these long distances you'll take big penalties to your attack rolls.

My solarion player (lvl 10) can get into this range with a stellar rush. He's been close to that since level 7. Granted, it takes him more than three rounds to get past 1000', but I'd say certain melee builds can operate around this range.

BigNorseWolf wrote:

dit: In the end, Sniper Rifles should just be longarms with the "Sniper" quality that allows you to use a move action to extend their range/reduce their aim penalty.

that would prertty much be a scope from armory

If I were to do an overhaul of the CRB, 'sniper ___' would be a weapon quality, along with a few other choice changes. Scopes would probably add that weapon quality to weapons without it.


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I agree Garretmander.

Sniper should have simply been a quality of long arms, and not almost tied to being unwieldy.

I will say however, that scopes shouldn't increase the range of firearms, at least not anything with a ballistic trajectory. The mechanics of the projectile are the limiting factor, and being able to see better lets you shoot more accurately but not farther.

Scopes should reduce penalties for shooting at distance, but not do anything to the range. I also think scopes should reduce the penalty by half, instead of reducing it by a flat amount.

But I think some take aways almost everyone in this thread can agree on are:
1) Sniper rifles are in a bad place in Starfinder
2) It's hard to create a situation where Sniper rifles shine without disrupting other players. They tend not to feel organic or are very uncommon.
3) Making sniper rifles autocrit on any hit is a bad idea


So, when I've seen Sniper Rifles work in tabletop games, it's been in cases where they're useful as solutions to a specific problem - rather than all weapons needing to be generalist stuff to make sense. Something like a sniper providing overwatch while the rest of the team is doing something else, such as an infiltration.

Has anyone checked the Wealth By Level math on an Operative keeping a Sniper Rifle, a Small Arm, and an Operative Weapon at a relevant item level?


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Claxon wrote:

rately but not farther.

Scopes should reduce penalties for shooting at distance, but not do anything to the range. I also think scopes should reduce the penalty by half, instead of reducing it by a flat amount.

Scopes do not actually increase the maximum range of weapons.

Scopes increase the range increment.
This still happens within maximum range of the weapon.

Snipe Scopes reduce the penalty to the attack rolls by 2, so you can shoot within the second increment with no penalty. Within the third increment, -2 penalty.

Laser Scopes reduce the penalty to the attack roll by 4, so you can shoot within the third increment with no penalty. Within the 4th increment, -2 penalty.

Armory page 61.


Nerdy Canuck wrote:
Has anyone checked the Wealth By Level math on an Operative keeping a Sniper Rifle, a Small Arm, and an Operative Weapon at a relevant item level?

I think they would pick one and keep it on level and the other two on the level of backup weapons. The sniper rifle probably needs to be kept at the high level instead of the pistol if they want both to be good options.

Nimor Starseeker wrote:
Scopes do not actually increase the maximum range of weapons.

This is all correct, Claxon was responding to my half-baked idea of the sniper weapon quality possibly being added via scope, which I agree now is a bad idea.


Nimor Starseeker wrote:
Claxon wrote:

rately but not farther.

Scopes should reduce penalties for shooting at distance, but not do anything to the range. I also think scopes should reduce the penalty by half, instead of reducing it by a flat amount.

Scopes do not actually increase the maximum range of weapons.

Scopes increase the range increment.
This still happens within maximum range of the weapon.

Snipe Scopes reduce the penalty to the attack rolls by 2, so you can shoot within the second increment with no penalty. Within the third increment, -2 penalty.

Laser Scopes reduce the penalty to the attack roll by 4, so you can shoot within the third increment with no penalty. Within the 4th increment, -2 penalty.

Armory page 61.

It appears you are right, although the wording could use work to make it less confusing. Extending the range, but only for determining penalties to the attack roll, and then also reducing the penalty to attack rolls as a separate function is much too complicated in my opinion.

The really should have just done something like reduce the penalty by half. Or reduce by 3/4 (round up) for the improved version.


Hello All,

Ah the sniper rifle topic again.

All I can say is my group uses them regularly at ranges over 1000 feet, some times out to 5,000+ feet.

No one is bored and everyone has fun.

The non-snipers in my group are happy to spot for the snipers and watch enemies fall without ever getting shot at.

Also my group really hates when they are the targets of snipers, but they do enjoy a good challenge.

I agree this not be entertaining for all tables, but at mine long range gunplay is common.


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

I think the way it comes down is as much campaign dependent as "player attitude about spotting for the snipers" dependent. Any group that is running published adventures is likely to find that a lot of the time, encounters are designed to fit on a map of a reasonably printable size.

In a home brewed campaign, there are a lot of ways to set up challenges so that using snipers may be an option, though a lot of the ones that keep the rest of the party active come at the cost of splitting the party, to employ sniper overwatch.


HammerJack wrote:

I think the way it comes down is as much campaign dependent as "player attitude about spotting for the snipers" dependent. Any group that is running published adventures is likely to find that a lot of the time, encounters are designed to fit on a map of a reasonably printable size.

In a home brewed campaign, there are a lot of ways to set up challenges so that using snipers may be an option, though a lot of the ones that keep the rest of the party active come at the cost of splitting the party, to employ sniper overwatch.

I use published adventures quite a lot. We do not use maps or minis.

I describe everything to my players.

Most outdoor encounters can be started at whatever range the snipers wish.

My players don't mind splitting up at all. They usually break into 2 teams of 2 or 3 teams of 2 depending on how many people are needed for the mission.

It is not even that uncommon for 2 PCs to stay in the group's spaceship in atmospheric orbit running intel for the 4 on the ground.

As I have said in other threads, I have a great group of players who are incredibly team and goal oriented verses personal glory.

As a GM I do have to make sure that I design and include a chance for everyone to shine during the course of play


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Hawk Kriegsman wrote:
It is not even that uncommon for 2 PCs to stay in the group's spaceship in atmospheric orbit running intel for the 4 on the ground.

OMG. Why have I never thought of this!?

I've been so stuck in the team-dungeon dynamic of prepublished adventures and the isolated nature of starship to non-starship play that it didn't once occur to me just how useful having a bird's eye view of everything really could be for the party.

No more monster ambushes or sudden deadly pollen storms to catch us unawares. No sir! And the best part? If something does happen that the PCs can't easily deal with, just swoop in and save the party.

Only problem I can see is missing stuff because the players went indoors or underground.

A mechanic could conceivably stay in the ship while sending his drone with the party, so the player still gets some of the action while also playing overwatch.

Edit: Though I didn't think of it, it would appear that the designers did. At least one published adventure specifically precludes the PCs being able to use their ship in certain areas of Castevel due to those areas being under environmental protection by the government.


But it is still a valid tactic in less civilized systems or ones where you can get government approval.

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Sniping in RPGs is a tricky thing. To maintain some immersion, it should work roughly the same for NPCs doing it to the PCs, and for PCs doing it to the NPCs.

Now imagine NPC snipers attacking from a position that the players didn't spot, and one shot killing PCs. Sounds "realistic", but not really fun.

However, I think the current situation is also a bit underwhelming - a single shot from a sniper rifle is almost certain not to drop an enemy, or even inconvenience it very much.

I think the original idea - a hit with a sniper rifle while sniping is a crit - has some merit. But with a significant limit to it: it can't be so fast that you do it every round. You can't be sniping people for crits every round. That would be horribly powerful, and also deeply out of whack with other weapons. Why aren't regular guns deadly like one-shot-every-6-seconds sniper rifles?

So the change I'd add would be that a direct-crit sniper shot would need more time to aim. Say, observing a target for three rounds where the target is not aware of the sniper, or at least not able to take steps to make it hard for the sniper. You could set up the money shot on someone walking at a normal pace, but not someone running in a random zigzag pattern because he's trying not to get sniped to death. Generally, once combat has started, people will be moving too erratically to snipe properly. Sniping makes for a hell of a combat opener though.


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Ascalaphus wrote:
Say, observing a target for three rounds where the target is not aware of the sniper, or at least not able to take steps to make it hard for the sniper.

So... bring the assassin class into starfinder?

Personally I think snipers are currently unsupported, but in an okay place mechanically. They need adventure writing to support their use, like vehicles and starships.


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Garretmander wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Say, observing a target for three rounds where the target is not aware of the sniper, or at least not able to take steps to make it hard for the sniper.

So... bring the assassin class into starfinder?

Personally I think snipers are currently unsupported, but in an okay place mechanically. They need adventure writing to support their use, like vehicles and starships.

On the flipside, the time to prepare does make abilties like Supercharge Weapon more powerful. A level 1 Technomancer can make a level 1 Sniper Rifle suddenly deal 1d8+4d6 damage.

The actual problem Sniper Rifles have is that they don't actually deal more damage than a similar Longarm, and without the action to aim may actually have less range than their closest equivalent - it appears to be a design assumption that the Sniper quality and the Unwieldy category counter-balance each other perfectly, but for the number of weapons a character is likely to have in Starfinder this doesn't necessarily hold.

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Garretmander wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Say, observing a target for three rounds where the target is not aware of the sniper, or at least not able to take steps to make it hard for the sniper.

So... bring the assassin class into starfinder?

Personally I think snipers are currently unsupported, but in an okay place mechanically. They need adventure writing to support their use, like vehicles and starships.

About halfway there. Assassins were "death or nothing", and I don't think there's very many players who enjoy enemies who start with a save or die equivalent from stealth in the first round of combat.

What I'm proposing is more "start the fight with a crit", which for a CR-in-your-ballpark enemy does enough to really scare a player and put them on the defensive, but shouldn't drop them immediately.

For example, a level 5 party gets into a fight with a CR 7 sniper and some CR 4 goons. The sniper opens with a snipe shot with a Triple Focus Rifle (3d4), so as a crit that's 6d4+14 and a 2d4 burn effect. That's not going to kill the guy walking in front, but his confrontation with the CR 4 goons did suddenly become a lot more exciting.

Some possible rules:
- To snipe someone, you must aim for 3 rounds as full actions. Delivering the final shot takes a standard action, typically as a surprise round.
- The target must be unaware of your general location/you being there at all. Someone with a fairly clear idea of where the shot is going to come from can take steps to make themselves a difficult enough target that you can't direct-crit them anymore. (You can still try a regular shot.)
- The target must not be moving too fast. Walking is fine, running is not. Targets in vehicles are generally moving too fast unless the vehicle is going at slow/parade speed or idling in front of traffic lights or something.
- You have to have a fairly clear line to observe them. If they have concealment you can't collect your three consecutive rounds of aim. A targeting computer or similar item can help if you're trying to snipe someone moving through an area with lots of concealment, like a leafy forest.
- After someone's been attacked they're out of position due to impact, so a person can't be sniped by multiple snipers. (Also can't snipe someone that's been attacked in another way.)
- Multiple characters could be sniped by multiple snipers, but as soon as someone has had a turn in combat they're moving around so much that you can't snipe them anymore. So you can only snipe someone that hasn't acted yet in combat.
- The usual rules for aiming helping with range increments and scopes helping with cover remain in effect. So with a good scope you could still snipe someone walking in the middle of a pack of bodyguards.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Hawk Kriegsman wrote:
It is not even that uncommon for 2 PCs to stay in the group's spaceship in atmospheric orbit running intel for the 4 on the ground.

OMG. Why have I never thought of this!?

I've been so stuck in the team-dungeon dynamic of prepublished adventures and the isolated nature of starship to non-starship play that it didn't once occur to me just how useful having a bird's eye view of everything really could be for the party.

No more monster ambushes or sudden deadly pollen storms to catch us unawares. No sir! And the best part? If something does happen that the PCs can't easily deal with, just swoop in and save the party.

Only problem I can see is missing stuff because the players went indoors or underground.

A mechanic could conceivably stay in the ship while sending his drone with the party, so the player still gets some of the action while also playing overwatch.

Edit: Though I didn't think of it, it would appear that the designers did. At least one published adventure specifically precludes the PCs being able to use their ship in certain areas of Castevel due to those areas being under environmental protection by the government.

Similar tactics could also be used with a suitable flying vehicle, with your space-copter providing overwatch, intel, and tactical support. Which might give a good reason to carry such a vehicle on your spaceship, for those circumstances where its impractical to have a colossal sized space freighter hanging 5 miles above the reconnaissance team on the ground.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also, hirelings are great for manning your ship.


WatersLethe wrote:
Also, hirelings are great for manning your ship.

Assuming they don't fly off with it.


Ravingdork wrote:
Hawk Kriegsman wrote:
It is not even that uncommon for 2 PCs to stay in the group's spaceship in atmospheric orbit running intel for the 4 on the ground.

OMG. Why have I never thought of this!?

I've been so stuck in the team-dungeon dynamic of prepublished adventures and the isolated nature of starship to non-starship play that it didn't once occur to me just how useful having a bird's eye view of everything really could be for the party.

No more monster ambushes or sudden deadly pollen storms to catch us unawares. No sir! And the best part? If something does happen that the PCs can't easily deal with, just swoop in and save the party.

Only problem I can see is missing stuff because the players went indoors or underground.

A mechanic could conceivably stay in the ship while sending his drone with the party, so the player still gets some of the action while also playing overwatch.

Edit: Though I didn't think of it, it would appear that the designers did. At least one published adventure specifically precludes the PCs being able to use their ship in certain areas of Castevel due to those areas being under environmental protection by the government.

Yes, the overwatch group does lose tracking of a group that goes underground for sure, but not necessarily in a building.

Orbiting in atmosphere is limited to medium or smaller ships that are designed to be able to land on the ground. Something like an explorer or a shuttle.

Of course they may be restricted in doing this at all by local laws and policies.

My ground team love the fact that they will most likely not get caught by surprise by storms or reinforcements with they are conducting ground opps.

Plus my players hate trying to squeeze 6 people in to buildings, ships and complexes that are really don't have enough space for 6 people to operate effectively.


Just LOL if you don’t have a sniper with Force Soles Mk 2 walking half a mile above the rest of the party at all times, outside the max range of all non-sniper weapons on the ground.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
Just LOL if you don’t have a sniper with Force Soles Mk 2 walking half a mile above the rest of the party at all times, outside the max range of all non-sniper weapons on the ground.

I love everything about this.

I love that it's laughable to assume someone *isn't* walking in the sky.

I love that the sniper would be a speck, communicating exclusively through the comm unit and binoculars or scope.

I love that the sniper would only be relevant during combat, otherwise spending time looking around at clouds. Sipping from their canteen.

I love that the sniper could be hit by a passing plane, whose pilot would have no idea what just got smeared across their transparent aluminum.


Your best bet if engaged by flying enemies is to cancel your Force Soles to start falling, then use that Azlanti Flight I Aeon Stone right before you splatter.

For best results use Operatives with a cloaking field.


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

Taking things to their silly conclusion , if you used the perception rules for aerial terrain from the CRB, you'd end end with the comical result of a sniper 2 miles up that would never be able to spot a creature on the ground, since 5d8x100 never allows for seeing someone more than 4000 feet away.

Other biome rules are significantly worse for snipers, if those rules are actually used. On the other hand, I don't think they are used that often.


HammerJack wrote:

Taking things to their silly conclusion , if you used the perception rules for aerial terrain from the CRB, you'd end end with the comical result of a sniper 2 miles up that would never be able to spot a creature on the ground, since 5d8x100 never allows for seeing someone more than 4000 feet away.

Other biome rules are significantly worse for snipers, if those rules are actually used. On the other hand, I don't think they are used that often.

Since clear air is 5d8x100 and clear water is 4d8x100 I think the former is missing a zero on its multiplier. That would still give you a maximum of only 7.58 miles, and a minimum of just under a mile in "clear" conditions.


Xenocrat wrote:
Just LOL if you don’t have a sniper with Force Soles Mk 2 walking half a mile above the rest of the party at all times, outside the max range of all non-sniper weapons on the ground.

This reminds me of a hilariously useful (and only moderately broken) XCom strategy...


Oh, if only we'd get a Squad Sight feat in Starfinder!


I find it weird some people are surprised that Sniper Rifles are designed to primarily be used when sniping rather than close fights.....

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Milo v3 wrote:
I find it weird some people are surprised that Sniper Rifles are designed to primarily be used when sniping rather than close fights.....

The "problem" is that sniping doesn't do what you'd expect it to do. Real-world sniping aims to kill people with a single shot. It doesn't do that in Starfinder unless you're using a gun that far outclasses the thing you're shooting.

Which makes sense from a game design standpoint: you don't really want the GM to say "Hey Bob, roll Perception. Oh, you didn't get a 40? What's your AC? Oh, you're dead, sniper got you."

To be fair, the other guns in Starfinder also don't usually put down someone in a single shot. But it's less fundamental to them than it is to the idea of sniping.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
I find it weird some people are surprised that Sniper Rifles are designed to primarily be used when sniping rather than close fights.....

The "problem" is that sniping doesn't do what you'd expect it to do. Real-world sniping aims to kill people with a single shot. It doesn't do that in Starfinder unless you're using a gun that far outclasses the thing you're shooting.

Which makes sense from a game design standpoint: you don't really want the GM to say "Hey Bob, roll Perception. Oh, you didn't get a 40? What's your AC? Oh, you're dead, sniper got you."

To be fair, the other guns in Starfinder also don't usually put down someone in a single shot. But it's less fundamental to them than it is to the idea of sniping.

Exactly. The problem is that Starfinder, and table top games in general, are not fun if you or the enemy can produce one hit kills against what are supposed to be "equivalent" enemies. If sniper rifles could do that, they would be overpowered compared to everything else in the game. So the main point and advantage of them sort of can't exist for game balance.

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That's why I suggested my "opening volley" variant. Starting combat with a crit definitely sets a tone. But even a crit isn't likely to drop a character immediately. And I put in limits to prevent ganging up on a single target.

It also brings crit effects into play, for example opening combat with a Dispelling Critical strike on someone, or just a plain old Burn effect. Opening with a Knockdown is also flavorful.

Silver Crusade

Some sniper rifles in real life are pretty trash for anything but sniping but there are several with a semi-automatic setting which can be used effectively without the scope should a situation call for it. Long arms with the "sniping" special property would take care of most concerns pretty solid.

I think you could have long arms that are unwieldy and "sniping" that represent some of the higher caliber, more damaging sniper rifles. The general damage curve of weapons that most all weapons follow doesn't really allow for that though. They would have to break the bell curve everything is based on to make such a weapon. Mean while, sniper rifles in star finder are fairly useless outside of a small handful of specialized and unlikely situations.

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