COM: What We Asked For, and What We Got


General Discussion

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Hmmm...


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Ravingdork wrote:

I for one am totally geeking out over the Character Operations Manual.

And I'm not even a third of the way through the book! I cannot believe how many "gaps" in this one book. There are SO many things that I wanted, that I've heard other people discussing wanting, and it's all practically there!

That's great to hear.

We spent a LOT of time playing the game, listening to people who had played the game, playtesting the game, and considering people's feedback in various venues before we even outlined COM.

I went to more conventions, and played more Starfinder with more new people, in the year before I tackled my part of COM than in the three years before that.

And, this was my last big project as Starfinder Design Lead.

I'm glad a lot of people like that they see.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Owen KC Stephens wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

I for one am totally geeking out over the Character Operations Manual.

And I'm not even a third of the way through the book! I cannot believe how many "gaps" in this one book. There are SO many things that I wanted, that I've heard other people discussing wanting, and it's all practically there!

That's great to hear.

We spent a LOT of time playing the game, listening to people who had played the game, playtesting the game, and considering people's feedback in various venues before we even outlined COM.

I went to more conventions, and played more Starfinder with more new people, in the year before I tackled my part of COM than in the three years before that.

And, this was my last big project as Starfinder Design Lead.

I'm glad a lot of people like that they see.

lol. Meant to say "I cannot believe how many 'gaps' got filled in this one book."


Perpdepog wrote:
VampByDay wrote:
I’m just happy that operatives can now be ninjas with Shuriien Assassin and death touch. Although they really need to solve the problem of needing to apply weapon fusions to unarmed attacks. Mainly just to make them magical.
And don't forget Soft Movement that lets ou run across liquids. And isn't there an option for getting nearly constant spider climb, too?

It's not precicely spider climb, but there's the feat that gives you a climb speed equal to your land speed, and the operative exploit that gives you both a climb and a swim speed.


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They filled the GAP? Tell me more! I think I have some things that may be buried there...

Sovereign Court

Xenocrat wrote:

Woo hoo!

Speaking of things we got, I noticed the Biohacker has 12 class skills, but only 4 skills per level. Every other class has twice as many class skills as the level. Did they mean to remove some class skills or should it have 6+Int skills per level?

(And has this already been answered somewhere else and I missed it?)

I think it has to do with the split between studious and instinctive biohackers. Studious biohackers should have high Int and thus get enough skill points. Instinctive biohackers get some bonus skill points, and thus also end up with a total of enough skill points.

Sovereign Court

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Tymin wrote:
So, about the mechanic experimental prototype weapon...

So it's written a bit confusingly, but comes down to this. You may do either:

- Get a free weapon of your level -2 (minimum level 1, because there's nothing lower)
- Designate any weapon that you have as your prototype.

So suppose you're level 5, you can take a free weapon up to level 3, or you can pay for a weapon (and you can usually buy up to your level +1 or so, so you could get a level 6 weapon). It's a choice between saving money or having the cutting edge.

I think it's a great deal because unlike with armor, a level -2 weapon can still be perfectly viable.

The weapon in all cases is a weapon from a published book, and then you add some extras to it because it's your prototype. It's not something you completely come up with yourself.

----

And your follow-up question about Advanced Customization is then easily answered. Your prototype started out as a weapon from the book, and now you get to add a few more features to it.


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Ascalaphus wrote:
Get a free weapon of your level -2 (minimum level 1, because there's nothing lower)

Pss. I'd very much like to have a word with you.

Sovereign Court

Club wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Get a free weapon of your level -2 (minimum level 1, because there's nothing lower)
Pss. I'd very much like to have a word with you.

Are there any weapons with an item level lower than 1? ("Not a Number" weapons like Entropic Strike/Solar Weapon/Unarmed Strike aren't lower or higher than any number.)


Ascalaphus wrote:


Are there any weapons with an item level lower than 1? ("Not a Number" weapons like Entropic Strike/Solar Weapon/Unarmed Strike aren't lower or higher than any number.)

No, you are correct.


In a way, we actually got a character who can use a pistol pretty effectively who isn't an Operative. That being a Biohacker with the Arms Expert theorem. And it doesn't just apply to injection weapons, but with with all small arms!

Of course, the Injection Expert class feature means that Biohackers are still best served by using injection small arms.


Ventnor wrote:
In a way, we actually got a character who can use a pistol pretty effectively who isn't an Operative. That being a Biohacker with the Arms Expert theorem. And it doesn't just apply to injection weapons, but with with all small arms!

The downside to shooting mooks up with anelgesic darts all the time


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Ascalaphus wrote:
Club wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Get a free weapon of your level -2 (minimum level 1, because there's nothing lower)
Pss. I'd very much like to have a word with you.
Are there any weapons with an item level lower than 1? ("Not a Number" weapons like Entropic Strike/Solar Weapon/Unarmed Strike aren't lower or higher than any number.)
No, you are correct.

After all I've done for your ancient ancestors, and continue to do for your people, does nobody really remember me anymore? (╥_╥)


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Club wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Club wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Get a free weapon of your level -2 (minimum level 1, because there's nothing lower)
Pss. I'd very much like to have a word with you.
Are there any weapons with an item level lower than 1? ("Not a Number" weapons like Entropic Strike/Solar Weapon/Unarmed Strike aren't lower or higher than any number.)
No, you are correct.
After all I've done for your ancient ancestors, and continue to do for your people, does nobody really remember me anymore? (╥_╥)

Club, you may be level 0 item with no cost, but you'll always be priceless and never a zero to me.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Club wrote:
After all I've done for your ancient ancestors, and continue to do for your people, does nobody really remember me anymore? (╥_╥)

We're all part of the Club.

Wayfinders

Hmm wrote:
Club wrote:
After all I've done for your ancient ancestors, and continue to do for your people, does nobody really remember me anymore? (╥_╥)
We're all part of the Club.

I would never belong to a club that would have me as a member!


Clubs are just glorified improvised weapons.


Clubs are just glorified improvised weapons.


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Milo v3 wrote:
Clubs are just glorified improvised weapons.

This old horse again? I know just what to do.

Liberty's Edge

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

Things I asked for? Nothing actually, I hadn't really thought about it.

Things I wanted? More Powered Armor options and more Vehicle options.

What I got? BOTH OF THOSE THINGS :D

Seriously though, the Archetype section of COM might be my favorite thing of all. I want to play almost all of the options there :)


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I just remembered in another thread that I had requested a way for Biohackers to make medicinals and consumable poisons.

I got Medicinal Mastery, which doesn't include poisons, but is incredibly good... so good that I can't imagine making a Biohacker without it.


Xenocrat wrote:

I'll be interested to see how fast they can expand the capabilities of the new classes. One reason I think people are disappointed with the Witchwarper is because it's competing with spellcasters that have expanded spell lists via the APs, extra connections in APs, Armory, and COM, and extra Technomancer hacks in Armory and COM, plus the new alternate class abilities for Technos and epiphanies for Mystics. CRB only spellcasters were not exciting.

On the biohacker front, it has been pointed out that a level 20 biohacker will have chosen a very high percentage of available fields of study and theorems by the end of his career, making choices rather sparse.

I haven't read the vanguard yet.

So when might we get some expansion? One hopes Near Space will have character options just as Pact Worlds did, and that they will be heavy on the new classes with the justification that some important planets in Near Space particular focus on these classes. (A Vesk vanguard academy, perhaps.)

I also can see the upcoming Threefold Conspiracy AP having the right theme and hopefully the right timing to include some biohacker (especially, given Gray proclivities) and witchwarper options in the backmatter.

Checking the Threefold Conspiracy blurbs for potential backmatter, #1 has a spies article (biohacker maaaybe), #2 has grays and fringe science (I'll be surprised not to see some biohacker and maybe witchwarper options), #5 has "an examination of the biology and society of the floating barathus [and] a catalog of biotech gear" with the former screaming biohacker option placement, while #6 will have an article on magical academies, perfect for witchwarper options.


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Xenocrat wrote:
I'll be interested to see how fast they can expand the capabilities of the new classes.

Attack of the Swarm subscribers report the latest volume has these new spells that are all available to the witchwarper:

- Akashic Download (level 1 mystic, technomancers, witchwarper)
- Akashic Revival (level 6 mystic, witchwarper)
- Bilocation (level 6 technomancer, witchwarper)
- Ectoplasmic Barrage (level 1-6 mystic, witchwarper)
- Ectoplasmic Eruption (level 4 mystic, witchwarper)
- Ectoplasmic Snare (level 2 mystic, witchwarper)
- Ego whip (level 2 mystic, witchwarper)
- Etheric Shards (level 3 mystic, technomancer, witchwarper)
- Id Insinuation (level 3 mystic, witchwarper)
- Intellect Fortress (level 3 mystic, technomancer)

Scarab Sages

Xenocrat wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
I'll be interested to see how fast they can expand the capabilities of the new classes.

Attack of the Swarm subscribers report the latest volume has these new spells that are all available to the witchwarper:

- Akashic Download (level 1 mystic, technomancers, witchwarper)
- Akashic Revival (level 6 mystic, witchwarper)
- Bilocation (level 6 technomancer, witchwarper)
- Ectoplasmic Barrage (level 1-6 mystic, witchwarper)
- Ectoplasmic Eruption (level 4 mystic, witchwarper)
- Ectoplasmic Snare (level 2 mystic, witchwarper)
- Ego whip (level 2 mystic, witchwarper)
- Etheric Shards (level 3 mystic, technomancer, witchwarper)
- Id Insinuation (level 3 mystic, witchwarper)
- Intellect Fortress (level 3 mystic, technomancer)

I'd be really interested in seeing these spells! They could really fill out the mystic and witchwarper list and hopefully deal with some of the problems that mystics have at low levels. Thanks for bringing these to our attention!


One thing I've been wanting but didn't expect in a rules book like this was more support for Oras and playstyles worshiping the Agent of Change.

And weirdly enough, we kind of got it. The Biohacker, Vanguard, and Witchwarper all easily support concepts of evolution, change/chaos, and weird science/magic more than the core classes.


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Starfinder Superscriber

The ectoplasmic barrage spell fills the 'niche' for Mystics a lot of people complain about. It's a KAC targetting attack spell from 1-6 with 2 targets. It does full damage to incorporeal. All levels have the knockdown crit effect (which I personally hate, but whatevs). The level 1 version does 2d6 damage. It scales from that to 15d6 for the highest level version. The top two also auto-entangle on hit.

Ectoplasmic eruption is basically a weak fireball that does bludgeoning and entangles on failed save. If an incorporeal creature is entangled, they can't move through objects.


pithica42 wrote:

The ectoplasmic barrage spell fills the 'niche' for Mystics a lot of people complain about. It's a KAC targetting attack spell from 1-6 with 2 targets. It does full damage to incorporeal. All levels have the knockdown crit effect (which I personally hate, but whatevs). The level 1 version does 2d6 damage. It scales from that to 15d6 for the highest level version. The top two also auto-entangle on hit.

Ectoplasmic eruption is basically a weak fireball that does bludgeoning and entangles on failed save. If an incorporeal creature is entangled, they can't move through objects.

Dex or key attribute to attack?

Sounds good if you have two targets to attack. I agree that knockdown is usually a bad effect to have on a ranged weapon (what do I do now, charge him?) and marginal on a melee one.


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

DEX to hit.


Hmmm. I think this is a hard sell as a basic attack routine.

At level 16 that's an average of 52.5 damage with a +12 BAB and +7 Dex for +19 to hit.

Or instead of investing a spell known and spell slots I invest feats and money in a level 16 elite Magnetar Rifle that does an average of 43 damage (6d8+12) with +12 BAB, +7 Dex, +2 weapon focus, +21 to hit a single target, +17 to full attack two targets, +19 to full attack with a bipod.

If we assume the bipod to equalize attack values and targets, the spell does 22% more damage than the rifle, but runs out of ammo FAST. If I'm not short of money and feats the longarm is still going to be the better standard option and the Ectoplasmic Barrage probably not enough marginal improvement and niche incorporeal bonus to justify.

But for Mystics who don't want to fire longarms and do want to feel like an offensive caster I guess it's something.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
apparently nothing to put any pizazz into an armor solarion.

nah was watching owen on know direction and he seems to think that solarian armor is a super good ability :)

..its....not imho its at best ok and pretty boring, but im not thinking that we will see any love for it.
i was at least hoping we would see a feat to use it with heavy armor

Contributor

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nothinglord wrote:
On another note, the Improvise Surgery Expertise Talent grants Insight bonuses, which is useless for an Envoy.

The bonuses don't work, which is unfortunate. Maybe they'll be swapped into an enhancement bonus in an upcoming errata or something.


jimthegray wrote:

nah was watching owen on know direction and he seems to think that solarian armor is a super good ability :)

..its....not imho its at best ok and pretty boring, but im not thinking that we will see any love for it.
i was at least hoping we would see a feat to use it with heavy armor

As someone who has been playing and thoroughly enjoying a Solar Armor Solarian, I'd argue they put emphasis where it was needed. Nothing was really added for the solar weapon either. Focusing on the new options and providing revelations every Solarian can use was the way to go. Also, Solar Armor tends to favor graviton mode and the new options encourage the use of graviton mode and not using zenith revelations as a legitimate option.


The solar weapon already has tables of cool crystals. The armors... just a static bonus.


It would be cool to have an armor specific item that changed the mechanics somehow, but the COM was very much about the new material and support for that material. I'd hold out for the next Armory book, if anything.


The weapons need crystals to keep pace with normal weapons armor is always a buff that stays valid. To use somethig like crystals it would basically need to replace normal armor with something basically the same.

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