What do I need to do to get lethal unarmed attacks?


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Assuming that I don't have (or want) a natural attack, what are my options for getting a lethal unarmed attack without the archaic trait?

The only thing I've found is the soldier's Aesthetic Warrior alternate class ability. Is that really it? If so, I can't help but think that soldier dips are going to be even more popular now.


Interestingly, the 2nd level Operative Exploit "Death Strike" from COM doesn't actually allow you to do lethal damage... it just removes Archaic, adds Operative, and gives you 1xLevel specialization if you have Natural Weapons, making it strictly worse than Pistol Whip, which DOES all that AND make the attack Lethal.

The Qi Adept fighting style seems like it should do lethal damage with its unarmed Plasma Blasts, but the only thing it does, textually, at 5th level is let you make Unarmed Attacks at range, doing electricity/fire damage and adding the Stunned crit effect. At 9th level, you can add Automatic, Blast, Line, or Explode... again nonlethal, archaic damage, and Explode doesn't even list a radius, so I guess it doesn't, by RAW, do ANYTHING. If you're a vesk or a bear, though, I guess your hadouken is innately lethal. Technically I think you could make a Ring of Fangs hadouken, too.

It's possible that the Aesthetic Warrior and Qi Adept were originally the same thing, which would have resolved some of this weirdness.


The Raw Lethality gear boost for the soldier from Armory p.154
is another work around but at this point why wouldn't you just take the new Aesthetic Warrior.


ZandrXI wrote:

The Raw Lethality gear boost for the soldier from Armory p.154

is another work around but at this point why wouldn't you just take the new Aesthetic Warrior.

Doesn't Raw Lethality just remove Archaic and give a Bleed 1d8 crit?


Dracomicron wrote:
ZandrXI wrote:

The Raw Lethality gear boost for the soldier from Armory p.154

is another work around but at this point why wouldn't you just take the new Aesthetic Warrior.
Doesn't Raw Lethality just remove Archaic and give a Bleed 1d8 crit?

Ya your right so that would still leave you missing lethal damage with fist.

Why did they make it so convaluted to gain is it really that powerful by its self?


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dracomicron wrote:
ZandrXI wrote:

The Raw Lethality gear boost for the soldier from Armory p.154

is another work around but at this point why wouldn't you just take the new Aesthetic Warrior.
Doesn't Raw Lethality just remove Archaic and give a Bleed 1d8 crit?

Yep, by strict raw, the damage is still nonlethal.


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Knocking out a guy in gargantuan power armor with your fist is believable, but harming a CR1 bone trooper or robot is going too far.


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Xenocrat wrote:
Knocking out a guy in gargantuan power armor with your fist is believable, but harming a CR1 bone trooper or robot is going too far.

Sounds to me like the problem is with the categorical immunity, not with the class abilities. . .

Sovereign Court

Metaphysician wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Knocking out a guy in gargantuan power armor with your fist is believable, but harming a CR1 bone trooper or robot is going too far.
Sounds to me like the problem is with the categorical immunity, not with the class abilities. . .

Well, apparently a punch for 30 nonlethal damage is still nonlethal. Unlike some other RPGs, Starfinder doesn't have a "nonlethal overflows into lethal" mechanic.

The Exchange

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Ascalaphus wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
Knocking out a guy in gargantuan power armor with your fist is believable, but harming a CR1 bone trooper or robot is going too far.
Sounds to me like the problem is with the categorical immunity, not with the class abilities. . .
Well, apparently a punch for 30 nonlethal damage is still nonlethal. Unlike some other RPGs, Starfinder doesn't have a "nonlethal overflows into lethal" mechanic.

Outside of immunity nonlethal damage can kill. It’s built into the system already.


GeneticDrift wrote:


Outside of immunity nonlethal damage can kill. It’s built into the system already.

It's not. If the last bit of damage a creature took was nonleathal they're Ko'd. In starfinder there's no overflow mechanic.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
GeneticDrift wrote:


Outside of immunity nonlethal damage can kill. It’s built into the system already.
It's not. If the last bit of damage a creature took was nonleathal they're Ko'd. In starfinder there's no overflow mechanic.

punch them again, they take damage and lose resolve or die.

edit: i can see how the non lethal rules can easily be read differently. you can still take a -4 on the attack to deal lethal damage to the unconscious creature (or even fight a robot or zombie with a disadvantage).


GeneticDrift wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
GeneticDrift wrote:


Outside of immunity nonlethal damage can kill. It’s built into the system already.
It's not. If the last bit of damage a creature took was nonleathal they're Ko'd. In starfinder there's no overflow mechanic.

punch them again, they take damage and lose resolve or die.

edit: i can see how the non lethal rules can easily be read differently. you can still take a -4 on the attack to deal lethal damage to the unconscious creature (or even fight a robot or zombie with a disadvantage).

By this reading non lethal damage would be pointless against something with no resolve, because you'd take non lethal damage, have no resolve to spend, and then die anyway.

However, when nonlethal damage would reduce you to 0 or fewer Hit Points, you are reduced to exactly 0 HP and fall unconscious, but you are stable instead of dying.

Someone at zero that takes another nonlethal punch goes to zero and falls unconcious. There's no mechanism for them dying because they're out of resolve.

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