COM: Qi Adept Unarmed Combat


Rules Questions


22 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 4 people marked this as a favorite.

There is so much cool stuff in COM, and so many questions about how stuff works. Let's look at the Qi Adept Soldier fighting style. It's definitely anime-inspired, and I very much want to play with it, but i have questions.

At level 5, you can spend 1 Resolve to get one of three Gather Qi bonuses until you rest for 8 hours, and one of those bonuses is Plasma Blast, allowing you to make unarmed attacks with a 30' range increment. Also, all of your melee attacks do Electricity and Fire damage, and gain the Stunned critical hit effect.

1. Is the plasma damage lethal, or do you need to have another ability (Natural Weapons, Aesthetic Warrior, etc.) to make the damage lethal?
2. Is the damage also archaic unless otherwise modified?
3. Is the Stunned critical hit effect in addition to your unarmed attack's normal crit effect, or do you have to decide between them?
4. Can I use my Natural Weapons or Ring of Fangs bite as a ranged plasma attack with the same bonus specialization damage?
5. Can I emit the plasma from a Tactical Shield I'm carrying to make it lethal and gain the effects of any fusions on the shield?
5a. Is plasma shot from a shield made of a special material considered to be that material for purposes of monster resistances? It probably doesn't matter much, since it's energy damage and doesn't go against DR, but, say, would a Noqual shield's plasma blast do +1 enhancement damage to magical constructs and undead?
6. Can I choose NOT to hit someone with plasma in melee after I spend my Resolve for the day? If I'm fighting a demon with immunity to electricity and resistance 10 to fire, am I just screwed unless I spend a move action and another Resolve to change my Gather Qi benefit to something else, or can I suppress my inner flame and just do normal bludgeoning damage?
7. Do my unarmed attacks attack KAC or EAC...I'd think the latter, because it is all energy damage, but unarmed strikes are normally vs. KAC.

Got all that? Okay, now let's look at the 9th level power, Bountiful Qi.
At this level you can do the 5th level stuff without spending a Resolve, get two of those powers by spending 1 Resolve, or get a buffed version of one of the powers by spending 1 Resolve. The buffed Plasma Blast allows you to add Automatic, Blast, Explode, or Line special weapon qualities.

1. The Automatic feature determines how many targets you can hit by checking the amount of ammo remaining in the gun. A Qi Adept's Unarmed Strike has no ammo capacity; how do you determine when to stop making attacks? By RAW, essentially it does nothing. Is this intentional? Should it work without ammo?
2. The Explode feature requires a radius in parenthesis, like "Explode (10 ft.)." Without a radius listed, it is effectively 0' does not emanate from a map intersection, and, by RAW, it essentially does nothing. Is this intentional? Should it have a particular radius listed? If so, what is that radius?

The 13th level ability, Qi Overflow, is not exciting, but it is straightforward: +1 to all Soldier, crit, fusion, and weapon-based DCs. No questions there.

The 17th level power is also straightforward, but it barely does anything. When you Gather Qi (5th level ability), you can get 1 ability without spending Resolve, two abilities by spending 1 Resolve, or all three abilities by spending 2 Resolve. But... the first two of those are already handled by the 9th level power, so is the intent that the 17th level power's only bonus is that you can now use Extreme Speed, Plasma Blast, and Qi Flight powers at the same time for 2 Resolve? That seems pretty underwhelming, when you can modify your load-out of two powers with a Resolve and a move action already.

The power does not refer to the Bountiful Qi 9th level ability's upgraded powers, either. Those of us who want to be flying at top speed while chucking exploding hadokens everywhere seem to be out of luck. Should Abundant Qi refer to Bountiful Qi instead?

Thanks for reading this. I would desperately like to create Beartleflower, my Uplifted Bear Qi Adept Soldier with the Battleflower archetype, but I need to know how the powers work. Thank you.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

Most of these questions I would also very much like to know the answer to. Will be following the thread closely


Gaulin wrote:
Most of these questions I would also very much like to know the answer to. Will be following the thread closely

You'll also want to hit the FAQ button then... Thanks!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think some of these are fairly easy to answer, though others will definitely be an endless source of argument.

1. You need an ability to make the damage lethal. (Easy)

2. You need an ability to make the damage not archaic (Easy)

3. I don't see anything about replacing the critical effect here... but a lot of other sources of a critical effect on unarmed will have that language. There may be edge cases where you end up with two. (Somewhat ambiguous)

4.I believe that does work. (This will be an endless source of argument, like everything else the RoF touches. I asked the same question in the RoF clarification thread as soon as I got my hands on the book)

5. This is also going to be an issue, and source of argument.

6. As a RAW question, unambiguously no. As a RAI question, well, I wasn't in the room. Clarification may help if the 2 do not align.

9th level properties are genuinely a mess.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It just occurred to me that I also didn't ask:

8. Can power armored qi adepts use the armor's unarmed strike damage with a Plasma Blast?

Sovereign Court

dot


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Unless otherwise stated you get both critical effects. This could be an error, but I think (not 100%) there are ways to get multiple critical effects.

As for the automatic I think the amount of ammunition is irrelevant. The concept is you can attack EVERYONE in a cone and not have crit on the enemy.

I assume you can’t choose not to use the plasma if you don’t want to. It doesn’t say you can choose not to. It says you gain the benefit for 8 hours. So thus you are stuck with it for 8 hours.

Damage is applied to KAC if it is B/P/S
Damage is applied to EAC if it is A/C/E/F/S
Damage is applied to KAC if it contains both Physical and Energy. CRB pg 240

As for the radius I would assume it would be 15 feet. Being 30 feet is your range increment, this 30 foot increment gets 30 foot diameter.

13th I feel is lame but lack luster. I feel at least a min of +2.

Yea 17th is lame. If duplicates 9th level with the addition to add a third ability. Pretty lackluster. I think you should have gotten 2 for free and then 1 for a third to get the feel of the previous abilities.


1. Is the plasma damage lethal, or do you need to have another ability (Natural Weapons, Aesthetic Warrior, etc.) to make the damage lethal?

It's fire and electric. Those are probably lethal unless otherwise specified.

2. Is the damage also archaic unless otherwise modified?

I doubt it.

3. Is the Stunned critical hit effect in addition to your unarmed attack's normal crit effect, or do you have to decide between them?

The only way i know of to add a crit effect to an unarmed strike is raw lethality, which specifies one.

Most ways (all of them?) of adding a critical hit effect specify you can only have one

The Devestating fusion strongly implies a "one effect per crit" guideline if not rule.

4. Can I use my Natural Weapons or Ring of Fangs bite as a ranged plasma attack with the same bonus specialization damage?

I doubt that. You're blasting someone, not biting them.

5. Can I emit the plasma from a Tactical Shield I'm carrying to make it lethal and gain the effects of any fusions on the shield?

VERY sure that's a no.

Biting people and hiting them with the shield isn't just flavor text. Your character is actually doing those things and it will make things interact differently than if they were an abstract platonic unarmed attack.

6. Can I choose NOT to hit someone with plasma in melee after I spend my Resolve for the day? If I'm fighting a demon with immunity to electricity and resistance 10 to fire, am I just screwed unless I spend a move action and another Resolve to change my Gather Qi benefit to something else, or can I suppress my inner flame and just do normal bludgeoning damage?

Just whack them with a body part that isn't all glowy

7. Do my unarmed attacks attack KAC or EAC...I'd think the latter, because it is all energy damage, but unarmed strikes are normally vs. KAC.

Looks like an EAC thing.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

The fun thing is that we can't even agree on what the easy questions to answer are.

Begun, the Qi Adept wars have.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Giving my take on the OP's questions. This power direly needs some designer attention™

Dracomicron wrote:
1. Is the plasma damage lethal, or do you need to have another ability (Natural Weapons, Aesthetic Warrior, etc.) to make the damage lethal?

There's nothing in the ability that removes the nonlethal property that unarmed strikes normally have.

Dracomicron wrote:
2. Is the damage also archaic unless otherwise modified?

There's nothing in there removing the archaic property, and the archaic property isn't intrinsically limited to kinetic weapons.

Dracomicron wrote:
3. Is the Stunned critical hit effect in addition to your unarmed attack's normal crit effect, or do you have to decide between them?

Normal unarmed strikes don't have a crit effect. This thing doesn't have the usual "don't stack crit effects" rider, but Raw Lethality for example does. If you have multiple sources of crit effects, they all have to be okay with each other to pile on.

Dracomicron wrote:
4. Can I use my Natural Weapons or Ring of Fangs bite as a ranged plasma attack with the same bonus specialization damage?

Maybe, maybe not? In his post with clarifications on the Ring of Fangs, Joe Pasini didn't allow power armor unarmed strikes to benefit from the Ring, so there is some precedent for not all unarmed strikes going on one heap.

Dracomicron wrote:
5. Can I emit the plasma from a Tactical Shield I'm carrying to make it lethal and gain the effects of any fusions on the shield?

We're hoping for some clarifications on how shields work with fusions. Let's say this question connects to "if a kasatha wields four shields, does he pile up all the fusions?" Nobody knows yet. It seems silly though.

Dracomicron wrote:
5a. Is plasma shot from a shield made of a special material considered to be that material for purposes of monster resistances? It probably doesn't matter much, since it's energy damage and doesn't go against DR, but, say, would a Noqual shield's plasma blast do +1 enhancement damage to magical constructs and undead?

This will depend on whether shields factor into it.

Dracomicron wrote:
6. Can I choose NOT to hit someone with plasma in melee after I spend my Resolve for the day? If I'm fighting a demon with immunity to electricity and resistance 10 to fire, am I just screwed unless I spend a move action and another Resolve to change my Gather Qi benefit to something else, or can I suppress my inner flame and just do normal bludgeoning damage?

Going by a literal reading, you're screwed.

Dracomicron wrote:
7. Do my unarmed attacks attack KAC or EAC...I'd think the latter, because it is all energy damage, but unarmed strikes are normally vs. KAC.

The general rule is that attacks that do only energy damage go against EAC, which is why anything that turns kinetic damage into pure energy needs that rider that this doesn't change the armor type. This power doesn't have that rider.

Dracomicron wrote:

Got all that? Okay, now let's look at the 9th level power, Bountiful Qi.

At this level you can do the 5th level stuff without spending a Resolve, get two of those powers by spending 1 Resolve, or get a buffed version of one of the powers by spending 1 Resolve. The buffed Plasma Blast allows you to add Automatic, Blast, Explode, or Line special weapon qualities.

1. The Automatic feature determines how many targets you can hit by checking the amount of ammo remaining in the gun. A Qi Adept's Unarmed Strike has no ammo capacity; how do you determine when to stop making attacks? By RAW, essentially it does nothing. Is this intentional? Should it work without ammo?

That looks "broken" in that it tries to do math with missing numbers.

Dracomicron wrote:
2. The Explode feature requires a radius in parenthesis, like "Explode (10 ft.)." Without a radius listed, it is effectively 0' does not emanate from a map intersection, and, by RAW, it essentially does nothing. Is this intentional? Should it have a particular radius listed? If so, what is that radius?

Again "broken on arrival".

Dracomicron wrote:

The 17th level power is also straightforward, but it barely does anything. When you Gather Qi (5th level ability), you can get 1 ability without spending Resolve, two abilities by spending 1 Resolve, or all three abilities by spending 2 Resolve. But... the first two of those are already handled by the 9th level power, so is the intent that the 17th level power's only bonus is that you can now use Extreme Speed, Plasma Blast, and Qi Flight powers at the same time for 2 Resolve? That seems pretty underwhelming, when you can modify your load-out of two powers with a Resolve and a move action already.

The power does not refer to the Bountiful Qi 9th level ability's upgraded powers, either. Those of us who want to be flying at top speed while chucking exploding hadokens everywhere seem to be out of luck. Should Abundant Qi refer to Bountiful Qi instead?

It looks like the level 17 power is the only way to access all three of the level 5 powers simultaneously.


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

I don't see how wielding multiple shields with fusions would cause a question. Being able to make an unarmed attack with a shield doesn't even vaguely imply that your other 3 shields would be relevant to that attack.


HammerJack wrote:
I don't see how wielding multiple shields with fusions would cause a question. Being able to make an unarmed attack with a shield doesn't even vaguely imply that your other 3 shields would be relevant to that attack.

It's adjudicating the rules as if your character were a computer program swinging a generic "unarmed attack" with shield 1----> shield 2--->shield 3---->ring of fangs---->unarmed attack----> Qi blast

Instead of adjudicating the rules according to common sense that if you're not beating someone with your adamantium shield then DR adamantium is a problem. That if you're not biting someone then you're not getting any benefit out of your ring of biting people very hard.

Its a paradigm that people keep holding to no matter how often it's wrong.

Sovereign Court

BigNorseWolf wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
I don't see how wielding multiple shields with fusions would cause a question. Being able to make an unarmed attack with a shield doesn't even vaguely imply that your other 3 shields would be relevant to that attack.

It's adjudicating the rules as if your character were a computer program swinging a generic "unarmed attack" with shield 1----> shield 2--->shield 3---->ring of fangs---->unarmed attack----> Qi blast

Instead of adjudicating the rules according to common sense that if you're not beating someone with your adamantium shield then DR adamantium is a problem. That if you're not biting someone then you're not getting any benefit out of your ring of biting people very hard.

Its a paradigm that people keep holding to no matter how often it's wrong.

I think it's a stupid paradigm, but I'm not sure it's against the current rules.


Ascalaphus wrote:


I think it's a stupid paradigm, but I'm not sure it's against the current rules.

Its rules lawyering innanity to the point that I would headdesk more softly over a legitimate mistake.


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

I agree with BNW. People arguing that are likely doing it in bad faith.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

After reading your responses (thanks everyone), I am prepared to share my impressions of the answers.

Quote:
1. Is the plasma damage lethal, or do you need to have another ability (Natural Weapons, Aesthetic Warrior, etc.) to make the damage lethal?

Yes. The existence of Natural Weapons and Aesthetic Warrior tell me that this was intended.

Quote:
2. Is the damage also archaic unless otherwise modified?

Yes. See #1.

Quote:
3. Is the Stunned critical hit effect in addition to your unarmed attack's normal crit effect, or do you have to decide between them?

I don't think that any currently available extra unarmed crit effect (mostly Unarmed Mauler and Raw Lethality) fails to mention the exclusion of other crit effects, but this should be clarified.

Quote:
4. Can I use my Natural Weapons or Ring of Fangs bite as a ranged plasma attack with the same bonus specialization damage?

Natural Weapons yes, Ring of Fangs no. From Joe's clarifications, Natural Weapons can apply to the Ring of Fangs to make it non-archaic even if it does a different type of damage than the normal Natural Weapons, but the Ring of Fangs only applies to its own bite attack. In this game, Natural Weapons seems to be a catch-all unarmed combat booster if your race has it.

Quote:
5. Can I emit the plasma from a Tactical Shield I'm carrying to make it lethal and gain the effects of any fusions on the shield?

No. To get fusions on a Qi Blast you want to have a class ability (like a secondary fighting style in Gloom Gunner or Arcane Assailant) or some other general modifier to unarmed combat. A shield is a plate of polymer and metal and would not help me shoot hadokens better.

Quote:
5a. Is plasma shot from a shield made of a special material considered to be that material for purposes of monster resistances? It probably doesn't matter much, since it's energy damage and doesn't go against DR, but, say, would a Noqual shield's plasma blast do +1 enhancement damage to magical constructs and undead?

Irrelevant, see #5.

Quote:
6. Can I choose NOT to hit someone with plasma in melee after I spend my Resolve for the day? If I'm fighting a demon with immunity to electricity and resistance 10 to fire, am I just screwed unless I spend a move action and another Resolve to change my Gather Qi benefit to something else, or can I suppress my inner flame and just do normal bludgeoning damage?

Right now the RAW is pretty clearly in the "I'm screwed" category, but I would hope that Paizo rules that you can suppress your power without spending extra resolve.

Quote:
7. Do my unarmed attacks attack KAC or EAC...I'd think the latter, because it is all energy damage, but unarmed strikes are normally vs. KAC.

Pretty clearly EAC by RAW, as there is no caveat like with Plasma Sheath. Just making sure this was intended.

I unfortunately can't even speculate on the intent of the 9th and 17th level powers. Not enough information.


I just want to point out that it says in shields

SF:COM p.124 wrote:
Shields that allow you to use them to make unarmed attacks can have weapon fusions added to them, treating their item level as their weapon item level, and can be made of any special materials that can also be used to make melee weapons. The effects of these modifications are applied to unarmed attacks made with the shield.
and that Gather Qi says
SF:COM p.90 wrote:
You condense your body’s qi into a beam of superheated plasma, allowing you to make unarmed attacks at range, with a range increment of 30 feet.

Plasma Blast isn't a spell, it an enhancement to unarmed attack.

Honestly, it would have been so much cooler if you can channel the Plasma Blast through any melee weapon. Let me be the youxia I want to be!!

As for Bountiful Qi. Would be nice if they would just give us the enhanced version of each ability for free, or maybe give an ability that allows us to spend points to enhance one ability.

Oh, and one last thing. It's not anime inspired. It's based on Chinese fantasy. Anime inspired would have given us flash step instead.


Grave Knight wrote:
Oh, and one last thing. It's not anime inspired. It's based on Chinese fantasy. Anime inspired would have given us flash step instead.

Well, you have a point, though anime does have a lot of wuxia influence itself.


Dracomicron wrote:

There is so much cool stuff in COM, and so many questions about how stuff works. Let's look at the Qi Adept Soldier fighting style. It's definitely anime-inspired, and I very much want to play with it, but i have questions.

At level 5, you can spend 1 Resolve to get one of three Gather Qi bonuses until you rest for 8 hours, and one of those bonuses is Plasma Blast, allowing you to make unarmed attacks with a 30' range increment. Also, all of your melee attacks do Electricity and Fire damage, and gain the Stunned critical hit effect.

With the Qi Blast, I think the electricity/fire damage is only when you make those ranged attacks, with the Stunned critical hit effect on the ranged attacks.

My question is since soldier allows you to add Wound/Severe Wound to your unarmed strikes with the Unarmed Mauler gear boost, would that carry to Qi Blast?

And does Qi blast target EAC, since its all energy damage?
(sorry if this second one has been asked. I'd think it does given the damage type)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
zoliathan wrote:


With the Qi Blast, I think the electricity/fire damage is only when you make those ranged attacks, with the Stunned critical hit effect on the ranged attacks.

No, it explicitly says that all the damage from your unarmed melee is now electricity/fire.

All your unarmed attacks deal electricity and fire damage and gain the stunned critical hit effect.

Quote:
My question is since soldier allows you to add Wound/Severe Wound to your unarmed strikes with the Unarmed Mauler gear boost, would that carry to Qi Blast?

Yes, Unarmed Mauler would work, but you'd have to choose between Wound/Severe Wound and Stunned, because of the rider on Unarmed Mauler. If we find an unarmed crit effect that doesn't have the rider, that's when we get the tricky situation of wondering if it stacks with Stunned.

Quote:

And does Qi blast target EAC, since its all energy damage?

(sorry if this second one has been asked. I'd think it does given the damage type)

Yes. It does not have a kinetic component, so unless Paizo issues a clarification that it attacks KAC despite being energy, by RAW it is EAC.

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Rules Questions / COM: Qi Adept Unarmed Combat All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.