Taking 10 in starship combat


Rules Questions


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am assuming that you couldn’t take 10 on a skill during starship combat. With that being said would the Operative’s specialization skill mastery allow you to take 10 is you have skill focus with the associated skill?


It lets them take 10 on a skill check during in person combat, I don't see why it wouldn't during starship combat. Though, note that a gunnery check isn't a skill check.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A piloting check though uses pilot. Our operative would like to take skill a focus piloting for her 7th level feat. Wasn’t completely sure if I missed something.

Also nothing actually specifies that it is actually combat. It simply states you can take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent you from doing so. So any situation that isn’t combat related but imposes stress or distractions the operative could do so,

So with that my being stated how about a reword of the original question, would starship combat fit any of these prerequisites?


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

I would absolutely classify ship combat as a high stress situation that would normally prevent taking 10 on anything, yes.

I'm really not sure what you're trying to get at with the "Also nothing actually specifies that it is actually combat" though? Combat is a stressful situation where you cannot normally Take 10. The operative ability allows you to take 10 in combat.

Similarly, Starship Combat is a stressful situation where you cannot normally Take 10. The operative ability allows you to take 10 in Starship Combat.


Actually...I'm vaguely recalling some time back that the devs said they didn't intend for any character abilities to be accessible during starship combat except for skill points.

But I don't have a reference for that off hand.

If true, that would preclude that ability from working.


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

There is the statement on page 322 that "Class features and items affect crew actions only if specifically noted in the class feature or item."

But as I recall, there was later some clarification that features that are part if your skill roll (like Expertise) do function. That's why I put the horrifically powerful Take 10 ability in the same bucket.

Additionally, note that the statement is "applicable to crew actions, and that the sidebar also on page 322 does leave the door open for some Non-crew actions during starship combat. GM discretion does come into play, there.

"OTHER ACTIONS IN STARSHIP COMBATWhile your role determines what actions you can take during a starship combat encounter, on occasion you might want to perform some other kind of action, such as casting a spell or using a class feature. The GM has the final say on what kind of regular actions you can take, but generally, you can take only a move or standard action in a single round, and you can take only a minor crew action (see page 326) during that round. You aren’t assumed to be adjacent to any of your allies during starship combat, so the GM might also decide that you need to take an additional round to get close enough to an ally to affect him with an ability or spell. Any such action is resolved at the beginning of the round, before the engineering phase"


Open Crew Actions are pretty much an option for the players who doesn't wall to roll dice in starship combat... or even be there for it.


as far as I can tell the FAQ nuked the idea of class abilities not working in combat from orbit. So if you have skill focus piloting and a higher bonus than the other guy, taking 10 is a good call.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
as far as I can tell the FAQ nuked the idea of class abilities not working in combat from orbit. So if you have skill focus piloting and a higher bonus than the other guy, taking 10 is a good call.

The FAQ did no such thing. What it did is clarify what should have been obvious from the beginning: that class abilities that only effect a character, still only effect that character. Which, seeing as if that weren't true, ship combat would be impossible because *all your skill codes are class abilities*. . .

Probably, they should have phrased it "Ship Combat is not Combat, Ship Turns are not normal Turns, and Ship Actions are not the same as normal Actions. Characters abilities, equipment, or any other source that alters a character's available Move, Attack, and Quick actions have no effect on Ship Combat, because Ship Combat does not use any of those action types. Similarly, abilities that alter any form of attack action do not apply in Ship Combat, because Gunnery checks are not attacks. Etc."


Metaphysician wrote:


The FAQ did no such thing. What it did is clarify what should have been obvious from the beginning: that class abilities that only effect a character, still only effect that character. Which, seeing as if that weren't true, ship combat would be impossible because *all your skill codes are class abilities*. . .

I really can't follow your line of logic here.

The only thing i saw the pre FAQ rule do was shut off the operatives take 10 and the envoys d6 to...most of their captaining skills. Post FAQ those are nuked. The OPs question was about an operative taking 10 in combat, not trying to trick attack with a nuclear weapon.

Sovereign Court

Operatives taking 10 in regular combat is off topic (and answered elsewhere).

As to the interpretation of the snippet on page 322; the FAQ states:

FAQ wrote:

Under "Actions" on page 322 it is stated "Class features and items affect crew actions only if specifically noted in the class feature or action." Does this mean I can't benefit from the skill bonus of operative's edge, or an envoy's skill expertise?

No. When actions taken in starship combat call for a skill check, any class feature that grants bonuses to or allows rerolls with the relevant skill applies when using that skill as part of starship combat. This is an exception to the rule.

Taking 10 isn't a bonus and it isn't a reroll, so that means that operatives can't use Specialization Skill Mastery in starship combat.


Ascalaphus wrote:

Operatives taking 10 in regular combat is off topic (and answered elsewhere).

As to the interpretation of the snippet on page 322; the FAQ states:

FAQ wrote:

Under "Actions" on page 322 it is stated "Class features and items affect crew actions only if specifically noted in the class feature or action." Does this mean I can't benefit from the skill bonus of operative's edge, or an envoy's skill expertise?

No. When actions taken in starship combat call for a skill check, any class feature that grants bonuses to or allows rerolls with the relevant skill applies when using that skill as part of starship combat. This is an exception to the rule.

Taking 10 isn't a bonus and it isn't a reroll, so that means that operatives can't use Specialization Skill Mastery in starship combat.

I think that answer is underinclusive and overspecific. The take 10 scenario was neither asked nor covered by that answer. I honestly don't know what they answer would be if they'd addressed it.


Based on the content of that FAQ, I would say it's probable that the Take 10 ability for operatives would fall under the auspices of being a "bonus".

However, that might make it too good as then operatives would be the absolute best at any starship role (they took as a skill) by virtually guaranteeing the outcome of the rolls.

As a GM, I might allow it in a couple combat to see how good it is, but I would be concerned that it might trivialize space combat, if say your operative was a pilot and just took 10 on all the piloting checks.


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

There's no real debate that the operative Take 10 ability is too good. But since it's too good everywhere else, too, not just in space, being too good doesn't mean it's not working as intended.

As far as I can tell, the prohibition against using Take 10 for the nebulous defined "crucial effect as a key part of the adventure's story" is the only limitation on that ability.

Sovereign Court

Xenocrat wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

Operatives taking 10 in regular combat is off topic (and answered elsewhere).

As to the interpretation of the snippet on page 322; the FAQ states:

FAQ wrote:

Under "Actions" on page 322 it is stated "Class features and items affect crew actions only if specifically noted in the class feature or action." Does this mean I can't benefit from the skill bonus of operative's edge, or an envoy's skill expertise?

No. When actions taken in starship combat call for a skill check, any class feature that grants bonuses to or allows rerolls with the relevant skill applies when using that skill as part of starship combat. This is an exception to the rule.

Taking 10 isn't a bonus and it isn't a reroll, so that means that operatives can't use Specialization Skill Mastery in starship combat.
I think that answer is underinclusive and overspecific. The take 10 scenario was neither asked nor covered by that answer. I honestly don't know what they answer would be if they'd addressed it.

I agree than it wasn't explicitly asked for in the FAQ question, but there was only book at that point and while re-reading their classes to see how they should phrase the FAQ, they could have certainly seen it, and decided not to include it.

It's a typical case of Paizo not saying something works, and us wondering if that's because they forgot, or if they meant for it not to work.

Them being a bit more explicit to say that it does or doesn't work would have been helpful.

Sovereign Court

Claxon wrote:
Based on the content of that FAQ, I would say it's probable that the Take 10 ability for operatives would fall under the auspices of being a "bonus".

"Bonus" has an explicit definition in the CRB, and Take 10 wouldn't qualify for that:

CRB p. 512 (Glossary) wrote:
Bonus: This is a positive numeric modifier you add to a die roll or a static value as the game rules dictate. Two bonuses of the same type usually don’t stack with each other. See pages 266–267.

Although the wider explanation on page 266 seems to give more latitude:

CRB p. 266 wrote:

BONUSES

The term “bonus” in Starfinder can refer to a benefit you receive outside the typical framework, such as if a monster gains a bonus feat. Sometimes the total you add to a die roll after all calculations is referred to as a bonus, such as your initiative bonus or an attack’s damage bonus. Other bonuses are divided into specific different types, representing the varying conditions and circumstances that provide bonuses to various numbers or values within the game.

Well, Operative Specialization granting a skill focus bonus feat certainly qualifies. But the rest of that whole section just talks about bonus types (circumstance, morale etc.), so I still don't think that the freedom to Take 10 is really a bonus in the mechanical sense of the word.


I'm not saying that it 100% is, but there's enough reason for me to think it might be covered in that FAQ as being allowed.

But as a GM, I'd probably be inclined not to allow it anyways.

In regular combat, taking 10 on skills is nice but rarely does combat hinge on it.

In space combat, players basically only interact with the game world through skill checks. So being able to take 10 would make you a god of space combat.

Sovereign Court

Yeah, I can't say for sure they intended to not allow it in the FAQ; just that a strict reading does that.

But I agree with you that Take 10 doesn't seem like a good idea for space combat. For the same reason that you can't Take 10 on to-hit rolls in regular combat.

I was soooo skeptical about PF2 not using Take 10 at all anymore, but in practice it works quite well, because there you're only supposed to roll for things where the outcome is supposed to be uncertain.


Ascalaphus wrote:

Yeah, I can't say for sure they intended to not allow it in the FAQ; just that a strict reading does that.

But I agree with you that Take 10 doesn't seem like a good idea for space combat. For the same reason that you can't Take 10 on to-hit rolls in regular combat.

I was soooo skeptical about PF2 not using Take 10 at all anymore, but in practice it works quite well, because there you're only supposed to roll for things where the outcome is supposed to be uncertain.

If I can take 10 to duct tape a nuclear reactor before it explodes on the ground I don't see why I can't duct tape a nuclear reactor before it explodes in space.

Oh wait. sorry.

IIIIIiiiiiiIIIIiin SPAAAaaAAAaaAAaaAAaace


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

Yeah, I can't say for sure they intended to not allow it in the FAQ; just that a strict reading does that.

But I agree with you that Take 10 doesn't seem like a good idea for space combat. For the same reason that you can't Take 10 on to-hit rolls in regular combat.

I was soooo skeptical about PF2 not using Take 10 at all anymore, but in practice it works quite well, because there you're only supposed to roll for things where the outcome is supposed to be uncertain.

If I can take 10 to duct tape a nuclear reactor before it explodes on the ground I don't see why I can't duct tape a nuclear reactor before it explodes in space.

Oh wait. sorry.

IIIIIiiiiiiIIIIiin SPAAAaaAAAaaAAaaAAaace

Because reasons

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