Galactic Magic spells discussion


General Discussion

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Let's talk about spells here. I'm going to go through them in order alphabetically.

Accelerate Step - I'm not sure you want to invest in this with the plan to run around enemies and get attacked so often that it will probably negate a hit or two. Would be ok if it lasted an entire round when you moved rather than just the movement. And why is step on here, since you can't be attacked while stepping, some weird readied action aside?

Acid Puddle - Persistent Explosive Blast, but with acid. Effectivley does 8d6 to start (6d6 on cast, 2d6 when targets start their turn), so you only need them to spend one more turn in the area to push the damage ahead of Explosive Blast, and the area denial is worthwhile as well. Plus acid is less resisted than fire. Good spell, I think.

Adamantine Shot - Like Ectoplasmic Barrage, but you can hit up to three targets instead of two and you can't hit one target with more than one projectile (which you probably can with EB). AS does more damage overall if you have three targets, EB does more if you have 1-2 targets, but AS also can try to force doors or break things. It's fine, not great. I wouldn't take it given all the other Techno/WW damaging spells. I don't know why SFS banned it.

Adhere: This seems like it can adhere a door to a door frame, so that's nice to slow down pursuers. The entangle trap feature is nice, too. I'd pick this up with Reality Glimmer or Techmantic Dabbler for sure.

Akashic Investigation: It's fine as an investigation spell, I guess, with decent limitations on being too usful (i.e. identifying people who did the things or hearing exactly what they said). Is it enough different from Retrocognition to exist?

Anchor: You can, uh, tie something to an immovable object or terrain feature at medium spell range for a long time. Cool? But it as a spell gem mid career than shock yourself at actually finding a use for it late campaign, maybe.

Antimagic Burst: It's PF1 disjunction, sort of, but still with a CL check, and effects supernatural effects, short duration on magic/hybrid items, and no artifact destruction. Greater Dispel Magic will usually do enough, but this is nice for just messing up all magic of all types.

Autopilot: It should exist in the world, it might be useful on a spell gem, but unless you're running magical uber without investing real autopilots in your cars or you have a bunch of cheap car bombs to send out you aren't learning this.

Battle Sonata: Decent sonic damage for Mystics, but very short range cone. The stagger round on failed save makes it decent, I guess. It's no competition to TM/WW blasting spells, though.

Biome Adaptation: Ignoring nonmagical difficult terrain in a given biome is pretty good, but you'll train out of this later and there's already plenty of ways to avoid or mitigate difficult terrain at all levels.

Blessing of Youth: Heals stamina at range at the same dice progression of Mystic Cure (but without ability score added or the ability to transfer your own health, and no big dice boost option at higher levels). The speed bonus is negligible and covered by a very common augmentation, but if you want to spam healing as soon as someone gets injured, rather than after they're in HP and close to going down, this exists and is a nice Precog niche ability.

Broadcast Message: I feel like a bullhorn with recorder could probably do most of this cheaply, but can those receiving the message tell where it came from? Good for social campaigns where you need to use proganda. Definitely a spell gem or for a prepared caster, though, not something you learn.

Bypass Password: I don't understand how this works. Identify is (maybe) supposed to give you passwords that then give you a bonus on hacking. This just lets you bypass any feature that incorporates a password? Is this an autohack spell if they have a password, useless if they don't have a password (but do have a keycard or neither but you still have to hack for access?)? What "the DC of the computer password"? Do they mean the hacking DC of an item that has a password? I think I'd use that DC and then let it give you the "I know the password" bonus for three separate hacking checks. Identify learning passwords easily was too cheap.

Calm the Storm: It's weaker than Mind of Three (AP spell) but at least it's higher level and shorter duration. Also available to PC and WW, which Mind of Three isn't even if allowed. But with all the reroll save abilities out there I don't think this spell is worth it. Maybe at level 3. (Compare to Probability Prediction, which doesn't last longer but give broader reroll options without the +2 bonus to mind affecting saves.)

More to come.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah, I love the cantrips in Galactic Magic - Adhere, Misfire, and Stumble (and maaaaybe Psychokinetic Shove?) do a lot to make a non-weapon focused spellcaster a viable option.


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Channel the Outer Sphere - This is impressively terrible single target (unless you have vertically stacked fliers) every round damage for a 6th level spell that only lasts until you take damage and break your concentration. But alignment permitting you have between 3 and 5 options to choose from for buff/debuffs, and some of those are mediocre on top of the terribad damage. And 1 full round casting time! Yikes.

Cheat Time - Pathfinder Time Stop, but 1 full round casting time makes it riskier to try to get it off. Buff and battlefield control spells (you don't have summons) are the obvious choices, but don't sleep on spamming disarm/manipulate object/move actions to try to take weapons away from 2-3 enemies who will suffer greatly without them. Then end with a blast/explode weapon attack or spell attack.

Chrono Leap - I think you're supposed to use this to toss a melee ally into a crowd, do some minor damage, and hopefully knock them prone right before he attacks and before they can stand up. Is that worth a 5th level slot? I dunno. If he's a Solarian he can have a pretty decent zenith revalation or two that does the same thing for him but better.

Climate Adaptation - Environmental old/heat became even less of a threat if you learn this cantrip. I've seen some people mad about this, but there were already plenty of ways to deal with it. Yes, one part of one AP module just got easier (if you know about it and if you learn this cantrip, which why would you if you don't know about it?). Deal with it.

Command Icon - +2 morale(!) bonus to intimidation is very nice for some builds, don't care about the light and save bonuses.

Communal Bond - Affects the whole party, long lasting, level 1. Minor effects, but a fear save bonus is fine, I guess, and the bonus to aid/harry/cover fire could be useful. If you're using those options at mid level this is a decent 1st level spell.

Companion Bond - Share feelings (thoughts if they're smart enough) with your pet. Mostly a flavor thing, but maybe a smart animal companion can serve as a telepathically linked scout or lookout in some circumstances.

Dampen Spell - This is a very nice reaction, low level (1-2) counterspell option. Make the CL check and you can change some aspect of an offensive spell. At level 1 you can half the range (effectively negating in some circumstances), make an aoe do an off target grenade-like miss, or exclude one target from an aoe/multitarget for most effect. At level 2 you can half the number of targets or half the damage. Not a bad use of low level slots to limit higher level spells.

Day's Weariness - Some damage plus fatigue, good if you can fatigue stack to exhausted, but you'll grow out of it at higher levels.

Death's Door - The Precog's signature single target damaging spell, the damage itself isn't good (you have longarms proficiency for free!), but the ability damage may be useful at higher levels.

Dissonance Strike - It's fine, it's a 1st level touch spell that you'll outgrow. Eliminating a reaction for 1 round is niche but certainly can be useful.

Distant Speech - See Broadcast Message, but this is outloud and a cantrip. I can definitely see this used to cause chaos or distractions by making announcements to crowds or inside buildings.

Distract - Would you use a 2nd level spell that gives a save just to be able to attempt a ranged feint action with mysticism instead of bluff? Yeah, that's a yikes from me too, dawg.

Dream of Home - It fascinates and it's only level 1. Still too high level for this condition, but until the fascinate cantrip appears it's the best fascinate spell in the game. Charm Person still exists, though.

Duplicate Data - Copy data to your own storage media then take it away and hack/decrypt at your leisure away from guards and other threats on site. More hacking support is always nice for Technos playing a shadowrun style campaign.

Elemental Convergence - It's a 4th level Explosive Blast that does 1 die less damage, but a bigger area, but centered on you, and lets you mix two elemental damage types of your choice. It also leaves difficult terrain (which you're trapped in, but at this level you have Force Soles Mk2, right?). Hmmm. Maybe for a Mystic, WW already has blasting and control options better than this.

Empathic Communication - Help mime awkward first contact situations at 1st level.

Empathic Support - 2nd level, this is a very strong support buff if you can afford a character to do nothing but give aid/coverying fire/harrying fire every round. Instead of numerical bonuses, you (or the enemy) rolls twice and takes the better/worse. As an aid on hacking where you might have to make multiple attempts over several rounds, this is fantastic. If you're a bad shot or have a bad weapon and want to just use harrying/covering fire every round this isn't a bad use of your first action and a spell slot - help that soldier or operative try to get a crit or land that all important first hit.

To be continued.


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Fist of Damoritosh: Weak line damage, plus prone on a failed save. Sixth!!! level???

Fluid Morphism - 1st level, decent duration, a +2 enhancement bonus to ability/skill checks, and you can chance what attribute it keys off. Enhancement bonuses are very hard to come by for skill checks, I think (vampire voice for intimidation is the only thing I can remember off hand), so this is quite strong for tech, social, and stealth/acrobatics skills depending on what you're doing.

Fluidity of Form - Choose a benefit every round, you have to change every round. Additional Arms seems useless, because you'd have to use actions to draw items to hold, then the arms go away and you drop them next round. Legs is a speed bonus you probably already have from augmentations or another source, amorphous is a great option to swap into when entangled or grappled, damage reduction/energy resistance are always good, shrink is unlikely to be useful, and stretch is good if you're melee. So, meh? A melee guy can swap between reach/DR every other round, maybe, and amorphous if he gets grappled? I don't see this as a wise investment, wish the arms were actually useful, maybe if you allow an auto draw/stow of equipment when they grow or go away.

Forecage - If you go barred it's a bigger and tougher, I think, Resilient Sphere. Is it worth 2 extra spell levels? I dunno, maybe for trapping big melee things then shooting through the bars, even with the granted improved cover. Note that the spell doesn't list Precog as a caster who can use it, but it does show up on the separate Precog spell list.

Furious Shriek - It's fine! Variable level 1-6, 30' spread centered on caster, sonic damage, shaken and eventually staggered debuffs at higest spell levels. You also get some bonus damage when you're seriously hurt. Downside is that it targets fort save, not reflex, but I'd rather have this as a 6th level than Fist of D.

Glowing Wall - Long duration, large area, stationary light source. Horizontal plane means you can put 8x10' squares on the ceiling or floor, so this is Light Up a Room, But Disco, the cantrip.

Gravity Tether - Melee spell with weak damage that makes it harder for those hit to move away from you and you can burn actions to pull them closer. This doesn't do anything for me, but maybe there's a Spell Sergeant build for it.

Grim Insight - Melee spell with decent damage and can inflict shaken. But explosive blast is the same level and does the same damage, so nooooooooo. Unless you really like Spell Sergeants.

Harness Lightning - Provides cover against electricity only spells/weapons (so not plasma), and if someone actually shoots some at you it provide a standard action attack with no save or attack roll. Very niche, no thanks.

Helping Hands - free move action to draw/reload/activate, and +2 circumstance on engineering or sleight of hand checks. Very good for a build that needs lots of actions for item activation or drawing items while still wanting to move. Still decent for th eengineering boost, maybe, although I think specialty tool kits have that covered.

Holographic Interface - Remote hacking for Technos via cantrip. It's not subtle, but if you don't want to stand next to the computer you're hacking you don't have to. Suck it, shock grids.


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Ice Prison - Level 6, it's basically Hold Monster (level 4), but not mind affecting, targets reflex instead of will, does cold damage every round, and you can't effectively attack your target while it's paralyzed. I say Forcecage is probably better, don't worry about them escaping, maybe trap multiple creatures, and if they're melee focused or short ranged you can shoot at them and they can't shoot back.

Injury Echo - The Precog version of Telekinetic Projectile, but will negates rather than an attack roll, so this ages poorly even if you take the scaling cantrips rule.

Locate Hive - Why? GPS exists. Inertial guidance exists.

Magic Mark - Finally, sigil comes to SF and we can sleep.

Magic Seal - Fail a will save and your first attempt per round to cast magic or use Su abilities on anyone but yourself are subject to a counterspell attempt. Great way to mess up a caster, but also those with bad Su attacks, like dragon breath weapons or weird mind control abilities. I reall love the anti-magic spells in this book. Magic Seal, Greater can affect everyone in an area, but they get to save every round, and it has a 1 round casting time, so it's worse from some viewpoints.

Measure - Niche cantrip that could be useful in rare situations. "Gee, why does that huge creature [who happens to a small creature under a Veil spell] register as weighing so little and being so short?"

Misfire - It's daze, but for a weapon that uses ammo, so no mind affecting issues. Not bad!

Modulate Frequency - Make a target unable to tell its voice activated devices and constructs what to do. Pretty niche, but cool when it matters.

Mystical Aegis - Amazing! +2 morale(!!) bonus to save against spells and Su abilities, half damage from spells and Su (lol breath weapons), evasion against spells and Su (double LOL breath weapons), half damage from summoned creatures, and 45 temp HP against spell/summon/Su damage. When depleted the spell ends. Basically this no sells spell/Su damage, for more and for longer the better you can make your saves. The Greater Mystic Aegis gives 100 temp HP and a Death Ward (lucky Technos), and there's a Mass version, too. Poor Precogs and WW don't have access.

Negate Spell - Reaction counterspell, burn a 3rd level spell to try to negate a spell of 3rd level or below. Better than Dampen Spell in that it can totally negate, but worse in that Dampen can reduce the effects of spells level 4+.

Omnitool - Cantrip to change anything into a tool kit, but no bonuses like you get from the speciality tool kits. An always prepared cantrip that can save you some money if you didn't want those bonuses.

Orient - If you're on an undeveloped planet and really need to know where you are and get some survival help this exists, but you probably don't need it.

Osmose - If you have 1 minute to cast this spell and scan a data source for relevant information, you might have the many minutes or even couple of hours necessary to do it without spending a 2nd level spell. But maybe it's a spell gem for high stakes learn and react missions.

Physical Stability - It's the same level as Dispel Magic, but is a worse Dispel Magic against transmutation effects while alternatively giving a save bonus against transmutation effects. Why are you so worried about transmutation effects?

Plasma Snare - Complicated. Reach melee spell that entangles, continues to damage while the entanglement lasts, can be reaction detonated for extra AOE damage and some burning condition damage, including after the creature escapes. This seems like a cool Spell Sergeant option.

Proximity Alert - Alarm, but weird that higher CR creatures are somehow immune.

Psychokinetic Shove - Ranged Bull Rush cantrip, but they get a reflex save first. Cool for helping melee allies even if unlikely to work often.

Quick Change - Cantrip disguise self, but for armor/clothing only. So you can "put on" a uniform or special set of clothes to try to influence or convince someone, but only 10 minutes duration, so make it quick.


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Radiation Ray - Not good, Bob! Ranged attack to do some fire damage plus exposure to high radiation to a single target. Compare to Irradiate, two spell levels lower, which can expose a lot more targets to radiation, eventually even severe radiation. Both grant a save, and this one can miss.

Realign - Stabilize in zero-gravity. Didn't GEM give us a fly in space cantrip that is better than this?

Remembrance - Divination but for the past. Get knowledge of what happened in the past rather than a prediction about the future. Pretty good research spell, imo.

Remote Pilot - I think this is just straight better than the auto pilot spell for PCs and they're the same level. You can (touch range, so be careful) cast this on an occupied enemy vehicle and then fight them for control every round, which they're going to auto fail at if they don't have a pilot skill, probably succeed at if they do.

Restore Consumable - Use 2nd level spell slots and reactions to flexibly buy consumables as they are used. Let's the party keep just one of a broad range of potentially useful consumables on hand then replenish them in the field via a pool of UPBs or credits as they're used. Great for things like fringe spell gems that you think you might need to use again or nanite hypopens for condition removal if more than one of your party is suffering. Please for the love of god don't spend money on grenades this way, you fool.

Rewrite Time - Wish/Miracle for Precogs.

Rhapsodic Aegis - 10 temp HP for the whole party, plus 5 sonic resistance. 3rd level Mystic only, so pass unless you have a huge party to benefit from temp HP or suffer lots of sonic attacks.

Shared Gravity - Long lasting big spread of changed gravity up/down one level, great for long term adventuring in annoying gravity zones. Less useful for trying to jerk enmies around, since they get a save and your allies would also be affected. But level 4, so a big investment unless you do lots of high/low gravity adventures you want to counter.

Sharpen Senses - +3 insight bonus to Perception is good, blindsight is good, but no range listed on it is bad. Maybe it's 60'? If you do already have blindsight that range doubles. Note that GEM already had a good spell to provide blindsense/sight, but Precogs can get this one and the bonus to perception is useful.

Sniper's Edge - This is too high level. There are just too many double roll abilities to burn a 5th level spell on this. (Compare to Probability Prediction, a 3rd level spell.) The move action and double up with a sniper aim action are fine, I guess, if you can't precast or use a reaction on an alternate double roll ability, but 5th level is just too steep to improve your expected damage on a single shot with a sniper, not exactly the most powerful weapon class.

Social Reset - A reaction and a 2nd level spell to negate failed social blunder to improve someone's attitude or gather information. Hope you can explain why you cast a spell with no warning!

Sonic Scream - 4th level, sonice cone damage, slightly more damage than exposive blast, slightly more damage if cast underwater plus a 1 round nauseate underwater on a failed save. Good for underwater campaigns and environments, maybe not otherwise, but Mystics at least don't have that many better blasting options.

Soul Surge - Variable level 1-6 ranged attack that uses your key attribute, but damages you in the attempt equal to your number of damage dice. At 6th level it does 108 vs 93.5 for a Mind Thrust, but also does 24 damage to the caster, does nothing on a miss (vs half on a save for Mind Thrust), and doesn't have the debuff that Mind Thrust does at that level. But force descriptor and no mind affecting, so. I would probably give it a miss, but it may have its place if you're a full BAB equivalent Warmonger or Mystic Smith option you hits more often and doesn't mind hitting yourself in the face while eschewing weapons.

Spark - It's a big lighter. Cantrips are too good now to waste one on this.

Spiritual Bonds - +1 morale bonus to all saves is nice, and it allows party members with RP to stabilize/get up a downed ally who might be out of RP, although it costs a standard action to do it. Good support spell for tough encounters.

Star Touch - High level melee spell, has some radiation and knock prone side effects and potential spread effects to get more than one target. Definitely a good Spell Sergeant option at high levels.

Star Wall - Wall of Fire, but stronger, and plasma damage, and radiation emission. Round/level after concentration ends and ongoing high/medium radiation emitting from one side can actually be decently nasty, I kind of like this one a lot as a potential gimmick.

Stumble: Cantrip to make a target half speed and off target for one round. It's fine compared to something like daze if you don't want CR and mind affecting limitations.

Summon Corpse: This is a 6th level spell to get the body you left behind for Raise Dead purposes. Contrary to what I've seen on the discord, there's no reason to believe this creatues a body that was destroyed or disintegrated, just brings you what, if anything, still exists somewhere. May I suggest just doing reincarnation until you get a result you're happy with?


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Suppressing Field - Establish a long lasting area where all spells into or from the area are subject to 2nd level Dampening Field. Decent magic area denial for a 4th level spell.

Swap Initiative - 1st level reaction to trade initiative with an ally. Specific overuling general, this seems to allow you to cast the spell even before your own initiative comes up the first time to swap and go first if an ally rolled better initiative than you.

Temporal Bullets - 3rd level reaction to inflict damage on a creature from a missed weapon attack. Reflex half, max 40 damage. Compare to the terrible Sniper's Edge - instead of rolling your bad weapon twice, just retroactively apply damage on a miss with a reaction and a lower level spell. Or use any of another other, cheaper double roll abilities then if they don't take up a reaction have Temporal Bullets as another backup.

Temporal Flash - 5th level reaction spell, also costs 1 RP but lets you completely negate a damaging hit or spell as you teleport away within a move range. This is nice, if expensive.

Time Crawl - A precog crowd control, set up an area of difficult terrain that also makes those within staggered. Even making the save makes those within at least slower on top of the difficult terrain.

Time Loop - Precog only debuff, gives 1 round of confusion (not a mind-affecting spell!) and rounds of entangled, or off-target even if they make the save. Compares very favorably to that bad Inflict Pain spell in the CRB, especially the Mass versions which are 4th for Time Loop and 6th for Inflict Pain.

Time's Edge - Lightning bolt, but slashing damage. Meh, but yet another defensible Mystic blasting option.

Tracking Mark - This is an NPC spell. Maybe a spell gem if you have some unique situation to deal with.

Uncanny Lucky - Precogs and WWs have yet more reaction options. 2nd level spell to reroll a bad save or try to make an enemy reroll his attack (if he fails a save). Latter option to be used for crits, obviously.

Undo Mistake - Someone needs to undo the mistake of this spell. 5th level and a resolve point just to remotely let someone reroll a failed skill check with a +2 bonus?! Empathic Support is just 2nd level and lets me do serial aid checks to let them constantly roll twice on skill checks, no thanks.

Unmask - Strip off magical, physical, and shapeshifting disguises, and keep you out of them for a while. Good for detectives and counterintelligence agents, I guess.

Unravel Magic - Disenchant a magic item. Why you would wish to do this is not clear.

Usurp Spell - Yet another fantastic counter magic and reaction spell, this one lets you take over and cast the enemy spell as you see fit rather than negate it. Amazing.

Vanishing Trick - Cantrip to make unattended objects briefly invisible. Possibly useful at mid levels to smuggle things past security relying solely on visible detection of contraband. Cast, pick up, walk to an unobserved location before it goes visible again.


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Void Grasp - Melee spell damage, temp HP drain, sickened condition. Not bad at all.

Wall of Earth - Cheaper than Wall of Stone or Steel (3rd level), but no hardness.

Wall of Fog - One way concealment wall! Only 1st level. If there's no wind and you just want to sit in one place to shoot from this is decent protection for your party.

Wall of Ice - Easier to break than Wall of Earth, but no RP cost and does some cold damage to those who break through. Both 3rd level.

Wall of Steam - As wall of Fog, but also some small fire damage for those near or passing through it.

Wave of Warning - Ranged attack against three targets that also makes them shaken. Nonlethal if that's a thing you want in your 5th level offensive spells.

Weight of Ages - Good range and decent damage (avg 45, spell level 5) multitarget spell that also makes targets encumbered. Too bad encumbered is such a bad condition, especially for NPCs. If you can somehow stack them to overburdened it's better.

X-Ray Vision - Alas, this is the cheap 1/5 penetration version from the serum and goggles, and not the full version from the expensive augmentations. Let's you see through wood/stone buildings and normal metal doors, but not much else.


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Woo more spells! It's been a while since there was a solid influx of new magic to talk about, and now we've gotten a veritable bounty. Here's some of my thoughts on the first quarter or so, with spoilers to organize by spell. I think I mostly came to similar conclusions as you did Xenocrat.

Accelerate Step:
Exceedingly bad. Low duration means its limited to in-combat casting only. Only functions vs AoOs, more or less, and only grants 20% concealment. Even in the rare situations where you'd benefit, its not even close to a reliable defense.

Acid Puddle:
Agreed with Xenocrat's comments. Very solid alternative to explosive blast. Avoids SR. Sometimes deals way more damage due to foes not being able to leave it. Does the Reflex save apply to the ongoing damage each time? I'm guessing you save again every round. Note that damage amping class features like harmful spells don't work with it because its not instantaneous.

Adamantine Shot:
Somewhat unclearly written. The way I'm reading it, when you target only one creature, you still get three projectiles and you could send them all at that one creature. If this is right, the spell does very good single-target damage. However, the spell doesn't specify if this is a normal ranged attack or something else. If its a normal ranged attack, you'll fall far behind in accuracy at higher levels, so the effective damage ends up dropping off hard. I like it overall - piercing hardness and DR (even if they're uncommon) is good, and it has some utility to it as well. A particularly inflexible GM might point out that the breach property and "target: up to three creatures" don't work with one another.

Adhere:
A+ cantrip. Utility, trap making, and solid flavor. I assume the entangled creature is anchored to the adhered square, though it isn't stated specifically. Not excessively powerful, but I will definitely want to pick this up.

Akashic Investigation:
Seems very tame for a 6th level spell. Not being able to see specific people or hear what's spoken is rather restrictive. Also being limited to the past day narrows how often you'll make use of this. I'm surprised it isn't a couple levels lower.

Anchor:
Maybe I'm just not creative right now, but I don't see a good use for this beyond setting up cables to climb? Seems like cheap mundane equipment like a grappler + cable line should be just as effective, if not more so.

Antimagic Burst:
Super Dispel Magic! Not much to say here except that its an excellent upgrade to greater dispel and a really good "high level magic" example. Would be happy to have this in every campaign.

Autopilot:
A fixed piloting bonus means this spell won't be winning you any chase scenes. Seems like a fine narrative spell, but not one I'd be looking to pick up. Most campaigns will never get a chance to use this.

Battle Sonata:
In a system where AoOs hit often and easily disrupt spellcasting, being up close is a big risk. 15ft cone is really close. I can't imagine catching more than one or two foes in it most of the time. Thankfully, the damage, damage type, and bonus debuff here are all very solid. Definitely a neat thematic spell, at least.

Biome Adaptation:
I haven't encountered too much difficult terrain in adventures, but this low level spell does wonders to mitigate it while also granting some nice bonuses. I like the long duration as well. Seems like a good spell for a spell gem or four.

Blessing of Youth:
Healing stamina doesn't end encounters, but if you like this kind of support role, this spell does the job. That said, I think envoy or medic mystic are still far better for this kind of thing.

Broadcast Message:
This seems like it'd be extremely annoying in universe. The caster keeps telepathically repeating a message to everyone in range for up to several minutes, and there's no save or way to avoid it short of running away. Otherwise, a fine variant on telepathic message, but of pretty niche use. Probably a spell gem candidate.

Bypass Password:
Like Xenocrat mentioned, I have no idea how this interfaces with the normal rules for hacking.

Calm the Storm:
Fantastic self-buff. Lasts for a long time and stacks with most everything, plus lets you do a reroll. I can think of some APs where this would be very useful.

Channel the Outer Sphere:
As a 6th level spell, it deals damage that tickles, provides relatively minor debuffs, and hits only one target a round. Just very very underwhelming. Reminds me of call lightning storm from pathfinder - low damage and persistent.

Cheat Time:
Time stop, more or less. Being able to buff and prepare with 5 standard actions before letting loose a final offensive spell seems incredible. I can't imagine playing a high level precog that doesn't use this.

Command Icon:
+2 stackable bonus to intimidate? Don't mind if I do. Lots of classes and characters have neat builds that spend time demoralizing, and this makes them better at it. Everything else here is just gravy.

Communal Bond:
These are pretty minor bonuses, maybe too minor, but by higher levels the opportunity cost of this spell is very low and the duration is very long. It becomes a "you might as well add it" kind of buff. I'm not a big fan of these kinds of buffs, where they just stack with most everything else and there's little reason not to use them.

Companion Bond:
Really neat. Though not a particularly powerful spell for combat or adventuring, the roleplaying value is high for me. And if you have an intelligent enough creature, they can scout around and give you real-time information.

Dampen Spell:
I'm not sure if I would call it busted, but this seems incredibly good. It's natively a reaction, so you can use it without readying a dispel magic (note that technomancers DO have a magic hack that lets them dispel as a reaction, and its probably one of their best hacks) and the options can generally neuter the spell's effects quite severely if you're smart about it. Taking up 1st and 2nd level slots at higher levels means you'll almost always have a handful of these at the ready. The only downside is that enemy spellcasters are both relatively rare in Starfinder, and usually not the hardest of encounters to begin with. I'm looking forward to grabbing this on my next caster.


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School Specialist archetype, did the spells in this book make some schools better than they used to be when we're talking about bonus spells cast and known?

I thought it would be useful to go through the offensive/control spells by school and class access to see. Some blaster types other than Evocation may be viable now, and Evocation may be viable for Mystics now.

Conjuration:
Acid Puddle 3 (TM, WW)
Chrono Leap 5 (PC)
Time Loop 2 (PC)
Time Loop, Mass 4 (PC)
Wall of Earth 3 (M, WW)
Wall of Ice 3 (M, WW)
Wall of Steam 2 (M, TM, WW)

Divination:
Grim Inisght 3 (M, PC, WW)

Enchantment:
Day's Weariness 2 (M, PC, WW)

Evocation:
Battle Sonata 3 (M)
Dissonance Strike 1 (M, TM, WW)
Elemental Converenge 4 (M, WW)
Fist of Damoritosh 6 (M)
Forcecage 6 (All)
Furious Shriek 1-6 (M)
Ice Prison 6 (TM, WW)
Sonic Scream 4 (M, WW)
Soul Surge 1-6 (M, WW)
Star Touch 6 (M, WW)
Star Wall 6 (M, WW)
Subzero Clutch 5 (M, PC)
Temporal Bullets 3 (PC)
Time's Edge 3 (M, PC, WW)
Wave of Warning 5 (M)

Illusion:
Wall of Fog 1 (M, TM, WW)

Necromancy:
Radiation Ray 5 (TM, WW)
Void Grasp 4 (M, WW)
Weight of Ages 5 (M, PC, WW)

Transmutation:
Adamantine Shot 1-6 (TM, WW)
Death's Door 1-6 (PC)
Gravity Tether 3 (M, TM, WW)
Time Crawl 3 (PC)

Surprisingly I think Mystic with Arcane connection and Evocation school specialist archetype is one of the best blasters now.

Arcane connection ability at 6th, plus Wrecking Spells epiphany at 9th can get you full level to damage. The 4th level school specialist ability helps the Mystic in particular hit an extra target with some awkward 15' cone and line spells in its arsenal, and the 12th level ability to change elements of spells can let you boost your spell damage further if your GM lets you take the superheated spells feat for fire spells. This is very RP costly, though, only for big fights where you catch multiple enemies in a big spell.

The only other school powers I consider useful are enchantment and conjuration, both of which have plenty of combat utility to also benefit from the spells known and bonus slot(s).

Overall this is a bit of a weird archetype, though. I think it's very worth it for many Mystics, but maybe not until level 12. You give up a spell known and your top bonus connection spell known early, but don't get your archetype bonus spells known to repay this until 9th level, pulling ahead at 12 and 15. The later costs to a Mystic, the loss of a feat and some connection skill bonus, aren't that bad.


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Some specific spell call outs/discussions in more depth.

1. Soul Surge at high levels is worth calling out for a Mystic Esoterocist who took the 9th level power that lets you attack two targets with a single target spell and the 18th level archetype power to +50% the damage of a spell.

At 6th spell level 20th character level you do an average of 108 per target, 118 with Wrecking Spells, 128 if you're an Arcane connection Mystic using 1 RP to further boost the damage. Boost that by 50% and you're looking at 177 for Wrecking Spells, 192 for Arcane. Hit both targets and that's likely worth the 24 points of damage you took to cast it. (Yikes if you crit! Find a reroll ability or two to help you out.)

Witchwarpers also have access to this spell and Esoterocist, but doesn't have a damage booster equivalent to Wrecking Spells.

2. Subzero Clutch is a level 5 touch spell available to Precogs and Mystics, both of whom can get full BAB.

Subzero Clutch wrote:

A sleeve of ice encases your striking limb. Attempt a melee attack against the target’s EAC. On a hit, the target takes 10d8 cold damage and moves at half speed for the duration.

You can also attempt a free grapple check, adding the higher of your key ability modifier or your Strength modifier to the attack roll, and an additional +4 from the ice. Encasing ice also increases the DC to escape your grapple by 4. Each round the target remains grappled, it takes 4d8 cold damage.
Casting this spell doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity

That +4 grapple bonus stacks withe the improved grapple feat and any racial or other bonuses, so you can set yourself up to have a very good chance of landing a grapple that is very hard to escape and does ongoing damage. A pin isn't impossible.


where is this from? is there anything for technomancers?


Half elven gnomic dwarf wrote:
where is this from? is there anything for technomancers?

Galactic Magic is a new book you can order now, download the pdf in minutes.

Technomancers have lots of new spells in the spells chapter, plus an alternate class feature that trades spell cache and spell capacitor for some powers related to tutelage from a planar advisor. Also three new magic hacks.


oh thanks, that sounds cool


Thanks :D


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Looking at the spells I've read so far in this book and how they compare to already-printed spells, one thing that really stands out to me are the new 6th level spells. There's some options that feel like high level Pathfinder 1E magic - really super exciting open ended stuff. OTOH, there's some options that feel incredibly tame, to the extent that spells several levels lower are obviously superior. This was a weirdness all the way back in the Starfinder CRB, where we we have Sympathetic Vibration (very slowly damage a building or vehicle, something easily achieved by mundane weapons) next to Interplanetary Teleport (instantaneously travel between planets).

Starfinder casters deserve some more punchy high level spells, and I'm happy they're getting some in this book (even if it comes with some duds too).

Anyway, here's the next 28 spells.

Chrono Leap:
Very cool spell. Combines a moment of "haste" for a party frontliner with some damage and potentially knocking foes prone at the destination. At this level, I'd expect haste to be quite common, whether it comes from the solarian or a spellcaster, and this spell may just be redundant. However, if you don't have haste up, this gives your ally the ability to full attack after moving 60ft, while also potentially debuffing the foes against that full attack.
Alternatively, you can use this to forcibly move an enemy, though Reflex negating this use makes it a bit unreliable. I like the idea of pulling an enemy spellcaster right into position to be dogpiled, or throwing a troublesome melee monster 60ft away to be dealt with a round later.
Neither use of this spell seems particularly overpowered, but I expect the flexibility will make it quite desirable in practice. 5th level does seem a bit steep though.

Climate Adaptation:
Armor already protects you quite well from the elements (heat and cold dangers are basically trivial in Starfinder so long as your environmental protections are functioning), so this cantrip is a bit redundant. That said, it's very good at what it does - a full hour duration and spammable to cover the whole party.

Day's Weariness:
Pretty comparable to mind thrust, but you trade lower damage for a potential fatigue condition. It's even mind-affecting, just like mind thrust. Fatigue is a small but solid debuff that I'm happy to have, so I might choose this, especially on a non-Mystic.

Death's Door:
A precog exclusive single target blast. Really, its more of a debuff with a damage rider. Overall I'm not impressed with the lower level versions - the damage is just so low in comparison to other spells thrown around at this level, and the ability damage is very minor. At high levels, an effective -3 to attacks and AC if they fail the save is a lot more solid, and I'm happy to have that plus a good bit of damage on the side. I still think 6th level mind thrust blows 6th level death's door out of the water (much more damage and 1 round of stunned is A+). Unfortunately (though probably for the best) you can't stack the ability damage from this spell by using it more than once on a creature.

Dissonance Strike:
An alternative to jolting surge that's accessible for more classes. 4d4 is a lot less than 4d6 (~35% or so), but the alternate damage type and small benefit of preventing reactions seems like it'll likely be worth the trade sometimes. Other than the obvious use of preventing AoOs, there's a few high level monsters with very powerful reactions, so this miiiight have a niche use later in preventing those.

Distant Speech:
I have a hard time envisioning how this works if your voice isn't louder. Does it just seem to people that your normal speaking voice is coming from somewhere closer by? If intervening obstacles still block your voice, what is the benefit?

Distract:
Flat-footed is just not that hard to apply in Starfinder, so a 2nd (!?) level spell that gives you a ranged feint that still requires feat support seems like an egregious waste of a spell slot. There's also a Will save here, and I have no idea how it plays a role - the feint action already has a chance of failure baked in, so there's no need to also grant a Will save.

Dream of Home:
Fascinated is a weird condition that seems to have a lot of table variation, from breaking immediately with almost any actions the PCs take, to staying in place as the PCs rush at the foe with weapons drawn. I think being fascinated for 1 round even if they succeed means that you'll be able to squeeze some value out of it - be that just to buy time for allies to pre-position in a fight or as a distraction so part of a group can slip by a guard.

Duplicate Data:
The computer usage rules are a weak point in Starfinder. They generally lack specificity in what is or isn't possible to be done on any individual computer. That said, copying a secure data module tends to require root access - something that is usually prohibitively difficult to achieve on any relevant computer. So in that sense, this is a cool way to bypass a restriction in the heat of an infiltration. OTOH, adventures aren't usually written such that that kind of specialized data hacking is necessary. Usually there's a pretty easy DC and you get access to the data and you can freely copy it. So... this ends up being an OP spell for certain home campaigns and mostly unnecessary in prewritten APs.

Elemental Convergence:
Oooof. Since its a burst centered on you rather than an emanation, it hits you as well. The damage is super low for a 4th level spell. The only positive is the difficult terrain, but when you consider how hard this spell is to pull off without hurting yourself and your allies, that's not much of a consolation.

Empathic Communication:
A pretty minor effect, but very flavorful for characters trying to exude big HUGS FOR ALL energy.

Empathic Support:
I love the way this replaces small flat bonuses with "advantage" and "disadvantage" on rolls, but the spell's duration is painfully short, which I suspect will make this too awkward to use for anything other than the aid another version. A good thing to grant to your 2nd string skill user so they can all but guarantee success at high-stakes hacking situations. That said, I think the awkwardness of timing this spell will mean I never end up using it.

Fist of Damoritosh:
Force is good, but OOF at that mediocre damage and bonus effect. Could have easily been a 5th level spell (see Heat Leech as a comparison). Line shaped bursts are hard to line up to hit multiple targets and should deal better damage than burst effects at the same level.

Fluid Morphism:
Lasts a good duration and makes you better at a whole category of skill checks. Considering its a 1st level spell available to most casters, I suspect this is going to become a mainstay at higher levels. Another great spell for creatures that want to demoralize in combat, as you get a net +4 between this and command icon. Though there are some enhancement bonuses for skill checks available through gear, this is a flexible alternative that all future enhancement bonuses will be competing against. Feels a bit like power creep.

Fluidity of Form:
Gets you a lot of different stuff, but for only one round at a time, which makes some of these options quite awkward. How valuable is DR5/- if you can only have it half the rounds, and how valuable is reach when you lose it the following round? Compared to Resistant Armor, Lesser (3rd level spell), this provides a shorter duration defensive buff and somewhat awkward mechanics, but more flexibility in picking the exact benefit that helps on a round to round basis. As Xenocrat noted, additional arms doesn't work particularly well.

Forcecage:
What does "reflex partial" mean for this spell? What's the partial effect if you dodge the cage? Also, by the current wording, it seems as though the only creatures that get a Reflex throw are those who are partially within the area. If that's true, this spell is incredibly powerful (I would probably rule as GM that every creature in the area gets the save to dodge out of it as the cage forms). The wall of force that composes the cage is really hard to destroy except for the highest level creatures, so this lets you cut combats into bitesize chunks that are much easier to handle. A great spell back during Pathfinder, and a great spell for Starfinder too.

Furious Shriek:
Does this affect you as well? Probably no, but there's no special mention of it not doing so, and by default you're within the spread. Otherwise, I see this as a mostly NPC spell. 30-ft radius is big, and unless you're willing to hit your allies, it demands you be quite deep into the enemy back line in order to not hurt your team. Not a great place for a caster to be. I could see a flying caster getting away with it since they have more positioning flexibility. The "less than half your hit points remaining" clause is tricky because that's often <20% of your total HP+SP. Alternatively, damage that bypasses SP can get you to the threshold (see poisons). If you're getting d8s out of this spell, its pretty good damage at the cost of difficult positioning. The 6th level version is good damage, and potentially staggering a whole enemy group for 1 round is a nice cherry on top.

Glowing Wall:
Since this is a cantrip, there's no way the wall of light actually blocks line of sight, right? Otherwise, what an awesome spell. Move over dancing lights... I'm making every space dungeon into a disco as I explore it! The only downside is the short range.

Gravity Tether:
Everything other than the name seems to be shouting "magnetic tether" rather than gravity. This spell is trying to do a lot and as a result it's written in a tricky-to-parse way. As far as I can tell, you get to attack one or two creatures, dealing 5d8 electric damage. If they take damage they make a save. If they fail, they get magnetized and then the second half of the spell kicks in - everything from the difficult terrain onwards. Unfortunately, a spellcaster's melee attack against KAC+8 is going to miss most of the time, so everything in the second paragraph ends up being a bit "pie in the sky". The first half of the spell is a bit better, but it spreads itself thin by doing kind of low damage to make up for the other effects. I like the concept, but it seems to have too many points of failure.

Grim Insight:
Its interesting how *this* spell lets you substitute your key ability score in place of strength for the attack roll, while most spells don't. It speaks to the different experience bases of the designers contributing spells for this section.
Otherwise, a solid melee mind-thrust, trading some damage for at least one round's worth of shaken, and possibly getting it to last the whole fight. For a melee-focused spellcaster, this would be high on my list.

Harness Lightning:
I've been waiting for a spell like this, as it seemed like low hanging fruit for the technomancer list. Cover against all electricity attacks and effects is excellent, as is the "free" lightning ball attack. Fairly niche, but an A+ spell the moment you come up against a squad of foes using shock weapons. Really happy this exists.

Helping Hands:
I saw "Helping" and immediately knew it was a skittermander spell! This spell is huge - two bonus arms, a circumstance bonus to engineering that'll stack with everything, and even an additional move action (restricted to manipulating items) and it lasts for minutes at a time. This is WAY more than I would expect for a 1st level spell. Nothing here seems outright busted, but its way way above curve. Give it to all your party members to aid with action economy (lets you draw a weapon and full attack? reload and full attack? open a door and full attack?). I played a skittermander soldier in an AP and can confirm that having four extra hands was a huge benefit - you save a lot of actions that might be spent switching to more optimal weapons or going from melee to ranged. Protip: Cast it on your skittermander to help them help helpier than ever!

Holographic Interface:
This spell is weird to me. Its kind of assumed that a computer will have an interface. And if a computer doesn't have an interface, that's never stopped the tables I've played in from having characters plug in their datapad or hacking hit to hack things, depending on how people are running things. OTOH, this seems super powerful because it seems to let you hack or just operate from a distance so long as you can observe the computer? Its a cantrip that gives you basically the mechanic's "remote hack" class feature? See also: The Remote Operation spell from the Character Operations Manual - a 1st level spell that has a similar role.

Ice Prison:
A reimagining of icy prison from pathfinder - an outrageously powerful spell. This prison is a lot more subdued in comparison. This is hold monster + a bunch of potential damage, which is quite a nice upgrade, though maybe not nice enough to make it a spell a full two levels higher. Locking a creature out of a fight long term seems better done with forcecage or resilient sphere, but if your goal is instead to delay and whittle them down a bit, this spell seems pretty OK. Interestingly, unlike hold person, this spell doesn't stop spellcasting, so a fully paralyzed spellcaster can continue casting with impunity while ice-blocked, though I assume they wouldn't have line of effect to the outside world while doing so.

I'm very curious why this ice prison has hardness 21 and 51 hit points - that's either a typo or an interesting story.


Injury Echo:
One of the strongest damage cantrips, but still just a damage cantrip. Simple and decent.

Locate Hive:
Usually "getting back to your ship" isn't posed as a challenge, but in some survival campaigns, I could see this getting use. If you have a really good 3d model or hologram of a place you've never been to before, and you spend time familiarizing yourself with it, can this spell navigate you there?

Magic Mark:
A classic cantrip with a new name. There's been a few times when I've made good use of this in Pathfinder, and I'm sure I'll find good uses for this in Starfinder. Glad to have it!

Magic Seal:
Blocking Su abilities in addition to spells and SLAs is a key feature. From my experience, Su abilities are a lot more common than either of the other two. This seems very powerful at locking down tricky spellcasters and ability-users, but the challenge will be getting it to stick in the first place - Will is often a caster creature's best save. If you can stick it, it can be a death sentence for some creatures.

The greater version actually seems worse since the victim can just leave the sealed area and no longer by affected. Though if you use a melee ally as the focal point of the sealed area, they can chase your victim down afterward.


I think a lot may depend on whether folks have adjusted the scale from 1-6 instead of 1-9 or not

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Isn't falling prone still pretty okay at high levels? ^^; I mean just for dropping flying enemies and for making enemies waste actions standing up. Though yeah does sound underwhelmning damage of spell isn't high, since definitely easier ways to trip enemies than level 6 spells.


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There are non-line 4th level spread spells to knock prone, 6th in a line with mediocre damage is mostly a downgrade. Go for a Mindthrust and stun on a single target rather than tough positioning on two.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So yeah definitely would at least need way higher damage to be justified (with prone being more of "extra effect because of how big fist it was) than the main selling point


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Prone gets weaker at higher levels because more creatures can fly and therefore clear the condition automatically when repositioning. I think Fist of Damoritosh would be good either as a 5th level spell with its current damage (12d8 dmg vs 13d8 for heat leech and line instead of cone, but it has the force descriptor and knocks creatures prone) or as a 4th level spell with slightly lower damage. For a 6th level I'm looking for either exceptional damage, a particularly big or flexible area or some really valuable control effect, and the Fist doesn't do any of those.

On a different note, there's a weird gap in Starfinder at 4th level for area damage spells. Technomancers have explosive blast at 3rd and then heat leech at 5th without any simple area attack in between. Mystics and Witchwarpers similarly get some A+ control effects at 4th, but their best AoE prior to this book was ectoplasmic eruption, which was a downgrade damage wise from 3rd levels. This book finally adds a spell or two to plug that gap, except none of them can be cast by technomancers!

Another batch of spell thoughts incoming:

Measure:
The effect here is quite trivial, but being able to measure the dimensions of something from a distance is one of those effects that functions as "fish for a GM Hint". Seems a bit annoying to GM, as I don't have a good sense for what the dimensions of things actually should be - its rarely discussed in APs, so I'm left to adlib approximately how long this truck is, how tall this person is, etc.

Misfire:
Looks like it can target attended items! So this is going to be a relevant action-eating debuff up into the mid levels, until the DC drops too far relative to enemy saving throws to be useful. Compares to daze - ruining the foe's turn - but doesn't have the CR limit or the immunity period, in exchange for only working on weapon-wielding foes. I don't like that it doesn't work on items with item level higher than your caster level, as this information isn't provided in an NPCs stat block, so you'll have to do a lot of lookups if your PCs like this spell.
Otherwise, I like this as a cantrip. 100% excellent filler spell for low level technomancers.

Modulate Frequency:
At tables I've played at, voice changers were considered either a computers or engineering check away, or were a 5 credit item (since they are available with real world modern-day technology). This spell doesn't add enough rules "teeth" to the concept of changing your voice to make it a favorable option over a mundane technological equivalent.

Mystical Aegis:
This seems extremely powerful. Prebuff with Mystical Aegis on your frontliner (or eventually everyone in your party) and you massively improve their survivability against almost every non-weapon source of damage, while also giving a buff to saves that stacks with most other typical bonuses. The combination of bonus to saves, half damage from all damaging effects, AND a big pile of temp HP means that if you get hit by say, a heat leech for average damage (58.5 dmg) and make your save, your damage taken is reduced to 14, which gets fully absorbed by the aegis. Considering that an individual fight might not have more than two or three big aoe damage effects, this single spell ends up functioning almost as immunity to them. And on top of that you have the saving throw bonus to bolster you against other spells.

The greater version is even more impressive by baking in death ward - granting the technomancer roundabout access to a spell that was previously mystic only.


Negate Spell:
Trades being a reaction (good!) for only working on 3rd level or lower spells (bad). Excellent when you get it, but gradually grows worse as more spells you want to counter are 4th level or higher. Eventually, you'll want to replace this. I think clever use of dampen spell might be better than this, but its hard to tell until I get some experience with both. I'm surprised there aren't higher level versions of this that counter higher level spells.

Omnitool:
Was kinda hoping this would be a non-cantrip that instantly created any toolkit, but this is OK too. I've never been caught without a toolkit on my technomancer, but there's probably some scenarios where that would come up. Quite niche.

Orient:
In general, there isn't too many orienteering needed in Starfinder - at least in the APs and scenarios I've played or run. I assume this was planted here to support Horizons of the Vast.

Osmose:
This one's odd to me. Is there a time where you want to get a general overview of a story, email, file, video or website, and can afford 1 minute (the casting time) to do so, but not the 1-5 minutes it would take to get the gist by just perusing it manually? I don't see what this spell is getting you that you can't do without magic in more or less the same amount of time.

Physical Stability:
This one is pretty narrow. Thinking back through Starfinder games I've played, I can't recall any offensive transmutation effects used against the PCs. Though of course, that's just based on my recollection and game experience. But given that it encompasses several APs and dozens of Society games, I think it's safe to say these effects are far from common (though this book does add a few, so they may be getting more common).

Plasma Snare:
For a 3rd level spell, this is very low damage. The mechanics are also quite cumbersome, requiring a melee attack (using strength!) and then entangling with an escape DC that scales too slow vs acrobatics bonuses, and then having a unique rule for detonating the snare afterward as a reaction. When all added together, it may be a niche option for a melee-based caster, but it has a lot of points of failure and individually underwhelming parts.

Proximity Alert:
Alarm from Pathfinder. What stands out is the CR restriction. Bosses and other dangerous foes can still sneak up on you just fine, its just the small fry that this spell will alert you to. This makes it far less of a security blanket than it was in other games. Alarm was already more a "for fun" spell than anything that broke games, so I'm not sure why it needed an extra limitation.

Psychokinetic Shove:
A cool cantrip, though very unreliable. Deals some trivial damage and then potentially bull rushes the target. The use of caster level + key ability modifier is pretty appealing, but the real benefit is in how bull rush's forced movement causes creatures to trigger AoOs. So the dream here is to push a foe away from your melee ally, getting a free AoO on them and leaving the foe to waste a move action getting back into melee. The problem here is that the initial damage grants a reflex save, and succeeding on that save means no bull rush. This leaves the spell really unreliable. A shame, but it makes sense for balance reasons.

Quick Change:
Love that this is a cantrip! It's missing a Saving Throw line, but the mechanics are clear enough. Looking fashionable has never been easier. (There's already a spell called Quick Change from Starfinder #27)

Radiation Ray:
There's a bit hidden here: radiation is a poison, so a creature will take damage equal to the save DC-10 automatically upon exposure. This means the spell's damage is at least 8d12+13 or so, and probably higher. Failing the first save against the radiation poison (a CON track poison) leads toward a death spiral of Fort penalties and an additional 13+ damage every round until successfully saved against. Ultimately, not bad, but not great. Ranged spell attacks are somewhat tricky unless you build specifically for them, and the damage isn't outrageously good even if you do land it. I'm very surprised this is a necromancy spell too.

Realign:
Starwalk (from the Galaxy Exploration Manual) does this for yourself as a swift action, and its a night and day difference from swift to standard. So if you're the only one getting knocked off-kilter in zero-g, starwalk is much better. Otherwise, this spell is merely OK. I see zero-g combat often relies on planting your feet and pinging away with ranged weapons, and the off-kilter condition comes up not all that often. If that matches your own experience, this is a definitely pass.

Remembrance:
I love spells like this because they give the PCs a way to gain perspective that they'd never get by going room to room and punching bad guys. The GM gets an avenue to provide peeks into the (often quite extensive) history of the situation, and the PCs can get potentially actionable or at least interesting information. A great partner to divination and a great addition overall!

Remote Pilot:
The hostile use of this spell intrigues me a lot more than the non-hostile version. Being able to mess up a chance by seizing control of a fleeing or pursuing vehicle is some cool stuff, and the only downside here is that the Piloting DC to retain control is set too low - most pilots will have no problems shrugging off your attempt. For example, a typical 7th level pilot in a chase scene has a piloting modifier of +14 to +19, while the DC they have to hit will be DC18. So... chances are exceedingly slim unless the enemy pilots are low level. Quite a shame.
The non-hostile version of this spell seems extremely niche. It doesn't have you any actions and you still have to have the vehicle in line of sight... so you might as well be inside it yourself.

Restore Consumable:
Saves you absolutely no money, but its a reaction and it works on consumables of any item level. I actually really like this - not for low level characters, but for high level ones that no longer care as much about wasting 2nd level slots. Starfinder adventures often take you far away from civilization, and in the heat of the moment you find you wish you had more of something, be that the exact problem solving grenade during an encounter or a buffing serum. This helps solve that problem.

Rewrite Time:
Capstone spell, just like Wish or Warp Reality.

Rhapsodic Aegis:
Even if you don't benefit from the sonic resistance, temp HP is always good. Unfortunately, the short duration of this spell means its tricky to precast unless you know you're going into danger, and the temp HP isn't so high that it buys you much of a breather. Compare to resistant armor, lesser, which provides the same 5 points of resistance but to two flexible types of damage and lasts for an hour or more.

Shared Gravity:
Pretty interesting. Zero-g to low g for your whole team can be a big boon for people trying to move around, but it also affects any foes in the same way. Alternatively low-g to zero-g might mess up movement for foes, but it leaves you dealing with the same hazard. Ultimately, the effects here are not mind blowing, since being able to move gravity by only one step prevents shenanigans where you throw foes up to a ceiling, for example. But I can see creative people finding a use for this - especially because you can suppress and resume it as a swift or reaction!

Sharpen Senses:
Needs a range for the blindsight. Extra Sense from the Galaxy Exploration Manual also grants a long-duration blindsight (30ft) at this level of spell, but doesn't grant the insight bonus to perception. So if Sharpen Senses grants a longer range blindsight, that makes it a side grade, trading duration for better bonuses. Either way, blindsight is fantastic utility and +3 insight to perception is a solid bonus for everyone other than operatives.

Sniper's Edge:
Being very very high level and personal range make this a dubious proposition. When compared to the kind of powerful effects you can lay out with your 5th level slots, getting a little more accuracy on one attack is just far too weak.

Social Reset:
Some serious insurance against flubbed rolls, particularly good because its a reaction and therefore leaves the slot unused if you didn't end up flubbing your checks. Since it only works for yourself, and only on a narrow selection of skills, not everyone who is eligible for the spell can get much use out of it. Seems like a staple for the social Witchwarper though.

Sonic Scream:
Pretty solid damage option normally (20% more than explosive blast but a level higher), but a must have if you're going to spend at least a few encounters underwater. Nauseated is a back-breaking condition, and you get it for "free" along with a perfectly good amount of area damage. There are surprisingly few good aoe damage options at 4th level for ANY spellcaster, so this spell is actually in quite a good spot.

Soul Surge:
Oh my. That is a lot of damage. So, compared to mind thrust, this is more binary (mind thrust is save for half while this is hit or miss), but higher damage if it does hit. I did some math on this one and determined that for a vanilla mystic, this and mind thrust do more or less equivalent damage after accounting for accuracy differences. However, mind thrust at higher levels delivers some serious debuffs at the cost of being mind-affecting and therefore somewhat more narrow. OTOH, if you build around soul surge, you can get better results. If you build your mystic as a warmonger to get a higher bonus on attack rolls, soul surge wins the damage competition by a big margin. If you're looking to just be a magical blaster that does big damage to one target and rolls a lot of dice, warmonger mystic with soul surge is one of your best bets.

Xenocrat's other suggestions upthread about tapping into the esotericist archetype for some once-or-twice-per-day "nova" options with this spell are also great.


Spark:
Pretty minor, considering the world has lighters that you can definitely throw 30ft if needed. Mentions "touch" in the description but the range is "close".

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Don't flying creatures also get knocked back to ground in starfinder if they go prone while flying? Wouldn't make spell useful, but I'm not worried I'm mixing up editions once again x'D


Radiation Ray doesn’t quite work that way, radiation isn’t a persistent poison without an ongoing source. One and done, no death spiral without casting it every round.

Usurp Spell is the Negate Spell upgrade above spell level 4.


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CorvusMask wrote:
Don't flying creatures also get knocked back to ground in starfinder if they go prone while flying? Wouldn't make spell useful, but I'm not worried I'm mixing up editions once again x'D

I also have trouble keeping the game rules from the different editions apart, so I went searching - seems like the trip maneuver has a special rule for it (you lose 10ft of elevation when you get tripped), but there isn't a generic rule for what happens when you go prone while flying. Might've missed it though.

"Xenocrat: wrote:

Radiation Ray doesn’t quite work that way, radiation isn’t a persistent poison without an ongoing source. One and done, no death spiral without casting it every round.

Usurp Spell is the Negate Spell upgrade above spell level 4.

The radiation poison ending immediately because there's no ongoing source would make the spell not only bad, but kind of "radiationless". You'd just take the fire damage and then never suffer any ongoing effects. I doubt that's what the designers intended.


It’s just like Irradiate - you take one round of poison damage and potentially one move on the Con poison track as a fortitude debuff. But failing doesn’t make you have to attempt further saves against it. That’s how radiation is different from physical poisons.

Star Wall is the only source of ongoing radiation available to players, everything else is single exposure per use/application. You can spam them to try to drive them down the poison track, but you have to spam them. But unlike actual con poisons, they can have somewhat decent DCs and not cost 1/4 your wealth.


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RE Radiation: If that's how irradiate works... oof. I've been running it wrong since launch, and everyone that's GM'd for me when I've used the spell has also been running it wrong. It certainly didn't seem broken when treated as a normal poison, since most creatures made their saves within one or two rounds.

And final batch of commentary:

Spiritual Bonds:
+1 bonus to saves is a pretty small effect to cast mid-combat (duration means its tricky to prebuff), and the ability to spend RP for your allies as a standard action seems only OK. Trading a fully functional character's turn for an already KO'd ally to quickly jump back into the fight seems about a wash - usually the RP spending person could instead take an offensive action to end the fight sooner instead. But I can see it coming in handy occasionally.

Star Touch:
There have been a lot of interesting tools for melee spellcasters in this book. The effect when you miss the attack roll is surprisingly not trivial, but unless you have 10ft+ reach you may end up hurting yourself. The effect on a successful hit + failed fort save isn't as good as disintegrate (110 avg damage vs 147 for disintegrate) but its not something to sneeze at either. I'd have to do some math to see how it all balances out. The radation from the orb you leave behind seems unlikely to be more than flavor at the level you get this - armor is mostly granting immunity and the DC will be low.

Star Wall:
Wall of Radiation seems quite good, dealing a small but not trivial amount of damage, potentially blinding, providing ongoing battlefield control, ongoing radiation, and sometimes just busting undead really well. Not having a save on the damage portions (just the blindness) goes a long way. I used to not be a big fan of wall of flame style effects, but recent experience has shown me how they can overperform when placed right. I think the region of high radiation from this spell will do a lot of work too - even the highest level armors don't provide immunity to high radiation, so it'll keep doing automatic exposure damage if you've placed it well.

Stumble:
Pretty small debuff even for a cantrip. Low cantrip DCs and lasting only for one round will probably sideline this most of the time: at low levels dealing damage is going to be better than fishing for a chance at a penalty, and at high levels or against bosses, the DC will be too low to reliably penalize the target.

Subzero Clutch:
The upfront damage isn't too impressive, but the free grapple check is nice (with a bonus to boot!). There are enough bonuses to grapple floating around between choice of race and various equipment that you can probably get a good chance of pinning your target. On subsequent rounds though, maintaining the grapple only gets you a little more damage and an extension to the debuff. Maintaining the grapple on subsequent rounds might be tricky unless you're Strength based, as the ability modifier switch out seems to only affect the free grapple check? I would definitely take this on a purpose-built melee spellcaster that has a way to patch their BAB.

Summon Corpse:
Odd! While the obvious use here is to summon an ally's dead body when you've been forced to leave them behind, I can see it used for things like "we think X has been kidnapped and murdered, lets find them" as well. The price in credits is quite steep, though well within the means of a high level character.

Suppressing Field:
Wow, what an enormous middle finger to spellcasting. ALL the effects of 2nd level dampen spell means: half area and number of targets, half duration, half damage and healing. Slap this field on your melee friend and foes and friends alike might as well give up on damaging spells. It's not entirely clear to me from looking at this spell if the dispel check that would be required from dampen spell is still needed, or if "subjected to all the effects of the 2nd level version" is just saying they apply without a check.

Swap Initiative:
Excellent Precog and Witchwarper flavor, and a nice tactical option to have once 1st level slots are no longer your premium slots.

Temporal Bullets:
Despite mentioning bullets, this doesn't seem to restrict you to responding to ranged attacks only. In any case, this spell is incredible simply due to the A+ action economy - dealing damage with a reaction is too good. When you have 4th and 5th level spells, you'll be able to use this to slap a bunch of free additional damage out while still casting all your normal spells.

Temporal Flash:
High level, but incredibly powerful by the twin virtues of always working as intended and requiring only a reaction. Pathfinder has a spell called Ether Step which plays a similar role (and has done serious work in Pathfinder games) but with may more restrictions. This puts Ether Step to shame by: letting you use it after you're hit by the attack, actually moving you to a safer position, and not messing up your following turn's actions. I'll always take this spell on casters that can use it.

Time Crawl:
The slow spell, but linked to an area, and also making the area difficult terrain. Slow is an all-star spell in Starfinder, as the staggered condition is backbreaking thanks to how its action economy works. This *does* have a relevant effect even on a successful save, but being anchored to an area is probably otherwise worse than slow. In a fight with exclusively melee ground-bound enemies where you can interpose a time crawl zone prior to engagement, time crawl may be better by virtue of ensuring none of the enemies can reach your team for a while (difficult terrain + 10ft penalty to speed = barely able to move through a region). Otherwise, slow just seems way more flexible. Precog has access to both.

Time Loop:
Nice debuff. Between 1 rd of confusion and many rounds of entangled, this goes a long way to neutering a creature. I particularly like entangled in Starfinder - half speed and a penalty to both offense and defense does a lot of work. Getting the creature off-target even if they successfully save is a cherry on top, making it a great spell to toss at bosses or other tough foes that are likely to save. Definitely won't want to miss this one on a precog.
The Mass version is even better. Looking forward to casting this a lot.

Time's Edge:
120ft long sword slash? Very anime. Essentially the technomancer's arcing surge but slashing damage. I prefer bursts rather than lines personally, but otherwise there's little to complain about here. Seems like a nice addition.

Tracking Mark:
Seems unnecessarily high level, especially because "tracking device, but invisible" seems like pretty basic magic. The tracking bug technological item is a level 6 item (vs. level 10 when you get this spell) and works more or less just as well - it has a slightly lower follow range and you need to physically place it rather than do it from a distance. Other than being too high level, I like it. Good strategic option for games with any degree of intrigue or investigation.

Uncanny Luck:
Wow. Every 2nd level slot becomes a reroll on a failed save. By my standards this is just outright too good. By high level you have plenty of low level slots and as a result you should be getting rerolls this way any time you would fail a save.

Undo Mistake:
Expensive insurance against failed skill checks. For many applications, you can preemptively provide insurance by casting Empathic support and then rolling an aid another. The niche here is that it works even if they're on their own somewhere. The costs seem steep, but the benefit is real.

Unmask:
Another fun addition for investigations. Not particularly useful in most campaigns, but a great tool in the arsenal for campaigns that want it.

Unravel Magic:
I haven't found much of a need for turning magical items into non-magical ones yet. Maybe in a future AP, society game, or home campaign, it'll come up. But for the games I've played, this would be a big dud.

Usurp Spell:
Big upgrade on negate spell. Taking control of a spell and turning it back on someone else is incredibly good. Doing so as a reaction is bonkers. Even if the chances of success are somewhat low against higher level spells, the opportunity cost is only a spell slot.

Vanishing Trick:
Cute trick! Love this as a cantrip. Shame the unattended object restriction means you can't target items you're currently holding.

Varied Veneer:
Another cute trick that lets you get up to some fun hijinks. Nothing too powerful, but definitely sparks the imagination.

Void Grasp:
Low damage, but it gains you temp HP to help you brawl it out in melee for longer despite your puny HP and SP as a caster. How long does the temp HP last? It seems like it'd have to be separate from the sickened duration. Speaking of sickened, its a nice bonus here. Another solid spell for the melee caster. They've been getting a lot of toys.

Wall of Earth:
Great! Less HP and hardness than other walls, but still serves the purpose of cutting a fight into more manageable chunks. These types of spells *always* overperform. Nice to see it at 3rd level.

Wall of Fog:
An OK 1st level spell for splitting up certain fights. 20% miss chance for multiple ranged foes while you party focus fires a melee foe can be worth it, but sometimes might just have no real effect on the outcome. I think this is better once you have some higher levels under your belt and 1st level slots can be spent on lower value utility without feeling like a waste. For some reason this spell shows two schools, illusion and conjuration.

Wall of Ice:
A classic from Pathfinder. Less HP than the earthen version, but way more flexible in placement. You can use it to totally entrap creatures without a save. A CR6 combatant creature deals something like 14-18 damage per attack, so they'll break out in a round of full attacking. Still, its a potent control effect.

Wall of Steam:
Solid upgrade to wall of fog, making it a baby wall of fire. The fire damage is small but can add up thanks to not allowing a save.

Wave of Warning:
This is a ranged attack with no score substitution and against KAC, so already I'm skeptical. As a 5th level spell, the damage is a bit low (but the targeting is quite flexible) and you get a common debuff in the form of shaken. I'm not a huge fan. Landing the initial attacks is somewhat unlikely, and even when you land them the effect is not great. Shaken is a good condition, but there are a lot of different ways to apply it more easily.

Weight of Ages:
Not many effects inflict encumbered, but then again, encumbered is a very mysterious debuff when applied to foes whose AC isn't directly calculated from their equipment. Otherwise, the damage here is a fairly low, but the targeting is flexible. If your targets are somehow already encumbered, the overburdened condition reduces the creature's speeds to 5ft - its a death sentence for a creature without a good ranged option. If you can reliably pull the combo off, it could be a good choice.

X-Ray Vision:
GMs are going to be challenged on the thickness of every wall and floor with this spell. Assuming a GM lets it see through a decent portion of the walls you come across, this is a wonderful tool to "scout ahead" and give you advance warning.

Overall, the spells to let magic fight magic seem really potent this time around. Not sure if I like that, as I just see more times where spells don't do what people intend in the future. There's already enough of that with the existing lists! The new cantrips are mostly great, with Adhere and Misfire as the most universally useful, but plenty more are thematically excellent and promote some fun play. They definitely let the power level of cantrips inch up.

Mystics seemed to get tons of blasting options this time around, solidly stealing the spotlight from the other classes. Precogs got a lot of reaction spells, and some extremely powerful ones among them. Technomancers got some thematic spells, but they missed out on a lot of the most exciting new offensive and control magic.

Melee casters and casters willing to make attack rolls are better than ever, with SO many spells that I looked at and said "This'll be great for the Warmonger Mystic". Additionally, control casters got a lot to love, with several new wall spells and some nice spells combining damage and conditions. Even support-focused casters (something that really didn't exist before) got several ways to help their allies.


Re: irradiate. https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2un55?Why-irradiate-is-a-joke#1


Not a spell but Null-Space Kennels are basically the death kneel for intra system personal transportation with spaceships.

With those kennels a single person can carry a lot of passengers with him and use a Tiara of Translocation. Sure, the initial setup costs a lot, but so does building and maintaining a starship.
And while we don't know the prices of starships I would even say that a ship for 60 or so passengers is more expensive than a Tiara of Translocation Mk3 and 4 Mk 3 kennels.

Even for inter system travel I would argue a Tiara Mk 4 and kennels are cheaper than a starship, especially when you consider that travel is instant.


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Cellion wrote:

Overall, the spells to let magic fight magic seem really potent this time around. Not sure if I like that, as I just see more times where spells don't do what people intend in the future. There's already enough of that with the existing lists! The new cantrips are mostly great, with Adhere and Misfire as the most universally useful, but plenty more are thematically excellent and promote some fun play. They definitely let the power level of cantrips inch up.

Mystics seemed to get tons of blasting options this time around, solidly stealing the spotlight from the other classes. Precogs got a lot of reaction spells, and some extremely powerful ones among them. Technomancers got some thematic spells, but they missed out on a lot of the most exciting new offensive and control magic.

Melee casters and casters willing to make attack rolls are better than ever, with SO many spells that I looked at and said "This'll be great for the Warmonger Mystic". Additionally, control casters got a lot to love, with several new wall spells and some nice spells combining damage and conditions. Even support-focused casters (something that really didn't exist before) got several ways to help their allies.

I agree that there's almost too many anti-magic abilties in this book. It kind of devalues that great (and 11th level!) reaction counterspell Technomancer hack now that anyone can learn spells to do similar stuff at lower levels. In PCs hands it risks trivializing something like a bone sage encounter, and PC spellcasters might have a bad time if this stuff shows up on an NPC in a future AP.

On the subject of control, I think Mystics did really well getting some wall spells that I don't think they had before.


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Starfinder Superscriber
Inqui wrote:

Not a spell but Null-Space Kennels are basically the death kneel for intra system personal transportation with spaceships.

Even for inter system travel I would argue a Tiara Mk 4 and kennels are cheaper than a starship, especially when you consider that travel is instant.

Even if we didn't assume the wording on null space kennels means that sentient creatures can't be put in them (which I feel it supports):

How is this different from null-space containers that can stuff 8 dwarves in them?


Rituals!

They seem cool and pretty doable with a full party doing Harmonize (aid) checks.

Commune is good for some GM guidance at higher levels if you have a few hours and 1k credits to blow. Best if you have a deity who would know about the subject you're interested in.

Consecrate Place seems like it should work on your average PC explorer ship to get a free +1 bonus to starship combat and downtime skill checks if everyone worships the same deity. I guess technically you could consecrate overlapping spaces to everyone's deity?

FTL Communication doesn't add too much over drift beacon communication, but it does let you reach someone without comms equipment on their end. Worst case 10d6 hours round trip to talk to someone anywhere in the galaxy. I imagine prisons want or have a way to block this.

Gate doesn't seem to provide a good explanation for why, other than secrecy and jealousy of those how know it, this hasn't replaced starship travel for intraplanetary travel of people. 2 million credits isn't much of an investment compared to something like a Mk4 Tiara of Translocation or what one would presume a starship costs in credits. Surprised there's no benevolent or capitalistic organization (but I repeat myself) spamming these everywhere to link all the planets and charge (or not) a reasonable fee for walking through.

Heartbond is similary weirdly unrestricted at the low end - no check to do it, only takes one hour, 200 credits for a permanent effect. I guess a once per day status check (without ongoing duration?) isn't that useful, but every helicopter parent/spouse would want one of these and most can afford them.

Panopticon is cool - magical mobile invisible surveillance camera roving through your domain. Probably some peeping Tom's doing long sentences for using this.

Reincarnation ritual lets you bring back party members without investing in spellcasting ability or the spell known, but very expensive - 40k credits!

Summon Elemental doesn't seem to have much of a use case - charm monster after it arrives? Probably easier to just learn Summon Creature in that case, although I guess a ritually summoned and charmed buddy lasts longer.


Starfinder Superscriber
Quote:


Gate doesn't seem to provide a good explanation for why, other than secrecy and jealousy of those how know it, this hasn't replaced starship travel for intraplanetary travel of people. 2 million credits isn't much of an investment compared to something like a Mk4 Tiara of Translocation or what one would presume a starship costs in credits. Surprised there's no benevolent or capitalistic organization (but I repeat myself) spamming these everywhere to link all the planets and charge (or not) a reasonable fee for walking through.

I think the elves already realized the crux of this when they found developed Aiudaras.

Having a gate network allows you to move everywhere you'd like, but it also provides infinite mobility into your domain.

Quote:

Summon Elemental doesn't seem to have much of a use case - charm monster after it arrives? Probably easier to just learn Summon Creature in that case, although I guess a ritually summoned and charmed buddy lasts longer.

Enter my player's Xenodruid Gnome, who offended an air elemental in a gnomish prank of toilet humor and a cyclone.

Now whenever it storms he's hunted by elementals.

He's going to summon that big guy and settle this once and for all.


Leon Aquilla wrote:
Quote:


Gate doesn't seem to provide a good explanation for why, other than secrecy and jealousy of those how know it, this hasn't replaced starship travel for intraplanetary travel of people. 2 million credits isn't much of an investment compared to something like a Mk4 Tiara of Translocation or what one would presume a starship costs in credits. Surprised there's no benevolent or capitalistic organization (but I repeat myself) spamming these everywhere to link all the planets and charge (or not) a reasonable fee for walking through.

I think the elves already realized the crux of this when they found developed Aiudaras.

Having a gate network allows you to move everywhere you'd like, but it also provides infinite mobility into your domain.

Damn, we spent all this money to defend all attacks from orbit and to resist widely spaced troop landings, but we forgot to defend a 15' door, put explosives on it, or put people on the other side, literally the easiest possible thing.


Starfinder Superscriber

Your posts wouldn't get deleted so much if you didn't post so many strawmen arguments, you know.

Don't let me distract you any longer from your very busy day.


Noteable new cantrips and 1st level spells for Technomantic Dabbler, Connection Inkling, and Reality Glimmber feats.

I noticed going through this that the Precog has almost nothing useful/unique for dabbling via a feat that you can't get elsehwere, maybe one reason you can't get access to them. (The "really rare and the result of Big Things Happening" background to getting the class probably another.)

Cantrips:

Distant Speech - It just seems like a lot of fun to start yelling at a big chunk of a city or space station that terrorists are doing a think for a distraction or to slow down/inibit your enemies. "This is the Stewards, beware of imposter Stewards wearing false uniforms approaching [location]!" "I am four other innocent bystandards are standing outside this shop in Verces being attacked by [people of this description], wonder how long they'll stick around given that more people are going to be looking for them or calling the authorities the longer they keep shooting instead of running?"

Glowing Wall - Big light, big fun, maybe not big useful.

Quick Change - Good for disguise guys, put on the local cop uniform or be a delivery guy as needed.

Vanishing Trick - Smuggling/trickery shenanigans.

Varied Veneer - As above.

1st Level:

Adhere - Fun trap, I expect lots of parties to run through doors and then cast this on the square(s) on the other side to make things tough for pursuers. Sucks to walk into an immobilizing entangle and find you're flanked.

Command Icon: Very good for intimidate builds, don't forget Charming Veneer.

Dampen Spell - Even fake casters can weaken incoming spells? Does a soldier with a faux caster feat get full CL?

Fluid Morphism - Great skill buff, take this before Command Icon with a separate feat, then you can stack them and Charming Veneer for a +5 to intimidate checks.

Helping Hands - A+ pick for most martial classes picking up one of these feats, free move actions to reload/draw weapons are great in combat. Also skill help for some.

Holographic Interface - Remote hacking for mechanics that don't have it or operative hackers who want it.

Swap Initiative - Reality Glimmer only, might be a useful 1/day ability on top of your cantrips.

Wall of Fog - 1/day party concealment defense? Maybe worth it.


Leon Aquilla wrote:

Your posts wouldn't get deleted so much if you didn't post so many strawmen arguments, you know.

Don't let me distract you any longer from your very busy day.

Please brick up the door to your home, it is apparently a huge point of weakness and I want you to be able to sleep at night.

If someone wrote something silly in an article about elfgates you don't have to believe it. It is totally acceptable to apply reason and logic.

Sarcasm aside, I do not believe that a permanent door (permanent until you blow it up on your end) is very hard to defend, and the benefits of faster internal lines of communication across a well secured but widespread polity (like linking all the Azlanti core planets and major colonies) is hugely beneficial.


Leon Aquilla wrote:
Inqui wrote:

Not a spell but Null-Space Kennels are basically the death kneel for intra system personal transportation with spaceships.

Even for inter system travel I would argue a Tiara Mk 4 and kennels are cheaper than a starship, especially when you consider that travel is instant.

Even if we didn't assume the wording on null space kennels means that sentient creatures can't be put in them (which I feel it supports):

How is this different from null-space containers that can stuff 8 dwarves in them?

Nowhere is the term creature limited to non sapient ones.

Null space containers would also work, but gauging how much bulk a creature has is always a bit strange and I have not seen any definitive rule about that. The kennel is specifically made for creatures, has life support, although that is not usually needed for a quick teleport, and is also much cheaper.

But I missed the Gate ritual. Thats even more easy and would replace starship travels completely. At least the planets in the Pact world and Veskarium would all be connected by Gates and there is probably at least talks to set up gates between the Pact and Veskarium, with appropriate precautions.
It would also heavily affect APs. With how much money was poured into colonization, why didn't they set up gates in Horizon in the Vast?

Panopticon would mean most politician and businessman but also celebrities would avoid staying on Absolom as much as possible as everyone who lives on the station or just stays there and has access to a screen would be able to snoop in on them as this ritual would cover the entire station.


The "real" answer to rituals is that they're rare and held by those who have incentives other than profit maximization or who are dumb/ideological in ways that are harmful to society, while they probably think the opposite. It's not an uncommon problem. The game reason is that they want them useable by PCs where a GM feels appropriate, and aren't going to completely game out all ramifications of the fake society as a consequence of those PC facing rules.

Panopticon is probably uncommon but not rare, and subject to really harsh social and legal penalties if you're using it in a reasonable society. Even the Azlanti and Aspis Corporation probably just relay on pervasive cameras that record and can be reviewed rathre than trusting a leader of a compound with the ability to secretly snoop on you in the bathroom. Higher ranking people come visit and have to go the bathroom, too, you know. It's a personal abuse of power that's not actually helpful to the system, since the guy who cast the ritual isn't always going to be using it, can't record what he sees, and isn't providing that much value added vs hidden/subtle cameras with software to spot and escalate issues.


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Starfinder Superscriber
Quote:

Nowhere is the term creature limited to non sapient ones.

Whereas a null-space chamber can store

virtually any object, a null-space kennel is designed to house
and transport a willing pet or companion creature.
- Page 46

The term "pet" and "Companion creature" have specific mechanical definitions and require feats to utilize as anything other than a paper weight. So I'd say that restricts it to only those items on the creature companion/pet list, none of which are what I'd classify as sapient -- unless you're arguing that you are allowed to take dwarves/gnomes/other sentients as pets & creature companions in which case I'd point you to Paizo's new NO SLAVERY policy.

Inqui wrote:


Null space containers would also work, but gauging how much bulk a creature has is always a bit strange and I have not seen any definitive rule about that.

A dwarf is 16 bulk. Page 18, Starfinder - Serpents in the Cradle (Horizons of the Vast 2)


No idea why you suddenly start talking about slavery, unless you want to want to lock the discussion. It is pretty clear that I am talking about transportation.

In the rules text of the kennel it only talks about creatures and not companions, the same word used for example for Escape Pods. Likewise there is no justification why and how the kennel would reject a "not pet" creature.


Leon Aquilla wrote:
Inqui wrote:

Not a spell but Null-Space Kennels are basically the death kneel for intra system personal transportation with spaceships.

Even for inter system travel I would argue a Tiara Mk 4 and kennels are cheaper than a starship, especially when you consider that travel is instant.

Even if we didn't assume the wording on null space kennels means that sentient creatures can't be put in them (which I feel it supports):

How is this different from null-space containers that can stuff 8 dwarves in them?

I would have to reread the exact wording, but my impression was that they weren't restricted by sentience, so much as by *number*: it may be roomy on the inside, but it can only be entered and used by its one attuned resident.


Regarding rituals, I think the main limiting factor in play for some of the higher end rituals isn't just knowledge, its having skilled ritualists. Yes, you don't need to be a spellcaster to cast a ritual, or even to be any specific level. . . but you *do* need to make some increasingly honking huge skill checks, with consequences for failure including "wasting 6+ figure amounts of resources" and "damage high enough to kill outright an inadequately high level ritualist". If you want to set up a Gate, you don't just need money, you need the time and labor of someone in the level 15+ range. Such experts don't grow on trees, even in big rich societies.

That said, I would imagine Gates actually are a fairly common thing. Just, not common enough to render space ships obsolete. After all, space ships can carry things bigger than could be fit through a Gate, they can go anywhere the captain wants, and they can wait in nigh-infinite space if there's a traffic backup at their destination. A Gate would be limited in carrying capacity by how readily each end can disperse traffic coming through it, after all, and the more Gates you try to pack together in a single nexus, the more incoming traffic you would have to manage. Which is to say, to keep their usage manageable, and since you need a sizable investment to build one, Gate travel probably comes in two forms: expensive, and limited access. Either its only used according to the desires and interests of its operating organization, or else its open for anyone but tickets are expensive.


Metaphysician wrote:
If you want to set up a Gate, you don't just need money, you need the time and labor of someone in the level 15+ range. Such experts don't grow on trees, even in big rich societies.

And we have some limited evidence from devestation ark, that in the pact worlds at least, NPCs tend to cap out around 12, with the 15+ range being incredibly rare people who tend to value their time more than the money they could be paid.

And who's to say that tier 1-5 freighters aren't the same price as a million credit gate?

Sure, if you have a factory making parts on one planet that supplies your factory making guns on another, you'll want the gate. Maybe if you're trading around many ports of call you want a couple freighters instead. I dunno, I try to stay away from economics in my table top outside of 'vaguely probable' reasons behind things.


Helping Hands (free move action to manipulate an object) lets you trigger a bipod on your longarm for free every round. Combine with Haste for -2 penalty full attacks and fast movement every round. Wonderfully gross.

With Fluid Morphism providing a +2 enhancement to all skills (one attribute group at a time), Helping Hands providing a +2 circumstance to engineering/sleight of hand, and Command Icon providing +2 morale to Intimidation, skill boosts via spells (all of these last minute/round) are getting pretty crazy beyond the rerolls that are profilerating.

The real errata to Witchwarper's bad skills and saves was the spells (Uncanny Luck for saves) printed in this book, I guess. They somehow don't get Command Icon, though.


I find it very hard to believe that in 200+ years no one of the billions of inhabitants of the Pact Worlds managed to set up gates for either military coordination against the Veskarium, building a fortune for him or his descendants (or because being a follower of Abadar) or as a show of unity of the Pact Worlds.

And even when lvl 15+ people are rare, there are still tens of thousands or more of them around considering how large the Pact System is.

Imo its sadly another example of Paizo not realizing the effects of the content they add.


The Stewards do have a gate network for troop movements between planets. I’m not surprised they don’t open it for general use

I am surprised Abadarcorp hasn’t built one for personal commercial and light package courier delivery. Huge untapped market with minuscule capital costs and a network effect moat against competition. Capture 90% of a market that would grow 500-5000% even as costs to the consumer drop 75-95%.


All Veskarium planets are likely connected by gates. The Vesk have a centralized, military government so can simply order their high level characters to build them and it makes sense to project force on possibly unruly planets.
And with centuries of more or less peace the pressure to finally do something useful with the gates and open them to commercial and civilian use increases.

It also fundamentally alters the way wars are fought with gateships.
Put a gate (or several) in your mustering grounds, the other end on a ship and land it on an enemy planet to basically remove your supply lines.
Thats basically the only way how planetary invasions could work and would make the Veskariums attack on Triaxus an actual threat instead being doomed from the start.

On the other hand, the Idari looks rather useless now. Why build a gigantic generation ship instead of one, or multiple, smaller ships and have a gate on them to allow for crew rotation and a much larger number of colonists. Unless the Idari was also designed as an ark in case the Kasatha go extinct on their home planet.
At least the plan of invading Akiton looks a little less silly if the Idari had a gate connection back to the homeworld.


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Feel like the gate/transport/economics of magic might make for a separate thread at this point.


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The description was ambiguous, but I interpreted that the gates have to be in fixed locations. Yes, yes, relativity of space/time, but basically you couldn't put a Gate on a ship, it had to be on a "stationary" location like a station or planet. At the very least, I'd be inclined to make physically moving an active Gate a fraught and risky affair at least mostly as hard as setting up a Gate in the first place.


I'm still learning Starfinder [slowly, my group may or may not ever try it -- this book may be the one that pushes me toward it, since I want "space fantasy" and not "scifi with magic"] and interpreting this through a Pathfinder lense... But reading Acid Puddle, it sounds like a no-brainer always to take it over fireball. Is Starfinder generally amped up that much over PF? Or acid (and hardness) more resisted? Or SR avoidance less important?

In Pathfinder, if it were straight-up Conjuration (no SR) Acid damage -- no other changes from Fireball -- I'd consider it pure upgrade. But this also has its duration. The reduced range rarely matters, and the flat 6d6+n2d6 is the same to better than Ld6.

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