Solarian Supernova and Distant Burst

Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Supernova is technically, RAW, not a radius effect, although it does say all creatures within 10 feet of you.

That means a Medium Solarian has a 12.5' radius?, while Large Solarian extends their Supernova out to 15' radius?, Huge Solarian extends their Supernova out at a 20' radius?, etc.

A) Should Supernova be treated as a radius effect? Especially given the complications of different-sized creatures having different size radius effects?

B) Since Distant Burst can only be used with revelations that have a radius effect, and Supernova, RAW, doesn't have a specified radius, does it still work?

C) If the intent IS for Supernova to work with Distant Burst, will the Errata be updated to reflect that? And do larger creatures get a larger area of effect? That seems a bit unfair.

As you can see, the interactions of these two abilities do create some issues that need clarification.

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Supernova: " At 9th level, you can increase the radius to 15 feet, and at 17th level, you can increase the radius to 20 feet."

It is a radius based ability. It just happens to be 10' from your square.

Second Seekers (Jadnura)

1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Agree with Garretmander: supernova has a radius listed, it's just a bit later in the write-up.

Re: creature size - I think you're making this more complicated than it needs to be. If you measure the 'radius' of supernova from the centre of your character, then yeah, the size of the radius changes with character size. But enemies (outside of some rare expections) don't occupy your character's space, so the 'effective' radius is always the same: within 10' of your PC. This does give bigger sized PCs an advantage in this specific instance, sure, but in general that kind of consideration is baked into the species, as far as game balance goes.

The prevailing wisdom is that whatever advantages a creature gains from being bigger (bigger novas, often-but-not-always increased reach, etc) is offset by the disadvantages of being a bigger target, being flanked more easily, having a harder time getting into cover, and having to squeeze in spaces that are often built for Medium sized creatures. Ranged combatants being much more common in Starfinder than other d20 games (thanks to not needing to specialize in things like precise shot, point-blank shot, etc) means cover, especially, is also a much bigger deal.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Radius bursts, if that IS what Supernova is, originate from a corner of your space, not 10' from your square, but from a corner of your square that you choose. That means the wording "10' from you" is not accurate, and it too easily misiniterpreted.

This is a major FAQ candidate.

Pathfinder Adventure, LO Special Edition, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I think the bigger problem here is that while supernova is extremely clearly RAW a radius effect and includes the word in its description - the vast majority of other abilities you would imagine would be impacted aren't.

Black hole is "select X creatures within range"

Corona is an aura effect so it would be a logical break if it worked - and is "creatures adjacent" not a radius.

Energy sink probably should have the word radius in it - but it also doesn't scale, which is another quirky issue for a zenith.

Flare I guess works with it, but its an aura so its weird.

Gamma Distortion is another radius aura - and tossing it with distant burst would make it nearly useless.

Radiation is another aura, but uses the same "creatures within x feet" language as supernova, but the expansion is listed as "size of aura increases", so its fuzzy.

Implosion shock seems to think that Black Hole has a area of effect, which it technically doesn't - but it technically would be burstable if we count "creatures within x feet" using supernova as precedence.

All Shall Kneel has a radius and is centered on you - but is another aura. Uncertain if it's eligible because its not a momentary effect, but one which should move with you.

Miniature Star is probably the only unambiguous one impacted - a radius filling your square (tho one could argue this is not "centered on you")

And that's it! 9 revelations, all but two (Supernova, Miniature Star) is very ambiguously combatible. Four more which specifically mention the word radius but are all auras, which makes them odd, and seems distant burst should have language supporting them. After all, if they're an extension of you, you'd think you could move them with you still.

Almost all "radius" mentions for Solarian with the exception of these 6 are not centered on the solarian.

The issue isn't with supernova, but rather the fact that as stipulated, Distant Burst is near useless except for periastra spam.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

A burst effect applies to whatever is in its area when it comes into effect, including creatures that you can’t see. It doesn’t affect creatures with total cover from the burst’s point of origin, and its effects don’t extend around corners. The default shape for a burst effect is a sphere, but some burst effects are specifically described as cone-shaped. A burst’s area defines how far from the point of origin the effect extends.

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 268
Some effects cover a defined area. Sometimes an effect’s description indicates a specially defined area, but usually an area falls into one of the categories discussed below. Regardless of the shape of the area, you select the point from which the effect originates, but otherwise you don’t control which creatures or objects are affected. The point of origin of an effect is always a grid intersection, meaning the point where four squares touch on a tactical battle map.

When determining whether a given creature is within the area of an effect, count out the distance from the point of origin in squares, just as you would do when moving a character or when determining the range for a ranged attack. *The only difference is that instead of counting from the center of one square to the center of the next, you must count from intersection to intersection.* You can count diagonally across a square, but keep in mind that every second diagonal counts as two squares of distance. If the far edge of a square is within the effect’s area, everything within that square is within the effect’s area. If the effect’s area touches only the near edge of a square, however, things within that square are unaffected by the effect.

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