Ways to lower starship turn distance

General Discussion

One downside to adding on things like standard ship armor and ablative armor is that it lowers your turn distance, and that hit to manueverability may not be worth what you get. So I was interested to notice that Ports of Call has a way to permanently and relatively cheaply lower your turn distance and give you more turn "budget" for more armor, ablative armor, or a less manueverable but otherwise desirable base frame.

Magic Thrusters wrote:
Magic thrusters use arcane energy to move a starship and can provide improved handling. Magic thrusters are purchased and installed along with typical thrusters, at an additional cost equal to 1/5 of the starship frame’s BP cost (minimum 1). Magic thrusters grant an additional +1 Piloting modifier and reduce the distance between turns by 1 (minimum 0).

There's also now the the Racer archetype (2nd level ability lets you permanently lower your designated ship turn distance by 1), and three crew actions, listed below, that can lower turn radius in a single combat round.

1. Audacious Gambit (Pilot Action):


Audacious Gambit (Helm Phase)

If you have at least 12 ranks in Piloting, you can spend 1 Resolve Point and attempt a Piloting check (DC = 20 + 1-1/2 × your starship’s tier) to pull off complex maneuvers. You can move your starship up to its speed, treating its distance between turns as if it were 2 lower (minimum 0). You can also fly through hexes occupied by enemy vessels without provoking free attacks. At the end of your starship’s movement, you can rotate your starship to face in any direction. If you fail the check, you instead move as if you had taken the fly action (but still lose the Resolve Point).

[See also Telelith Matrix expansion bay which lets you skip the movement and just teleport directly to any hex.]

2. Psychic Currents (Magic Officer action):


Psychic Currents (Engineering Phase)

If you have at least 12 ranks in Mysticism, you can spend 1 Resolve Point and attempt a Mysticism check (DC = 20 + 1-1/2 × your starship’s tier) to manipulate mysterious, invisible forces in the void of space, expanding and contracting the
basic physics around your own vessel and altering how your starship can negotiate the confines of physical space-time. On a successful check, reduce your starship’s minimum distance between turns by 1 (to a minimum of 0) for that round.
3. Hard Turn (Chief Mate action):

Hard Turn (Helm Phase, Push)

You manually adjust additional thrusters and bypass safety systems, shouting for your fellow crew members to brace themselves for a stomach-turning tactical maneuver. This bit of risky co-piloting might overtax the starship’s turn radius, but it can also help the pilot get significantly more maneuverability out of the vessel when the crew finds itself in a lurch. Attempt an Acrobatics or Athletics check (DC = 10 + 1-1/2 × your starship’s tier). If you succeed, the pilot can make
one turn during the round as though the maneuverability of the starship were improved by one step. This has no effect on a ship with perfect maneuverability. If you fail your check by 10 or more, you overheat and temporarily degrade the effectiveness of the starship’s maneuvering thrusters, causing the ship’s maneuverability to worsen by one step for the rest of this round.

As far as effectiveness goes, Audacious Gambit is by far the most effective one, but hard and locks you out of another pilot action or stunt. Psychic Currents is just as hard and gives half the benefit (and doesn't get that final hex turn) but lets the pilot do something else. And Hard Turn is easy but Push and only effects a single turn rather than all of them.

Are there any other options I'm missing? It seems with Magic Thrusters and a Racer archetype pilot the age of well defended not-so-lumbering starships is upon us at high tier, and they can get downright agile with an appropriate crew action.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There's also the lesser version of Audacious Gambit for when you don't want to spend resolve or can't reliably make that check:

SRD wrote:

Maneuver (Helm Phase)
You move your starship up to its speed. You can also attempt a Piloting check (DC = 15 + 1-1/2 × your starship’s tier) to reduce your starship’s distance between turns by 1 (to a minimum of 0).

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

Don't forget Flip and Burn (lets you move up to half your speed, then flip 180 degrees, regardless of turn distance), and as a last resort Turn In Place (set your facing to whatever you want, but you can't move) as other options.

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Starfinder General Discussion / Ways to lower starship turn distance All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.