Fieldtest


Field Test Discussion


Excellent to hear that there's going to be an actual playtest for the core of Starfinder.


Reading it right now :)

Tom


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I really like what I'm reading so far. The Soldier certainly looks unique. A walking tank focused on area debuffs and short-range area damage. If this went until level 10, I'd pester my GM about playing it in our upcoming Abomination Vaults game right now ^^

Quick clarification, though: Area Fire and Automatic Fire deal regular weapon damage, right? In 2e it usually says "targets need to make a Reflex save against your Class DC or take X damage".


Since the Soldier is going to be focusing more on Big Guns and AOEs, I'm assuming things like melee and snipers will move on to other classes, such as the Operative?

And one thing that's traditionally bugged me regarding heavy weapons in many RPGs: being ranged attacks, they are usually based on Dexterity or the equivalent. But the typical wielder is Big and Burly – you need Strength to carry the gun(s) and wear the big heavy armor, so you probably don't have all that much to spare for Dexterity.

I see two possible solutions to this. The avenue that the Field Test seems to be taking is that when using their Big Guns, Soldiers rarely make actual attack rolls. Instead they force other people to make saves, and their class DC is based on Con, so that works out. The other path would be to let heavy guns have a "reverse Finesse" ability, so you could use Strength instead of Dexterity.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber

area fire and automatic fire both have save DCs


Everything looks really good. A little strange that the Glitching condition is an item penalty if it can apply to creatures, but definitely makes a lot of sense as a condition impacting an item.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

very cool stuff


The Commercial Laser Pistol cannot accept a battery...

It is listed as Capacity 5, thus only able to use a battery with a maximum capacity of 5.

The Batteries come in 10, 20, 40 capacity...


Tempest_Knight wrote:

The Commercial Laser Pistol cannot accept a battery...

It is listed as Capacity 5, thus only able to use a battery with a maximum capacity of 5.

The Batteries come in 10, 20, 40 capacity...

I assume this was a deliberate homage to the capacity 10 things in the original CRB that couldn't take a battery to be recharged.

Vigilant Seal

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What's strange to me is that while every "martial" character in PF2 starts with 2 saving throws at Expert, the soldier starts with only 1 saving throw at expert. Without the whole chassis it's hard to know what the reasoning there is, but it is an interesting difference from Pathfinder.


I found this Field Test Soldier to be very cool and interesting, including being a Con-based class with Heavy Armor.

But I have some criticisms of him already :P

1. I found the feat Relentless Endurance boring. As it is it's basically once per hour when you take damage you gain 1d8+4 temporary HP for basically no reason. In my opinion they could both make a more interesting defensive reaction, as it also needs to be more potent than a nerfed version of Heal as reaction with temporary HP.
2. Overwhelming Assault. The way this feat is, it will end up becoming a must have feat, that's never cool. If it's going to give an ability as effective as a MAP reducer, then it needs to be a class feature.

For the rest, it's just congratulations! The class is really cool!

Ps.: I also loved the monsters, if it continues like this I might end up "stealing" some of them for PF2 kkkk


YuriP wrote:


2. Overwhelming Assault. The way this feat is, it will end up becoming a must have feat, that's never cool. If it's going to give an ability as effective as a MAP reducer, then it needs to be a class feature.

Overwhelming Assault is a pretty weak feat imo. It's a +1 on only one attack (you already spent two actions to do an area attack) and that attack isn't going to increase its crit chance (not only are you attacking with MAP, you are attacking with a secondary attribute). Reducing your crit fail chance almost never matters, so this is not one of the cases where a +1 matters twice as much as you think.

You can use it twice if you're hasted or a Close Quarters fighting style in melee (strike once, then twice with reduced MAP), but that third attack is still a bad idea since you likely won't ever get an agile two handed weapon, and all your attacks will be with a secondary stat instead of KAS.

It's not great. This is where the three action economy really sucks compared to the old SF1 abilities like Soldier's Onslaught.

Envoy's Alliance

Looking at the two alien stat blocks (gremlin and wolf), I'm encouraged that all the necessary information to use each of them at a table seems to be present in one place. If every stat block is more like this, my group may return to Starfinder.

I ran us through Skitter Shot, then Dawn of Flame 1 of 6, and we liked it overall. But the single most glaring issue, and the reason I stopped running Starfinder after DoF 1, is how much prep time I had to burn "rendering" stat blocks. For example, a stat block for an enemy that's in play for just a few rounds of combat might have:
1. Details on its bonuses to attack (which differ from what they'd be if I just stuck the listed equipment on something with the listed attributes).
2. A player race, which I have to then look up the features for.
3. A player class, which I then have to go learn the features of for the given level, including making choices on which options at different levels were taken.
4. Sometimes also spells, to look up and learn.

With all that, I found that even mid-tier grunts in some combat were taking a great deal more time to prepare to run than even the infamous spellcasting NPCs in D&D 5e. I was spending (super roughly) 60% of my total prep time just mushing items 1-4 together into a "rendered" stat block so I could have one place to look in the middle of combat to know how something worked. And that 60% of total time was time that just wasn't necessary to run D&D, Soulbound, Shadowdark, 13th Age, etc. So, for the time being, I've abandoned running Starfinder due to the huge time sink and low payoff for how much play time is enjoyed vs. the time spent "rendering" stat blocks. Ultimately it's 0% more play time vs. other systems from the double-ish total time to prep.

Er, ramble-rant short: I really hope all other Starfinder 2e stat blocks are like the two we've seen so far. No one-or-two-word references to whole other stat blocks or chunks of rules that have to be found and merged just to roll dice, or know what-all features something has available to it. I dread seeing something like "lashunta solarian" at the top of a stat block, and knowing those couple words have greatly multiplied the amount of pre-game "homework" I have before me.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber

quick question on "QUICK-SWAP [reaction] FEAT 1
SOLDIER
Trigger You are wielding a two-handed weapon and a creature
moves adjacent to you.
You stow your current weapon and draw another two-handed
weapon. If you have multiple sets of arms, you can instead choose
a set to become active."

Why is it limited to handed weapon and not open it up for 1h or even "sword and board"?


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That's not the focus of the soldier class. They want it doing big, heavy things.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I really appreciate that if you ignore the archaic trait (which I think is a good lever for this since its simple to rule away), everything does look like it's in the right ballpark to be pf2e friendly, even the high capacity guns are balanced by the relative lack of traits relative to their black powder counterparts from Guns and Gears.


Staffan Johansson wrote:
Since the Soldier is going to be focusing more on Big Guns and AOEs, I'm assuming things like melee and snipers will move on to other classes, such as the Operative?

My guess is they'll assume you'll just play Fighter or Gunslinger if you want to play those, with Operative being focused on Finesse weapons and 1 handed ranged weapons.


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Right now, I think the Soldier's focus on area weapons is a bit too narrow, especially with how poorly they interact with the hands economy. While it shouldn't just be Fighter In Space, it should definitely be broader than that.

Some other core, defense-oriented mechanic, like an Overwatch ability or improved Readied Actions would be a cool alternative.

In addition, CON to Intimidate feels more like a class feat rather than a feature.


Milo v3 wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
Since the Soldier is going to be focusing more on Big Guns and AOEs, I'm assuming things like melee and snipers will move on to other classes, such as the Operative?
My guess is they'll assume you'll just play Fighter or Gunslinger if you want to play those, with Operative being focused on Finesse weapons and 1 handed ranged weapons.

I don't think they're going to design the system around having to use PF2 content in order to use stuff in the SF2 system.


Red Metal wrote:
I don't think they're going to design the system around having to use PF2 content in order to use stuff in the SF2 system.

We already see that they are though in the very first Field Test.

That is why the Soldier isn't allowed to "The martial class" anymore, because Fighter & Gunslinger already cover those. So for mechanical identity, they needed to find a new spot for it and realized they could lean into having assault weapons and other big weapons be area based attacks.


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Finally got a chance to read this and the Soldier is *awesome.*


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First impression feedback based on my Pathfinder brain:

Soldier:

1. Saves - as Alevo already pointed out, it is kinda strange for a martial-equivalent to only start with one save at expert. What's even stranger is that they don't get another expert on level 3 either. A big pool of HP is cool, but enemies don't have to kill you to cripple your ability to act. For example, a Close Quarters Soldier will by necessity have low DEX and with this terrible a Reflex save, any intelligent enemy will exploit this heavily by Tripping you constantly. Even mooks will find it easy. You are going to be spending a lot of your time on your back and not in the fun way.

2. Suppressing Fire - awesome ability. Maybe increase the speed penalty to -10, otherwise it won't matter most of the time.

3. Primary Target - I like the ability to target more than just Reflex. I just don't know how well it will work out that it runs off a completely different stat and progression.

4. Fighting Styles - All look cool and have a niche. Bombard is 100% my pick here! Armor Storm needs to specify what type of resistance, though.

5. Walking Armory - You don't have to be completely MAD! Very good addition.

6. Class DC - I love the fact that you have found a way to selectively increase it via Targeting, so that you don't feel like you are constantly behind. The only thing I worry about is with a presumed level 7 expert/level 15 master progression, it will create odd scenarios where you are better off Striking via Primary Target at some levels and almost not using it all at others.

7. Menacing Laughter - unless the Remaster changed anything, Demoralize has a 10 min cooldown. To not potentially waste it's effects, it would be great if you could pick who you Demoralize.

8. Steady Up - This is very, very niche with the info we have. To be more generally useful, this should include Trip-protection as well.

9. Overwhelming Assault - Why is the 3rd attack -9/-8 instead of -8/-6? Especially given that as of right now, you'll never get one at range and even then it will run of a stat that isn't your key stat.

10. Severe single-target weakness - with the almost singular focus on affecting multiple targets, the Soldier will really struggle to contribute against stronger single targets or just when you are fighting fewer enemies in adverse conditions. I know from experience that at least PF APs like to do that very regularly. Bombards will have an easier time, as they will probably at least apply Suppressed. But that's kinda it and Suppressed is good, but not that good. You will deal less damage than a one-handed ranged martial or even a caster and that's about all you do. It's completely fine for the Soldier to be weaker in this case, but I would consider the current state to be a bit much.

At the end of the day, though, this looks extremely promising!

Weapons:

1. Area Fire/Automatic Fire - don't mention the consequence of the basic save, as stated above.

2. Ammo cost - I can only speak for someone who wants to use this stuff (or at least a reflavoured version) in PF, but with 10 credits = 1 gp, this ammo is extremely expensive. 1gp for 10 shots is 10x the price of PF2e ammo.


Milo v3 wrote:
Red Metal wrote:
I don't think they're going to design the system around having to use PF2 content in order to use stuff in the SF2 system.

We already see that they are though in the very first Field Test.

That is why the Soldier isn't allowed to "The martial class" anymore, because Fighter & Gunslinger already cover those. So for mechanical identity, they needed to find a new spot for it and realized they could lean into having assault weapons and other big weapons be area based attacks.

In that case, why would Operative specialize in finesse and one-handed ranged weapons, when we already have the rogue, the swashbuckler, and the pistolero gunslinger?


Red Metal wrote:
In that case, why would Operative specialize in finesse and one-handed ranged weapons, when we already have the rogue, the swashbuckler, and the pistolero gunslinger?

I suppose it's true that they'll need to come up with a spot for Operative to shine outside of being The Rogue of Starfinder now. Just like they decided they needed to do with Soldier.


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Additions to my list:

11. The Bombard clashes pretty heavily with Primary Target as just using the DC is far better most of the time.

12. Depending on how melee weapons turn out, I can see the Close Quarters clashing with Primary Target as well. Given how melee weapons are balanced in PF2e, you have basically two options. One, go full STR and leave DEX at maybe 12 or so. In this case, Primary Target is basically useless to you. Two, go DEX and leave STR at low numbers. In this case, you would have to use finesse weapons, which you don't have the features for to make attractive. Except against single enemies, they would be worse than your ranged weapons, so why use them?

13. Punishing Salvo's requirements are currently impossible to meet. The last action you will have used is still Area Fire/Automatic Fire, because as it is currently written the Primary Target Strike (which is missing the "Strike" part in its own description) is not a separate action.

14. Pin Down doesn't account for the possibility that the player used Primary Target on that creature.


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I'm concerned about the bulk values we're seeing listed.

Starfinder pistols were L bulk, which is pretty reasonable- you could have a backup pistol on any character to deal with immunity. It'll be both less accurate and less damaging now, so I don't think that it should also be bulkier. If a pistol is a full bulk, what does that leave for light bulk?

Much less concerning is the heavy weaponry. Two-to-three bulk is pretty normal there. The rotolaser has less range and damage than the stellar cannon, but more bulk. I guess that "automatic" is valued more highly than "burst" because it's more flexible on other classes? Or maybe because the rotolaser doesn't have the "unwieldy" trait.


I guess we know why Navasi’s pistol grew so much.


Another issue I expect cropping up is automatic's weird usage rate. Automatic Fire takes an entire half of your current mag (or whatever), so any feat or feature that ties into also using your gun for other things (e.g. Punishing Salvo) automatically locks you out of a second Automatic Fire. So a class like the Soldier, who wants to chain area attacks as much as physically possible, will at that point have to grab a new mag, leading to a bag full of half-empty magazines you can't really use. Compared to that, the stellar cannon seems like a much more comfortable operation. I don't know how much of a problem this will actually be, or at least how weird to play, but this sounds like something that could use a little smoothing out.

Just because it came up on reddit, it would also be useful that to explicitly state that Area Fire has just the normal usage rate. It is mostly obvious, as that is the normal way you use the things, but it's useful given how close the description is to that of Automatic Fire. It seems like something new people would trip over.

---

Update: I begged my GM to let me play a reflavoured Soldier in AV - no dice :/


Karmagator wrote:

Weapons:

1. Area Fire/Automatic Fire - don't mention the consequence of the basic save, as stated above.

Basic saves have a fixed definition, that's why they're basic. Crit fail is double damage, fail is normal damage, save is half damage, crit success is no damage.

The half damage is one thing to remember when judging their use against two attack rolls on one or more targets using the same number of actions. Attack rolls only have a result of nothing, regular damage, or double damage.


Xenocrat wrote:
Karmagator wrote:

Weapons:

1. Area Fire/Automatic Fire - don't mention the consequence of the basic save, as stated above.

Basic saves have a fixed definition, that's why they're basic. Crit fail is double damage, fail is normal damage, save is half damage, crit success is no damage.

The half damage is one thing to remember when judging their use against two attack rolls on one or more targets using the same number of actions. Attack rolls only have a result of nothing, regular damage, or double damage.

Yeah I know ^^. The problem is - half of what? It's heavily implied that you deal the weapon's damage, but it never actually says so.


C'mon, man.


I mean it seems a little nitpicky, this is exactly the stuff that produces dozens of posts from new players. Better to catch it early.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Milo v3 wrote:


That is why the Soldier isn't allowed to "The martial class" anymore, because Fighter & Gunslinger already cover those. So for mechanical identity, they needed to find a new spot for it and realized they could lean into having assault weapons and other big weapons be area based attacks.

This is a very limited slice of very early development, they are using pathfinder stuff for now to help identify how things interact with the system, and my guess is it will let them identify how things like melee need to change to better fit the system. I also think this area and automatic stuff is pretty new for the system, whereas melee is a more well known quantity, so they likely chose more stuff focused on that to show along with the soldier, but that doesn't indicate that this is ALL the soldier will be able to do.


Skabb wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:


That is why the Soldier isn't allowed to "The martial class" anymore, because Fighter & Gunslinger already cover those. So for mechanical identity, they needed to find a new spot for it and realized they could lean into having assault weapons and other big weapons be area based attacks.
This is a very limited slice of very early development, they are using pathfinder stuff for now to help identify how things interact with the system, and my guess is it will let them identify how things like melee need to change to better fit the system. I also think this area and automatic stuff is pretty new for the system, whereas melee is a more well known quantity, so they likely chose more stuff focused on that to show along with the soldier, but that doesn't indicate that this is ALL the soldier will be able to do.

With the core feature of the class (Suppressing Fire) being all-in on Area/Automatic weaponry, that doesn't necessarily seem to be the case. It'd be one thing if all the feats shown focused on them, but the class features being so heavily focused on them is telling.

It's important to the designers know if people are unsatisfied with the Soldier being an area weapon specialist.


Skabb wrote:
This is a very limited slice of very early development, they are using pathfinder stuff for now to help identify how things interact with the system, and my guess is it will let them identify how things like melee need to change to better fit the system. I also think this area and automatic stuff is pretty new for the system, whereas melee is a more well known quantity, so they likely chose more stuff focused on that to show along with the soldier, but that doesn't indicate that this is ALL the soldier will be able to do.

The "field notes" on page 5 specifically say that they wanted to differentiate the Soldier from the Fighter by having them focus on making AOE attacks and being able to take more damage. They might be having various approaches to this core task, but that's the main thing they'll be doing. Similar to how PF2 Rogues focus on making foes vulnerable and then hitting them with high-damage sneak attacks, but having different approaches to how they make foes vulnerable.


Btw, looking at the Field Test art is it normal for Tashtari/Laser Wolves to only have three legs?


Karmagator wrote:
Btw, looking at the Field Test art is it normal for Tashtari/Laser Wolves to only have three legs?

Yep!


QuidEst wrote:
Karmagator wrote:
Btw, looking at the Field Test art is it normal for Tashtari/Laser Wolves to only have three legs?
Yep!

Wow, their gait must look funny as hell. They'd be almost bunny-hopping everywhere XD

Envoy's Alliance

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

This isn't DIRECTLY to the field test, but from other announcements regarding the upcoming stuff, and what y'all mentioned about identity.

They have announced four classes: Soldier, Mytic, Envoy, and Solarion. And I believe (at least for the playtest next year) they said they were only planning on a total of 6 classes. And I believe there are 4 more from the Initial set up: Technomancer, Biohacker, Mechanic, and Operative.

So who do we think will be brought into the play test


Zoken44 wrote:

This isn't DIRECTLY to the field test, but from other announcements regarding the upcoming stuff, and what y'all mentioned about identity.

They have announced four classes: Soldier, Mytic, Envoy, and Solarion. And I believe (at least for the playtest next year) they said they were only planning on a total of 6 classes. And I believe there are 4 more from the Initial set up: Technomancer, Biohacker, Mechanic, and Operative.

So who do we think will be brought into the play test

Operative was already mentioned as being internally playtested, so they are definitely in. After that, no clue. I'd personally like the Mechanic, but that would leave the lineup pretty low on "casters", so probably one of the more castery ones.

Grand Lodge

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I am really hoping they keep SP in as a concept in Starfinder 2. I think there is something to be said for futureistic weapons being able to do more damage. Even if we think of SP as shield points rather than stamina points. I think you could make having a personal shield make sense as a standard for being an society member or adventurer. I do get where recharging it by expending RP wouldnt make as much sense, unless it were magical in nature, an enhancement that gives you a magical personal shield that can take a limited amount of damage before you have to spend 10 minutes and 1rp to redo the ritual to restore it :)
Makes total sense.


Mai Shael wrote:

I am really hoping they keep SP in as a concept in Starfinder 2. I think there is something to be said for futureistic weapons being able to do more damage. Even if we think of SP as shield points rather than stamina points. I think you could make having a personal shield make sense as a standard for being an society member or adventurer. I do get where recharging it by expending RP wouldnt make as much sense, unless it were magical in nature, an enhancement that gives you a magical personal shield that can take a limited amount of damage before you have to spend 10 minutes and 1rp to redo the ritual to restore it :)

Makes total sense.

I really hope that they can make it work, even with the 100% compatibility promise. Particularly with them representing shield points rather than basically character energy. Personal shields are a big scifi staple and are just really cool in-story explanations as to why PCs can take the amount of punishment they do.

The other advantage is that it allows more scenarios to make sense. In PF2, especially at early levels, when you are for example assaulting a criminal hideout, after an encounter or two you'll have to sit down for at least 30 mins to an hour to regenerate your health. While you are doing that, enemies that should obviously know that something is wrong just have to cool their heels, which is weird. Or you'll have to fully retreat from the location, which is often even worse. Doing that faster via consumables is just unsustainable and asking the casters to constantly blow all resources on healing is unfair. All in all, it is not very cinematic. Stamina is a good answer to these problems and even has built-in options to allow the GM to reduce the recovery time even below 10 mins should the situation call for it. Give me all sorts of these levers from the start and I'm happy.

Lastly, the PF2 "Medicine is mandatory" meta for combat-heavy groups is a worse solution in my eyes. For the SF crowd, in PF2 the Medicine skill allows you to use the Treat Wounds activity, which allows for free out-of-combat healing. Which is necessary, as PF2 combats are balanced around the assumption that the party has near full HP at the start of every encounter. The problem is that baseline, you can only treat one person and anyone can only be treated once per hour. To solve that problem, the dedicated medicine party member will take two skill feats (everyone gets at least 1 of those every two levels). The DCs for more healing also get higher and higher, so they will have to spend a significant amount of PF2's equivalent of skill points as well. I think you can see the issue.


I can see a personal shield being viable but not mandatory giving some temp HP that can or cannot be rechargeable.
I don't expect SP because in the medicine probably will do a better job once its able to fully restore your HP not only half of it and due higher developed healing technology of a sci-fi it could be even more effective than it is in PF2.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I think it was mentioned in Field Test 2 that Precog was getting wrapped into Witchwarper but I hope instead Precog becomes an archetype that any class can pick up if not it's own class. If it becomes a archetype, I think that could be cool for cross play between Starfinder and Pathfinder.

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