Wishes and concerns for Starfinder Second Edition


Playtest General Discussion

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Purely aside I wonder what the class for 'fixit' type characters will be.

No, I'm not talking 'Joe Fix-it' (Hulk) from Marvel but actual honest-to-goodness dedicated to keeping things working class.

If Crafting expands to the point where anyone can do it (without impacting combat effectiveness) that might be a route of development, but for those of us who have Scotty/LaForge/Chewbacca/Trip/Scruffy dreams...


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
If Crafting expands to the point where anyone can do it (without impacting combat effectiveness) that might be a route of development, but for those of us who have Scotty/LaForge/Chewbacca/Trip/Scruffy dreams...

Are you working in the Engine Bay, or on the weapons?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber
breithauptclan wrote:


Are you working in the Engine Bay, or on the weapons?

Would be great if they allowed that in starfinder society.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
CrimsonKnight wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:


Are you working in the Engine Bay, or on the weapons?

Would be great if they allowed that in starfinder society.

I think you missed the point. These are examples of the kinds of Archetypes you might see in SF2. Archetypes are not banned from society play.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
breithauptclan wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
If Crafting expands to the point where anyone can do it (without impacting combat effectiveness) that might be a route of development, but for those of us who have Scotty/LaForge/Chewbacca/Trip/Scruffy dreams...
Are you working in the Engine Bay, or on the weapons?

Yes.


WatersLethe wrote:
I think you missed the point. These are examples of the kinds of Archetypes you might see in SF2. Archetypes are not banned from society play.

Exactly. Artillerist would be a terrible archetype to actually use in SF2. What exactly does it mean to have your siege weapon able to move twice as far when you aim it? Is that meant to apply to starship weapons somehow?

But I could absolutely see an archetype that gives you benefits when using weapons mounted on vecihles or starships. And it would probably be a common rated archetype - which makes it avaliable even in PFS.


I'm honestly hoping for less magic this time around or at least a better integration that makes more sense in a science fantasy setting was always my big gripe magic in starfinder felt so odd


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belgrath9344 wrote:

I'm honestly hoping for less magic this time around or at least a better integration that makes more sense in a science fantasy setting was always my big gripe magic in starfinder felt so odd

Why does the future of Pathfinder having a lot of magic feel odd?

We know the core class spread now: Envoy, Mystic, Operative, Solarian, Soldier, and Witchwarper (which has also absorbed the Precog). It's a good mix of martials and magic, IMO, though a little conspicuously light on tech.


Why the Witchwarper instead of the Technomancer though?

That would be like having the Magus instead of both the Sorcerer and Wizard in an alternate playtest...


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My theory for why no technomancer is so that they don't have a repeat of the Alchemist playtest experience, where they are simultaneously developing the class and also the entire subsystem it revolves around.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
JiCi wrote:

Why the Witchwarper instead of the Technomancer though?

That would be like having the Magus instead of both the Sorcerer and Wizard in an alternate playtest...

More like having the psychic instead of the sorcerer or wizard. Witchwarper is a full caster, and the one they've most recently taken a look at how it works mechanically.

But, no, I think Grankless and others are correct in pointing out that the mechanic and technomancer leap out as sharing heavy technological themes, and are conspicuously absent from the core playtest line-up. Which suggests two possibilities: 1) they are shelving them for now to later release them in a tech focused book, in order to develop the needed subsystems (namely, high technology) first. With the Mechanic, this would also give them a way to really take a good look at the class and how a game with both it and the inventor would work. I don't think there's a LOT of overlap with the two classes, but there's enough (at least superficially) that avoiding "Inventor in space" might need a little more time.

Possibility 2: they've decided that having entire classes be that tech focused needs to be reconsidered, and this might be more appropriate for archetypes so that anyone can get that kind of playstyle without needing to pick specific classes first.

I don't know how likely possibility 2 is. Probably not very (after all, multiclass archetypes would let you have both class AND archetype), but it will be something I'll wonder about until we get more information about those classes.


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belgrath9344 wrote:

I'm honestly hoping for less magic this time around or at least a better integration that makes more sense in a science fantasy setting was always my big gripe magic in starfinder felt so odd

I think that perhaps we are not understanding your meaning well. How does it feel odd? What would make it not feel odd? When you ask for "better integration", what kind of changes are you asking for?

I don't think that "less magic" is going to happen here. Starfinder is as magical as it is. This "better integration" idea intrigues me, though, and I'd like to hear more.

/***********/

On the "Why no Technomancer/Mechanic" front... well, part of it is that Starfinder tech is something that doesn't have a good foundation already in PF2. Like, it's Starfinder. They're going to want tech to be A Thing, and they're going to want it to be different from anything that exists currently in PF2, and that means that there's some more structure to build under it before it's really ready to go. Really, I think they're doing this right. Put together an initial, functional core where you tackle all of the things that you have to tackle to make that core work right, and put off basically everything else. Then add the other chunks on one piece at a time, so that you can afford to give each piece the attention it deserves.


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Grankless wrote:
My theory for why no technomancer is so that they don't have a repeat of the Alchemist playtest experience, where they are simultaneously developing the class and also the entire subsystem it revolves around.

This is also probably why Alchemist fell out of PF2.1PC1.


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SF1 Technomancer tech interactions were:

1. Spells - but these will have to shared with anyone who shares a (presumably arcane) spell list now, so that can't be fundamental to the class.

1b. (Edit, because so trivial yet fundamental that I forgot.) The spell cache/capcitator was fake technology association. You could pick a piece of tech to do your basic wizard thing, but it didn't matter if you did or just made it a tattoo. It didn't actually interact with or affect tech, you just got a free spell to cast or spell to sustain. There's no reason any other spellcasting class couldn't have gotten the same result with different flavor justification.

2. Magic hacks to temporarily create tech items, weapons, armor, etc., often with accompanying weapon proficiency/specialization: Well, they aren't going to get master weapon proficiency (presumably!) so that part won't matter, and spending resources for equipment replacement is already a thing PF2 spells (e.g. mage armor) can do.

3. The drone ACF. No, that's not going to happen.

4. Defenses (which were weak/bad) against tech weapon attacks via magic hacks. This could be a focus spell or class feat, I guess, but then it's poachable if low level. Not very interesting as a class feature I think, but maybe.

5. Weapon enhancements via Spell Shot and Enhanced Weapon to shoot harder with spells or throw spells further with weapons. This is sort of magus stuff, and obviously can't go on a full caster beyond the trivial equivalent of those wizard and psychic feats that add 1d4 to your next weapon attack after you cast a spell. Not exciting or a basis for a class.

6. Very, very cool (e.g. walking through walls) and/or powerful stuff that was flavored to be accomplished via understanding of technomancy magic (but no actual physical technology involved)but wasn't really any different than stuff you could do via spells or spending money on high tech items that did the same thing. In the big majority of cases it gave you slightly earlier access or shifted what kind of class resource you spent (RP and magic hacks instead of credits or spell slots and spells known), which let you cram in more power customization but wasn't actually about technology, really.

(You also had busted stuff from APs, like the contingency magic hack that cast a stored spell when you used a tech item - meant as a trap, useful as a self buff when you fired a weapon.)

The stuff that is thematic to an actually interacts with tech is pretty weak, too widely shared (because spell list), or too strong (because magus/martial territory). It's hard to make a technomancer right away that isn't too weak, too strong, or too obviously a wizard with minor flavor differences, imo.

What I expect we might eventually see is something inspired by SF1 Tech Whisperer ACF for the Envoy in PF1 or some of the connection powers from mystic glitchghost connection as Technomancer class features and/or class feats.

These give options to apply mind affecting things to mindless tech constructs (avoiding the problem of dropping SF1 technomancer construct controlling technomancer spells onto the arcane list in SF2). They also have ways to sort of spiritually influence/inhabit/persuade tech, including doors and security systems, to help them out.

Technomancer charisma caster, why not. I don't need to know how to program, I just ask the computer to do it for me. It does because my magic makes it like me.

Heck, let's have the technomancer incorporate something like the exocortex or custom rig into his body as part of how he does spellcasting, it can have some similarities to how the witch familiar functions in SF2. A talking friend in your head who does aid skill checks with computers/engineering, extra focus spell points and other "master" abilities from PF2 familiars, interactions with (post PF2 remaster) cool feats to supercharge the exocortex in combat, etc.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Purely aside I wonder what the class for 'fixit' type characters will be.

No, I'm not talking 'Joe Fix-it' (Hulk) from Marvel but actual honest-to-goodness dedicated to keeping things working class.

If Crafting expands to the point where anyone can do it (without impacting combat effectiveness) that might be a route of development, but for those of us who have Scotty/LaForge/Chewbacca/Trip/Scruffy dreams...

I think a "Keep things working" class would be a hard sell in a game like Starfinder. The Star Trek engineers work because the ship is a central part of the show, and "ship breaks down and we need to fix it" is a pretty valid Star Trek plot. And even so, most of the Star Trek shows have the engineer being a third-tier character (TOS had Kirk as lead, with Spock and McCoy as second tier; TNG had Picard as lead and Data and Riker secondary, DS9 was mainly Sisko with Dax and Kira as secondaries). The same goes for Chewbacca to be honest (note who didn't get a medal after the Battle of Yavin), and I'd argue Chewbacca's main on-screen contribution is his tremendous strength rather than his mechanical skills.

But Starfinder ships, for all the attention they get in the rules, tend to be more "the thing that gets us from A to B" than a plot thing in itself. Part of that could be because Starfinder is a D&D descendent where skills still, to a large degree, are an afterthought (though to less of a degree than its predecessors). This is different from a game like Star Trek Adventures which has more robust rules for dealing with tech and science.

Keeping things operational is background stuff that can and should be doable with any character with the Engineering (or Crafting if they keep that from PF2 instead of Engineering) skill. To take an example from the Expanse, Amos Burton is definitely some kind of warrior class, but he's still the one who keeps the Rocinante running. A Mechanic class should do stuff on top of that, by having gadgets and stuff out the wazoo, and being able to MacGyver their way around problems that really have no business being MacGyvered. I think the PF2 Alchemist might actually make a decent model here, albeit with externally focused "gizmos" instead of alchemical concoctions.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

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Considering SF2 is introducing full casters (up to spell rank 10)...yeah, you're getting more space magic, not less. As for the comment about poor integration, I'd be curious to hear opinions about that. No promises that the team can address them or will even agree with the assessment, but it's always great to find out more about what people think of the game and setting. Personally, I think some of the weirdness with magic might stem from the fact that we didn't fully embrace it and integrate it into the game as much as we should have from the beginning. I remember being a baby Starfinder author waaaay back in SFS season 1 and writing a whole scenario that didn't include a single spellcaster or magic item! Frankly, when I wrote the scenario I didn't have a full grasp of the system yet and was wary of putting too much magic in a scifi game. Luckily, I've had years to play, read, and learn Starfinder since, and also to come to terms with the fact that Starfinder is a scifantasy setting, where magic is part of the fabric of the universe.

Here's hoping everyone likes the magic upgrade going forward, because while we're keeping scifi tech, space travel, and nods to real world science, it's only getting more magical from here. :)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm hoping the theme mechanics end up rolled in with background if they're not kept.

Also personally I cannot wait to see how Power Armor, vehicles and mechs work in this system!


Honestly finding out Starfinder is going to full casters is bad news for me. I preferred the deemphasis on magic compared to technology in Starfinder. This feels like yet another instance of the unique feel of Starfinder being discarded in exchange for compatibility with Pathfinder.

With no disrespect intended, but it really feels like Paizo has set a bunch of major gameplay philosophy decisions in place without consulting any of the player base as to if those choices were things we wanted.


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Staffan Johansson wrote:
I think a "Keep things working" class would be a hard sell in a game like Starfinder.

Have you watched Firefly?


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Sanityfaerie wrote:
I don't think that "less magic" is going to happen here. Starfinder is as magical as it is. This "better integration" idea intrigues me, though, and I'd like to hear more.

I think "less magic" is going to be a feel thing. I think for the most part what people dislike about "magic classes" is managing spell slots. PF2 is the version in this family of the games where "a party with no spellcasters" is 100% viable, and I think that's unlikely to change in SF2.

So we're likely to get "you can socket runic crystals in your laser rifle" and "you have focus spells" but no one's ever going to feel pressured to play a "spellcaster" when they don't want to be because the party "needs" one.


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Elegos wrote:
Honestly finding out Starfinder is going to full casters is bad news for me. I preferred the deemphasis on magic compared to technology in Starfinder.

Good news, PF2 style full casters are weaker than Starfinder casters, with their drastically reduced buff durations and the default assumption that you're usually going to settle for failure (enemy success on their save) when casting offensively.

RIP to effective summons, as well.

I will miss SF1, Paizo's last remaining high magic setting where any 16th level caster could easily toss himself across the galaxy.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
Elegos wrote:
Honestly finding out Starfinder is going to full casters is bad news for me. I preferred the deemphasis on magic compared to technology in Starfinder.

Good news, PF2 style full casters are weaker than Starfinder casters, with their drastically reduced buff durations and the default assumption that you're usually going to settle for failure (enemy success on their save) when casting offensively.

RIP to effective summons, as well.

I will miss SF1, Paizo's last remaining high magic setting where any 16th level caster could easily toss himself across the galaxy.

Counterpoint: In my experience PF2 casters feel vastly, unimaginably better than SF1 casters, from getting new spells more frequently, casting more, getting more item support, and being well balanced against martials.

Summons also are a great tool in the toolbelt, and about on par with my experience with summons in SF1, plus the Summoner class is opened up which means you can have your summoned beast matter way more than SF1 ever could.

And lastly, there's nothing stopping high level transportation spells from existing I have no idea why you are mourning the loss of that?


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Yes, PF1 casters were fun, spell DC 47 + Sacred Geometry + Persistent Spell and laughing at the poor sod who is playing a Fighter/Rogue multiclass because that's what he did in 1982 and thinks it will work in 2012.

SF1 casters were fun, too, 3 good spells / day and a rifle for anything else because you read the forums and knew that you need to dump all your feats into being good at long arms to be of any use.

Let's never do either again.


Xenocrat wrote:
I will miss SF1, Paizo's last remaining high magic setting where any 16th level caster could easily toss himself across the galaxy.

It's true. Using Teleport to toss yourself across the galaxy requires level 19 casters in PF2, and is only available in arcane and occult. Your level 15 casters are limited to the same planet.

Huh. One thing I would like to see in Starfinder somehow... a "Warp Drive" spell. Like, I can teleport myself and my four closest friends across the galaxy. Sure. Can I get a spell, or even a ritual, that will let us take our starship along too? Heward's Handy Docking Bay? Something?


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Yeah, the "Teleport across the galaxy" or "make the planet spin backwards" stuff is still possible, it's just that it should use the ritual system which is a system fundamentally controlled by the GM, so you only get to teleport across the galaxy when the GM has decided "this is a thing I want to be possible."

The problem with that sort of "high magic stuff" in previous games in this family was when the caster character wanted to do something they were allowed by the rules when the GM hadn't anticipated it at all.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

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Elegos wrote:
With no disrespect intended, but it really feels like Paizo has set a bunch of major gameplay philosophy decisions in place without consulting any of the player base as to if those choices were things we wanted.

No offense taken, but that's quite an assumption! Sadly, the decisions we make won't please everyone. For every ten people cheering about getting 10th-rank casters, at least one player will be bummed out that we didn't carry the old system they prefer forward. Our game and community are inclusive and we welcome everyone, but that doesn't mean the game we create is going to be everyone's cup of tea. The point of releasing these blogs, Field Tests, and eventually the full playtest is to gauge community reaction, so some things are definitely subject to change with feedback!

And no matter what, SF1 will always be there for you if you don't like SF2, or if you just want to play both systems. Pray we do not release the nanites.

Jokes aside, making a judgment about something you haven't had the chance to playtest yet would be a bit silly. I encourage people not to do it. I also respectfully encourage everyone to realize that your own opinions may not be shared by everyone in the community.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
Can I get a spell, or even a ritual, that will let us take our starship along too? Heward's Handy Docking Bay? Something?

We've sure got some cool new spells in the working document, that's all I can say for now. ;)


Jenny Jarzabski wrote:

Considering SF2 is introducing full casters (up to spell rank 10)...yeah, you're getting more space magic, not less. As for the comment about poor integration, I'd be curious to hear opinions about that. No promises that the team can address them or will even agree with the assessment, but it's always great to find out more about what people think of the game and setting. Personally, I think some of the weirdness with magic might stem from the fact that we didn't fully embrace it and integrate it into the game as much as we should have from the beginning. I remember being a baby Starfinder author waaaay back in SFS season 1 and writing a whole scenario that didn't include a single spellcaster or magic item! Frankly, when I wrote the scenario I didn't have a full grasp of the system yet and was wary of putting too much magic in a scifi game. Luckily, I've had years to play, read, and learn Starfinder since, and also to come to terms with the fact that Starfinder is a scifantasy setting, where magic is part of the fabric of the universe.

Here's hoping everyone likes the magic upgrade going forward, because while we're keeping scifi tech, space travel, and nods to real world science, it's only getting more magical from here. :)

my problem with magic in starfinder is if technology both mechanical and organic are so prevalent 1 wouldn't magic be no longer nessary? & 2 it feels like a odd third wheel & strange you've got lasers starship ect & then you have traditional fantasy spellcasters

if magic is going to be a thing make it unique the star power class in sf1e is something I like because it's NOT TRADITIONAL spellcasting it comes from the stars . lean in that uniqueness make the technomancer someone who literally manipulates technology & have it interact with technology or say magic comes from supernova radiation & have mages have radiation resistance or it comes from the stardust that eventually forms planets give magic a compelling in universe orgin & have magic users mechanics reflect that. from what I'm reading on the wiki magic in starfinder is still just traditional oh magic is just magic go wild but in starfinder to me I'd love to have magic have a better in universe explanation & integration than just its classic fantasy magic. think starwars & the force in that even the original explanation of its an energy field created by all living things it had some sort of explanation on how it fits in to the super advanced sci fi setting


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Star Wars never made sense when you looked closely at it, no matter how good a swordsperson was and how badass their lightsaber was, a high explosive shell going off nearby would kill them. The entire SW universe was high on suspension of disbelief, and so does Starfinder.


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It's worth noting that SF2 uses the PF2 engine, but "balanced with PF2" is only a secondary concern. I'd expect the balance of spells to feel different, especially with tech enabling mundane characters to do more.

As for some unique explanation of what magic is... eh, I still want this to be related to Pathfinder. Technomancer is the class that focuses on futuristic magic, but it's not like there aren't still gods providing followers with magic. I don't want a sci-fi explanation for all of magic.


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

I look forward to full casters in SF2.

Devices on ships that amplify spells to make them relevant in space combat.
Teleporting squads on enemy ships.

Ultimately how much magic is present in your game is up to you and your GM.

unleash the nanite swarms.

More cool stuff, Yes please give us more... all the cool stuff.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
belgrath9344 wrote:
my problem with magic in starfinder is if technology both mechanical and organic are so prevalent 1 wouldn't magic be no longer nessary? & 2 it feels like a odd third wheel & strange you've got lasers starship ect & then you have traditional fantasy spellcasters

I really don't want to sound rude, but I think this may be a result of a... limitation of imagination on your end. I think SF2 embracing magic more will allow devs the opportunity to flex their creative abilities and show what a reality with magic and science working properly hand-in-hand looks like. When it's fleshed out, I have every confidence that people who share your trepidation will be like "Oh! That feels better than I thought."


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Maybe we can even harness the magic power of punctuation :p


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CrimsonKnight wrote:
Devices on ships that amplify spells to make them relevant in space combat.

Hmm...

There's two ways to do that, really.

The first one is that you have a starship-tier focuasign element that lets you cast spells much more powerfully. This has a few problems with it (like, what do you do when someone wants to build a mech around it and go walkign aroudn with starship-tier spell augmentation) but the big one is that it breaks the separation of character slot and crew slot. That means that you have to give basically everyone a way to leverage their class abilities in their role on a ship, because stuff like "I have access to all of my spell slots" means that the class abilities for casters are incredibly relevant, and Balance Is A Thing.

The second is to say that you standard caster using their standard spell slots still only gets standard area effects... but it is possible to scale up spellgems. So now you have a Spell Engine on your ship with spellgem charges that are something like two bulk each and slam into place like torpedoes. You still need a caster to make it happen, but they're just there to guide and aim the thing, rather than trying to call up and control all of the power themselves. A caster is still a potentially very useful thing to have on board (assuming you can afford the spellgems) but the advantage is less overwhelming. Shipspells wind up being potent but expensive.


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Sanityfaerie wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
I will miss SF1, Paizo's last remaining high magic setting where any 16th level caster could easily toss himself across the galaxy.

It's true. Using Teleport to toss yourself across the galaxy requires level 19 casters in PF2, and is only available in arcane and occult. Your level 15 casters are limited to the same planet.

Huh. One thing I would like to see in Starfinder somehow... a "Warp Drive" spell. Like, I can teleport myself and my four closest friends across the galaxy. Sure. Can I get a spell, or even a ritual, that will let us take our starship along too? Heward's Handy Docking Bay? Something?

I like it! Workshop the name, though....sounds dirty


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
WWHsmackdown wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
I will miss SF1, Paizo's last remaining high magic setting where any 16th level caster could easily toss himself across the galaxy.

It's true. Using Teleport to toss yourself across the galaxy requires level 19 casters in PF2, and is only available in arcane and occult. Your level 15 casters are limited to the same planet.

Huh. One thing I would like to see in Starfinder somehow... a "Warp Drive" spell. Like, I can teleport myself and my four closest friends across the galaxy. Sure. Can I get a spell, or even a ritual, that will let us take our starship along too? Heward's Handy Docking Bay? Something?

I like it! Workshop the name, though....sounds dirty

Come on down to Heward's Handy Docking Bay! We got all your Handy needs! *ostentatious eyebrow waggle*


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CrimsonKnight wrote:
Devices on ships that amplify spells to make them relevant in space combat.

Seconded. One of my big hopes for starship combat, in fact, is that they find more ways to make magic relevant to it.


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breithauptclan wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
I think a "Keep things working" class would be a hard sell in a game like Starfinder.
Have you watched Firefly?

Yes. There is one episode where the ship breaks down, which is mostly used as a way to show flashbacks to how Mal recruited his crew. Previous to that, Kaylee told Mal a couple of times that the catalyzer that breaks in the episode is on its last legs and should be replaced.

While Kaylee is nominally the mechanic onboard the Serenity, her main purpose in the series is to be adorable. We are informed that she's an excellent mechanic, but we rarely see her do any repairs or anything of the sort. Even in Out of Gas, Kaylee's main job is to tell Mal how to repair the ship should he acquire the right spare part – actually installing it seems pretty easy given that Mal manages to do it while delirious from blood loss, and the main problem is getting it.

We get to see most of the other crew actually use their skills during the show: Mal's leadership and underhandedness, Jayne's and Zoë's fighting skills, Inara's social graces, Simon's medical skills, Book's mediation and seeming morality, River's weirdness and occasional ultraviolence, and Wash's piloting. But Kaylee's mechanics skills are rarely plot-relevant.


belgrath9344 wrote:
Jenny Jarzabski wrote:

Considering SF2 is introducing full casters (up to spell rank 10)...yeah, you're getting more space magic, not less. As for the comment about poor integration, I'd be curious to hear opinions about that. No promises that the team can address them or will even agree with the assessment, but it's always great to find out more about what people think of the game and setting. Personally, I think some of the weirdness with magic might stem from the fact that we didn't fully embrace it and integrate it into the game as much as we should have from the beginning. I remember being a baby Starfinder author waaaay back in SFS season 1 and writing a whole scenario that didn't include a single spellcaster or magic item! Frankly, when I wrote the scenario I didn't have a full grasp of the system yet and was wary of putting too much magic in a scifi game. Luckily, I've had years to play, read, and learn Starfinder since, and also to come to terms with the fact that Starfinder is a scifantasy setting, where magic is part of the fabric of the universe.

Here's hoping everyone likes the magic upgrade going forward, because while we're keeping scifi tech, space travel, and nods to real world science, it's only getting more magical from here. :)

my problem with magic in starfinder is if technology both mechanical and organic are so prevalent 1 wouldn't magic be no longer nessary? & 2 it feels like a odd third wheel & strange you've got lasers starship ect & then you have traditional fantasy spellcasters

if magic is going to be a thing make it unique the star power class in sf1e is something I like because it's NOT TRADITIONAL spellcasting it comes from the stars . lean in that uniqueness make the technomancer someone who literally manipulates technology & have it interact with technology or say magic comes from supernova radiation & have mages have radiation resistance or it comes from the stardust that eventually forms planets give magic a compelling in universe orgin & have...

IMO you are overthinking about it.

I played a ton of games where the sci-tech and magic are together. The fact that you can make some things that the magic can make in the past with high-tecnology doesn't means that the magic becomes useless. OK some big gun can shot explosive shells that does 6d6 AoE blasts and this is similar to a fireball but the fireball is one of many spell options that a caster could use there still a lot of versatility and potential for spellcasters even space for them.

So if most casters of the universe was constructed? If some intelligent races discover a way the give arcane powers to an entire ancestry? That's won't be more practice for this ancestry to prefer to focus into solve the things with spells instead of technological tools? At same time this same ancestry will still using electricity from a fusion reactor like many other ancestries because cast light every time you enter in a room can be exhaustive and eternal flames maybe not so bright.

This same species could prefer to use teleportation spells to move to a far distance but will still use smartphone to communicate, or to ask food because its more practical to use spells to teleport than use a vehicle or to install some gate when you can simply spell some words and appear closer to you destination but to use a spell to try to talk with the receptionist of an deliver restaurant to ask it to describe the menu options than say your address to it send your food is way less practical than open an app into your smartphone search, select and ask what you want.

The fact that spell casting gives the players some magical solutions doesn't mean that these solution are better or worse than technology solution just that they still there, still useful and each one will work better or worse for many different circumstances.

Yet I agree with you that makes some spellcasting classes more sci-fi thematic would be fun. A technomancer could try to merge tecnological gadget with some spells to try to get the best of the both solutions.

So let's take the old technomancer descescription from PF1:

Quote:
To the uninitiated, magic and technology are completely unrelated, but you know there are more correlations between the two than most suspect. Magic and technology are just tools, and when combined into one discipline, called technomancy, they can be far more powerful than one or the other on its own. You utilize tech to empower, harness, and manipulate magic, and you wield magic to augment, control, and modify technology. You are an expert at hacking the underlying structure of the universe itself, bending the laws of science and nature to your will. Your technomancy—which is gained from scientific study and experimentation—manipulates the physical world, weaves illusions, allows you to peer through time and space, and if necessary, can blast a foe into atoms.


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Jedi are space magus. Biotics/psychers are space wizards/sorcerers. We already have lots of sci-fantasy with magic.
ME had amps for biotics, would be nice to see tech devices to improve magic. Or like psycher implants. No reason you couldn't use magic to make a ship weapon shoot elemental energy or use a hand of force to make a ship do a near impossible turn or maneuver.


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Staffan Johansson wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
I think a "Keep things working" class would be a hard sell in a game like Starfinder.
Have you watched Firefly?

Yes.

...

Kaylee's mechanics skills are rarely plot-relevant.

First, that is a much better argument. Star Wars has very little in the way of mechanics, yes. Star Trek has a little bit more, but not much. But picking those as your examples feels like cherry picking.

Next, are you arguing that this is a good thing or a bad thing? Because it seems to me that you are arguing that this is a good thing. That it is a hard sell to have a mechanic and their mechanics class features as a highlight of the character and have that be relevant to the plot.

But that seems like an odd take. In these various movies and television shows, they often gloss over the mechanic stuff because they either haven't really defined how the future technology works, or because it isn't relevant to the story that they are telling. But in a Starfinder campaign, we absolutely could explore a story based on wilderness survival in space and would have a lot of screen time and value for those mechanic type characters.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:


I will miss SF1, Paizo's last remaining high magic setting where any 16th level caster could easily toss himself across the galaxy.

You know, that's a fair feeling to have. I'm the opposite personally where the sheer scale of what magic had access to based on the games 3.5 root DNA really turned me off on magic users in general.


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breithauptclan wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
I think a "Keep things working" class would be a hard sell in a game like Starfinder.
Have you watched Firefly?

Yes.

...

Kaylee's mechanics skills are rarely plot-relevant.

First, that is a much better argument. Star Wars has very little in the way of mechanics, yes. Star Trek has a little bit more, but not much. But picking those as your examples feels like cherry picking.

Next, are you arguing that this is a good thing or a bad thing? Because it seems to me that you are arguing that this is a good thing. That it is a hard sell to have a mechanic and their mechanics class features as a highlight of the character and have that be relevant to the plot.

But that seems like an odd take. In these various movies and television shows, they often gloss over the mechanic stuff because they either haven't really defined how the future technology works, or because it isn't relevant to the story that they are telling. But in a Starfinder campaign, we absolutely could explore a story based on wilderness survival in space and would have a lot of screen time and value for those mechanic type characters.

So I think I see two things here.

First, in the lore that Starfinder emulates, while mechanic/engineer characters show up pretty regularly, we don't really see them doing the mechanic *thing*. the plot never really dials in on that. At most, we see them spouting occasional technobabble about Engineering Events that serve as a backdrop or a tension-increaser for whatever the actual challenge of the day is. As he said - their actual skills are rarely plot-relevant. As such, the argument of "we should totally have this stuff be important and matter, because it's totally part of the genre"... winds up being hollow. The genre recognizes that it's important to have someone with the "engineer" hat on, but doesn't dial in. The skill of this engineer as compared to that engineer? An engineer developing their skills over time? Engineers being particularly good at one thing instead of another thing? That stuff basically doesn't show up. In a really telling example, there was a ST:TNG episode that actually had a comparison between Scotty and LaForge as one of its major plot points... and the point of comparison they dialed in on was how they interacted with their respective captains when in difficult situations. That was what was seen as the defining difference between two engineers.

So that's one thing.

The other side is a problem specific to Starfinder. If you have a story that's built to really dial in on the mechanic characters doing mechanic things... that leaves everyone who *isn't* a mechanic character (ie, most of them) kind of out in the cold. You run into the Shadowrun problem where one character just straight-up takes over the narrative for a while and everyone else sits around and shrugs. It also means that a party that doesn't happen to have a mechanic in it is headed for real problems. That's not great.

Unless I'm misunderstanding?

/*************/

Now, i'm not saying that I don't want a Mechanic class. I do. I'm saying that having them spending a lot of time on screen being mechanics has some potential problems. If anything, I'm trying to lay out those problems as a way to invite people to come up with solutions.

But yeah... there's a reason that my idea of mechanics was built around things like being able to shoot with an awesome gun while making the guns of your buddies more awesome so that they can also shoot with them. The *archetype* of a mechanic is all through the lore, and it's important to be able to be that kind of character... but we need to give them something to do with their screen-time that isn't "be a mechanic doing mechanic things", because that doesn't work but so well as a spotlight focus.


Jenny Jarzabski wrote:
Elegos wrote:
With no disrespect intended, but it really feels like Paizo has set a bunch of major gameplay philosophy decisions in place without consulting any of the player base as to if those choices were things we wanted.

No offense taken, but that's quite an assumption! Sadly, the decisions we make won't please everyone. For every ten people cheering about getting 10th-rank casters, at least one player will be bummed out that we didn't carry the old system they prefer forward. Our game and community are inclusive and we welcome everyone, but that doesn't mean the game we create is going to be everyone's cup of tea. The point of releasing these blogs, Field Tests, and eventually the full playtest is to gauge community reaction, so some things are definitely subject to change with feedback!

And no matter what, SF1 will always be there for you if you don't like SF2, or if you just want to play both systems. Pray we do not release the nanites.

Jokes aside, making a judgment about something you haven't had the chance to playtest yet would be a bit silly. I encourage people not to do it. I also respectfully encourage everyone to realize that your own opinions may not be shared by everyone in the community.

Sanityfaerie wrote:
Can I get a spell, or even a ritual, that will let us take our starship along too? Heward's Handy Docking Bay? Something?
We've sure got some cool new spells in the working document, that's all I can say for now. ;)

I'm not making a judgement, I am expressing an opinion. Was there a consultation of what people wanted in SF2 that I missed? Because I would have been extremely clear and specific in that, if the question had been asked. You're saying some things are subject to change but I'm struggling to get an impression of how much is actually up for debate. As it is, a lot of really huge changes are being presented as a fait accompli, and that really hurts when those changes are wholesale removal of things that made Starfinder fascinating to me.

I also don't appreciate being called silly for not having played a system that hasn't been released and yet daring to have opinions and concerns about what form that might take. Jokes about "you'll still have SF1" also don't land well in this discussion. I'm not wholeheartedly against the idea of a new edition. I am against the idea that said new edition needs to throw out every good unique part of Starfinder in the name of compatibility, a goal which has never sat well with me.

Paizo Employee Senior Developer

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keftiu wrote:
Maybe we can even harness the magic power of punctuation :p

Can confirm that the addition of an exclamation point makes a product name more powerful.


The PF2e casting system sorta requires it's casters to be 10th casters unless you give them a different subsystem like kineticist or making them focus based. Which is why the variability in casters in PF2e is primarily based on "how do we configure their spell slots".

Wayfinders

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Elegos wrote:
I'm not making a judgement, I am expressing an opinion.

Same difference.


breithauptclan wrote:
Next, are you arguing that this is a good thing or a bad thing? Because it seems to me that you are arguing that this is a good thing. That it is a hard sell to have a mechanic and their mechanics class features as a highlight of the character and have that be relevant to the plot.

My argument is that a mechanic class that just keeps things working is a fairly dull class. In addition, it would suffer from the "cleric problem", where someone would be stuck playing the boring* class just to make the campaign work.

So just keeping things working shouldn't be a class. It should at most be part of the Crafting/Engineering skill, or assumed to be part of everyone's general skill set (just like you don't need to roll to maintain your weapons in Pathfinder). If you're going to make Mechanic a class, it should go above and beyond that. Basically, the Mechanic as a class should be MacGyver or Rocket, not Amos Burton or Chewbacca. Amos and Chewie are characters with the Engineering/Crafting skill, but not capital-M Mechanics.

* Yeah yeah, I know you can do lots of fun stuff with clerics, and you don't have to be stuck being the healer. I'm talking common perception here.


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Jenny Jarzabski wrote:
Can confirm that the addition of an exclamation point makes a product name more powerful.

Rebranding Starfinder 2nd edition as "Starfinder!" confirmed.


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I don't think anyone was arguing for "maintanence" to be the only thing an engineer/mechanic style class does lol.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
I don't think anyone was arguing for "maintanence" to be the only thing an engineer/mechanic style class does lol.

This is what prompted the current diversion:

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

Purely aside I wonder what the class for 'fixit' type characters will be.

No, I'm not talking 'Joe Fix-it' (Hulk) from Marvel but actual honest-to-goodness dedicated to keeping things working class.

If Crafting expands to the point where anyone can do it (without impacting combat effectiveness) that might be a route of development, but for those of us who have Scotty/LaForge/Chewbacca/Trip/Scruffy dreams...

And also this:

Staffan Johansson wrote:
I think a "Keep things working" class would be a hard sell in a game like Starfinder. The Star Trek engineers work because the ship is a central part of the show, and "ship breaks down and we need to fix it" is a pretty valid Star Trek plot. And even so, most of the Star Trek shows have the engineer being a third-tier character (TOS had Kirk as lead, with Spock and McCoy as second tier; TNG had Picard as lead and Data and Riker secondary, DS9 was mainly Sisko with Dax and Kira as secondaries). The same goes for Chewbacca to be honest (note who didn't get a medal after the Battle of Yavin), and I'd argue Chewbacca's main on-screen contribution is his tremendous strength rather than his mechanical skills.

So, no, not the only thing, but even have it be the primary thing it does might be hard to pull off satisfactorily.

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