Wild Guesses on how non core classes might look


General Discussion


Just something I'm tossing around in my head, but how does everyone think the classes that aren't going to be in the playtest will look? What character themes will they explore, what mechanical niches might they occupy, etc? I personally think that all of the current SF1 classes left are different enough from PF2 classes and the other SF2 classes to be worth creating new individual classes for each, but does anyone disagree?

For example, one suggestion was that the Biohacker could probably be built using a suitably updated alchemist, probably with inhibitors as a new alchemical item and boosters being modifiers to standard alchemical healing elixirs. Any other classes have enough overlap with current PF2 or confirmed SF2 classes to possibly be a class archetype or class path?


There's some pretty obvious overlap with the Inventor and the Mechanic conceptually, but I'm also both expecting and hopeful that Mechanic becomes its own class. It was one of the original SF classes, after all.

On that note, I could also see a future where the Nanocyte is folded into Mechanic, or becomes an archetype of some sort, though again I hope not. Nanotech is one of my favorite super sci fi tropes.


I took another look at the mechanic yesterday after your post, and I'm actually less certain there's as much thematic overlap as I had remembered, at least the baseline version. The overlap is a lot stronger if you consider the alternate class features, but the base mechanic puts a lot more emphasis on working with tech instead of creating it. Their tricks seem to be slightly more defensive in nature as well, though I could just be seeing things.

I think I could see them on a Skilled Martial chassis, and they get granted a number of bonus skill feats or skill actions (which can be skill feats given at a lot lower level) related to computers, engineering, and one other skill determined by your AI or focus choice.

A lot is going to depend on how those skills shake out, and this idea lacks a big...something to base the class identity around, but I'm cautiously more optimistic now than I had been.


That could be a fun way to take the mechanic. Inventors do boost their friends' gear, mostly by tweaking weapons or giving them Overdrive, but they tend to focus on using their own innovation more.

Granted, that's also what I'd like to see in a future Mechanic. The AI, particuarly the drone, always felt like the most unique and special part of the mechanic's chassis to me. I think I've talked about this elsewhere but I'd be really in favor of them leaning even harder into drones, pushing the mechanic's drone to have as much class budget as an eidolon, and be less like an animal companion.


Apparently, a lot of people expected Mechanic to have more starship options than it did. That makes sense to me, because that's most of what fictional mechanics do. At the same time, not every game uses starships or vehicles, so it's not going to be exclusively that. Regardless, we do know for a fact that we are getting both it and Technomancer eventually.

Speculating idly about Mechanic, I expect the class to have a once-per-day ability that improves a repair attempt. Maybe it's a roll-twice, or maybe it bumps up the degree of success one step. Nice, broadly applicable without eating up too much budget, and what you expect "Mechanic" to be able to do. Since it's delayed, I'm expecting it to interact more with the item/tech rules.

Technomancer, I kind of hope drifts a bit more in the Kineticist direction. Without custom spell lists, it'll just be Arcane, meaning the class won't have much actual "technomancy" focus coming from casting. I'm picturing the class getting a small handful of spells, along with at-will tech-based abilities. Something like a wave caster with full DC progression and most feats are at-will abilities. Alternatively, stay a full caster and get some sort of spell customization that has a programming feel to it.


QuidEst wrote:
Technomancer, I kind of hope drifts a bit more in the Kineticist direction. Without custom spell lists, it'll just be Arcane, meaning the class won't have much actual "technomancy" focus coming from casting. I'm picturing the class getting a small handful of spells, along with at-will tech-based abilities. Something like a wave caster with full DC progression and most feats are at-will abilities.

I think the wave caster you describe would be my preference as well, but I haven't thought too deeply on it.

As an aside, I am seriously hoping that they ditch the idea to keep PF spell lists and go with their own traditions. With casting proficiency becoming universal instead of tradition specific, I think they can maintain the compatibility they want without needing those traditions specifically.

I'll admit some errata would be needed to bring everything up to total compatibility, specifically with creating a class ability, separate from spellcasting called "{Tradition} or {Class} Spell Access" that grants you access to whatever spells your class gives you, and then changing the "{Class} Spellcasting" to refer to your access list instead of individual traditions. That would allow class archetypes to more easily swap traditions out and make fewer changes necessary for bringing a class from one system to the other, while not requiring you to have the same traditions in both. Because of the class archetype point, I think they should make that change anyways, if it can be done without being too disruptive to current layouts.

But we can see with the Elementalist class archetype, that isn't completely necessary, so even without the change I hope they just embrace all new tradition lists for SF.


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Give me a Mass Effect Engineer omnitool blaster (and holographic drone creator), call it a Mechanic if you want.

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

-expect that mechanic and technomancer get combined.
-witchwarper and precog appear to have already kinda gotten folded into each other.
-there's some kind of battle caster like a kineticist as a new option, maybe w/ a nanocyte flair?


AnimatedPaper wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Technomancer, I kind of hope drifts a bit more in the Kineticist direction. Without custom spell lists, it'll just be Arcane, meaning the class won't have much actual "technomancy" focus coming from casting. I'm picturing the class getting a small handful of spells, along with at-will tech-based abilities. Something like a wave caster with full DC progression and most feats are at-will abilities.

I think the wave caster you describe would be my preference as well, but I haven't thought too deeply on it.

As an aside, I am seriously hoping that they ditch the idea to keep PF spell lists and go with their own traditions. With casting proficiency becoming universal instead of tradition specific, I think they can maintain the compatibility they want without needing those traditions specifically.

I'll admit some errata would be needed to bring everything up to total compatibility, specifically with creating a class ability, separate from spellcasting called "{Tradition} or {Class} Spell Access" that grants you access to whatever spells your class gives you, and then changing the "{Class} Spellcasting" to refer to your access list instead of individual traditions. That would allow class archetypes to more easily swap traditions out and make fewer changes necessary for bringing a class from one system to the other, while not requiring you to have the same traditions in both. Because of the class archetype point, I think they should make that change anyways, if it can be done without being too disruptive to current layouts.

But we can see with the Elementalist class archetype, that isn't completely necessary, so even without the change I hope they just embrace all new tradition lists for SF.

IIRC it's already been confirmed through a panel on Paizocon that the original traditions are sticking around for SF2E. Of course, things could always change post-playtest, but I don't think it's terribly likely. There'd need to be a very large portion of surveys indicating they wanted that change in order to justify the extra work and complexity.


*shrug* It's their game. I don't really understand their reasoning, but I'm confident they know better than me.

Envoy's Alliance

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Perhaps the mechanic could have an ability to do something like overclocking. Increasing a weapon's damage die, or squeezing more speed from a vehicle, all at the extend of damage done to the item/vehicle/structure that will have to be repaired.

Now I liked the Exocortex option, over the drone (for flavor) but I do have to admit the drone is more in keeping with the flavor of he mechanic most times.

Wayfinders

Perpdepog wrote:

There's some pretty obvious overlap with the Inventor and the Mechanic conceptually, but I'm also both expecting and hopeful that Mechanic becomes its own class. It was one of the original SF classes, after all.

On that note, I could also see a future where the Nanocyte is folded into Mechanic, or becomes an archetype of some sort, though again I hope not. Nanotech is one of my favorite super sci fi tropes.

A Mechanic Nanocite would be a cool idea but I think there are too many Mechanics in Sci-fi movies or shows as character inspiration that are not also Nanocites, that I wouldn't want to be forced to always be a Mechanic Nanocite. But it would be a great multi-class / archetype option

Envoy's Alliance

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Oh! I want the Nanocyte. Now, I doubt they'd do this, but I'd like to seem them built on the kineticist chassis.

Wayfinders

A 2e Evolutionist feels like it could fulfill both the shifter and synthesist summoner fantasies that PF2 players have been clamoring for, on top of being one of the more flavorful (if rather late) SF1 classes - I hope we see it in SF2 relatively soon.


Zoken44 wrote:
Perhaps the mechanic could have an ability to do something like overclocking. Increasing a weapon's damage die, or squeezing more speed from a vehicle, all at the extend of damage done to the item/vehicle/structure that will have to be repaired.

This feels a bit too Inventor, though perhaps because I thought Clockwork Celerity should have been the default level 1 Unstable ability and Explode a feat, so I imagine all inventors basically overclocking (between that and Overdrive) all day long.

That said, a new glossier version of Unstable might create a good through line between these two classes while they have different focus. Maybe "Hack" where instead of succeeding at a flat check to gain another use of Unstable, you have to succeed at an Hard DC computer or engineering check to sustain?

Actually, that might be an interesting direction to go. Have the mechanic specialize in computer and engineering flavored sustain actions, sort of like a techno-witch. That would be a solid differentiator away from the inventor, who creates contraptions that do Things no contraption like that should be able to do. The Mechanic instead would be the one that against all odds keeps a drone operating, that starship sailing, and the computer virus wrecking ever more havoc. Definitely a lot of iconic Mechanics would fit into that kind of character trope.

Edit: I could also see the technomancer going that route, though more explicitly magical in its approach.


RiverMesa wrote:

A 2e Evolutionist feels like it could fulfill both the shifter and synthesist summoner fantasies that PF2 players have been clamoring for, on top of being one of the more flavorful (if rather late) SF1 classes - I hope we see it in SF2 relatively soon.

Not shifter. The shifter has to be able to actively change in response to new situations. The evolutionist is slowly walking the transhumanist path. There's a difference.

Synthesist summoner... really ought to be a Class Archetype. Also, there are things that it wants to be able to do that the evolutionist will never be able to do - and that's before we get into theming issues.

So scratch the itch? Maybe, some. It wont' fulfil the fantasy, though.

Envoy's Alliance

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Okay, so the Nanocyte, which is my most wanted.

I'm thinking they would have a pool of D4's that slowly grows that when their Sheath, weapon, or cloud configurations inflict damage, they also take the D4s as lingering damage (piercing/acid/ or void)

The weapon array/memorized forms would probably be removed and turned into a specialized unarmed attack.

The Cloud would be the one I'm really interested in how they implement.


Aura I assume, though I could see an argument for an AoE cantrip/impulse.


Sanityfaerie wrote:


Synthesist summoner... really ought to be a Class Archetype.

This sparked the solution to a different idea I was having for the mechanic.

Someone mentioned upthread wanting the mechanic drone to have eidolon power budget. My immediate thought was that might be possible, and it also might be possible to have three subclasses with varying drone power budgets: Familiar, Companion, and Eidolon. I couldn’t quite work out how to get the Exocortex to work, since that would need a different chassis entirely, but a class archetype would slot in nicely there and give you a fourth drive state (none).


I wonder if a mechanic's exocortex couldn't also be variable. Basically taking those Mechanic Tricks that let you wear your drone, or otherwise incorporate your drone into yourself, and make that the standard way the class plays, so you would either have your exocortex melded with yourself, granting buffs to you, or it would hop off of you and become a drone, and then the buffs would be on the drone. It'd effectively be a hybrid of inventor and summoner with three pseudo class paths, drone-centric, augmentation-centric, or a hybrid with a couple feats granting you benefits when you swap from one to the other, encouraging you to swap actively in combat.


Perpdepog wrote:
I wonder if a mechanic's exocortex couldn't also be variable. Basically taking those Mechanic Tricks that let you wear your drone, or otherwise incorporate your drone into yourself, and make that the standard way the class plays, so you would either have your exocortex melded with yourself, granting buffs to you, or it would hop off of you and become a drone, and then the buffs would be on the drone. It'd effectively be a hybrid of inventor and summoner with three pseudo class paths, drone-centric, augmentation-centric, or a hybrid with a couple feats granting you benefits when you swap from one to the other, encouraging you to swap actively in combat.

That sounds like an interesting idea, but it seems weirdly gimmicky for "mechanic". Like, ideally I'd be able to play a mechanic who never felt particularly inclined to fuse with anything.

Ideally, to my mind, you should be able to play a mechanic who's into... whatever it is that you're into. Power armor, guns, drones, exocortex, whatever. I'd personally be interested in the "guns and maybe power armor" mechanic - winding up as something like a low-budget Soldier with extra party-buffing abilities and utility powers.

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

One issue with the mechanic is that having a Mechanic (or at least the right kind of mechanic) should be incredibly useful on a starship... but that would pretty much make them mandatory in starship-heavy gaes, and we don't want that. So we have to have some way that the Solarion, witchwarper, and Agent get to be exactly as useful as the mechanic is in making the starship go... and that feels a bit bad from the mechanic POV.

Not sure what to do about that.


I suspect starships will end up as a subsystem that you can bolt feats and stuff onto your character to engage in.


I hope it winds up basically a skill challenge encounter. Not far off from the Narrative Combat rules in fact. That seems like the best baseline.

I can imagine optional additional rules adding a map and positioning, but using skill challenges as a framework would be the least page space intensive and wouldn't require the creation of what would amount to a 4th pillar of play.

And THAT would allow the mechanic to occupy the same class power role that, say, the ranger has with exploration. A high level ranger that picks up the right class feats can do 2-3 exploration activities simultaneously at full exploration speed. I can imagine class feats that the mechanic could pick up allowing them to be equally efficient during space or vehicle combat encounters. Or even just allowing them to occupy 2-3 space combat roles, giving them a wider array of actions during space combat than any other character, but throttled by their actions per round. So other characters could do all the big important roles like Captain, Pilot, and Gunner, but a mechanic can be holding down the Mystic, Science Officer, and Bosun slots simultaneously, granting the other characters as many boosts as possible but not overshadowing their contributions either.


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Sanityfaerie wrote:

That sounds like an interesting idea, but it seems weirdly gimmicky for "mechanic". Like, ideally I'd be able to play a mechanic who never felt particularly inclined to fuse with anything.

Ideally, to my mind, you should be able to play a mechanic who's into... whatever it is that you're into. Power armor, guns, drones, exocortex, whatever. I'd personally be interested in the "guns and maybe power armor" mechanic - winding up as something like a low-budget Soldier with extra party-buffing abilities and utility powers.

Thing is, that makes it harder to make the mechanic feel distinct from the inventor. I know a lot of the expanded mechanic options do exactly what you’re describing, but there’s also no inventor in SF1, so no conflict. The baseline mechanic specifically does have you fuse with either an exocortex or drone, so I feel the SF2 version should probably continue that for the initial offering. Mind, it would be fantastic if there was a good feat option or class archetype that let you pick up an Innovation instead, but like I said the baseline should probably escew that a bit.


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AnimatedPaper wrote:
Sanityfaerie wrote:

That sounds like an interesting idea, but it seems weirdly gimmicky for "mechanic". Like, ideally I'd be able to play a mechanic who never felt particularly inclined to fuse with anything.

Ideally, to my mind, you should be able to play a mechanic who's into... whatever it is that you're into. Power armor, guns, drones, exocortex, whatever. I'd personally be interested in the "guns and maybe power armor" mechanic - winding up as something like a low-budget Soldier with extra party-buffing abilities and utility powers.

Thing is, that makes it harder to make the mechanic feel distinct from the inventor. I know a lot of the expanded mechanic options do exactly what you’re describing, but there’s also no inventor in SF1, so no conflict. The baseline mechanic specifically does have you fuse with either an exocortex or drone, so I feel the SF2 version should probably continue that for the initial offering. Mind, it would be fantastic if there was a good feat option or class archetype that let you pick up an Innovation instead, but like I said the baseline should probably escew that a bit.

Exactly. That was why I was imagining focusing on the exocortex in an augmentation or drone form. That's a thing that the inventor has, kinda, in the form of a construct innovation, but there isn't a ton of interaction between your character and your innovation. Mostly feats just say that they can originate from your innovation instead of you, or they might give your innovation a bit of a benefit that would normally be on you.

It is adefinitely a fiddly space to try and conceptualize in though, for sure.


Perpdepog wrote:
Exactly. That was why I was imagining focusing on the exocortex in an augmentation or drone form. That's a thing that the inventor has, kinda, in the form of a construct innovation, but there isn't a ton of interaction between your character and your innovation.

Same reason why I sort of want to run with your idea of making the drone a bigger part of the class budget, though on a sliding scale of how much power should be with the drone and how much should be in your person. I imagine additional abilities or bonus feats can cover most of the gap between an Eidolon level drone and a companion level drone, and familiar drones could simply get more familiar abilities, but I'd definitely want to sit down and sketch that out before stating that for a fact.

So yeah, I think that'll be my wild guess.

Mechanic - a non-magical techno "witch" that has several cantrip-power level abilities requiring a skill check to sustain. On the Support (Alchemist/Warpriest/Guardian) chassis.
--Themes for these abilities are mostly in granting more speed, more charges, additional damage types, bigger damage dice, and free action repair/misfire/crafting checks.
-Their subclass is in deciding what drone power level they choose. Eidolon level, they mostly just get proficiencies and the Drone gets the fancy attacks and actions. Companion and Familiar drones get 1 ability, but the Mechanic gets additional action options or bonus feat.
--A class archetype removes the drone entirely and puts the mechanic on the standard skilled martial chassis. This either gives you an innovation instead, or an exocortex (basically you get multiple familiar abilities without needing a familiar).*
-Starship combat mode: they have access to feats that let them pick up select actions from support oriented starship roles, giving them the ability to hold down more than one role and allowing the other party members to focus on gunnery/piloting/captaining.

Edit: *Actually that's not a bad idea for a new innovation. On a mechanical level, what innovations are doing is letting you have an item with extra traits (via your class abilities) and actions (via your feats). An augmentation sounds ready made for that kind of tinkering.


Well then. We have our first solarian preview, and it does not have a free, scaling weapon. Which makes me think the Nanocyte will also be changed to not allow permanent items as part of its gear array, but instead give you consumables. Maybe. It's such a big switch in flavor though that I'm not certain. I would almost rather it eschew gear array altogether and just do sheath/cloud arrays, instead of let you make gadgets.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Well then. We have our first solarian preview, and it does not have a free, scaling weapon. Which makes me think the Nanocyte will also be changed to not allow permanent items as part of its gear array, but instead give you consumables. Maybe. It's such a big switch in flavor though that I'm not certain. I would almost rather it eschew gear array altogether and just do sheath/cloud arrays, instead of let you make gadgets.

Sorry, but I'm not entirely sure how those two things are connected? I mean, a hypothetical nanocyte could still make permanent items from some kind of pool, even if they don't scale. I'd honestly be more surprised if either the solarian or nanocyte did have scaling weapons in any case; that's a big chunk of a martial character's budget to just give back to the player with a class feature, and I can't think of any class that does something comparable. The kineticist gets close, but even they use gate attenuators to get their attacks up to the expected baseline.

I think it more likely that solarians get their solarian crystals back, and those crystals appear at the same levels as handwraps currently do. Same for the nanocyte with some similarly-themed doodad, a packet of software that unlocks more efficient, read potent/striking/resilient, versions of items, or something similar.


Do we know for certain that Nanocyte is going to be a full class? Especially if it's toned down to just the cloud version, it seems like the sort of thing that might make for an archetype instead... and if it did it well, I'd be pretty down for that. Why yes, I would like an archetype that's all about giving me a friendly nanobot swarm aura.


As a person who doesn't care for nanocyte's cloud abilities, it would be immensely disappointing if the only nanocyte option was reduced down to cloud stuff.

Liberty's Edge

Personally, I think the technomancer is going to be a class archetype for any caster class, one that gives you a spell cache and some tech-related Focus Spells and feats; the arcane-focused technomancer would then be just a wizard with the technomancer archetype.

Cognates

Precog has been made part of witchwarper (I think), which admittedly does sting a bit, as I adore precog and I'm going to miss being able to go all in on that theme, so i hope eventually we see more time based stuff (Dimension of time options mayhaps?)

I also reckon evoultionist might expand on pathfinder 2e's recent graft items, which seem like they're perfect for translating adaptions over. Perhaps as part of daily preperations you give yourself (or even others) X adaptations, a bit like an alchemist prepares their items.

We might even see biohacker and evolutionist converge, much like witchwarper and precog.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Shisumo wrote:
Personally, I think the technomancer is going to be a class archetype for any caster class, one that gives you a spell cache and some tech-related Focus Spells and feats; the arcane-focused technomancer would then be just a wizard with the technomancer archetype.

Wizard is a pathfinder class, so I really can't imagine you'd be right about this.


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Shisumo wrote:
Personally, I think the technomancer is going to be a class archetype for any caster class, one that gives you a spell cache and some tech-related Focus Spells and feats; the arcane-focused technomancer would then be just a wizard with the technomancer archetype.

It will not be, no.

One, as mentioned, Wizard is in a whole other game. SF2 will not assume players have any PF2 material in the final version. Also, if you try to play a Wizard as-is in SF2, they'll die really quickly. There's no back line to hide behind, ranged damage is stronger, and they have low AC and health.

Two, they've at least suggested they're working on the class, and indicated it's important. I don't see it getting downgraded if the reason it's not in the initial book is they want to have tech more fleshed out first.

Now, it's certainly possible that the whole spell cache thing specifically does become an archetype for casters, since it's not actually very tied to "technomancy", but that won't be called Technomancer.


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Perpdepog wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
Well then. We have our first solarian preview, and it does not have a free, scaling weapon. Which makes me think the Nanocyte will also be changed to not allow permanent items as part of its gear array, but instead give you consumables. Maybe. It's such a big switch in flavor though that I'm not certain. I would almost rather it eschew gear array altogether and just do sheath/cloud arrays, instead of let you make gadgets.

Sorry, but I'm not entirely sure how those two things are connected? I mean, a hypothetical nanocyte could still make permanent items from some kind of pool, even if they don't scale. I'd honestly be more surprised if either the solarian or nanocyte did have scaling weapons in any case; that's a big chunk of a martial character's budget to just give back to the player with a class feature, and I can't think of any class that does something comparable. The kineticist gets close, but even they use gate attenuators to get their attacks up to the expected baseline.

I think it more likely that solarians get their solarian crystals back, and those crystals appear at the same levels as handwraps currently do. Same for the nanocyte with some similarly-themed doodad, a packet of software that unlocks more efficient, read potent/striking/resilient, versions of items, or something similar.

It sounds like I'm not being fully clear rather than we disagree. Because, yes, no PF2 class gives a free, major permanent item as a class feature (the closest being the inventor, I think). But with the Solarian, that was exactly what it did in SF1. In play, I didn't generally use my nanocyte gear array for major items, but I did use it for more niche "might be useful sometimes but not useful enough all the time to tie up 1/3 my budget" like an alternate weapon. These two abilties were close enough in implementation that I was looking to the Solarian to try and make guesses how they might design the gear array on an eventual Nanocyte.

Now that it looks like Solarian Manifestations are more like activities than items, similar to what Kinetic blast went through from playtest to release, I'm wondering aloud what that might mean for Major Form gear arrays. There's enough difference that I could be getting ahead of myself by comparing the two, but it's also as close as anything else that I can think of.

Also, I'm not really coming to any particular conclusions here. I'm still just wildly guessing, and simply typing out my thoughts as I do so.


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Ah, I get you. I see where you're coming from now. If we're throwing out some guesses I am currently thinking a hypothetical nanocyte, assuming they still make stuff, will work one of two ways.

1. You'll still have some method of creating fully fleshed out items, though probably more limited in number, and get some item you need to purchase in order to raise their potency and so on, with the result being a soft sort of ABP.
2. The nanocyte doesn't immitate items that already exist, and instead gains a more generic nanyte weapon or similar attack that you can either give traits to through feats, or perhaps swap on the fly with a class feature with some manner of action cost. It'd be the most modular Modular weapon ever, essentially. You would still purchase an item of some sort to increase your scaling with your weapon.
Or, building off your idea, the nanocyte could be the "prepared for any kind of resistance" class with their weapon arrays, and use a main weapon, build out their own custom, backup weapon, and share scaling between the two.


I couldalso imagine being able to get an item’s passive bonus but not be able to use an items daily or once per hour ability.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
I couldalso imagine being able to get an item’s passive bonus but not be able to use an items daily or once per hour ability.

Or, if you can, then any and all items you can make share that ability, so you get your 1/day item but can't spam them.

Envoy's Alliance

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

1: Yes, they are planning to do a Nanocyte class. A designer on the board said that they are planning, down the line, to bring it back, mechanic too (those are my favorite classes so i asked about them)

2: I don't want to see cloud reduced to an aura, or at least not JUST an aura. I liked how in first edition you could wind it across the battlefield and create some nice battlefield control. So I do hope they bring back that functionality.

3: I repeate, likely the gear array will be reduced to a memorized list of item (not unlike an alchemist) that can be produced at will, item level no higher than your own (maybe even require it lower) and cannot memorize more than a certain number, not no weapons or armor. the weapon functionality would likely be changed into an special unarmed attack or stance.

Mechanic: Clockwork celerity from the Inventor works only on yourself, without special feats at later levels. I'm talking from the get go, it's designed to work specifically on gear and vehicles and (if applicable) structures. With the trade off of damaging them, which must be repaired later. That way their bread and butter is making everyone around them better. I can't think of how to implement the Drone and Exocortex except as specialized familiars (with feats to upgrade drone into a companion)


Something new I've started pondering, thanks to the solarian blog thread, is how much Starfinder 2E might lean on class archetypes. Not so much in the "this class is now a class archetype of another class" style, but more keeping the number of classes lower than PF2E, around the number SF1E has, but branching them out into more conceptual spaces with a greater degree of class archetypes.

That was something I liked about 1st edition Starfinder, how classes like the mechanic could be tweaked to fill a couple different conceptual spaces by altering their exocortex. I also think it'd be less of a concern for SF2E, given that it is starting with six classes as opposed to PF2E's twelve from the legacy corebook, or the sixteen in the Player Core books.
One of the sticking points for designing class archetypes, at least from what I've seen, is that making one necessarily precludes any other class from participating in that archetype's fantasy, meaning that fewer players will be able to use it, and also meaning fewer players are interested in trying it. That concern gets a lot less, well, concerning when the segment of the playerbase potentially interested in an archetype is 1/6 rather than 1/12 or 1/16.
There's also the fact that six classes are likely easier to design class archetypes for, and fit in one place, than twelve or sixteen archetypes would be.


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I think the ability to port PF2 classes, once conversions between the two games are straightened out, is going to do more to keep a lid on the number of classes.

Too tired at the moment, but I’ll respond more to your point about class archetypes once I have the energy.

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