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Old 08-21-2017, 12:55 PM   #11
Mike Wightman
 
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Default Re: Starfinder thoughts

Does it have any rules for planet design, system generation, star mapping that sort of thing?
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Old 08-21-2017, 01:21 PM   #12
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Starfinder thoughts

Okay, I have a concept for a character and it might help illustrate some things that I've glossed over so far.

My character's name will be Seeker Starkiller which was the name of the first Traveller character I ever made c. 37 years ago. His race is Human and his class will be Soldier and his Theme (think 5e's Background) will probably be Ace Pilot. I don't see a Theme of "Scruffy-looking Nerf Herder".

There are 3 ways to determine Ability Scores. One is buying scores which gives you 10 pts to put wherever you want after starting with 10 and adding Racial adjustments plus a single pt extra for your theme. They recommend something like an 18 in your primary score, a 14 in the next most useful one and an 11 in whatever comes after that. there are strong incentives to maximize your Primary Score.

There is also a Quick Picks method which just chooses the above or a minor variation but you can also roll 4D6 and arrange to suit and I'm a traditionalist. Also, one of the reasons that you never tell me the odds is that I already know them and the true average of 4D6 and drop the lowest is 12.1.

I get a 13, a 17, a 12, a 17, a 10 and another 10. An average of a little over 13 so I'm a little luckier than average.

My Race gives a +2 to any stat and my Theme grants a +1 to Dex so I can have 18 St, 18 Dex, 13 Con, 12 Int 10 Wis and 10 Cha. !7 +2 for st would equal 19 but no starting character can have a score over 18, no way, no how so the extra pt is lost.

Abilities also increase with level. At 5th, 10th and 20th you can add 2 pts to _4_ different stats though for stats already over 16 it takes 2 pts spent to gain 1. so at 5th level I could boost the 2 18s to 19 and the two 10s to 12 or some other variation.

Human also gives a base of 4 HP.

Then we move onto Class and Soldier actually covers all "fighter" types and does not imply enlistment in any formal fighting force. I get Proficiency in both light and heavy armor and all weapon types. I need to pick a Primary Fighting style and I go for Blitz which concentrates on speed and aggression. at 1st level Blitz gives me +4 Initiative and +10 land speed.

My gaming group could probably have anticipated this choice. I really like getting greater than usual Move and whether it's boots of striding and springing or being a Barbarian or being a Cleric of Travel I find a way to get it quite often.

Soldier also give me another 7 HP and I think that's all for a total of 11 HP. That goes up 7 pts every level too.

Characters also have Stamina Pts which are actually very like HP but are lost first and regained much more easily. For the Soldier that's 7 + Con bonus every level. so 8.

Alignment is optional but I'd probably put him at chaotic neutral with good tendencies.

To come yet are allocation of skill pts (not changed much from Pathfinder) choice of Feats and purchasing of Equipment but that will have to be for later.
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Old 08-21-2017, 01:31 PM   #13
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Starfinder thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wightman View Post
Does it have any rules for planet design, system generation, star mapping that sort of thing?
Apparently not.

Interstellar travel is by a sort of hyperspace called the Drift that is not point for point. Instead destination stars will either be well-mapped and beaconed "Near Space" stars which require 3D6 days (divided by drive grade) to get to or part of the poorly mapped "Vast" which take 5D6 days. There's also Absalom Station which has the magical "Starstone" at its' core which acts like a super beacon and enables travel to Absalom in 1D6 days.

Adding lots of beacons can change a world from Vast to Near Space. also, I believe you roll randomly every time. the Drift is just chaotic that way.

Lots of random rolling for normal space trips too. 1-2 hours to reach orbit, 1D6+2 days for another world in the same solar system and so on.
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Old 08-21-2017, 08:07 PM   #14
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Starfinder thoughts

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Okay, I have a concept for a character and it might help illustrate some things that I've glossed over so far.

My character's name will be Seeker Starkiller ......To come yet are allocation of skill pts (not changed much from Pathfinder) choice of Feats and purchasing of Equipment but that will have to be for later.
So I'm back after a break and some more book-reading.

The questions of Skills and Feats turn out to be intertwined. Soldier gets a base 4 pts for skills +1 for Int 12 and +1 more for being Human. Soldier also only gets 8 Class skills so it's easier to start choosing which skills _not_ to pick.

Profession is an easy choice for a no. I've got no concept that requires such a Skill right now. Survival goes too. Seeker is a lower class sort who grew up in the back "alleys" on Absalom Station and Survival is all about dealing with natural environments.

Meanwhile I'm also looking at Feats and many of the old reliables are missing. No Dodge Feat for example. Others have been nerfed too. So I could spend 1 of my 2 Feats on "Skill Synergy" which adds 2 more Class Skills.

I'm rather nervous about the non-inclusion of Perception. With no Wis bonus Seeker won't shine at it but it's a constantly used Skill. Seeker would be good at Dex-based Stealth so I spend 1 Feat on Skill Synergy and add those 2 Skills.

Out of the other Soldier Class skills Acrobatics is also not a strong choice and Intimidate has the same problem its' had since the dawn of 3e which its' basis in Cha.

That leaves one skill pt each to go in Athletics (+8), Engineering(+5), Medicine(+5), Perception (+4), Piloting (+8) and Stealth (+8).

1 more Feat to select and there are several useful ones but they tend to be Combat and soldiers get bonus Feats of that type every other level. so I'll pick Jet Dash which boosts running speed to 6x base, does not make you flat-footed while doing so and doubles leaping distance.

Seeker already gets a bonus in jumping from that extra 10' of movement so he's +12 for that. so he would have had (taking 10) a running long jump of 22' but with Jet Dash it's up to 44" which annihilates the Olympic record. I don't know if it's fantastically useful but it's kewl.

On to Equipment to spend my 1000 credits (everybody gets the same amount)!

Weapons first and I'm afraid that Starknife actually is better than a basic Laser Pistol. It'll do 1D4+4 instead of 1D4 and with the magic Returning property (also only 1st level) it'll never run out of power or ammo. It's 110 credits for the basic Starknife and 120 for the magic stuff so 230 instead of 350 for the laser pistol. I'll take a basic Battleglove for a back-up for another 100. If you don't have one punching someone in armor is at -5 damage because Unarmed strike is one of the very few "Archaic" weapons on the Starfinder table.

Armor is next and Second Skin looks like the bargain. It's +2 to Kinetic AC and +! to Energy AC for 250. If it weren't for the "Archaic" clause it wouldn't be much better than low tech Leather but it also functions as a space suit and has 1 "slot" for an "upgrade" which is one of a number of sorts of useful add-ons to armor.

Infra-red sensors (Darkvision 60')looks like a strong choice for 200. How does that compare to buying IR goggles without armor? You can't do that in Starfinder. Flashlights are cheap but you get one of those built into your Personal Comm Unit (7 credits).

Other small and cheap items are a Tool Kit(Engineering) for 20, a consumer-grade backpack for 3 credits, a "Hygiene Kit" for 3 and a Starstone Compass for 3. That's pretty much the cheapest magic item ever and a bargain for the +2 to navigation it gives you in the (big)Starstone's home system.

That's 816 so I still have money for a basic Med Kit(100) and 1 dose of Serum of Healing MK 1(50). I will save the remaining 34 credits and hope whatever I've forgotten is cheap.

Oh, there's is a starship to design (and share with the rest of the PCs) but that's for tomorrow. It doesn't cost money anyway. :)
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Old 08-22-2017, 12:51 AM   #15
ak_aramis
 
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Default Re: Starfinder thoughts

I minor correction for your description of Stamina, Fred:
The 10 minute recovery is only if you spend a resolve point.
Otherwise, all SP overnight, level HP per night.
Given that HP don't appear to go up per level...

I've looked through it, mostly at CGen...

Start with all atts at 10...
Pick Archetype. Gives a feat chain at 1/6/12/18th levels, and +1 to an attribute.
Pick race, which adjusts 1 or more attributes 2, grants one or more feats... it also provides 2, 4 or 6 HP.
Pick class. It determines class skills, gives a feat or two at level 1, sets skill points per level, stamina per level (fixed, no die roll option; Con Mod applies) and HP (no con mod), both in the 5-7 range by class.
10 points to spend on attributes from there, to max 18.
So PC stat range is 8-18, HP is 7-13, and Stamina in the range 4 to 11 per level...

PC stats look a lot like a slightly muchkin version of 5E's stat range.

To me, it looks very much like 40K meets Pathfiinder 2E...
Note the conversions in the back for Elf, Dwarf, Gnome, Half-elf, Half-orc, and Halfling... I expect a revised Pathfinder if Starfinder is well received...
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:52 AM   #16
Fred Brackin
 
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I minor correction for your description of Stamina, Fred:
The 10 minute recovery is only if you spend a resolve point.
Otherwise, all SP overnight, level HP per night.
Given that HP don't appear to go up per level...
...
P.22, 2nd paragraph under Calculating Hit Points "At 2nd level and every level thereafter you gain the number of Hit Points list in your Class Description".

So every Human Soldier starts with 11 (4+7) Hit Points and every one of them gains another 7 at 2nd level and so on until all 20th level Human Soldiers have 144 Hit pts, no more and no less.

They will _also_ gain 7 pts of Stamina + their Con mod every level. As there is little reason for a 20th level Soldier to _not_ have a Con of 18 (stat ioncreases every 5 levels) he should have 220 Stamina Pts. Maybe 240 or more as Con can be raised by Magic/Technology.

First, it's weird to have both HP and SP going up per level.

Second it illustrates another facet of what I've come to think of as "The Laser Pistol Problem". which is that it's going to be extremely difficult if not worse to ever kill anyone with a single shot of a laser pistol or pretty much any other level-matching weapon.

You cold start out facing 1st levels with a total HP+SP of 18 or more and need 7or more hits from a 1st level laser pistol for a kill. Then at 220 th level you're facign a total of 364 HP+SP and even your 8D4 17th level laser pistol with your 10 pt Weapon Specialization bonus leaves you needing 12-13 hits. Everyone will probably just give up and close to melee range so they can use their 20th level Dimensional Slice Longswords for 14D8 + 24 or so. That'd only take 4-5 hits.

If you wonder, even Heavy Weapons don't do that much better About 40-50 HP + a 20 pt Specialization bonus would be the max.

So this sort of thing is why I'm getting a vibe that isn't really any technology. It's _all_ Magic.
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Old 08-22-2017, 01:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: Starfinder thoughts

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post

So this sort of thing is why I'm getting a vibe that isn't really any technology. It's _all_ Magic.
I get the same vibe...

Ships based upon player level, too.

There is an earlier, 3rd party, space adaptation of PF, Starjammer, which seems slightly less "magic magic everywhere!"

Some of the modality looks good: Char Gen has a lot of range 8*7*6 core options, with some thousands of skill mixes... (20 to 20!/8!, tho not all of the latter are reasonable choices.) And the racial point buy bits look interesting.

More complex than I care for, but still, a good range.
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Old 08-23-2017, 09:03 AM   #18
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Default Re: Starfinder thoughts

My wife and I purchased the Starfinder Core Rulebook mostly because we enjoy playing in Pathfinder Society scenarios at our FLGS, and want to be able to play in Starfinder Society scenarios when those get organized locally, too. I doubt we'll invest in the system more than that anytime soon, because we don't play a lot of sci-fi games and have a pretty full gaming schedule as it is.

I'm still reading through the rulebook, so it's still far too early for me to give an informed opinion on the system. However, we did get to playtest one scenario already, in order to help one of the local GMs prep for running it at GenCon. It was fun, if confusing at times since only the GM and one other player had the rules at that point. I do foresee that the new game's origins in Pathfinder will be both a help and a hindrance, as long-time PF players like me will have to pause and recall exactly how certain rules changed between systems.
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Old 08-23-2017, 09:06 AM   #19
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Starfinder thoughts

I find PFRPG to be merely adequate (although I find Golarion to be a really well designed kitchen sink FRPG setting), and from this description I feel like Starfinder may fall under that threshold. The leveled gear thing is really incomprehensible to me. Why not just restrict it by cost as in PF?

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Old 08-23-2017, 09:53 AM   #20
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Starfinder thoughts

Okay, I promised everyone a starship and I finally may have the time.

These are the voyages of the Starship....... Exit Prize. Boldly going head long into trouble because its' Captain has a Wis of 10 and a alck of knowledge and people skills.

Step one in the build process is to gather up your Build pts or BP. Forget about that money stuff. BP are doled out to parties on a basis of Average Party Level regardless of party size. APL 1 gets you 55 BP.

Oddly it's probable party size that determines the first choice of what to get. You need to select a "frame" first which is mostly like a chassis onto which you put everything else. The frame comes with affixed number of crew accommodations and there isn't really any way to change that. You'd have install passenger quarters for extra crew in the place of a cargo hold and the cost of an extra BP.

A Shutttle only sleeps 4 crewmen and I'd worry about a larger party so we go up one size and get a Light Freighter for 10 BP.

The next thing on the list is a Power Core and for a system that's been simplified as much as Starfinder this looks kind of finicky. You can't tell what size of a Power Core to get yet though because the total of all the Power Core Units (PCU) is later in the design process.

I look ahead and see the most I will probably ever need at one time is 75 to energize the FTL drive. An "Arcus Light" Power Core produces exactly that and costs 7 BP.

I need those 75 PCUs for a Signal Basic Drift engine which costs 4 BP and gives trip length divisor of 1.

Thrusters are next and they don't make trips in normal space shorter but they do determine movement in tactical combat. The ability to run away looks like a much better bet than out-shooting people. Thus I choose to maximize thrusters and get an S 12 unit for 6 BP. It will use 60 PCU.

We leave the cargo bays as is which costs nothing and let's the ship carry about 75 tons.

Next is security gear and it appears as if I do not spend 5 BP on biometric Locks the ship doesn't have any locks. So that's one of the things I've been trying to save BP for.

For Sensors we choose "budget long range" for 6 BP,

Oh, I have to go back and look at armor and see how much I can raise the ship's AC v. Direct Fire weapons (as distinguished from Tracking weapons like homing missiles). 2BP would get me only + 1 AC but it also adds up to 40 out of 55 BP total.

The ship's computer I leave at basic for 0 BP.

Then there's the _quality_ of the crew quarters and if you spend no BP you get a level that amounts to something like "Basic Training Barracks". For 2 BP I can boost that to the equivalent of "college dorm room". So we're at 42 BP spent now.

Then there's Shields and I try for 20 totals pt of damage absorption f0r 3 BP.

Last is Weapons and I have only 10 BP and 5 PCU. Oooh, what do you know I do need more power. If I spend 2 more BP to upgrade to a "Pulse Brown" (what kind of name is that? It sounds like a command code for the sewage recycling system) I'll get 90 PCU and I can fill my 4 weapon mounts with Light Lasers that will cost another 2 BP each and eat up 5 PCU, also each.

I think I'm done and am not terribly happy but if the ship sees combat there might be a gun for everyone to shoot. A bad, short-ranged gun but it might provide hope. I might have more faith in the thrusters.

I might actually try and stay on the space station until we reach 2nd level. :)
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