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Starfinder Looks Like a Mixed Bag
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:


As far as your specific examples go, giants, ghosts and raising the dead aren't particularly noteworthy D&D things. Fairly standard 6-9th level fare, really. Though I remember a particular asshole GM back in 2nd who felt giants were appropriate at level 3. Right after trying to steal our gear in classic dickmove style.


The lack of gear is going to mess with the game mechanics; but if you classify Ogres as giants.... they've been in adventures for PCs as low as level 1, at least as far back as 2e. Now; giants more powerful than D&D ogres (@ lvl 1) feels like a powertripping referee, instead of one trying to get the players to put their PCs though their paces.

Which is sort of stupid, because the hardest thing as a referee isn't grinding the PCs into a paste (what with having all the NPC/monsters at one's disposal); but rather balancing the needle of difficulty between cakewalks and TPKs.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Not ogres. I said giants because I meant giants.
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Count Arioch the 28th
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

rasmuswagner wrote:
How is this a mixed bag?


Let's let James Rolfe explain how.

https://youtu.be/61HNxKK9iPo?t=21


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erik
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Count Arioch the 28th wrote:
rasmuswagner wrote:
How is this a mixed bag?


Let's let James Rolfe explain how.


Thank you. I now amend my thinking on mixed bags and that has become the new default. If erik says something is a mixed bag in the future, it is at best a mixture of cat shit, used tampons, and drunk vomit.

This also reminds me I need to do the kitty litter before I go to bed.
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Count Arioch the 28th
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I vote that Starfinder's nickname should be Shartfinder.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Count Arioch the 28th wrote:
I vote that Starfinder's nickname should be Shartfinder.


That would be a good one were Starfinder to ever be big enough to warrant having a nickname. Fortunately or unfortunately, I doubt that is going to be the case. Pathfinder was able to become the big gorilla because of the self inflicted wound of 4th edition D&D. People wanted more 3.5, but instead 4e was both shit and incompatible. But Pathfinder could come out with high production value material that could credibly claim to be more 3.5. Obviously that had more appeal than 4e ever did.

Starfinder is basically a continuation of D20 Star Wars, but for licensing reasons they can't explicitly say so in their marketing materials. And unlike 3.5 D&D back in 2008, D20 Star Wars is not a game that is just now being yanked away from millions of fans for no real reason - it's a dead game that wasn't particularly successful and died with a whimper 7 years ago. Searching online, I can't find any discussions of peoples' Star Wars SAGA homebrew material from 2017 or even 2016. I just don't think there's a meaningful fanbase waiting for this thing.

I personally loves me some science fantasy and like to play blaster wielding scoundrels and sword wielding Jedi as much as the next guy. But I don't see Starfinder as even having a pitch. 3.5 was a game where people liked the rules more than the world, so continuing the rules but writing a new world made sense. Star Wars Saga had shit rules no one likes and people came 100% for the world. Continuing the rules but making a new world makes no sense.

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Niles
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Frank, Saga Star Wars had problems but don't slander it by associating it with starfinder. Starfinder is based on the earlier, vastly shittier d20 starwars edition.
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Koumei
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I thought d20 Star Wars WAS Saga. There was that, which people didn't like, and then there was the d6 one, which people apparently did like. (Since then I imagine there have been nine others.)

Anyway, I think the playerbase of this is going to be "the subsection of existing PF players who really want to do a space thing but also can't be fucked learning a new complete system". Because if they can be fucked, then there are not just better games (but that is also true), but better-marketed and better-suited games, and indeed actual Star Wars licensed games. If you don't like PF by now you probably never will (it came in on the end of 3.5, absorbed a chunk of the fanbase, then didn't grow its base, but did become a bigger, more tangled tumour of a basic system that makes it harder to adopt). And obviously if you don't want to do a space thing you won't play a game that has the entire shtick of "in space".
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hogarth
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
Who has such a big rubbery one for Science Fantasy over at Paizo?

For one thing, Lisa Stevens used to be the WotC brand manager for the Star Wars RPG. And one of Paizo's original reasons for existence was to publish "Star Wars Insider" magazine.

Lisa Stevens and Vic Wertz have one of the largest Star Wars memorabilia collections in the world, I believe.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Niles wrote:
Frank, Saga Star Wars had problems but don't slander it by associating it with starfinder. Starfinder is based on the earlier, vastly shittier d20 starwars edition.


There's a lot of Star Wars Revised on display here, yes. Wounds and Vitality, the existence of the Tech Specialist class, it's clearly heavily based on the 2002 Star Wars Revised Edition. But we also have trained skills as check boxes, talent trees, and double attack actions like SAGA edition from 2007.

So basically what we have is a mishmash of Pathfinder, Star Wars Revised (2002) and Star Wars SAGA (2007). Like we're playing some dude's bloated Star Wars house rules campaign.

-Frank
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virgil
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:
Like we're playing some dude's bloated Star Wars house rules campaign.
This is Pathfinder. This isn't like that, it is that.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

One of the Starfinder devs, Owen KC Stephens, got rather shirty with a paizo poster for suggesting one of the reasons the Starfinder initial release schedule was so tentative was because scifi RPGs tended to be done unprofessionally. Stephens then reeled off that he had done the 'Dawn of Defiance' campaign for SW Saga, owned 'Fading Suns d20',' worked on dark matter for d20 modern and gamma world d20.

So yeah, no surprise some of this looks familiar. And the not!jedi solarian is largely his.


In the discussion of the first book for the Starfinder adventure path (which is mysteriously 64 pages rather than 96), Erik Mona admits the release for Starfinder is 'more tentative' and they're basically waiting to see if the audience is there before expanding it. Considering the discussion boards for Starfinder are largely devoid of their usually hordes, this is probably wise from a business perspective.


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Slade
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Honestly, one could backport Solarian to Pathfinder or 3.5 D&D. I like the idea of it.

It seems like it wouldn't be an issue. Unless they do something related to lasers like the other classes.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Slade wrote:
Honestly, one could backport Solarian to Pathfinder or 3.5 D&D. I like the idea of it.

It seems like it wouldn't be an issue. Unless they do something related to lasers like the other classes.

The others don't have to use lasers either. I think the technomancer might lose out, but honestly there is enough bullshit tech lying around in Pathfinder that... maybe not. The enhance power definitely worked on a non-laser gun. There is also a whole country that runs off a crashed spaceship, and 'going to other planets' is actually a thing they've done multiple times, and the elves have at least one worldgate and canonical knowledge of other solar systems.

Taking the starfinder classes to the past seems much more feasible than taking the pathfinder classes to the future, as several would just shit on a lot of balance conceits. And a low levels, just picking up a greatsword is at least three times better than trying to shoot people with the starter laser pistol.
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PhoneLobster
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The local pathfinder groupies seem to be talking up starfinder like they are actually pretty excited over it. You know that exasperating routine where they get really oddly excited about something fairly clearly worthless a monk (or comparable pathfinder splat class) might do. Only now the over excitement is IN SPACE.

I wouldn't predict a commercial success, much less anything other than a mess rules wise, but I'd say that going in starfinder has about as much hope of forming a potential viable fan base as basically any previous sci-fi RPG attempt.

Because if they can hook in the pathfinder fan boys/girls that will be good enough. It seems like they at least have their preliminary attention, and those guys have over excitedly bought into a heavy commitment to a pretty mediocre set of RPG products already.

If I were running the show with pathfinder I would be marginally more worried about the risk of starfinder succeeding and fracturing their finite fan base/pathfinder society community. Maybe its a planned transitional product before Pathfinder 2, that would make sense, possibly too much sense.
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Slade
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

PhoneLobster wrote:


If I were running the show with pathfinder I would be marginally more worried about the risk of starfinder succeeding and fracturing their finite fan base/pathfinder society community. Maybe its a planned transitional product before Pathfinder 2, that would make sense, possibly too much sense.


Actually, that makes sense.
They test these classes in Starfinder then find a way to make it in the past for Pathfinder 2.0 in some grand cataclysm like Spell Plague but less stupid and clunky.
Maybe Rugalov got out and this caused some timey wimmy effects shattering the barrier of time so these classes are shunted in the past.
They taught their traditions to those of the past and lo and behold Pathfinder 2.0 includes classes similar to Starfinder (and some of the "fixed" versions of Pathfinder 1.0)

Don't worry, they will realize the old ones too (in more books you must buy, of course).

I'd be laughing if this occurs.
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amethal
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Koumei wrote:
I thought d20 Star Wars WAS Saga. There was that, which people didn't like, and then there was the d6 one, which people apparently did like.
WotC did a d20 Star Wars, then a d20 Star Wars (revised) and then Star Wars Saga edition.

D20 Star Wars seemed to me at the time (although my memory is a bit hazy) like a pretty lazy port of D&D to Star Wars. They brought in all the D&D feats they had lying around and didn't worry too much about coming up with new "space opera" stuff.

Saga made quite a lot of changes. Whether they changed it for the better is a different matter, but at least it seemed like they were making an effort. Of course, it turned out that some of the changes were imposed on them by the guys developing 4th edition D&D, who were using Saga as a trial run.

So you can lump all 3 together when doing a "d6 vs d20" conversation, or you can split them into d20 and Saga if you are doing "which version of Star Wars is least worst".

I was one of the idiots who bought all 3 versions.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I feel like this has been asked before, but what boxes do you need to check to make a satisfying not-StarWars RPG? What kind of character creation/advancement works for the stories you want to tell in that setting?
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hogarth
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

amethal wrote:
D20 Star Wars seemed to me at the time (although my memory is a bit hazy) like a pretty lazy port of D&D to Star Wars. They brought in all the D&D feats they had lying around and didn't worry too much about coming up with new "space opera" stuff.

I think it was pretty similar to D20 Modern, plus lasers and a Jedi class.
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PhoneLobster
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

All the d20 star wars had some similarities with d20 modern for various reasons, but mostly I think because the d20 star wars rules genealogy is really more like...
Star Wars d20 -> Star Wars d20 Revised/d20Modern -> Saga Edition
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Koumei
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thanks for clearing things up. But yeah, Saga is the one that I remember having all the shit of d20 modern, where every odd level you get a bonus feat from a shitty list and every even level you get a special ability from a shitty list. Or the other way around. With such amazing abilities as "You get +1 to X checks", which upgrades to "You get +2 to X checks", finally advancing to "Once per day you get +Level to X checks". Are you engorged yet?
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Mechalich
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

FrankTrollman wrote:

Searching online, I can't find any discussions of peoples' Star Wars SAGA homebrew material from 2017 or even 2016. I just don't think there's a meaningful fanbase waiting for this thing.


Well, it is important to remember that Disney's taking an axe to the EU had a real impact on the utility of older iterations of Star Wars games. SAGA was very up to date and represents a fairly significant distillation of the Legends continuity consensus of how Star Wars worked as an expanded universe - and all of that material is now invalid, so whatever your feelings on the mechanics of that system, the fluff lost most of its value as well.

The best chance to launch a competitive space fantasy was 2015 - to try and maximize on the temporary absence of Star Wars from the genre and to ride the wave of betrayed feelings prior to the release of Force Awakens. it was the best opening against that particular leviathan that anyone was likely to ever get.

Going forward now doesn't seem likely to get very far. Star Wars is very much back and FFG still has that license. So yeah, it's hard to see what making a Pathfinder version of Star Wars is really liable to accomplish.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Koumei wrote:
Thanks for clearing things up. But yeah, Saga is the one that I remember having all the shit of d20 modern, where every odd level you get a bonus feat from a shitty list and every even level you get a special ability from a shitty list. Or the other way around. With such amazing abilities as "You get +1 to X checks", which upgrades to "You get +2 to X checks", finally advancing to "Once per day you get +Level to X checks". Are you engorged yet?

That was more the model of the original d20 SW. Saga was, when it was released, believed to be a test balloon for 4E, and was very well received. And then, much like everything else we thought was a 4E test balloon, WotC did nothing with it.

I don't hate the model of d20 modern/d20 SW. Alternating between a bonus feat and a class ability selected from one of several themed sets isn't a bad way to construct classes. The problem was that the feats and class abilities were such shit.
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erik
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:

I don't hate the model of d20 modern/d20 SW. Alternating between a bonus feat and a class ability selected from one of several themed sets isn't a bad way to construct classes. The problem was that the feats and class abilities were such shit.


I used to think this, that it was just poor execution, but I came back around and now think that the reason I've never ever seen it done well isn't just because everyone who ever tried it poorly executed it, but that it really isn't a good model at all.

You will always wind up having some shittier options and things that are wildly synergistic or not at all synergistic.

And Feats. Feats are so terrible that you may as well not call them feats anymore if you plan on using something meaningful to replace them. But it isn't just that. Feats and special abilities needed to be level-gated, otherwise you wind up getting diminishing returns as you select the 2nd best, 3rd best, 4th, etc. And you have to get rid of other pre-reqs otherwise you have to plan out a character's entire progression during character creation. Feat chains are an abomination.

It's okay to design a class by picking things out, but the modular shit sandwich classes of d20 modern were doomed to failure from the outset.

Hell, I made a feat-based classless system where people got several feats per level, and while it was miles better than d20 modern, some people made really effective characters and others... notsomuch. That's where I ran into the problem of synergy.

A better model is the spell model of progression. Not surprising since casters are known to be more fun and playable. You get level gated abilities each level which don't require prerequisites and require actions and slots (which cuts ways down on synergy problems). Giving everyone their own full spell list and a handful of minor special abilities (i.e. clerics) is superior to the d20 model.


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Koumei
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mechalich wrote:

The best chance to launch a competitive space fantasy was 2015 - to try and maximize on the temporary absence of Star Wars from the genre and to ride the wave of betrayed feelings prior to the release of Force Awakens. it was the best opening against that particular leviathan that anyone was likely to ever get.

Going forward now doesn't seem likely to get very far.


This depends entirely on whether you're catering to/going after the hardcore sci-fi nerds who, upon seeing Episode 1, decided "I'm not going to watch episodes 2 or 3. At least I still have* Star Gate, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, Firefly...", or for the vast majority (people who aren't actually into our niche interests and just know of the big cinema hits, and overall nerd-types who are mostly gamers or fantasy nerds or weebs, who have a side-interest in sci-fi, mainly as pertains to their core interest).

Because if you want to go after the crowd who care a lot about sci-fi and have a whole bunch of series they like, then absolutely the Star Wars crash was the time to start throwing ideas about, including licensing everything else for games to see what would stick.

But for the main audience, sci-fi actually IS Star Wars, so the prequels caused the entire genre to die as far as they were concerned and saying "Hey, this game is set in space with aliens and laser guns!" is met with some variant of "Why bother?" or "Too soon". I get that suggesting this on a nerd-culture forum is likely to get me killed, but it's essentially the same as how all of White Wolf (and gothic dark fantasy as a whole) is actually Vampire and the rest is just an aside to that, living and dying solely based on the success of the big one. So if you are interested in mainstream people (who likely aren't into roleplaying to begin with, what with it still being a niche thing) or to people who just dip their toe in but mostly want D&D or Conan or Sailor Moon, then you need to cash in on the success of Star Wars when it succeeds, and drink heavily when it fails.

*I haven't checked which of these were actually around back then. I'm pretty sure New Doctor Who wasn't a thing by then, but we're talking about people who had old VHS tapes so whatever.
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