I’m going through a lot of my early notes on the Galaxy Pirates design and playtest. December 20, 2011 my base materials were D20 Modern, D20 Future and Pathfinder 1e which I felt had improved things over the 3.0 baseline of D20 Modern. I have changed player names to player or their character’s race and class. I have added in italics anywhere we’ve since made a change.
Design Notes: December 20, 2011
I spent some time this morning and last night on the RPG draft, a few things came out.
Kopek Medic and all Robots with Treat Injury will have one ‘lifeform’ they get to operate on with no penalty, as Medicine can’t be studied in the abstract, a robot which can’t treat injury on itself would learn or be programmed to work on some lifeform. So they will pick one race when the skill is chosen. (Starfinder medicine works on everybody)
There are a LOT of feats that let you pick 2 skills that you get a +2 bonus on. The 4E game designers tried to get away from these as they considered them lame. They might be back in later books, but they said a design goal was to get rid of them. Pathfinder took a different approach, you get +2 to the 2 listed skills, and when you have 10 ranks in the skill, the bonus goes up to +4. I believe that I need to change all of the “+2-to-2” feats from D20 Modern to do the same thing, just sort of an update there. (Skill Synergy and Skill Focus greatly reduced the pagecount of pick two skill feats)
Energy Melee Weapons and Concussion Melee Weapons, I need to make their additional damage some type of damage such that the additional damage isn’t doubled or tripled when you score a critical hit. They are like Flaming Swords or Holy weapons in this regard. Trogon Bounty Hunter, this will affect your Falchion. (Energy and Concussion were extra damage modifiers like Flaming and Impact that Starfinder fixed with scaling damage)
I think I have a good idea what the Kaldir martial art “Slippery Ice” entails, the practitioner would gain virtual feats of Improved Trip and Improved Disarm when wielding the Kaldir Ice Axe which is a Trip Disarm Exotic weapon. They would gain the feats Combat Throw, Defensive Martial Arts, Improved Combat Throw, Greater Trip, Greater Disarm and Unbalance Opponent. The question becomes how to do this as a Feat Tree, anyone could take with 6-7 feats, as a Monk-like progression, or fastest method as feats taken by a Marine.
It turns out I am not a fan of Brawl, or Combat Martial Arts from D20 Modern, Combat Martial Arts aren’t as good as they are in Star Wars, the first Combat Martial Arts feat is slightly better than Improved Unarmed Strike because it grants 1d4 as a damage dice in addition to not provoking AoOs, and being able to do lethal or non-lethal. (Starfinder’s Improved Unarmed Strike is better than all prior incarnations)
Greater Trip and Overrun make the enemy tripping or being Overrun provoke Attacks of Opportunity, Greater Bullrush does too but specifies that they provoke AoOs from allies, but not to you. I would think Trip and Overrun need the same stipulation.
I feel like I need to reword Agile Riposte, basically it says you can’t use it more than once per round kind of like the rogue’s Opportunist ability. These should be limits on the abilities as it says Combat Reflexes doesn’t give you more attacks of opportunity, but that is patently not true, and under the 3.5 and Pathfinder rules new “opportunities” even from the same target are fair game under Combat Reflexes. So if the ability is limited to 1 per round, that should be the end of it.
The Mercenary has lots of empty levels and is a poorly written Barbarian knock-off a player would be 1000% better off taking the current Marauder and choosing whatever Rage Powers he wants, and taking Frightful Presence as a character feat instead of the Tough Customer Mercenary ability. I kind of like the bonuses while on the job as kind of like Bounty Hunter or Ranger bonuses. I kind of like the modifiers to Leadership when recruiting other Mercenaries, but this thing needs an overhaul. (Mercenary was based on a 20 level version of the Mercenary prestige class from Blood and Space: Merchants, Pirates and Smugglers)
Kopek soldier’s gun is currently a Earth-style Machine Gun, a .50 caliber crew served weapon capable of Automatic fire, Kopek soldier needs the Personal firearms Feat, Advanced Firearms feat, Heavy Machine Guns Exotic Weapons feat and the Burst feat in order to use it to shoot at single targets and add +2 dice of damage. By the rules this weapon is Huge and needs to be fired from a Tripod, takes belts of ammunition and CANNOT fire 3 round bursts, only 5 round bursts. Burst fire shots are at a -4 to hit penalty.
My suggested changes will be to make the official Berserker Cannon a 2d12 size Large fully auto gauss gun. It will use a 50 round drum magazine instead of a 100 round belt. This would allow the player to fire 10 bursts just as anyone with a one of the special submachine guns can fire 10, 3 round bursts.
I would like to point everyone to the Rail Gun which is single action 3d12 weapon which could do the same damage as player’s burst by anyone using the Double Tap feat, using only 2 bullets, the Personal Firearms feat and Double Tap feat. 2 less feats, much less ammo, and only 3,000 credits more. Double Tap is only a -2 attack roll penalty.
Addressing the Canadian Training issue, though we resolved in the real world anyone can fire a 3 round burst with enough training, the in-game effect of that has been to remove the 13 Wisdom requirement from the Burst feat. Firing a burst in-game still requires 5 bullets, unless you have a 3 round burst setting on your gun.
The Laser Pistol and Plasma Pistol are going up to 3d6 and 3d8 appropriately. This brings them into parity with their Star Wars equivalents and balances them a little more against the slugthrowers. (Starfinder projectile and energy weapons replaced the D20 Modern/Star Wars mish mash)
Laser Rifles and Plasma Rifles do the damage they are supposed to do, in both cases Pistols and Rifles, Range Increments and the ability to fire them at Adjacent opponents without attracting an AoO matter.
Manyshot is disappearing, Rapid Shot is not.
Scorpion Style, Gorgon’s Fist, Medusa’s Wrath are all likely disappearing, Lightning Stance might be part of the Assimar (Gelatinous race to be renamed) Martial Arts style.
Archery Feats are going to become Ranged weapons feats or go the way of the Dodo.
Jousting feats with Lances are going byebye, I have no idea why Unseat has to use a lance, you can unhorse someone with a mace or shield bash or lots of other weapons. Also why does it have to be used against another mounted opponent, Knights mowed down plenty of peasants with bull rush or overrun type attacks and knocked them prone.
Talking with my freelance writer Rich Redman, Robot Weapons and Accessories will be deduped such that Robots don’t pay DC 17 for the same DC 10 Polyvox that Meatbags use. Magnetic Feet and Gravity Anchors will be available to both sides, Robots previously only able to buy DR 5 shields will be able to purchase the same DR 10 or DR 15 shields that PCs can buy. This is all on me, Rich is working on other pieces and parts but thinking about making the robots chapter fit more with the rest of the book brought on some good stuff.
With what we are talking about, you should be able to build nearly anything from the Monster Manual as a Robot with a proper CR and reasonable cost, then apply Monstrous Animal or Humanoid templates to it for creating alien creatures. (Alien Archive creation rules handle this, I just need to add costs)
What do you think now?
The introduction of Starfinder in 2017 scrapped the need for a lot of this stuff. I still believe a lot of feats at the time were uneven and unnecessarily restricted. Original classes were Engineer, Field Medic, Hacker, Marine (Soldier), Smuggler, Marauder (Space Barbarian)
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