Slay a dragon, remove the energist from its heart and power your Atlantean mecha to defend the realm. Since before the Starfinder Tech Revolution playtest came out Jim has been wondering about a Fantasy Mecha game in the vein of Vision of Escaflowne. So last night he asks me from what I’ve read of the playtest would we need to do to use the material in Pathfinder 2e.
- Skills are different, so we’d need to convert the mech rules over to proficiency style instead of skill points
- Grappling is different in Pathfinder 2e which will have implications for mech vs mech grapples and mech vs kaiju grappling, it might be more balanced, we just have to run some tests. Specifically PF2e grappling is against a Fort save, the mech saves are determined by their Tier so whatever adjustments are required by the math we can work that into how mechs figure their saves.
- The math is different, the underlying math of how much damage a character is supposed to be doing in Starfinder and Pathfinder 2e are different this changes the expectations for damage on the weapons table AND how tough the monsters are supposed to be to fight.
What are our assets?
- We know the mech attack and save progressions for Starfinder as well as the arbitrary +8 attack and +13 AC
- We know the designers believe the mech party should be equal to their level +3
- We know the monster statistics in the combatant array in the Starfinder Alien Archive
- We know the monster statistics in the Gamemastery Guide for Pathfinder 2e
- Acrobatics and Athletics are virtually the same between systems, piloting will need to be something else or created for the purpose
- Computers doesn’t exist but if you want to scan something to know what ti is, its really just a recall knowledge check, no computer check to start the engine, you probably need to convince the mech you are worthy or something
What’s the weird stuff?
- Devastating hit is still going to suck from Low to Medium damage weapons
- Autotarget Computer is going to make everyone attack like a full level fighter while it is active, the Aim and Resistance buffs are going to be useful as well as the haste circuit
- Three action economy, the players are going to have so many actions that multi operator mecha will be crazy, for our exercise Jim only wants single pilot mecha
- The recon array is a bonus to computers(recall knowledge) and perception checks which might be a little weird, should a recon mech go sooner in initiative, it is less likely to be surprised? Is a fantasy recon mech a Cyclops thing with a big monoeye lens on its face?
- The big scifi weapons might be replaceable with magical energy types and siege weapons, the gatling guns replaced with Springalds and Ballistas?
These are my early thoughts, come back to look for some proto mech bashing later.
The mechs are just too damn big!
Looking for a CR 13 Creature I found Adult Dragons and the Storm Giant, Pathfinder 2e creatures are smaller than Pathfinder 1e and Starfinder creatures are due in some small part to WizKids packaging and distribution capabilities we don’t see a lot of Gargantuan or Colossal creatures in PF2e. Colossal Centipedes, Jellyfish and Scorpions are all actually smaller sizes. There are no Colossal creatures in Bestiary 1 or 2.
STORM GIANT CREATURE 13
CG HUGE AMPHIBIOUS GIANT HUMANOID
Perception +24; low-light vision
Languages Auran, Common, Draconic, Jotun
Skills Acrobatics +20, Athletics +27, Crafting +24, Intimidation +24, Perform +22, Sense Motive +24
Str +8, Dex +1, Con +6, Int +3, Wis +5, Cha +2
Items +1 striking greatsword, sack with 5 rocks
AC 34; Fort +28, Ref +21, Will +23
HP 235; Immunities electricity
Catch Rock [reaction]
Speed 35 feet, swim 30 feet
Melee [one-action] greatsword +28 (magical, reach 15 feet, versatile P), Damage 2d12+16 slashing plus 1d6 electricity
Melee [one-action] fist +27 (agile, reach 15 feet), Damage 2d8+16 bludgeoning plus 1d6 electricity
Ranged [one-action] rock +37 (brutal, range increment 120 feet), Damage 2d10+16 bludgeoning
Arcane Innate Spells DC 33; 6th chain lightning (×3); 5th control weather (at will); 3rd levitate (at will); Constant (4th) freedom of movement
Lightning Blade three[three-actions] (electricity, evocation, primal) The storm giant raises one hand to the sky, channeling a bolt of lightning into the blade held in the other. The giant makes a greatsword Strike with a –2 circumstance penalty against each creature within its reach. It makes only one attack roll and compares the result against each creature’s AC. This Strike deals an additional 3d12 electricity damage and counts as two attacks for the giant’s multiple attack penalty.
Throw Rock [one-action]
Wide Swing [one-action] The storm giant makes a single greatsword Strike and compares the attack roll result to the ACs of up to two foes within its reach. This counts as two attacks for the giant’s multiple attack penalty.
The Storm Giant has a High Strength and AC for a CR 13 creature, Perception is just over the Moderate. Skills are Low to Moderate, Saves are Low to Moderate with Fort being Extreme. Hit Points are square in the middle of Moderate. Strike attack bonus is High, the Ranged attack is beyond Extreme +37 over a suggested +29
Assuming our level 10 mech pilot is Master (6+10) at piloting the mech is we still add the mysterious 8, plus 1/5 of tier (2) and the BAB or Piloting (6+10) then we have a 1d20+8+2+16 (+26) to hit. The Spartan Echo mech we built is going to hit the Storm Giant on a roll of 8 or higher. Hammerfist the Storm Giant in the face for 39 points. Spartan Echo is stronger than the Giant by +1 and 3 levels below it so too strong for CR 10 or 13 if you compared the mech to a PF2e monster.
Spartan Echo has Fort +11 and Ref +10, that’s less than half the Giant’s bonuses, we know the bonuses are computer differently in PF2e and so this must change. We know you can use Athletics to grapple a foe, the Giant’s +27 Athletics against the Jaeger’s +11 Fort (Fort DC 21) wouldn’t even be a contest. Grapple weapons would add something to this, the mech playtest doesn’t have any grapple weapons.
The Jaeger’s skills and saves are too low
It’s worth noting that if the giant is balanced tow Storm giants grappling would need to roll at least an 11 on the die to grapple each other. So we probably want our mech to be int he +20 bonus ballpark. In starfinder the Jaeger has a +11 Fort save which is just one point under the recommended Fort save for a CR 10 combatant. A CR 10 creature in the PF2e Gamemastery Guide has a +22 for High saving throws. That’s the ballpark we want to be in as well. Lets pretend our Escaflowne-ized Jaeger gets a +22 Fort and +19 Reflex save. The giant would need to roll at least a 5 to grapple our Jaeger, the Jaeger with its +19 Athletics would need a 19 on the die to grapple the giant. The Jaeger needs a 37 to escape the grapple which it looks like Spartan Echo can do on a roll of 11 or better using the modified attack bonus we gave it earlier. The giants grappling each other only need a 10 on the die to escape their brother’s grapple. So the modified attack works fine, but the mech skills need to adjustment.
The Jaeger’s damage is too damn high!
In the first upset of the night, the Jaeger’s damage needs to come down! We’re going to pretend the Strike Damage table in the PF2e GMG replaces the Tech Revolution weapon damage table completely and our punches should be doing 17 points? Using the Paizo developers assumption that a party in a mech is equivalent to three levels more powerful we might need to adjust the math a little to understand the assumptions.
You’ll notice that the damage table in alien Archive for combatants isn’t as potent as the mech weapons table damage so there is something we need to figure out how much more damage is a Starfinder mech doing than a starfinder character and then come up with a PF2e mech damage table that is similarly more than the PF2e character damage.
OR what’s the ratio of the damage in each to the hit points of the monsters in each? Since those assumption might be different across systems, just inflating the damage in one system to match the inflation in the other won’t necessarily give us the results we want.
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