robot mule

Starfinder Conversions: Spells

Perhaps the trickiest part of converting class-relevant aspects of the game are the spells, since classes that get spell slots usually have an ever-expanding pool of possible spells to choose from. Not only will you have to decide what current starfinder spells fit an individual class, but you will definitely have to work to help convert pathfinder spells to starfinder, which is mostly a one to one process, but deserves full consideration.

This is particularly true for attacking spells, since most damage-dealing spells in starfinder no longer deal damage based on caster level, but have a flat number of damage dice. This may seem vexing to fans of pathfinder, and particularly the intense spell feat, but it also has the advantage of various damaging spells being much more… explorative, with their damage dice. Suddenly six-siders are not the only thing you see in spells outside of the occasional d8 or d4.

This is in part because your average soldier can do similar damage with a sufficiently high-level weapon, so spells have to be able to keep up. Keep this in mind when designing spells.

Its also worth mentioning how the new summoning spell from Alien Archive works, as it is a perfect example of how to reimagine monster summoning. The fact that with very few exceptions, the list is full of what amount to elementals with various outsider templates grafted on means you have less variety and utility with the summoning spells, but you can fine-tune the summoning to best face the foe in question.

The fact that there are still some other types of monsters to choose from does suggest that if you wanted, you could import the lists from summon monster or summon nature’s ally as well, with GM discretion.

However, by the same regard, its important to note that with the advent of such advanced technology, some spells just may simply be irrelevant now. Floating disc becomes a waste of spell slot when you can purchase a hovering cargo drone or robotic pack mule. Similarly, night vision goggles remove the need for a darkvision spell.

Regardless, classic spells and new ones alike, particularly 7th through 9th level spells, are ripe for the conversion for the enterprising GM and player!

anonymous asked:

What would the New Commonwealth Militia look like?

I’ve actually thought about this enough that I’m probably on a watch list somewhere. Longpost incoming.

I imagine three layers of military defense for Pennsylvania. This could apply to any State, really, so pay attention.

The first and foremost layer is the proper National Guard. Our Guard forces need major modernization yesterday; they’re woefully under-equipped and underfunded. To modernize the Army National Guard, we’d need new equipment. New trucks, for starters- the ones we have are pushing fifty years now. Modernization would be very expensive, but necessary if this State is to have an adequate fighting force.

Apart from just procuring replacement equipment to our old stuff, I’d add some new goodies as well. Investing in lots of cheap, low-tech anti-aircraft guns and shoulder-fired SAMs, for instance. I’d add Active Protection Systems on our tanks and Strykers to intercept incoming rounds. I’d also like us to have AMPVs to replace our M113 APCs. Quadcopter drones could provide consistent overhead cover to infantry platoons, and Big Dog style quadruped drones could work as robotic pack mules for them. In the skies, I’d like them to replace their aging helicopters with the Bell V-280 Valor and Sikorsky S-97 Raider.

On that note, the Air National Guard also deserves some new toys as well. Since the Feds took our A-10s away, we’ve lacked any combat aircraft. I’d replace them with Textron AirLand Scorpion light attack jets, which are cheap and can do the same job. Ideally we would also have a squadron of fighters like the F-35 to defend our skies. Maybe we could also have some drones such as the V-247 Vigilant or the Gremlin

Some legislation would be helpful, in order to assert the State’s control over its own National Guard; the “Defend the Guard” model works well. It asserts that the Governor is the Commander-in-Chief of the Guard, that the Guard can only be called up for Federal service if the reason is in pursuance of the Constitution, and sets the boundaries for when the Governor will allow the Guard to be called up for Federal service.

The second layer of Pennsylvania’s military would be the State Defense Force. This force operates under the sole authority of the State government. It’s partially regulated by the National Guard Bureau, but it doesn’t answer to the Feds. Twenty-two States already have an active SDF, and most of them- PA included- have laws authorizing their existence. We actually had one for most of our history, and at the time of its dissolution in 1953 it had 5,700 men serving, which is no small force.

As a model, I like the Texas State Guard and also the Alabama SDF as portrayed in Mike Vanderboegh’s book Absolved, but with a few tweaks. The Army Component of the SDF would be light infantry. They’d have antitank weapons such as the Carl Gustav, but no tanks of their own. The main vehicles of the PA SDF would be MRAPs and JLTVs, just for getting around. The heaviest vehicle I would give them would be the AVGP/MOWAG Piranha, just in case they ever have to do any heavy fighting. They’re supposed to be a primarily defensive force, able to adequately defend the State and assist in the aftermath of natural disasters.

The Air Component would primarily support the Air National Guard, but I wouldn’t have a problem giving them aircraft of their own. Helicopters like the UH-72 are an obvious choice, and light aircraft like the A-29 Super Tucano and Cessna 208s for attack/transport. They’ll still work closely with the Air National Guard, but I’d want them to have some teeth of their own too, just in case.

Procurement of weapons would be the biggest issue for the SDF, since the Feds wouldn’t take kindly to one of the States raising a capable force of its own that doesn’t answer to the Feds and isn’t a meme coffee-drinkers’ club for old veterans.

The third and final layer would be the common Militia. They would be your average firearm owners throughout the Commonwealth, but could be called up by the State government for duty should the need arise; I like the Swiss model for the militia.

Of course for the State to have a “well-regulated militia,” we would have to strongly encourage the use of firearms. There’d be gun clubs all over the State, and firearms would be exempt from the sales tax. Eventually there could be a law passed across the State, similar to in Kennesaw, Georgia, where every household is required to own a firearm, but that would be a long time from now. To encourage young people to enter the militia, there would be rifle clubs and State rifle teams at secondary schools. I also like the idea of shooting scholarships from the State’s Department of Education, to really encourage it.

I like to imagine there being a sort of public armory system as well, similar to the ones we had at our nation’s founding. These armories would house gun shops’ reserves of firearms, firearms owned by individuals, and guns for use by the local militia. Militiamen too poor to afford their own weapon could check one out at the local public armory and then check it back in when their training is complete.

We’d obviously have to nullify almost all Federal gun control legislation to make this happen, but that’s okay because all of those laws are unconstitutional anyway. We came close to doing this with SB357, but it died in committee back in 2015 unfortunately. I also like the “Line in the Sand” model for going about this; Idaho passed a law like it and we should follow her footsteps.

And that’s the end of my half-coherent rambling about the ideal future of Pennsylvania’s military forces. Anyone who’s more knowledgeable about guns/the military who’d like to make tweaks/recommendations to this, I’m all ears.