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Queries From Core Rulebook / SG Series Guide

Duke Flipside

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Hi all,

I've not been involved in the beta or any playtesting, and I was super-excited to get my hands on the Core Rulebook the other day. I'm an experienced 5e DM+player, so after going through the book I have a few questions I was hoping you might be able to help with - apologies for the long post!

  • Page 116 has a sidebar on the DHD, where it says activating the DHD requires a DC20 Engineering or Science check, and that failure by 10 could open a wormhole to a random destination.
    • This is very confusing to me: the point about the DHD is that it's incredibly simple to use, as long as you know the address. However, in regular 5e DC20 is considered "Hard"; I don't know if there are any major balance changes that make it easier for characters to reach DC20 at low levels than in regular 5e, but from what I've seen that doesn't seem likely - and indeed the rulebook itself confirms DC20 is supposed to be "Hard" on page 106.
    • I don't think we ever saw anyone struggling to work a (functioning) DHD (when they knew the address) in the show, and yet a level 1 Engineer with a +5 in Engineering will faill this check 70% of the time they try to dial...not to mention a level 1 Soldier with -1 in Engineering would be utterly incapable of dialling the gate successfully!
    • Activating the DHD is a matter of dialling the correct 6-symbol address + correctly entering the unique Point of Origin for that gate; the only challenging part is identifying the PoO, without which the gate won't activate; therefore it shouldn't be possible to dial an incorrect address.
    • Is anyone able to explain the reasoning for making dialling such a difficult check? If it's to represent correctly identifying the PoO (and DC balance is equivalent to base 5e) I'd argue it should really be something like DC10 (i.e. "Easy"), given we've never seen it be an issue in the show (the original movie being the only exception, when a) there wasn't a DHD and b) the Tau'ri hadn't quite figured out the system yet)


  • The solider's equipment bonus is to add "a longarm upgrade" to their base kit. However, p65/67 indicate that "longarm" is a base weapon class, with different weapons being represented by different sets of upgrades (e.g. P90 is a longarm with Automatic, Burst, Extended Capacity, and Reflex Sight). The base kit on p58 explicitly lists P90s as one of the default options - meaning longarms equipped with upgrades are a standard pieces of kit.
    • Therefore, it seems this is effectively a wasted class feature on the Soldier, as it provides no apparent benefit; is this correct, or have I misunderstood the feature / how upgrades function?


  • The base kit on p58 lists a longarm (P90 or Mossberg 500) as standard equipment for every soldier
    • Only Engineers and Soliders actually have proficiency with Longarms as standard - is the intention that most characters may use weapons they're not proficient in?
    • (This is also a slight error as the Mossberg 500 is defined on p65 as being a Shotgun, not a Longarm...)


  • Behaviour of Automatic weapons seems odd
    • They deal increased damage at the cost of increased ammunition usage and disadvantage on the attack. However, the all-or-nothing nature of attack rolls vs AC means by spraying more bullets, either all of them will hit...or absolutely none of them will (I'm reminded of children's cartoons where a hail of bullets makes a perfect outline around the target, with none hitting!) It feels like this would be better represented by a DEX save, dealing increased damage on a failed save / reduced damage on a success, as you would expect more bullets = more likely to hit.
    • RAW, a character needs a minimum +1 Strength modifier to gain any benefit from the Automatic property, as the bonus damage is tied to STR with no minimum value. Arguably, this means someone with a negative modifier would deal less damage (i.e. roll TD and reduce the damage). Perhaps this is intended if it represents them being unable to handle the recoil of the weapon, but it still seems strange!


  • SG Series Guide states ATVs, Death Gliders, F-302s, Motorcycles, and Passanger Sadans [sic] are not permitted equipment in Living Play - does this mean that the other vehicles listed in the core rulebook (e.g. Apaches, M1 Tanks, M706 APCs...) are allowed? Because I would have assumed otherwise..!


  • SG Series Guide doesn't list Tollan as being a forbidden race option for Living Series Play, but lists their phase-shift device as being forbidden equipment; does the forbidden equipment listing only apply to non-Tollan PCs who would not normally have access to the device, and Tollan PCs are still able to use theirs? If not, should the Tollan race option be forbidden as well, or is there an appropriate replacement for this feature to maintain balance for Tollan PCs (e.g. substituting the Recovery feature other human races have)?


  • Lastly does anyone know when the Living Series is officially starting? It's a bit unclear, but I'm hoping I might be able to convince my group to do an official run!

Despite all the questions I'm really looking forward to playing - I have to say I think the implementation of how Zats do 3 levels of exhaustion is absolutely perfect for their "1 hit disables, 2 kills" nature, and I really like the look of how Firefights vs Skirmishes have been implemented (particularly as ranged combat vs melee was one of my biggest disappointments with the Starfinder system!)

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Also to add to your questions in this post:

Military (p 39)
Race: Any
+1 HP per level
Choose one of the following:
        Weapon proficiency: Any
        Armor proficiency : Any
Tau'ri Military (p41)
Race: Human ONLY
Choose one of the following
       Weapon Proficiency: Long arm, Martial Arts
       Armor Proficiency: Heavy

Since they don't stack it is always the worst choice to choose Tau'ri Military, is that intentional?
Also the solider class already gets the the Tau'ri proficiencies in class so it becomes a free proficiency without the HP for them. Under military it suggest humans might want to take Tau'ri Military but it seems to me that would be very very dumb.

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