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Starfinder Opening Volley, the worst of all feats?

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
So!

(context: we are trying a short campaign of Starfinder, and I'm making a level 7 character for it, a soldier, and I'm trying to make a tough and versatile character)

Here is the text of the feat:

Opening Volley (Combat)
Your ranged assault leaves your foe disoriented and vulnerable
to your next melee attack.
D Benefit: Whenever you deal damage to an opponent with a
ranged attack on your first turn in a combat, you gain a +2
circumstance bonus to your next melee attack roll against
that opponent. This melee attack must occur before the end
of your next turn.

Now, I really like the "idea" of the feat - you shoot with your laser pistol as you charge in and you then clobber your enemy. Great! But if you read the text of the feat.... oh boy.

You essentially get +2 to hit on one attack per fight. That is all. Compare that to weapon focus, which gives you +1 to well, every attack with a weapon type, always, it's just awful... Sure weapon focus is kinda bland and boring, but it delivers.

but wait, it's MUCH worse than that!

That one attack has to be on round 2 (or maybe round 1). And you must hit your target with a ranged attack first. Miss? Well, better luck next fight. Can't reach your target on round 2 to engage in melee? sad trumpet sound. Your target was killed by another PC? Too bad so sad.

Now if this was some kind of super attack - you did double damage or something - it would be cool. But nope, it's just +2 to hit!

To add insult to injury, this feat is also is the foundation feat for one of the soldier's fighting style...

This is just.... wow. Am I missing something here?
 

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billd91

Hobbit on Quest
I think a pretty common reinterpretation is to treat it less as limited to the first round of combat and more as a 1-2 combination, useable more often than just the first round. As long as you shoot then clobber, a lot of GMs would be OK with that.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I think a pretty common reinterpretation is to treat it less as limited to the first round of combat and more as a 1-2 combination, useable more often than just the first round. As long as you shoot then clobber, a lot of GMs would be OK with that.
Oh I'm sure that the feat can (and should!) be fixed.

I'm just astounded that such a horrid feat was published. I'm struggling to remember a worst one.

Now yes yes, system mastery "requires" trap feats (this was revealed by a 3e designer... was it Monte Cook? many years ago, it was done on purpose). But starfinder is its own system, and the core book doesn't have that many feats (something which surprised and mildly impressed me), so I don't see it as having the "room" for intentionally bad feats...

... and if this wasn't a poor feat on purpose... oooof.
 

I'm just astounded that such a horrid feat was published. I'm struggling to remember a worst one.
Starfinder is a pretty small system, so I'm sure that feat is in the running for worst. For contrast, it wouldn't even be in the top five for Pathfinder.

Even if it's on the weaker side, though, the feat is still perfectly consistent with the rest of the game. The whole system is designed around accumulating tiny, unreliable, situational bonuses that sound more impressive than they really are. That's just what you buy into, when you decide to play the game.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Oh I'm sure that the feat can (and should!) be fixed.

I'm just astounded that such a horrid feat was published. I'm struggling to remember a worst one.

Now yes yes, system mastery "requires" trap feats (this was revealed by a 3e designer... was it Monte Cook? many years ago, it was done on purpose). But starfinder is its own system, and the core book doesn't have that many feats (something which surprised and mildly impressed me), so I don't see it as having the "room" for intentionally bad feats...

... and if this wasn't a poor feat on purpose... oooof.
System mastery doesn't require trap feats. That's a gross misinterpretation of Monte Cook's blog post about Ivory Tower game design that has gone viral.
But I think it's a pretty common assessment that there are game designers who assign a valuation to a feat using different criteria and perspectives than players do.
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
But I think it's a pretty common assessment that there are game designers who assign a valuation to a feat using different criteria and perspectives than players do.

But what are they doing?!? Is there a "coolness score" to it that has to reduce the mechanical advantage to obtain optimum crunch/fluff equilibrium? What are these designers doing? Are they reading entrails?
 

glass

(he, him)
I'm just astounded that such a horrid feat was published. I'm struggling to remember a worst one.
Bear in mind that 3.0, 3.5, and PF1 all had feat published that did literally nothing whatsoever. The 3.5 one was called "A Bad Idea" and was obviously a joke feat. Eagle Claw Attack and Prone Shooter, not so much.

Now yes yes, system mastery "requires" trap feats (this was revealed by a 3e designer... was it Monte Cook? many years ago, it was done on purpose).
System mastery doesn't require trap feats. That's a gross misinterpretation of Monte Cook's blog post about Ivory Tower game design that has gone viral.
Yes, and no. Ivory Tower game design did feature deliberately including some options which were somewhat worse than others, but not to the extent that that actually happened. The mistake IMNSHO was not realising that the default state of a rules system as complex as 3e is horribly unbalanced, and you have to fight against that or you will have accidental imbalances far greater than (but exascerbated by) what Cooke et al sought to include deliberately.

_
glass.
 

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