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Class Preview: The Envoy

Friday, May 5, 2017

Illustration by Miroslav Petrov

When the Starfinder Core Rulebook is released in August, some of the things players are sure to look at first are the classes—envoy, mechanic, mystic, operative, solarian, soldier, and technomancer. Along with the core races and character themes, these classes are a major part of defining a Starfinder player character.

Of course, we don't want to make people wait until August to learn anything about all the fun things we have crammed into our new game, so we're going to be doing a series of class previews over the coming weeks, starting with the envoy. So, let's take a quick look at what the book has to say about the envoy.

You make your way in the universe with a charming smile, quick wit, and keen sense of self-preservation, and excel at getting others to do what you want. You might be a trickster, hustler, or con artist, or you might serve as an actor, ambassador, or businessperson, paving the way for negotiation through kind words or the occasional dirty trick. You are often the group's strategist, using your quick wit and tactical acumen to push your friends to greater heights. You may also be skilled in diplomacy, serving as the face for a starship crew, talking your way into restricted systems or gaining audiences with local politicians or warlords.

As that description suggests, envoys are good at social skills. Whether they're using those skills to make friends, fool victims, or threaten foes, envoys often use their wits and charm to get the job done. (And when that doesn't work, well, there's always your laser pistol.) Some of that ability to affect others is modeled by their 8 skill points per level and 16 class skills, which allow them to pick up a lot of social skills while still being able to put ranks into skills such as Acrobatics, Computers, and Stealth, as appropriate for your character concept. The class couples that with an average base attack bonus, poor Fortitude saves, good Reflex and Will saves, light armor, and proficiency (and eventually specialization) with basic melee weapons, grenades, and small arms.

Envoys gain the expertise and skill expertise class features at 1st level. Expertise grants the envoy a 1d6 expertise die that she can add to Sense Motive skill checks as an insight bonus, and skill expertise extends that bonus to one other skill. As the envoy gains levels, she expands the number of skills she can apply her expertise die to and gains expertise talents, which give her additional options for those skills. These can extend the effects of a skill check, allow her to perform acts the skill doesn't normally grant, or alter how long it takes her to use a talent.

Each envoy also gets to select a number of envoy improvisations over the course of her career, beginning at 1st level. These allow the envoy to more directly hinder her foes and aid her allies. Many improvisations are sense-dependent, and some are also language-dependent or mind-affecting. Clever use of envoy improvisations can turn the tide of battle, as the envoy can bolster allies actions and defenses, warn them of impending dangers, and—with higher-level options—even give them additional actions in a turn. Here's an example of a 1st-level envoy improvisation.

Clever Feint (EX) [sense-dependent]

As a standard action, you can fake out an enemy within 60 feet, making that enemy open to your attacks. Attempt a Bluff check with the same DC as a check to feint against that enemy (though this isn';t a standard check to feint, so Improved Feint and Greater Feint don't apply). Even if you fail, that enemy is flat-footed against your attacks until the end of your next turn. If you succeed, the enemy is also flat-footed against your allies' attacks until the end of your next turn. You can't use clever feint against a creature that lacks an Intelligence score.

At 6th level, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to treat a failed Bluff check for clever feint as if it were a success.

We'll present more information on the other six classes in the coming weeks, and of course, you can read the full classes this August when the Starfinder Core Rulebook releases at Gen Con!

Owen K.C. Stephens
Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Envoys Miroslav Petrov Starfinder
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Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Sounds exciting!

Also, 5th and 6th paragraph are the same/repeated.

Liberty's Edge

35 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Sounds exciting!

Also, 5th and 6th paragraph are the almost the same/repeated.

EDIT:Oh, Irony, you cruel mistress.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So are the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs.

I hope that expertise day either is useable after knowing the result of the main roll or is not limited to a few times a day. There's nothing worse than wasting a limited resource on a roll that turns out to be either a success without adding the bonus or so low it's a clear failure even with it.

Paizo Employee Outreach Coordinator

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I sent a note to the blog folks about the repeating paragraphs. Should be fixed at some point.
:D

Paizo Employee Outreach Coordinator

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Reckless wrote:

Sounds exciting!

Also, 5th and 6th paragraph are the almost the same/repeated.

EDIT:Oh, Irony, you cruel mistress.

Well played. 10/10.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

8 people marked this as a favorite.

The repetitive and redundant paragraphs have been fixed and reduced. :)


And that's just one potential improvisation someone can take? Holy cow. I feel like this class is going to be similar to the investigator but more charisma based. May need to take a second look at the class after all

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Joana wrote:

So are the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs.

I hope that expertise day either is useable after knowing the result of the main roll or is not limited to a few times a day. There's nothing worse than wasting a limited resource on a roll that turns out to be either a success without adding the bonus or so low it's a clear failure even with it.

While there are specific circumstances that might cause an envoy to decide not to add her expertise die (such as special knacks that give her other options if she skips adding it), there is no daily or resource limit to how often she can add the expertise die.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

7 people marked this as a favorite.
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
And that's just one potential improvisation someone can take? Holy cow. I feel like this class is going to be similar to the investigator but more charisma based. May need to take a second look at the class after all

Yep! Heck, that's even only one of the 1st-level improvisations you can pick. There are also improvisations you can't select until higher levels (4th, 6th, and 8th).

AND you get expertise talents.

Paizo Employee Designer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
And that's just one potential improvisation someone can take? Holy cow. I feel like this class is going to be similar to the investigator but more charisma based. May need to take a second look at the class after all

Just one possibility, and notably, as the blog states, this is a 1st-level option. Some of the higher level options...well, you'll want to check them out!

EDIT: Ninjaed by Owen by 20 seconds about the higher-level options!


Yes! Ahhh, I knew when I first heard about the Envoy that it would be my class and this preview just sold it for me. Now I just have to figure out a race...

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Proficiency... and then specialization? Interesting.

Confirmed:
* same set of saves we have now, with varying progressions
* multiple attack bonus progressions, likely the same three we have now (with envoys being a 3/4 BAB class)
* points/level being class-based
* class skills are still a thing
* the flat-footed condition still exists
* "simple" weapons are now apparently "basic" weapons

Improved and Greater Feint still exist, which suggests the Improved and Greater maneuver feats in general might still exist - but feint isn't technically a maneuver anyway, so we shouldn't read too much into that.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

i waiting to see the solarian class with impatience.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Feels like the Rogue Trader from Fantasy Flight Games' version of Rogue Trader.

This is a good thing.

Now if the Soldier is like the Arch Militant that would also be good. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

... Paizo, Paizo, Paizo.

I'm buying Starfinder. There's no need to torment me so!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

When do we get to learn more about the Themes available to this class?

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.
DragoDorn wrote:
When do we get to learn more about the Themes available to this class?

We may well get to a Themes preview blog, just depending on how many things we need to preview and weeks left until the book is out, but it isn't likely to be connected to the classes specifically.


Quote:
“You make your way in the universe with a charming smile, quick wit, and keen sense of self-preservation, and excel at getting others to do what you want. You might be a trickster, hustler, or con artist, or you might serve as an actor, ambassador, or businessperson, paving the way for negotiation through kind words or the occasional dirty trick. You are often the group's strategist, using your quick wit and tactical acumen to push your friends to greater heights. You may also be skilled in diplomacy, serving as the face for a starship crew, talking your way into restricted systems or gaining audiences with local politicians or warlords.”

Face, face, face, face, face, face, face. (to the tune of the monty python 'spam' song). There may be a subtle direction to this class.

Has potential, I think. But I worry that people might get the impression that non-envoys shouldn't even bother trying to fill the face or skill monkey roles.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Voss wrote:
“ But I worry that people might get the impression that non-envoys shouldn't even bother trying to fill the [snip] skill monkey roles.

No risk of that. :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

From what I've read about each class, I've been torn between an Envoy and a Mechanic (with an AI specialization) for my first PC. This post just made this decision harder! Owen, can you reveal whether there are any particular branching specializations within the Envoy class, akin to the Mechanic's AI or Drone ally progression?


Just noticed he has a tail cuff/ring. That is awesome!

Paizo Employee Designer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Voss wrote:
“ But I worry that people might get the impression that non-envoys shouldn't even bother trying to fill the [snip] skill monkey roles.
No risk of that. :)

Yes...yes indeed.

Cue ominous laughter.

Why is the interesting part (the operative word in this case being why).


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mark Seifter wrote:

Yes...yes indeed.

Cue ominous laughter.

Why is the interesting part (the operative word in this case being why).

Indeed?

The Exchange

3 people marked this as a favorite.
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
Just noticed he has a tail cuff/ring. That is awesome!

Seeing the color markings on the face makes me think the he is a SHE. Wasn't something said about the female Vesk being the colorful ones? Which is a cool reversal and makes me want to play a female Vesk mechanic who's a mix of Kaylee and Jayne from Firefly. If that's possible with Vesk that is.

Paizo Employee Designer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Wilkins, Goblin Scholar wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:

Yes...yes indeed.

Cue ominous laughter.

Why is the interesting part (the operative word in this case being why).

Indeed?

It seems you goblins may be too clever for my hidden clues. Too clever indeed.


Crusader3025 wrote:
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
Just noticed he has a tail cuff/ring. That is awesome!
Seeing the color markings on the face makes me think the he is a SHE. Wasn't something said about the female Vesk being the colorful ones? Which is a cool reversal and makes me want to play a female Vesk mechanic who's a mix of Kaylee and Jayne from Firefly. If that's possible with Vesk that is.

They were subtle enough that I didn't caTch it. That sounds like a fun character combo

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Opsylum wrote:
From what I've read about each class, I've been torn between an Envoy and a Mechanic (with an AI specialization) for my first PC. This post just made this decision harder! Owen, can you reveal whether there are any particular branching specializations within the Envoy class, akin to the Mechanic's AI or Drone ally progression?

There's nothing that extreme. There are improvisations that build on improvisations, and the same with expertise talents. So you could build an envoy heavily focused on just a few skills if you really wanted to... but you can branch out of that as soon as your next class feature choice, so it's more flexible than the mechanic's branching options.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Crusader3025 wrote:
Seeing the color markings on the face makes me think the he is a SHE. Wasn't something said about the female Vesk being the colorful ones? Which is a cool reversal and makes me want to play a female Vesk mechanic who's a mix of Kaylee and Jayne from Firefly. If that's possible with Vesk that is.

There's absolutely nothing stopping you from playing a likable, cheerful, competent vesk mechanic!


...

Yes.

Dark Archive

I wonder what sense-dependent will mean. Is it the replacement for mind-affecting?

Also, the inability to apply feats to this seems odd. It prevents a lot of the creative uses for abilities I have come to expect from Pathfinder.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
CoeusFreeze wrote:

I wonder what sense-dependent will mean. Is it the replacement for mind-affecting?

Also, the inability to apply feats to this seems odd. It prevents a lot of the creative uses for abilities I have come to expect from Pathfinder.

It gives you a guaranteed successful feint (right from first level) with the chance to apply it to everybody. Allowing it to combo with feint improvements would push envoys into all building mass feint builds.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Interesting.

It also looks like the language and writing style is different for Starfinder, too. No more third-person perspective and lower-case class feature terms.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

CoeusFreeze wrote:
I wonder what sense-dependent will mean. Is it the replacement for mind-affecting?

It is not.


Do we know what these resolve points are?


CoeusFreeze wrote:

I wonder what sense-dependent will mean. Is it the replacement for mind-affecting?

Also, the inability to apply feats to this seems odd. It prevents a lot of the creative uses for abilities I have come to expect from Pathfinder.

I'd bet it means something along the lines of requiring the ability to detect the user by some means and to be able to kind of tell what they're doing in some fashion, since a staple of space opera settings is creatures that sense the world with different senses than a standard human-ish character might, so it can kind of cover a wide variety of possible targets without having to take a bunch of options for a sense you might encounter once or twice.

This is of course, all complete speculation with no knowledge. Basically a wild guess


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
CoeusFreeze wrote:
I wonder what sense-dependent will mean. Is it the replacement for mind-affecting?
It is not.

I thought it was more like the equivalent of bardic performance being audible or visible. For the clever feint to work, something has to be able to "sense" you, rather than listing the various ways one can sense.

If that's the case, it seems like an elegant way of handling it.

The Exchange

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Crusader3025 wrote:
Seeing the color markings on the face makes me think the he is a SHE. Wasn't something said about the female Vesk being the colorful ones? Which is a cool reversal and makes me want to play a female Vesk mechanic who's a mix of Kaylee and Jayne from Firefly. If that's possible with Vesk that is.
There's absolutely nothing stopping you from playing a likable, cheerful, competent vesk mechanic!

with a REALLY BIG GUN! :-)

OR a ratfolk bounty hunter (now who does that remind us of? :-) )

Anyone got any tape?

The Exchange

TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
Crusader3025 wrote:
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
Just noticed he has a tail cuff/ring. That is awesome!
Seeing the color markings on the face makes me think the he is a SHE. Wasn't something said about the female Vesk being the colorful ones? Which is a cool reversal and makes me want to play a female Vesk mechanic who's a mix of Kaylee and Jayne from Firefly. If that's possible with Vesk that is.
They were subtle enough that I didn't caTch it. That sounds like a fun character combo

Just imagine the Vesk mechanic (think the one in the post on the race) saying "You are beginning to damage my calm." :-)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
DM Livgin wrote:
Do we know what these resolve points are?

It's a pool of points every character has to power certain abilities, and by default can be used to recover from wounds with a short rest.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Interesting I can think of a few people in my group who will like this class. Not quite my style, but certainly fun, and something I may try eventually.

Looking forward to the Solarion, but I think it'll be another 4 weeks. Sad face.


So do all classes get Weapon Specialization, or just the Envoy? I thought it would be a Soldier specific thing.

Any chance you could give us a "wish list" for a preview release schedule? Or something like that?

(Also, for the Soldier Class, please give them Heal and Perception as Class Skills. Guard duty and first aid are things they would know probably better than anyone other class).

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 Spoilers!:
A friend of mine made a case for Solarion being Peter Quill's class, but after reading this, the Envoy is totally Star Lord's class I don't care what anyone says.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's possible that specialization is the mechanism for making damage scale by level, as we have seen elsewhere is the plan.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.
CKent83 wrote:
So do all classes get Weapon Specialization, or just the Envoy? I thought it would be a Soldier specific thing.

As will soon be clear, every class gets weapons specialization.... with some weapons. We'll discuss why that makes the soldier happy when we do the solider class preview. :)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So I see resolve can be used with class abilities cool. There is base attack bonus, cool. Also like the special thing Envoy can do with expertise die. I like the look of this a great deal. After seeing this it gives me some insight into things. Proficiency and specializations sound good. This answered more questions then I would have first guessed. Well done. Damage tweaks are easy to do if they are not in the game. Cool classes are vital. I did not think I would like Envoy as much as I do.

Dave2


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice to see some Investigator style in the class, maybe they can get a combat improvisation to add extra die to attack rolls too? It looks like we have the same BAB progression and iterative attack process as we know from 3.X?


Torbyne wrote:
Nice to see some Investigator style in the class, maybe they can get a combat improvisation to add extra die to attack rolls too? It looks like we have the same BAB progression and iterative attack process as we know from 3.X?

Perhaps, though I'm pretty sure someone in the playtest attacked twice at level 2


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Regarding "Sense-Dependent", that could be in part to prevent use in starship combat and the like.

Envoy is not my preferred class type, but it certainly looks like it's good at what it does. :)

Really looking forward to the previews of the other classes!


Looks interesting and the PDF is quite cheap. Does this mean we might get Starfinder: The Adventure Card Game eventually?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Torbyne wrote:
Nice to see some Investigator style in the class, maybe they can get a combat improvisation to add extra die to attack rolls too? It looks like we have the same BAB progression and iterative attack process as we know from 3.X?

If there's level scaling damage, then you'd think they'd have to remove iterative attacks in order to keep DPR by level proportional to the HPs of Bestiary monsters by CR. (This assuming that Bestiary HPs will be proportional to the ones they'd have in Starfinder after conversion.)

I'm hoping they've removed iterative attacks. One of the things that makes high level play bog down so much...

In any case, I love the feel of this class. I feel like the designers have been taking the parts of Pathfinder classes that worked best, and putting them together to form new classes. Hope the trend continues!


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Nice to see some Investigator style in the class, maybe they can get a combat improvisation to add extra die to attack rolls too? It looks like we have the same BAB progression and iterative attack process as we know from 3.X?
Perhaps, though I'm pretty sure someone in the playtest attacked twice at level 2

True but that might have just been a Solarion version of Flurry of Blows...

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