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Class Preview: The Solarian

Friday, July 14, 2017

Illustration by Mikael Leger

Of all the Starfinder classes, the solarian is the one hardest to explain in 10 words or less. It is a new class, and a new concept, unique to Starfinder though clearly inspired by various iconic science-fantasy tropes. It can be described as a kind of supernatural philosopher-warrior, with a focus on the stellar powers of light and gravity, but that doesn't give a very good idea of what the class can actually do. For starters, let's take a look at what the Starfinder Core Rulebook has to say about the solarian.

The stars guide the planets with gravity, create life with light and heat, and utterly consume worlds in supernovas and black holes. You understand that these acts of creation and destruction are not opposites, but rather two parts of a natural, dualistic cycle. You seek to be an agent of that cycle, an enlightened warrior with the ability to manipulate the forces of the stars themselves. Constantly accompanied by a mote of fundamental energy or entropy, you can shape this essence in combat to create weapons and armor of gleaming stellar light or pure, devouring darkness. Whether you apprenticed in a temple or came to your powers through personal revelation, you recognize yourself as part of an ancient tradition—a force of preservation and annihilation.

The cycle that empowers and guides solarians is a philosophy that came to the Pact Worlds on the Idari, along with the tradition of the solarians themselves. Even now, nearly a century after the kasatha worldship's arrival in system, solarians are more commonly kasatha than any other race (though certainly there are other solarian traditions, as they can even be found in systems with no contact with Kasath).

The solarian has a full base attack bonus, good Fortitude and Will saves bonuses, 4 skill points per level, and 10 fixed class skills. At 1st level, a solarian gains the skill adept ability, which represents training gained in the process that led to a character becoming a solarian and which grants two more class skills of the player's choice. A solarian has proficiency with light armor, and proficiency and eventually specialization with small arms and basic and advanced melee weapons.

Also at 1st level, a solarian gains a solar manifestation, and access to stellar modes. The solar manifestation is a physical representation of the solarian's stellar powers. When not in use, it is a mote of energy slightly smaller than a fist that glows with light (or is the black of perfect darkness) and hovers near the solarian's head. When activated, the mote becomes either a solar weapon (which is treated as an advanced melee weapon, deals damage that increases as the solarian gains levels, and can be further augmented through the addition of solarian weapon crystals), or solar armor (which enwraps and protects the solarian, augmenting the AC bonus of any light armor the solarian wears and at higher levels giving cold or fire resistance).

Stellar modes are forms of attunement the solarian can focus on in combat. Each round in a fight, the solarian can remain unattuned, or increase either photon attunement or graviton attunement, depending on whether the solarian wishes to draw on the stellar powers of light and heat and life-giving energy, or darkness and gravity and all things being bound together. Every solarian has access to both photon and graviton powers (and gains more via stellar revelations as he gains levels), and can use either even regardless of attunement—though many powers gain additional effects if the solarian is attuned to their power source. For example, a solarian with the 6th-level corona photon power gains cold resistance, and deals fire damage to any adjacent foe that strikes the solarian with a melee weapon. However, if the solarian is photon attuned, the corona also causes any creature that begins its turn adjacent to the solarian to automatically take some fire damage. While some stellar revelations can only target creatures once a day, or only under specific situations, in general there's no limit to how often a solarian can use the powers tied to their stellar modes.

After 3 rounds of attunement to exclusively photon or graviton powers, a solarian can reach full attunement, which grants access to zenith powers. Each solarian begins play with two zenith powers: black hole, which draws a foe closer to you, and supernova, which does fire damage to everyone within 10 feet of you. Using a zenith power causes you to be unattuned afterwards, so zenith powers can be used at most once every few rounds. However, in general there's no other limitation to how often a solarian can use these powers in combat—if a fight lasts long enough to keep cycling through zenith powers, the solarian is free to do so.

While the choice of solar armor or solar weapon and selection of different stellar revelations are the primary customization options for a solarian, they have a few other minor abilities at well. At 3rd level a solarian gains sidereal influence, which allows the solarian to meditate to gain bonuses to photon- and graviton-related skills. At 7th level, a solarian gains flashing strikes, which allows them to make a full attack entirely with melee weapons at a reduced attack penalty, and at 13th level a solarian's onslaught allows their full attack to be three attacks rather than the normal two (though all three attacks are at a slightly higher penalty). At 20th level, a solarian gains full attunement in a stellar mode more quickly, can switch from one full attunement to another, and even spend 1 Resolve to immediately become fully attuned.

Given the importance of stellar modes and stellar revelations, here are two sample revelations.

Blazing Orbit (Su) [6th level photon revelation] As a move action, you can move up to your speed, gaining concealment against any attack made against you during the move, and you can leave a trail of flames in every square you pass through. The flames last for 1 round and deal 2d6 fire damage to anyone who moves into them. You can't move through another creature's space during this movement. If you use blazing orbit again, any flames you previously created with it go out. The damage from the flames increases by 1d6 at 8th level and every 2 levels thereafter.

When you are attuned or fully attuned, any creature damaged by the flames also gains the burning condition (1d6 fire damage; see page 273).

Crush (Su) [6th level graviton revelation] As a standard action, you can increase the effects of gravity on the internal organs or workings of a target within 30 feet, causing it to have difficulty maintaining its normal functionality. The target must succeed at a Fortitude save or become staggered for 1 round. This revelation also affects constructs. You can maintain this effect as a move action each round, but the target can attempt a new saving throw each round to end the effect. Once a creature succeeds at this save or the effect ends, you can't target that creature with crush again for 24 hours.

When you are attuned or fully attuned, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to also stun the target for 1 round. Maintaining crush on subsequent rounds extends the staggered effect, but not the stunned effect.

Owen KC Stephens
Developer

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Tags: Mikael Leger Solarians Starfinder
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3 people marked this as a favorite.
TheLoneCleric wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:

J E D I...

Definitely less than 10 words. Still very cool though!

:P

Jedi don't manipulate light and gravity (TK and Telephaty are differently themed powers.) And their lightsabers are not expressly part OF them.

If anything this reminds me more of Tenchi Muyo characters.

Jedi are also part of a different fictional universe and the differences you mention are negligible imo.

Thematically it's clear the solarion is meant to be a stand in for the Jedi and Sith orders in a system without Jedi and Sith (and one that can't have them).


6 people marked this as a favorite.

I find their parallels to the Aeon Outsiders interesting....

The Exchange

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mnemaxa wrote:
I find their parallels to the Aeon Outsiders interesting....

Ah you are right. I missed that. Nice catch.


Rogar Valertis wrote:
TheLoneCleric wrote:
Rogar Valertis wrote:

J E D I...

Definitely less than 10 words. Still very cool though!

:P

Jedi don't manipulate light and gravity (TK and Telephaty are differently themed powers.) And their lightsabers are not expressly part OF them.

If anything this reminds me more of Tenchi Muyo characters.

Jedi are also part of a different fictional universe and the differences you mention are negligible imo.

Thematically it's clear the solarion is meant to be a stand in for the Jedi and Sith orders in a system without Jedi and Sith (and one that can't have them).

I am betting the customization options let you be Jedi-like as much as you want while giving a ton of options to let you be Solarion-y too if that is what you want.

I actually like the concept of how light and dark are BOTH part of your power. One could say they are of 'the balance and the cycle'.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Unlike Jedi and sith, there doesn't seem to be any morality difference between photon and graviton based powers. Any solarion can attune with either force from round to round and there doesn't seem to be any issue with a good solarion using gravity or a evil solarion using energy.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
"All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again".

Now I have to play an android solarion with this catchphrase.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am just imagining a Protoss Zealot/High Templar or a Dark Templar.


Imbicatus wrote:

Unlike Jedi and sith, there doesn't seem to be any morality difference between photon and graviton based powers. Any solarion can attune with either force from round to round and there doesn't seem to be any issue with a good solarion using gravity or a evil solarion using energy.

Actually it seems NONE of the new classes have any alignment restrictions whatsoever. Wonder why that is? ;)

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

"Til all are one."

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Gilfalas wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:

Unlike Jedi and sith, there doesn't seem to be any morality difference between photon and graviton based powers. Any solarion can attune with either force from round to round and there doesn't seem to be any issue with a good solarion using gravity or a evil solarion using energy.

Actually it seems NONE of the new classes have any alignment restrictions whatsoever. Wonder why that is? ;)

Because Alignment apparently doesn't mean anything in Starfinder. I'm actually kinda curious why they even bothered keeping it.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Gilfalas wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:

Unlike Jedi and sith, there doesn't seem to be any morality difference between photon and graviton based powers. Any solarion can attune with either force from round to round and there doesn't seem to be any issue with a good solarion using gravity or a evil solarion using energy.

Actually it seems NONE of the new classes have any alignment restrictions whatsoever. Wonder why that is? ;)
Because Alignment apparently doesn't mean anything in Starfinder. I'm actually kinda curious why they even bothered keeping it.

I think it is because with the unification of magic and the ability to say your power comes from whatever source you want, not tying to the classes to preset moral concepts was good for game design.

It seems to me they kept alignment because, in their eyes, it still serves some sort of purpose both in their cosmology and in their game mechanics somewhere.

You cannot have a Holy Plasma Cannon (and I think we all want that) if evil doesn't take extra damage or effects from it and you need a way to have evil identified.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Gilfalas wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:

Unlike Jedi and sith, there doesn't seem to be any morality difference between photon and graviton based powers. Any solarion can attune with either force from round to round and there doesn't seem to be any issue with a good solarion using gravity or a evil solarion using energy.

Actually it seems NONE of the new classes have any alignment restrictions whatsoever. Wonder why that is? ;)
Because Alignment apparently doesn't mean anything in Starfinder. I'm actually kinda curious why they even bothered keeping it.

TRADITION!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Are we even gonna have Holy weapons?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Imbicatus wrote:

Unlike Jedi and sith, there doesn't seem to be any morality difference between photon and graviton based powers. Any solarion can attune with either force from round to round and there doesn't seem to be any issue with a good solarion using gravity or a evil solarion using energy.

Well, gravity does bring us together.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My favorite class thus far! Can't wait for someone to play one in my game!!


I think that was confirmed in the weapons and augments blog post, Rysky. You can slap holy onto weapons I believe.


I think it was mentioned as an infusion in either the gun or soldier blog.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Traditionalist wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Gilfalas wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:

Unlike Jedi and sith, there doesn't seem to be any morality difference between photon and graviton based powers. Any solarion can attune with either force from round to round and there doesn't seem to be any issue with a good solarion using gravity or a evil solarion using energy.

Actually it seems NONE of the new classes have any alignment restrictions whatsoever. Wonder why that is? ;)
Because Alignment apparently doesn't mean anything in Starfinder. I'm actually kinda curious why they even bothered keeping it.
TRADITION!

You forgot the youtube link.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Actually it seems NONE of the new classes have any alignment restrictions whatsoever. Wonder why that is? ;)
Because Alignment apparently doesn't mean anything in Starfinder. I'm actually kinda curious why they even bothered keeping it.

It is NOT the case that alignment doesn't mean anything.

It IS the case that fewer rules interact directly with alignment. Not NO rules, but a LOT fewer rules.


Rysky wrote:
Are we even gonna have Holy weapons?

Yes, they've mentioned Holy as a type of magic fusion for weapons.


Is Staggered actually a threat at all in SF, when full-round actions are so much less useful?

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Are we even gonna have Holy weapons?

Yes.

At the very first panel we had on this game setting, at PaizoCon 2016, when asked what I could promise would be in the game, i said. "Holy plasma cannons."

And the word evil is part of the rules for the holy weapon fusion. But it works VERY differently than Pathfinder holy weapons, and you can reasonably expect to pick one up at 2nd level if you want to.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
thunderbeard wrote:
Is Staggered actually a threat at all in SF, when full-round actions are so much less useful?

If you're an operative, you can't make a trick attack if you're staggered. If you're a soldier or solarion, you can't full attack, which will half your damage output, or negate it if you have to move. I'm guessing it will negate reactions. And if legacy monsters still have multiple natural attacks it could severely limit thier output.


Whole these definitely could stand in for jedi and sith, using those to accurately describe the class is a no/go.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

7 people marked this as a favorite.
thunderbeard wrote:
Is Staggered actually a threat at all in SF, when full-round actions are so much less useful?

You can attack twice as a full action even at 1st level. And some weapon options require a full round. And some spells take a full round to cast. And there are lots of useful call features that are move actions, so someone wants to make a move and a standard as part of a useful combat tactics.

Staggered can be huge, especially if you and three of your friends are fighting one foe.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber
Ventnor wrote:

Hm... gravity-powered solarion who forms armor out of darkness...

... We might have magic space-ninjas, everyone.

We might already have some, just very well hidden. ^^


Can you give an example of an Advanced Melee Weapon?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Very nice.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

14 people marked this as a favorite.
bananahell wrote:
Can you give an example of an Advanced Melee Weapon?

Plasma Sword. Shock Truncheon. Pulse Gauntlet. Fangblade. Monowhip. Cryopike. Tactical Doshko. Swoop Hammer. Devastation Blade. Repeller staff.


bananahell wrote:
Can you give an example of an Advanced Melee Weapon?

Longsword.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Gilfalas wrote:
Actually it seems NONE of the new classes have any alignment restrictions whatsoever. Wonder why that is? ;)
Because Alignment apparently doesn't mean anything in Starfinder. I'm actually kinda curious why they even bothered keeping it.

It is NOT the case that alignment doesn't mean anything.

It IS the case that fewer rules interact directly with alignment. Not NO rules, but a LOT fewer rules.

So aside from holy/unholy enchantments what if any other rules actually interact with alignment?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Might it be possible to get a second mote to have armor and weapons? It's a stretch I know. I can play around with what I want to do.

I now have decisions to make. I love this class. I also really like soldier. Must decide which to play first. This could be fun.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
bananahell wrote:
Can you give an example of an Advanced Melee Weapon?
Plasma Sword. Shock Truncheon. Pulse Gauntlet. Fangblade. Monowhip. Cryopike. Tactical Doshko. Swoop Hammer. Devastation Blade. Repeller staff.

*bounces in anticipation*

Maybe I'll go soldier for my badass bounty hunter after all. Though operative is so cool, those weapons...


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

a very cool class. I think this is my favorite for sure so far. I look forward to seeing what else it can do.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
bananahell wrote:
Can you give an example of an Advanced Melee Weapon?
Plasma Sword. Shock Truncheon. Pulse Gauntlet. Fangblade. Monowhip. Cryopike. Tactical Doshko. Swoop Hammer. Devastation Blade. Repeller staff.

That's one weapon? Wow.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

A thousand years from now, Golarion was saved.
A thousand years ago, Golarion will be lost.

Paizo Employee Developer, Starfinder Team

40 people marked this as a favorite.
Distant Scholar wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
bananahell wrote:
Can you give an example of an Advanced Melee Weapon?
Plasma Sword. Shock Truncheon. Pulse Gauntlet. Fangblade. Monowhip. Cryopike. Tactical Doshko. Swoop Hammer. Devastation Blade. Repeller staff.
That's one weapon? Wow.

It does 1d810.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

... I may have to run one of these guys who sings the Brunnen-G song as he goes into battle...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Distant Scholar wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
bananahell wrote:
Can you give an example of an Advanced Melee Weapon?
Plasma Sword. Shock Truncheon. Pulse Gauntlet. Fangblade. Monowhip. Cryopike. Tactical Doshko. Swoop Hammer. Devastation Blade. Repeller staff.
That's one weapon? Wow.
It does 1d810.

And they say Martials can't have nice things.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Gimme!

How often do Solarions get a new revelation? And seconding the question of getting a second manifestation. Can a Solarion eventually have solar armor and a solar weapon, or two solar weapons?

Oh yeah, is the choice of weapon or armor locked in, or can it be changed between activations?


d'Eon wrote:

Gimme!

How often do Solarions get a new revelation? And seconding the question of getting a second manifestation. Can a Solarion eventually have solar armor and a solar weapon, or two solar weapons?

I would very much also like to know this.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Gilfalas wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
"Go forth and observe the Cycle" is my first thought, but it could use work

"All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again".

"It only ends once. Anything before that is just progress."
"Everything that happens will happen again. Twice."

What is? is. What was? will be. What will be *was*, but will be again.

- Horshack the Delduded

"The universe will expand, and it will collapse back on itself, then will expand again."

"I come again, with this Sun, with this Earth, with this Eagle, with this Serpent, not to a new Life, or a better Life, or an akin Life: I come again eternally to this identical and same Life, in the Greatest and also in the Smallest, that I will teach again the Eternal Return of all things that I will again speak the word of the great Midday of Earth and Man"

"The Wheel of Time turns, and ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. "

"May the Cycle be unbroken"


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber Subscriber

Reminds me vaguely of Kheldian peacebringers and warshades from City of Heroes.

Man, I miss that game.


I think I am going to create a "kineticist" homebrew of the Solarian in my games, mostly because I want to set a game in the HERO Universe and they have actual superheroes running around.


the space kineticist!!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Imbicatus wrote:

Unlike Jedi and sith, there doesn't seem to be any morality difference between photon and graviton based powers. Any solarion can attune with either force from round to round and there doesn't seem to be any issue with a good solarion using gravity or a evil solarion using energy.

Not only that, but it looks like if you have 2 Solarions in the party, you may get a LOT more mileage out of them if 1 goes for Light and 1 goes for Gravity, rather than 2 for Light or 2 for Gravity.

Grand Lodge

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Zero the Nothing wrote:

The Solarian's Code


There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the Cycle!

_

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Cycle shall set me free.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

Everyone kneels before gravity.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Distant Scholar wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
bananahell wrote:
Can you give an example of an Advanced Melee Weapon?
Plasma Sword. Shock Truncheon. Pulse Gauntlet. Fangblade. Monowhip. Cryopike. Tactical Doshko. Swoop Hammer. Devastation Blade. Repeller staff.
That's one weapon? Wow.
It does 1d810.

Is that a reference to the damage listed(which I assumed was a typo, otherwise I would never wanna fight that thing) for the Sarcesian's sniper rifle in the First Contact book?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well we have a force choke so only thing remains is some way to shoot lightning from our fingers but exalted sith lord of unconqured sun feels kinda cheesy. I hope we have to charms sorry revelations to made it

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