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Optimized Star Shaman Mystic


Advice

Scarab Sages

I am looking to make an optimized Star Shaman Mystic, as the post title implies. My definiation of optimized is that I utilize the Star Shaman's connections and connection skills to their max, along with the spells. So going off of that, I am thinking I need to be a wisdom/dex character. I am already set on taking the Ace Pilot theme unless anyone has an arguement for something else. I can't figure out what race would be the best though.


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Well, for race I'd say human (use the extra feat to grab proficiency in a decent weapon). Ace pilot is obviously fine, the other option would be themeless as the skill bonus and reroll could help too.

Other race options are androids, kasatha, shirrens or dwarves, as at least one of their stat boosts apply. Lashunta are right out since you have to buy your way out of the wisdom hole (though the skill bonus isn't bad.
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My big problem with the star shaman is the connection powers. They aren't... actually useful. Environmental protection is a given with basic armor, and fly 20', but only in space is... well. See the Hitchhiker's Guide for how big Space is.

Starlight form can blind party members at 7th level, and being a torch isn't actually that useful for minutes at a time. Concealment 20% is.. not as good as fog cloud. Also targeting computers are 4th level armor upgrades, and negate concealment. Next.

Stargazer isn't going to come up that often. In a ship? Not outdoors. Ditto space stations. Planetside? Often daytime, indoors or underground. Unless you know that your space-oriented mystic is going to be spending a lot of time standing around planetside on an open plain in clear weather at night... um, wait. This sounds like the setup for a bad space joke. Or a ranger favored terrain joke.

Starflight is useful, but... honestly, you've probably had a jetpack for a while now at level 9. (Also... technomancer spell). And you can buy the better forcepack armor upgrade, since its level 9.

Starry bond- er... see stargazer, but also spend resolve on top. No, that's a bad plan.

Meteor shower- a rocket launcher that costs resolve points. No.

Interplanetary Teleport! Neat. But 18th level. Don't particularly care. Also, yeah, you should have just been a technomancer.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Voss wrote:


My big problem with the star shaman is the connection powers. They aren't... actually useful. Environmental protection is a given with basic armor, and fly 20', but only in space is... well. See the Hitchhiker's Guide for how big Space is.

Armor may give environmental protection, but the fly speed is useful. You aren't going to be going from planet to planet, but you can use it to go outside and circle around to another hatch, or sabotage an engine or vent.

Voss wrote:


Starlight form can blind party members at 7th level, and being a torch isn't actually that useful for minutes at a time. Concealment 20% is.. not as good as fog cloud. Also targeting computers are 4th level armor upgrades, and negate concealment. Next.

Starlight form is only going to blind your party members if they have the tactical acumen of lemmings. Anyone aware of the ability would have no problem maneuvering around it.

Voss wrote:


Stargazer isn't going to come up that often. In a ship? Not outdoors. Ditto space stations. Planetside? Often daytime, indoors or underground. Unless you know that your space-oriented mystic is going to be spending a lot of time standing around planetside on an open plain in clear weather at night... um, wait. This sounds like the setup for a bad space joke. Or a ranger favored terrain joke.

You have to be able to see the stars. In the day you can see a star quite well. Indoors is an issue, but it's not as big of an issue as you are presenting.

Voss wrote:


Starflight is useful, but... honestly, you've probably had a jetpack for a while now at level 9. (Also... technomancer spell)

Jetpacks are slow, and while a forcepack is also available at level 9, its expensive and doesn't match the duration of the ability.

Voss wrote:


Starry bond- er... see stargazer, but also spend resolve on top. No, that's a bad plan.

Sometimes a reroll is worth the resolve point.

Voss wrote:


Meteor shower- a rocket launcher that costs resolve points. No.

The resolve cost is an issue, but at level 15 you have a lot of resolve, and sometimes you need a big boom.

Voss wrote:


Interplanetary Teleport! Neat. But 18th level. Don't particularly care. Also, yeah, you should have just been a technomancer.

18 level is a long wait, but its a long wait for any other connection ability too.

It's really not that bad overall, and a hell of lot better than the Xenodruid.


I think what we've learned about Starfinder optimization thus far is that when in doubt, take a level of Soldier (blitz).


Quote:
Starlight form is only going to blind your party members if they have the tactical acumen of lemmings.

Lemmings don't actually do what you're thinking.

The amount of friendly fire I've seen from RPG groups on the other hand... That happens a lot.

Quote:
hell of lot better than the Xenodruid.

I'm going to laugh now. Heartily.

Speak with animals isn't amazing, but has some uses.

Grasping vines is bad, but no worse than most shaman abilities.

Animal adaption is limited when you get it, but +10 speed alone is worthwhile.

Level 9 is 'Hey, I pull out a level 1 laser and shoot myself in the foot' Repeat every morning for fire[laser] resistance 10 forever. It even prevents the damage that triggers the ability.

Level 12 is 'the party has laser resistance 5' for a fight. Possibly each fight if you're willing to spend the resolve. That saves on a fair amount of healing.

Quote:
sometimes you need a big boom.

Yep. But this is starfinder. Pulling a big boom out of your cheekpouches is a non-issue.

Liberty's Edge

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Goddity wrote:
I think what we've learned about Starfinder optimization thus far is that when in doubt, take a level of Soldier (blitz).

Not on a spellcaster. Ever.


if you're just playing low levels I would start with 18 dex and 14 wisdom, 16 dex 16 wis if you think you'll go past 5, and use my first feat on longarm proficiency. If you choose human you could take weapon focus or extra resolve. If not you don't need to use the stat adjustments of the races, you can just take a standard array, that makes every race viable.

With the ace pilot theme and high dex you'll be a great pilot and also great in combat. Use your spells for interesting things, you already have magic missile if you want a damage spell.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:
Goddity wrote:
I think what we've learned about Starfinder optimization thus far is that when in doubt, take a level of Soldier (blitz).
Not on a spellcaster. Ever.

ALL BLITZ ALL THE TIME

Scarab Sages

I should mention that this is for Starfinder society. And I know it isn't the best type of Mystic but it is the one I want to use for my first character.


Ryan P Donahue wrote:
I should mention that this is for Starfinder society. And I know it isn't the best type of Mystic but it is the one I want to use for my first character.

Ah, well if it's for SFS the quick pick method is banned, so lashunta are definitely out, as are dwarves unless you already have the boon or whatever. Personally, I wouldn't want the intelligence penalty from Kasatha (mystics are limited enough in skills already, and str doesn't do much for a dex heavy mystic),

So, humans, slave-bots, temporarily reformed bugs or rats, mostly influenced by whether or not you want a charisma penalty. The rat's strength penalty could matter depending on how much bulk you're carrying. With light armor, probably not much. But the skill bonuses let you fake it in a couple skills, at least for untrained uses (and the engineering bonus will stack with the bonuses from ace pilot's lone wolf ability). But also your HP will drop slightly, which won't matter if you can survive a level or two.

16/16 is a decent stat split, the odd point can literally go on anything, it will make no difference unless you really, really want one of a very tiny selection of feats that don't matter much to the character you're making. Other option is 14/18, which is pretty important for save DCs if you want to go that route, with bonus resolve in the bargain.

I'd definitely recommend taking weapon proficiency in some manner of real gun (and follow it up with specialization at 3rd), as mystics have the smallest amount of active class abilities, since they absolutely must be healer/telepaths for reasons. And not even very good at the former, since healing touch is 1/day and very limited at low levels.

Spell focus is a useful second feat for humans, since unlike the technomancer, you don't get it for free, and unlike every other class else, you might actually care. Alternately, you may want to boost your terrible saves, or push Will over the top.

All that said, I'd definitely go human. Especially at low levels, the mystic needs the options brought on by the extra feat and skill, and doesn't need the stat penalties, even though I'd ignore the recommendation that the class is somehow a social character that needs charisma. It isn't, and for an optimized one, can't even really dabble in those areas. Let classes that are actually good at it take those roles- the mystic isn't any better at it than any random soldier or mechanic. But the android and shirren don't really bring much you need for a pilot focused character (and shirren actually overlap with mystic class abilities)

Scarab Sages

I am between Ysoki and Human for the Star Shaman. I agree the Android, while it does have the +2 dex, doesn't have much going for it other than that. I think I will go 16/16 for my stat array and go with Longarm Proficency for my first feat and pick up an Acid Dart Rifle. Spell Focus is only for 3rd level casters so I wouldn't be able to choose that for my extra feat if I choose Human.


Right, I forgot that randomly picked up a restriction for the one class that needs to chose it. I recommend saves then. Or something that generates an option for you in some fashion. Mystic strike, Mobility (for entry into either shot on the run or agile spell), or nimble moves (which will really help avoid getting trapped by terrain)

Liberty's Edge

If going Human, Skill Synergy can also be really neat if you want some additional class skills to take advantage of that high Dex. Stealth and Acrobatics as Class Skills? Or Stealth as a Class Skill and an Insight bonus on, say, Diplomacy or Sense Motive? Why yes, that does sound fun.

Great Fortitude is also a solid call. +0 Fort Save would feel pretty fragile to me if I were you.

But really, I'd go Ysoki. The Feat you get isn't worth the loss of all their abilities put together, and the skill points even out due to the +2 Int. I'd drop the spare point in Str since that vaguely matters occasionally.


If you are going for Star Shaman then I would pick a different theme. Both give Piloting as a class skill which is a bit of a waste.

Personally I consider Star Shaman to be an excellent pick. Magic Missile is a decent first level connection spell and will out damage most guns you might have access to in the early levels. Starlight Form is very strong and punishes enemies for being close to you. Blinded is one of the strongest conditions you can impose on many enemies.

Scarab Sages

But wouldn't having the Ace Pilot theme bonuses help with having a high piloting skill?


Ryan P Donahue wrote:
But wouldn't having the Ace Pilot theme bonuses help with having a high piloting skill?

Yes it does, so it's great to combine them. Piloting checks can get really hard and every +1 helps.

Ysoki don't have anything so much that that helps you, the skill bonuses won't be ones you are good at. Human's bonus feat is more valuable, I would go weapon focus longarms since you won't be casting many spells at low level, that makes the thing you do most turns more likely to succeed.

Scarab Sages

So this is my current build

Ret the Star Shaman
Human Mystic ( Star Shaman)
Ace Pilot
Homeworld: The Burning Mother
Deity: Ibra
Alignment: Neutral

Ability Scores:
Strength - 11
Dexterity - 16
Constitution - 10
Intelligence - 10
Wisdom - 16
Charisma - 10

Skills:
Culture - 4
Medicine - 4
Mysticism - 7
Perception - 7
Piloting - 8
Profession ( Unknown ) - 7
Sense Motive - 7

Feats:
Longarm Profiency
Longarm Focus

Spells:
Level 0 -
Detect Magic
Telekinetic Projectile
Token Spell
Ghost Sound

Level 1 -
Shooting Stars ( Magic Missle)
Mystic Cure
Wisp Alley


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber

I kind of question Telekinetic Projectile. True, I haven't played Starfinder yet, but even in Pathfinder I'm leery of direct damage spells at very low levels - though Burning Hands does have it's place in case of swarms. But when you are invariably going to have a pistol of some kind using a 1st level slot on a minor attack spell seems questionable.

I suspect you will get more use out of something like Psychokinetic Hand.

Liberty's Edge

Eh. It's a 0-level spell and you can swap it out whenever you gain a level.

Scarab Sages

I was also thinking of doing a female Lashunta, for the free spells and bonus skills I can put towards perception and piloting.

Another question about my homeworld - can I choose the Sun for SFS? And if I do what language do I choose? I thought Ignan would be appropriate since it says in the book that portals to the elemental plane of fire open a lot and that there is lots of trade with fire elements.


I have a question on the Shaman Fly feature. It says you can fly while in space. Everyone seems to assume that means outside in the void, but if I RAW, doesn't that mean the shaman could fly *inside* a spaceship? The spaceship is in space, not on a planet. If this is right, the ability to fly during combat within a spaceship could be interesting, at least until technology lets everyone do it.


There's no official answer on when you count as being in space. Technically, you are always in space, as everything is in space. But it's obvious you aren't meant to have the ability to fly at all times.


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For now, our group is ruling it as anytime they are in zero-g.

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