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Melee Solarian Guide!


Advice

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Acquisitives

HWalsh wrote:


I've tested gravity hold pretty excessively and, quite simply, it's not good. Starfinder isn't like Pathfinder's game of rocket tag. The extra durability characters possess mean that one shot doesn't decide the battle.

But the only thing you are rating as good is stuff that increases damage. That would seem to only be important IF rocket tag was your goal. The longer a battle lasts the more important things like battlefield control become. Especially when the class has abilities that can make hazardous terrain. Controlling where the opponent stands is exceedingly useful. Especially given the importance of cover.


Kyron "Death Knell" Shess wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


I've tested gravity hold pretty excessively and, quite simply, it's not good. Starfinder isn't like Pathfinder's game of rocket tag. The extra durability characters possess mean that one shot doesn't decide the battle.
But the only thing you are rating as good is stuff that increases damage. That would seem to only be important IF rocket tag was your goal. The longer a battle lasts the more important things like battlefield control become. Especially when the class has abilities that can make hazardous terrain. Controlling where the opponent stands is exceedingly useful. Especially given the importance of cover.

Not at all.

The hurricane has my power out so I'm on my phone and can't get to my comp, but let me try to explain:

Let me list off a few instances where "control" is used and doesn't work.

Blazing Orbit (name?) for example. It lights the floor on fire behind you. If you're in Photon mode it has a small AoR, if not they take damage if they walk through it.

How much damage though?

If memory serves 2d6.

At 6th level.

An average of 7 fire damage.

PCs have around 46 HP and 42 SP - Effectively 88 points of durability, I assume NPCs will have similar. A CR 1 has 15-17 so this seems on target.

7 damage, pre-resistance, for 1 round, isn't a deterrent to remain in or leave from a disadvantageous situation.

So you aren't going to control where they stand.

Gravity Hold might stop them, for a turn, but you're giving up your attack to do it. So an ally might get a full attack off, 2 attacks, at a penalty, but that's a net zero gain.

You may pull them out of cover, yes, but cover isn't as important as you think. Again, not Pathfinder, taking a couple shots isn't instant catastrophy. If they have omnidirectional cover, sure, like a titan shield or such, but if not cover is a double edged sword.

My guide emphasised not damage, but melee, hence why things are valued as they are. Stellar Rush, for example, is great unless you're ranged, but then it's a deeper red than I can make because you don't want to charge. Meanwhile gravity shield is a gold standard for a shooter.

My opinions aren't theorycraft. We sat down and tested combat. Using Bunches of different maps and scenarios at various levels. In actual play, so far, my models are dead on.

It highlights a fundamental difference between Pathfinder and Starfinder. Because characters are so durable a lot of things that were emphasized in Pathfinder play are less important in Starfinder play. Mostly because combat is much more forgiving of mistakes. Meaning spending effort to cause a mistake is inherently less rewarding.


Here is a great example:

We had someone on here claim they'd run Guild Quest a bunch of times and the "stupid melee" was dropped because the enemies focus fired.

Discounting the fact that the scenario says not to do that there is no way that would happen in actual play.

A character, level 1, being focus fired from 4 opponents shouldn't drop in 1 round.

Wait what!?

Well assuming an EAC of 13 and enemy hit bonuses of +0-+3 these enemies do between 1d4 and 1d6 each.

(3 do 1d6, 1 does 1d4, the 3 have +0 to hit)

The minimum the Solarian can have at level 1 is around 18 HP/SP.

The 3 will hit 55% of the time on a standard attack and 35% of the time on a full attack.

Meaning if each fires 1 shot 1/2 will hit for 3.5 damage give or take. So it would take 5-6 successful hits to drop a guy completely standing in the open making no effort to defend himself.

To get to those 5-6 shots it would take 10-12 attacks. That's a minimum of 4 rounds of sustained fire.

That's effectively pulling someone out of cover. It's inconvenient, not catastrophic.


Agreed with others about color coding. The TM guides have been around so long they are the gold standard. I appreciate you trying to break the mold, but it is really confusing to read.

A lot of your advice in this guide is very subjective and pigeonholes the class. When I first opened this guide, I had a hope it would be more comprehensive, but in its essence it is a build guide for how the writer enjoys playing the class in only 1 configuration.

Specific examples:

1) Race. To me, race selection should be made on the merits of the perks of the race not their 1st level attribute spread. The reason I say this, is because the Quick Pick attribute array is applicable to all races. It makes the assumption you spend 2pts to raise that negative stat (for races that have them) to the default 10. Your high level array can be replicated by any of the other race so why bother rating them based on this feature at all when level 5+ diminishes that value? I will concede that those attributes do matter more to rolling abilities vs the default point buy. I will give you that the Lashunta racial skill bonus is a neat perk, but their ability scores at level 1 can be identical to a Human if you want to build it that way with the default rules.

2) Themes. See above about attribute configurations. In the grand scheme of things the +1 doesn't matter unless you are poor at planning ahead.

3) Feats. I get that "guides" are generally very opinionated, but I think we could do with a little less here. I think the statement that not taking heavy armor is "literally shooting yourself in the foot" is entirely subjective. Heavy Armor is a very solid choice, but there are a number of ways to play the Solarian. Again, this just feels very much like this guide is "this is how I play the Solarian, and it is the only way to play it". I also think you could cut out most of the description on Advanced Melee Proficiency since it is a class feature.

I do appreciate the work you put into this. I'd just like to see some more build examples without a singular skew as to which type is only the best or not. By that I mean, I'd like to see examples of playing in melee as Solar Armor and Solar Weapon. I think they build very differently. I also don't think you need to play a Solar Armor melee with maxed out Dex. You don't max out your Str in this build so the reverse doesn't have to be true. Also, a Solar Armor Solarian would value more of the Damage Reduction options while sacrificing EAC/KAC. I think plenty of people have beaten the horse about 2h Advanced Melee Weapons vs the Solar Weapon. Sure, one will do more damage than the other but I don't see where the math makes it a significant difference (*and I hope no one takes that as an invitation to break out level by level that weapon X does 115 dmg vs weapon Y doing 105 dmg*).

I guess what I am saying is, this guide could use a little less min-maxing and a bit more discussion on some alternative tactics that the class is capable off. What you present truly does appear to be a great start at something cool, but I feel it could use some more to make it even better.


oldskool wrote:

Agreed with others about color coding. The TM guides have been around so long they are the gold standard. I appreciate you trying to break the mold, but it is really confusing to read.

A lot of your advice in this guide is very subjective and pigeonholes the class. When I first opened this guide, I had a hope it would be more comprehensive, but in its essence it is a build guide for how the writer enjoys playing the class in only 1 configuration.

Specific examples:

1) Race. To me, race selection should be made on the merits of the perks of the race not their 1st level attribute spread. The reason I say this, is because the Quick Pick attribute array is applicable to all races. It makes the assumption you spend 2pts to raise that negative stat (for races that have them) to the default 10. Your high level array can be replicated by any of the other race so why bother rating them based on this feature at all when level 5+ diminishes that value? I will concede that those attributes do matter more to rolling abilities vs the default point buy. I will give you that the Lashunta racial skill bonus is a neat perk, but their ability scores at level 1 can be identical to a Human if you want to build it that way with the default rules.

2) Themes. See above about attribute configurations. In the grand scheme of things the +1 doesn't matter unless you are poor at planning ahead.

3) Feats. I get that "guides" are generally very opinionated, but I think we could do with a little less here. I think the statement that not taking heavy armor is "literally shooting yourself in the foot" is entirely subjective. Heavy Armor is a very solid choice, but there are a number of ways to play the Solarian. Again, this just feels very much like this guide is "this is how I play the Solarian, and it is the only way to play it". I also think you could cut out most of the description on Advanced Melee Proficiency since it is a class feature.

I do appreciate the work you put into this. I'd just like...

The main reason why this is the melee Solarian Guide, and why I don't recommend the Solar Armor route. You gain weaknesses. You sacrifice pluses all over the place, and you and up being just about on par (slightly behind) doing it.

Meaning that you gained weaknesses to accomplish the same thing the other build accomplishes without having to take those weaknesses.

Math says no. The Solar Armor build is for ranged Solarians and even Paizo knows this. I'll direct you to the core book page 108-109 - The melee Solarians all take Solar Weapon, the ranged Solarians all take Solar Armor.

This is simple priority.

Also, you can't get the same stats with a human.

You aren't allowed to dump stat to 8 in Starfinder. So a human can't get to: 16, 16, 13, 10, 10, 8 as an array.

A human can get to:
16, 14, 13, 10, 10, 10

It is a subtle difference, but a difference.

The reason I don't go into the potential to do a Solar Armor with Advanced Melee weapon in the guide is... Well... It again, costs too much.

It gives the Solarian a horrifying weakness, for one, namely that a wounding weapon, with a crit, can wreck the character completely until they reach a star base, or a town, unless they are very high level. In our test runs we had that happen, three times. Three times an advanced two-hander lost a limb. Game over. You can avoid that with a cybernetic limb as a back up, or play the 4 armed race, but, again, why take that weakness when you don't have to?

It forces you to sacrifice stats. There is no way around this. You sacrifice stat gains by going advanced melee and Solar Armor, why? Because you normally have 2 primary stats... Strength and Charisma, that doesn't change with advanced weapons, but without heavy armor you now add Dexterity which you need to get to a 26 to cap defense. It simply isn't a smart move if you are going to an optimization guide in the first place.

For non-optimization, sure, go nuts. It isn't going to cripple you by any means, but it isn't an optimal path.

Liberty's Edge

oldskool wrote:
1) Race. To me, race selection should be made on the merits of the perks of the race not their 1st level attribute spread. The reason I say this, is because the Quick Pick attribute array is applicable to all races. It makes the assumption you spend 2pts to raise that negative stat (for races that have them) to the default 10. Your high level array can be replicated by any of the other race so why bother rating them based on this feature at all when level 5+ diminishes that value? I will concede that those attributes do matter more to rolling abilities vs the default point buy. I will give you that the Lashunta racial skill bonus is a neat perk, but their ability scores at level 1 can be identical to a Human if you want to build it that way with the default rules.

The advantage of Korasha Lashunta is that you can dump Wis to 8 for extra points in Dex, Cha, and Str.The Quick Pick options do not allow this.

Quick Picks also have a problem for Solarians specifically in that, going non-Lashunta, you want a 16/13/14/10/10/10 array IMO...something none of the three options allow. Though you can do the 18/14/11 option listed in the guide with absolutely any race via Quick Pick, which is worth noting

Looking at the early bit of the guide again does remind me that Icon and Xenoseeker are apparently downgraded because the Charisma will be 'wasted' and this is factually untrue, and their rating should thus be raised (especially Xenoseeker, whose 6th level ability is amazing). Ditto Mercenary with Str.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


The advantage of Korasha Lashunta is that you can dump Wis to 8 for extra points in Dex, Cha, and Str.The Quick Pick options do not allow this.

Quick Picks also have a problem for Solarians specifically in that, going non-Lashunta, you want a 16/13/14/10/10/10 array IMO...something none of the three options allow. Though you can do the 18/14/11 option listed in the guide with absolutely any race via Quick Pick, which is worth noting

Looking at the early bit of the guide again does remind me that Icon and Xenoseeker are apparently downgraded because the Charisma will be 'wasted' and this is factually untrue, and their rating should thus be raised (especially Xenoseeker, whose 6th level ability is amazing). Ditto Mercenary with Str.

Look over the point I am trying to make though. A level 1 Lashunta gets +2 strength +2 charisma, -2 wisdom. Before you add the 10 attribute points that looks like 12 10 10 10 8 12. If you spend your first 2 points to buy up Wisdom that looks like 12 10 10 10 10 12. You have 8 points left plus a trait. Picked pilot? Ok, 12 11 10 10 10 12. Still 8 points to divide. You could go 14 14 11 10 10 10 14. I know that is not what you think is ideal, but a player could go that route. By level 20 your attributes could still look like 20 18 15 18 14 18. So again, the point I am making is the attribute end goal *can* end up with the same bonuses. Racial abilities do not matter unless you intend to keep the attribute as an 8 throughout the character's life because I completely understand you can't dump a stat.


Ok fine.

Your first paragraph of the guide reads that it has a goal of making a viable character. Yet, you mention it is an optimization guide to my reply. These things do not have the same meaning, but now I understand what your intent was. Therefore, my feedback has no value to your guide.


oldskool wrote:

Ok fine.

Your first paragraph of the guide reads that it has a goal of making a viable character. Yet, you mention it is an optimization guide to my reply. These things do not have the same meaning, but now I understand what your intent was. Therefore, my feedback has no value to your guide.

It's not a "full" optimization guide, but it was designed to make a viable melee Solarian that is usable at all levels and possesses non-combat capabilities.

The minute you take a weakness that on one bad roll can scrap your primary thing (a melee Solarian) though it makes that build non-viable.


So besides rings and upgrades, and feats, are there no other ways to boost saves?


HWalsh wrote:
oldskool wrote:

Ok fine.

Your first paragraph of the guide reads that it has a goal of making a viable character. Yet, you mention it is an optimization guide to my reply. These things do not have the same meaning, but now I understand what your intent was. Therefore, my feedback has no value to your guide.

It's not a "full" optimization guide, but it was designed to make a viable melee Solarian that is usable at all levels and possesses non-combat capabilities.

The minute you take a weakness that on one bad roll can scrap your primary thing (a melee Solarian) though it makes that build non-viable.

Please don't take this too snarky, but by that logic of using Advanced Melee weapons as a weakness, the Soldier is not viable.

I think we have different opinions on what a weakness is, and that is totally fine. I do not think that the Solar Armor lends towards a "weakness" in build or play style. It really just depends on what you want to achieve. A big selling point and merit of your build is just how many skill points the character can get once finished. I think that is an awesome thing to see and really points out a major difference from Pathfinder, that all permanent bonuses are retroactive.

But maybe, just maybe, I am ok with 4 skill points per level knowing I cannot compete with an Operative or Envoy for skill monkey. Maybe I'd like to specialize in a narrow band, and a default 10 intelligence is just fine.

So maybe I keep my build...

Str 14
Dex 14
Con 11
Int 10
Wis 10
Cha 14

My goal is to increase str, dex, cha every level while rotating con and wis. My end stats would look like...

Str 20 (26 with a +6 upgrade)
Dex 20 (24 with a +4 upgrade)
Con 15
Int 10
Wis 14
Cha 20 (22 with a +2 upgrade)

If I wanted to max out defense, then I could swap strength and dexterity. In the end with Solar Armor and a Hardlight series, Specialist (assuming I can afford it) my ac is EAC 41/KAC 41. In a Vesk Monolith 3 my armor assuming same stats as your build gets EAC 41/ KAC 42, right? Yet the Solar Armor also has a choice between 20 damage resist to Cold or Fire. That can be in addition to armor upgrades and a feat. I'm not saying that the Solar Armor DR stacks, but you could have a variable on Cold/Fire plus Electricity, Kinetic, Acid, etc...

The "weakness" with the alternate I am referencing is far lower skills overall. Which may or may not be a detractor. I also tinkered with a point spread that gets a 20, 4 18's and a 10.

Since strength is equal in both scenarios, you can compare a weapon like a Dimensional Slice Curve Blade (12D10) against a Solar Weapon (18D6 [with the level appropriate crystal). I know it has been done to death, and I neither need to see it again or repeat it to get the point. The Solar Weapon can average more damage.

I'm unlikely to ever play past 10th level, and it looks like some lower level Advanced Melee Weapons are on par with or maybe a little better than the Solar Weapon.

I think ultimately my starting attributes would largely depend on my group vs just making it in a vacuum. I may be swayed to build like yours or may go a different direction if a large array of skills isn't needed from me. If I felt I could comfortable push an 18 strength at level 1, then I would absolutely go heavy armor.

An advantage of what I am showing is that with a high dex, even if not maxed, it can make a switch hitter if you want Longarms. I know, not the point of your build, but still. Also, if I really wanted to optimize just on melee alone, I'd wholeheartedly go full strength at level 1. Again, this depends on what my group was comprised off. If necessary I'd go more MAD with the build.

Hopefully, you get the point. There are a number of ways to build this class that are "viable" even if what you consider "non-viable/weakness/etc..." is something different.


Oldskool,

You're totally welcome to completely min-max and ignore Intelligence. I think that hurts the Solarian because it makes a class ability virtually useless (Sidreal Influence) but you can totally do that.

If you did do that I'd still recommend not trying to over stack and instead center on Wisdom and Constitution for saves.

The difference with the melee Soldier is that the melee Soldier has no option to avoid that weakness. The Solarian does.

I will warn you about trying to switch hit. Starfinder keeps WBL incredibly tight. Trying to get the bases covered at mid-level is impossible. Trying to add a to-level long gun to the mix is unfeasible.


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HWalsh wrote:
It gives the Solarian a horrifying weakness, for one, namely that a wounding weapon, with a crit, can wreck the character completely until they reach a star base, or a town, unless they are very high level.

That is actually not true. They don't need to go to a town, even at level 1.

At 1st level, anyone with 1 rank in Engineering can create a Prothestic limb in 4 hours with an Engineering tool kit, 100 UBPs, and some space (page 235). If they have a Tech Workshop on their ship, it is 2 hours. Or they could have one or two pre-made or pre-bought. Then, anyone in the party with 1 rank in Medicine can install said arm in 1 hour in a Medical bay (counts as a Medlab) on your ship (pages 208 and page 220). So at 1st level, at worst it is 5 hours of downtime at your ship.

At 5th level, the party can buy an Advanced Medkit, which with 10 minutes of work turns into a single person Medlab. A Medlab is defined as having a small surgical theater. If you come pre-prepared with a spare limb or two (why not, they are only 100 credits each), the entire party can spend 80 minutes in the middle of nowhere to give you a new limb, and be on their way like nothing happened.

Even in the middle of combat, its not crippling with a little preparation. You could also buy a back up level 1, light one-handed weapon, like a Starknife for 110 credits. True, you're not doing 100% of your damage, but you are doing, say 60%. At 10th level, a 2-handed weapon, 22 strength, Plasma sheath does 3d10+21 (37.5 avg). A Starknife with the same modifiers does 1d4+21 *(23.5 avg). Thats 62% of the damage at level 10. Plus it can do double duty as a backup thrown attack. So maybe for 2 encounters out of your entire career you're not quite at full damage output.

Just remember the Star Scout's motto, "Be Prepared".

Also the odds of actually losing a hand to wounding weapon are quite low. First they need to have a wounding weapon (no way to calculate, but I'm guessing not often), they need to crit (1 in 20), they need to roll a 16-17 (10% or 19% for severe wound), and then you need to fail a Reflex save based on the item's level plus strength (call it 50%). If the weapon is present, you're looking at 1 in 400 or 1 in 210 (if severe wounding) chance per hit of losing a hand.

Given there are 13.33 average encounters per level, and if we assume that 20% include an encounter with a severe wounding weapon, and that every combat goes 6 rounds, with a single severe wounding attack each round on your Solarian, then over the course of 20 levels we expect you to lose 1.5 hands on average.

20 levels * 13.33 encounters * 0.2 ratio * 6 rounds / 210 chance = 1.5 Hands lost.

Even if every encounter included a severe wounding weapon (which would a bit silly, your GM needs some variety), that is still only 8 hands. That is being at lowered damage output for 8 out of 266 encounters in your career.


HWalsh wrote:

Oldskool,

You're totally welcome to completely min-max and ignore Intelligence. I think that hurts the Solarian because it makes a class ability virtually useless (Sidreal Influence) but you can totally do that.

If you did do that I'd still recommend not trying to over stack and instead center on Wisdom and Constitution for saves.

The difference with the melee Soldier is that the melee Soldier has no option to avoid that weakness. The Solarian does.

I will warn you about trying to switch hit. Starfinder keeps WBL incredibly tight. Trying to get the bases covered at mid-level is impossible. Trying to add a to-level long gun to the mix is unfeasible.

I know this, thanks, but that isn't at all the point. My original feedback may have been a bit harsh in that much of the guide comes across as "this is the only way to play a melee Solarian because the math tells me so, and you should play this too". That attitude, intended or not, also comes across in other places "you're literally shooting yourself in the foot if you don't take heavy armor". And also with your replies in just how wrong I am to want to maybe use Solar Armor. I just... I just disagree with that. I think a Solarian could be made for melee a number of ways. If I made a mistake here, then I do apologize. However, I do provide it as feedback as something for you to consider regarding how the guide presents itself to your audience. I also just wanted to suggest that the guide may be better served broadening beyond just 1 build, but it's yours. So you don't have to do anything with that feedback. However, none of this is "I personally want to min-max".

Also, what you view as a detriment to Sidreal Influence, I do not. Sidreal Influence is a really awesome class feature. It has 2 (Int) skills. Who knows, maybe ignoring Culture and/or Medicine is fine with my group or my concept. However, there is absolutely nothing to stop me from maxing out Bluff with my 4+ Int per level skills and it is further modified by Sidreal Influence. That's far from "virtually useless" just because I don't invest in Intelligence. There could very well be an Envoy or Operative in my group or a Mechanic. I'd worry far less about trying to compete with them in their skill monkey realms, but there is still nothing to stop me from contributing very well. Just the character may not have a bonus to Int skills. Also, a Human would get 5 skills per level which seems like a pretty nice advantage.

And that's sound advice about shoring up Constitution and Wisdom. Then again, maybe you could consider that for a build addition? Because the builds I just suggested have the exact same +2 modifier as yours while having slightly higher Dex with the same Str and Cha. Ideally, I'd probably forget about investing Intelligence and just have a 20 Str, 18 Dex, 18 Con, 10 Int, 18 Wis, 18 Cha before personal upgrades if I wanted to be "perfect".

Again, the difference between a Soldier and Solarian using advanced melee weapons isn't something I consider a down vote for the Soldier. The Soldier is just different.

The WBL issue is a worthwhile criticism to that play style, sure. I'm not one of those players that would have to have the best possible ranged weapon and the best possible melee weapon. I'd invest heavily in my primary method, and take what I can get for a backup. A level 15 Gyrojet Rifle does the same damage as a level 20 Pistol of the same style in dice (both 5D12) before adding how Weapon Specialization is twice as effective for the Longarm if you take the feat. I like having options like this, but the warning is worth noting. There are a lot of neat feats so I don't know how I ultimately feel on investing in other weapons for this class.

I don't feel I am contributing much here so I doubt I will continue with this thread. Best of luck to all of you!


This is slightly different then what I'm seeing advised but I'm thinking will actually work out a bit better. It looks good on paper (to me) but have no idea how it works out while playing.

I've been thinking about building a melee human solarian with starting stats of
STR 16; DEX 10; CON 10; INT 10; WIS 10; CHA 16 (with a floating +1 where ever for story purposes)

Reasoning being -
Human gives a extra feat and that extra skill rank. Skills seem like they will play a more important roll in Starfinder.

Human feat will be Heavy Armor. All heavy armor has a max dex cap. So raising DEX is on my low end.

High STR is for personal encounters (Bonuses to hit and damage)

High CHA allows me to build a social character for out of combat and allows me to be good as in the captains spot for starship combat. Also helps with resolve points.

Leveling Bumps
5) STR/DEX/INT/CHA (+2)
10) DEX/CON/INT/WIS (+2)
15) DEX/CON/INT/WIS (+2)

This gives me a slight advantage I feel at the low levels and during the higher levels, the stat bumps bring me more in line with characters that spread out their starting points to more stats.


Matt2VK wrote:

Leveling Bumps
5) STR/DEX/INT/CHA (+2)
10) DEX/CON/INT/WIS (+2)
15) DEX/CON/INT/WIS (+2)

Looks pretty solid.

You'll end with:

18/18/16/18/16/18

Probably:

24/20/16/18/16/22

It's only 1 behind in attack/melee damage, 1 behind in DC checks, but +20 Stamina, +1 fort, +1 Fort, +1 Will, it's by no means bad.


Matt2VK wrote:

This is slightly different then what I'm seeing advised but I'm thinking will actually work out a bit better. It looks good on paper (to me) but have no idea how it works out while playing.

I've been thinking about building a melee human solarian with starting stats of
STR 16; DEX 10; CON 10; INT 10; WIS 10; CHA 16 (with a floating +1 where ever for story purposes)

Reasoning being -
Human gives a extra feat and that extra skill rank. Skills seem like they will play a more important roll in Starfinder.

Human feat will be Heavy Armor. All heavy armor has a max dex cap. So raising DEX is on my low end.

High STR is for personal encounters (Bonuses to hit and damage)

High CHA allows me to build a social character for out of combat and allows me to be good as in the captains spot for starship combat. Also helps with resolve points.

Leveling Bumps
5) STR/DEX/INT/CHA (+2)
10) DEX/CON/INT/WIS (+2)
15) DEX/CON/INT/WIS (+2)

This gives me a slight advantage I feel at the low levels and during the higher levels, the stat bumps bring me more in line with characters that spread out their starting points to more stats.

I'm concerned about the lack of dex in this build for a few reasons. Heavy armor allows for more dex to AC in Starfinder than Pathfinder. The best armors from lvl 1-5 allow for a dex bonus of +2, and lvl 5-10 allow for +3 dex, and so on. Each point of dex is also a point of initiative and reflex save, the solarian's worst save.

Additionally, if you're building a melee solarian, Stellar Rush is going to be your counter to the excess of ranged combat in this system. The feat Nimble Moves is the only way to ignore difficult terrain while charging I've found, and it requires 15 dex. IMO that makes starting with 13 dex almost mandatory so you can take that feat at level 5.


Space McMan wrote:


Additionally, if you're building a melee solarian, Stellar Rush is going to be your counter to the excess of ranged combat in this system. The feat Nimble Moves is the only way to ignore difficult terrain while charging I've found, and it requires 15 dex. IMO that makes starting with 13 dex almost mandatory so you can take that feat at level 5.

Bingo!


question about stellar rush
it says you cna charge without the penalties
does that include the rough terrain/no obstacles in between you and your target?


MagicA wrote:

question about stellar rush

it says you cna charge without the penalties
does that include the rough terrain/no obstacles in between you and your target?

No, that's the -2 to ATK and AC taking a full action to charge normally costs you.


MagicA wrote:

question about stellar rush

it says you cna charge without the penalties
does that include the rough terrain/no obstacles in between you and your target?

Nope. You need nimble moves for that (first 20 ft anyway)


so nimble moves is a must have for this build then

Could you combine defy gravity to jump up in the air, and then charge down at someone? seeign as you can charge using jet/forcepacks


MagicA wrote:

so nimble moves is a must have for this build then

Could you combine defy gravity to jump up in the air, and then charge down at someone? seeign as you can charge using jet/forcepacks

No, Defy Gravity is not granting you fly speed, it's letting you spend a move action to fly up to your speed. You cannot use it as part of the standard action Stellar Rush.

Jetpacks and forcepacks simply grant a fly speed, which you could use during your standard action charge. I think. The charge action allows you to move double your movement speed, so assuming there's nothing I've missed about fly speeds being mechanically different than movement speeds, that should work.


Space McMan wrote:
Matt2VK wrote:

This is slightly different then what I'm seeing advised but I'm thinking will actually work out a bit better. It looks good on paper (to me) but have no idea how it works out while playing.

I've been thinking about building a melee human solarian with starting stats of
STR 16; DEX 10; CON 10; INT 10; WIS 10; CHA 16 (with a floating +1 where ever for story purposes)

Reasoning being -
Human gives a extra feat and that extra skill rank. Skills seem like they will play a more important roll in Starfinder.

Human feat will be Heavy Armor. All heavy armor has a max dex cap. So raising DEX is on my low end.

High STR is for personal encounters (Bonuses to hit and damage)

High CHA allows me to build a social character for out of combat and allows me to be good as in the captains spot for starship combat. Also helps with resolve points.

Leveling Bumps
5) STR/DEX/INT/CHA (+2)
10) DEX/CON/INT/WIS (+2)
15) DEX/CON/INT/WIS (+2)

This gives me a slight advantage I feel at the low levels and during the higher levels, the stat bumps bring me more in line with characters that spread out their starting points to more stats.

I'm concerned about the lack of dex in this build for a few reasons. Heavy armor allows for more dex to AC in Starfinder than Pathfinder. The best armors from lvl 1-5 allow for a dex bonus of +2, and lvl 5-10 allow for +3 dex, and so on. Each point of dex is also a point of initiative and reflex save, the solarian's worst save.

Additionally, if you're building a melee solarian, Stellar Rush is going to be your counter to the excess of ranged combat in this system. The feat Nimble Moves is the only way to ignore difficult terrain while charging I've found, and it requires 15 dex. IMO that makes starting with 13 dex almost mandatory so you can take that feat at level 5.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Why I'm running some ideas/builds through here. Trying to find the problems with people that have more in-depth knowledge of the game.

Question: Have you tried a melee build with a high DEX using operative weapons?

Have started playing around with a Armor Solarian with high DEX and while the idea seemed good at the start, it's not looking so good now.
So has anyone tried a High DEX build Armor Solarian using Operative weapons and can tell if it worked or not?

Liberty's Edge

Matt2VK wrote:

Question: Have you tried a melee build with a high DEX using operative weapons?

Have started playing around with a Armor Solarian with high DEX and while the idea seemed good at the start, it's not looking so good now.
So has anyone tried a High DEX build Armor Solarian using Operative weapons and can tell if it worked or not?

I've mathed it out. It's pretty terrible. Your AC is the same as a Str character with Heavy Armor Proficiency who went the weapon route, and your damage goes from 18d6+42 or so to 8d6+30 (10 level +10 Plasma Sheath +4 Photon +6 Str). That's a drop from 105 points of damage per hit to 58 per hit, and pretty much crippling. And what do you gain for it? +3 or +4 on Initiative, Reflex Save, and a few skills?

Not worth it in the least.

You're much better off investing the Feats in Longarms (and possibly Heavy Weapons) and going ranged if you want a Dex based Solarian.


Matt2VK wrote:
Question: Have you tried a melee build with a high DEX using operative weapons?

Yes. It doesn't work. Operative weapons do so much lower damage than the Solar Weapon and Advanced Melee weapons that you just fail to keep pace. Which made me sad. If the Solar Weapon could use Dex in place of Strength I go with it over the heavy armor build 100% of the time.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Something I've been wondering: how bad is it if a melee Solarian takes the Forerunner archetype? I get that losing some revelations, but it's not as drastic as what the Phrenic Adept gives up.


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Something I've been wondering: how bad is it if a melee Solarian takes the Forerunner archetype? I get that losing some revelations, but it's not as drastic as what the Phrenic Adept gives up.

Bad.

You would get no revelations (aside from Supernova/Black Hole) until level 8. That means you're not a Solarian. I mean, you literally lose the thing that makes Solarians Solarians.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

B-b-but Forerunner is so coooooool! D:


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
B-b-but Forerunner is so coooooool! D:

Yeah, but you'd have to wait until level 8 to get your first usable every round Revelation.


And that's Noooo good

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Part of me feels frustrated that there seems to be only ONE way to play this class and any deviation will make you useless. What's the point of the Forerunner archetype if only Soldiers get anything out of it?


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Part of me feels frustrated that there seems to be only ONE way to play this class and any deviation will make you useless. What's the point of the Forerunner archetype if only Soldiers get anything out of it?

You *can* use it, it just would be bad to.

What Paizo needs to do is make Archetypes that don't pull powers at every single level.

For example:

If Forerunner took powers at level 4, 8, and 12 - Instead of 2, 4, and 6 - It would be more plausible.

Hopefully in the future we will see better archetypes.


Archpaladin Zousha - There might be a way to do it...

Solarian X, Forerunner Soldier 6?

It wouldn't use Solar Weapon, it would use Solar Armor, but eventually discard it (at level 3) though it'd have to use Advanced Melee Weapon...

Level 1: Solarian (Don't take Heavy Armor... Wait)
Level 2: Solarian - Grab Stellar Rush
Level 3: Blitz Soldier Forerunner - +10 ft movement, +4 init
Level 4: Blitz Soldier Forerunner - get Forerunner power
Level 5: Solarian
Level 6: Solarian - Grab 2nd Revelation
Level 7: Blitz Soldier Forerunner - Gear Boost for your AMW
Level 8: Blitz Soldier Forerunner - get Forerunner power
Level 9: Solarian
Level 10: Solarian - Get 6th level Revelation
Level 11: Blitz Soldier Forerunner - Charge as a Standard w/o Rush.
Level 12: Blitz Soldier Forerunner - last Forerunner power

That would be the best way I can see to do it, but that is pretty sad and you waste a lot of stuff for it.

Maybe use Envoy for your sink levels?

Like level 1/2 Solarian
Level 3/4 Envoy Forerunner
Level 5/6 Solarian
Level 7/8 Envoy Forerunner
Level 9/10 Solarian
Level 11/12 Envoy Forerunner?


eh it still doesnt seem worth it that way imo
you sitll give up alot


MagicA wrote:

eh it still doesnt seem worth it that way imo

you sitll give up alot

Yeah I can't get it to work. I have looked at both.


Do you think that Graviton is not as powerful overall compared to Photon in terms of melee? Because I feel Gravtion revleations are keyed more towards a defensive rather than offensive builds


Yeah the new archetype design is the worst part of Starfinder, in my opinion.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Matt2VK wrote:

Question: Have you tried a melee build with a high DEX using operative weapons?

Have started playing around with a Armor Solarian with high DEX and while the idea seemed good at the start, it's not looking so good now.
So has anyone tried a High DEX build Armor Solarian using Operative weapons and can tell if it worked or not?

I've mathed it out. It's pretty terrible. Your AC is the same as a Str character with Heavy Armor Proficiency who went the weapon route, and your damage goes from 18d6+42 or so to 8d6+30 (10 level +10 Plasma Sheath +4 Photon +6 Str). That's a drop from 105 points of damage per hit to 58 per hit, and pretty much crippling. And what do you gain for it? +3 or +4 on Initiative, Reflex Save, and a few skills?

Not worth it in the least.

You're much better off investing the Feats in Longarms (and possibly Heavy Weapons) and going ranged if you want a Dex based Solarian.

Did you count multiweapon fighting bonus to hit? or that dex opens up another role in space combat, the gunner?

Does the slight accuracy bonus make deadly aim worthwhile?

How does the dex solarian compare to other classes at damage?


MagicA wrote:
Do you think that Graviton is not as powerful overall compared to Photon in terms of melee? Because I feel Gravtion revleations are keyed more towards a defensive rather than offensive builds

In terms of melee Graviton is not as powerful as Photon, no.

Photon provides extra damage, Graviton provides extra reflex saves.

Photon revelations provide things like stellar charge, extra damage in melee from plasma sheath, concealment when moving from blazing orbit, etc.

Graviton provides some movement options and light CC which aren't really great for melee combat.


GeneticDrift wrote:

Did you count multiweapon fighting bonus to hit? or that dex opens up another role in space combat, the gunner?

Does the slight accuracy bonus make deadly aim worthwhile?

How does the dex solarian compare to other classes at damage?

Multiweapon fighting can provide an additional -1 to Attack Checks on full attacks. Useful but not a game changer.

The dex doesn't really open up gunner. The "low dex" version of the Solarian is only a couple +'s behind as the bulk of bonus comes from BAB.

The accuracy bonus can make deadly aim worthwhile on ranged attacks, but even then the impact is slight.

Dex Solarian with guns lags way behind Strength Solarian in melee. Dex Solarian with melee can get to comparable damage with 2 handed advanced melee weapons if, and only if, they also pump strength, even then they will be slightly behind in to-hit overall and be lacking in other areas.


So, is there any real drawback to being unbalanced as a solarian besides needing to spend an additional round to attune? I relaize that Starfinder combat lasts longer than Pathfinder, but that one more round can make a big difference

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:
GeneticDrift wrote:

Did you count multiweapon fighting bonus to hit? or that dex opens up another role in space combat, the gunner?

Does the slight accuracy bonus make deadly aim worthwhile?

How does the dex solarian compare to other classes at damage?

Multiweapon fighting can provide an additional -1 to Attack Checks on full attacks. Useful but not a game changer.

The dex doesn't really open up gunner. The "low dex" version of the Solarian is only a couple +'s behind as the bulk of bonus comes from BAB.

The accuracy bonus can make deadly aim worthwhile on ranged attacks, but even then the impact is slight.

Dex Solarian with guns lags way behind Strength Solarian in melee. Dex Solarian with melee can get to comparable damage with 2 handed advanced melee weapons if, and only if, they also pump strength, even then they will be slightly behind in to-hit overall and be lacking in other areas.

Thanks, even if its not what i want to hear.


GeneticDrift wrote:
Thanks, even if its not what i want to hear.

Believe me, I wish that I had better news for you. If there was some way to make a Solarian that used Dexterity for Attack/Damage with a Solar Weapon I would latch onto that build like a drowning man to a life preserver. I don't like the heavy armor build I came up with, it simply was the best option I could come up with.


Do you feel like giving the Solarian dex to damage with their solar weapon would make STR useless for a Solarian? In addition why do you think Paizo didnt allow Dex to be used with the Solar weapon?


So, question. Maybe I haven't read the thread or the guide thoroughly, but why exactly is armor Solarion so bad? The two main points seem to be a) the primary benefit of armor Solarion doesn't actually work with heavy armor, which is apparently a necessity, and b) it requires you to sink additional creds into both weapons and armor, which makes the build slightly more strained since Starfinder puts even more emphasis on gear than Pathfinder. But my question is is it still playable, even in the somewhat competitive Starfinder Society?


MagicA wrote:
Do you feel like giving the Solarian dex to damage with their solar weapon would make STR useless for a Solarian? In addition why do you think Paizo didnt allow Dex to be used with the Solar weapon?

Presumably they were reluctant to make Dexterity more of a super ability score than it already is. It already does way too much compared to all the other stats.

To be honest, I think the better house rule is to make Charisma more useful rather than making Dexterity even more useful. For example, use Charisma for to-hit and damage on Solar weapon, with the fluff that the Solarian's connection to the stars is guiding the strikes.

Making Dexterity even better just forces you to take an 18 in Dexterity.


Wildfire Witch wrote:
So, question. Maybe I haven't read the thread or the guide thoroughly, but why exactly is armor Solarion so bad? The two main points seem to be a) the primary benefit of armor Solarion doesn't actually work with heavy armor, which is apparently a necessity, and b) it requires you to sink additional creds into both weapons and armor, which makes the build slightly more strained since Starfinder puts even more emphasis on gear than Pathfinder. But my question is is it still playable, even in the somewhat competitive Starfinder Society?

Actually, the Solar Weapon Solarian is still buying crystals, which cost roughly as much as a weapon, so the savings isn't as much as you might think.

Personally, I think Solar Armor is totally playable in society play. So much so that I'm actually playing a Solar Armor Solarian in SFS as my first character. In general, we are discussing 2 points of difference in AC. You are slightly more likely to be hit. However, Society play isn't tuned so high that will make or break a team.

At level 1 in SFS, I have had two encounters in two sessions where having a 40' move speed (due to Fleet feat instead of Heavy armor feat) has let me attack in melee on the 1st turn instead of the second. If we had a second melee character, it would have made flanking very easy in the other encounters. So there are some advantages to it, however small. Also, don't under estimate the control/damage potential of a reach weapon at level 1.


MagicA wrote:
Do you feel like giving the Solarian dex to damage with their solar weapon would make STR useless for a Solarian? In addition why do you think Paizo didnt allow Dex to be used with the Solar weapon?

Dexterity is already a bit too amazing.

It adds to EAC/KAC
It adds to Reflex Saves
It adds to Ranged Attack
It adds to a bunch of Skills

Basically put, if it also could be used with Solar Weapon Attack/Damage it would make strength completely and utterly useless.


Wildfire Witch wrote:
So, question. Maybe I haven't read the thread or the guide thoroughly, but why exactly is armor Solarion so bad? The two main points seem to be a) the primary benefit of armor Solarion doesn't actually work with heavy armor, which is apparently a necessity, and b) it requires you to sink additional creds into both weapons and armor, which makes the build slightly more strained since Starfinder puts even more emphasis on gear than Pathfinder. But my question is is it still playable, even in the somewhat competitive Starfinder Society?

The issues with Armored Solarian is basically one of simplicity:

To go melee as a Solarian you need to have strength.

A Solarian needs to have Charisma for Resolve and for save DCs for powers. (And never think that dropping 1d6+(1d6xlvl) in an area radius is bad or useless.)

So, when you go Solar Armor you also need to secure a 26 Dexterity by level 20.

The problem is:

You need a high Strength 26-28
You need a high Charisma 22-24
Then you would need a high Dexterity 26

That simply adds too many stats.

With Heavy armor you need:

Str 26-28
Dex 20
Cha 22-24

Getting to an 18 Dex by 20, with a +2 from Personal Upgrades is easy. How easy? You practically have to work not to do it.

Its simply the difference between having 3 primary stats (Solar Armor melee) to having 2 primary stats (Solar Weapon/Heavy Armor melee)

There is also a secondary weakness (that people are highly underestimating) that non-Solar Weapon melee Solarians face. That is wounding and severe wounding weapons.

They are very common in Starfinder for melee, which you are more likely to face as a melee solarian.

How common?

Well... Every single one handed plasma sword. 2 of the normal advanced weapons, making it the second most common (tied with Bleed 2d6 for most common) Every single two handed flame or plasma melee weapon. Though conspicuously absent from all of the normal 2-handed melee weapons (without adding an infusion) It is available at every tier of Solarian Crystal and available as early as level 7 as an infusion.

If someone scores a crit on you, then gets a 16 or 17 on the roll (which many will get to roll twice) you can lose an arm. If you are a two weapon user, you're suddenly in a lot of trouble. At the least you are going to need to be repaired after battle, which means that if you are on a time limit you're in trouble. At the most you're done until you get back to a town.

That is a weakness in our tests, that came up pretty frequently. Given the longer duration of combat there is a higher chance of getting a crit. Our saves aren't super great so that increases the chance of failing the save. It happened enough times both to PCs and NPCs especially since plasma melee is very common that I can't discount it as a significant problem.

That having been said ---

Yes, in Starfinder Society Play you could totally do it. It wouldn't be optimal, but you'd be plenty viable.

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