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Melee Solarian Guide!


Advice

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Well, here it is, version 1.0 of my Melee Solarian Guide.

Comment, critique, look, view, give feedback.

I'll be editing the guide a bit, but I already have put a ton of work into it.

Link to the Guide

Edit: Linked to the wrong doc initially


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Nice guide. One minor criticism, the color coding is different from a lot of the other guides I've seen. "Usually" blue is the best choice. Not a huge deal, it was just throwing me off while reading it.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Cool guide!

One minor factual bit: I believe all Solarians (whether they choose armor or weapon) get Advanced Melee Weapon Proficiency for free. So I think the "Advanced Melee Weapon Proficiency" feat should be red, not purple (since it's redundant).


Porridge wrote:

Cool guide!

One minor factual bit: I believe all Solarians (whether they choose armor or weapon) get Advanced Melee Weapon Proficiency for free. So I think the "Advanced Melee Weapon Proficiency" feat should be red, not purple (since it's redundant).

Good catch! I'll fix that.


Kcinlive wrote:
Nice guide. One minor criticism, the color coding is different from a lot of the other guides I've seen. "Usually" blue is the best choice. Not a huge deal, it was just throwing me off while reading it.

Hrm - I could change it...

I was kind of trying to follow a hue theme... You know:

Yellow = Best
Green = Very good
Blue = Good
Purple = Situational
Red = Bad

The reason you know...

Situational Good and Bad IE between Blue and Red so Purple.
Very good is between Good and Best IE between Blue and Yellow so Green.


HWalsh wrote:
Kcinlive wrote:
Nice guide. One minor criticism, the color coding is different from a lot of the other guides I've seen. "Usually" blue is the best choice. Not a huge deal, it was just throwing me off while reading it.

Hrm - I could change it...

I was kind of trying to follow a hue theme... You know:

Yellow = Best
Green = Very good
Blue = Good
Purple = Situational
Red = Bad

The reason you know...

Situational Good and Bad IE between Blue and Red so Purple.
Very good is between Good and Best IE between Blue and Yellow so Green.

Most people are used to Treant Monk guides as its kinda the standard for guides and formats.

Though I do appreciate the idea you are going for as an art student and painter.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Great guide. Looks very solid and viable build. Makes me think about playing a Solarian. (I was a HELL NO before)
Thanks for all the heavy lifting


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I don't see why your melee build just assumes that you go heavy armor and strength. Couldn't you make an effective melee solarian with high dex, light armor, solar armor, and operative weapons?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Redelia wrote:
I don't see why your melee build just assumes that you go heavy armor and strength. Couldn't you make an effective melee solarian with high dex, light armor, solar armor, and operative weapons?

No. Sadly.

I tried and the math just doesn't work out.

The highest damage operative weapon only does 9d6 and still relies on Strength for damage.

So you go from a 9d6+low strength base damage to 18d6 with a high strength base on the Solar Weapon.

The damage is too significant to overcome.

The maximum damage a 26 strength can output is 18d6+51f

The maximium damage an 18 strength 28 dexterity can output is 9d6+47f

The Solar Weapon build hits an average of 114 per hit.
The Operative Weapon build hits an average of 79 per hit.

That is a huge gulf to cross. Not only that but the Dexterity build only gets 1 more EAC than the Strength build with Heavy Armor.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Some further thoughts:

--I also found the color coding to be confusing. I'm used to guides which color code in direction like the rainbow, starting with blue (or purple/pink) for the best, then green, then orange/yellow, then red. So the current best-to-worst order of: yellow, blue, green, purple/pink, red was hard to wrap my head around. (In what follows I use your color ratings.)

--Re: Ability score rankings: I like Intelligence a lot too, but putting it on a par with Dexterity (and ahead of Charisma!) seems a bit much to me... I would be inclined to make Charisma blue and Intelligence Green instead of the other way around.

--Re: Solar Manifestation: There seems to be a growing consensus that melee Solarians are locked into the Solar Weapon choice, but let me just flag that I don't think this is right. I mean, the Solar Weapon is a great choice; perhaps better for a melee-type in many cases than Solar Armor. But the difference isn't that big, and there are definite perks to going Solar Armor: you can still get a weapon that does as much (if not more) damage (though it's pricier), you get a nice bit of energy resistance (suck it, lasers!), you get a comparable AC with some dex investment, and (most importantly) you get a better movement speed (a big deal for melee solarians) and fewer skill penalties. (My favorite Solarian build so far -- an "aura of pain" build -- is a melee Solarian with Solar Armor because it really wants the movement.)

Anyway, ranking Solar Weapon as the best (yellow) and Solar Armor as the worst (red) seems much too strong to me. I'd be inclined to do something like Solar Weapon blue and Solar Armor green.

--I'm not as enthused by Dark Matter as you seem to be by the descriptive text, since the Enhanced Resistance feat gives much better DR. (And even if an errata comes down the line, it's likely to give better DR, and to not suck up one of your move actions.) So I'd rate it... purple or green, which is exactly what you do. I guess the descriptive text made it sound like you were thinking it was a blue or yellow ability. :)

--I agree that Flare, Gravity Anchor and Gravity Hold are all "meh", but I'm not quite so sure about putting them all on the same scale. I mean, Flare really seems pretty much useless, in virtually every context. Whereas Gravity Anchor and Gravity Hold have decent niche uses -- the cantrip-at-will ability of Gravity Hold adds out-of-combat utility that makes it purple/green (even if the in-combat use isn't great), and Gravity Anchor is an OK boost to your defenses if you're building a Graviton-mode Solarian, since it sticks around indefinitely.

Anyway, I'd be inclined to keep Flare red, but to bump Gravity Anchor and Gravity Hold up a bit, to (say) purple.

--On the flip side, Plasma Sheath and Gravity Boost are nice, but I don't know if I'd rate them yellow. Gravity Boost seems like another OK-but-not-fantastic option to me (green, maybe blue?), and Plasma Sheath is nice (blue). But they're not as tempting as, say Stellar Rush...

--FWIW, I agree with your assessment of Stellar Rush, but I don't think it's something that *every* melee Solarian will want to take. For example, if you want to make heavy use of your aura abilities (Radiation, Corona) then your standard action is already going to be eaten up, and you're going to want to use your move action to engage. But that means that Stellar Rush isn't going to be that useful... Still, I agree it's a yellow option, given how good it is for a lot of builds.

--I think you're a bit harsh on Miniature Star, though perhaps I'm biased, since it's the capstone of my favorite Solarian build. (In particular, if you consider a build which takes advantage of the Solarian's many auras, then it's natural to add a bunch of feats which keep your opponents from moving out of your auras -- Step Up, Stand Still, and the like. But once you have those, Miniature Star looks pretty sweet -- it's multiple rounds of burning them, so if you're build to keep them in place, it can be pretty sweet.)

Anyway, I'd be inclined to make it at least purple, if not green, since it's pretty nice with the right build.

--Maybe the Heavy Armor Proficiency feat should be conditional? (Half gold/half red?) Depending on whether you take Solar Weapon or Solar Armor?

--I think Stand Still and Improved Stand Still are much better than red. Again, because the Solarian has lots of nasty auras, and wants to keep opponents in melee range (and inside their auras), I think these feats are fantastic choices for a Solarian who wants to take advantage of their auras. I'd rate them something like half gold or blue/half red, depending on whether you're picking aura revelations or not.

--I agree with the sentiments you express regarding Weapon Focus, but don't understand why it's green... You describe it in a way that makes it sound like a gold-level feat (which it is)... Perhaps the green color was a typo?

But overall a nice guide. Looking forward to seeing how it develops!

EDIT: Corrected some typos, and some color switches (cuz I'm still confused by the coloring...)


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:
Redelia wrote:
I don't see why your melee build just assumes that you go heavy armor and strength. Couldn't you make an effective melee solarian with high dex, light armor, solar armor, and operative weapons?

No. Sadly.

I tried and the math just doesn't work out.

Yeah, I agree that operative weapons aren't a viable option. But I think solar armor is still a decent option for a melee solarian if (for example) they really want to maximize their movement speed, don't want the armor check penalties to drag them down when they're zooming around the battlefield (no acrobatics penalty for me!), and want to be able to shrug off lasers (fire resistance!). And since they can get a two-handed weapon that does slightly more damage anyway, it's not like missing out on the Solar Weapon is a huge cost (though this route is a bit more expensive).

Liberty's Edge

Okay, a few complaints:

1. You're really undervaluing saves in general. If monsters we've seen statted are anything to go by you need a +13 to have a 50% chance to save at 13th (the Necrovite has DC 24 spells) and a +18 by 20th (the Goblin Monark has DC 29 spells). Now maybe those numbers are abnormally high, but almost certainly not by more than a point or two, which leaves you wanting at least +11 Saves at 13th level and +16 at 20th.

Your build has, at the moment +8/+8/+8 or so in Saves at 13th and +14/+12/+14 or so at 20th. Now, one of those will get jacked up by a Ring...but only one. Save Enhancing Feats are very good when all your stat points are headed away from your Good Saves.

2. I think you're really undervaluing quite a lot of Graviton stuff, and indeed the Graviton build in general. Yeah, it lowers damage, but replacing +14 Damage with DR 10 and +3 Reflex Saves is a pretty solid trade (and, to head this one off, Enhanced Resistance can only be taken once, and might be better invested vs. a common Energy like Fire given you have access to this).

3. I also think you're undervaluing utility Revelations, most notably Hypnotic Glow, which is in fact an at-will Jedi Mind Trick, and super great outside combat.

Redelia wrote:
I don't see why your melee build just assumes that you go heavy armor and strength. Couldn't you make an effective melee solarian with high dex, light armor, solar armor, and operative weapons?

You can't, no. Halving your level bonus to damage and not getting to add Str is pretty much completely crippling.

You do about half the damage (8d6+24 for an average of 52 vs. 18d6+42 for 105) at the same AC (42/42 vs. 42/42). Your Reflex Save and Initiative are maybe 4 points better, but that's in no way worth half your damage.


Porridge wrote:

Some further thoughts:

--I also found the color coding to be confusing. I'm used to guides which color code in direction like the rainbow, starting with blue (or purple/pink) for the best, then green, then orange/yellow, then red. So the current best-to-worst order of: yellow, blue, green, purple/pink, red was hard to wrap my head around. (In what follows I use your color ratings.)

--Re: Ability score rankings: I like Intelligence a lot too, but putting it on a par with Dexterity (and ahead of Charisma!) seems a bit much to me... I would be inclined to make Charisma blue and Intelligence Green instead of the other way around.

Uh... Intelligence is behind Charisma in mine...

In mine it is:

Strength -> Charisma -> Dexterity -> Intelligence -> Con & Wis

that is why the end scores are:

26, 20, 14, 18, 14, 22

I am not sure what your objection is...

Quote:
--Re: Solar Manifestation: There seems to be a growing consensus that melee Solarians are locked into the Solar Weapon choice, but let me just flag that I don't think this is right. I mean, the Solar Weapon is a great choice; perhaps better for a melee-type in many cases than Solar Armor. But the difference isn't that big, and there are definite perks to going Solar Armor: you can still get a weapon that does as much (if not more) damage (though it's pricier), you get a nice bit of energy resistance (suck it, lasers!), you get a comparable AC with some dex investment, and (most importantly) you get a better movement speed (a big deal for melee solarians) and fewer skill penalties. (My favorite Solarian build so far -- an "aura of pain" build -- is a melee Solarian with Solar Armor because it really wants the movement.)

The problem is the Solar Weapon or at least 2 handed advanced weapon Solarian is going to hit harder and also... You don't always have movement penalties with Heavy Armor. Even then some of the movement penalties are so small in many cases.

Heck the best Heavy Armor in the game only taxes you 5ft and a number of other Heavy Armors don't tax at all. Going any other route than Heavy Armor for a Melee Solarian is a net loss in so many areas I can't even state it hard enough... I have done the math and it never adds up.

You end up with a massive loss in damage and a negigable gain in AC with a negligible (and in some cases none at all) gain in movement.

Quote:
Anyway, ranking Solar Weapon as the best (yellow) and Solar Armor as the worst (red) seems much too strong to me. I'd be inclined to do something like Solar Weapon blue and Solar Armor green.

In mine Green is better than Blue. But no, there is no way for a melee Solarian for Solar Armor to be better than Solar Weapon. There is no reason for a melee solarian to go light armor. The math just isn't there.

Quote:
--I'm not as enthused by Dark Matter as you seem to be by the descriptive text, since the Enhanced Resistance feat gives much better DR. (And even if an errata comes down the line, it's likely to give better DR, and to not suck up one of your move actions.) So I'd rate it... purple or green, which is exactly what you do. I guess the descriptive text made it sound like...

The Devs have already said that the DR from Enhanced Resistance is a typo and is going to get nuked. As heavy armor you also have other ways to get DR. The reason why Dark Matter ranks so well on the list here is because there will be a lull in playing the character where you will be using Graviton Mode more than Photon Mode (it is between levels 4-10) meaning you will have full up-time on the DR from Dark Matter.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

Okay, a few complaints:

1. You're really undervaluing saves in general. If monsters we've seen statted are anything to go by you need a +13 to have a 50% chance to save at 13th (the Necrovite has DC 24 spells) and a +18 by 20th (the Goblin Monark has DC 29 spells). Now maybe those numbers are abnormally high, but almost certainly not by more than a point or two, which leaves you wanting at least +11 Saves at 13th level and +16 at 20th.

Your build has, at the moment +8/+8/+8 or so in Saves at 13th and +14/+12/+14 or so at 20th. Now, one of those will get jacked up by a Ring...but only one. Save Enhancing Feats are very good when all your stat points are headed away from your Good Saves.

2. I think you're really undervaluing quite a lot of Graviton stuff, and indeed the Graviton build in general. Yeah, it lowers damage, but replacing +14 Damage with DR 10 and +3 Reflex Saves is a pretty solid trade (and, to head this one off, Enhanced Resistance can only be taken once, and might be better invested vs. a common Energy like Fire given you have access to this).

3. I also think you're undervaluing utility Revelations, most notably Hypnotic Glow, which is in fact an at-will Jedi Mind Trick, and super great outside combat.

Redelia wrote:
I don't see why your melee build just assumes that you go heavy armor and strength. Couldn't you make an effective melee solarian with high dex, light armor, solar armor, and operative weapons?

You can't, no. Halving your level bonus to damage and not getting to add Str is pretty much completely crippling.

You do about half the damage (8d6+24 for an average of 52 vs. 18d6+42 for 105) at the same AC (42/42 vs. 42/42). Your Reflex Save and Initiative are maybe 4 points better, but that's in no way worth half your damage.

At 13th... (goes to check)

Natural:
Fort +8 Ref +7 Will +8

You'll have the bonus from the Ring, but this is really the highest I can give it unless I gut feats or Int. You can gut int, to buff one of the others, but that will leave you in the same boat.

Unfortunately being MAD this is the best array I can come up with mathematically. You totally could spend points to up the saves with feats, but you don't have enough to meet all of your needs as it is. It might be a good idea to modify them, I'll take a look.

-----

The DC for saves is... Hard to gauge because we don't have enemy stat blocks yet. We know the enemies in Starfinder don't follow the PC stat blocks.

A PC at level 10, for example, is likely to have a 22-24 caster stat (if they started at an 18 and leveled it at 5 and 10 and have a +2 to +4 booster on it... If they started at 16, they'll have a 23 with a +4 on it)

So you are only looking at 10 + Spell Level (Max of 4th) + Stat so Maximum of an 20-21 for a completely optimized max level caster.

Meaning you're looking at yeah, your math adds up. I'll increase the ratings.

Liberty's Edge

HWalsh wrote:

At 13th... (goes to check)

Natural:
Fort +8 Ref +7 Will +8

You'll have the bonus from the Ring, but this is really the highest I can give it unless I gut feats or Int. You can gut int, to buff one of the others, but that will leave you in the same boat.

Unfortunately being MAD this is the best array I can come up with mathematically. You totally could spend points to up the saves with feats, but you don't have enough to meet all of your needs as it is. It might be a good idea to modify them, I'll take a look.

I don't disagree with you at all actually (well, maybe I'd prioritize Con/Wis slightly higher in relation to Int), Solarian is MAD enough that this is an issue that won't go away.

I'm just noting that Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, their improved versions, and Spellbane should all be very highly rated because of this unfortunate fact. Which they are currently not.

EDIT: For the record, a maxed out PC Technomancer or Mystic has Save DCs of right around those numbers I cited at the same levels...so yeah, I suspect those are the numbers you should be prepared for.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

At 13th... (goes to check)

Natural:
Fort +8 Ref +7 Will +8

You'll have the bonus from the Ring, but this is really the highest I can give it unless I gut feats or Int. You can gut int, to buff one of the others, but that will leave you in the same boat.

Unfortunately being MAD this is the best array I can come up with mathematically. You totally could spend points to up the saves with feats, but you don't have enough to meet all of your needs as it is. It might be a good idea to modify them, I'll take a look.

I don't disagree with you at all actually (well, maybe I'd prioritize Con/Wis slightly higher in relation to Int), Solarian is MAD enough that this is an issue that won't go away.

I'm just noting that Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, their improved versions, and Spellbane should all be very highly rated because of this unfortunate fact. Which they are currently not.

EDIT: For the record, a maxed out PC Technomancer or Mystic has Save DCs of right around those numbers I cited at the same levels...so yeah, I suspect those are the numbers you should be prepared for.

Yeah, I was editing. The maximum you're right a PC Tech or Mystic can hit is a 10+4+7 or 21, so with a +8 you need to roll 13 or better. I don't think enemies are going to be that high though. We'll need more info. I will increase them all to blue and Spellbane to green if I didn't already.

Edit: Changed the base feats to blue, Spellbane was already green.

Liberty's Edge

HWalsh wrote:
Yeah, I was editing. The maximum you're right a PC Tech or Mystic can hit is a 10+4+7 or 21, so with a +8 you need to roll 13 or better. I don't think enemies are going to be that high though. We'll need more info. I will increase them all to blue and Spellbane to green if I didn't already.

Huh? They get 5th level spells at 13th and you're forgetting Spell Focus, which is +2 Save DC at that point. That makeas exactly the 24 I was talking about (10+5+7+2=24).

And we do have a spellcaster statblock each for CR 13 (the Necrovite in First Contact) and CR 20 (The Goblin Monark in the corebook). And they, respectively, have DC 24 and DC 29 spells.

I'd thus strongly argue the base Feats as Green (at least) and Spellbane as Gold.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Yeah, I was editing. The maximum you're right a PC Tech or Mystic can hit is a 10+4+7 or 21, so with a +8 you need to roll 13 or better. I don't think enemies are going to be that high though. We'll need more info. I will increase them all to blue and Spellbane to green if I didn't already.

Huh? They get 5th level spells at 13th and you're forgetting Spell Focus, which is +2 Save DC at that point. That makeas exactly the 24 I was talking about (10+5+7+2=24).

Blarg. I was doing the level 10 block.

There is a problem with your math...

If monsters start slinging out DC 24s then every Solarian is screwed anyway. They are never going to hit them unless every Solarian invests for Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes and Spellbane and that is every feat for level 1, 3, 5, and 7.

Liberty's Edge

HWalsh wrote:

Blarg. I was doing the level 10 block.

There is a problem with your math...

If monsters start slinging out DC 24s then every Solarian is screwed anyway. They are never going to hit them unless every Solarian invests for Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes and Spellbane and that is every feat for level 1, 3, 5, and 7.

Like I said, that may well be very high end at that level...but we literally already have one monster that has it. It's a thing that might come up.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

Blarg. I was doing the level 10 block.

There is a problem with your math...

If monsters start slinging out DC 24s then every Solarian is screwed anyway. They are never going to hit them unless every Solarian invests for Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes and Spellbane and that is every feat for level 1, 3, 5, and 7.

Like I said, that may well be very high end at that level...but we literally already have one monster that has it. It's a thing that might come up.

Yes, but no PCs are going to be able to reliably resist any of those anyway.

The math just isn't there.

Unless Will is one of your primaries anyway, at level 13 you will have a +8 if will is one of your high saves, to get to a 13 off of that you need an extra +5, or at the least a +3 and a Feat.

Math-wise it isn't going to reliably happen for anyone.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HWalsh wrote:
Porridge wrote:

Some further thoughts:

--I also found the color coding to be confusing. I'm used to guides which color code in direction like the rainbow, starting with blue (or purple/pink) for the best, then green, then orange/yellow, then red. So the current best-to-worst order of: yellow, blue, green, purple/pink, red was hard to wrap my head around. (In what follows I use your color ratings.)

--Re: Ability score rankings: I like Intelligence a lot too, but putting it on a par with Dexterity (and ahead of Charisma!) seems a bit much to me... I would be inclined to make Charisma blue and Intelligence Green instead of the other way around.

Uh... Intelligence is behind Charisma in mine...

Ack! Confused the order of blue and green too (another hold over from the standard coloring of guides), so I took Charisma's green to be lower than Int's blue...

So in all of my remarks, "blue" and "green" should be swapped. :P

HWalsh wrote:

The problem is the Solar Weapon or at least 2 handed advanced weapon Solarian is going to hit harder and also... You don't always have movement penalties with Heavy Armor. Even then some of the movement penalties are so small in many cases.

The problem is the Solar Weapon or at least 2 handed advanced weapon Solarian is going to hit harder and also... You don't always have movement penalties with Heavy Armor. Even then some of the movement penalties are so small in many cases.

Heck the best Heavy Armor in the game only taxes you 5ft and a number of other Heavy Armors don't tax at all. Going any other route than Heavy Armor for a Melee Solarian is a net loss in so many areas I can't even state it hard enough... I have done the math and it never adds up.

You end up with a massive loss in damage and a negigable gain in AC with a negligible (and in some cases none at all) gain in movement.

...wait, why is the Solar Armor Solarian doing any worse with respect to damage?

They have proficiency in advanced melee weapons, and so can get the 2-handed advanced weapons that the Solarian's do the most damage with...

It's true that, over their career, they're probably going to have to sink more of their WBL into upgrading it. But they should be doing just as much damage as a Solar Weapon Solarian...

HWalsh wrote:
The Devs have already said that the DR from Enhanced Resistance is a typo and is going to get nuked. As heavy armor you also have other ways to get DR. The reason why Dark Matter ranks so well on the list here is because there will be a lull in playing the character where you will be using Graviton Mode more than Photon Mode (it is between levels 4-10) meaning you will have full up-time on the DR from Dark Matter.

Yeah, Mark suggested it would probably be reduced to something like DR = BAB/2, instead of DR = BAB... But that's still better than Dark Matter gives.

(That said, I hope you're right and that they reduce it more than that. For even DR = BAB/2 makes various class abilities of the Solarian and Soldier look bad...)

I agree that Graviton mode Solarians seems to have more actions available, but it's still a non-trivial cost, and something I (for one) would be happy to pay a feat to not have to save. And since going with Enhanced Resistance effectively both allows you to use Dark Matter *without* a move action, *and* gives you another revelation, it's still going to be pretty tempting.

(It's true, as Deadmanwalking said, that you can use Enhanced Resistance to cover your bases w.r.t. energy types too, and you can only take it once. So there is an opportunity cost there. But, IMHO, the opportunity cost doesn't strike me as that big, given the other sources of energy resistance available (armor upgrades, spells, etc).)


Quote:

...wait, why is the Solar Armor Solarian doing any worse with respect to damage?

They have proficiency in advanced melee weapons, and so can get the 2-handed advanced weapons that the Solarian's do the most damage with...

It's true that, over their career, they're probably going to have to sink more of their WBL into upgrading it. But they should be doing just as much damage as a Solar Weapon Solarian...

Because the Solar Armor Solarian is going to have to pump dex high to keep up with the Heavy Armor's AC meaning they won't have the Strength for the Damage.

Unless you are suggesting a Solarian go armor, take an advanced weapon, then keep a low Dexterity... At which point their AC is going to be terrible.

Liberty's Edge

HWalsh wrote:

Yes, but no PCs are going to be able to reliably resist any of those anyway.

The math just isn't there.

Unless Will is one of your primaries anyway, at level 13 you will have a +8 if will is one of your high saves, to get to a 13 off of that you need an extra +5, or at the least a +3 and a Feat.

Math-wise it isn't going to reliably happen for anyone.

Why not? Most Classes are focused on two stats at most, and one of them is usually Dex. Using the others to boost Saves makes perfect sense and at that point, by 13th we're talking +10 before Feats at minimum. Spellbane alone almost gets them there.

Liberty's Edge

Porridge wrote:
Yeah, Mark suggested it would probably be reduced to something like DR = BAB/2, instead of DR = BAB... But that's still better than Dark Matter gives.

Huh? 1/2 level is exactly the DR Dark Matter gives in Graviton Mode. Which is relevant, since you might well want to go Graviton when fighting anything that is, say, immune to fire.


Using the stats I outlined (IE not losing damage) here is the AC comparisons:

lvl 1:
Light: +1/+2 +1 Dex +1 Solar Armor = 13/14
Heavy: +2/+4 +1 Dex = 13/14

Lvl 5:
Light: +6/+8 +2 Dex +1 Solar Armor = 19/21
Heavy: +8/+10 +2 Dex +1/+0 Phase Shield = 21/22

lvl 10:
Light: +12/+13 +3 Dex +2 Solar Armor = 27/28
Heavy: +15/+18 +3 Dex +1/+0 Phase Shield = 29/31

lvl 15:
Light: +18/+19 +3 Dex +2 Solar Armor = 33/34
Heavy: +20/+22 +3 Dex +1/+0 Phase Shield = 34/35

lvl 20:
Light: +22/+22 +5 Dex +2 Solar Armor = 39/39
Heavy: +26/+27 +5 Dex +1/+0 Phase Shield = 42/42

-----

So it is possible for a melee Solarian to use a 2 handed weapon and get comparable damage with Solar Armor - They will be lacking in defense however. So... It comes down to... It just isn't worth it... Especially for losing upgrade slots, access to upgrades, etc by not going Heavy Armor.

Oh also you have to go 2 handed melee losing access to Gravity Shield, Phase Shield, etc. Also you become vulnerable to losing an arm (see Wounding Weapons) and losing your ability to fight.


What do you mean by "this bonus will be eventually nullified" in the Theme selection section? The Icon and Xenoseeker bonuses to Charisma and the Mercenary bonus to Strength are actually pretty great for a Solarian, because it means one extra point that doesn't need to be invested in those scores and can be put into Dexterity instead. Remember, you spend the 10 ability score points last when determining ability scores after adding racial and theme ability mods.

Silver Crusade

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

Will your guide eventually include Pathfinder Legacy races? Because I'd very much like to try an elf solarian.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

It's standard for guides to go:
Blue (Optimal, best option)
Green (Good option)
Yellow (Mediocre or situationally useful option)
Red (Bad option)

Some guides have Purple as the best, but I personally hate those. It's easier for a bright blue option to stand out.


Ventnor wrote:
What do you mean by "this bonus will be eventually nullified" in the Theme selection section? The Icon and Xenoseeker bonuses to Charisma and the Mercenary bonus to Strength are actually pretty great for a Solarian, because it means one extra point that doesn't need to be invested in those scores and can be put into Dexterity instead. Remember, you spend the 10 ability score points last when determining ability scores after adding racial and theme ability mods.

Why it will eventually be nullified is this:

If you have 3 ability scores:

14, 15, 14

And you raise each of those twice it becomes:

16, 17, 16

and then:

18, 18, 18

Hence the +1 is effectively nullified.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cyrad wrote:

It's standard for guides to go:

Blue (Optimal, best option)
Green (Good option)
Yellow (Mediocre or situationally useful option)
Red (Bad option)

Some guides have Purple as the best, but I personally hate those. It's easier for a bright blue option to stand out.

I may go back and re-do the colors. The artist in me just always hated that scheme.


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Will your guide eventually include Pathfinder Legacy races? Because I'd very much like to try an elf solarian.

I hadn't planned on it, but I mean... Elves have +2 Dex +2 Int -2 Con.

I'd probably do a gunner Solarian (my next project) with that.

If going Melee I'd probably start with the following array:

Ace Pilot

Str 16 (6pts)
Dex 13 (0 pts)
Con 08 (0 pts)
Int 12 (0 pts)
Wis 10 (0 pts)
Cha 14 (4 pts)

It would be slightly sub-optimal for a few levels, but I mean, more or less level-wise it would work the same:

lvl 01: 16, 13, 08, 12, 10, 14
lvl 05: 18, 15, 10, 12, 10, 16
lvl 10: 19, 17, 10, 14, 10, 18
lvl 15: 20, 17, 12, 16, 12, 18
lvl 20: 20, 18, 14, 18, 14, 18

And the rest would play out as normal


HWalsh wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
What do you mean by "this bonus will be eventually nullified" in the Theme selection section? The Icon and Xenoseeker bonuses to Charisma and the Mercenary bonus to Strength are actually pretty great for a Solarian, because it means one extra point that doesn't need to be invested in those scores and can be put into Dexterity instead. Remember, you spend the 10 ability score points last when determining ability scores after adding racial and theme ability mods.

Why it will eventually be nullified is this:

If you have 3 ability scores:

14, 15, 14

And you raise each of those twice it becomes:

16, 17, 16

and then:

18, 18, 18

Hence the +1 is effectively nullified.

But that would be the same for the Dexterity-raising Themes like Ace Pilot, and you don't mention it there.

Mercenary and Xenoseeker still help you get that odd Dexterity score for feats indirectly by letting you spend fewer point buy points on Strength and Charisma respectively, so I think they're more solid choices that you're giving them credit for.


Ventnor wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
What do you mean by "this bonus will be eventually nullified" in the Theme selection section? The Icon and Xenoseeker bonuses to Charisma and the Mercenary bonus to Strength are actually pretty great for a Solarian, because it means one extra point that doesn't need to be invested in those scores and can be put into Dexterity instead. Remember, you spend the 10 ability score points last when determining ability scores after adding racial and theme ability mods.

Why it will eventually be nullified is this:

If you have 3 ability scores:

14, 15, 14

And you raise each of those twice it becomes:

16, 17, 16

and then:

18, 18, 18

Hence the +1 is effectively nullified.

But that would be the same for the Dexterity-raising Themes like Ace Pilot, and you don't mention it there.

Mercenary and Xenoseeker still help you get that odd Dexterity score for feats indirectly by letting you spend fewer point buy points on Strength and Charisma respectively, so I think they're more solid choices that you're giving them credit for.

Actually I do mention it under Ace Pilot.

The reason why Ace Pilot gets the nod (and Dex in General) is that a lot of the things that help a Melee Solarian work well require an odd Dexterity modifier.

The secondary benefits of Ace Pilot are nice, but that dex letting you get things 5 levels earlier than you otherwise could is really icing on cake.

If you lose that from the Melee Solarian then you are locked out of your Dex 15 required Feats until level 10 minimum. Here you can snatch them at level 5.

Whereas the odd Strength and Charisma don't help you qualify for feats because you have already pumped your Charisma and Strength well past the point where they help within 1 raise.


HWalsh wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
What do you mean by "this bonus will be eventually nullified" in the Theme selection section? The Icon and Xenoseeker bonuses to Charisma and the Mercenary bonus to Strength are actually pretty great for a Solarian, because it means one extra point that doesn't need to be invested in those scores and can be put into Dexterity instead. Remember, you spend the 10 ability score points last when determining ability scores after adding racial and theme ability mods.

Why it will eventually be nullified is this:

If you have 3 ability scores:

14, 15, 14

And you raise each of those twice it becomes:

16, 17, 16

and then:

18, 18, 18

Hence the +1 is effectively nullified.

But that would be the same for the Dexterity-raising Themes like Ace Pilot, and you don't mention it there.

Mercenary and Xenoseeker still help you get that odd Dexterity score for feats indirectly by letting you spend fewer point buy points on Strength and Charisma respectively, so I think they're more solid choices that you're giving them credit for.

Actually I do mention it under Ace Pilot.

The reason why Ace Pilot gets the nod (and Dex in General) is that a lot of the things that help a Melee Solarian work well require an odd Dexterity modifier.

The secondary benefits of Ace Pilot are nice, but that dex letting you get things 5 levels earlier than you otherwise could is really icing on cake.

If you lose that from the Melee Solarian then you are locked out of your Dex 15 required Feats until level 10 minimum. Here you can snatch them at level 5.

Whereas the odd Strength and Charisma don't help you qualify for feats because you have already pumped your Charisma and Strength well past the point where they help within 1 raise.

I don't think you understand what I'm saying.

So, the optimal ability score spread for Korasha Lashunta Solarians is, according to you:
16 Str, 13 Dex, 10 Con, 10 Int, 8 Wis, 16 Cha

To get there, you start with the Korasha ability mods, which is +2 Str, +2 Cha, -2 Wis. That gets you:
12 Str, 10 Dex, 10 Con, 10 Int, 8 Wis, 12 Cha

Next you add your Theme bonus. For the sake of my argument, let's say you go with a Mercenary Theme. That brings you to:
13 Str, 10 Dex, 10 Con, 10 Int, 8 Wis, 12 Cha

Finally, we add 10 points to those scores. To get to the optimal spread above, we spend 3 points on strength, 3 points on dexterity, and 4 points on charisma. We then end up with:
16 Str, 13 Dex, 10 Con, 10 Int, 8 Wis, 16 Cha

So you see, the Mercenary Strength boost isn't wasted at all, since it still helps us get to the 13 dexterity starting point by giving us an extra point to put there.


But the point is, if our goal is, say, 16 in STR, and you get +1 to STR from your theme, you can put only 15 in str, and get the +1 to 16. Then you have one spare point that you can spend elsewhere. Like... for example... DEX.

EDIT: ninjaed.


Ventnor wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
What do you mean by "this bonus will be eventually nullified" in the Theme selection section? The Icon and Xenoseeker bonuses to Charisma and the Mercenary bonus to Strength are actually pretty great for a Solarian, because it means one extra point that doesn't need to be invested in those scores and can be put into Dexterity instead. Remember, you spend the 10 ability score points last when determining ability scores after adding racial and theme ability mods.

Why it will eventually be nullified is this:

If you have 3 ability scores:

14, 15, 14

And you raise each of those twice it becomes:

16, 17, 16

and then:

18, 18, 18

Hence the +1 is effectively nullified.

But that would be the same for the Dexterity-raising Themes like Ace Pilot, and you don't mention it there.

Mercenary and Xenoseeker still help you get that odd Dexterity score for feats indirectly by letting you spend fewer point buy points on Strength and Charisma respectively, so I think they're more solid choices that you're giving them credit for.

Actually I do mention it under Ace Pilot.

The reason why Ace Pilot gets the nod (and Dex in General) is that a lot of the things that help a Melee Solarian work well require an odd Dexterity modifier.

The secondary benefits of Ace Pilot are nice, but that dex letting you get things 5 levels earlier than you otherwise could is really icing on cake.

If you lose that from the Melee Solarian then you are locked out of your Dex 15 required Feats until level 10 minimum. Here you can snatch them at level 5.

Whereas the odd Strength and Charisma don't help you qualify for feats because you have already pumped your Charisma and Strength well past the point where they help within 1 raise.

I don't think you understand what I'm saying.

So, the optimal ability score spread for Korasha Lashunta Solarians is, according to you:
16 Str, 13 Dex, 10 Con, 10 Int, 8 Wis,...

No I understand that you can get to the same array, but then we look at what the Mercenary Theme does.

-----

1. You gain a +1 to Athletics, Athletics isn't really a major skill. It isn't as useful as others by a huge margin and a lot of it (jumping ability) can be mitigated (eliminated) technologically. Since the Melee Solarian assumes Jet Pack/Force Pack later on this doesn't much help.

2. Grunt isn't really going to help us. We pump strength, our Bulk isn't going to be an issue.

3. We won't be aiding in combat very often as we will be up in things faces swinging so the bonuses to aid another aren't going to come into play.

4. Regaining resolve may help, but that is a high level power and, by that point, you have tons of Resolve.

-----

Now, let us look at Ace Pilot:

1. Piloting is good, in the example of my Kprasha Lashunta (the PC it is based on) I had like a +1 Rank, +3 Class Skill, +1 Ace Pilot Bonuse, +2 Student, +1 Dexterity Bonus for a total of +8 which is very high.

2. The level 6 ability to use 1/2 of my ranks in Piloting for any starship use? In play where you may not always have a dedicated group (Such as SFS) or for play where you might pilot a starfighter this allows you a massive advantage.

3. The level 12 ability is really good for a pilot and great for packs.

4. This one is rarely, if ever going to trigger.


If that's your point, then why you have been addressing the DEX thing?

You said:

Quote:


Why it will eventually be nullified is this:

If you have 3 ability scores:

14, 15, 14

And you raise each of those twice it becomes:

16, 17, 16

and then:

18, 18, 18

Hence the +1 is effectively nullified.

That's untrue. The ability bonus is effectively the same in both, because you can play with the points spent.

Now, for the rest of the bonuses: Ace Pilot is better if you plan to pilot the Starship. Which should surprise no one. If you are not interested in being a pilot (for example, because you want to save skill points or use them in other skill, and just be the gunner), then Ace Pilot gives you nothing to speak about.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
Now, for the rest of the bonuses: Ace Pilot is better if you plan to pilot the Starship. Which should surprise no one. If you are not interested in being a pilot (for example, because you want to save skill points or use them in other skill, and just be the gunner), then Ace Pilot gives you nothing to speak about.

Quite true. Of course since Space Combat is so far in every module we have seen... It is likely that you'll be in a ship at some point.

Even if you aren't interested in being a Pilot - The special abilities of Mercenary won't help you. All of the themes are relatively terrible. However there are a few that shine.

Ace Pilot and Icon being among them.


Deadmanwalking wrote:


Your build has, at the moment +8/+8/+8 or so in Saves at 13th and +14/+12/+14 or so at 20th. Now, one of those will get jacked up by a Ring...but only one. Save Enhancing Feats are very good when all your stat points are headed away from your Good Saves.

Question, why can't a character wear two rings of resistance? Once you put a ring on, your lowest saving throw in principle changes (since it just received a bonus), so then you put a second one on, and thus it affects a second different saving throw? You can't use 3 rings of resistance since you're limited to a max of two magic items, but you are allowed to wear two rings. I haven't seen anything saying the two magic items can't be the same general type of magic item, or even identical magic items.


Hiruma Kai wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:


Your build has, at the moment +8/+8/+8 or so in Saves at 13th and +14/+12/+14 or so at 20th. Now, one of those will get jacked up by a Ring...but only one. Save Enhancing Feats are very good when all your stat points are headed away from your Good Saves.
Question, why can't a character wear two rings of resistance? Once you put a ring on, your lowest saving throw in principle changes (since it just received a bonus), so then you put a second one on, and thus it affects a second different saving throw? You can't use 3 rings of resistance since you're limited to a max of two magic items, but you are allowed to wear two rings. I haven't seen anything saying the two magic items can't be the same general type of magic item, or even identical magic items.

They both give an enhancement bonus and bonuses of the same type don't stack.


Melkiador wrote:
They both give an enhancement bonus and bonuses of the same type don't stack.

I wasn't implying they stacked on the same saving throw. Say you have a Solarian at level 10 with 10 Con, 10 Wisdom, and 20 Dex (18 + 2 personal upgrade).

In one case you're rolling a fort save with +7 from Class + 0 from Con and +3 enhancement from a ring.

In the other case you're rolling a will save with +7 from Class + 0 from Wis and +3 enhancement from a ring.

No stacking involved. You get to choose which saving throw the first ring applies to because they are tied (say Fort). In the second case, your other saving throw (Will) is lower and thus the other ring applies to it.


HWalsh wrote:


2. The level 6 ability to use 1/2 of my ranks in Piloting for any starship use? In play where you may not always have a dedicated group (Such as SFS) or for play where you might pilot a starfighter this allows you a massive advantage.

Check the skill DCS, you won't be able to pass any with 1/2 level ranks.


It looks like the armor solarian was built for some finesse build that didn't make it to the finished book.


citricking wrote:
HWalsh wrote:


2. The level 6 ability to use 1/2 of my ranks in Piloting for any starship use? In play where you may not always have a dedicated group (Such as SFS) or for play where you might pilot a starfighter this allows you a massive advantage.
Check the skill DCS, you won't be able to pass any with 1/2 level ranks.

Yeah, most themes except themeless have at least one useless ability, this is the Ace Pilot's.

Liberty's Edge

Nice Guide HWalsh... I'd really change the colours as everyone mentioned already...
Im playing with a Solarian Lashunta as well in SFS, and have picked exactly those scores... Im lvl 1 though, played through SFS 1-01 and SFS 1-02...
And i was surprised, while playing The Commencement, that i was the best pilot in the Crew, as an Ace Pilot as well...

I'd like to mention that dropping prone in SF is a swift-action and that might easily be a possible action in some scenarios... Lets assume you've just full attacked a Foe, and killed it... When you look, there are a lot of enemies with guns pointing them at you... Dropping would make it harder for them to hit; Next turn you can get up and Charge with Stellar Rush, for example...

Liberty's Edge

Hiruma Kai wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
They both give an enhancement bonus and bonuses of the same type don't stack.

I wasn't implying they stacked on the same saving throw. Say you have a Solarian at level 10 with 10 Con, 10 Wisdom, and 20 Dex (18 + 2 personal upgrade).

In one case you're rolling a fort save with +7 from Class + 0 from Con and +3 enhancement from a ring.

In the other case you're rolling a will save with +7 from Class + 0 from Wis and +3 enhancement from a ring.

No stacking involved. You get to choose which saving throw the first ring applies to because they are tied (say Fort). In the second case, your other saving throw (Will) is lower and thus the other ring applies to it.

This actually works. Huh. I could've sworn there was something stopping it from working, but it appears to be valid, if somewhat restricting (and, given price, one will always lag behind by 1, but that's not a deal breaker). It does prevent you from using any other worn items at all, but that's hardly insurmountable...

That still only covers two of the three Saves and likely not quite sufficiently, making the Save Feats still quite good...but it's definitely an option.

Liberty's Edge

Alassë Edasseril wrote:

Nice Guide HWalsh... I'd really change the colours as everyone mentioned already...

Im playing with a Solarian Lashunta as well in SFS, and have picked exactly those scores... Im lvl 1 though, played through SFS 1-01 and SFS 1-02...
And i was surprised, while playing The Commencement, that i was the best pilot in the Crew, as an Ace Pilot as well...

I'd like to mention that dropping prone in SF is a swift-action and that might easily be a possible action in some scenarios... Lets assume you've just full attacked a Foe, and killed it... When you look, there are a lot of enemies with guns pointing them at you... Dropping would make it harder for them to hit; Next turn you can get up and Charge with Stellar Rush, for example...

You can't do a Swift if you've already Full Attacked, since full round actions eat your Swift as well in Starfinder.


Melkiador wrote:
It looks like the armor solarian was built for some finesse build that didn't make it to the finished book.

Well, I wouldn't say that, the book made all of the Armor Solarians ranged attackers for a reason. I'm playing with a second guide for a gunner Solarian... That one uses armor.

Liberty's Edge

HWalsh wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
It looks like the armor solarian was built for some finesse build that didn't make it to the finished book.
Well, I wouldn't say that, the book made all of the Armor Solarians ranged attackers for a reason. I'm playing with a second guide for a gunner Solarian... That one uses armor.

Yeah, a ranged Solarian with a Longarm (or even Heavy Weapon) is very solid. Probably not as good as a Soldier at raw damage, but with notably better utility/options.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
It looks like the armor solarian was built for some finesse build that didn't make it to the finished book.
Well, I wouldn't say that, the book made all of the Armor Solarians ranged attackers for a reason. I'm playing with a second guide for a gunner Solarian... That one uses armor.
Yeah, a ranged Solarian with a Longarm (or even Heavy Weapon) is very solid. Probably not as good as a Soldier at raw damage, but with notably better utility/options.

Actually, I wouldn't play the gunner solarian for damage. I'm looking at mobility and utility. Gunner Solarians are going to use the Graviton Revelations a lot more. Graviton sucks for melee... For ranged though... Suddenly it can be borderline overpowered.

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