"Battle Chaplain" Mystic


Advice


Since the Alien Archive released, I've been really wanting to play a Barathu battle chaplain. I'll be getting the chance soon so I wanted to get some input on my initial build. I intend for him to be primarily melee with healing spells to act as support. I know the sample battle chaplain in the book has Mercenary theme, but I went with Priest for flavor since my deity connection is Iomedae.

Connection: Healer
Stats:
Str: 16
Dex: 9
Con: 12
Int: 10
Wis: 16
Cha: 10

Feat: Heavy Armor prof (to make up for lack of dex bonus)

Edit (forgot spells)
Level 0: Daze, Detect Magic, Stabilize, Ghost Sounds
Level 1: Mind Thrust (or Reflecting Armor), Wisp Ally

Just wondering if this looks effective as a level one battle chaplain. Thanks in advance!


Looks usable for level 1. I'd just be sure to get a consistent range option so you can do something while you close in. A returning weapon would be handy on a thrown weapon to capitalise on strength and skip dex.

As a comparison since i had a similar idea:

Dwarf Priest
Mindbreaker connection
Str: 16
Dex: 10
Con: 12
Int: 10
Wis: 17
Cha: 8

Feat: heavy armor
Spells: 0th:detect magic, detect affliction, psychokinetic hand, stabilize
1st: mind thrust (connection), fear, wisp ally.

Gear: returning tactical spear, tactical doshko, golemforged plating 1.


Thanks for the input. I like your build, it seems pretty solid! For the returning weapon suggestion, I'd definitely doing that. Haven't looked at weapon infusions but that it seems I'm shooting myself in the foot not using the returning infusion.


In the future consider getting advanced melee weapons and coordinated shot. It's feat intensive, but with a reach weapon you can make a pretty big difference actually. and because the bonus granted by coordinated shot is untyped it will stack with any other bonuses granted by other party members. Plus two of the feats required to do this (advanced melee weapons and versatile specialization) are ones you should consider anyway since you are going melee.

Another option you could consider is a single dip in soldier. You could even start as a mystic, then use your mnemonic editor to rewrite your first level to soldier at level 2 so you can get several feats for free plus a nice fighting style bonus, typically this would be blitz for +4 initiative and +10 moment.


Also instead of returning on the spear I would go with called. This would allow you to attack and have your spear back in the same turn so that you get the benefit of blocking and the opportunity to take OoA.


Those are good suggestions. I had planned on adv melee weapons as my lvl 3 feat, so coordinated shot at lvl 5?

I agree on reach making a difference. That was part of why I picked Barathu, since early stage adaptation can give reach of ten feet. Does that stack with a weapon with reach? If it does then the versatility is incredible.

I like the blitz soldier suggestion. Since I plan on only healing with my spells, that definitely wouldn't hurt at all.

I did look at called as well, and I'm torn since it eats a swift action. That could force a choice between changing my adaptation OR getting my weapon back. Could I get both on the spear? Otherwise I think it could be better since I'll likely pop the adaptation before throwing the spear, on second thought.


I believe that the reach does stack which would definitely make coordinated shot awesome. If you do become a blitx/mystic, then at level 3 you could have coordinated shot and weapon focus, though you'll have to wait until level 5 to get versatile specialization which is kinda rough. You can't put both called and returning on a level 1 spear, but you can put both on a level 2 weapon. Unfortunately I think that you have to wait until a higher level for a spear upgrade as I don't think there's anything level 2 or 3 to choose :/


Yeah, missing out on getting damage bonus to both basic and adv melee weapons could hurt a little while, but maybe the adaptation for bonus melee damage would make up for it.

I think the positives could outweigh the negatives for blitz/mystic, since the build is meant to hit stuff a lot. Being able to switch weapons and still move is pretty great, I could pick up a high damage melee weapon and use the spear until I close in. If I use the editor, would I get to pick a different level 1 feat since I'd get heavy armor proficiency from soldier? Getting adv melee weapon prof for free would be ideal at level 2 even if the level one feat is wasted. I guess I could pick something else for level 1 and wait for level two to get heavy armor.

For the infusions, that seems fair lol. I haven't taken a good look at weapons recently, I'll check those later, but I don't recall any good substitutes for several levels either. I could get around that though, just gotta take a look later when I get the chance


Well you'd only miss out on it until 4th level on basic melee weapons.

Yes you can redo ANY choices made on your character, the only limitation is that you can only do so for the last 2 levels.

As fro the limitations on weapon choice, part of that is that the game is still new, part of it is that melee weapons have less varied choices in a way. There's more small choices with ranged weapons as the generally all function the same way. With the melee weapons there's bigger choices to be made like reach. At least that is my impression. Puts a cramp in my style with my blizarian as I'll be using the same tactical pike until level 4 or 5 and tactical starknife until level 9 or 10 :/ Though I have considered swapping my starknife for a spear...


That's workable when the benefits are so good.

Sweet, I think that confirms what I'll do with this build! Thanks a ton!

That makes sense. And yeah, I agree, not very cool to be using a tactical spear followed by tactical pike for.. a long time lol. I shouldn't be greedy though, I mean my Barathu will threaten 20 ft away which is pretty great on its own :D


Awesome, I'm glad I was able to help. Just a quick point I think you'll have a reach of 15ft rather than 20. But I could be wrong, idk the baratu very well. The reasoning is reach gives you basically +5 ft of threatening, so 5 base plus 5 from baratu plus another 5 from reach weapon yields 15. It's still really powerful.


Be aware, you are going to get hit with this build. A lot.

Heavy armor does not compensate for negative dex in Starfinder. The best low level heavy armor starts with a +2 max dex bonus, and that increases to a +5 bonus at high levels. You are expected to have a decent dex score to get the most out of heavy armor.

And even if you do have good dex and heavy armor, CR equivalent enemies are still going to hit you about 60% of the time. With negative dex, that's going to be closer to 75%.

Being a melee build, you are going to be the target of more attacks than your ranged party members because you don't have the luxury of staying behind cover and taking potshots from a defensible position. You are going to be a damage sponge with your low AC in melee.

Now maybe your mystic healing spells can counter all the damage you'll be taking. Even so, if you're having to spend your spells to compensate for your build's weaknesses, you're not going to have much left to off your party.


Space mcman brings up a good point, you would definitely consider boosting your dex a bit, at least to 12 in my opinion. I would pull two points from wisdom if you are planning on mostly healing/buffing and 1 point from strength, If your Gm will allow it consider doing a quick pick array with your 14s in str, Wis and dex.


Good point, didn't consider that really. I'm hesitant to drop wisdom lower even though spells are mostly going to be healing, since that'll drop my resolve points. I also don't know what my party is going to be playing beyond one solarian, so while I may not be the only melee build I'll still be front line. Now, Barathu does have six hit points, so I'm at 7 stamina and 12 hp, but I'm pretty sure that means three hits from a cr 3 enemy will down me.

Now, the early stage adaptation can let me negate that -1, but I'm trading natural reach or damage bonus to melee for that. If I were to plan out my moves VERY carefully, I could keep that going until I feel safer swapping to a different adaptation, but that doesn't actually fix my issue.

Whether or not I actually drop points to bring dex up will probably depend on the party makeup. If we have a blitz soldier and a solarian then I could feel more comfortable letting them be front line while I use reach/spear throwing to deal damage. If there's only one other melee build then I'll try the quick pick array.

Oh yeah regarding the reach ability from early stage adaptation: it does give me 10ft of reach.

Edit: Reflecting armor will probably take the place of mind thrust as well. If I do take a level of blitz soldier then I'll pick toughness for the feat for 8 stamina. It's not much but I'll take what I can get


So I'm not extremely familiar with the mystic, but what do you gain by going melee? Mystic is 3/4 BAB, has the lowest hp/stam gains of any class, and doesn't get any advanced weapon proficiency. You'd need to spend three feats to get access to heavy armor and advanced weapon proficiency and specialization, or take a level in blitz soldier and delay your casting progression by a level.

Additionally, you need to put points into Str, which outside of melee hit and damage is a terrible stat. No one needs extra carrying capacity unless you're using multiple heavy weapons, and athletics is pointless when a multitude of cheap items, spell, and feats grant fly, swim, and climb speeds.

I get that there's no cleric or paladin in this system who can mix it up in melee while still casting healing and utility spells, but making a melee mystic feels like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.


Given the lack of distinctions between magic, how come nobody makes chaplain technomancers? I can see a few deities (most prominently Triune) preferring that style.

The Exchange

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Haywire build generator wrote:
Given the lack of distinctions between magic, how come nobody makes chaplain technomancers? I can see a few deities (most prominently Triune) preferring that style.

Lack of healing spells and healer connection ability?


The point of being a melee mystic is exactly because there is no cleric or Paladin. It's either this, or a soldier with connection inkling. And with some distribution and race selection disadvantages can be mitigated.


Space McMan wrote:

So I'm not extremely familiar with the mystic, but what do you gain by going melee? Mystic is 3/4 BAB, has the lowest hp/stam gains of any class, and doesn't get any advanced weapon proficiency. You'd need to spend three feats to get access to heavy armor and advanced weapon proficiency and specialization, or take a level in blitz soldier and delay your casting progression by a level.

Additionally, you need to put points into Str, which outside of melee hit and damage is a terrible stat. No one needs extra carrying capacity unless you're using multiple heavy weapons, and athletics is pointless when a multitude of cheap items, spell, and feats grant fly, swim, and climb speeds.

I get that there's no cleric or paladin in this system who can mix it up in melee while still casting healing and utility spells, but making a melee mystic feels like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Early on up we discussed the idea of using mnemonic editor at level 2 mystic to get level 1 blitz soldier as I understand it. Not sure if that means I'd be a level 2 mystic and level 1 soldier, or level 1 in both (which makes more sense), but Barathu take a racial penalty to dex already so it'd be even more of a waste to get that to something decent, as is the issue with AC. It could be doable, but in my opinion SO much weaker than going melee since Barathu's early stage adaptation can give two different bonuses to melee combat and none to ranged.

If I can use the editor, then I'll take toughness as the level one feat to address the lack of stamina points. That can also situationally buff fortitude saves, a mystic weak save.

It's good to note that athletics is redundant, especially since Barathu can fly, but again, using ESA to add strength modifier to melee damage is very good and is the main reason why melee builds are better for Barathu than ranged.

I do agree there is like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, but Barathu are all about changing their physical form to fit scenarios. I was hoping that this race would be the most ideal for this build. That in mind, I'd like to list what I think the strengths are vs the weaknesses for a Barathu battle chaplain.

Strengths:
Can fly
Can buff melee damage
Can gain reach that should stack with a weapon with reach
Racial bonus to Wis
Racial bonus to Fortitude save, a weak save for mystic. If the gm allows its creature type to be accounted for, it would have a total of +3 from its creature type, racial bonus, AND racial con bonus.

Weaknesses
Racial penalty to dex hurts both AC and Reflex saves, which are the other weak save for mystic. Also makes the race naturally bad at ranged combat
No BAB- unless level in soldier is taken
Does need to choose either delay mystic progression to use soldier to gain proficiencies, or waste feats to gain those while progressing mystic.

So, in all, the weaknesses are very valid and it seems the choice I need to make is either go blitz soldier at level 1, then start mystic progression, or to waste feats while maintaining progression for mystic. I have said that I'm only using spells for healing and support, but I do think that having to wait on my more powerful healing spells is a weakness too. I guess to say explicitly say what I want out of this build is I want it to be primarily a tank that can heal. So, Paladin?


Somethings to note:
I believe the racial fort save is the PC version of the creature type, so it would be +1 from being Barathu, +1 from the racial con bonus

Your adaptations do have a 1d4 cooldown between uses, so you won't have that double strength and reach on your attacks.

If you want to be mostly healing and support, your wis doesn't need to be maxed, since you're not dealing with DCs against enemies. This frees up personal upgrades to apply them to things such as dex, con and Str.

No BAB is fairly wrong. Your BAB progresses at 3/4. If you look at the table, it ends up being your level -1 until you hit 5, 9, 13 and 17, where it becomes level -2, -3, -4, -5. In the early stages +/- 1 BAB isn't huge. Even in the later stages of the game you won't be rolling as high as a soldier or Solarion for sure, but you'd be on par with the other classes with 3/4 BAB (all the rest)

Someone mentioned that Mystics have the worst HP/SP progression. Nope, it's pretty average, 6HP per level, 6 SP+con per level. Soldiers and Solarions are better at 7 and 7+con, technomancers are the only class with worse at 5 and 5+con

If you wanted, you could attempt to stick with your basic proficiency. Basic one handed melee weapons have pretty consistent progression after level 7, but a large gap between 2 and 7. I wouldn't really recommend it, and you would probably need to move into advanced weapons at some point, but it's an option.


Okay, I had seen other people in the rules forum talking about it, but +2 is still good for a weak save. Better than the 0 it would be otherwise, or a plus 1 from just Con bonus.

I probably should have stated in the last comment that I do factor in the 1d4 cooldown. I also meant no BAB at level 1, but that's again my fault in being lazy with my typing and adding confusion, which I apologize for. Thanks for pointing it out.

I agree that it's average, even decent Stamina/Health for what the class is. Toughness feat if I decide to go blitz soldier at level 1 (or use mnemonic editor at level 2) could further extend that. I get that it's situational, and since Barathu fly the run aspect is useless, but since I will be a main target as a melee character I do like having the extra stamina. Also, if I do split classes like that, I would have the extra hp/stamina from soldier for at least one level, right? I would only use soldier for the proficiencies and blitz bonuses, but adding some extra health and stamina wouldn't hurt.

For weapons, I have decided to go with a tactical spear with called on it, since I won't be using ESA every round eating the swift action is safer than using returned incase I get knocked out of the tile I threw from (like if I get bull rushed. I mean, I can fly, but I don't want to be an even more obvious target by being 15ft in the air).

I plan on getting a tactical pike eventually, since it'll have reach, but that assumes I'll have adv melee prof.

Right now, I think the best option for what I specifically want from this build is to split classes between mystic and soldier. Just how I do it is what I'm having trouble deciding for now. Part of that is not understanding mnemonic editor, since I can't find how it specifically works on the internet. But, I think that mystic progression being delayed won't hurt in the long run. Serums of healing exist, so if my party is relying on only one source of healing (me) then we probably won't be playing as effectively as we can.

I also do want to keep wisdom and strength equal, for resolve points since Healing Channel takes 1 resolve point to cast, Mystic Cure is lvl 1 spell (meaning I could cast it at max twice per day?), and Healing Touch takes 10 minutes to cast for only 5 hp per mystic level.


The mnemonic editor basically let's you undo choices you have made for your character. So for the soldier/mystic rout I suggested you'd do your first level as a mystic, then at second level you'd pick mystic again or chose soldier. Then you'd use the mnemonic editor to undo any of your first and second level choices. You could do it a number of ways. You could just change the feats you chose, changing the heavy armor proficiency feat to something more useful. Or you could also change your first level class to soldier. This would also change your primary stat to either strength or dex you choice. If you really want to focus on messing people up in melee then you might prioritize strength over wisdom with the understanding that your DCs will never be that high. In that case I'd edit my first level to soldier. If not then when you used the editor edit your second level to soldier (if you didn't chose it that way already) and update your level one feat. Either way after the editor at level two you'd be mystics/soldiers with the feat you want for level 1 and a choice of dex, str or Wis as your primary stat.


Alright, that makes sense. I'll go the editor route. I'll take mystic for second level, edit first level to soldier with feat to toughness, and focus strength as primary stat. I'll also put points into dex at a later level to offset the penalty. I understand I'll be getting hit a lot anyways. Won't be using offensive spells really, just utility like ghost sounds or wisp ally. If I make strength primary stat and put points into that as I level, I shouldn't need to worry about being low on resolve to use Healing Channel since it's the most useful healing spell.

For further levels, I imagine I'd want to focus on one class since spreading levels out would put me way behind the party. I think putting future levels in soldier would be the better option, for the offensive benefits. That will probably make my healing less effective at higher levels, but I figure that my healing spells should be treated as supporting healing serums since I want to focus damage.

I still don't know what the party makeup will be. I'll find that out soon though. We just haven't picked a GM or start date, since we're still doing society adventures. OH, since I didn't mention, this character will be used for Dead Suns.

The Exchange

Small side note, you'll want to make sure your GM will let you do this ahead of time. While the Editor works just as advertised it's also a level 5 item, so if your GM disapproves of it he's within his rights to say you can't find or have clearance for it until a later level. Not saying it's likely, just that it's something to double check if you make it a plan.

And it might be worth looking at unweildy weapons. You'd loose your area of threat, but if you're going to be primarily flying you'll be spending your move action each round doing so even if you'd rather not move. And the unwieldy weapons could help you pick back up some of the damage lost to no full attacks. How viable that is depends on your style but it's a thought.


Oh, thanks for pointing that out. I'll check with him. He'll probably let it happen but in the event he doesn't, I'll start soldier and take mystic level 2.

Barathu only have legs if I use ESA to grow them. They have a base speed of 0ft and an extraordinary fly speed of 30 ft with average maneuverability. The ESA gives them base speed 15ft. I think I could go with an unwieldy weapon instead of pike, maybe. Tactical doshko plus ESA strength buff means 1d12 +3 currently. Tactical pike would do 1d8 +3, but has reach. So many choices, lol.


If you'r planning on going mostly soldier I would be take some time and plan it out very carefully. multiclassing is really punished in starfinder. Anything more than a level or 2 dip is generally discouraged by most people.

Also I wanted to confirm what darkling pointed out. As a note along with what he said you should be able to find items equal to your level plus 3 in very large settlements (think Absalom station) so it should be available, but you would want to check with your GM. Most of the time this really doesn't matter much at lower levels because you can't afford anything that is very high level even if you could access it, but the mnemonic editor has a very low price of 500cr which is affordable.


I think I'll only do one level of mystic, then. The higher soldier levels will help more than the higher mystic levels I think.

I do think my gm will allow the mnemonic editor. I'll see him tomorrow so I'll clear it then. We won't be playing for a while, but I wanted to be completely ready with this build.

If none of this pans out though, I guess I can always try dragonkin soldier or solarian since dragonkin is second choice for me.

While I'm thinking of it, I guess dragonkin soldier (blitz or armor storm, I really want to like armor storm even though blitz is perfect for melee) with connection inkling is the next best thing. I'll make that second choice.


Space McMan wrote:
So I'm not extremely familiar with the mystic, but what do you gain by going melee?

It's mostly a flavor thing. From a purely optimization standpoint no one really gains anything from going melee because melee is garbage in Starfinder.


You make think that, but I've seen melee be very very effective, so much so that my group which didn't have a melee ask that I make a new character focused on melee. It's been very fun actually and helped the group out a lot. It really just depends on where you are doing your fighting. If I can get next to you in a turn or two, which is honestly generally pretty easy, a ranged focused character is going to have a lot of trouble dealing with me in their face, plus the support fire I make even more accurate.

The Exchange

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
swoosh wrote:


It's mostly a flavor thing. From a purely optimization standpoint no one really gains anything from going melee because melee is garbage in Starfinder.

Melee is a very high risk high reward play because creatures hit very hard and if you're melee you're probably the focus, but with things like soldier melee striker gear boost and/or natural attacks/ring of fangs with IUS you can do a heap of damage with it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
baggageboy wrote:
You make think that, but I've seen melee be very very effective

Sure, you can make an effective melee build. You can make almost anything effective. It's still a noticeable amount of extra investment and increased risk for gains that range anywhere from mediocre to actually being worse.

Shaudius wrote:
Melee is a very high risk high reward play

High risk, yes. High reward? Eh. The numbers aren't much higher than what ranged can put out, lower even if significant movement becomes a factor. It's only particularly rewarding if you're getting AoOs fairly regularly and that's pretty much up to your GM.

Also worth noting that you're talking about soldiers. A class that has a whole bevy of features specifically designed to make melee combat slightly less terrible (and still falls short given how powerful sharpshooter is). Mystics don't have any of those. Soldier 1/Mystic X only gets a small taste of that. So not super thread relevant.

The Exchange

@Baggageboy: Unless I've missed something it's only level +2 in major settlements. Which is relivent as that one level difference is what would potentially place the Editor outside reach without GM approval.

@DanceswithMemes: This is where your and your party's play style will have an impact. If you're looking for personal big damage then you'll probably find an unwieldy weapon very tempting. They often hit nearly twice as hard as more flexible weapons. In the case of those full attacks where the other items would outpace you they have that -4 to hit which may make a big difference. And as mentioned you're unlikely to get a lot of full attacks unless you're landing and then moving again all the time.

On the other hand threatening, particularly as large an area as you were thinking is a huge difference for your party. A melee weapon, particularly with step up or step up and strike can remove a lot of damage from your party by preventing extra attacks as the enemy now much use its move to back away instead of full attack, or give you a free hit, so an extra 50%+ damage. Add in the extra +1 you grant your friends from coordinated shot or the simple +2 you grant that solarion as flank(easy to get with flight and reach)and all of a sudden you've increased your party's damage by 5-10% across the board.

You might consider the phirenic adept archtype, soldier is the only class that can do it without paying a huge price in individuality. I don't really like it, and normally wouldn't suggest it but given your concept it's a possibility instead of multi classing. Another option might be to take the priest theme and then pure soldier of your flavor(guard is a nice party boosting flavor if you can snag the dex.) and add the spellthrower fusion to your weapons. Make a single large spell gem with layered healing and battle spells, and if you need them land next to your ally one turn and pray over them and the gun for your "spell" the next. Cost money and slows your casting down but again no need to multi class and you don't have to split your stats so heavily.

Swoosh: Even if you'd like to discount the high damage a melee user can get to fairly easily, which I wouldn't generally advise. The real benefit to melee is the control of the battlefield it grants you, at least to my mind. A melee user gets to threaten, thus controlling which enemies can attack freely, provide others bonuses to hit, or alternately stand in the way and give a vulnerable ally soft cover, they can chase problematic enemy's out of cover and give a reason why foes can't just lie down and shoot you from afar. They get to do that while having with limited investment some of the highest damage in the game. Melee is a party benefit choice just as much as Envoy is. They pay for it by being more tempting targets, attracting more fire with generally less cover.

The Exchange

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
swoosh wrote:


Also worth noting that you're talking about soldiers. A class that has a whole bevy of features specifically designed to make melee combat slightly less terrible (and still falls short given how powerful sharpshooter is). Mystics don't have any of those. Soldier 1/Mystic X only gets a small taste of that. So not super thread relevant.

An 8th level Vesk with IUS, 20 strenght and a soldier melee striker gear boost does 2d6+19 average of 26, damage per unarmed strike at the cost of zero credits, an 8th level light machine gun does 2d10+8 for an average of 19 for 8,600 credits. At 8,600 credits you are just short of a haste circuit for your armor which pretty much eliminates the need to worry about closing distance.


@ Darkling I'm glad you caught my mistake, you are correct. I think I got it mixed up because at level 1 you could in theory have level 3 gear and that's where I got the 3 from. That said I think most GMs would be willing to let a person use the mnemonic editor at level 2. Though I think the level 5 item level was probably put in simply to disallow exactly what I am advocating doing in changing your first level choices :/


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think the discounting of melee on starfinder is an easy trap to fall into. My group certainly did. That was until we realized just how irritating simple melee mooks were becoming.

There are 3 different routes for most melee character to choose from. Max possible damage, maximum minimum amount of damage, and control.

For maximum possible damage it's grab the highest damage possible weapon you can full attack with and go to town. The math's been done and you are almost always better off full attacking if you can.

The second route is an unwieldy weapon. These maximize you damage floor. You will hit really hard consistently and you will generally be able to get your damage. You don't have to rely on getting a full attack or OoA.

Control means going for a reach weapon. You can full attack when it is convenient, and you get more OoAs. Also you can more easily flank or provide the coordinated shot bonus. Also if you feel like it and have the feats to burn you can gram a tacklash and do disarm and trip when it makes sense to.

Any of these three methods are valid choices, and some can be mixed. For a less than full BAB I would suggest one of the latter two though.


Another thing to consider as a melee flyer with reach.. you're flying. So, fly 10 feet UP (when you can) and attack down. You won't have to contend with melee damage at all unless your opponent also has range (you'll get att of opportunity if they attack with a ranged weapon while in your melee threat range) or they also have reach.


A divine champion (priest theme) technomancer with a level of soldier blitz is really nice or mechanic. Might get you want. As for melee i wouldn't give it a try just use a nice rifle.

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Advice / "Battle Chaplain" Mystic All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Advice