Class Preview: The Envoy

Friday, May 5, 2017

Illustration by Miroslav Petrov

When the Starfinder Core Rulebook is released in August, some of the things players are sure to look at first are the classes—envoy, mechanic, mystic, operative, solarian, soldier, and technomancer. Along with the core races and character themes, these classes are a major part of defining a Starfinder player character.

Of course, we don't want to make people wait until August to learn anything about all the fun things we have crammed into our new game, so we're going to be doing a series of class previews over the coming weeks, starting with the envoy. So, let's take a quick look at what the book has to say about the envoy.

You make your way in the universe with a charming smile, quick wit, and keen sense of self-preservation, and excel at getting others to do what you want. You might be a trickster, hustler, or con artist, or you might serve as an actor, ambassador, or businessperson, paving the way for negotiation through kind words or the occasional dirty trick. You are often the group's strategist, using your quick wit and tactical acumen to push your friends to greater heights. You may also be skilled in diplomacy, serving as the face for a starship crew, talking your way into restricted systems or gaining audiences with local politicians or warlords.

As that description suggests, envoys are good at social skills. Whether they're using those skills to make friends, fool victims, or threaten foes, envoys often use their wits and charm to get the job done. (And when that doesn't work, well, there's always your laser pistol.) Some of that ability to affect others is modeled by their 8 skill points per level and 16 class skills, which allow them to pick up a lot of social skills while still being able to put ranks into skills such as Acrobatics, Computers, and Stealth, as appropriate for your character concept. The class couples that with an average base attack bonus, poor Fortitude saves, good Reflex and Will saves, light armor, and proficiency (and eventually specialization) with basic melee weapons, grenades, and small arms.

Envoys gain the expertise and skill expertise class features at 1st level. Expertise grants the envoy a 1d6 expertise die that she can add to Sense Motive skill checks as an insight bonus, and skill expertise extends that bonus to one other skill. As the envoy gains levels, she expands the number of skills she can apply her expertise die to and gains expertise talents, which give her additional options for those skills. These can extend the effects of a skill check, allow her to perform acts the skill doesn't normally grant, or alter how long it takes her to use a talent.

Each envoy also gets to select a number of envoy improvisations over the course of her career, beginning at 1st level. These allow the envoy to more directly hinder her foes and aid her allies. Many improvisations are sense-dependent, and some are also language-dependent or mind-affecting. Clever use of envoy improvisations can turn the tide of battle, as the envoy can bolster allies actions and defenses, warn them of impending dangers, and—with higher-level options—even give them additional actions in a turn. Here's an example of a 1st-level envoy improvisation.

Clever Feint (EX) [sense-dependent]

As a standard action, you can fake out an enemy within 60 feet, making that enemy open to your attacks. Attempt a Bluff check with the same DC as a check to feint against that enemy (though this isn';t a standard check to feint, so Improved Feint and Greater Feint don't apply). Even if you fail, that enemy is flat-footed against your attacks until the end of your next turn. If you succeed, the enemy is also flat-footed against your allies' attacks until the end of your next turn. You can't use clever feint against a creature that lacks an Intelligence score.

At 6th level, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to treat a failed Bluff check for clever feint as if it were a success.

We'll present more information on the other six classes in the coming weeks, and of course, you can read the full classes this August when the Starfinder Core Rulebook releases at Gen Con!

Owen K.C. Stephens
Developer

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Tags: Envoys Miroslav Petrov Starfinder
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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I do wonder how this post compares with one of the newer ones. I couldn't see a reply there on the topic because it discussed a handful of the rule changes.

You list an ability here to Feint that is very much like the Pathfinder combat and then reference feats like Greater Feint. How does that compare with the newer blog post that states that Flat-footed and Touch AC will no longer be relevant for Starfinder?


Tsumi Woodside wrote:

I do wonder how this post compares with one of the newer ones. I couldn't see a reply there on the topic because it discussed a handful of the rule changes.

You list an ability here to Feint that is very much like the Pathfinder combat and then reference feats like Greater Feint. How does that compare with the newer blog post that states that Flat-footed and Touch AC will no longer be relevant for Starfinder?

They have clarified that flat footed is a condition now with a static penalty. It is a -2 i think. Think of it in terms of nauseated or shaken instead of a complete formula for you to track.

Scarab Sages Developer, Starfinder Team

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Torbyne wrote:
They have clarified that flat footed is a condition now with a static penalty. It is a -2 i think. Think of it in terms of nauseated or shaken instead of a complete formula for you to track.

Correct. You don't have to track your flat-footed AC as it's own number, because being flat-footed is just a condition that applies a flat AC penalty that's the same for everyone, rather than removing a variable value (your Dex bonus) as in Pathfinder.


I like it, now if you have exceptional reflexes they still get you some benefit even if caught off guard.

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