Envoy and Solarian Fixes


Homebrew

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Not really.


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Not really.

Why not?


Well you start off outright calling the Solar Armaments "useless" for one thing, so you've already dismissed a core part of the class.


Colette Brunel wrote:

• Solarian Problem #1:

• Solarian Problem #2:

• Solarian Problem #3:

• Solarian Problem #4:

• Solarian Problem #5:

Is this assessment accurate?

1) I have barely looked at Solar Armor because I want a light saber. A lvl 1 character fighting lvl 1 enemies is fine with light armor.

2) 1d6 is not pathetic when you look at all other weapons at the same lvl. You get to add you Str plus if in Pho Mode that's a plus 1. Even a Str of 15 is giving you a minimum of 4 damage. If I was your DM I would punish a character who walked around with a tactical pike. It's impractical for ONLY 1d8.

At lvl 4 you get access to Solarian Crystals which make the class dominate.

3) Not if you Roll for abilities. Not a big fan of the point buys. Or you could even switch to have str 16 cha 16. Starting at level one you Don't really need an 18 stat in my opinion when at lvl4 you can make them both 18.

4) I think they are fine. I can't wait to Supernova a group of enemies. You are considering that starting at lvl 1 you are going to be fighting lvl 10 enemies with high saving throws. If your DM does it right you should be frying enemies every 3 rounds.

5) I wish instead of a reflex save you got a +1 for being in Grav Mode. It would then equal the +1 to damage you get for Pho Mode. I have said before I think the limited amount of powers is an issue. I think instead of 10 you should get more and get the ultimates at 16 automatically. If you count those it is 13 powers you don't get access too. Something I have been bouncing off friends is if you get access to more powers you will only be able to use them if you are in a certain mode. If I am using Dark Matter because in Grav mode I can't use a Pho power until I switch modes. Balancing ideas if you are arguing with your DM about why you can't homebrew the class.

Side note, at lvl 2 I am picking up Dark

After a lot of reading and discussing I am still stuck on the powers thing and Wish Grav gave you a +1 to AC instead of a reflex save.


I'm going to throw my voices in with the crowd saying it's too early. We have what two or three actual reports on playing these classes, two of which said the Solarion worked fine and provided well for the team. Meanwhile the negative comments appear to all be theoretical and basing off playing like Pathfinder. The book isn't even on shelves yet. Let's slow the roll and actually try stuff before screaming the sky is falling. There's a reason we aren't putting together guides yet for how to play each class: we need time to actually test stuff.


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Well you start off outright calling the Solar Armaments "useless" for one thing, so you've already dismissed a core part of the class.

I took Colette's whole point here to be that these features merit dismissal, and that when a "core part of the class" merits dismissal, it's a problem. And they gave very clear reasons for this: (1) Solar Armor is incompatible with heavy armor, yet the solarian needs heavy armor in order to have the AC required for melee while retaining the Str and Cha required for using their class abilities effectively; (2) Solar Weapon is often not worth using, since at many levels there will be cheaper and stronger alternatives available in the form of regular melee weapons.

Is (1) or (2) false? If not, are there advantages to these abilities everyone is missing? In either case, why?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Ludovicus wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Well you start off outright calling the Solar Armaments "useless" for one thing, so you've already dismissed a core part of the class.

I took Colette's whole point here to be that these features merit dismissal, and that when a "core part of the class" merits dismissal, it's a problem. And they gave very clear reasons for this: (1) Solar Armor is incompatible with heavy armor, yet the solarian needs heavy armor in order to have the AC required for melee while retaining the Str and Cha required for using their class abilities effectively; (2) Solar Weapon is often not worth using, since at many levels there will be cheaper and stronger alternatives available in the form of regular melee weapons.

Is (1) or (2) false? If not, are there advantages to these abilities everyone is missing? In either case, why?

1. Dex melee is a thing. So is being ranged primary with strong melee secondary. Light armor is fine.

2. Weapon stays only a little behind maximum with little investment. Save your money for utility.


Ludovicus wrote:

the solarian needs heavy armor in order to have the AC required for melee while retaining the Str and Cha required for using their class abilities effectively;

Is (1) or (2) false? If not, are there advantages to these abilities everyone is missing? In either case, why?

I think part of the issue looking at the Solarian is that stat imbalance seems to still be very much a thing in Starfinder.

Dex gives: AC, Reflex, Init, Attack (With ranged/some melee), a lot of skills.
Str gives: Melee Attack, One Skill
Cha gives: A few skills. Nothing else.

As a Str/Cha class, it gets a lot of innate holes in it's defences due to it's two main stats being rather limited in function outside what the class gives them. The Pathfinder Paladin gets around this by having +Cha to saves/+Cha to attack (When smiting), thus giving charisma a lot more value to it.

I REALLY wish the innate value of stats had been something they'd tinkered with for Starfinder. Like say, putting KAC and EAC not both be based off dex but instead two different stats. Or trying in some of the new mechanics they were working on to Cha. Or trying to get the number of skills per stat a bit more even.


KingOfAnything wrote:
1. Dex melee is a thing. So is being ranged primary with strong melee secondary. Light armor is fine.

That's a bit overstating it. Dex melee is miles behind strength melee as, for some reason, there is no Advanced Melee weapons with the operative keyword, so you are stuck with Basic Melee. 14d8+Level+Strength (83+Strength on average) vs 8d6+1/2 level + No Strength (38 on average) is a massive gap.

That and there isn't any way to GIVE the Operative keyword to your Solar Weapon.


Ikiry0 wrote:


Dex gives: AC, Reflex, Init, Attack (With ranged/some melee), a lot of skills.
Str gives: Melee Attack, One Skill
Cha gives: A few skills. Nothing else.

What page does it say you can use Dex for Melee? I can't find the page.


JetSetRadio wrote:
Ikiry0 wrote:


Dex gives: AC, Reflex, Init, Attack (With ranged/some melee), a lot of skills.
Str gives: Melee Attack, One Skill
Cha gives: A few skills. Nothing else.
What page does it say you can use Dex for Melee? I can't find the page.

Operative Keyword. 181.


Ikiry0 wrote:
JetSetRadio wrote:
Ikiry0 wrote:


Dex gives: AC, Reflex, Init, Attack (With ranged/some melee), a lot of skills.
Str gives: Melee Attack, One Skill
Cha gives: A few skills. Nothing else.
What page does it say you can use Dex for Melee? I can't find the page.
Operative Keyword. 181.

Oh, I thought you guys meant for he Solarian.


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JetSetRadio wrote:
1) I have barely looked at Solar Armor because I want a light saber. A lvl 1 character fighting lvl 1 enemies is fine with light armor.

Colette gave reasons for thinking solar armor is useless. Saying that a "lvl 1 character fighting lvl 1 enemies is fine with light armor" isn't giving a reason to think otherwise. it's at best giving a reason to think that if solar armor is useless, a 1st level character can get by anyway. So what?

JetSetRadio wrote:
2) 1d6 is not pathetic when you look at all other weapons at the same lvl. You get to add you Str plus if in Pho Mode that's a plus 1. Even a Str of 15 is giving you a minimum of 4 damage. If I was your DM I would punish a character who walked around with a tactical pike. It's impractical for ONLY 1d8.

What about a longsword? That's also better than solar weapon at 1st level, though it lacks reach. Would you punish a character for using that, too?

JetSetRadio wrote:
At lvl 4 you get access to Solarian Crystals which make the class dominate.

... until 9th level. That was the whole point of Colette's analysis. Is that not a problem?

JetSetRadio wrote:
3) Not if you Roll for abilities. Not a big fan of the point buys.

Well, point buys are part of the official rules, and Starfinder is explicitly balanced on the assumption that they're used. It's fine if you're not a fan, but when most of us are interested whether a class is designed well, we're interested in how it works on the official rules, not your preferred house rules.

JetSetRadio wrote:
Or you could even switch to have str 16 cha 16. Starting at level one you Don't really need an 18 stat in my opinion when at lvl4 you can make them both 18.

That's a transparently bad investment before 5th level and after 10th. In any case it misses the point Colette was making. Colette's point was that solarians are hosed by their reliance on Cha: they have fewer resolve points and worse Reflex saves and initiative than a melee soldier, who gets resolve points from Str and can afford to raise Dex. Giving a 16 to both Str and Cha would still leave them with fewer resolve points and worse Reflex saves and initiative, and also give them a worse attack.

JetSetRadio wrote:
4) I think they are fine. I can't wait to Supernova a group of enemies. You are considering that starting at lvl 1 you are going to be fighting lvl 10 enemies with high saving throws. If your DM does it right you should be frying enemies every 3 rounds.

afaict, by "if your DM does it right" you are saying that your DM should go out of their way to artificially create situations where Supernova is effective. This may bespeak of a good DM, but it does not bespeak of a well-designed ability.


JetSetRadio wrote:
Oh, I thought you guys meant for he Solarian.

Nah, Dex-Melee would be a serious jump for Solarians as Saves are a very weak area for them by default (Due to Str/Cha helping no saves)


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'd say the biggest problem with the Solarian is that it lacks good options, which I think will be resolved in a year when we have more content to work with. Obviously Solarians can't keep up with Soliders, because soldiers are built exclusively to give and receive the biggest baddest hits, but I don't think they fall behind that badly. You're not gonna be completely overshadowed by a Soldier in higher level combat but you're not gonna be able to completely keep up either because you have other things you can do, and I think as more options are released the class will become more valuable whereas Soldiers are more limited in what utility they have.


Ludovicus wrote:


JetSetRadio wrote:
2) 1d6 is not pathetic when you look at all other weapons at the same lvl. You get to add you Str plus if in Pho Mode that's a plus 1. Even a Str of 15 is giving you a minimum of 4 damage. If I was your DM I would punish a character who walked around with a tactical pike. It's impractical for ONLY 1d8.

What about a longsword? That's also better than solar weapon at 1st level, though it lacks reach. Would you punish a character for using that, too?

JetSetRadio wrote:
At lvl 4 you get access to Solarian Crystals which make the class dominate.
... until 9th level.

No, level 4. Page 180


JetSetRadio wrote:
Ludovicus wrote:


JetSetRadio wrote:
At lvl 4 you get access to Solarian Crystals which make the class dominate.
... until 9th level.

No, level 4. Page 180

Yeah, I'm looking there. I know they get access to weapon crystals at 4th level, which does let solar weapon do more damage than regular weapons for a while. But what Colette was saying in the original post is that starting at 9th level (and, I'd add, for the rest of the life of the character), this is no longer true.

Think through it again. At 9th through 11th levels, solarians have the following melee options.

  • A minor w-boson crystal for 9,800 credits, at 4d6 damage (avg. 14).
  • An ultrathin curve blade for 18,100 credits, at 3d10 damage (avg. 16.5).
  • A lesser w-boson crystal for 26,200 credits, at 5d6 damage (avg. 17.5).
  • An ultrathin longsword for 26,300 credits, at 4d8 damage (avg. 18).
  • (At 11th level only): a wrack devastation blade for 43,900 credits, at 5d8 damage (avg. 22.5) or a grindblade for 45,700 credits, at 4d10 damage (avg. 22).

(I leave out the bleed critical effect on some of these weapons; it's worth about half a point of average weapon damage.)

All solar weapon does for you here is give you a good budget option: if you stick with the cheap crystal, you'd save a bunch of money without falling too far behind the damage curve, though you'll be doing noticeably less damage than the other options. This is not an unreasonable choice at 9th level, but after that you should really upgrade. Once you do, the option to use solar weapon does literally nothing for you. The curve blade gets you good bang for your buck; the longsword and the lesser crystal are virtually identical in both price and damage. And at 11th level, you can buy a premium option that does more damage than you could do with solar weapon period if you're willing to stretch the budget a little.

It actually gets worse for solar weapon after 11th level, when using solar weapon is often worse, and never better, than a mundane weapon you could be using at the same level and price as the crystal.


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Ludovicus wrote:

I took Colette's whole point here to be that these features merit dismissal, and that when a "core part of the class" merits dismissal, it's a problem. And they gave very clear reasons for this: (1) Solar Armor is incompatible with heavy armor, yet the solarian needs heavy armor in order to have the AC required for melee while retaining the Str and Cha required for using their class abilities effectively; (2) Solar Weapon is often not worth using, since at many levels there will be cheaper and stronger alternatives available in the form of regular melee weapons.

Is (1) or (2) false? If not, are there advantages to these abilities everyone is missing? In either case, why?

1 is false.

A Solarian does not need heavy Armor in order to have the AC required for melee while retaining Str and Cha.

Solar armor is there to make up the difference in the fact that the class is not Dex based, but is also melee, and thus wants the maximum movement light armor provides.

Comparing Light vs Heavy Armor on a Solarian, using level 1,5,10,15 and 20 equipment. Assuming a 10 starting Dex, and increasing it at each level up yields:
1st level: 12/13 vs 12/14
5th level: 17/18 vs 19/21
10th level: 27/29 vs 27/30 (+2 Dex personal enhancement)
15th level: 34/35 vs 35/36
20th level: 40/40 vs 41/42 (+4 Dex personal enhancement)

Worst case is 3 AC difference in the 5-9 level range. Otherwise its only 0 to 2 points of AC. A starting 12 Dex drops the worst difference to 2 AC, and in the mid to high levels is +1, 0 or -1. A starting 14 Dex (14/14/14/11/10/10 build) is basically the same or better than heavy armor. At the cost of +2 to hit, damage, and save DCs at levels 1-4, and only +1 from level 5 onwards. Not to mention it makes their ranged options just as good as their melee.

I'd like to see the math that shows a 1 or 2 point drop in AC makes the Solarian unplayable in melee.

In exchange, you're generally faster and save a feat. And everyone keeps discounting the fact it has free fire or cold resistance. 5/10/15/20 fire resistance is huge against laser weapons or fire weapons.

2 is false.

The solar weapon is worth using, as other options are not that significantly better, and it comes with impossible to duplicate benefits.

It is not "the best" weapon at all levels in terms of damage, but you don't need the best weapon to be similarly effective. In many situations, you're going to need the exact same number of hits to drop an opponent with either the "best" weapon or the solar weapon. If it was something like half as much damage or two-thirds, then there would be an issue, but we're typically talking differences of +/- 10%. Which means 10% of the time, the lower damage will matter, and the rest of the time it won't. The variation in the dice themselves is going to have a bigger impact on any individual combat generally, especially at high levels.

So in exchange for not always being the best (although sometimes it is the best) you get the benefits of 1-handed, not digital, doesn't need a battery, can't be disarmed, can't be sundered, can't be taken away, adjustable critical effect. While these benefits are not useful in all situations, these are useful in some situations. For example, 1-handed means you can use a Phase Shield without buying an extra arm in the mid-levels. Or actually get a potion out and drink it with your weapon at the ready. Remember, shifting your grip on a two-handed weapon is a swift action.

In addition, I will point out that no character is going to be using "the best" weapon at all levels anyways because it will destroy your wealth by level savings, if your GM is using wealth per xp guidelines. If you buy a new weapon every level, you will be far behind on the WBL curve. Especially if you are buying at level+1 or level+2. In general, you'll be selling equipment when its 2 to 4 levels out of date in order to stay on the expected WBL curve.

In summary, an option doesn't need to be the absolute best in terms of damage (dealing or receiving). If its close enough, and provides other not as direct benefits, its fine. Otherwise, why play anything but the most damaging class with the most damaging weapon?

Again, I suggest people play a little and see how things actually work out in real encounters. There may be issues, but I feel its harder to see them when approaching from the Pathfinder theory crafting point of view.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Let's remember that a lot of "weak" Pathfinder classes early on got feats or archetypes which made them significantly better than they were initially. True if you subscribe to the tiers system, created for Pathfinder, a lot of classes never made it out of tier 5.
That being said, several archetypes pushed certain classes to tier 4 or 3.

So while the initial builds for Solarians and Envoys may be "weak" or "limited." It's a sure bet that other gaming companies as well as Paizo themselves will be introducing new archetypes to beef up, or drastically change the way these classes are played.

Add to this the complexity that Races and Themes add to each class, and its not rocket science to figure out that Optimized builds and playguides will be soon be posting on the internet.

One thing that Starfinder seems to push even more than Pathfinder is the focus on teamwork and everyone having an individual role to play. This is especially notable in the Starship Combat rules where everyone in the group can theoretically chip in to help the group as a whole, even if they aren't directly affecting the combat with damage output.

Grand Lodge

Don't forget that stats are no longer nearly as important for damage. With no two handed weapon, and with weapon damage dice scaling rapidly, and weapon specialization the difference between Str 14 and Str 18 is vanishingly small. And by 10th level, you are really looking at the difference between STR 18 and Str 20.


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Ludovicus wrote:


  • A minor w-boson crystal for 9,800 credits, at 4d6 damage (avg. 14).
  • An ultrathin curve blade for 18,100 credits, at 3d10 damage (avg. 16.5).
  • A lesser w-boson crystal for 26,200 credits, at 5d6 damage (avg. 17.5).
  • An ultrathin longsword for 26,300 credits, at 4d8 damage (avg. 18).
  • (At 11th level only): a wrack devastation blade for 43,900 credits, at 5d8 damage (avg. 22.5) or a grindblade for 45,700 credits, at 4d10 damage (avg. 22).

(I leave out the bleed critical effect on some of these weapons; it's worth about half a point of average weapon damage.)

ultrathin curve blade is a two handed weapon. A little unfair to compare that but you forgot something... Where is the bonus for being in Photon Mode? That plus 2 makes it beat out the weapons you just pointed out. Some of those numbers are a little off.

I get it though, You haven't played yet but you really think it should be changed.


Hiruma Kai wrote:
1 is false.

Nice analysis; thanks for this. I do have some quibbles, though.

I think you might inadvertently be cherry-picking levels. Let's look at 3rd level, for instance: you can get 13/14 with light armor or 15/18 heavy. Or, at 11th level: 26/28 and and 29/31, plus if you go heavy at that level you can use your second personal enhancement for Cha.

In general, though, it's certainly true that solarians can have excellent AC in light armor if they're willing to sacrifice Cha, and in fact I think Str 18/Dex 14/Cha 10 is probably the best solarian build on paper from 5th level onward, once you can take Extra Resolve. But spending your first five levels with so few RP would have to be super painful. (Being a lashunta and starting with 12 Cha would mitigate this somewhat, but still.) I'm not sure I agree with you about starting with 14 Strength, though: unless you make Cha your second-best stat, you'll need all the Str you can get for melee.

Hiruma Kai wrote:
2 is false.

You convinced me about the WBL curve stuff, when you replied to an earlier post of mine. At the end of the day, I think solar weapon probably amounts to giving up a bit of damage in ideal situations in exchange for getting a bit of damage in non-ideal situations, plus the security of disarm and sunder immunity. But there will still be cases where the solarian should just ignore the fact that they have solar weapon, which still annoys me. But I guess it's not that big a deal all things considered.

Hiruma Kai wrote:
For example, 1-handed means you can use a Phase Shield without buying an extra arm in the mid-levels.

Only if you take Heavy Armor Proficiency, though! (Just saying')

JetSetRadio wrote:
ultrathin curve blade is a two handed weapon. A little unfair to compare that but you forgot something... Where is the bonus for being in Photon Mode? That plus 2 makes it beat out the weapons you just pointed out.

Whether a weapon is one- or two-handed doesn't matter much in Starfinder, since two-weapon fighting doesn't matter for non-operatives and the only shield is a mid-level armor upgrade you have to spend a move action every encounter to activate. You don't need a solar weapon to get the photon mode damage bonus, so it doesn't matter.

FLite wrote:
Don't forget that stats are no longer nearly as important for damage.

Sure they are. Accuracy is very important for damage, and stats are very important for accuracy.


@Colette and @Ludovicus have repeated my concerns.

I have started my campaign with the following changes:

1. Operatives don't get an insight bonus to all skills.

2. Envoys get a new feature "Regalia – Proficiency (and later specialization) in all unwieldy weapons".

3. Solarians gain both the weapon and the armor (but no resistances). Solarians don't get bonuses for full attunement. They gain Plasma Sheathe as a Phase-neutral ability. They get to choose between Void and Suns. Void deals cold damage with Plasma Sheathe, grants them cold resistance at 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th level, and +Reflex. Suns deals fire damage, grants fire resistance, and +Fort.

FLite wrote:
Don't forget that stats are no longer nearly as important for damage. With no two handed weapon, and with weapon damage dice scaling rapidly, and weapon specialization the difference between Str 14 and Str 18 is vanishingly small. And by 10th level, you are really looking at the difference between STR 18 and Str 20.

But attack bonuses are rare. Keep that in mind.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
FLite wrote:
Don't forget that stats are no longer nearly as important for damage. With no two handed weapon, and with weapon damage dice scaling rapidly, and weapon specialization the difference between Str 14 and Str 18 is vanishingly small. And by 10th level, you are really looking at the difference between STR 18 and Str 20.

Something to keep in mind: In addition to a +1 or +2 on an ability score of your choice at levels 5, 10, 15, 20. The game also allows for personal upgrades.

Assuming your GM isn't a meanie face and doesn't allow you access to these, you can pay for Personal Upgrades at level 3, 7, and 14. You can Min/Max scores across 3 attributes to look like: 24, 20, 19 10, 10, 10 (this assumes a focused build with negative attributes brought up to a 10). These numbers represent a peak 20th level character's maximized stats.

You could vary up your stats a lot more, but most players are keenly aware that MAD builds are rough to balance in the first place. But for arguments sake, lets say you want to balance your stats more or less evenly.

Level 1,You start with 10 in all stats. Then add race, every race is +2 in two stats and -2 in one (or the few races who get +2 in two stats and no minus) so now its: 12 12 10 10 10 8. Then you get to add your theme so thats another +1: 12 12 11 10 10 8.

Level 3 hopefully you have enough creds to buy your Mk. 1 upgrade and instead of min/max you want to stay with as evenly distributed points as possible: 12 12 12 11 10 8.

Level 5 you get your first ability score increase. Since all your stats are below 17 you get a +2 anywhere you like: 12 12 12 12 11 8.

Level 7, been saving creds? Now you decide to raise your worst score so it won't drag you down anymore. 12 12 12 12 12 11.

Level 10, still going for the lowest score first: 13 12 12 12 12 12. You now have a +1 across all ability scores.

Level 14, got credits? Its your last major stat upgrade: 18 13 12 12 12 12.

Level 15, staying with even distribution: 18 14 13 12 12 12.

Level 20, its your last ability score add on and its leaving you with a slightly above average character: 18 14 14 13 12 12. You'll have a bonus in every stat mod, and even a few top grade ability scores for your class, but you might have done better to min/max earlier for superior bonuses. It's best to plan your stat builds ahead of time for this reason, and multiclassing will be pretty picky depending on what stats your classes favor.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

John Picot wrote:
FLite wrote:
Don't forget that stats are no longer nearly as important for damage. With no two handed weapon, and with weapon damage dice scaling rapidly, and weapon specialization the difference between Str 14 and Str 18 is vanishingly small. And by 10th level, you are really looking at the difference between STR 18 and Str 20.

Something to keep in mind: In addition to a +1 or +2 on an ability score of your choice at levels 5, 10, 15, 20. The game also allows for personal upgrades.

...

Level 3 hopefully you have enough creds to buy your Mk. 1 upgrade and instead of min/max you want to stay with as evenly distributed points as possible: 12 12 12 11 10 8.

Level 5 you get your first ability score increase. Since all your stats are below 17 you get a +2 anywhere you like: 12 12 12 12 11 8.

You get bonuses to four abilities at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th.

"Each time you reach one of these level thresholds, choose four of your ability scores to increase."

So from 4th to 5th, your stats go from

12 12 12 11 10 8

to

14 13 12 12 12 10

(assuming you're boosting your lowest scores, for some reason)


Its true attack bonuses are rare, which is why having some extra Dex is handy for backup ranged attacks on a Solarian.

I'll point out maximum achievable stat is 18 + 4 from level ups + 6 personal upgrade = 28.

Maximum achievable for a stat that started at 14 is 14 + 6 from level ups + 6 personal upgrade = 26. A 1 point modifier difference. I will point out this is also sufficient to max out light armor AC at level 20 if its your Dex.

One of the suggested book arrays is 14/14/14/11/10/10 stat array. I really think people should at least give such an array a try once on a character (doesn't need to be a Solarian).

For example, a Solar Armor Solarian might have 14 Str/14 Dex/14 Cha. Requires a race that can get +2 to at least Str, Dex, or Cha, without any penalties to those 3. So Human, Kathas, Lashunta, and Vesk. That's 3 initial resolve points (presumably good enough for healing between the 3-4 typical combats a day at 1st). Your AC is the same as heavy armor with 10 Dex (15 KAC vs 15 KAC at 1st) but you have 30' move instead of 20' (50% more movement!). You are +4 to hit with weapon focus (which you can take because you didn't go heavy armor), as opposed to +5 on an 18 Str who took the heavy armor feat. You deal 2 points less damage per hit in melee. Your ranged attacks are +3 to hit instead of +1, and your reflex save is 2 points higher.

By 5th level, you have 5 Resolve points, compared to an absolute maximum of 6 any other array could have. Your AC is still as good as heavy (20 KAC vs 21 KAC), with a 30' instead of 25' move plus 5 points of Fire or Cold resistance. You have +9 to hit instead of +9 (unless the other build decides to be a feat down and get weapon focus at which point its +10). You deal 1 point less damage per hit in melee. Your ranged attacks are +8 to hit instead of +6 and your reflex save is 2 points higher.

I feel Solar armor is helping this build. It is not a game changing boost, but it is like one of the Soldier's abilities that adds 1 AC. Its kinda worth 2 feats. This particular build trades optimization of the Solarian strength (i.e. melee combat) in exchange for shoring up some of its weaknesses (increased speed to help get to melee range when not starting at point blank, having a better ranged option as a backup when that is not possible, better reflex saving throws, better AC and energy resistance). It is not winning the DPR olympics, but in real play does better in sub-optimal circumstances.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Benchak the Nightstalker wrote:
John Picot wrote:
FLite wrote:
Don't forget that stats are no longer nearly as important for damage. With no two handed weapon, and with weapon damage dice scaling rapidly, and weapon specialization the difference between Str 14 and Str 18 is vanishingly small. And by 10th level, you are really looking at the difference between STR 18 and Str 20.

Something to keep in mind: In addition to a +1 or +2 on an ability score of your choice at levels 5, 10, 15, 20. The game also allows for personal upgrades.

...

Level 3 hopefully you have enough creds to buy your Mk. 1 upgrade and instead of min/max you want to stay with as evenly distributed points as possible: 12 12 12 11 10 8.

Level 5 you get your first ability score increase. Since all your stats are below 17 you get a +2 anywhere you like: 12 12 12 12 11 8.

You get bonuses to four abilities at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th.

"Each time you reach one of these level thresholds, choose four of your ability scores to increase."

So from 4th to 5th, your stats go from

12 12 12 11 10 8

to

14 13 12 12 12 10

(assuming you're boosting your lowest scores, for some reason)

Holy cow! You're right! I didn't notice the four ability scores!I just thought it was the same as Pathfinder increase!

But if that's the case,then it would seem to mean that ability scores have less impact on the game than they did in Pathfinder.

Now I have to redo the math and figure out how it impacts the game.


Actually they matter more, because there are fewer bonuses from other sources flying around.

With limited modifiers, making poor decisions with your starting attributes will haunt your character forever.

The PF cleric and various divine hybrids can magic their way into competitive combat bonuses, even without a high starting strength (and gets christmas tree bonuses on top). A Starfinder character simply can't do that.

Sczarni

Colette Brunel wrote:
I would like to identify a few problems with the solarian.

I like all of this. The Solarin is a weird class for me, like the monks of Pathfinder. As an average player looking over this class, I can't decide if it wants me to do melee or not. I settled for hoping there's a shotgun weapon in the game and taking a feat for it if I have to. This creates a short-ranged shooter that can maybe utilize some of the class abilities. Maybe.

I still believe the Black Hole ability is for grenade tosses. Not your grenade, of course, but others. Pick up a grenade that does fire damage and suddenly your resistance to fire makes more sense...


It seems to me that the solarian has the problem of not being the best at anything. Most classes have some impressive power at least in limited circunstances.
Extra power choices would be good, but what I think the class is really lacking is something that makes it great against some kind of specific challenge (like smite evil does for the paladin).
One idea is to make the solarian able to target EAC from the first level, another is to use charisma for more stuff, like extra AC resistances or damage.


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The Solarion has the problem of everyone playing with their math and theory crafting, but no one actually showing how they stood up in actual play. :-)

At least from what i've seen.


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captain yesterday wrote:

The Solarion has the problem of everyone playing with their math and theory crafting, but no one actually showing how they stood up in actual play. :-)

At least from what i've seen.

Math is a very valid way to analyse a class.


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Absolutely! But you're not including all of the variables.


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Math is a good way to objectively analyse a class, but there needs to be a reasonable amount of play to identify scenarios which the math might not reflect on its own. But if a class is just useless the math can reflect that so it's definitely useful.


captain yesterday wrote:
Absolutely! But you're not including all of the variables.

Such as?


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Players, environment, other players, what you're fighting, where you're fighting them, bystanders, dice, players, other players, etc.


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You mentioned other players several times- you realize those affect playtests in both directions, right? Relying on that to get a feel for the class is going to get you very skewed anecdotes that aren't very helpful.

Not sure why bystanders would be involved at all.


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Space stations have people.


captain yesterday wrote:
Space stations have people.

Good for space stations?

Not sure what that has to do with class analysis.


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Just a variable I threw out there.

If that's the one you want to focus on have at it. :-)


Yes. You certainly threw it out there. You still haven't explained how any of the things you 'threw out there' interact with class analysis in any fashion.


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I'm pretty sure I did.

Sovereign Court

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A lot of 'class analysis' comes with questionable unstated assumptions.


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I know my players pick abilities, feats, equipment, and decisions in the heat of battle I wouldn't think of or consider.

I for one welcome my chance to play a Solarion this weekend. :-)


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Voss wrote:
Not sure why bystanders would be involved at all.

With the math we've been doing, I feel we've basically been assuming everyone is fighting solo on a vast flat empty plain at point blank range. Scenarios and adventures have more interesting situations than what our typical math calculations include. Simply because its impossible to account for all situations and their likelihood of occurrence.

For example, your question about why bystanders might matter:

If you are chasing someone, and they dive into a group of civilians, you're not going to want to hit the neutral bystanders with a Supernova. Your GM may rule you can't used ranged attack without fear of hitting some innocent bystander as well. At which point, Black Hole might useful for moving a crowd of people out of the way of your allies without harming them so they can run by or shoot. Or being able to run along walls and ceiling might be handy, avoiding the difficult terrain of the crowd, or simply flying over the civilians to catch up.

Other players:

What classes are other characters? How do your various abilities combine with theirs? Is getting everyone into a line with black hole good for that heavy weapons Soldier using a flame thrower? Pulling two enemy melee with step up and strike off your Mystic so they can get that critical healing spell off? Is it worth taking your standard action to try and hold that one big melee bruiser for a turn while the other 3 people in your group ranged strike it?

Where you're fighting them:

You're in a vehicle chase. If you get close enough to board them, aren't you close enough to use Blackhole to pull them out of their vehicle? Or in reverse, can't you ready an action to use Blackhole to pull them out before they are ready to jump, so they fall in between the vehicles?

Terrain features and dangers. I remember a number of Pathfinder scenarios with climatic fights around flowing lava or deep chasms. I also remember two story tall warehouses with catwalks, where you can be 15 feet above your enemy (interesting application of "pull directory towards you").

Or a classic ambush from enemies on top of a building 150 feet tall, firing down on your characters in the street with laser rifles. Your melee soldier friend with the jet pack is going to be moving vertically up at a rate of 30 feet per round or trying to run up the stairs. The Solarian with the jet dash feat can run up the side of the building at 120 feet per round at level 6. Once he's near the top edge he can use Black Hole to pull multiple enemies off the building for 15d6 falling damage.

To infiltrate a base with a tight security perimeter, a high level Solarian could jump out of a starship in orbit of the planet, perform an orbital drop to the surface while using stealth to avoid detection, and finally convince a guard to send an internal video feed to your group's Technomancer while forgetting you were ever there. The Technomancer then teleports the entire team inside without raising alarms having gotten a visual destination. With the right revelations, the Solarian can pull that off without a problem and without using resources (battery charges, spell slots, etc).

My point is, the various control and movement options of the gravition side of the Solarian are heavily dependent on the situation at hand and who is with you. Which means its hard for me to get a feel for if the class is balanced without some play time. It also makes the class more interesting to me. I tend to remember the games where we did something crazy and unique that worked rather than the twentieth fight were we dealt so much damage we simply defeated the enemy in one turn from raw DPR.


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A bigger variable is also what level they're at. And something that's going to be throwing us all off is the lack of bestiary rules as of yet. We don't have a whole lot to compare characters to the actual challenges thus far besides a few statblocks, and that's not a big enough pool imo.


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I don't think that the class has an objective math problem. The promblem is: people were exited with the concept and the mechanics failed to impress.
I think the solarian should receive improvements in erratas or future materials, but that's not about the attack or damage numbers, it's about being able to be great at something (whatever the intended niche is designed to be).
I would start by increasing the number of options (and frequency) of out of combat powers and special defenses (they seem a bit fragile for front combatants).


Crayfish Hora wrote:
Colette Brunel wrote:
I would like to identify a few problems with the solarian.

I like all of this. The Solarin is a weird class for me, like the monks of Pathfinder. As an average player looking over this class, I can't decide if it wants me to do melee or not. I settled for hoping there's a shotgun weapon in the game and taking a feat for it if I have to. This creates a short-ranged shooter that can maybe utilize some of the class abilities. Maybe.

I still believe the Black Hole ability is for grenade tosses. Not your grenade, of course, but others. Pick up a grenade that does fire damage and suddenly your resistance to fire makes more sense...

There are a lot of shotguns.

You can make any Level 2 and higher gun (that isn't line, etc) into a shotgun with Blast augment.
I wish bows were not level 1, so you could shotgun with them (the imagery alone makes me giggle). You can apply to a crossbow though.

1st non-augmented I see is:
1) Scattergun (any of them), but they have lower ranged than just applying Blast.
2) Arc Emitter (electric nonlethal shotgun)
3) Flamethrowers shoot shotgun-like
4) Stellar Cannon
5) Screamer (Sonic shotgun)

But applying Blast is only 360 credits to apply to most guns.


Sadly that fusion only works once per day.

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