Envoy and Solarian Fixes


Homebrew

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Has anyone tested the Solarian live over several levels yet? This seems to be a premature assumption based on existing assumptions from Pathfinder.


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This is a list of my current houserules with changes for Envoys, Operatives and Solarians.

I know it's based upon assumptions, but also common sense, math and gaming experience. I hope it helps.

Grand Lodge

Secret Wizard wrote:

This is a list of my current houserules with changes for Envoys, Operatives and Solarians.

I know it's based upon assumptions, but also common sense, math and gaming experience. I hope it helps.

The two atttributes to Resolve Points seem very unnecessary?

I'd suggest to fix the Envoy in a different way to solve it's action economy, without giving two feats for free. (Prov+Spec) A player could take those feats themselves if they want to. The ability to do a Improv as a swift action with a Resolve Point sounds good, since it then allows them to shoot at the same time.

For the Operative, I'd give the Edge only to Initiative. None of the Skill specializations should give a +4 bonus imho, maybe a +2 for the non-Dex specializations? (They're getting a free Skill Focus anyways.)

Solarion, you're changing the class completely it seems. Wouldn't a simple fix be:
- Solar Armor: +half Charisma bonus to AC (min 1), instead of static
- Solar Weapon: +half Charisma bonus to damage (min 1)


Secret Wizard wrote:

This is a list of my current houserules with changes for Envoys, Operatives and Solarians.

I know it's based upon assumptions, but also common sense, math and gaming experience. I hope it helps.

Have you actually tested the Solarian in a game yet? Are you going to be a player or DM?


Varun Creed wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

This is a list of my current houserules with changes for Envoys, Operatives and Solarians.

I know it's based upon assumptions, but also common sense, math and gaming experience. I hope it helps.

The two atttributes to Resolve Points seem very unnecessary?

I'd suggest to fix the Envoy in a different way to solve it's action economy, without giving two feats for free. (Prov+Spec) A player could take those feats themselves if they want to. The ability to do a Improv as a swift action with a Resolve Point sounds good, since it then allows them to shoot at the same time.

For the Operative, I'd give the Edge only to Initiative. None of the Skill specializations should give a +4 bonus imho, maybe a +2 for the non-Dex specializations? (They're getting a free Skill Focus anyways.)

Solarion, you're changing the class completely it seems. Wouldn't a simple fix be:
- Solar Armor: +half Charisma bonus to AC (min 1), instead of static
- Solar Weapon: +half Charisma bonus to damage (min 1)

JetSetRadio wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

This is a list of my current houserules with changes for Envoys, Operatives and Solarians.

I know it's based upon assumptions, but also common sense, math and gaming experience. I hope it helps.

Have you actually tested the Solarian in a game yet? Are you going to be a player or DM?

Answering both together.

I'm the DM.

Solarian is the main frontliner for the party and lacking at it.

Lacking resolve points to refresh Stamina is pretty jarring. I don't need a calculator to realize a Soldier would have 2 more Resolve points than what she has, and she needs to care about DEX more because she wants the light armored Jedi archetype.

Adding Charisma (or the MUCH more inelegant half Charisma) does not solve the core issue. If you go with the weapon... you still want Heavy Armor.

Regarding Envoys, I'm sure I don't have the best solution, just went with what seemed to work in my head. That being said, proc+spec on a good weapon for a class without spells seems like basic things to have to me.

For Operatives, I'm keeping the initiative bonus.


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What if Solarions could use Charisma as the attack stat for their Solar Blades?

It makes sense to me lore-wise, at the very least. A Solarion fights via their connection to the cosmos, rather than with their mere physical body.


I have a couple more threads concerning in-play experience and theoretical builds with solarians here:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2uivg?Trip-Report-My-second-Starfinder-session- this

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2uivw?The-one-true-solarian-build-for-actually


Envoys seem fine, but they have to spend their first two feats on proficiency and specialization with a decent weapon. Since they are the only class to pretty much has to do that (all other classes get better options for combat) giving them a choice of advanced weapons or longarms would be nice to allow them to take other feats. It would be nice but it isn't needed, you can make a decent envoy, you just have to use your first two feats.

For Solarians it would be nice to have light armor melee for supported while encouraging them more to put stat points in charisma.

For solar weapon you could allow them to use their dex or cha to hit (I'm unsure whether dex or cha would be better, probably cha?) that would allow them to have decent attack and defense with say 16 dex 16 cha starting stats. They would still need str for damage, but to hit is more important. Also I think solar weapons should do slightly more damage, they should at least match a longsword at level 1. a +1 enhancement bonus to damage scaling to +2 at 5 and +3 at 10 would be enough I think, but I'm not sure what the exact numbers should be.

For solar armor just let them use cha to ac instead of dex, that would be enough I think. They could go 16 str 16 cha and use light armor and have high ac, a more defensive option than the weapon.


citricking wrote:

Envoys seem fine, but they have to spend their first two feats on proficiency and specialization with a decent weapon. Since they are the only class to pretty much has to do that (all other classes get better options for combat) giving them a choice of advanced weapons or longarms would be nice to allow them to take other feats. It would be nice but it isn't needed, you can make a decent envoy, you just have to use your first two feats.

For Solarians it would be nice to have light armor melee for supported while encouraging them more to put stat points in charisma.

For solar weapon you could allow them to use their dex or cha to hit (I'm unsure whether dex or cha would be better, probably cha?) that would allow them to have decent attack and defense with say 16 dex 16 cha starting stats. They would still need str for damage, but to hit is more important. Also I think solar weapons should do slightly more damage, they should at least match a longsword at level 1. a +1 enhancement bonus to damage scaling to +2 at 5 and +3 at 10 would be enough I think, but I'm not sure what the exact numbers should be.

For solar armor just let them use cha to ac instead of dex, that would be enough I think. They could go 16 str 16 cha and use light armor and have high ac, a more defensive option than the weapon.

1. I would like to remove as many mandatory feats as I can, so yeah, that's why I granted envoys a free prof/spec. I'd rather have players develop their character in unique ways rather than be forced to build in pre-established build paths.

2. I prefer to stay away from stat-changing. It's a slippery slope with those, and eventually you get to the points where stats don't matter at all. By making a souped up solar weapon baseline, I think the class has more identity, and the extra defensive options for light armor users I added should do the trick without needing CHA to AC.


citricking wrote:
Envoys seem fine, but they have to spend their first two feats on proficiency and specialization with a decent weapon. Since they are the only class to pretty much has to do that (all other classes get better options for combat)

I honestly think all classes have a good reason to take proficiency with decent weapons, except obviously soldier and probably operative.

But then I haven't heard about many feat options between the standard save defenses and spell focus for the casters (also mandatory, unless they're exclusively going for spells with no saves)


Voss wrote:
I honestly think all classes have a good reason to take proficiency with decent weapons, except obviously soldier and probably operative.

I would add to those two the Mechanic with the Exocortex option for Artificial Intelligence myself, as he does get proficiency in longarms and heavy armor right off the bat (that is the phrase, yes?).

Scarab Sages

F. Castor wrote:
Voss wrote:
I honestly think all classes have a good reason to take proficiency with decent weapons, except obviously soldier and probably operative.
I would add to those two the Mechanic with the Exocortex option for Artificial Intelligence myself, as he does get proficiency in longarms and heavy armor right off the bat (that is the phrase, yes?).

They still may want to take heavy weapons or advanced melee weapons.


Battlemage Technomancer get better proficiencies too.

Voss wrote:
citricking wrote:
Envoys seem fine, but they have to spend their first two feats on proficiency and specialization with a decent weapon. Since they are the only class to pretty much has to do that (all other classes get better options for combat)

I honestly think all classes have a good reason to take proficiency with decent weapons, except obviously soldier and probably operative.

But then I haven't heard about many feat options between the standard save defenses and spell focus for the casters (also mandatory, unless they're exclusively going for spells with no saves)

Spell Penetration :P

But there are also feats that grant you extra spells that look to be pretty useful in expanding your repertoire. Mystics could go for Technomantic Dabbler and Technomancers could go for Connection Inkling. They have longer featlines that open up access to more spells of those lists.

Mobility is also better, since you can coax out an enemy reaction like that and then move onto casting. Agile Casting is also pretty good to cast and run for cover.


Imbicatus wrote:
F. Castor wrote:
Voss wrote:
I honestly think all classes have a good reason to take proficiency with decent weapons, except obviously soldier and probably operative.
I would add to those two the Mechanic with the Exocortex option for Artificial Intelligence myself, as he does get proficiency in longarms and heavy armor right off the bat (that is the phrase, yes?).
They still may want to take heavy weapons or advanced melee weapons.

Indeed. I am merely saying that they can start with somewhat better proficiencies than other classes (excluding the soldier and perhaps the operative).


Secret Wizard wrote:
citricking wrote:

Envoys seem fine, but they have to spend their first two feats on proficiency and specialization with a decent weapon. Since they are the only class to pretty much has to do that (all other classes get better options for combat) giving them a choice of advanced weapons or longarms would be nice to allow them to take other feats. It would be nice but it isn't needed, you can make a decent envoy, you just have to use your first two feats.

For Solarians it would be nice to have light armor melee for supported while encouraging them more to put stat points in charisma.

For solar weapon you could allow them to use their dex or cha to hit (I'm unsure whether dex or cha would be better, probably cha?) that would allow them to have decent attack and defense with say 16 dex 16 cha starting stats. They would still need str for damage, but to hit is more important. Also I think solar weapons should do slightly more damage, they should at least match a longsword at level 1. a +1 enhancement bonus to damage scaling to +2 at 5 and +3 at 10 would be enough I think, but I'm not sure what the exact numbers should be.

For solar armor just let them use cha to ac instead of dex, that would be enough I think. They could go 16 str 16 cha and use light armor and have high ac, a more defensive option than the weapon.

1. I would like to remove as many mandatory feats as I can, so yeah, that's why I granted envoys a free prof/spec. I'd rather have players develop their character in unique ways rather than be forced to build in pre-established build paths.

2. I prefer to stay away from stat-changing. It's a slippery slope with those, and eventually you get to the points where stats don't matter at all. By making a souped up solar weapon baseline, I think the class has more identity, and the extra defensive options for light armor users I added should do the trick without needing CHA to AC.

1. Yeah, but you also give them way more resolve. You can end up with envoys having 8 resolve at first level compared to the normal max of 5. I feel like just keeping their resolve as cha would be much better, if they're combat focused they still might have a 14 in cha for 3 resolve which is enough.

2. You scaling of solar weapon is way higher then baseline for mid levels, at high levels it's fine, but damage doesn't scale anything close to linearly in starfinder.

Also you give them so much more resolve. If you think they should get more resolve I understand that, maybe give them an extra +1/+2 resolve because they're front, but I don't think 2 stat mods is an good solution.


Point taken about the resolve showering.

Solar Weapon works better early game and endgame, I don't mind a mild bump midgame.

Rest looks good?


Secret Wizard wrote:

Point taken about the resolve showering.

Solar Weapon works better early game and endgame, I don't mind a mild bump midgame.

Rest looks good?

Solarian: I think it would be nice to compare it to the expected damage of normal melee weapons at each level and then make a table of solar weapon values.

Well there are the operative changes, all other classes but soldier and solarian get a scaling bonus to two skills to +6(envoy 9 to +9...) so operatives should get their edge to their 2 specialization skills. I think they could get a few more as they level if you want to make them comparable to the envoy.


Secret Wizard wrote:

Point taken about the resolve showering.

Solar Weapon works better early game and endgame, I don't mind a mild bump midgame.

Rest looks good?

At level 11 a solarian weapon average damage with a crystal and the photon mode damage boost: 19.5

with your suggestion and the same crystal: 34

It's a huge difference, here's it for all levels
normal:
4.5
4.5
4.5
7
7
11.5
11.5
12.5
16
16
19.5
24
27.5
34.5
38
41.5
48.5
53
56.5
67

your suggestion:
4.5
4.5
9
11.5
16
16
20.5
21.5
26
26
34
34
38.5
42
46.5
46.5
54.5
54.5
59
66


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I'll make some changes then.

I have to say I prefer my way of design over Paizo's though :P


New Version Up!


Secret Wizard wrote:
New Version Up!

Envoy and Operative look good.

Removing the +4 for a dex, might be a bit much, maybe +2 would work better. Starting 18 dex 14 secondary stat the +2 would make the choices even. After level up bonuses and stat boosts at level 5 with 21 dex 16 secondary, level 10 24 dex 20 secondary, level 15 27 dex 23 secondary, and level 20 28 dex 24 secondary. It's still a +2 difference.

As for the Solarian I think it's alright. Just to be noted losing the photon attunement bonus will be annoying at levels 1-4 until the boon at 4 makes up for it, unless I'm missing something?


Spooky Vampire wrote:

I think you buffed Solarian in the wrong places, thus skewing with the numerical assumptions for the game and resulting in worse experiences for other players at the table.

Giving Solarian another 0.5x STR to damage via Momentum doesn't help at all with their real problem that is Multiple Attribute Dependency, but instead, in combination with Plasma Sheath, gives a truly monstrous static damage bonus, far outshining the Soldier.
The vanilla Solarian doesn't have a damage problem that needs to be fixed. The problems are mostly in other areas.

I agree. This change gives the solarian bigger numbers, but doesn't change the underlying dynamic of the class. As a result, the solarian is still best served by going with something along the lines of Colette Brunel's "one true" build--ignoring Charisma and taking a level of soldier to get Resolve Points from Strength. I know Parallax is meant to address this, but I don't see how it could go far enough in practice. The opportunity costs of getting enough Charisma to make the save-DC-based revelations even close to reliable are just too high.

Really, I only see two ways to address the real problem: either let solarians do more with their Charisma, or radically rework their control-oriented revelations. The former is probably simpler and safer, so while I remember you saying you're uncomfortable with shifting the functions of ability scores, but I think you should give my proposal--and the reasoning behind it--a closer look. (Alternatively, you might consider giving solarians something else to use their Charisma for, maybe along the lines of the PF paladin.)

Sovereign Court

My take away from skimming all this crunch is don't play an Envoy or Solarian. No one wants to play a gimpy character. I'll review the classes once I get my CRB...but for the moment I'm leaning towards Operative, Engineer or Soldier. Particularly for Starfinder Society games, where you don't get to just rewrite classes if you feel they're underpowered. Perhaps we'll see someone in the creative gaming community come up w/ a viable Solarian build & seems like the Envoy was meant more for roleplay.


Spooky Vampire wrote:

I think the simplest single change from Vanilla (not basing this on Secret Wizard's houserules) that can be done to make Solarians much more appealing without a complete class rewrite is the following:

If you pick Solar Weapon, while using the Solar Weapon, you use Charisma for attack and damage instead of Strength.
If you pick Solar Armour, while using the Solar Armour, you use Charisma for AC and Reflex saves instead of Dexterity, following all the usual rules in place like Maximum Dexterity Bonus from Armour still applying to this Charisma.
This solves multiple problems at once:
1. The class becomes less MAD, and about on par with Soldiers in terms of how many Ability Scores they depend on.
2. The class gains a real reason to use either Solar Weapon or Solar Armour as opposed to ditching both and hanging out with a Two-Handed Advanced Melee Weapon and a set of Heavy Armour.
3. The class actually gets competitive save DC's due to being Charisma-reliant.
4. All of the above happens without giving Solarians significantly increased damage numbers.

Hah! That's almost exactly what I said in the post to which I linked, with almost the same justifications! (Though my version of solar armor only allowed Charisma to apply to AC, rather than Reflex saves; this may have been a mistake.)


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Spooky Vampire wrote:
Oh, my apologies - I hadn't noticed a link in your post.

No worries! It was gratifying to see someone else come to the same conclusions on their own.


I think you are misreading this.

Momentum is there to compensate for the lack of +damage on Photon Attunement. It brings damage back in line, and eventually perhaps puts it a bit higher, with Plasma Sheath. There is no damage boost. At no point Momentum becomes a damage boost.

The Solarian changes I made make the class less MAD. People think MAD can only be solved by having less important stats. This is fallacious, and leads to a collapsed game system like Pathfinder, where attributes mean nothing any longer.

My take is to make attributes, in smaller doses, effective enough.

For this, I made the Resolve changes above.

Then, I granted extra AC to the class, making less DEX as effective on a Solarian. A 14 DEX Solarian has as much AC at level 10th as an 18 DEX Operative with my changes. This makes the class less MAD.

If the Solarian picks Parallax, he gets a virtual +2 to CHA mod to calculate DCs. This makes them less MAD.

This is how you solve the issues in this game in my opinion.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Ludovicus wrote:
Spooky Vampire wrote:

I think the simplest single change from Vanilla (not basing this on Secret Wizard's houserules) that can be done to make Solarians much more appealing without a complete class rewrite is the following:

If you pick Solar Weapon, while using the Solar Weapon, you use Charisma for attack and damage instead of Strength.
If you pick Solar Armour, while using the Solar Armour, you use Charisma for AC and Reflex saves instead of Dexterity, following all the usual rules in place like Maximum Dexterity Bonus from Armour still applying to this Charisma.
This solves multiple problems at once:
1. The class becomes less MAD, and about on par with Soldiers in terms of how many Ability Scores they depend on.
2. The class gains a real reason to use either Solar Weapon or Solar Armour as opposed to ditching both and hanging out with a Two-Handed Advanced Melee Weapon and a set of Heavy Armour.
3. The class actually gets competitive save DC's due to being Charisma-reliant.
4. All of the above happens without giving Solarians significantly increased damage numbers.

Hah! That's almost exactly what I said in the post to which I linked, with almost the same justifications! (Though my version of solar armor only allowed Charisma to apply to AC, rather than Reflex saves; this may have been a mistake.)

Literally had the same idea last night! But am also considering giving them skill ranks equal to their level in whichever skills they chose with Skill Adept.


Also should mention – replacing CHA for other stats, besides not making sense at all, makes the build fall upon themselves:

- CHA-based Armor dude still needs STR to melee. All you did was remove their need for DEX, which was very low in any case.

- CHA-based Weapon dude still needs AC... so he'll want heavy armor... so he'll want STR.

So it doesn't work.


Spooky Vampire wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

Also should mention – replacing CHA for other stats, besides not making sense at all, makes the build fall upon themselves:

- CHA-based Armor dude still needs STR to melee. All you did was remove their need for DEX, which was very low in any case.

- CHA-based Weapon dude still needs AC... so he'll want heavy armor... so he'll want STR.

So it doesn't work.

Those are simply incorrect assertions.

The CHA-based Armour dude will want STR to melee, yes. But your secondary ability score is now Charisma, not Dexterity. So, as per the "one true build" posited by Colette Brunel, you'd shift from 18 STR/14 DEX to 18 STR/14 CHA, making you breathe much freer while not reducing your capacity to withstand hits as a frontliner at all.

The CHA-based Weapon dude will actually have two options available. The first option is simply investing into Dexterity as a secondary (with primary Charisma) and going for Light Armour. The second option is simply taking 13 Strength (12+theme) to meet the prerequisite for Heavy Armour and never investing into Strength again. Neither of those Solar Weapon options ever wants actually high Strength.

And still, the class choice provided adds nothing but a roundabout way to go to the same place.

And in your second case, you do the same as I do – make smaller investments more impactful.

The way I went around it was to increase base AC, give more bang for the buck, and provide more meaningful choices in creating a special weapon of your own, rather than an armor that only pushes numbers around.


Spooky Vampire wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

Also should mention – replacing CHA for other stats, besides not making sense at all, makes the build fall upon themselves:

- CHA-based Armor dude still needs STR to melee. All you did was remove their need for DEX, which was very low in any case.

- CHA-based Weapon dude still needs AC... so he'll want heavy armor... so he'll want STR.

So it doesn't work.

Those are simply incorrect assertions.

The CHA-based Armour dude will want STR to melee, yes. But your secondary ability score is now Charisma, not Dexterity. So, as per the "one true build" posited by Colette Brunel, you'd shift from 18 STR/14 DEX to 18 STR/14 CHA, making you breathe much freer while not reducing your capacity to withstand hits as a frontliner at all.

The CHA-based Weapon dude will actually have two options available. The first option is simply investing into Dexterity as a secondary (with primary Charisma) and going for Light Armour. The second option is simply taking 13 Strength (12+theme) to meet the prerequisite for Heavy Armour and never investing into Strength again. Neither of those Solar Weapon options ever wants actually high Strength.

I was trying to type up a post which said all this without knowing how to say it, so thanks!


So here are some ideas that I had for helping with the Solarian MAD problem.
1. Solarians get Dex to hit and damage when using a solar weapon. Effectively making them a Dex/Cha class. Which is similar to what most mechanics builds will look like with Dex/Int.
2. They get both solar armor and solar weapon. Solar armor actually does a good job of balancing out light armor and heavy armor. With 18 Dex KAC of light and heavy are roughly equal and EAC is about the same. Some examples figuring 18 Dex light armor with solar armor and 14 Dex Heavy.

Lvl 1 - Second Skin - KAC = 10+2+4+1=17, EAC = 10+1+4+1=16
Lashunta Ringwear 1 - KAC = 10+4+2=16, EAC = 10+2+2=14
So It comes out ahead with purely lvl 1 armor. This can change if second lvl armor like the Hidden Soldier Armor can be purchased. Then you have equal KAC and light armor lead EAC by 1.

Lvl 5 - D-suit 1 - KAC = 10+6+4+1=21, EAC = 10+5+4+1=20
Lashunta ringwear 2 - KAC = 10+10+2=22, EAC = 10+8+2=20
So now at level 5 we have equal EAC by Heavy pulls ahead in KAC by 1.

Lvl 10 (by now Dex of Light armor is at 20 and Heavy armor is at 18)
White Carbon Skin - KAC = 10+14+5+2=31, EAC = 10+12+5+2=29
Specialist Defiant Series - KAC = 10+18+2=30, EAC = 10+15+2=27
While it looks like Light armor leads taking in a lvl 11 Lashunta Ringwear would put EAC equal and KAC of heavy ahead by one.

Jumping ahead to 20 figuring max dex for both armors we get
Specialist Hardlight Series - KAC and EAC = 10+22+8+2=42
Vesk Monolith - KAC = 10+27+5=42, EAC = 10+26+5=41.
So Light armor has higher EAC but they have equal KAC. With such small variations it would be easy enough for a GM to hold back on certain armors if one got too far ahead.

3. Current solar weapon Damage is actually fairly consistent with one-handed advanced melee weapons when you consider the solarian crystals. One-hand weapon damage doesn't increase until lvl 7 weapon so the increase at lvl 6 actually fits normal weapons. Now the fix i propose is to allow solarians to choose between a One-handed and a Two-handed solar weapon. One-handed behaves as the current RAW but for the Two-handed change all d6s to d8s. Still allow dex to hit and damage. This would put the two-handed in line with the tactical pike at 1 and with the crystals added in it comes out fairly close to the average damage of the Dimensional Slice Curve Blade. In fact it actually pulls ahead by 9 damage on average. You could decide on which weapon type you use either at lvl 1 and set it then or allow the solarian to change it at each level up like damage type. Both styles have advantages and disadvantages. One-hand will do less damage but will allow versatility by having a gun in the offhand to make quick ranged attacks as needed. Two-handed does more damage but switching to ranged would take more actions. But with Quick Draw you could draw and throw a thrown weapon quickly for ranged with the downsides that entails.

4. As far side effects of being a Dex based class. Initiative will be higher this should help make taking a level in blitz soldier unnecessary since you will have a good move speed and a good initiative already. Solarians have bad Reflex saves so a high Dex will just make the save in line with a good save and an average stat (good save 2+2 stat is equal to bad save 0+4 stat at lvl 1). And for skills Solarians get Acrobatics and Stealth base and can pick up others if they wish. With a high Dex and Acrobatics this just makes the solarian what it was meant to be...a mobile melee fighter.


I think a moderate CHA is a better goal, rather than a full CHA-based class. After all, STR, DEX, CON, CHA are already limited in the game, it's easier to pad them than toss them out.

What if the solution is somewhere in between?


I do agree with the idea that we should have a choice in weapon types, either one handed, two handed, two weapon and the appropriate damage die. That really feels like a missed opportunity.


Vyrmir wrote:

So here are some ideas that I had for helping with the Solarian MAD problem.

1. Solarians get Dex to hit and damage when using a solar weapon. Effectively making them a Dex/Cha class. Which is similar to what most mechanics builds will look like with Dex/Int.

You lost me here.

DEX to damage is wrong for this game. STR only justifies itself as a stat in this game because:

- Operative weapons get half damage from spec.

- Only STR can be added to melee damage.

The Operative doesn't even get to add DEX to damage, because it's wrong in this game. Most weapons don't add any modifier to damage.

DEX to hit? Maybe. But nothing else.


Spooky Vampire wrote:


Your changes don't address the main problem at all: Charisma is a dump stat for Solarians. They buff Solarians without making Charisma appealing, defeating the point of the class.

Ok, I think I got there.

Rather than boost AC nominally, I grant, from 1st level, CHA to DEX mod. This means that the Solarian stacks DEX + CHA to calculate AC, but is still constricted by an armor's Max DEX. This means they want LESS DEX, making 16STR/14DEX/16CHA builds very optimal.

It only works when they use light armor though, so if they wanted to go full hog with STR and give up CHA DCs and so on, it might be less than optimal.


Secret Wizard wrote:

DEX to damage is wrong for this game. STR only justifies itself as a stat in this game because:

- Operative weapons get half damage from spec.

- Only STR can be added to melee damage.

The Operative doesn't even get to add DEX to damage, because it's wrong in this game. Most weapons don't add any modifier to damage.

The reason operative doesn't get dex and half level to damage is because the do more damage on average with a trick attack melee attack than a normal attack at a similar level. (trick DCs should not be a problem to make since skills go up pretty quickly and will be higher than attack rolls). They will also be able to make one more attack on a full attack than a solarian (though the solarian does have a slightly smaller penalty). Operatives also only need Dex to be effective in combat so the need to reduce its effectiveness is needed. Using Dex on a solarian would still need to be balanced out with Cha to use with abilities and RP. So Dex isn't the super stat like it is for operatives.

I mean in Pathfinder you can get dex to damage through various means and it is basically identical as far as other uses in Starfinder. Other systems do something similar to my suggestion and it still balances well. 5e Monks can use dex to hit and damage and the need for Wis as well for ki and other powers do help balance out the class.

You could just do Dex to hit but then you would have to change the damage dice so that it lines up with Str weapon damage or have it target EAC instead of KAC. That way the smaller damage would be worth it by targeting the lower AC similar to how energy weapons differ from kinetic weapons. Otherwise you'd still need to invest points in Str (negating the whole purpose) and even then would do less damage than a Soldier.


Vyrmir wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

DEX to damage is wrong for this game. STR only justifies itself as a stat in this game because:

- Operative weapons get half damage from spec.

- Only STR can be added to melee damage.

The Operative doesn't even get to add DEX to damage, because it's wrong in this game. Most weapons don't add any modifier to damage.

The reason operative doesn't get dex and half level to damage is because the do more damage on average with a trick attack melee attack than a normal attack at a similar level. (trick DCs should not be a problem to make since skills go up pretty quickly and will be higher than attack rolls). They will also be able to make one more attack on a full attack than a solarian (though the solarian does have a slightly smaller penalty). Operatives also only need Dex to be effective in combat so the need to reduce its effectiveness is needed. Using Dex on a solarian would still need to be balanced out with Cha to use with abilities and RP. So Dex isn't the super stat like it is for operatives.

I mean in Pathfinder you can get dex to damage through various means and it is basically identical as far as other uses in Starfinder. Other systems do something similar to my suggestion and it still balances well. 5e Monks can use dex to hit and damage and the need for Wis as well for ki and other powers do help balance out the class.

You could just do Dex to hit but then you would have to change the damage dice so that it lines up with Str weapon damage or have it target EAC instead of KAC. That way the smaller damage would be worth it by targeting the lower AC similar to how energy weapons differ from kinetic weapons. Otherwise you'd still need to invest points in Str (negating the whole purpose) and even then would do less damage than a Soldier.

Look, it would be relatively simple to apply a DEX-based Solar Weapon, but not adding DEX to damage.

I think the best idea, if this was pursued, would be to make Plasma Sheath a baseline ability, and have it deal full level as fire damage (rather than 1/2 level as it currently does). That makes it so the Solar Weapon deals as much damage as it does now, because as an operative weapon, it would only have 1/2 half from Specialization.

Then, you'd have to compensate for the fact that Solarians are likely running 12 or so STR, and not growing it with a lot of focus.

I think adding CHA to damage in this case would work well, but I'd be concerned about making STR a non-attribute for them. You could probably boost the weapon crystals or something like that.

This being said... I prefer my approach of simply granting them CHA-to-DEX. Keeps STR important, which keeps the attribute alive (and fits the whole gravitational theme, as you'd have more mass!), makes CHA more interesting, and reduces the protagonism of DEX in a light armored char.


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Secret Wizard wrote:
And still, the class choice provided adds nothing but a roundabout way to go to the same place.

Well, not quite. What I like about the Cha-replaces-Str-or-Dex proposal is that solarians who take solar weapon will look, feel, and to some extent play interestingly differently from solarians who take solar armor. (Here I'm assuming Spooky Vampire's version, where solar armor lets you use Charisma for Reflex saves as well as AC.)

With solar weapon:

  • You get to use your best stat for both melee attacks and save DC's.
  • You have an interesting range of options for your secondary stat. Dexterity is probably the strongest option mechanically, since it would save you a feat and help with initiative, skills, and the occasional pistol shot, but going Str 13 and heavy armor lets you branch out in intriguing ways (for instance, by raising Int and getting more skills).
  • However, the downside is that you're exclusively tied to your solar weapon. There will be some situations (e.g. your first four experience levels) when another weapon would've been stronger, and any multiclassing whatsoever will substantially cut into your melee damage (at least in the long run).

With solar armor, by contrast, you have to choose between putting Strength or Charisma first:

  • If you put Strength first, you'll have the best overall combination of AC and melee offense a solarian can get, at the cost of somewhat lower save DC's (which you might not care about).
  • If you put Charisma first (or keep them on an even keel by prioritizing one at character creation and level-ups and the other with personal enhancements), you'll have even better defenses and optimal save DC's, at the cost of a small but manageable hit to your melee offense.
  • In both cases, you'll enjoy the flexibility of using whatever the best melee weapon at hand happens to be, and the ability to dip soldier or mechanic or whatever if the option appeals to you.

I find this difference pretty suggestive, narratively speaking: solar weapon solarians should have something of a purist, ascetic feel; solar armor solarians will tend to feel scrappier and a bit more worldly.

I should stress, though, that I'm totally not trying to sell you on my preferred house rules or to imply that you're making a mistake for not using it in your game. (In particular, I get your distaste for substituting ability scores for different functions; it can seem gamey or immersion-breaking, though tbh I personally find it quite consonant with the solarian's fluff in this case.) Mainly, I'm going into all this detail because other people following this thread might be more interested, and I do think the implications above make the Charisma-option pretty neat in somewhat subtle ways.


We've only gotten in four game sessions, but we've already made some changes/deviations from the rulebook for my Solarian. Nothing major, but a couple significant quality of life things:

Solar Weapon Manifestation: Solarian can turn the mote into any analog melee weapon they choose from the basic melee weapons and advanced melee weapons list, up to Level = Solarian level + 1.

Still need to figure out how that's going to scale at 6th+ level, but that's at least a starting point so a Solarian with a Weapon Manifestation may actually want to USE it over a tactical Pike...

I wanted a tanky Solarian, so our DM also added in a Phase Shield as a purchasable item at level 1 for 300 credits, instead of the Armor upgrade only available at level 6 for 4,325 credits. He also let the armor manifestation stack with any armor, not just light armor. We thought about adding heavy armor proficiency baseline, but holding off with that for now.

More later.


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Have played an Envoy alongside a Solarian who's frontlining with a well-built Soldier alongside (tactical pike).

We've reached 3rd level in the AP and there have been no issues.
The Solarian, played by a former PFS venture officer, is quite happy with his role as secondary face and greatly enjoys Stellar Rush and the mobility advantages it gives him over the Soldier. Exploding in melee has of course been cool. The only issue is Resolve, but then again...it's not been one.

I chose Envoy partly because it seemingly sucks and I wanted to test run it before declaring it faulty. It works fine. Did excellent in detective work as expected, and as a Captain in space combat. In other combat, bolstered the others quite well too.
Inspirational Boost has let me keep the party afloat with few rests and few dips into Resolve. Even without a Mystic, we've seldom needed serums.
Get 'Em has been okay, and as a move action it's relatively painless.
I can see how the Envoy's various ways of boosting its attack bonuses and sharing them with allies makes it competitive.
Attack boosts & Stamina recovery are rare in Starfinder, so the Envoy definitely has a unique niche in combat. I didn't pseudo-Soldier mine up, but it'd have been easy enough without actually dipping.

So yeah, I too wasn't enthused by Envoy (at all) or Solarian (theme & imagery only), but having seen them in play, I have to think no adjustments need to be made and small adjustments give the illusion they're necessary.


Castilliano wrote:
greatly enjoys Stellar Rush and the mobility advantages it gives him over the Soldier.

Unfortunately that advantage disappears against Blitz Soldiers at level 5 when they also get a standard action charge with a full attack at the end no less.


Don't go into Power Dome A wrote:
Castilliano wrote:
greatly enjoys Stellar Rush and the mobility advantages it gives him over the Soldier.
Unfortunately that advantage disappears against Blitz Soldiers at level 5 when they also get a standard action charge with a full attack at the end no less.

*nods*

But not every Soldier goes Blitz.


and that's 3 additional levels that the soldier has to slog through before getting it

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I'll probably end up homebrewing a ranged option for the solarian's solar weapon where they can have a one-handed ranged weapon that deals damage in D4s and doesn't add your Strength to damage.


A Blitz Soldier gets 'no penalties to charge' at 5th.
It doesn't get 2 attacks at the end of their charge until it gets Soldier's Onslaught...at 11th.
So okay, 3 levels later a Blitz Soldier is equal (minus the flame bonus on bull rushes), but it's not until 9 levels later it's more maneuverable than a Solarian...when charging. A Solarian has gained other maneuvers (flight/spider climb) by then.

But let's nip the Sol vs. Sol argument in the bud (both are picking up other bonuses & tricks too). The main argument was that the Solarian needs fixing to compete, which it doesn't.

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