Solarian Charisma for Solar Weapon damage mod


Advice


As the subject states...with the varied "Solarians aren't tough enough" threads...why not simply allow Solarian solar weapons to use Charisma instead of Strength for their damage (and maybe accuracy) mod? It would certainly fit the theme, and I can't think of any reason this would be game breaking or make them ridiculously overpowered compared to any other class or feature...

Thoughts?

Liberty's Edge

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Those threads are, in fact, wrong. Solarian is the highest damage character in the game. Boosting that does not seem necessary.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Those threads are, in fact, wrong. Solarian is the highest damage character in the game. Boosting that does not seem necessary.

Awesome to hear. Is it a reaction due to perception of lower modifiers compared to Pathfinder? I know its not really an answerable question, as everyone has their own take, but it seems like a common thought that Solarions (and Envoys) are underpowered. The veteran gamer in me is curious...


It is far too early to have enough insight about real game experience with Solarians (or any class). So far, we can have math (Which is ok, I'm a numbers oriented guy), but math sometimes misses some points. We can also have anecdotal evidence fron obe, two or three games, but that is a small sample size.

I would need at least a full AP played with a Solarian to make a judgement.


The devs have hinted or outright stated in some cases that allowing other stats to damage was a bad idea. Look at all the nerfs to the Dex-to-damage feats in Pathfinder.

I have some reservations about how the solarian will be, but largely think it'll work out. Some of the comparisons I've seen weren't the best, comparing the solar weapon to two-handed weapons and stuff like that. The zeniths seem very situational, but not entirely useless.


Solarian powers are very control-oriented, so I get not being top-dog in damage; that really isn't their key. I could easily see an argument for Cha-based mods on a Solar weapon, primarily considering its source and theme (it is will, or personality, or mutant power originating from self, etc...not a *thing* you pick up and swing). Although, by this argument then, you could (and maybe should?) have the justification for Int-based attack mods, maybe even Wis-based...(I would have a hard time seeing Con-based, but I am sure someone could come up with a justification). And it becomes a spiral, I get that.

Still...I could see mod-ing Solar Weapon to use Cha in place of Str being a potent mitigating factor in the melee build vs. key stat issue.


I wonder how the feel of the class would change if it's key stat and DC were dependant on CON I stead of CHA. It would fit the tanky feeling of a lot of the graviton abilities and give CON some much needed love.

I think that would also make the STR to damage "issue" seem less relevant as you feel less MAD if you don't have to pump points into arguably unneeded CHA.

Liberty's Edge

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Jerricho wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Those threads are, in fact, wrong. Solarian is the highest damage character in the game. Boosting that does not seem necessary.
Awesome to hear. Is it a reaction due to perception of lower modifiers compared to Pathfinder? I know its not really an answerable question, as everyone has their own take, but it seems like a common thought that Solarions (and Envoys) are underpowered. The veteran gamer in me is curious...

Two things, really:

1. Solarian is weaker than Soldier at low levels specifically. Partially because it's a bit MAD comparatively. The Ability-Up at 5th fixes this pretty well, but it's a bit weaker until then.

2. When doing damage comparisons people compared their weapon damage alone while ignoring the potential +14 damage a Solarian gains from other class features (Photon Mode gives +4 eventually, Plasma Sheath gives +1/2 level).

Envoys are more a case of being very buff focused, which tends to be less obviously powerful, but I must admit I've looked at Solarian a bit more than Envoy.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Based on reading, I feel the Solarian's abilities are meh and aren't impressive. AGAIN this is reading compared to other class abilities *cough* mechanic, operative *cough*

I could be so wrong, playing vs reading are TWO different things. We shall see how things play out.


A lot of them seem fairly situational. Like Supernova is cool, but unless you have 2, and probably more like 3, enemies in range of it, doing a normal attack might be better. Black Hole has a similar issue, neat, but you won't use it every time.


Yeah I've just noticed 1 or 2 people and one more so then any. honestly have to wonder at this point if the person that is making that assumption has some weird ulterior motive, Or is just a Jerry.

Liberty's Edge

Micheal Smith wrote:
Based on reading, I feel the Solarian's abilities are meh and aren't impressive. AGAIN this is reading compared to other class abilities *cough* mechanic, operative *cough*

They're a primary combat class, so their abilities are more combat oriented. Soldier is a better comparison, and their out-of-combat stuff is miles better than a Soldier's.

Micheal Smith wrote:
I could be so wrong, playing vs reading are TWO different things. We shall see how things play out.

Indeed we will.


I think they'll be fine. All I need a full BAB class to do is kill an enemy of CR equal to their level in two rounds solo on average if they push it, while in turn being able to take 4 rounds of damage from such a creature before going down. One shotting stuff is overkill.


d'Eon wrote:
I think they'll be fine. All I need a full BAB class to do is kill an enemy of CR equal to their level in two rounds solo on average if they push it, while in turn being able to take 4 rounds of damage from such a creature before going down. One shotting stuff is overkill.

Yeah, that's probably not going to happen. Starfinder overall has an increase to hit points with damage output staying more or less the same as Pathfinder. Fights are meant to last longer, here.


gigyas6 wrote:
d'Eon wrote:
I think they'll be fine. All I need a full BAB class to do is kill an enemy of CR equal to their level in two rounds solo on average if they push it, while in turn being able to take 4 rounds of damage from such a creature before going down. One shotting stuff is overkill.
Yeah, that's probably not going to happen. Starfinder overall has an increase to hit points with damage output staying more or less the same as Pathfinder. Fights are meant to last longer, here.

Yeah, looking through the SFS scenarios and First Contact the time to kill stuff does seem to go up. Maybe bump those numbers by half for now. Hopefully Alien Archive has a similar Average Monster Stat by CR table like Pathfinder.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Deadmanwalking, if the game would allow Solarians to optionally use their Solar Weapons as operative weapons (decided permanently at first level), given the amount of damage permanently lost (about +9 at lvl 10) would you consider that balanced vs. the MAD reduction it provides?


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Micheal Smith wrote:
Based on reading, I feel the Solarian's abilities are meh and aren't impressive. AGAIN this is reading compared to other class abilities *cough* mechanic, operative *cough*

They're a primary combat class, so their abilities are more combat oriented. Soldier is a better comparison, and their out-of-combat stuff is miles better than a Soldier's.

Micheal Smith wrote:
I could be so wrong, playing vs reading are TWO different things. We shall see how things play out.
Indeed we will.

I wasn’t impressed with the soldier either. Again we shall see.


So, further thinking on this, and borrowing a little nugget from Starfinder Companion (by RGG, available on Drivethrurpg...and this is not an ad for them, I am not convinced, as a supplement, it was worth it, but there are nuggets), I am thinking of this for the Solarian:

Solar Presence (Su): At 1st level, as long as you have at least 1 Resolve Point in your Resolve Pool, you may use your Charisma-modifier in place of your Strength-modifier for attack and damage rolls with your solar weapon.
Alternatively, as long as you have at least 1 Resolve Point in your Resolve Pool, you may use your Charisma-modifier in place of your Dexterity-modifier for Energy Armor Class and Kinetic Armor Class determination when your solar armor is manifested.

Liberty's Edge

magnuskn wrote:
Deadmanwalking, if the game would allow Solarians to optionally use their Solar Weapons as operative weapons (decided permanently at first level), given the amount of damage permanently lost (about +9 at lvl 10) would you consider that balanced vs. the MAD reduction it provides?

Honestly? It'd probably be fine.

Their AC wouldn't wind up much different from a non-Dex Solarian who buys Heavy Armor Proficiency (probably less), and while they'd be less MAD, their damage would be a lot less...and due to raising 4 stats every time you level, MAD classes are way less of a problem.

Thinking about it, I'm pretty sure it's actually a trap option on a mechanical level, and actually worse than a standard Str build mechanically. It saves a Feat, but costs a bunch of damage, and I guess at low levels gives you a little AC. Almost certainly not worth it on a mechanical level.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Deadmanwalking, if the game would allow Solarians to optionally use their Solar Weapons as operative weapons (decided permanently at first level), given the amount of damage permanently lost (about +9 at lvl 10) would you consider that balanced vs. the MAD reduction it provides?

Honestly? It'd probably be fine.

Their AC wouldn't wind up much different from a non-Dex Solarian who buys Heavy Armor Proficiency (probably less), and while they'd be less MAD, their damage would be a lot less...and due to raising 4 stats every time you level, MAD classes are way less of a problem.

Thinking about it, I'm pretty sure it's actually a trap option on a mechanical level, and actually worse than a standard Str build mechanically. It saves a Feat, but costs a bunch of damage, and I guess at low levels gives you a little AC. Almost certainly not worth it on a mechanical level.

Yeah, pretty much what I figured. I still like to think that using an energy blade would be more a thing of dexterity than strength, but everytime I have given players the option to use DEX to damage, it worked out terribly in PF. So, the option for operative solar weapons will be there, but mechanically inferior to a STR build.

Thanks for your thoughts!


A better hack would probably be to proffer some defensive bonus from Charisma. A version of Charmed Life perhaps, or Charisma to Initiative. The problem is really that by the way the class is designed Charisma would probably be a dump stat and the control options which key off Cha are traps. Charisma doing literally anything of general value would make the MAD situation a lot less onerous.


Honestly I haven't had any of these problems with the Solarian.

Running even a sub-optimal 16 Strength/16 Charisma is pretty good.

I mean look at raw math.

A level 2 Solarian has the possible following damage output per round:

2d6 (from Stellar Rush) (avg 7)
2 attacks (from Full Attack) at 1d6+3 (avg from both 13)
2 attacks (from Full Attack) at 1d6+3 (avg from both 13)
Supernova (3d6 (1d6+(1d6xlevel)) (averages 11 damage)

That is a damage output average of 44 damage in the course of 3 turns. For level 2. That is enough to drop almost anything you are going to face at those levels.


HWalsh wrote:

Honestly I haven't had any of these problems with the Solarian.

Running even a sub-optimal 16 Strength/16 Charisma is pretty good.

I mean look at raw math.

A level 2 Solarian has the possible following damage output per round:

2d6 (from Stellar Rush) (avg 7)
2 attacks (from Full Attack) at 1d6+3 (avg from both 13)
2 attacks (from Full Attack) at 1d6+3 (avg from both 13)
Supernova (3d6 (1d6+(1d6xlevel)) (averages 11 damage)

That is a damage output average of 44 damage in the course of 3 turns. For level 2. That is enough to drop almost anything you are going to face at those levels.

I agree with the numbers, but disagree with 16 Str being called suboptimal. You'll be at +3 Str and +3 Cha until level 5, when they both go to 18. Compare to starting with 18 Str and 14 Cha, where at level 5 you get 19 Str and 16 Cha. Bonuses at level 5 total +8 with the first array, but are only +7 in the second.


d'Eon wrote:
HWalsh wrote:

Honestly I haven't had any of these problems with the Solarian.

Running even a sub-optimal 16 Strength/16 Charisma is pretty good.

I mean look at raw math.

A level 2 Solarian has the possible following damage output per round:

2d6 (from Stellar Rush) (avg 7)
2 attacks (from Full Attack) at 1d6+3 (avg from both 13)
2 attacks (from Full Attack) at 1d6+3 (avg from both 13)
Supernova (3d6 (1d6+(1d6xlevel)) (averages 11 damage)

That is a damage output average of 44 damage in the course of 3 turns. For level 2. That is enough to drop almost anything you are going to face at those levels.

I agree with the numbers, but disagree with 16 Str being called suboptimal. You'll be at +3 Str and +3 Cha until level 5, when they both go to 18. Compare to starting with 18 Str and 14 Cha, where at level 5 you get 19 Str and 16 Cha. Bonuses at level 5 total +8 with the first array, but are only +7 in the second.

Fair enough, I keep forgetting in my projections to increase 4 different scores. :P

In any case, the point is the same. You end up with a character who is very competent with straight Solarion that is actually pretty high damage. 44/4 is an average of 11 DPR - Which ain't bad. Start adding things like Dark Matter on top of it at later levels and you end up seeing things that have near-constant DR.

Heck, in my test character I don't even bother with Supernova because it simply isn't worth it compared to the DR, constant up-time, and deflection capabilities.

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