My Starfinder Houserules Part 1 - Improving the Solarian


Homebrew

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After looking over the solarian and reading a lot of feedback, it became clear to me that the class has some great ideas and themes behind it but less-than-stellar mechanical execution. I decided to improve the class, borrowing some ideas others have suggested and adding elements of my own. I've also included my reasoning behind making each of these changes.

You can view all of my changes here or below.

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[CLASSES.SOLARIAN]

Solar Manifestation
You can make your mote any colour you want.

Reasoning: This is a science fiction setting with magic and rat people. We can waive realism when it comes to a purely cosmetic choice. Besides, what if you want to play a Green Lantern?

Solar Weapon
>It costs a swift action to form the weapon.
>The solar weapon’s damage now scales as follows:
1d6 at 1st level
2d6 at 3rd level
3d6 at 5th level
4d6 at 7th level
5d6 at 9th level
6d6 at 12th level
+1d6 for every level afterward.

Reasoning: Making the solar weapon more useful at all levels of play by improving its scaling and maximum damage.

Changing the move action to a swift action allows solarians to leap into the fray with weapon in hand right at the start of combat.

This is just the first of a number of improvements I’ve made to both of the solar manifestations. The manifestation is one of the core class features of the solarian and their signature piece of equipment. It’s their lightsaber, their Varia Suit. Whichever form you choose, you should be using it almost if not every single fight and you should genuinely want to use it.

Solar Armour
>It costs a swift action to form the armour.
>Solar Armour is not compatible with heavy or power armour and will not give you any benefits if you wear those types of armour.
>The energy resistance you gain from solar armour applies to all energy types.
>At 18th level, the armour gains another +1 increase to KAC and EAC, for a total of +3 to both.

Reasoning: Again, swift action activation lets solarians get right into combat with their manifestation ready from the very first round.

Added the power armour clause for clarity. It makes sense that the solar armour wouldn’t work with power armour if it doesn’t work with heavy armour.

Universal energy resistance and extra +1 in scaling makes the armour slightly more useful overall without becoming overpowered.

Stellar Mode
>You must always choose to be attuned to a stellar mode at the beginning of combat. You start combat fully attuned to that stellar mode.
>Photon Mode gives a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls, increasing by 1 for every 6 solarian levels.
>Graviton Mode gives a +1 bonus to KAC, EAC and all saves, increasing by 1 for every 6 solarian levels.

Reasoning: From a design standpoint it makes more sense that the solarian begin fully attuned so that they are able to use their zenith if/when they wish to, then wait three rounds. It’s also simply more fun to start with full attunement.

Slight buffs to both modes and standardized scaling to make them more attractive in comparison to each other, especially at higher levels. People will naturally prefer Photon Mode most of the time, but having Graviton Mode as a mild “defense stance” could be useful in certain situations.

I got rid of the ability to start unattuned because there’s no reason to do that. If Paizo releases solarian options that reward being unattuned--which I doubt they would because it contradicts the class design and narrative--then I’ll revise this houserule.

Stellar Revelation
>The Disproportionate Revelations clause is removed. Solarians can take any ratio of photon-to-graviton revelations without penalty.
>The following revelations impart their full effects whether or not you are attuned or fully attuned to their stellar mode, including when you are not in combat: Astrologic Sense, Defy Gravity, Flare, Glow of Life, Gravity Boost, Hypnotic Glow, Soul Furnace, Stealth Warp.
>At 16th level, solarians gain the Ultimate Photon and Ultimate Graviton revelations, in addition to the revelation they choose at this level.

Reasoning: Disproportionate Revelations makes no sense whatsoever and there’s no reason for it to exist. Build your solarian the way you want to.

There are some revelations that have very clear out-of-combat utility, so I’m allowing them to be used as such.

Ultimate Photon and Ultimate Graviton make sense as high-level boosts to the solarian’s abilities, so they’re freebies. This also frees up players from having to build specifically towards them.

Black Hole
>Each target is pulled whatever distance you choose towards you, up to the revelation’s maximum range, with no save. As levels increase, this revelation’s maximum range increases as listed in the CRB.
>This revelation costs a move action to use.
>The movement forced by this revelation provokes attacks of opportunity.
>After each target is moved, you may choose any number of your moved targets to become stuck in your event horizon. Until the end of your next turn, those targets cannot move further away from you. They may still move closer to you or around you. At 10th and 20th level, your event horizon lingers for an additional turn.

Reasoning: All of these buffs are meant to simply make Black Hole more desirable. Zenith revelations have an opportunity cost of four rounds (the round you use it on and the three round cooldown), not being able to use any other zeniths and the full potency of your non-zenith revelations. Something that costs so much to use should be really powerful in exchange and vanilla Black Hole simply isn’t good enough.

Yes, it has no save. You use this thing every four rounds at best.

Being able to decide how far things get pulled to you gives you more tactical control over the ability and allows you to safely use it on allies as well. Suppose there’s a chasm separating you from some of your allies. Maybe you want to pull an ally across the chasm and drop an enemy into the chasm--go for it. Provoking AoOs is along the same lines: create a kill zone with your allies and pull enemies into hell, like Overwatching in XCOM. It rewards tactical planning.

Move action allows you to attack after pulling an enemy to you, which just makes sense. At least you’ll get a direct benefit from them being near you before they run away on their turn. The event horizon also helps with this because you can keep some enemies close to you, which is what you want for a melee class.

Radiation
>The radiation produced by this revelation is only “low-level” for narrative descriptive purposes and is not blocked by armour.
>The effects of this revelation are considered a poison effect for the purposes of determining saving throws. This revelation does not poison targets, it only sickens them.
>The sickened condition caused by this radiation lasts for 1 round per solarian level. Sickened creatures do not recover through moving out of your aura.

Reasoning: Because Radiation's wording is vague, this houserule is subject to change pending official errata. This is simply my interpretation of how the revelation works.

I buffed it a little by having the radiation last longer than the 5’ step it takes for an enemy to escape.

Supernova
>Area of effect changed to a 20’ sphere. Supernova does not expand its range at 9th and 17th levels.
>Supernova damages all objects that are not worn or carried within its radius as well as all creatures. It can also ignite elements of the environment where appropriate--plants, flammable gas, etc.
>Anything damaged by your supernova gains the burning condition (1d6 fire damage; see page 273). For every 2 solarian levels you have, the burning damage increases by 1d6, to a maximum of 10d6 at 20th level.
>Supernova’s initial and burning damage ignores energy resistance and fire immunity.

Reasoning: Just like with Black Hole, vanilla Supernova simply isn’t good enough to justify its opportunity cost, not to mention the shorter range and lack of target selection. My improvements are meant to make Supernova stronger at what it does, but also riskier to use. High-risk, high-reward.

More power through the burning effect and ignoring resistances/immunities, but this also means it’s that much more dangerous for your allies. In addition, now it burns through everything. You might be able to melt that barricade your enemies are hiding behind, but do you want to risk starting a forest fire in the process or immolating the bridge of the ship you’re on?

Full range from the start. It can burn more things, but it’s also harder to use safely since you need more clearance from your allies.

At 2nd level, solarians gain the following ability:

Solar Grace (2nd Level)

A solarian’s strength flows from the stars. You add your Charisma modifier to your Dexterity modifier to calculate your total bonuses to initiative and the KAC/EAC of your armour. This bonus to AC is still restricted by your armour’s maximum Dexterity.

If you chose Solar Weapon as your solar manifestation, you also add your Charisma modifier to your Strength modifier to determine your total bonus to attack and damage rolls for all attacks you make with your solar weapon.

If you chose Solar Armour as your solar manifestation, you also gain a bonus to all saves equal to your Charisma modifier as long as your solar armour is active.

Reasoning: Solar Grace serves two purposes: making the solarian less Multiple Attribute Dependent and making the solar manifestation more attractive.

It’s also my effort towards improving the viability of ranged solarians. If you want to be ranged then you’ll probably choose solar armour, which now gives you something that normal armour can’t (and will continue to do so in future levels, see Solar Evolution below). You’ll want to wear light armour to get the save boost, which means you won’t need as much STR, which means you can go for a DEX/CHA build.

I put this at 2nd level rather than 1st so as not to overwhelm new players--solarians already get plenty of stuff at 1st level--and so that any other class that wants Solar Grace needs to give up two levels instead of one.

At 3rd level, solarians gain the following abilities:

Solar Focus (3rd Level)

By light of day or starry night, no enemy escapes your might. You gain the benefit of the Weapon Focus feat for a weapon group of your choosing, as long as your solar manifestation is active. If you already have the Weapon Focus feat for your chosen weapon group, you may choose to retrain the feat. Whether or not your solar manifestation is active, you count as having Weapon Focus for feat prerequisites.

Reasoning: Just a small quality of life improvement.

Solar Evolution (3rd Level)

With each new experience, you understand more of the nature of the stars and their role in the cosmos. Your solar manifestation begins to display unique qualities that reflect your enlightenment. Choose a solar evolution from the following list. At 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th level, choose another solar evolution. The evolutions you choose must correspond to your solar manifestation, as listed in the information for each evolution.

(Weapon) Aurora: Your solar weapon gains the stun quality. Turning stun mode on and off is a free action.

(Weapon) Binary: When forming your solar weapon, you can morph it, splitting it into two weapons or growing it into a double weapon. Once the design for your solar weapon’s binary form is chosen, it cannot be changed until you gain another solarian level. Both halves of the weapon can be fitted with weapon crystals. One of these crystals (your choice) is inactive and grants no benefits if the weapon is not morphed into its binary form. You qualify for feats that involve fighting with more than one weapon.

(Weapon) Gravity Well: Your solar weapon gains the disarm and trip qualities.

(Weapon) Icarus: Your solar weapon gains the reach quality.

(Weapon) Perihelion: Your solar weapon gains the block quality.

(Weapon) Prominence Strike: As a standard action, you execute one of three attacks with your solar weapon that unleash waves of deadly energy in an area. These waves ignore all cover and concealment.
1) You make a wide horizontal sweep and unleash a wave toward every enemy in a 30 foot cone in front of you.
2) You lunge forward and unleash a wave toward every enemy in a 60 foot line in front of you.
3) You spin and unleash a wave towards every enemy within 15 feet of you.
If you have the Icarus evolution, the range of your waves increases by 10 feet.
Roll the damage you normally would for a single melee attack, then divide that damage by the number of enemies your wave hits. Each enemy hit takes the result as either fire or cold damage (your choice).

(Weapon) Solar EMP: When you hit a drone, powered armour, robot or creature with the technological subtype with your solar weapon, you deal an additional 5 electricity damage and your target suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls and AC until the start of your next turn. If you have at least 10 solarian levels, the damage increases to 10 electricity damage and the penalty increases to -4. If you damage your target more than once with your solar weapon in a single turn, it does not receive cumulative penalties.

(Weapon) Sunburn: When you hit a target with your solar weapon, that target suffers a -2 penalty to any saves against the effects of your revelations until the end of your next turn. If you have at least 10 solarian levels, this penalty increases to -4. If you damage your target more than once with your solar weapon in a single turn, it does not receive cumulative penalties.

(Weapon) Syzygy: Your solar weapon gains the penetrating quality. At 12th level, you gain the effect of the Penetrating Attack feat for attacks you make with your solar weapon.

(Weapon) Unstable Flare: You can make your solar weapon flare with uncontrollable nuclear energies. Whenever you hit an enemy with your solar weapon, you may roll 1d20. On 2-10, subtract half of the damage you roll from the attack’s total damage. On 11-19, add half of the damage you roll to the attack’s total damage.

(Weapon or Armour) Mass Ejection: As a standard action, you may convert the energy of your solar manifestation into a searing beam. The beam uses your melee or ranged attack bonus, whichever is higher, has a range of 60 feet and does either fire or cold damage (your choice): 1d6 damage + 1d6 damage for every five solarian levels you have. Alternatively, as part of an attack with a ranged weapon, you may add the beam’s damage to your weapon damage if the attack hits. If you convert your solar manifestation into a beam, you lose your manifestation and cannot form it again until the start of your next turn.

(Weapon or Armour) Star Cluster: You bathe nearby allies in sunlight, granting them a small amount of your solar power. While your solar manifestation is active, all allies who are adjacent to you deal an additional 5 fire damage with any attacks they make. If you have at least 10 solarian levels, this damage increases to 10 fire damage.

(Armour) Guardian Constellation: Once per day when you form your solar armour, you gain a field of many tiny stars arranged in a protective pattern. The field grants you 1 temporary hit point per solarian level. The field lasts for 8 hours or until its hit points are depleted.

(Armour) Irradiance: You gain spell resistance equal to your EAC as long as your solar armour is active.

(Armour) Massive: While your solar armour is active, you gain +2 to your AC against combat maneuvers. At 15th level, this bonus increases to +3. At 20th level, this bonus increases to +4.

(Armour) Nebula: You can extend your solar armour to manifest a shield on one of your arms. This shield gives you a +2 shield bonus to your KAC and EAC as long as your solar armour is active. While the shield is active, you cannot hold objects with your shield hand or wield two-handed weapons. Forming or dismissing the shield is a swift action. When you form your solar armour, you may form the shield along with it in the same action.

(Armour) Neutron: Your solar armour gives you DR/5- as long as it is active. This DR/- stacks with any other source of DR/-, such as that given by the dark matter revelation.

(Armour) Partial Eclipse: As a move action, you may transform your solar armour into deployable cover. Until the start of your next turn, your solar armour becomes inactive and a barrier of your stellar energy appears directly in front of you, granting you a single square of cover. The barrier is indestructible. You can see through the barrier and target enemies with ranged attacks, if you have any.

(Armour) Prominence Ward: While your solar armour is active, any creature that hits you in melee takes 1d6 fire damage for every 5 solarian levels you have and gains the burning condition (1d6 fire damage; see page 273).

(Armour) Solar Wind: All of your movement speeds increase by 10 as long as your solar armour is active.

(Armour) Total Eclipse: When a creature you can see is targeted by a ranged attack, spell or other hostile effect, as a reaction you may transfer your solar armour to that creature. Before the hostile effect can reach them, that creature gains the benefits of your solar armour and you lose those benefits. This protection lasts until the start of your next turn.

Reasoning: Credit to Secret Wizard for coming up with the original idea. I took their Solar Boon concept and ran with it.

This is the final component in my buffs to the manifestation. You can customize it through solar evolutions as well as solarian crystals for the weapon. These evolutions grant different kinds of functionality and various side-buffs without making the default benefits of the manifestation obsolete. The more active evolutions give you different ways of using your weapon and armour. There are also evolutions that aid ranged solarian builds and evolutions with group synergy.

[EQUIPMENT]

Weapon Fusion
>Weapon fusion seals can be attached to solarian weapon crystals.

Reasoning: If this can already be done or done in a different way, my bad. Otherwise, why not? The solar weapon is a weapon just like the rest of them.

[FEATS]

Name: Improved Plasma Sheath
Prerequisites: Plasma Sheath revelation.
When you use Plasma Sheath, you may choose for your solar weapon to deal a different energy damage type instead of fire.

Reasoning: Giving the Solarian damage type versatility. I’m surprised this isn’t in the CRB.

Name: Extra Revelation
Prerequisites: Stellar Revelation class feature.
You gain a revelation of your choosing. You must meet the level requirements for your chosen revelation.

Reasoning: Again, I’m surprised this isn’t in the CRB. If a solarian player wants to spend feats to get more revelations, why not?


Your link doesn't work.


Feather Sigil wrote:
less-than-stellar

Hue Hue Hue. That and the link doesn't seem to be working.


JetSetRadio said wrote:
Your link doesn't work.
Ikiry0 said wrote:
the link doesn't seem to be working.

Should be working now, sorry about that.


Still doesn't seem to be.


Alright, I'm gonna paste the whole thing directly into this thread, edited into my initial post. Stand by.


JetSetRadio said wrote:
Your link doesn't work.
Ikiry0 said wrote:
Still doesn't seem to be.

There, now you don't need to access the link.

To anyone else who may have already browsed this thread, I apologize and ask that you take another look. All my changes are now right there in the OP.


Seems like lots of stuff. I reserve judgement due to not having seen a solarion at the table yet.


Solar Grace is too much, Solarians already have good damage numbers. Devs have already mentioned not allowing any other stats to damage.

I doubt we'll ever see any Extra class feature feats.

As far as I understood it, you could use a zenith every three rounds, not four. Turn 1, begin attuning, turn 2, stay attuned, turn 3 full attunement and zenith. As for starting fully attuned, a lot of reports I'm seeing put combat as longer than Pathfinder, giving a better chance of reaching round three and four.

I also question massively rewriting a class less than four days after release.


I'd lean towards stat replacement (Use cha instead of X) rather than stat addition to stuff. Keeps the upper reach of the numbers within usual ranges.


Are you the DM or player? This design switch is all wrong. You are missing the point of the class. This is not balanced at all.


d'Eon said wrote:
Devs have already mentioned not allowing any other stats to damage.
Ikiry0 said wrote:
I'd lean towards stat replacement (Use cha instead of X) rather than stat addition to stuff. Keeps the upper reach of the numbers within usual ranges.

Good point. I admit I was on the fence about that myself. Let's change it a bit:

If you chose Solar Weapon as your solar manifestation, you use either your Charisma modifier or your Strength modifier, whichever of the two of higher, to determine your total bonus to attack and damage rolls for all attacks you make with your solar weapon.

JetSetRadio said wrote:
This design switch is all wrong. You are missing the point of the class. This is not balanced at all.

Could you give specific examples? I'm open to any feedback. That's why I made this thread, after all.


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The biggest issue is you did not compare your buffs against other items at the same level which breaks the class and makes playing other classes not worth it.

Feather Sigil wrote:


Solar Weapon
>It costs a swift action to form the weapon.
>The solar weapon’s damage now scales as follows:
1d6 at 1st level
2d6 at 3rd level
3d6 at 5th level

[i]Reasoning: Making the solar weapon more useful at all levels of play by improving its scaling and maximum damage.

At lvl 5 your solar weapon is 3d6? You will be dishing out an average 14 every hit. While your fellow players won't be doing more than that at the same lvl. Look at the equipment lvls for melee weapons. It goes from 2-7 and most jump to a 1d8 or 1d10. You gave the solar weapon 3d6. Your fellow players will be dishing out an average of 4 damage. That isn't fun to play with. Who wants to be useless in combat compared to the Solarian?

Feather Sigil wrote:


Black Hole
>Each target is pulled whatever distance you choose towards you, up to the revelation’s maximum range, with no save. As levels increase, this revelation’s maximum range increases as listed in the CRB.
>This revelation costs a move action to use.
>The movement forced by this revelation provokes attacks of opportunity.

Why no save?

Why a move action? So you can immediately kill whatever you throw forward?
Oh and plus attacks of opportunity so you can hit the enemy more times?

But the list goes on and the main question is why? Why does every ounce of this class need a buff?

Why are you immediately attuned? Battle starts and you cook anything that started a fight with you. Oh and you are also burning. Your team says, "Great job! We don't know why we even have guns..."


Solarians are already the highest damage class in the game, even beating out operatives and soldiers, due to Proton Attunement and Plasma Sheathe. There's no need to increase the damage of their solar weapon or give them free weapon focus. That's not where the solarian's shortcomings lie.

Don't have Stellar Mode give a scaling increase to attack or AC. That throws off the math of the game at higher levels. Either make them static bonuses, or change the scaling bonus to something else, like certain skills.

Stat replacement with cha looks like a good idea. Charisma does so tragically little in SF, only improving social skills, resolve, and revelation DCs for solarians at the moment. It'll be nice to have an incentive to start with 18 cha as a solarian and still be good at combat.

Your black hole changes look good for the most part, but having it provoke AoOs might be excessive. The event horizon addition is especially nice, but I think that at least that portion should allow a save, even if the initial pull doesn't. Having it allow a save allows for counterplay, and gives the solarian more incentive to increase charisma.

Yay for no Disproportionate Revelations!

Your supernova change is interesting, but I'm not sure how it would play out in an actual game. The damage almost seems excessive, but you'll have to really count on your GM not to screw you over and hope the stars align (pun intended) for the perfect environment to use it in. Really, it seems so dangerous to use that it encourages one particular playstyle: Start combat in graviton, use your extremely reliable black hole right off the bat, then switch to proton and start dealing damage. I don't have a suggestion for this, maybe it's not even a problem to you.

About your Solar Evolutions. The ones that bring additional utility like Prominence Strike are really cool. But the ones that pile on raw numbers like Solar EMP might cause math problems. Remember that bonuses and penalties are very rare in Starfinder.

Overall, I like your changes, but what I really want to see are improvements to the revelations that use standard/full actions or allow saves, like Gravity Hold, Flare, Crush, and Gravity Surge. It'll be cool to have some more effective combat options that aren't attacks or zenith revelations.


JetSetRadio wrote:
the main question is why?

Well, I explained why. I gave a detailed Reasoning section for every single change. Now, I could be mistaken in my assessments of the class. I admit I went too far with regards to the numbers, especially with Solar Weapon, and I will re-examine and adjust all of them. But if you want to know why I did any of these, just read the Reasoning.

That being said...

JetSetRadio wrote:
Why no save?

To ensure that this ability you'll only use every four rounds at the most (the round you use it on, then the next three rounds you have to wait to become fully attuned) will always give you a benefit. Offering no save doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but I could be wrong.

JetSetRadio wrote:
Why a move action? So you can immediately kill whatever you throw forward?

That's exactly why. You draw them in with a move action, then use your standard action to attack one of them. As opposed to spending a standard action to draw them in and then doing nothing, giving them the chance to move away (and thus pulling them did nothing) or hit you (and thus you gave them a free attack against you).

JetSetRadio wrote:
Oh and plus attacks of opportunity so you can hit the enemy more times?

Perhaps that's too much? Didn't seem like too much to me since your party would need to be in the proper positions and using melee weapons to make the most of the AoOs. But I might be wrong.

JetSetRadio wrote:
Why are you immediately attuned?

By the time three rounds have passed, the combat could already be over or close to. Or the player might’ve wanted to use their zenith on round 1 or 2 but by the time round 3 comes around things have changed and it doesn’t make sense to use it. Or maybe they don’t want to use it yet but then by the next round things have changed and then they want to use it. And so on and so forth. Furthermore, by giving full attunement from the start the player now has a tactical choice to make: whether to keep full attunement and enjoy the benefits of enhanced revelations or use a zenith, which hopefully they will be tempted to.

It simply makes more sense from a design perspective to let the player begin fully attuned, able to choose when to use a zenith. Plus, it's more fun.

JetSetRadio wrote:
Battle starts and you cook anything that started a fight with you. Oh and you are also burning. Your team says, "Great job! We don't know why we even have guns..."

That assumes 1) you have a 20' sphere of clearance from your party and any other friendlies so you don't hurt them and 2) there's nothing in the environment you wouldn't want to nuke along with your enemies.

Suppose you're fighting on the bridge of a ship your party has boarded: do you really want to immolate the bridge and risk destroying the ship's key systems? What if you're fighting in a reactor room, or a chemical lab, or a forest, or a planet with lots of methane in its atmosphere, or the middle of a diplomatic meeting that just got raided by pirates, etc. etc.

As Castilonium noted, this buffed Supernova does a ton of damage but is also very risky to use. Perhaps you might like that nuke but the situation makes it too risky to try, so you'll consider using a different zenith, think about whether you could remove some of the risk factors, etc. Tactical deliberation between desirable options like that is a good thing.

Castilonium wrote:
About your Solar Evolutions. The ones that bring additional utility like Prominence Strike are really cool. But the ones that pile on raw numbers like Solar EMP might cause math problems. Remember that bonuses and penalties are very rare in Starfinder.
Castilonium wrote:
Don't have Stellar Mode give a scaling increase to attack or AC. That throws off the math of the game at higher levels. Either make them static bonuses, or change the scaling bonus to something else, like certain skills.

Alright, I'll have to pare things down. Glad you like the more active evolutions, though.

Castilonium wrote:
Overall, I like your changes, but what I really want to see are improvements to the revelations that use standard/full actions or allow saves, like Gravity Hold, Flare, Crush, and Gravity Surge. It'll be cool to have some more effective combat options that aren't attacks or zenith revelations.

That'll be next up, I think. Examining the revelations in full, once the core class is in a better place.


I read your reasoning but most don't really explain why you decided to go that far with some of these powers. Its more of, "I changed it because I thought it would be cool to manifest my weapon as a swift action." There is a feat for that. Or like this one:

Feather Sigil wrote:

Weapon Fusion

>Weapon fusion seals can be attached to solarian weapon crystals.

Reasoning: If this can already be done or done in a different way, my bad. Otherwise, why not? The solar weapon is a weapon just like the rest of them.

Okay, I understand why you would want to do this. Sounds fun. "More power never hurts anything right?" But Solar Crystals aren't weapons. The increase the weapons abilities. It's like adding a fusion onto another fusion! You're not smashing a solar crystal against someone head like a rock.

It's more of just missing the concept of the class. The concept is a space monk that basically controls light and dark energy. Holding a balance between the 2. Kind of like a Jedi. If you remove certain parts it not only breaks the class but major parts of the game. If you are playing God of War it's fun to be overpowered. But if you are playing with 2-6 other players not so much.

I might have been a little harsh earlier. This feat is great! Electricity, Cold, ACID!! Nice...

Feather Sigil wrote:
Name: Improved Plasma Sheath

But then you have something like Solar Evolution which essentially makes the sword or armor the character. From what I read there is no utility powers. They merely amp the sword or armor.

Are you the DM or the Player? Are you just creating this for fun or is this going into a game?


The class is very good already. There is no need to add more to the class. The one problem I have with the class is that there is not much use for the cha stat which determines your RP. I think they did cha instead of str to balance the class. Take your first level in soldier, to get str as your RP stat, dump cha, and do not take powers that give saves. You can already bring out your solar weapon with a swift action if you get the quick draw feat. Also remember that your solar weapon is effected by your weapon specialization that you get at level 3. That adds your character level in damage. Use that level of soldier to get blitz, to add 10ft of speed. Then take the feat fleet, to add yet another 10ft. That gives you a speed of 50ft in light armor. Take Versatile Specialization to get weapon specialization to all of your soldier weapons as well. By taking one just one level in another class to change your RP stat, and taking a feats can add a lot to the solarian class.

I think the solarian is one of the strongest classes already with a little work. It is for now my go to class in starfinder. I think many of the things that limit the class where done so that it would not be over powered.

Liberty's Edge

As noted, Solarian is already very good. In fact, it's the best DPR class in the game.

You should generally not improve the damage abilities of the people who are already best at it.


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I'd like to thank every person who gave feedback thus far. Given the nature of the initial houserules I'm sure it would have been easy to simply write me off and be on your way. Perhaps some people actually did that. I wouldn't blame them if they did. I wish the forums let you edit OPs or thread titles, but no matter. If you're reading this post, I appreciate your taking the time to see how the thread has progressed.

It's not my intent to break the class, but obviously I went too far with the number increases. As d'Eon pointed out, rushing off to mod a system that only just released has its pitfalls. Perhaps I was also looking at this with more of a Pathfinder mindset as well. Regardless, I've looked over all the feedback given and made adjustments accordingly. Many of the straight numerical buffs to the solarian have been removed, leaving mostly increased utility, quality-of-life changes, expanded build versatility, etc.

[CLASSES.SOLARIAN]

Solar Manifestation
>You can make your mote any colour you want.

Reasoning: This is a science fiction setting with magic and rat people. We can waive realism when it comes to a purely cosmetic choice. Besides, what if you want to play a Green Lantern?

Solar Weapon
>Adjusted damage scaling:
2d6 at 5th level, all other values are vanilla.

Reasoning: Making the solar weapon more useful at low levels of play by improving its scaling a little bit.

Solar Armour
>Solar Armour is not compatible with heavy or power armour and will not give you any benefits if you wear those types of armour.
>The energy resistance you gain from solar armour applies to all energy types.

Reasoning: Added the power armour clause for clarity. It makes sense that the solar armour wouldn’t work with power armour if it doesn’t work with heavy armour.

Universal energy resistance makes the armour slightly more useful overall without becoming overpowered.

Stellar Mode
>You must always choose to be attuned to a stellar mode at the beginning of combat. You start combat fully attuned to that stellar mode.
>Photon Mode gives a +1 bonus to damage rolls, increasing by 1 for every 6 solarian levels.
>Graviton Mode gives a +1 bonus to all saves, increasing by 1 for every 6 solarian levels.

Reasoning: From a design standpoint it makes more sense that the solarian begin fully attuned so that they are able to use their zenith if/when they wish to, then wait three rounds. It’s also simply more fun to start with full attunement.

Why does it make more sense? By the time three rounds have passed, the combat could already be over or close to. Or the player might’ve wanted to use their zenith on round 1 or 2 but by the time round 3 comes around things have changed and it doesn’t make sense to use it. Or maybe they don’t want to use it yet but then by the next round things have changed and then they want to use it. And so on and so forth. Furthermore, by giving full attunement from the start the player now has a tactical choice to make: whether to keep full attunement and enjoy the benefits of enhanced revelations or use a zenith, which hopefully they will be tempted to.

Slight buffs to Graviton Mode and standardized scaling to make it more attractive in comparison to Photon Mode, especially at higher levels. People will naturally prefer Photon Mode most of the time, but having Graviton Mode as a mild “defense stance” could be useful in certain situations.

I got rid of the ability to start unattuned because there’s no reason to do that. If Paizo releases solarian options that reward being unattuned--which I doubt they would because it contradicts the class design and narrative--then I’ll revise this houserule.

Stellar Revelation
>The Disproportionate Revelations clause is removed. Solarians can take any ratio of photon-to-graviton revelations without penalty.
>The following revelations impart their full effects whether or not you are attuned or fully attuned to their stellar mode, including when you are not in combat: Astrologic Sense, Defy Gravity, Flare, Glow of Life, Gravity Boost, Hypnotic Glow, Soul Furnace, Stealth Warp.
>At 16th level, solarians gain the Ultimate Photon and Ultimate Graviton revelations, in addition to the revelation they choose at this level.

Reasoning: Disproportionate Revelations makes no sense whatsoever and there’s no reason for it to exist. Build your solarian the way you want to.

There are some revelations that have very clear out-of-combat utility, so I’m allowing them to be used as such.

Ultimate Photon and Ultimate Graviton make sense as high-level boosts to the solarian’s abilities, so they’re freebies. This also frees up players from having to build specifically towards them.

Black Hole
>Each target is pulled whatever distance you choose towards you, up to the revelation’s maximum range, with no save. As levels increase, this revelation’s maximum range increases as listed in the CRB.
>This revelation costs a move action to use.
>After each target is moved, you may choose any number of your moved targets to become stuck in your event horizon. Those targets must succeed on a Fortitude save or they cannot move further away from you until the start of your next turn. While stuck in your event horizon, they may still move closer to you or around you. At 10th and 20th level, your event horizon lingers for an additional turn.

Reasoning: All of these buffs are meant to simply make Black Hole more desirable. Zenith revelations have an opportunity cost of three rounds, not being able to use any other zeniths and the full potency of your non-zenith revelations. Something that costs so much to use should be really powerful in exchange and vanilla Black Hole simply isn’t good enough.

Yes, it has no save. You use this thing every three rounds at best.

Being able to decide how far things get pulled to you gives you more tactical control over the ability and allows you to safely use it on allies as well. Suppose there’s a chasm separating you from some of your allies. Maybe you want to pull an ally across the chasm and drop an enemy into the chasm--go for it.

Move action allows you to attack after pulling an enemy to you, which just makes sense. At least you’ll get a direct benefit from them being near you before they run away on their turn. The event horizon also helps with this because you can keep some enemies close to you, which is what you want for a melee class.

Radiation
>The radiation produced by this revelation is only “low-level” for narrative descriptive purposes and is not blocked by armour.
>The effects of this revelation are considered a poison effect for the purposes of determining saving throws. This revelation does not poison targets, it only sickens them.
>The sickened condition caused by this radiation lasts for 1 round per solarian level. Sickened creatures do not recover through moving out of your aura.

Reasoning: Because Radiation's wording is vague, this houserule is subject to change pending official errata. This is simply my interpretation of how the revelation works.

I buffed it a little by having the radiation last longer than the guarded step it takes for an enemy to escape.

Supernova
>Area of effect changed to a 20’ sphere. Supernova does not expand its range at 9th and 17th levels.
>Supernova damages all objects that are not worn or carried within its sphere as well as all creatures. It can also ignite elements of the environment where appropriate--plants, flammable gas, etc.
>Any object damaged by Supernova and any creature who fails their Reflex save on the initial damage gains the burning condition (1d6 fire damage; see page 273). For every 2 solarian levels you have, the burning damage increases by 1d6, to a maximum of 10d6 at 20th level.
>Supernova’s initial and burning damage ignores energy resistance and fire immunity.

Reasoning: Just like with Black Hole, vanilla Supernova simply isn’t good enough to justify its opportunity cost, not to mention the shorter range and lack of target selection. My improvements are meant to make Supernova stronger at what it does, but also riskier to use. High-risk, high-reward.

Ignoring resistances/immunities means nothing is safe from the nova while the burning damage makes it deadlier for anything that fails its save, but this also means it’s that much more dangerous for your allies. In addition, now the nova burns through everything. You might be able to melt that barricade your enemies are hiding behind or cook that warlord inside his power armour, but do you want to risk starting a forest fire in the process or immolating the bridge of the ship you’re on?

Full range from the start. It can burn more things, but it’s also harder to use safely since you need more clearance from your allies.

At 2nd level, solarians gain the following ability:

Solar Grace (2nd Level)

A solarian’s strength flows from the stars. You add your Charisma modifier to your Dexterity modifier to calculate your total bonuses to initiative and the KAC/EAC of your armour. This bonus to AC is still restricted by your armour’s maximum Dexterity. Depending on which solar manifestation you chose, you also gain an additional benefit.

If you chose Solar Weapon as your solar manifestation, you use either your Charisma modifier or your Strength modifier, whichever of the two of higher, to determine your total bonus to attack and damage rolls for all attacks you make with your solar weapon.

If you chose Solar Armour as your solar manifestation, as long as your solar armour is active you use either your Charisma modifier or your Dexterity/Constitution/Wisdom modifier, whichever of the two is higher, to determine your total bonus to your Reflex/Fortitude/Will saves respectively.

Reasoning: Solar Grace’s primary purpose is making the solarian less Multiple Attribute Dependent. Splitting the attribute substitutions among the two solar manifestations makes each more attractive in their own right.

In addition, Solar Grace indirectly improves the viability of the ranged solarian build. If you want to be ranged then you’ll probably choose solar armour, which now gives you something that normal armour can’t. You’ll want to wear light armour to get the save boost, which means you won’t need as much STR, which means you can go for a DEX/CHA build.

I put this at 2nd level rather than 1st so as not to overwhelm new players--solarians already get plenty of stuff at 1st level--and so that any other class that wants Solar Grace needs to give up two levels instead of one.

At 5th level, solarians gain the following ability:

Solar Evolution (5th Level)

With each new experience, you understand more of the nature of the stars and their role in the cosmos. Your solar manifestation begins to display unique qualities that reflect your enlightenment. Choose a solar evolution from the following list. At 10th, 15th and 20th level, choose another solar evolution. The evolutions you choose must correspond to your solar manifestation, as listed in the information for each evolution.

(Weapon) Aurora: Your solar weapon gains the stun quality. Turning stun mode on and off is a free action.

(Weapon) Binary: When forming your solar weapon, you can morph it, splitting it into two weapons or growing it into a double weapon. Once the design for your solar weapon’s binary form is chosen, it cannot be changed until you gain another solarian level. Both halves of the weapon can be fitted with weapon crystals. One of these crystals (your choice) is inactive and grants no benefits if the weapon is not morphed into its binary form. You qualify for feats that involve fighting with more than one weapon.

(Weapon) Daedalus: Your solar weapon gains the block quality.

(Weapon) Gravity Well: Your solar weapon gains the disarm and trip qualities.

(Weapon) Icarus: Your solar weapon gains the reach quality.

(Weapon) Prominence: As a standard action, you execute one of three attacks with your solar weapon that unleash waves of deadly energy in an area. These waves ignore all cover and concealment.
1) You make a wide horizontal sweep and unleash a wave toward every enemy in a 30 foot cone in front of you.
2) You lunge forward and unleash a wave toward every enemy in a 60 foot line in front of you.
3) You spin and unleash a wave towards every enemy within 15 feet of you.
If you have the Icarus evolution, the range of your waves increases by 10 feet.
Roll the damage you normally would for a single melee attack, then divide that damage by the number of enemies your wave hits. Each enemy hit by your wave takes the result as either fire or cold damage (your choice).

(Weapon) Solar EMP: When you hit a drone, powered armour, robot or creature with the technological subtype with your solar weapon, your target must make a Will save. On a failed save the target malfunctions until the start of your next turn: when it makes its next d20 roll it must roll twice and take the worst of the two results. If you damage your target more than once with your solar weapon in a single turn, it does not receive cumulative malfunctions.

(Weapon) Sunburn: When you hit a target with your solar weapon, that target suffers a -2 penalty to any saves against the effects of your revelations until the end of your next turn. If you damage your target more than once with your solar weapon in a single turn, it does not receive cumulative penalties.

(Weapon) Syzygy: Your solar weapon gains the penetrating quality.

(Weapon) Unstable Flare: You can make your solar weapon flare with uncontrollable nuclear energies. Whenever you hit an enemy with your solar weapon, you may roll 1d20. On 1-10, subtract half of the damage you roll from the attack’s total damage. On 11-20 or if your attack roll was a critical hit, add half of the damage you roll to the attack’s total damage.

(Weapon or Armour) Mass Ejection: As a standard action, you may convert the power of your solar manifestation into an energy beam. The beam uses your melee or ranged attack bonus, whichever is higher, has a range of 60 feet and does either fire or cold damage (your choice): 1d6 damage + 1d6 damage for every five solarian levels you have. Alternatively, as part of an attack with a ranged weapon, you may add the beam’s damage to your weapon damage if the attack hits. If you convert your solar manifestation into a beam, you lose your manifestation and cannot form it again until the start of your next turn.

(Weapon or Armour) Star Cluster: You bathe nearby allies in your solar power. While your solar manifestation is active, all allies who are adjacent to you deal an additional 5 fire or cold damage (your choice, applies to all) with any attacks they make.

(Armour) Guardian Constellation: Once per day when you form your solar armour, you gain a field of many tiny stars arranged in a protective pattern. The field grants you 1 temporary hit point per solarian level. The field lasts for 4 hours or until its hit points are depleted. If you wish, you may determine the appearance of your protective constellation.

(Armour) Massive: While your solar armour is active, you gain +2 to your AC against combat maneuvers.

(Armour) Nebula: You can extend your solar armour to form a shield on one of your arms. This shield gives you a +2 shield bonus to your KAC and EAC as long as your solar armour is active. While the shield is active, you cannot hold objects with your shield hand or wield two-handed weapons. Forming or dismissing the shield is a swift action. When you form your solar armour, you may form the shield along with it in the same action.

(Armour) Partial Eclipse: As a move action, you may transform your solar armour into deployable cover. Until the start of your next turn, your solar armour becomes inactive and a barrier of your stellar energy appears directly in front of you, granting you a single square of cover. The barrier is indestructible. You can see through the barrier and target enemies with ranged attacks, if you have any. You cannot use Partial Eclipse if your solar armour is not active.

(Armour) Solar Wind: All of your movement speeds increase by 10 as long as your solar armour is active.

(Armour) Total Eclipse: When a creature you can see is targeted by a ranged attack, spell or other hostile effect, as a reaction you may transfer your solar armour to that creature to protect them. Before the hostile effect can reach them, that creature gains all the benefits of your solar armour and you lose those benefits. This protection lasts until the start of your next turn. You cannot use Total Eclipse if your solar armour is not active.

Reasoning: Credit to Secret Wizard for coming up with the original idea. I took their Solar Boon concept and ran with it.

These evolutions grant different kinds of functionality/utility and various side-buffs without breaking the class (ideally) or making the default benefits of the solar manifestation obsolete.

[EQUIPMENT]

Weapon Fusion
Weapon fusion seals can be attached to solarian weapon crystals.

Reasoning: If this can already be done or done in a different way, my bad. Otherwise, why not? The solar weapon is a weapon just like the rest of them.

[FEATS]

Name: Improved Plasma Sheath
Prerequisites: Plasma Sheath revelation
When you use Plasma Sheath, you may choose for your solar weapon to deal a different energy damage type instead of fire.

Reasoning: Giving the Solarian damage type versatility. I’m surprised this isn’t in the CRB.

Name: Extra Revelation
Prerequisites: Stellar Revelation class feature.
You gain a revelation of your choosing. You must meet the level requirements for your chosen revelation.

Reasoning: Again, I’m surprised this isn’t in the CRB. If a solarian player wants to spend feats to get more revelations, why not?


Feather Sigil wrote:

Reasoning: From a design standpoint it makes more sense that the solarian begin fully attuned so that they are able to use their zenith if/when they wish to, then wait three rounds. It’s also simply more fun to start with full attunement.

Why does it make more sense? By the time three rounds have passed, the combat could already be over or close to. Or the player might’ve wanted to use their zenith on round 1 or 2 but by the time round 3 comes around things have changed and it doesn’t make sense to use it. Or maybe they don’t want to use it yet but then by the next round things have changed and then they want to use it. And so on and so forth. Furthermore, by giving full attunement from the start the player now has a tactical choice to make: whether to keep full attunement and enjoy the benefits of enhanced revelations or use a zenith, which hopefully they will be tempted to.

As a design stand point it makes sense to have to gradually gain power as combat progresses. That's why the designers made it that way. Think of the class in street fighter terms. You don't automatically start the fight with your super move. You have to earn it.

How often do you play table top games? Combat usually lasts longer than 1 to 2 rounds. Usually combat lasts a little too long. But that's just the games I play. If battles play out that way your DM might want to increase the difficulty a tad.


JetSetRadio wrote:
As a design stand point it makes sense to have to gradually gain power as combat progresses. That's why the designers made it that way. Think of the class in street fighter terms. You don't automatically start the fight with your super move. You have to earn it.

Mind you, literally no other class has to do that...and those fully attuned powers are honestly not that impressive for the delay in time to use.


I think 1d6 per lvl is pretty cool actually .____.


JetSetRadio wrote:

As a design stand point it makes sense to have to gradually gain power as combat progresses. That's why the designers made it that way. Think of the class in street fighter terms. You don't automatically start the fight with your super move. You have to earn it.

1. Show me any other class in this game or Pathfinder that isn't able to use their kit as they please from the start. Looking at casters in particular.

2. In traditional fighting games, super moves are unlocked through combat. You get them by attacking and being attacked, usually with the former increasing the super meter faster than the latter so there's a reward for aggressive play. That's how it's earned.

Furthermore, those games usually offer the player a tactical choice by giving them various special moves that consume some of their super meter. They constantly have to decide based on their own fighting style and the moment-to-moment particulars of the battle whether to delay the progression to their super or go without the benefits of those special moves. The player is made to think about what they're willing to sacrifice.

There's nothing like that with vanilla solarian. You don't earn the zenith through play. You can't accelerate its cooldown through a sacrifice or delay its acquisition to get something good. All you do is wait.

My change gives the player that tactical choice of sacrifice from the moment their first turn starts. They should be tempted to use their zenith especially at the onset of combat, because the zeniths should be powerful abilities (which, let's be frank, they aren't in vanilla), but within that temptation should also be a temptation to hold onto it for later. This temptation is made more potent through the buffs to non-zeniths that full attunement brings. When, how and should they use their zenith? Is it worth using now or later? How does that affect their other revelations?

3. Look at this from the perspective of the player.

Round 1, Round 2, they can't use it. Even if they really want to, even if it would be a good tactical choice for the party, they can't do it. That's not fun.

By the time three rounds have passed in a fight, a lot has already happened, especially with larger PC parties and especially as levels increase. It's often easier to adjust to events as they are happening or simply alpha strike before a lot of variables can build up than to try to adjust to those variables after they've already set--"Well, last turn I wanted to use my zenith, but now there's [condition] and [condition] and, I dunno..." They might not want to use it anymore and then they'll be left feeling bummed out that they couldn't use it before. That's not fun.

On top of this, because they're not fully attuned they're also denied the full potency of their non-zenith revelations. They're playing an incomplete class at first. That's not fun.

My change offers the player the fun and flexibility of having full access to their kit right from the start.


JetSetRadio wrote:
I think 1d6 per lvl is pretty cool actually .____.

You might want to look into the grenade happy soldier then. He can do it first round of combat with a frag grenade he makes for free. At range.


Feather Sigil wrote:
JetSetRadio wrote:

As a design stand point it makes sense to have to gradually gain power as combat progresses. That's why the designers made it that way. Think of the class in street fighter terms. You don't automatically start the fight with your super move. You have to earn it.

1. Show me any other class in this game or Pathfinder that isn't able to use their kit as they please from the start. Looking at casters in particular.

Casters only get a certain amount of spells per day. Solarian do not have this limitation. If you are putting a limit per day then fine. Even a Barbarian has a limit per day on rage.

Feather Sigil wrote:


Stellar Mode
>You must always choose to be attuned to a stellar mode at the beginning of combat. You start combat fully attuned to that stellar mode.

So here is a question about your wording... So once you use a Zenith power you become unattuned, right? Once you decide to attuned to a stellar mode again why would you not become fully attuned? Whats the difference from the start of combat and the start of attuning after using a zenith?

Are you DMing or are you just thinking of ways to change the class?


Feather Sigil wrote:
On top of this, because they're not fully attuned they're also denied the full potency of their non-zenith revelations. They're playing an incomplete class at first. That's not fun.

You don't have to be fully attuned to get the full potency of your revelations.

Example:
"When you are attuned or fully attuned, you can substitute
a bull rush for the melee attack at the end of the charge.
Whether or not you succeed at the bull rush, the target takes
2d6 fire damage (Reflex half). This damage increases by 1d6
at 6th level and every 2 levels thereafter."

another example: "When you are attuned or fully attuned, your fly speed from this revelation increases by 10 feet."

Might want to read over the class one more time.


JetSetRadio wrote:
You don't have to be fully attuned to get the full potency of your revelations.

I checked, you're right. Thanks for pointing that out. My earlier points still stand, though.

JetSetRadio wrote:
Casters only get a certain amount of spells per day. Solarian do not have this limitation. If you are putting a limit per day then fine. Even a Barbarian has a limit per day on rage.

Okay, but that's not what I asked you. No other class has part of their kit locked off from the start of combat. The number of times you can use an ability per day and whether it is available to you at the start of combat are unrelated.

JetSetRadio wrote:
So here is a question about your wording... So once you use a Zenith power you become unattuned, right? Once you decide to attuned to a stellar mode again why would you not become fully attuned? Whats the difference from the start of combat and the start of attuning after using a zenith?

Good catch. I haven't eliminated the cooldown process and I have no desire for the player to be fully attuned after using a zenith, because that would mean they could just chain zeniths round after round. As for "what's the difference between the start of combat and the moment after using a zenith", I'm sure you can figure that out.

I simply don't see why the unattuned state should exist. There's no reason for the player to choose to be unattuned, which means that there's no reason to give the player that choice. All it does is add needless complexity and tedium.

If you're conscious and in combat, you're always attuned to a stellar mode. If you're unconscious and/or not in combat, you're not attuned to a stellar mode. There are two stellar modes: Photon and Graviton. You start combat with 3/3 attunement in the mode you choose. Attunement goes to 0/3 if you use a zenith or anything else that says you lose attunement after using it, but you stay in your current mode. If you lose consciousness but then revive in combat then you're back to 0/3 in the mode you were last in. At the start of each of your turns you either stay in your current mode and gain 1/3 attunement or you switch modes and go to 0/3 attunement. 3/3 attunement is "fully attuned". You have to be fully attuned to use zeniths.

That's all the stellar mode system needs to be. No fussing about with the unattuned state. No arguing with your GM over what is and isn't a threat to you.


You tried to remove the "needless complexity" but made it even more complicated. I have asked multiple times if you are going to be the DM or your just theory crafting. But you haven't answered, so I'll just assume it's theory craft. I would love to see how your homebrew works after multiple sessions with an actual group. Let us know.

Grand Lodge

I will point out that after level 5 or so Solarion should be doing more melee damage than the soldier, so I'd say they're doing just fine without any adjustments.


JetSetRadio wrote:
You tried to remove the "needless complexity" but made it even more complicated.

Explain how removing everything to do with the unattuned state makes the system more complicated.

JetSetRadio wrote:
I have asked multiple times if you are going to be the DM or your just theory crafting.

And I deliberately didn't answer. I know what that question really means. It means "Should I take you seriously or not?" and the only reason you ask such a question is because you don't and don't want to. Yet you've stuck with the thread for this long, so you know I'm not some fool doggedly sticking to flawed wish fulfillment ideas in the face of well-reasoned critique. This matters to me and I want to get it right. Sadly, because I can't edit the OP or delete this thread and start over most people are never going to know what changes have already been made and it's going to colour their perception, which can be seen in other comments.

If you feel this is a waste of your time, there are plenty of other threads in this forum. I'm not interested in speaking with anyone who isn't going to give constructive, rational feedback.

The choice is yours. Off you go.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I like having more options for mote color.


JetSetRadio wrote:
I have asked multiple times if you are going to be the DM or your just theory crafting. But you haven't answered, so I'll just assume it's theory craft.

How is that a relevant question?


Good second draft, I see you took my suggestions! But there is still some more paring to be done. Remember, solarian even in vanilla is the highest damage class in the game. By all means give it abilities that improve its utility, defense, crowd control, and more incentive to have high charisma, but don't give it more damage.

For weapon solarians, Mass Ejection is just a pure damage evolution. If they use an advanced melee weapon, they suffer no real consequence before their manifestation returns at the start of their next turn. It's more risky and interesting for armor solarians, though. Maybe make this evolution armor-only. Or give it functionality that isn't related to purely increasing damage.

Rework Star Cluster a bit. Instead of just slapping +5 cold/fire damage on allies, maybe you could enable allies to convert half their damage to cold/fire, and also ignore 5 cold/fire resistance. That would allow allies to deal more damage against resistant targets without simply dealing more damage 100% of the time.

Guardian Constellation is very weak. Look at the Force Field armor addon for comparison. Even a purple force field will provide more temporary HP over the course of the day than a level 20 solarian's Guardian Constellation.

Looking forward to what you have in mind for modifications to revelations!


Castilonium wrote:
For weapon solarians, Mass Ejection is just a pure damage evolution. If they use an advanced melee weapon, they suffer no real consequence before their manifestation returns at the start of their next turn. It's more risky and interesting for armor solarians, though. Maybe make this evolution armor-only. Or give it functionality that isn't related to purely increasing damage.

Funny, the first version of Mass Ejection was armour-only.

Castilonium wrote:
Guardian Constellation is very weak. Look at the Force Field armor addon for comparison. Even a purple force field will provide more temporary HP over the course of the day than a level 20 solarian's Guardian Constellation.

Actually, it's because of forcefields why made it the way it is. I didn't want it to overshadow forcefields. Forcefields already repair themselves and negate crits, though. If I just had GC stack with forcefields...that just seems inelegant mechanically...


Castilonium wrote:
Your black hole changes look good for the most part, but having it provoke AoOs might be excessive. The event horizon addition is especially nice, but I think that at least that portion should allow a save, even if the initial pull doesn't. Having it allow a save allows for counterplay, and gives the solarian more incentive to increase charisma.

That was my thought as well, except I would reverse the order: Save against the initial pull, but once you're in you're in, since thematically nothing is able to escape the event horizon, not even light.


Your changes to the class are very interesting. I hope the game designers will take some hitns from your ideas.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't understand the necessity of the changes really. I haven't played any Starfinder but just looking through the book the Solarian has a solid kit - it's flavorful and fun, almost like a space palladin.

It's clearly powerful, but it has the unique design that always it to flow with the ebb and tide of a dramatic battle. As the battle rages around you the Solarian warms up and as all hope seems lost they unleash power to turn the tide completely.

It's objectively fun to play a character that needs to "power up" to the point that its almost a worn out trope, but one of very few classes that exist in "-finder" gameplay. A decent example that's similar is the Kinetisist who can either accept burn or gather their power. Another is the Slayer who can become better as they study their target. In fact, to be honest, there's a host of classes that have to spend a turn or two setting up their better abilities and buffs. The only ones who don't are pure martials.

This feels like you're trying to take a class that's already got a decent flavor and powerlevel and trying to turn it into a combat savant. The point of these types of games is to be playing with a party who helps to make up your deficiencies, not to solo the encounter.

Also you added no utility to the class. It's combat or nothing, which is more boring that waiting a couple turns to blast the bad dudes because now I can't help other than murdering people.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't think the Solarion can be fixed without switching it to have a variable key stat like the soldier.

Until then, Solarions are gonna suck. Sure they theoretically at the highest levels out-damage the Soldier but in the meantime they are real liabilities.

All of this just overloads it though.

Liberty's Edge

eddv wrote:

I don't think the Solarion can be fixed without switching it to have a variable key stat like the soldier.

Until then, Solarions are gonna suck. Sure they theoretically at the highest levels out-damage the Soldier but in the meantime they are real liabilities.

All of this just overloads it though.

This is really not true. Or necessary. A Solarian can be built so it's true, but it's by no means inherent in the class.


A reminder to anyone who happens to see this message: the OP is not the latest version of my houserules.

Forum admins, if you happen to see this: could you please implement editing functionality for past posts so that threads like this can be updated properly?

Also, JetSetRadio, I know you're lurking in this thread. I know you favourite'd a post which was obviously responding to the OP. This confirms to me what I suspected all along: you've been trolling me. Please don't post or favourite anything in this thread ever again unless you're going to be serious and thoughtful.

Sach wrote:
I don't understand the necessity of the changes really.
Sach wrote:
This feels like you're trying to take a class that's already got a decent flavor and powerlevel and trying to turn it into a combat savant. The point of these types of games is to be playing with a party who helps to make up your deficiencies, not to solo the encounter.

The OP is not the latest version. Please refer to the Google Document or look for the most recent iteration among the thread posts.

Sach wrote:
It's clearly powerful, but it has the unique design that allows it to flow with the ebb and tide of a dramatic battle. As the battle rages around you the Solarian warms up and as all hope seems lost they unleash power to turn the tide completely.

That's not how the Solarian works. They don't ebb and flow with anything. They just have a four-round cooldown on their zenith revelations. That happens regardless of the drama of the combat. The player has no control over it until L20, so they can't "power up" shounen-style to turn things around at a critical moment.

Also, the zeniths aren't gamechanging abilities you throw out at critical moments.

*Yes everybody, it's four rounds.

Round 1: You choose a mode or stay unattuned. You do not gain attunement this round. 0/3 attunement.
Round 2: 1/3 attunement.
Round 3: 2/3 attunement.
Round 4: 3/3 attunement. You use your zenith and become unattuned.
Round 5: See Round 1.

This applies to the start of combat as well.

Sach wrote:
It's objectively fun to play a character that needs to "power up"

Really? Because I've talked to plenty of people who dislike cooldown systems.

Sach wrote:
A decent example that's similar is the Kinetisist who can either accept burn or gather their power.

Burn is a limiting mechanic applied after they use their active abilities. Gather Power is an active ability that lets them reduce future burn costs. They don't need to power up but there are benefits and costs to doing so.

The Kineticist has full access to their kit from the start and control over the extent to which they use their abilities. The Solarian has neither.

Sach wrote:
Another is the Slayer who can become better as they study their target.

Studying a target is a move action to activate and all it does is grant you a bunch of numerical benefits. The Slayer still has full access to their kit from the start. They can even study and attack in the first round, potentially.

Sach wrote:
In fact, to be honest, there's a host of classes that have to spend a turn or two setting up their better abilities and buffs. The only ones who don't are pure martials.

There is no class in PF or SF, other than the Solarian, that has to wait four rounds to have full access to their kit. Even casters can accomplish great things with a single good buff or debuff spell--look at Haste, Slow or Heroism.

Sach wrote:
Also you added no utility to the class.

Incorrect. Even the original version gave the class more utility and subsequent revisions added more utility. Please refer to the latest version.

eddv wrote:

I don't think the Solarion can be fixed without switching it to have a variable key stat like the soldier.

Until then, Solarions are gonna suck. Sure they theoretically at the highest levels out-damage the Soldier but in the meantime they are real liabilities.

All of this just overloads it though.

Please refer to the latest version. I'll give you an excerpt from it below.

---

At 2nd level, solarians gain the following ability:

Solar Grace (2nd Level)

A solarian’s strength flows from the stars. You add your Charisma modifier to your Dexterity modifier to calculate your total bonuses to initiative and the KAC/EAC of your armour. This bonus to AC is still restricted by your armour’s maximum Dexterity. Depending on which solar manifestation you chose, you also gain an additional benefit.

If you chose Solar Weapon as your solar manifestation, you use either your Charisma modifier or your Strength modifier, whichever of the two of higher, to determine your total bonus to attack and damage rolls for all attacks you make with your solar weapon.

If you chose Solar Armour as your solar manifestation, as long as your solar armour is active you use either your Charisma modifier or your Dexterity/Constitution/Wisdom modifier, whichever of the two is higher, to determine your total bonus to your Reflex/Fortitude/Will saves respectively.

---

My changes eliminate the Solarian's MAD problem. Solarians only need to focus on CHA (their key ability) and either STR or DEX, depending on if they're going for a melee or ranged build.


Here are my comments:

Solar Weapon:
2d6 Solar weapon damage a level earlier isn't that big of a deal. It is better than any other weapon at that level in terms of damage, but some other weapons with slightly less damage have nice perks like reach. I don't think its really necessary, but doesn't break anything.

Solar Armor:
Clarifying power armor interaction is good. Providing resistance 5/10/15/20 to all non-physical damage is very, very strong. A Solar Armor Solarian grabbing Enhanced Resistance at 5th level takes 5 less damage from every single attack. Given typical ranged damage values, thats like 50% less damage from each attack at 5th. It drops off at higher levels, but even at 10th or 15th its still like 25-33% less damage per hit. That is like 33%-50% more hit points at higher levels.

Closest thing I can come to it is the resistant armor spells, lesser at 3rd level (resist 5 to two elements), normal at 4th (resist 10 to three elements) or greater at 6th (resist 15 to four elements). These last for 10 minutes/level. At high level, its better than a permanent 6th level spell.

Does Solar armor still provide the +1 or +2 to AC as well? If so, there's no reason to take Solar Weapon, as the Solar Armor provides so much more.

Stellar Mode:
Every combat with multiple enemies at low levels is going to start with a fireball Supernova.
1st level: 2d6+1, 8 average damage AoE in a 10' radius (20 possible target squares).
2nd level 3d6+1, 11.5 average
3rd level 4d6+1, 15 average
4th level 5d6+1, 18.5 average
5th level 6d6+1, 22 average

At low level, these are very strong damage numbers. And since it doesn't cost any resources, you might as well use it every fight. Not really sure who can keep up with kind of damage numbers. At low level a Technomancer can't. Nor can a Soldier. Unless I'm missing a chunk of damage for other classes somewhere.

Black Hole:
There are going to possible situations because of terrain where this is an auto-kill, no save. They won't be common, but they will exist. Especially chase scenes. Getting within boarding range of another vehicle. Why go over when you can simply pull everyone out of the other vehicle while its going 100 mph.

Or combined with flight, its an automatic 1d6 damage (possibly more) plus knockdown. Just need to be above them.

Radiation:
Clarifications are good. Sickened for entire combat if you fail the saving throw is a pretty good power. Only costing a move action and affecting multiple opponents is very strong.

Compare to Quick Dispiriting Taunt for the Envoy (which only lasts a single round), costs a move action each time, and targets a single enemy for shaken.

Supernova:
I'm sorry, I had the wrong damage earlier. This is more. Burning isn't a single action to stop, you need to actually succeed at a saving throw based on the damage.
Failing the initial saving throw makes Supernova damage be:
1st: 2d6+1
2nd: 3d6+1 + 1d6 burning until save (DC 11-16)
3rd: 4d6+1 + 1d6 burning until save (DC 11-16)
4th: 5d6+1 + 2d6 burning until save (DC 12-22)
5th: 6d6+1 + 2d6 burning until save (DC 12-22)

At 5th, failed save is on average by the start of the target's turn, 29 damage. If they fail the average DC 17 burning save, then its 36 average damage on their 2nd turn. With no fire resistance or immunity.

What damage output were you aiming for each round from Supernova? What benchmark were you comparing to? How should a Soldier or Technomancer measure up?

Solar Grace:
This makes it trivial to max the dexterity bonus on Armor without using any Personal Upgrades. 18 Dex + 18 Cha is a +8 total bonus, the highest you need. This is easily accomplished by 10th level. Solarians will always have max AC possible for light armor in this case. Also allows them to match the Operative for highest initiative bonuses.

Solar Weapon: Charisma to replace Strength is reasonable I think. Makes the class less MAD.

Solar Armor: Graviton mode plus this is going to make the Solarian have the highest saving throws in the game, full stop. By a significant margin at high levels. Its potentially too much defensive power.

Solar Evolutions: Are these replacing something, or are they just on top of the base Solarian chassis? Some are nice, like being able to add traits like reach or block to the Solar Weapon. I feel something like that built into Solar Weapon would be cool and appropriate.

However, some of the abilities are very strong, like additional AC from a Shield, which makes the Solarian the highest AC class in the game, by at least 2 points over the Soldier. Monsters that have a 50/50 chance to hit a Vesk Solarian are going to have a 65% chance to hit a high AC soldier, and possibly 70%+ against less optimized builds.

Feats: No other class has feats which buy them more of their class abilities, so the system wasn't necessarily designed to have extra class ability picks.

As a suggestion, you might want to sit down, build a 5th level, 10th level, and 15th level Solarian using your rules. Then pit it against a team of any 2 other classes of the same level in a mock battle. If it comes out on top every time, you may want to reconsider some of these changes.

Grand Lodge

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Feather Sigil wrote:
Also, JetSetRadio, I know you're lurking in this thread. I know you favourite'd a post which was obviously responding to the OP. This confirms to me what I suspected all along: you've been trolling me. Please don't post or favourite anything in this thread ever again unless you're going to be serious and thoughtful.

First off calling people out like this is highly inappropriate. Secondly, he does not appear to be trolling at all. He simply disagrees with your premise. People disagreeing with you does not equal trolling, far from it in fact.


Feather Sigil;
I do not work for Paizo but I have worked for a game company on their boards and I can say that usually a company does not allow edits to posts after a specific time period for legal reasons. Their are quite a few legal reasons (as well as a few data base reasons, IIRC) for locking peoples thoughts, ideas and their expressions in solid form vs allowing unending edits.

Please Note: I am going to pick up my copy of the book tomorrow so I am really shooting in the dark here but....
For your Solar Grace Armor Manifestation, I might have said at level 2 pick one save and pick either the books stat or CH stat as your mod, then and level 2+X pick a second stat and do the same and 2+Y you can use either your CH or book stat as desired for all saves.
Why? Well I always like some growth in abilities. The problem is that it is more bookkeeping and players are generally going to pick their worst save Stat first and proceed to the best save stat.

Again I found your thoughts and others people have posted as interesting and they have given me something's to look for when I read the book.

MDC


Jurassic Pratt wrote:
calling people out like this is highly inappropriate.

You're right. I shouldn't have said that.

JetSetRadio, I apologize. That came from frustration with having to watch reply after reply for a now-outdated OP, but it's not your fault. I shouldn't take it out on you.

If I ever make another thread of this nature I'm going to have to include a large-font bolded all-caps message reminding people that the OP may not always be the current version and that they should look for changes in the rest of the thread.


I appreciate the apology. I didn't write anything new because I didn't have anything to add. Definitely not trying to troll. I was giving my perspective on the class with and without changes. I thought I gave good counters and tried to be respectful (maybe a little passionate).

I asked the "DM or player question" because if you were a player trying to convince your DM I could give counter points to what they might say. I have been in that boat where I didn't like something and had to argue my point to my DM. I have broke many classes in my decade of playing table top games.

My group already changed the Solarian for a current campaign. I am level two currently and am liking the changes. Maybe I thought that my changes were the only way to play. I didn't post them because I got the changes I wanted and I noticed too many of the Solarian posts. I was watching the messages to see how your class develops. Curious.

Jurassic Pratt wrote:

**Teary eyes** Thanks!!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Feather Sigil wrote:

*Yes everybody, it's four rounds.

Round 1: You choose a mode or stay unattuned. You do not gain attunement this round. 0/3 attunement.
Round 2: 1/3 attunement.
Round 3: 2/3 attunement.
Round 4: 3/3 attunement. You use your zenith and become unattuned.
Round 5: See Round 1.

This applies to the start of combat as well.

FWIW, Paizo's pregen character sheet for the iconic Solarian spells this out differently. In particular, it states that you choose at the start of your turn whether to attune to one element or the other (or be unattended), and if you choose to attune, you gain a point and are attuned (or fully attuned) that turn. So according to it you can start combat attuned, and you can unleash your zenith revelations every three rounds.


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The CRB also agrees. You enter a mode when combat starts, and both photon and graviton state that you gain 1 attunement when you enter them.

So it's correctly:
Round 1, enter photon/graviton, gain 1 point
Round 2, stay attuned, 2 points
Round 3, gain 3, fully attuned, zenith, become unattuned
Round 4, re-enter whichever, gain a point, etc


Has this been updated or it thrashed ?


Hiruma Kai wrote:

Solar Armor:
Clarifying power armor interaction is good. Providing resistance 5/10/15/20 to all non-physical damage is very, very strong. A Solar Armor Solarian grabbing Enhanced Resistance at 5th level takes 5 less damage from every single attack. Given typical ranged damage values, thats like 50% less damage from each attack at 5th. It drops off at higher levels, but even at 10th or 15th its still like 25-33% less damage per hit. That is like 33%-50% more hit points at higher levels.

Closest thing I can come to it is the resistant armor spells, lesser at 3rd level (resist 5 to two elements), normal at 4th (resist 10 to three elements) or greater at 6th (resist 15 to four elements). These last for 10 minutes/level. At high level, its better than a permanent 6th level spell.

Does Solar armor still provide the +1 or +2 to AC as well? If so, there's no reason to take Solar Weapon, as the Solar Armor provides so much more.

I honestly have not read all updates or all the posts however in regard to the above post from Hiruma Kai perhaps the new rules introducing shields could serve to balance the ability. Just off the cuff you could keep armour as normal however if a Solarian wants DR to all energy types they can manifest a shield instead.The shield provides greater DR properties but without armour bonus. Also work it like cover etc so that the DR only applies to attacks from one direction.

Just a thought.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

One thing that bothers me about the class design is skills. The class gets to pick two additional class skills, but has only 4 skill points per level. I would change that to 6, but 2 must be in the added class skills.

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