Melee Solarian Guide!


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Wait I got confused yes I meant defy gravity


MagicA wrote:

Wait I got confused yes I meant defy gravity

Defy gravity is legitimately bad. You can't use it to reach flying enemies, since you must end your movement on ground or immediately fall. You can't use it to charge, since it's letting you spend a move action to fly, not granting you a fly speed you can use on your standard action charge. The only thing it does is let you reach locations which would be impossible to climb to that are within your movement speed.

Of course, a jetpack can do that too, as well as allow you to fight airborne enemies or charge while flying.


fair enough
its just hard to afford jetpacks and other gear with the current WBL

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

You can do both.... I think Defy Gravity is useful when it is first available (level 6);

The jet pack is a level 5 armor upgrade - so not sure when it is "reasonable" to purchase it. The Defy Gravity ability is great for getting from Point A to Point B - especially if your speed is >>30 (which light armor builds likely will be).

The main issue is the ability to hover (a move action with a jet pack); You won't have that with Defy Gravity to deal with a badguy that is also hovering. But I am not sure how realistic that situation is.... a hovering enemy sounds like an easy target for all the other ranged characters. I think if the melee character is forcing the bad guy to spend lots of move actions to evade melee combat (and forcing them out of cover) then they (the melee character) is still contributing a lot to combat.


Vellis wrote:

I'm not using the intro levels of an intro module to justify these things. If I'd never even seen Dead Suns, I'd say the same thing due to past experiences in other RPGs. Common mooks just don't use special weapons, they don't even commonly carry +1 weapons until well into the mid game of a campaign in Pathfinder. Those flashy, effective weapons with on hit effects are generally reserved for named NPCs and not mooks. That's not a Dead Suns specific thing, that's just normal campaign building.

We seem to disagree on just how to categorize Plasma Weapons and the like. I think they're a special kind of equipment and will be treated as such, you think they're just a common item that any old NPC will use. That's fine, no harm no foul.

I apologize if I came across as hostile, that certainly wasn't my intent. I think the content of your guide is excellent, I simply disagree with the assertions you've made about wounding weapons in this thread. I don't expect this conversation would have any impact at all on your guide, since I don't expect a Solar Weapon Solarian to be using a 2-handed Advanced Weapon any time soon =p

Its all good.

Actually, one of my alt builds is a 2-handed solarian with Solar Weapon. It is a multiclass build though so the Solar Weapon is simple not as useful.


@grandpoobah
Yeah that's what I was thinking as well
if you have speed suspensions, your speed is going to be more than a jet pack (even in heavy armor) and its cheaper than a jetpack, and requires no charges in conjunction with Defy Gravity its a decent combo because you cna at least hit the guy even if there is no ground directly beneath you

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

HWalsh (the OP) has done great work. Thanks HWalsh for the effort, and for posting your assumptions and thinking. It's helping me (and hopefully others) think better about our own theory-crafting and simulations.

We're all just guessing right now - but it's good to share the basis for our guesses. Actual Gameplay is still a ways away, so we're all doing our best to plan ahead :)

I am super excited to play - especially after watching Star Wars Rebels! A must watch for anyone preparing to run/write a Starfinder Campaign!


grandpoobah wrote:

You can do both.... I think Defy Gravity is useful when it is first available (level 6);

The jet pack is a level 5 armor upgrade - so not sure when it is "reasonable" to purchase it. The Defy Gravity ability is great for getting from Point A to Point B - especially if your speed is >>30 (which light armor builds likely will be).

The main issue is the ability to hover (a move action with a jet pack); You won't have that with Defy Gravity to deal with a badguy that is also hovering. But I am not sure how realistic that situation is.... a hovering enemy sounds like an easy target for all the other ranged characters. I think if the melee character is forcing the bad guy to spend lots of move actions to evade melee combat (and forcing them out of cover) then they (the melee character) is still contributing a lot to combat.

Ranged combat does a lot less damage than melee. I mean, 1-5 you can expect to see like 6-14 with weapon spec.

Melee combat at the same tier will do between 11-21 on average with weapon spec.

Ranged combat catches up again around level 7-ish, but is still lagging behind Soldier and Solarians in melee.

I am much more likely to survive a flurry of laser blasts than I am a flurry of melee strikes.


I wish Defy Gravity would allow you to then charge at the top of your movement
like you jump 30 ft in the air, your target is about 40 ft away behind ocver, but since you're in the air, you cna stellar rush them from the air

Wayfinders

MagicA wrote:

I wish Defy Gravity would allow you to then charge at the top of your movement

like you jump 30 ft in the air, your target is about 40 ft away behind ocver, but since you're in the air, you cna stellar rush them from the air

That would be pretty sweet

Wayfinders

I've noticed a few people here keep saying that wounding weapons don't show up until like 6-7th level. This is not true, the level 2 flame doshko has the wound critical and could be bought at 1st level. Granted it is 750 cr but it's still available. I also don't think it is a stretch to think that mooks will have wounding weapons considering that they will be equipped with level equivalent or close to level equivalent weapons and there are a variety of weapons ranging from level 2 to 20 that have wound or serious wound.


Corbin-626 wrote:
I've noticed a few people here keep saying that wounding weapons don't show up until like 6-7th level. This is not true, the level 2 flame doshko has the wound critical and could be bought at 1st level. Granted it is 750 cr but it's still available. I also don't think it is a stretch to think that mooks will have wounding weapons considering that they will be equipped with level equivalent or close to level equivalent weapons and there are a variety of weapons ranging from level 2 to 20 that have wound or serious wound.

Just to clarify, people are not saying wounding weapons won't show up at all. However, in the 1-3 weapon bracket (purchasable at level 1 in a large city, or perhaps found on a CR 3 enemy), there is something like 34-37 weapons (depending if you count the ones requires unique weapon proficiency, and excluding grenades). As you go up in level, the ratio of wounding/severe wounding weapons to all other weapons goes up, getting closer to 1 in 10 instead of 1 in 34 in the 1-3 bracket.

The question is, how often is any given mook (or even boss) going to be equipped with that particular weapon with wounding? Since we don't have a large enough sample of Scenerios and APs to figure out what Paizo thinks is the right ratio, we're all just guessing in regards to SFS play. In home campaigns, thats going to depend on your GM.

Some might argue all weapons are equal probability, which would make that Plasma Doshko show up 1 in ~34 times at low level. Others might say the Plasma Doshko is a better than average weapon targeting EAC, so it should be used more often. Others might say its a narratively important critical effect, and should only show up on bosses and rarely at that. Amusingly all 3 assumptions might be right, depending on which campaign a character is in and who the GM is.

We've probably beaten the issue past the point of useful information transfer in this thread. And without hard evidence of weapon distributions in actual play, it depends on assumptions, which by their nature cannot be proven.


I'm surprised that there isn't a revelation that just gives you a flight speed. I would've defy gravity would've worked for that


HWalsh wrote:
The Multi-Class I am nicknaming, "I don't need no stinking Charisma" as it is a low Charisma build. It also uses a Kasatha.

I look forward to seeing this as well. One of my players went with a 1 level Soldier dip and ignored Charisma (and the associated powers) and the board reacted pretty negatively to it in previous discussions.

I will agree though that I think the wounding property is being given a little too much attention as a "weakness". If the AP designs bear out what you portray with your numbers I will be surprised. I'm not arguing with the math that's been done on either side, but I do agree that the authors and designers will determine how prevalent it becomes. To be honest, the wounding mechanic is one of the rules Starfinder has added that our group doesn't care for.


I do have a thought. For a STR Solarian, obviously having good ac is nice but

Would it still be viable to just use Light armor and the Solar weapon for maximum mobility?


MagicA wrote:

I do have a thought. For a STR Solarian, obviously having good ac is nice but

Would it still be viable to just use Light armor and the Solar weapon for maximum mobility?

Honestly? No.

You *can* do it, but there are significant losses.


It seems to me that with how Starfinder is laid out with enemies hitting more often than not, that the loss in AC from Heavy to Light Armor, doesnt seem to mitigate much

Unless someone can do the math to prove me wrong (Which I am more than willing cause I like to learn)

It just seems to me that with the mobility features a Solarian gets, wouldnt it be prudent to maximize that as much as possible?


MagicA wrote:

It seems to me that with how Starfinder is laid out with enemies hitting more often than not, that the loss in AC from Heavy to Light Armor, doesnt seem to mitigate much

Unless someone can do the math to prove me wrong (Which I am more than willing cause I like to learn)

It just seems to me that with the mobility features a Solarian gets, wouldnt it be prudent to maximize that as much as possible?

You expect to regularly need more mobility than a standard move + stellar rush?


@darkbridger

Its always good to have more mobility when needed, as well as having no ACP is good for some skills


MagicA wrote:

It seems to me that with how Starfinder is laid out with enemies hitting more often than not, that the loss in AC from Heavy to Light Armor, doesnt seem to mitigate much

Unless someone can do the math to prove me wrong (Which I am more than willing cause I like to learn)

It just seems to me that with the mobility features a Solarian gets, wouldnt it be prudent to maximize that as much as possible?

Seriously, I need to ask, how much mobility do you think you're losing? Do you think heavy armor only lets you move 1-2 squares or something?

Heavy Armor typically takes away *1* square. 1. Most reductions are only 5 feet. Some heavy armor reduce by 0 feet.

People keep bringing up the loss of mobility.

That really isn't a thing.

A level 2 Solarian with 5ft reduction armor can move 75 feet in a round and attack.

That is 15 squares.

That is anywhere you want to go on 90% of maps.


MagicA wrote:

@darkbridger

Its always good to have more mobility when needed, as well as having no ACP is good for some skills

But "when needed" is a big caveat. If you only "need" more than that once or twice an adventure, why build to maximize it? Until I see adventure design in the AP that makes use of the large increase in movement speeds, I don't think they're useful at all. The typical "dungeon" is still a series of smallish rooms and hallways.

@HWalsh I think he's referring to being able to get more via things like Fleet as well though.


@Darkbridger
Yeah I shouldve included that in there as well, as heavy armor does restrict access t osome thing (same thing can be said of light armor as well)

My play style normally favors mobility and speed hence why Im asking these questions

But you're right in that regard as well @HWalsh, that is still a good amount of mobility even with the speed reductions from armor


MagicA wrote:

@Darkbridger

Yeah I shouldve included that in there as well, as heavy armor does restrict access t osome thing (same thing can be said of light armor as well)

My play style normally favors mobility and speed hence why Im asking these questions

But you're right in that regard as well @HWalsh, that is still a good amount of mobility even with the speed reductions from armor

Well, here is an example:

In the module "Guild Quest" we have a HUGE room. Literally a HUGE room.

20 tall by 11 wide.

100 feet by 55 wide.

The players enter near the middle.

75 feet of movement, heck 60 feet of movement, is enough to reach virtually any target on the map initially.

The only way you'll need more movement is if you have an encounter that is 15 squares in one direction where the players are on the exact opposite side. At which point the character only has to run (and yes, eat a small penalty) to be able to at least guarantee making it on round 2.

With Stellar Rush you will virtually never be unable to close even in the heaviest of armor.


Fair point and analysis Thank you

The only other concern I had was that taking heavy armor requires a feat that could be used for other things but looking at it
not really a ton of feats that a Solarian really really needs save the step up feat line, enhanced resistance, and the improved save feats


HWalsh wrote:
MagicA wrote:

It seems to me that with how Starfinder is laid out with enemies hitting more often than not, that the loss in AC from Heavy to Light Armor, doesnt seem to mitigate much

Unless someone can do the math to prove me wrong (Which I am more than willing cause I like to learn)

It just seems to me that with the mobility features a Solarian gets, wouldnt it be prudent to maximize that as much as possible?

Seriously, I need to ask, how much mobility do you think you're losing? Do you think heavy armor only lets you move 1-2 squares or something?

Heavy Armor typically takes away *1* square. 1. Most reductions are only 5 feet. Some heavy armor reduce by 0 feet.

People keep bringing up the loss of mobility.

That really isn't a thing.

A level 2 Solarian with 5ft reduction armor can move 75 feet in a round and attack.

That is 15 squares.

That is anywhere you want to go on 90% of maps.

You can move 25', then 50' in a straight line, ending up in the closest square to the enemy you've chosen to charge, assuming there is no difficult terrain or enemies in the way. This is not quite the same as saying you can move 15 squares.

Virtually every Light Armor build I've seen swaps Fleet for Heavy Armor. Since Heavy armor costs a feat in addition to slowing you down, its probably fair to compare the 40' move speed to the heavy armor's 25' move speed. So its generally a 15' to 20' move speed advantage.

I haven't seen enough Starfinder maps to be able to claim 90% about any of them, but I did have at least one underground mine that had twists and turns where 25' plus 50' straight wouldn't get you in combat with the boss on the first round. Mostly because there wasn't LOS to the boss and he was around a bend at the far end.

The obvious situation I can up with is 3 mook bodyguards in front of the boss preventing charge lanes, 30 or more feet away. In the case of a caster boss, you really want to be able to get adjacent with Step up and Strike (or a reach weapon) to prevent spell casting.

Another useful situation is getting flanking positions. If you're with a melee Soldier or melee Envoy, if you both charge first turn, you're not guaranteed to be in flanking positions first turn. A faster Light Armor build has a larger distance it can guarantee flanking from. So if your party includes a Heavy Armor melee Soldier, you might want to consider being a faster melee as well.

Lastly, is the withdraw action. If you need to escape melee (because you just got hit by two lucky crits for example), then being able to withdraw 80' can be important to escape that NPC heavy armor Solarian with Step Up and Strike that is hitting you and could charge up to 75'.

I admit it is totally situation dependent, and I have only played at 1st level so far. It has made a difference at 1st level, at least in my play, having speed 40' instead of 25'. It only needs to make a difference about 10% of the time, since thats roughly the difference AC makes when a character goes Solar Armor instead of Heavy Armor. Those are my thoughts on the matter.


and that 40' base movement would equal 80' on a stellar rush
120' total in a round

However, the heavy armor does have the benefit of usually higher AC when using a solar weapon

Does anyone have math or ideas on enemies to hit when comparing light to heavy armor?

Cause in the two games I've played so far, both the heavy and the light guys seem to get hit quite frequently


MagicA wrote:

and that 40' base movement would equal 80' on a stellar rush

120' total in a round

However, the heavy armor does have the benefit of usually higher AC when using a solar weapon

Does anyone have math or ideas on enemies to hit when comparing light to heavy armor?

Cause in the two games I've played so far, both the heavy and the light guys seem to get hit quite frequently

Typically from builds I've seen and worked out, you might have a 2 AC difference between a Light and Heavy Armor Solarian build. That's a 10% shift. 10% of all rolls now hit instead of miss. 10% times the average damage per hit is the absolute damage difference the armor makes.

If you want relative damage difference, you need to know the odds of hitting. For example, if the enemy hits on a 4 or higher (Epic boss type), the 2 AC makes it hit on a 2 or higher. Damage before = 0.85 * damage per hit. Damage after = 0.95 * damage per hit. Divide the two gives about 1.117. Or about an 12% difference when enemies hit nearly all the time. It has much more relative effect at 50/50 odds, roughly 20% relative damage.

That is the math behind it in any case.


thanks for that math man

I was also wondering how a solar weapon Solarian in light armor would fair compared to the heavy armor build

Suboptimal I know but I like to look at options


MagicA wrote:

thanks for that math man

I was also wondering how a solar weapon Solarian in light armor would fair compared to the heavy armor build

Suboptimal I know but I like to look at options

Typically only 1-2 behind.


@HWalsh

Really? only that much behind?
Huh, thought it would've been a much wider gap without using solar armor


MagicA wrote:

@HWalsh

Really? only that much behind?
Huh, thought it would've been a much wider gap without using solar armor

That's all Solar Armor adds.

+1 at level 1

And +2 at... Can't recall the level.


well that's also assuming you could max dex for a Melee Solarian who is trying to rely on light armor


What's nice about Solarian Armor is the energy resists it gives you starting at level 5.


So, fun little interaction with the Mercenary theme I just noticed. If you don't have an Envoy, there's a good chance you're acting as Captain in starship combat, as one of only three classes with both Diplomacy and Intimidate, the other being Mystic who likely dumped Charisma.

This is the bread and butter Captain action:

Quote:

Encourage (Any Phase)

You can encourage another member of the crew to give her a bonus to her action. This works like aid another, granting a +2 bonus to the check required by a crew action if you succeed at a DC 10 check using the same skill. Alternatively, you can grant this same bonus by succeeding at a Diplomacy check (DC = 15 + your Starship’s tier). You can’t encourage yourself.

Mercenary gives you this ability at level 12:

Quote:

Squad Leader (12th)

You are extremely skilled at coordinating with your squad, both because of your Tactical efficiency and because of the respect that you command. If you are able to attempt the check in question, you automatically succeed at a skill check to aid another when assisting a squad member or other longtime ally (such as a fellow PC).

Am I correct in interpreting that, with one rank in Computers and Engineering, you can always auto succeed at Encourage for those PCs? It's still not the best Theme, but between this and the +1 Str allowing you to get 13 Dex for feat pre-reqs, I do think it's better than most others outside of Icon and Ace Pilot. If it works how I think it does anyway.


Yeah my group has been debating on how that specific skill work, but the general consensus for us is that yes it would allo wyou to do those things as a mercenary


I say by RAW no.

Although it provides the bonus of an Aid Action, it isn't an Aid Action. It is a crew action.


Fair enough

Does anyone have any idea what tyep of new feats and equipment will be coming with Alien Archives?

Im hoping for some Solarian specific stuff


MagicA wrote:

Fair enough

Does anyone have any idea what tyep of new feats and equipment will be coming with Alien Archives?

Im hoping for some Solarian specific stuff

Equipment? None seems a safe bet, if not a guaranteed one.


awww


Well, hopefully we can see extra feats for Solarian stuff or hell maybe new revelations

Does anyone else find it odd that the Solarian and Technomancer are the only classes with empty levels?

the Solarian has 2 (levels 5 and 15)

and the Technomancer has a whopping 4 (4th level and every 4th level)

The Exchange

The technomancer has no dead levels. Spells known are a big deal. Half of which are new spell levels.

Liberty's Edge

Solarian's 15th level isn't dead. Solar Weapon and Armor both improve at that level.

5th level is also not dead for Solar Armor builds (since the armor improves), but is a bit for Solar Weapon builds.


oh yeah, fair points
didn't pick up on thise

Grand Lodge

Nice work on the guide...My only issue is the same countless others have voiced...the color coding being so different from every other class guide out there makes it much harder to sort out.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Hiruma Kai wrote:
Personally, I think Solar Armor is totally playable in society play. So much so that I'm actually playing a Solar Armor Solarian in SFS as my first character. In general, we are discussing 2 points of difference in AC. You are slightly more likely to be hit.
oldskool wrote:
An Armor Solarian is just different. In terms of sheer combat effectiveness you don't sacrifice that much. It can be about 1 point of EAC/KAC in the end yet you get free Fire or Cold resist 20.
oldskool wrote:
At the end of the day, the continued drum beat that a "dex" build can't do the same damage just ignores multiple attribute configurations. A "dex" build can get the exact same Str bonuses to damage with a different set of dice off the weapon (advanced melee vs solar weapon) and most likely 1 less EAC/KAC.

Just to make sure we’re correcting tracking the facts on the ground, a moderately Dex-focused Solar Armor build will on average have a higher AC (not a lower AC) than it’s possible for a heavy-armor focused build to have.

(It’s easy to miss this because one usually eye-balls these questions by looking at a sampling of levels and extrapolating. But that procedure doesn’t work well here, since the weird level-by-level variations in armor entail that your choice of levels can make a big difference with respect to what the AC difference seems to be.)

--To see this, let’s first consider the “AC caps” of a Solar Armor+light armor versus a heavy armor build for each level/tier. In particular, for each tier, let’s consider the value of:

L=(average AC for the best light armor of that tier)+(max dex bonus for that armor)+(solar armor bonus at that level)

relative to:

H=(average AC for the best heavy armor of that tier)+(max dex bonus of that armor)

(where by "best armor" for a tier I mean the one that yields the highest L/H value).

Here are the values for L and H, by tier/level, followed by the difference between the two:


  • 1. 7.5, 5; +2.5
  • 2. 7.5, 7; +0.5
  • 3. 8.5, 8; +0.5
  • 4. 10, 9; +1
  • 5. 11.5, 11; +0.5
  • 6. 13, 13; +0
  • 7.14.5, 14; +0.5
  • 8.16.5, 16; +0.5
  • 9.18.5, 18; +0.5
  • 10. 20.5, 18.5; +2
  • 11. 21, 21; +0
  • 12. 23, 21.5; +1.5
  • 13. 24.5, 23; +1.5
  • 14. 25.5, 24; +1.5
  • 15. 27, 25.5; +1.5
  • 16. 28.5, 27; +1.5
  • 17. 29.5, 28; +1.5
  • 18. 30.5, 29; +1.5
  • 19. 31.5, 30.5; +1
  • 20. 32, 31.5; +0.5

Averaged over 20 levels, we find that the Solar Armor+light armor build has a top AC that’s +1.025 higher than the top AC of the heavy armor build.

Caveat 1. The max Dex bonuses for the relevant light armors at tiers 1 and 2 are very high -- +4 for the tier 2 armor (which requires a starting Dex of 18 to take full advantage of) and +5 for the tier 1 armor (which is impossible to get at level 1). Given that any melee-based Solarion is going to want a Str of at least 14, and a Cha of at least 12, this caps the starting Dex of a Human Solarian at 16. Adjusting for that, we find that the 16 Dex Solar+light armor build has a top AC that’s an average of +0.875 higher than the top AC of the heavy armor build.

(After the first two levels, a Solarian who starts with a 16 Dex can take full advantage of all of the max Dex bonuses.)

Caveat 2. At tier 6, a heavy armor user can give up an upgrade, some cash, and their free hand, to get the (heavy armor only) phase shield, which adds +1 EAC (or +0.5 average AC) when activated. So if we assume the heavy armor has an activated phase shield during these calculations at levels 6+, the difference decreases by 0.375 (to +0.5 for the 16 Dex-based Solar Armor+light armor Solarian).

That said, the phase shield looks like a pretty bad investment for a Solarian, because (1) it quickly runs out of power (and so can’t be kept on in-between combats), and (2) it takes a move action to activate (which is almost never worth if for a Solarian, since they lots of demands on their move actions (Plasma Sheath, Dark Matter, full attacking)). And given the short lifespan of a phase shield, it’s unlikely to be up a lot of the time in any case.

TLDR: A moderately-Dex-focused Solar Armor Solarion (e.g., a S14, D16, Ch12(14 if Lashunta) build that prioritizes Dex-increases) will have an average AC that’s almost a full point (+0.875) higher than the max AC of a heavy armor Solarian.

This is hardly the only thing relevant to the Solar Armor/Solar Weapon comparison, of course. But AC is a pro, not a con, of the Solar Armor approach.

Liberty's Edge

What? That's just flatly untrue assuming the Str build has any Dex at all, and starting Dex 12 is pretty much a must:

Assuming that, plus level ups and their, oh, third stat-up, while the 'moderate Dex build' starts with Dex 16 and their second stat-up in Dex.

Let's examine that:

1: Heavy: 14/16 Light: 15/16
5: Heavy: 20/22 Light: 20/21
8: Heavy: 25/27 Light: 24/26
10: Heavy: 28/30 Light: 29/31
12: Heavy: 31/32 Light: 32/32
15: Heavy: 36/36 Light: 37/37
18: Heavy: 39/39 Light: 39/40
20: Heavy: 42/42 Light: 41/41

So for 4 stat points away from Str and Cha (actually, 6 by the end since you're re-routing some from upgrades), and one saved Feat, you get an AC that is never more than 1 point higher than the Heavy Armor build.

That's...not really a good choice. It's not unbearably bad or anything, but it's also not good.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
What? That's just flatly untrue assuming the Str build has any Dex at all, and starting Dex 12 is pretty much a must:

?

As I note above, I'm assuming the heavy armor build always has a high enough dexterity to get the full Max Dex bonus allowed by the best (H-maximizing) heavy armor at each tier.

So that translates into assuming that the heavy armor user has a 14 Dex at level 1 (to take advantage of the +2 Max Dex bonus Lashunta Ringwear I provides).

And that the heavy armor user has a 16 Dex by level 6 (to take advantage of the +3 Dex bonus Vesk Overplate I provides).

And so on.

(What were you thinking I was saying that's "flatly untrue"? I wasn't sure what you were referring to.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Assuming that, plus level ups and their, oh, third stat-up, while the 'moderate Dex build' starts with Dex 16 and their second stat-up in Dex.

Yeah, so as I mentiond in my post, the Dex build I'm assuming for Solar Armor+light armor build is one that starts with a 16 Dex and prioritizes Dex increases. (This yields the Dex levels that, after levels 1+2, can take full advantage of the Max Dex Bonuses of the corresponding light armors.)

So that's a 16 Dex at level 1, a 18 Dex at level 3 (+2 personal upgrade), a 20 Dex at level 5 (one of 4 stat increases), a 22 Dex at level 7 (+4 personal upgrade), a 23 Dex at level 10 (one of 4 stat increases), a 25 Dex at level 14 (+6 personal upgrade), and a 26 Dex at level 15 (one of 4 stat increases). (No point in boosting Dex further at level 20, of course.)

(These values are actually a bit higher earlier on than you need, but whatever. It's enough to make the point is that a Dex-based Solar Armor build will have a higher AC, not a lower AC, than a heavy armor-using Solarian can get (regardless of how high their dexterity is).)

Deadmanwalking wrote:

Let's examine that:

1: Heavy: 14/16 Light: 15/16
5: Heavy: 20/22 Light: 20/21
8: Heavy: 25/27 Light: 24/26
10: Heavy: 28/30 Light: 29/31
12: Heavy: 31/32 Light: 32/32
15: Heavy: 36/36 Light: 37/37
18: Heavy: 39/39 Light: 39/40
20: Heavy: 42/42 Light: 41/41

Some corrections (I think you must be making some different assumptions than the ones I lay out in my post):

--At 5, Light should be 21/22, not 20/21. [10 + 5/6 (D-suit I) + 5 (Dex) +1 (Solar Armor]
--At 8, Light should be 26/27, not 24/26. [10 + 9/10 (Lashunta tempweave, advanced + 6 (Dex) +1 Solar Armor]
--At 10, Heavy should be 27/30, not 28/30. [10 +15/18 (Defiance series specialist) + 2 (Dex)).
--At 10, Light should be 30/31, not 29/31. [10 + 12/13 (Freebooter armor III) + 6 (Dex) +2 (Solar Armor)]
--At 12, Light should be 33/33, not 32/32. [10 + 15/15 (Hardlight series squad) + 6 (Dex) +2 (Solar Armor)]
--At 15, Heavy should be 35/36, not 36/36. [10 + 21/22 (Enginerunner) + 4 (Dex)]
--At 18, Heavy should be 38/40, not 39/39. [10 + 24/26 ((Vesk Overplate V) + 4 (Dex)]
--At 18, Light should be 40/41, not 39/40. [10 + 20/21(Freebooter Armor V) + 8 (Dex) +2 (Solar Armor)]
--At 20, Heavy should be 41/42, not 42/42. (10 + 26/27 (Vesk Monolith III) + 5 (Dex)]
--At 20, Light should be either 41/43 or 42/42 (avg is the same either way), not 41/41. [10 + 22/22 (Hardlight series specialist) + 8 (Dex) +2 (Solar Armor)]

Deadmanwalking wrote:
So for 4 stat points away from Str and Cha (actually, 6 by the end since you're re-routing some from upgrades), and one saved Feat, you get an AC that is never more than 1 point higher than the Heavy Armor build.

(To be nit-picky, it is more than 1 point higher than the Heavy Armor build at some levels. But it's also lower than that at some other levels (e.g., the two are tied at levels 6 and 11). But yeah, averaged over 20 levels it's a little under 1 point.)

Putting that aside, I'm not sure why (or if) you're taking this to be disagreeing with anything I was saying... as I said at the end of my post:

Porridge wrote:
This is hardly the only thing relevant to the Solar Armor/Solar Weapon comparison, of course. But AC is a pro, not a con, of the Solar Armor approach.

And as I noted in my (much) earlier detailed comparisons of particular builds at various levels here, here and here, one of the perks of the Solar Weapon+heavy armor build is that because they have fewer crucial stats to focus on, they have more points to spend on non-Dex/Str stats. So... I agree?

Deadmanwalking wrote:
That's...not really a good choice. It's not unbearably bad or anything, but it's also not good.

I think this is a little trickier to adjudicate (mainly because the extra plusses you get from investing in Dex over other stats are quite good, because Dex is so over-powered in Starfinder when compared to the other stats). I suspect I'm inclined to think that it's closer to a draw than you are, but this strikes me as something over which reasonable people could disagree.


that is a very good analysis

though, one thing I think we should also consider is (when alien archives comes out) exactly how useful taht AC is at levels compared to the hit of monsters we would be fighting at those levels

personally, I prefer to play a more offense is the best defense route, and so far in my sessions in a starfinder game, even with heavy armor I get hit very often, so increasing offense seems like the better route IMO


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

that is a very good analysis

though, one thing I think we should also consider is (when alien archives comes out) exactly how useful taht AC is at levels compared to the hit of monsters we would be fighting at those levels

personally, I prefer to play a more offense is the best defense route, and so far in my sessions in a starfinder game, even with heavy armor I get hit very often, so increasing offense seems like the better route IMO

Yeah, a S14, D16, Ch12(14 if Lashunta) spread that prioritizes Dex will be (on average) around +1.5 to hit behind a S16, D14, Ch12(14 if Lashunta) spread that prioritizes Str. So if you choose the first spread with Solar Armor instead of the second with a Solar Weapon, you're roughly trading a point of AC for a point and a half of attack bonus. (You're trading other things too, of course, but put those aside.) So if you favor offense over defense, the Str prioritizing Solar Weapon build is definitely the way to go.

(Probably. To show this definitively would require a 20 level comparison of the best Adv Melee expected damage at each tier vs the Solar Weapon expected damage at each level. And we can't do that without AC values from Alien Archive (values which are crucial to assessing the relative attractiveness of Energy and Unwieldy Adv Melee Weapons.))

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