So lets talk about the Solarian problem...


General Discussion

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Peat wrote:
If you approach the Solarian from the perspective that Revelations are worthless (and should have no downside to overall class power) because they are situational, it's impossible to have a productive discussion.

I agree with you. Luckily for both of us no one is actually arguing that. Glad we dodged that bullet.

Instead what's being argued is that a number of specific revelations are being overvalued in this thread. Essentially that the class as a whole is a little bit undertuned and some of the abilities being put forward as reasons why the Solarian is super awesome actually really aren't that impressive.

I don't think the Solarian is as bad as HWalsh does and seeing the class bumped up to 6+int to match the other 12 skill classes is the only thing I really want to change, but the usefulness of stuff like Flare, Radiation and Black Hole are being dramatically overstated and even beyond that it's clear a number of the bonuses, like Graviton's attunement bonus, just aren't very eye catching.


Got a question -

I see lots of talk about Solarian out DPR soldiers. How are they doing this?

I can see, from the numbers shown, that Solarians can out DPR Soldiers when they are fully buffed by the Solarians Revelations. Problem is, Solarians can not start buffing till the start of combat and all these buffs take actions. Then if the Solarian uses one of their big, signature abilities, all those buffs go away and the Solarian must spend rounds buffing again.


Matt2VK wrote:

Got a question -

I see lots of talk about Solarian out DPR soldiers. How are they doing this?

I can see, from the numbers shown, that Solarians can out DPR Soldiers when they are fully buffed by the Solarians Revelations. Problem is, Solarians can not start buffing till the start of combat and all these buffs take actions. Then if the Solarian uses one of their big, signature abilities, all those buffs go away and the Solarian must spend rounds buffing again.

Not entirely. The only real buff Solarians need to get DPRing is Plasma Sheathe which is a move action. Ergo in any engagement where the combatants start more than 5ft from each other, a Solarian can Sheathe+Rush without skipping a beat. Zeniths can theoretically be an issue but it's only a notable if the target survives (supernova or acceleration) or you're directly repositioning in their face (ray of light). If you zenith and you cleaned up the general area, you won't skip a beat when you reattune next turn and rush.

Lastly, once you get ultimate photon your buffs last d4 rounds after you drop attunement so the need to rebuff at all generally dwindles in value in general unless you're swapping to the opposite mode for extended periods (not a real consideration considering how lackluster graviton is for CC solarians)


The longer this goes on, the more it seems like it comes down to "they're too MAD so their saves aren't where they need to be and they can't increase int to take advantage of sideral influence." It seems like a simple fix would be to give the 6 skill points per level, and just like soldiers can chose between str or dex for their key ability score, let Solarians chose between wis (their strong mind allows them insight into stellar cycles) or con (they are sturdy enough to channel the intense energies of the cosmos), and change the stat that affects the DC of their revelations accordingly.


6+int would be great, but I'm not sure about changing their core stat. Con or Wis would both be really strong but the underlying issue here isn't that Solarians key off Cha, it's just that Cha is noticeably weaker than other stats. It's the only attribute that doesn't effect anything outside skills and that hole really shows.


Squiggit wrote:
6+int would be great, but I'm not sure about changing their core stat. Con or Wis would both be really strong but the underlying issue here isn't that Solarians key off Cha, it's just that Cha is noticeably weaker than other stats. It's the only attribute that doesn't effect anything outside skills and that hole really shows.

What really hurts is Starship Combat. Solarians big stats are Strength (worthless in starship combat) and CHA (Could work as Captain but don't have the skill ranks for the job).

A 6+Int would help offset this.

Silver Crusade

In other news, all classes have strengths and weaknesses and your favorite class can't be good at everything.


...that wasn't the point Swampting.


SwampTing wrote:
In other news, all classes have strengths and weaknesses and your favorite class can't be good at everything.

Great post. Really adds to the discussion.

A melee solarian's strength is they are a durable, mobile melee threat. They don't do skills, spells, or ranged combat.

However, part of being an effective front line fighter is being able to resist the spells thrown at you as you charge into enemy lines. However, because the solarian is the only class with two primary stats not linked to saves (Str and Cha) they have worse saves than every other non-caster class, and no class features to bolster this weakness.

No one here is asking for solarians to do everything well. They just want to do front line durability as well as the other classes do front line durability. As it stands now they objectively, mathematically, do not.

Silver Crusade

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Then what is it?

The solarion can mix and match his revelations and has a wealth of options to choose from. They play off different stats, so you either dabble in everything (I wouldn't) or allocate your stats to utilize some and accept that others will need to be left out.

Every class has its issues. Scaling EAC means that all rays and touch attacks are highly unreliable unless you have a team that helps you set it up. There are only 2 spell-casting classes but only one of them gets spell focus for free, making it a feat tax for the mystics. Technomancers have far too few hp compared to what level-equivalent weapons can dish out. Operative weapons are weak making it impossible for them to match soldiers or solarions in combat. Soldiers are the most gear-dependent making them sink alot of their resources into upgrading their gear to remain competitive.

Well tough. Build around those while recognizing where they do shine. Soldiers with the same value of gear will outmatch almost every other class in straight melee EXCEPT the SOLARION. Solarion meanwhile has magic powers that it can access at will and a built-in scaling weapon so they only need to worry about armor, or they have the potential to have the best AC in the game if they focus on armor. Technomancers still have the best aoe damage, defensive and utility spells, while mystics hold almost all the save-or-suck spells. Operatives will always be the best skill monkeys in the game.

You want your solarion to have better saves? Take the money that you save on weapons and spend it on a ring of resistance instead. Take a save-boosting feat and the improved version. And then accept that part of game balance is that although you might be able to haste-charge-kill the mystic in 1 round, he also has the potential to shut you down first if you fail your will save. So you need improved iron will but you want to take step-up-and-strike and are upset that you can't have both. Well maybe the point is to make you choose between them.

From my reading of the class, making the solarion charisma-dependent is exactly what keeps from being overpowered. Their powers cover so many bases and give them so much added power and utility that there needed to be some sort of cost. If you think it's crippling, you can make an equally potent melee fighter with a soldier. Just be prepared to fork out for your weapon instead of getting it for free.

Silver Crusade

Space McMan wrote:
However, part of being an effective front line fighter is being able to resist the spells thrown at you as you charge into enemy lines.

Fun fact: no one likes to fail the save against hold person or paralysis or a plasma cannon. It's not just the front-line fighters.


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Space McMan wrote:
However, part of being an effective front line fighter is being able to resist the spells thrown at you as you charge into enemy lines. However, because the solarian is the only class with two primary stats not linked to saves (Str and Cha) they have worse saves than every other non-caster class, and no class features to bolster this weakness.

How do Solarians not have class features to bolster their saves or deal with the effects of failed saves?

Graviton Mode is a +1 to +3 insight bonus to Reflex saving throws. That is all it does. Its also interestingly, about the same amount as you would be down in other saving throws. Say at level 10, the Soldier has 14 Con and 14 Wis. The Solarian could easily have 12 Con and 12 Wis. The Solarian gets an extra +2 to Reflex saves if they use Graviton Mode. So the Solarian is 10% better at Reflex saving throws and the Soldier is 5% better at Fort and Will saving throws.

Does anyone see any issue with saying on the one hand, Graviton mode is terrible, and on the other hand that being 2 points down relative to a particular Soldier build which has optimized its saving throws is a problem that should be fixed. Why aren't people saying Soldiers need a saving throw boost to reflex saves, since clearly Solarians have not one ability that boosts saving throws, but two?

Solarians have Gravity Shield which provides mobile cover, adding another +2 bonus to reflex saves coming from attacks on the opposite side of it (in addition to the +4 to AC and prevent AoOs when its between you and your enemy).

At 20th level, with 18+2=20 Dex Solarian with +5 ring has a possible reflex save of 6+5+5+3+2 = +21. While the Soldier with the same Dex (they are in heavy armor after all), will have 6+5+5 = +16. +18 if it happens to be a spell and they took the Spellbane feat. 3 points down, 15% difference in favor of the Solarian against spells, and 25% in favor of the Solarian against non-spells. All they had to do was be willing to use Graviton mode and a Graviton revelation (Gravity Shield).

To finally top it off, Solarians also have Soul Furnace. It lets them spend a resolve point to get another save against a curse, disease, drug or poison, and end it immediately if successful. That is again, another saving throw ability.

If you actually happen to be in combat, Soul Furnace also has a long list of conditions it can end one of that might have been inflicted by a failed save: Bleeding, Blinded, Burning, Cowering, Dazzled, Exhausted, Fatigued, Frightened, Panicked, Shaken, or Sickened.


SwampTing wrote:
From my reading of...

The trouble is you're again falling into the trap of describing a Schrodinger's Solarian: You can outdamage a soldier and don't need to buy a weapon and have the best AC and have all these awesome spell like abilities too!

Except if you're not buying a weapon you're falling behind the damage curve and if you're pumping your strength enough to play with soldiers a big chunk of those SLAs aren't going to do very much good, not to mention that the weapon and armor are mutually exclusive from each other.

And that's not even getting into any actual issues the class has with its stats being spread thing or being comparatively light on resolve etc.

Hiruma Kai wrote:
Does anyone see any issue with saying on the one hand, Graviton mode is terrible, and on the other hand that being 2 points down relative to a particular Soldier build which has optimized its saving throws is a problem that should be fixed.

Probably because picking up that +2 Reflex is costing a level 10 Solarian 7 points of damage per swing.

Dark Archive

Alright males, females, robots, and others. Best thing to do is talk to your GM to see if you can get a house rule as its unlikely paizo will he changing the class key stat.... Well ever. Same with skills so if you want it look to a homebrew.

Silver Crusade

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Squiggit wrote:
SwampTing wrote:
From my reading of...

The trouble is you're again falling into the trap of describing a Schrodinger's Solarian: You can outdamage a soldier and don't need to buy a weapon and have the best AC and have all these awesome spell like abilities too!

Except if you're not buying a weapon you're falling behind the damage curve and if you're pumping your strength enough to play with soldiers a big chunk of those SLAs aren't going to do very much good, not to mention that the weapon and armor are mutually exclusive from each other.

And that's not even getting into any actual issues the class has with its stats being spread thing or being comparatively light on resolve etc.

Hiruma Kai wrote:
Does anyone see any issue with saying on the one hand, Graviton mode is terrible, and on the other hand that being 2 points down relative to a particular Soldier build which has optimized its saving throws is a problem that should be fixed.
Probably because picking up that +2 Reflex is costing a level 10 Solarian 7 points of damage per swing.

Are you saying that being good at some things will mean you're not as good at other things? Wow, we agree! But guess what. Every other class faces that problem in their own way.


Well, I've given my party the word that we'll do 6 skill points per level and they can chose con or wis as their main stat, so I'll be able to gather some empirical data on how it ends up stacking against other classes (though the party does not currently have a solider to compare it to).


Squiggit wrote:
SwampTing wrote:
From my reading of...

The trouble is you're again falling into the trap of describing a Schrodinger's Solarian: You can outdamage a soldier and don't need to buy a weapon and have the best AC and have all these awesome spell like abilities too!

Except if you're not buying a weapon you're falling behind the damage curve and if you're pumping your strength enough to play with soldiers a big chunk of those SLAs aren't going to do very much good, not to mention that the weapon and armor are mutually exclusive from each other.

And that's not even getting into any actual issues the class has with its stats being spread thing or being comparatively light on resolve etc.

This is something I see come up occasionally that makes no sense, the idea of "Schrodinger's [Class]". Like, with Wizards I could understand it, their big thing at high levels is that they really can do it all with enough prep time, but this is the second time I've seen people trying to say that a list of things a martial class has going for it doesn't matter because "Schrodinger's [Class]", you can't do all of it at once. Like, so what? Why does someone's observations of the potential options a Solarian can have become worthless because it can't do all of them at once?


I find choosing the save totals at level 20 to be meaningless as my character is not going to get to level 20. So first step is comparing characters at level 10.

My 10th level soldier will probably have saves of F+9 R+9 W+9 (DEX20 CON14 WIS10; iron will, ring of resistance+1)

Fictional 10th level mystic - F+6 R+7 W+13 (DEX18 CON14 WIS22, ring of resistance+1)

Fictional 10th level technomancer - F+6 R+8 W+9 (DEX20 CON14 WIS14, ring of resistance+1)

Fictional 10th level mechanic - F+9 R+12 W+6 (DEX20 CON14 WIS14, ring of resistance+1)

Fictional 10th level operative - F+8 R+13 W+8 (DEX22 CON14 WIS12, ring of resistance+1, great fortitude)

Fictional 10th level envoy- F+6 R+11 W+7 (DEX18 CON14 WIS10, ring of resistance+1)

Fictional 10th level solarian - F+8 R+8 W+7 (DEX18 CON12 WIS10, ring of resistance+1)

When you look at this array of class saves, the solarian is low, but not out of place. And this is with minimal input to saves (no feats, +2 CON, and ring+1).


I found the array a little confusing to read, so I added up the save modifiers for each class and ranked them in descending order. In case anyone else is interested, I copied it below for your convenience. Note that some of the class builds have decent saves across the board, others have one amazing save but two okay-ish ones. Personally I strongly prefer the former to the latter.
Adding in
some extra lines
for formatting reasons,
and voilà:

Operative: +29 (Great Fortitude feat)
Mechanic: +27
Soldier: +27 (Iron Will feat)
Mystic: +26
Envoy: +24
Technomancer: +23
Solarian: +23


Or if you consider that most consider F and W to be more important than reflex, adding just Fort and Will:

Mystic+19
Soldier+18 (iron will)
Operative+16 (great fortitude)
Solarian+15
Mechanic+15
Technomancer+15
Envoy+13

When you consider this and with reflex, Solarian really isn't any worse than the technomancer and envoy - and this is with no direction to boost saves.


mike roper wrote:
Alright males, females, robots, and others. Best thing to do is talk to your GM to see if you can get a house rule as its unlikely paizo will he changing the class key stat.... Well ever. Same with skills so if you want it look to a homebrew.

Well, I don't think the key stat really needs to change. The problems with Charisma is a systemic one rather than a class specific one anyways (and one that persisted in PF too, so I guess Paizo likes the idea of Cha as a universal dump stat).

I agree with you that nothing is likely to change, though the issue with skills just sort of sticks out to me because the other classes follow a pattern when it comes to class skills and skill points that the Solarian breaks and it's just kind of odd.

Shinigami02 wrote:
Why does someone's observations of the potential options a Solarian can have become worthless because it can't do all of them at once?

Because mutually exclusve options are being described as though they aren't mutually exclusive.

Someone mentions Solarians getting a free weapon and then in the next breath talks about DPR calculations using a Solarian who did buy a weapon and then in the next talks about save-or-suck abilities with DCs that you couldn't possibly have without sacrificing some of those stats you were just using earlier for your other calculations.

The difference between someone who can do one of those things and someone who can do all of those things at once is pretty significant.

That's where the whole "Schrodinger's X" critique comes from in the first place. Schrodinger has a wizard with 5 spell slots in a box which simultaneously have every combination of spells prepared (and not prepared) and whichever combination gets pulled out of the box is whichever is most convenient for whatever hypothetical is being argued about at the time. Only in this case instead of spell selections it's character builds (which actually makes the problem even more egregious since rebuilding a character is a much more involved endeavor than merely changing spells).


There is a serious situation here of, "Solarians get this!"

With a lack of, "Sure, if they are doing x instead of y."

Again - This is a specific problem ONLY for melee Solarians.

A ranged Solarian (who burns feats for Weapon Proficiency Longarm, and at 3rd Weapon Specialization Longarm) can avoid the saves issue. Why? They only need Dex and Charisma... They'll also be in Graviton Mode.

They're also spending all of that to do sub-par damage.

The melee Solarian is the one that suffers. Paizo obviously, however, intended them to be a melee class.

For those saying:

"Get a ring of Resistance!"

All of my examples do have one.


Squiggit wrote:
Hiruma Kai wrote:
Does anyone see any issue with saying on the one hand, Graviton mode is terrible, and on the other hand that being 2 points down relative to a particular Soldier build which has optimized its saving throws is a problem that should be fixed.
Probably because picking up that +2 Reflex is costing a level 10 Solarian 7 points of damage per swing.

I like to compare it to similar investments in terms of actions and revelations, so its more like picking up that +2 Reflexes is costing a level 10 Solarian 7 points of damage, but also gaining DR 5/-.

martinaj wrote:
Well, I've given my party the word that we'll do 6 skill points per level and they can chose con or wis as their main stat, so I'll be able to gather some empirical data on how it ends up stacking against other classes (though the party does not currently have a solider to compare it to).

I would totally play a Vesk (or maybe Kasatha) Solarian with those options. Strength and either Constitution or Wisdom, and leave Intelligence at 8, which is compensated for by the extra 2 skill points. 18 Str/13 Dex/14 Con/8 Int/10 Wis/10 Cha for example. Bump up Str/Dex/Con/Wis each level. Max 5 skills.


As I showed above, Solarian is not the only class without good saves.

The game system doesn't require you to buy INT. You don't have to buy WIS - my soldier will have a 10 WIS at level 10 (due to buying STR DEX CON and INT on all of my upgrades). If you chose to buy CON to 14 and buy iron will (10WIS), you would have pretty close to the same saves as my soldier (F9 R8 W9).


nicholas storm wrote:

As I showed above, Solarian is not the only class without good saves.

The game system doesn't require you to buy INT. You don't have to buy WIS - my soldier will have a 10 WIS at level 10 (due to buying STR DEX CON and INT on all of my upgrades). If you chose to buy CON to 14 and buy iron will (10WIS), you would have pretty close to the same saves as my soldier (F9 R8 W9).

You do have to buy up an int of 14 minimum to take advantage of Sidreal Influence.


I am curious. People are saying that using graviton over photon at level 10 is costing 7 damage.

Is that 7 damage adding a round to my expected kill time on an opponent?


HWalsh wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:

As I showed above, Solarian is not the only class without good saves.

The game system doesn't require you to buy INT. You don't have to buy WIS - my soldier will have a 10 WIS at level 10 (due to buying STR DEX CON and INT on all of my upgrades). If you chose to buy CON to 14 and buy iron will (10WIS), you would have pretty close to the same saves as my soldier (F9 R8 W9).

You do have to buy up an int of 14 minimum to take advantage of Sidreal Influence.

If you are talking about combat effectiveness - you do not since you can't even use that ability in combat. And in any case you could reach 22 18 12 14 10 18 at level 10 and still get F8 R8 W9 with iron will and a +1 ring.

This game does involve tradeoffs. Your arguments seem so locked into only looking at the solarian that it doesn't appear that you recognize that other classes have similar tradeoffs.

Look closely and you will realize that if you consider Fort and Will saves, the solarian has the potential to be within a point or two on Will (save the mystic) and as high as anyone on Fort (especially since any min/maxers won't have above a 14CON at level 10). You will suck at REF compared to lots of classes - but frankly who cares.


HWalsh wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:

As I showed above, Solarian is not the only class without good saves.

The game system doesn't require you to buy INT. You don't have to buy WIS - my soldier will have a 10 WIS at level 10 (due to buying STR DEX CON and INT on all of my upgrades). If you chose to buy CON to 14 and buy iron will (10WIS), you would have pretty close to the same saves as my soldier (F9 R8 W9).

You do have to buy up an int of 14 minimum to take advantage of Sidreal Influence.

A character even with an Int of 8 still gets a benefit from Sidereal influence. On untrained skills, it helps them aid another (for example on Bluff, Diplomacy, Medicine, or Survival roll). Just because you haven't maxed it doesn't mean you don't get the +1d6. And you can certainly pick all 3 maxed skills to be Sidereal Skills (Diplomacy, Bluff, and Intimidate jump to mind).

If you mean you don't have 6 skills completely maxed out that Sidereal influence could apply to at level 19 without an Int of 14 or higher, that is true (except for Humans, they just need 12). But I'm not sure its that big of a deal at level 19. For levels 1-18, you can get the maximum benefit out of Sidereal Influence on maxed skills with 4 skill ranks per level.

Skills are nice, don't get me wrong. But the argument for Int is the skills themselves, not sidereal influence. I tend to view being able to participate in 2 more types of rolls in an adventure as being worth more than not failing a saving throw 1 time in 10 (which I can make up with a feat if I really want to - I can't really make up for a maxed skill with a feat).

J4RH34D wrote:

I am curious. People are saying that using graviton over photon at level 10 is costing 7 damage.

Is that 7 damage adding a round to my expected kill time on an opponent?

Expected average damage at around level 10 from just weapon damage dice is roughly 4d6-5d6 (14-17.5) or 3d10 (16.5). Lets assume 17.5. You add your level, for 27.5 damage. Photon mode adds 2 more, and then Plasma Sheath also adds 5 if you're in Photon mode.

So 27.5 to 34.5 damage. That is roughly a 25% damage increase. If the enemy takes 5 hits on average, then yes, this reduces the number of attacks by one. Not necessarily rounds it lives, but the number of successful attacks from the Solarian by one. In the case of a boss monster, say CR 13 combatant with 225 hit points, thats ~8-9 hits without plasma sheath and photon mode, and 6-7 with.

Assuming the rest of your team is ranged and there are 3 of them, and they are doing about 3d8 (13.5) + 10 = 23.5 damage each, then assuming 50% odds to hit for everyone, you go from 4.59 rounds without photon/plasma to 4.28 rounds with. So maybe one in 3 fights it make a difference against a boss type monster? It'll make more of difference for fights against multiple monsters with lower hit points. There it might make a round of difference for one enemy every fight? However, its also mitigating less damage by dropping only 1/3 or whatever of the enemies faster. I'd have to run some numerical simulations to give a better answer.


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nicholas storm wrote:
This game does involve tradeoffs. Your arguments seem so locked into only looking at the solarian that it doesn't appear that you recognize that other classes have similar tradeoffs.

This about sums it up. Try building some other classes and see whether you run into similar problems. I know I have, and I've built a soldier, a technomancer, a solarion and a mystic. They all have real tradeoffs. I actually think Solarion's one of the stronger options even with CHA as the main stat.

Dark Archive

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Why is no one comparing there Solarian with the 3rd melee build? Namely the operative!! We all know that there is more to mage killing than good saves and damage!! There's hitting them as well


If that 7 damage isn't meaning I consistently drop enemies sooner, is it really worth the stress everyone is putting on it?

People have been complaining about having to get to full atunement to get the most out of the cc abilities, so I will say the same for Plasma Sheath.
It only adds its +5 damage on the 3rd round and after.

The only reason I have seen people say that Photon is The-Only-Way(tm) is because of that slight extra damage from sheath, and being attuned.
The extra damage from stellar rush is nice too.

Now if I Decide to do graviton instead, I gain access to a bunch of CC, AC (+1 or +4, and give my allies +4), DR, Reflex Saves, the ability to throw peoples attacks back at them (or their allies).

Maybe I can't do all of that stuff from the get go, but it should all be possible later.

People are complaining that the Solarian is only good at melee damage, but then complain it isn't that good at that because of saves.
They have a bunch of utility that is just being ignored, a bunch of abilities unique to the class that are being ignored.

In terms of "Schrodinger's Solarian", we are not saying you can do all the things at the same time. What you can do though is play the Solarian in ways that no other class can be played. It has strengths unique to the class, and has weaknesses unique to the class.

EDIT
Something that I forgot to respond to earlier, the critique on Radiation against non humanoid targets (IE targets without armor)
It was said that it wasn't good because you have to be close to gain the effect, and they can just step away and it stops effecting them.

This was during the discussion of a melee Solarian, if you are not close to the person you are attacking you have bigger issues. And if I am making people walk away from me, they are not attacking me, and I am basically the definition of battlefield control.


I am also curious as to why Cha is complained about as the weakest stat?

In terms of abilities to completely negate encounters, there are very few available to non spell casters.
The two that stand out are Perception and Diplomacy.
Diplomacy is a Cha skill, and can completely negate an encounter.

If you doubt this there are plenty of anecdotes in the PFS threads about diplomancers taking scenarios and negating most if not all of the combats.

Dark Archive

It's true I've seen it


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HWalsh wrote:


snip

The problem with Solarion CC is you giving up your Standard or Full actions to cause enemies to take minor penalties or lose lesser actions, which is a bad trade off. This is an underlying problem with the d20 3.x chassis which has never really been addressed. Notably Save or Suck spells are typically also ones which lock down entire areas or hit multiple targets over multiple rounds. Glitterdust, Black Tentacles, et cetera would be terrible if they were single target and took actions to maintain. Which is basically the default for Solarion CC.

3. Gravity Hold doesn't stop an enemy from taking anything but actions to move in most instances. It is something that appeals in the abstract to people who do not understand the importance of action economy. Like so many Solarion abilities it is situational, and as a worse offender it is most useful against opponents most likely to succeed a Fort save.

This is one of the okay-ish CC abilities of the Solarion in that it can in theory one-shot or fully lock down a single enemy depending on terrain by using both your move and standard action on the first round of activation and standard action there after. In a standard hallway/small room fight in an AP however it's probably entirely useless to pick someone up and move them 15 feet as a full round.

4. Crush is the other ability which is a possible 1:1 trade off in terms of actions in that maintaining is only a move action. If you spend the Resolve to Stun you lose a Standard for their Full Round on a failed save, and maintain as a Move for them to lose either a Move or Standard (no full attacks from either party).

Again we need multiple failed saves, and I'd hold a 1:1 trade off in action economy is bad unless you are fighting an opponent whose actions are clearly superior (and without spending the Resolve this is downgraded from situational to objectively bad) which makes the ability suboptimal except in niche fights versus 'boss' type enemies.

A comparable example was spamming disarms with my Brawler (something the class is designed to be able to do well out of the box) in Iron Gods versus the chainsaw wielding Orc. Worth my actions in that 1 fight and no other due to the potentiality of suffering chainsaw crits. Now about halfway through book 4 and just duking it out is basically always better because there isn't an obvious and deadly disparity in offenses. Of course Crush is probably a suboptimal choice when disarm is an option, if the enemy is using a disarmable weapon.

I see Crush having a similar problem in usefulness, in that it is yet again situational. This time on the basis of fighting a high CR, high DPR solo enemy designed to potentially one-round player characters. Which is less of a factor in Starfinder than it was in Pathfinder by default.

5. Gravity Surge is a Full Round Action. It's only advantage is as a ranged maneuver. The free psuedo-feat is negated by not relying on your primary attack stat. For a melee Solarion a full-round trip against a target you aren't currently in melee with is a bad move. You are better off just buying the maneuver feat and rolling trips with your Str. If you are using Solar Weapon you can even have a free hand for a Taclash. This could have some utility combined with Crush against powerful enemies.

As a disarm, it only gets good at high levels when there is a large damage disparity between humanoid opponent's primary and secondary weapons. To fully disarm them of ranged weapons would require using 2 full-round actions and hitting on both.

This ability again seems clearly very situational, and again suffers from the action economy problem. A full round action buys you an enemy losing a move action to stand or a move action to draw another weapon. A bad trade. I have to wonder if some earlier version of the Solarion was like the Swashbuckler/Gunslinger which got all Revelations by default which would make many of its' only situationally useful abilities make more sense.

Hypnotic Glow is good as CC since it can fully take a target out of a fight for Solarion level rounds with a single failed save. There is a language barrier for use of the ability and it is highly interpretive. In my own personal experience in actual play Charm Person is basically useless for how most DMs handle the spell. A literal reading of the spell would cause the charmed target to continue attacking your allies while you spend 10 rounds using Diplomacy to alter his attitude toward the rest of the party. Virtually every Charm Person command can be interpreted as obviously suicidal. The Command spell function could still be used to good if lesser effect, and better than any other Solarion CC as it uses your Standard Action to potentially eat the target's whole round. Which should be the default assumption for any single target CC.

Of course on the other hand for some groups this will be an amazing ability, and it is still good OOC regardless.

Overall my perception of the problem with Solarion from a design standpoint is they seem to have been designed to be 'neat' or 'cool' aesthetically rather than actually having an effective suite of supernatural abilities which allows them to fulfill any particular mechanical role outside of damage dealing. The class and its' abilities having been designed intuitively around its' core premise whereas most of the other classes were designed around filling a pre-existing mechanical niche.

Shuffling people about a handful of squares isn't really a role at all, but what else does a 'gravity powers' based class do? This never should have been the basis of what the class does though. No other class really gives up anything to fulfill some high concept which doesn't mesh with the game's mechanics. They are all built around fulfilling a mechanical role first with a veneer of fluff on top to justify those abilities (with perhaps the Envoy being an exception fulfilling an aesthetic niche before a mechanical one, which is also notably the next most criticized class).

More damning Solarion is actually good enough in melee that doing anything else comes at a significant opportunity cost effectively pigeonholing the class into that role while its' theoretical design aesthetic which doesn't translate into any mechanical role will be used as a justification for the class's mechanically non-intuitive clunkiness. Comparatively a Mystic's action choices will almost always preference spellcasting and they have an impressive suite of CC (and other) abilities, including access to the Solarion's best CC trick at level 1. The Mystic is also clearly built around an underlying game mechanic and filled out with a lot of pre-existing spells and its' aesthetic premise or class fantasy doesn't get in the way of that mechanical niche.

If the Mystic had been designed around an aesthetic premise of being a woo-based New Age crystal merchant and had an entirely new set of abilities which extend from that premise it would also probably be problematic because selling merchandise to aging hippies isn't a game mechanical niche which can be filled in a way which would contribute to the game's assumed primary mode of conflict resolution. Or more appropriately if the 'mental and biological systems too complex to be understood' translated into spending your rounds fiddling with insight bonuses instead of spellcasting and filling the game's divine spellcaster role the class would probably be terrible mechanically but would still appeal to many people on being 'neat' or 'cool' in more accurately reflecting that bit of fluff text.

4e also had a problem of a lot of classes having compulsory movement abilities which had no real impact on the outcome of combat, and even though they were just riders still became obnoxious in dragging out combats as they increased time in re-analyzing the board after each round. If they had been abilities which were used in place of doing damage they simply would have never been selected by players. We are going to almost never see these Solarion powers in use in actual play over time as we see with many never used feats, spells et cetera in Pathfinder, however unlike those options we will continue to see ardent defenders of the abysmal Solarion options because of the non-mechanical fulfillment of the class fantasy, which will never be the case for Elephant Stomp. The class feels like it should be able to fling people about and perform high-flying acrobatic stunts. But at the actual game table on a 1"x1" grid using tactical combat rules, AC, HP and saving throws to resolve conflicts those abilities don't really amount to much. Shuffling miniatures a few squares this way or that isn't usually a good use of actions. Trading your Standard+ for their Move isn't a good use of actions no matter how right it may feel to some people.

This isn't a Cooperative Storytelling game, which is what the Solarion feels like it was designed for and what people are arguing for. We aren't narrating the Solarion's round and then rolling Fate dice to determine degrees of success. What the Solarion can theoretically do is not the same thing as what it is likely to actually do in play. You can declare you do X, Y or Z but what percentage of the time will these be able to be pulled off? You get 1 Revelation every other level. At level 12, at the end of Dead Suns you will have 6. How many rounds of combat will you be in over the course of that AP? How many rounds will you spend maintaining Crush? How many of those rounds will it have had any effect? What is the significance of that effect when it does occur? What alternative action is it being compared to?


Yes a lot of the Solarian abilities are highly situational.
However they are options that can be incredibly useful if used at the right time.

Using crush on the natural attack monster that is dishing out 5 attacks on a full attack. That is well worth my standard action.

I think people are comparing the usefullness of CC on the pathfinder chasis.

In pathfinder rocket tag was much more a thing than in starfinder by what many people can tell.

If I can pull a character out of cover, I am giving all of my ranged allies an additional 10% to 40% chance to land an attack depending what kind of cover I can pull them out of.

I can pull allies into cover, I can pull enemies off of my allies, I can create walls of fire each and every time I move.

By all accounts reflex saves are not entirely worth worrying about.
That means that I can focus on 4 stats. I can pump my Str to still be a potent melee combatant, and maybe sacrifice 1 or 2 points of damage and to hit compared to completely maximising it.
In return for that I can increase my Cha, completely negate encounters with a Diplomacy as a class skill that I get +1d6 to, and I get more resolve points, and I get to use a bunch of abilities that can potentially save the lives of my allies, or give them significantly better chances to hit my enemies, or stop my enemies form running away, or make my enemies blind.
I also get to increase my Con and Wis.
As people have pointed out, you don't need more than 10 Int to take advantage of sidereal influence until level 18.

If you stop trying to do maximum damage it opens up a lot of doors, that may be situational, but are completely capable of making my allies lives much easier, and my enemies lives much harder.

Dark Archive

Rocket tag?


The ability to rage lance charge pounce and one round kill an enemy.

Maths up thread shows a full party taking 5 rounds to kill an APL+2 opponent, in pathfinder it is not out of sorts to see a single character at that level deal that kind of damage.

Expected rounds per kill is 2 for a single character against a APL=CR opponent. Search for EDV,
a highly optomised character should have an EDV that can kill an enemy in two full attacks.

It seems as if starfinder is designed for combats to last significantly longer.

Grand Lodge

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Just as a purely nitpicky point, Lance Charge and Pounce don't really work well together. Rage Pounce with many attacks is good, but Lance charge is all about the first hit. Notably the damage bonus for Lance/Spirited Charge only applies to first hit on the charge, even if you have multiple hits on a charge.

Dark Archive

Ya but that's still main attack Alot of damage followed by more attacks more damage


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J4RH34D wrote:

I am also curious as to why Cha is complained about as the weakest stat?

In terms of abilities to completely negate encounters, there are very few available to non spell casters.
The two that stand out are Perception and Diplomacy.
Diplomacy is a Cha skill, and can completely negate an encounter.

If you doubt this there are plenty of anecdotes in the PFS threads about diplomancers taking scenarios and negating most if not all of the combats.

Because Charisma offers nothing BUT skills. To repost what I put before:

Strength How much Stuff you can carry, melee damage, melee attack rolls.
Dexterity AC, Ranged Attack Rolls, Ref Saves
Constitution Damage you can take, fort saves.
Intelligence Skill Points
Wisdom Will Saves
Charisma You get... NOTHING!!! YOU LOSE!! GOOD DAY, SIR!!!

Every single stat offers something other than 'Just skills'. Skills are nice but most other stats offer skills AND something else. I mean, Stealth can negate an encounter just as much as Diplomacy but Dexterity still offers plenty else.


About Black Hole pulling people out of cover...

You realize how hard this is to actually do right? The fact that you virtually cannot do it with Black Hole.

From Black Hole:
"Solid objects do not block this ability, but any creature that runs into a solid object ceases moving closer to you."

Lets say you enter a room...

This is a large room, fun for all the pew-pew goodness.

So, lets say 50ft by 50ft square.

In this room your party comes under attack by 4 enemies who are in an entrenched position.

Three of them are crouching behind a set of 5 boxes approximately 35 feet away from where the party is. Each box takes up a square. They are behind the three center boxes.

In order to "Pull them out of cover" the Solarian would have to drop his Black Hole to the right of the boxes. He could hit 2 of the 3 targets possible. Only 1 of the 3 could actually be pulled out of cover, if the fail the save, and if the black hole was put down on a straight line to the right or left of them, because if they move toward the boxes in any way, they instantly stop.

That is how terrible black hole is.

Dark Archive

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Did you know when you post your point in all caps you lose 60% of your credibility with people named Mike roper? Also lose 30% for being a jerk about it. Also not true it affects the DC of Solarian powers


mike roper wrote:
Did you know when you post your point in all caps you lose 60% of your credibility with people named Mike roper? Also lose 30% for being a jerk about it.

Who all capped?

Edit:

Wait? Are you referring to the all capped part of his Charisma quote?

Dude, that is fully acceptable. It is a quote from the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder. He is actively yelling in that quote. Thus that is fair game. That is a cinema classic.

Dark Archive

Alright not all caps :) "you get" was not caped

Edit alright than not sure of the quote so will take your word for it


mike roper wrote:

Alright not all caps :) "you get" was not caped

Edit alright than not sure of the quote so will take your word for it

Just look up, "You get nothing good day sir" on YouTube. :P

... I keep forgetting how young players are these days...

:(

Dark Archive

35 is the new young? Oh man wife will get a chuckle out of that one.

Edit also HWalsh you are like a ninja with out a picture by your name. Often read your post and have to do a double take.


HWalsh wrote:

About Black Hole pulling people out of cover...

You realize how hard this is to actually do right? The fact that you virtually cannot do it with Black Hole.

From Black Hole:
"Solid objects do not block this ability, but any creature that runs into a solid object ceases moving closer to you."

Lets say you enter a room...

This is a large room, fun for all the pew-pew goodness.

So, lets say 50ft by 50ft square.

In this room your party comes under attack by 4 enemies who are in an entrenched position.

Three of them are crouching behind a set of 5 boxes approximately 35 feet away from where the party is. Each box takes up a square. They are behind the three center boxes.

In order to "Pull them out of cover" the Solarian would have to drop his Black Hole to the right of the boxes. He could hit 2 of the 3 targets possible. Only 1 of the 3 could actually be pulled out of cover, if the fail the save, and if the black hole was put down on a straight line to the right or left of them, because if they move toward the boxes in any way, they instantly stop.

That is how terrible black hole is.

Forgot to mention you can only use it only when fully attuned, which takes 3 rounds. which is a long time in combat.

The power does have it's uses and I've done some fun stuff with it. I've also had party members begging me to use the power and I have to shout back "Can't, I'm only at 2 charges and need to be at 3 to use!"


So in that circumstance it is bad. I can also describe a situation where there are 4 enemies in cover and I can pull all of them out of all of their cover with a single action.

I know it is dependent on a bunch of stuff.
I have never claimed it works all the time everytime.


You talk about plasma sheath as if it is an always on thing but to quote you "you can only use it only when fully attuned, which takes 3 rounds. which is a long time in combat."

Dark Archive

Holy cow your right why has no one made that point?

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