House Rule to depower Dexterity and improve Charisma


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So, one of the complaints about Starfinder (and Solarians in particular) is that Charisma doesn't really do much of anything on its own, like the other stats do. So, here's an idea I had:

Dexterity no longer affects Initiative bonuses. You get AC and ranged attacks scaling off of this ability, so I don't feel too bad about this.

Wisdom no longer affects will saving throws. Instead, your Wisdom modifier is added to your initiative bonus instead. Since Wisdom is a measure of how aware your character is, I feel like it being the initiative booster makes sense in the narrative aspect of the game.

Finally, you add your Charisma modifier to your Will saving throws. Characters with a strong force of personality should be better at throwing off attempts to influence them mentally than those who do not.

Anyway, thoughts?


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I agree that the current state of Charisma is problematic and you've made an interesting fix, but I am concerned you've inadvertently made wisdom a very good dump stat. Some classes really want to go first in combat (like buffers) others will frequently delay their turn until after the other guys have acted and don't care too much about initiative modifiers. Perception is the big loss, but if it's not a class skill you're not that likely to meet the Starfinder scaling DCs anyway. The other wis-based skills (Sense Motive, Mysticism, Survival) are all classic examples of skills you really only need one guy in the party to be good at.


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What if Resolve was Charisma based for all characters?


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Enter wrote:
What if Resolve was Charisma based for all characters?

I could already hear the Soldier players screaming bloody murder.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Enter wrote:
What if Resolve was Charisma based for all characters?

A similar suggestion that's been made along these lines: keep the current resolve system, but have one's Charisma modifier also add/subtract from one's total resolve.

This would make it the case that players aren't generally required to have a high Charisma in order to have a reasonable amount of resolve.

But characters with a higher Charisma will have move resolve, giving every player *some* incentive to have a high Charisma.


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

So, one of the complaints about Starfinder (and Solarians in particular) is that Charisma doesn't really do much of anything on its own, like the other stats do. So, here's an idea I had:

Dexterity no longer affects Initiative bonuses. You get AC and ranged attacks scaling off of this ability, so I don't feel too bad about this.

Wisdom no longer affects will saving throws. Instead, your Wisdom modifier is added to your initiative bonus instead. Since Wisdom is a measure of how aware your character is, I feel like it being the initiative booster makes sense in the narrative aspect of the game.

Finally, you add your Charisma modifier to your Will saving throws. Characters with a strong force of personality should be better at throwing off attempts to influence them mentally than those who do not.

Anyway, thoughts?

An interesting proposal.

I think initiative is probably the least important of the 4 things Dexterity provides: AC, ranged attack bonus, reflex saves, initiative. So removing initiative from Dex will weaken it a bit, but I think Dexterity will still be the best stat by a fair margin.

On the flip side, if we remove the Will bonus from Wisdom, I worry that Wisdom will become the stat that pretty much everyone (i.e., anyone who's not a Mystic) will ignore/try to tank with racial penalties.

_____

Here's a quantitative way to assess this. A feat is worth roughly:
+1 to hit (with a given weapon type)
+2 to reflex saves
+4 to initiative
+2 to will saves
[and perhaps(?) +1 to AC, though no such feat currently exists]

So currently increasing your Dex modifier by 1 currently yields:
+1 to hit with any ranged weapon (1+ feats-worth)
+1 reflex saves (0.5 feats-worth)
+1 initiative (0.25 feats-worth)
+1 AC (1+ feats-worth?)
=2.75+ feats-worth of bonuses.

If we implement your proposal, increasing your Dex modifier by 1 instead yields 2.5+ feats-worth of bonuses; it's almost as strong as it was before.

Currently, increasing your Wis modifier by 1 currently yields:
+1 will bonus (0.5 feats-worth)
=0.5 feats-worth of bonuses.

If we implement your proposal, increasing your Wis modifier by 1 instead yields 0.25 feats-worth of bonuses; slightly better than Cha currently give you (0), but still so low as to be dumpable without much concern.


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I think rather than the changes you're suggesting maybe have some options for players, specifically the option to use either wisdom or charisma for Will Saves.

Kudaku gave a great explaination why you shouldn't implement the change you suggested about Wisdom. Which is basically you'll inflict on Wisdom the same problem you're trying to ameliorate from Charisma.

I also don't agree with removing Dex ability score bonus to Initiative. Perhaps allowing Wisdom or Charisma to be added to init instead of Dex would be fair (your intuition allows you to predict things for Wisdom...and I don't really have a good idea for how Charisma would work to improve your reactions but the idea here is to make Charisma a better stat and this would definitely help).

These would help to strength both Charisma and Wisdom's strengths, because as it sits neither has particularly strong skills you need (basically if one person in the party can do it that's all that's required) and unless you have class abilities based on the skill there is little reason to have these stats.


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Charisma would be fine as it is if this 3e idea of tying it into classes core mechanics would have died by now. It doesn't need to be 'equal' with other stats if there aren't classes that key a bunch of their stuff off of Charisma for no reason related to what Charisma represents. As it stands most of the classes which do key their stuff off of Charisma don't have any reason to. The Charisma-Sorcerer link was always contrived and the Charisma-Solarion link is non-existent. It's just stated but not explained. Why do Solarions key off of Charisma?

"Your Charisma lets you channel your connection to the cosmos". How? Why?

"Charisma measures a character’s personality, personal
magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance." Nothing about cosmic channeling or awareness here.

"Dexterity measures agility, balance, and reflexes." It's intuitively powerful because these things are all important in games focusing around action and adventure. Charisma and Dexterity shouldn't be equal in power. Charisma should just do what Charisma should do intuitively which is listed above, and nothing else.

It's only a problem when your Charisma is shoehorned into being the stat which governs connection to the cosmos. It wouldn't be a problem if the only classes which keyed off of Charisma were classes that were meant to be charismatic as part of the class fantasy.

Arguably the Solarion should be uncharismatic as part of the class fantasy. I'm told by proponents of how good the class is as written that the Solarion gets to be a 'face', but its' not actually a choice mechanically. No, I'm not going to play a 'face' because I didn't pick Solarion to help me roleplay a diplomat or swaggering caudillo. There is a better argument for every other stat being related to the Solarion lore and broader tropes it is based on over Charisma.


They also dont have the skill points to be an effective face. A dedicated face, ino, wants at least 3 skills from the social skill lineup. Since int is the only stat Solarians can remotely afford to dump, you have, at most 5 skills (for a human), and more likely 4 or even 3. Your cha probably isnt as high as an envoy's either. If you want to be a face, that has to be the only thing you can do out of combat. Meanwhile, a soldier can be an engineer, a medic, and an athlete all at once.


martinaj wrote:
They also dont have the skill points to be an effective face. A dedicated face, ino, wants at least 3 skills from the social skill lineup. Since int is the only stat Solarians can remotely afford to dump, you have, at most 5 skills (for a human), and more likely 4 or even 3. Your cha probably isnt as high as an envoy's either. If you want to be a face, that has to be the only thing you can do out of combat. Meanwhile, a soldier can be an engineer, a medic, and an athlete all at once.

I don't think you *have* to have all 3 social skills to be a decent face. I think which social grace skill you make your focus is a large part of how you roleplay the character too. Diplomacy is fine on its own for most encounters. Sure, you're not going to lie your way out of a fist/fire fight, but you may be able to calm tensions down. I've played, and run, numerous games where Diplomacy was the most valuable social skill being rolled almost as much as Perception and Knowledges.

We all understand Starfinder has 2 modes. Ship related actions, and none-ship related actions. It is up to players to decide who gets to do what with the ship be it Captain, Science Officer, Engineer, Gunner, Pilot, etc...

A Captain needs to focus ideally on Diplomacy and Intimidate (which can be used for Taunt instead of Bluff). So you can totally skip Bluff for this starship role since it has 1 use. You could also get by with only focusing on Diplomacy *or* Intimidate but that removes some nice options in my opinion. That's only 2 out of 4 skills if you decide to go that route. The other 2 skills could either be focused into something else or alternated. I say alternated because you really don't need to have max ranks in Athletics or Acrobatics. You just need to hit the static difficulties of whatever you feel is most common in your game. You could also arguably stretch those skill points into other areas depending on party composition.

Also, while the Soldier gets Engineering as a class skill, they kind of suck at it for starship roles at least until an errata comes out that lessens the steep divide on difficulty.

My character design philosophy for Starfinder is to figure out who wants to do what in the Starship and then flesh out other traditional party roles after that. A Solarian can make a decent face, but not a hyper specialized one, a Captain, and still have some skill points left over to maybe dabble in something else.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Not every ability score has to be useful to every character. Especially when ability scores don't feel as vital as they were in Pathfinder.

Scarab Sages

A respectable alternative, very well-reasoned - I'd run with it.


I’d like to hear your experience trying this out in your group. Not on the grounds of Charisma not doing much, but on the grounds of Dexterity doing more than other ability scores.

Cyrad, I do agree that not every ability score must be important for a class but Dexterity is one that becomes good for any class because of the usefulness of ranged weapons and because of ship combat. We know we can’t actually balance everything in the game. Some token efforts would help.

Martinaj, a party face should be required to have all three “social” skills. Would you expect the party brainiac to have all knowledge skills? Certain races and classes get bonuses to different skills, so you might have a character with a mediocre Cha is better at one of the skills.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Don't forget that this is a *roll*-playing game. We try and implement the stats as more than just "buff numbers" and Charisma for my group is a huge part of how the NPCs react to that character. Sometimes being able to talk your way out of a combat is more effective than shooting.


HWalsh wrote:
Enter wrote:
What if Resolve was Charisma based for all characters?
I could already hear the Soldier players screaming bloody murder.

I agree. I know a lot of soldiers with extremely low CHA, "couldn't lead a pack of hungry wolves to fresh meet" yet are unstoppable.


"That guy has all the luck."

I wouldn't mind seeing some kind of CHA = LUCK mechanic in the game.

For Solarions, I would be tempted to do this:
* For the Solar Weapon, CHA is added to damage. The soldier is wielding a tactical Doshko for 1d12. Why is the Solar Weapon only 1d6?
* For the Solar Armor, CHA grants temporary HP (like a force field) using the same formula that calculates Resolve points. To get these points back you would have to dismiss and then reconjure the armor after taking a 10-minute rest.


Peet wrote:

"That guy has all the luck."

I wouldn't mind seeing some kind of CHA = LUCK mechanic in the game.

For Solarions, I would be tempted to do this:
* For the Solar Weapon, CHA is added to damage. The soldier is wielding a tactical Doshko for 1d12. Why is the Solar Weapon only 1d6?
* For the Solar Armor, CHA grants temporary HP (like a force field) using the same formula that calculates Resolve points. To get these points back you would have to dismiss and then reconjure the armor after taking a 10-minute rest.

Oh the old doshko argument again. So I see your eyes focused in on the damage column for the doshka but but what about the special column? Do you see the word unwieldy? That means you can only attack once and can't use it for attacks of opportunity.

So your Soldier gets to attacks with a 1d12 once and my Solarian gets to attack twice with 1d6 +1(in photon mode) and then I also get to make attacks of opportunity. The Solarian is much more powerful than people think. The numbers have been crunched multiple times on multiple different threads.


I've been asking myself this for a while, maybe you can help: Why should a level 1 Solarian wield a Solar Weapon when he can wield a longsword or tactical pike?

I don't really see the upside of the solar weapon at low levels. I get that you can leverage your WBL advantage at higher levels, but early on... Eh.

The solar weapon should be something people would get excited about as soon as they read the class feature - "LIGHTSABER"!!! But I find that they read up on it, discover it does less damage than the average advanced melee weapon and doesn't even target energy AC, and then the interest dies fast.

I don't doubt that the design guys have crunched the math and made sure it's a viable weapon, but the class feature could do with some "oomph" at level 1 to catch people's attention. Maybe bump the baseline damage to 1D8 to make it equal to other one-handed advanced melee weapons at level 1 and then have it go up to 2d6 and go back to normal progression at level 6?


You use it because it is the class feature. You are essentially a cosmo knight wielding the power of space in your hands. It's cool as hell! But below are reasons why you should imo.

1) It can't be sundered.
2) It can't be disarmed or taken away. (Been playing tabletops on and off for 13yrs and my DMs love doing this.) Going to a business meeting where I can't have a weapon? No Prob for a Solarian.
3) It is a waste of money to buy another sword when you already have one.
4) In Photon mode you gain a +1 damage.
5) If you get Plasma Sheath at lvl2 you get another +1. This ability only gets better as time goes on.

Of course opinions. Play how you want and just have fun. In my campaign I use the book as a guide. Not rules in stone. I actually changed the Solarian a lot. I gave them more abilities but locked half depending on what mode you are in.


Photon Mode and Plasma Sheath don't care what kind of weapon you're using, so that's not really a point in favor of solar weapon.


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I've been running PF APs for a number of years and the number of enemies that try to disarm or sunder martial PC's weapons are extremely rare. With Starfinder shifting the combat focus to ranged weapons it seems unlikely that that trend will change.

Squiggit already covered plasma sheath and photon mode.

You don't necessarily have to buy the sword - the solarian is going to be using a 1D6 weapon for his first five levels. Odds are he'll loot much better melee weapons along the way. I already mentioned the tactical pike and the longsword, but add Flame Doshkos, carbon steel curve blades,and Cryopikes to that list, available at levels 2, 4, and 5 respectively.

As for the coolness factor - that's the flavor of it, but the mechanical side is "here, have a 95 credit assault hammer for free". It strikes me as a bit lackluster.

It's like being a jedi knight but tossing out your lightsaber for the vibrosword you just looted on the battlefield because the sword does more damage. Logically it's a sound decision, thematically it feels like nails down a chalkboard. And yet I know a lot of players would absolutely make that call if the sword is the objectively better weapon. I'd strongly prefer it if the system didn't force the player to choose between "power" and "concept" by making the lightsaber a competitive alternative all the way from level 1.

Does that make sense?


Solar Weapons are definitely cool, but that's honestly why I wish they were more usable.

From a purely mechanical standpoint my experience playing a melee solarian was that in the end I'd have gotten as much mileage out of solar armor as I would have solar weapon (and I was wearing heavy armor so solar armor didn't do anything unless I was undressed!).

NPC Solarians aren't common enough that you can reliably keep your weapon upgraded on crystals alone and the 10% sell rate means you can't just trade in whatever stick a bad guy drops for one either. So unless the campaign is tailored in a certain way or you're primarily rewarded with liquid wealth (which to be fair isn't super hard to imagine given the setting), chances are you're going to spend at least some time using a normal weapon.

But the thing is even if you do get everything going your way your advantages over just buying a regular one handed or two handed weapon are pretty minimal.

So in practive I've found that the solar weapon's biggest use case ends up being as a backup weapon that you can use in a situation where you normally wouldn't have a weapon, because it's always with you.

That's admittedly something that can be useful in the right sort of setting, but also feels like a little bit of a let down to me too.

....This also feels a little bit off topic now so that's the last I'll say about solar weapon.

TBH as far as stats go I'd most likely just go the 4e route here: Will is your highest of Cha or Wisdom. Maybe extend that out and make Fort the highest of strength or con too.


So I was answering this question.

Kudaku wrote:

I've been asking myself this for a while, maybe you can help: Why should a level 1 Solarian wield a Solar Weapon when he can wield a longsword or tactical pike?

Squiggit wrote:
Photon Mode and Plasma Sheath don't care what kind of weapon you're using, so that's not really a point in favor of solar weapon.

Yes I know this. But the question is why use the Solarblade over long sword or Tactical Pike.

Kudaku wrote:
I've been running PF APs for a number of years and the number of enemies that try to disarm or sunder martial PC's weapons are extremely rare. With Starfinder shifting the combat focus to ranged weapons it seems unlikely that that trend will change.

I don't use APs because I have my own ideas for stories. If you use them, awesome. That's why I mentioned the years I have played and what occurred in my games. Sundering is a thing. Disarming is a thing. And not being able to bring a tactic pike or long arm to certain areas is DEFINITELY a thing. If your DMing isn't using these then you have a DM not using tools to make the game interesting.

Kudaku wrote:
You don't necessarily have to buy the sword - the solarian is going to be using a 1D6 weapon for his first five levels. Odds are he'll loot much better melee weapons along the way. I already mentioned the tactical pike and the longsword, but add Flame Doshkos, carbon steel curve blades,and Cryopikes to that list, available at levels 2, 4, and 5 respectively.

If you want to play your Solarian like a Soldier that's fine. Also are we still talking about beginning levels? How many goblins are going to be walking around with Flame Doshkos? By level 4 you get Solarian Crystals. A player in my campaign has already bought one.

I think the debate over the 2 points of damage at lvl1 is going to end here for me. Already done it a bunch. As I said before, I already changed the Solarian. Just not the Solar blade damage because looking at all the damage this thing gets it is pointless to change the first couple lvls. My group looked at it the first night we started playing and decided to change it in other areas.

Play how you want. Main argument was the "soldier is wielding a tactical Doshko for 1d12." part.


JetSetRadio wrote:

So I was answering this question.

Kudaku wrote:

I've been asking myself this for a while, maybe you can help: Why should a level 1 Solarian wield a Solar Weapon when he can wield a longsword or tactical pike?

Squiggit wrote:
Photon Mode and Plasma Sheath don't care what kind of weapon you're using, so that's not really a point in favor of solar weapon.
Yes I know this. But the question is why use the Solarblade over long sword or Tactical Pike.

Okay, but then I can't help but wonder why you'd bring it up when discussing what weapons a solarian will use? Since neither Photon or Plasma is dependent on what weapon you use this argument seems pointless?

JetSetRadio wrote:
I don't use APs because I have my own ideas for stories. If you use them, awesome. That's why I mentioned the years I have played and what occurred in my games.

Fair enough, clearly we have different experiences here.

Squiggit wrote:
If you want to play your Solarian like a Soldier that's fine.

That's the thing though, I suspect a lot of players don't want to do that but feel like the system is pushing them in that direction. I've already had one player come to me and ask if the solar weapon is really supposed to be a D6.

Squiggit wrote:
Also are we still talking about beginning levels?

Absolutely, a flame doshko is only a level 2 weapon - while pricy, you could buy one as part of your starting gear.

JetSetRadio wrote:
How many goblins are going to be walking around with Flame Doshkos?

Well, it is a giant flaming sword - to me that definitely seems in character for a goblin. :)

Did a quick scan of the Alien Archives, I actually found a CR2 creature (The Skittermander) that has one equipped by default.

Squiggit wrote:
By level 4 you get Solarian Crystals. A player in my campaign has already bought one.

Sure, crystals help equalize the options - 1d6+1d3 averages 5.5 damage, same as a level 4 Curve Blade. Assuming you're able to find (or if you're very lucky, loot!) crystals, the solar weapons catch up around 4-5. However I should note that the odds of the Solarian finding a stock melee weapon upgrade (useable by anyone) are much higher than finding a solarian-specific crystal unless the GM is customizing loot for the party. Again, this is probably my AP experience talking.

JetSetRadio wrote:
I think the debate over the 2 points of damage at lvl1 is going to end here for me. Already done it a bunch.

Kinda regret breaking down and replying to your post line by line now, I read this last >__<.

For me the argument is less about 2 points of damage and more about the first impression of the Solar Weapon is disappointing and makes the class less exciting for players, but fair enough - have a nice day. :)

JetSetRadio wrote:
As I said before, I already changed the Solarian. Just not the Solar blade damage because looking at all the damage this thing gets it is pointless to change the first couple lvls.

Cool. I'd probably just make a small tweak to make the solar weapon more attractive at level 1. I'm going to see it in play before actually making any changes, but off the top of my head I might bump the level 1 solar weapon die to a D8 until level 6, change it to a 2d6 and follow the normal progression from there. That way he gets that slight bump at level 1 but the damage boost doesn't imbalance the class further down the line.


JetSetRadio wrote:

So I was answering this question.

Kudaku wrote:

I've been asking myself this for a while, maybe you can help: Why should a level 1 Solarian wield a Solar Weapon when he can wield a longsword or tactical pike?

Squiggit wrote:
Photon Mode and Plasma Sheath don't care what kind of weapon you're using, so that's not really a point in favor of solar weapon.

Yes I know this. But the question is why use the Solarblade over long sword or Tactical Pike.

Kudaku wrote:
I've been running PF APs for a number of years and the number of enemies that try to disarm or sunder martial PC's weapons are extremely rare. With Starfinder shifting the combat focus to ranged weapons it seems unlikely that that trend will change.

I don't use APs because I have my own ideas for stories. If you use them, awesome. That's why I mentioned the years I have played and what occurred in my games. Sundering is a thing. Disarming is a thing. And not being able to bring a tactic pike or long arm to certain areas is DEFINITELY a thing. If your DMing isn't using these then you have a DM not using tools to make the game interesting.

Kudaku wrote:
You don't necessarily have to buy the sword - the solarian is going to be using a 1D6 weapon for his first five levels. Odds are he'll loot much better melee weapons along the way. I already mentioned the tactical pike and the longsword, but add Flame Doshkos, carbon steel curve blades,and Cryopikes to that list, available at levels 2, 4, and 5 respectively.

If you want to play your Solarian like a Soldier that's fine. Also are we still talking about beginning levels? How many goblins are going to be walking around with Flame Doshkos? By level 4 you get Solarian Crystals. A player in my campaign has already bought one.

I think the debate over the 2 points of damage at lvl1 is going to end here for me. Already done it a bunch. As I said before, I already changed the Solarian. Just not the Solar blade damage because looking at...

Not every GM has "the magic mart" where you can just buy crystals. In our game, for example, we are expected to use what we find, or special order (if we can), or craft... Which is why we have someone who can make crystals. Meaning I can't get them early. I'll get my first crystal at level 6-ish.


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Well if your DM doesn't allow you to find a Solarian Crystal on Absalom station that kind of sucks.


Squiggit wrote:

Kinda regret breaking down and replying to your post line by line now, I read this last >__<.

For me the argument is less about 2 points of damage and more about the first impression of the Solar Weapon is disappointing and makes the class less exciting for players, but fair enough - have a nice day. :)

Wait until you realize their is basically only a couple ways to build the Solarian. That disappoint will continue.

Dark Archive

While slightly off topic, I'll add my two credits to the Solarion conversation:

I made them target EAC. In my mind, that makes them a competitive option early and late, and makes the lackluster damage still worth something before it gets the progression buff.


Ventnor wrote:

So, one of the complaints about Starfinder (and Solarians in particular) is that Charisma doesn't really do much of anything on its own, like the other stats do. So, here's an idea I had:

Dexterity no longer affects Initiative bonuses. You get AC and ranged attacks scaling off of this ability, so I don't feel too bad about this.

Wisdom no longer affects will saving throws. Instead, your Wisdom modifier is added to your initiative bonus instead. Since Wisdom is a measure of how aware your character is, I feel like it being the initiative booster makes sense in the narrative aspect of the game.

Finally, you add your Charisma modifier to your Will saving throws. Characters with a strong force of personality should be better at throwing off attempts to influence them mentally than those who do not.

Anyway, thoughts?

So the prettier your character is, the better his Will saving throw will be? It is interesting how the Charisma score has evolved throughout the years. Way back when it all began Charisma used to be the first impressions others had of a character, so in my younger days, good looks were a part of that as were ones bearing and the way one presents oneself to others, but in those days Charisma was a short hand for good looks, a character with a high charisma score was considered more attractive. Then for a while they came up with another score called Comeliness, we had some fun with that one and then got rid of it. Charisma was used in social situations, and comeliness modified it in social interactions, an then all of the sudden some character classes abilities were based on charisma such as magic and so forth, so they were saying one's personality improved ones ability to cast a spell? So maybe if you become really popular and you are a sorcerer, then you can cast spells better? Charisma has been the most misunderstood ability score through out the years. After it was resolved that it was not one's good looks it became how popular one was in society. I always was one that thought charisma was external not internal. How popular you were depended on what society you lived in, so if you hang around people that really like you, then your charisma score is very high. A magical ability to affect what others thought of you only occurred in spells.


Charisma is not good looks. Their used to be a stat for that. It was called comeliness It didn't really do much so they got rid of it. Charisma is force of personality.


Well, if I may offer my input here, the very word Charisma originally meant "gift" in the language it came from. The way I interpret it, it CAN mean force of personality, but also a certain jai ne se quoi about a character, or a divine/innate gift or talent (including good looks and suave social skills). When looking at it through that perspective, sorcerers, paladins, clerics, and yes, even solarians make sense to run off that stat, which in the Solarian's case is the Force their connection to the cosmos.

Shadow Lodge

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As another aside, the main focus of the adventure itself will also influence how useful Charisma will be: while social skills will be much more important for adventures in political intrigue, first contact, or civil unrest, it won't be as handy if you're out mapping a moon with no atmosphere, or protecting your stricken craft from local flora and fauna until help arrives.

But I agree with the assertion that, if every ability score has something generally useful to everyone, except for one that doesn't, that one will end up being the go-to dump stat for everyone who doesn't specialize in it.

Though I haven't tried Starfinder yet, I do like the sound of "add or subtract your CHA modifier from your final total of Resolve". The more self-assured will have a slightly easier time powering through tough times than the insecure or self-doubting.


My last thought on the issue is this:

Since Wisdom and Charisma are less useful except for certain characters you can try to implement an interesting houserule.

Make Resolve = Charisma + Wisdom +1.

+1 quarter level.

This will discard the problem of getting back into the fight twice and maybe have a stabilize left too that occurs up to level 4 to 6 [depending on the ability modifier] and the classes that suffer the most use little resolve.


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A rule like that would destroy soldiers as they need to have resolve to recover stamina frequently and have little other use for charisma or wisdom. You would end up seeing odd things like mystics going melee and being tankier than soldiers.


baggageboy wrote:
A rule like that would destroy soldiers as they need to have resolve to recover stamina frequently and have little other use for charisma or wisdom. You would end up seeing odd things like mystics going melee and being tankier than soldiers.

As a Melee Solarian.... All I can say is... Soldiers can cry me a river.

Charisma does nothing for me, it effects exactly 1 power, other than that it just gives me Resolve.


Oh I agree that solarians get the sort end of the stick when it comes to resolve. I just differ from you in that I think they have other things that make up for it built into the class. I know you don't agree, and that's ok.

However the rule Enter proposed has a major effect on many classes, soldiers in particular and I wanted to point that out. Some of the other proposed rules do a better job of empowering charisma users without changing the game so drastically.


baggageboy wrote:
A rule like that would destroy soldiers as they need to have resolve to recover stamina frequently and have little other use for charisma or wisdom. You would end up seeing odd things like mystics going melee and being tankier than soldiers.

Baggageboy is right, this change would massively penalize classes like melee soldiers and technomancers for no reason. I don't mind seeing Charisma become more useful, but it shouldn't come at the cost of neutering functional classes.


I should note that classes that rely on Strength and Dexterity or Intelligence are already priveleged by many small bonuses already.

High Int provides skills
Strength is melee hit/damage and some ranged damage and bulk and capacity for heavy weapons.
Dexterity ...is a thread on its own.

So all these classes relying on those attributes as main are not balanced already.

Its why Solarian, a wonderful class, has a hard time, solarians need many different stats to survive.

So a soldier earns +4 initiative and AC from his good stat[Dex18], in addition to skills bonus, to hit chance, reflext saves etc that the Wisdom stat provides more or less to the mystic in a semi-equivalent manner.


I don't disagree that Dex is on the high end and Charisma is on the low end, but classes are designed from the ground up around gaining resolve from their primary stat. If you change that design choice to help charisma then I'm concerned that you risk throwing out the baby with the bath water.

As an example, soldiers are expected to get hurt - it's pretty much in their job description. Because of that they have good access to resolve (in the form of a high str/dex) so they can reliably recover stamina with short rests. Perhaps because soldiers are expected to use their resolve on regaining stamina, there are relatively few Resolve spenders available for them and they come online relatively late - around level 7-9.

Technomancers get high amounts of Resolve but are less likely to spend them on stamina since they have a lot of resolve spenders available in the magic hack options. These Resolve spenders start showing up as early as level 5.

If we implement your houserule then the soldier and the technomancer can expect to lose roughly 50%* of the resolve they're gaining today. Envoys and Mystics would lose roughly 20%*. I suspect the reality would be that Mystics would get pressed into tank duty because they'd have much more resolve available to heal themselves back up that the soldier has.

As it stands right now it's broadly agreed on that Solarians have a small resolve shortfall compared to other classes. If we implement this houserule then the quality of life is slightly worse for Envoys Mystics and Solarians (1/4 level baseline means they take a net hit to their Resolve pool) and significantly worse for Mechanics, Operatives, Soldiers and Technomancers. In effect, I think we would be creating more problems than we are solving. :-/

*:

Normal resolve
Assume a 16 baseline primary stat, +2 on level 5, +4 from ability boost gives us a 22 primary stat for +6 resolve. I'll compare at level 9 since most classes will have at least one resolve spender ability at 9.

Normal Resolve: level 9/2 = 4.5 rounded down to 4, +6 from ability score.

Total Resolve = 10

Houseruled Resolve for a class that does not have wis/cha as a primary stat

Assume a 14 in a tertiary stat (Wis most likely since there's still no incentive to pick charisma), +2 on level 5, no ability boost gives us a 16 tertiary stat for +3 resolve. We'll keep on with the level 9 example.

9/4 = 2.25 rounded down to 2, +3 from ability score.

Total resolve = 5

Houseruled Resolve for a class that does have wis/cha as a primary stat

Assume a 16 in a primary stat, +2 on level 5, +4 ability boost gives us a 22 primary stat for +6 resolve. We'll keep on with the level 9 example.

9/4 = 2.25 rounded down to 2, +6 from ability score.

Total resolve = 8


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It's not just resolve though, it's that Charisma is a wasteland of a stat. It's got no non-skill mechanics tied to it (And doesn't even have the highest number of skills)

I'm not much a fan of these houserules...but man, Charisma needs something or we'll end up with the same issue as Pathfinder where it becomes the really 'Safe' stat to tie stuff too so you end up with either 'My mechanics give me ungodly high benefits for charisma so I focus it' and 'There is basically no use for charisma for me'


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Kudaku wrote:

I don't disagree that Dex is on the high end and Charisma is on the low end, but classes are designed from the ground up around gaining resolve from their primary stat. If you change that design choice to help charisma then I'm concerned that you risk throwing out the baby with the bath water.

As an example, soldiers are expected to get hurt - it's pretty much in their job description. Because of that they have good access to resolve (in the form of a high str/dex) so they can reliably recover stamina with short rests. Perhaps because soldiers are expected to use their resolve on regaining stamina, there are relatively few Resolve spenders available for them and they come online relatively late - around level 7-9.

Technomancers get high amounts of Resolve but are less likely to spend them on stamina since they have a lot of resolve spenders available in the magic hack options. These Resolve spenders start showing up as early as level 5.

If we implement your houserule then the soldier and the technomancer can expect to lose roughly 50%* of the resolve they're gaining today. Envoys and Mystics would lose roughly 20%*. I suspect the reality would be that Mystics would get pressed into tank duty because they'd have much more resolve available to heal themselves back up that the soldier has.

As it stands right now it's broadly agreed on that Solarians have a small resolve shortfall compared to other classes. If we implement this houserule then the quality of life is slightly worse for Envoys Mystics and Solarians (1/4 level baseline means they take a net hit to their Resolve pool) and significantly worse for Mechanics, Operatives, Soldiers and Technomancers. In effect, I think we would be creating more problems than we are solving. :-/

** spoiler omitted **...

Hey nice constructive criticism there!

Still I see we can scavenge something out of it.

I ll check the math later but at the moment 1/3 would be nice.

I see your point with the mystic but I dont like the idea of prearranged roles. Maybe mystics will tank more. No problem there. Actual they got this imba 1st level spell that reflects all damage back to the attacker so I can see something nice brewing up here.


Enter wrote:
Hey nice constructive criticism there!

Thank you so much for taking it in and reading it in the tone it was intended! I was worried I was coming across as too negative. :-/

Enter wrote:
Still I see we can scavenge something out of it.

Sure!

Enter wrote:
I see your point with the mystic but I dont like the idea of prearranged roles. Maybe mystics will tank more. No problem there. Actual they got this imba 1st level spell that reflects all damage back to the attacker so I can see something nice brewing up here.

I absolutely agree with you on prearranged roles, but I feel it's important to make "I have the highest resolve" more of a build choice than an automatic result of simply picking a class. I don't mind that a Mystic could have more resolve than a soldier or vice versa, but I don't like that it's a foregone conclusion, if that makes sense.

How about... All classes can add their Charisma modifier to their resolve pool, unless they are envoys and solarians (that already do so). Instead, Solarians and Envoys can pick one other ability score modifier to add to their resolve pool as well as charisma.

IE when you level up your ability scores you now choose between +1 Fort and Stamina from Con, +1 skill from Intelligence, +1 Will from Wisdom or +1 Resolve from Charisma.

For most classes this would be a minor boost. Charisma is a viable alternative, especially interesting if you want to play a character that uses a lot of resolve-based abilities. For combat-happy envoys with higher physical scores than charisma it would be a moderate boost. Finally, it would be fantastic for melee solarians that can now gain Resolve from strength, putting them at the same resolve pool as a soldier.

My main concern is that Solarians can now completely dump charisma and only pick revelations that don't tie into Charisma, but that's more or less what's happening anyway.


If you were to do as kudaku suggests I think you should assign the secondary resolve stat for envoys and solutions to another secondary stat, either wisdom or constitution. That way it stays consistent with the other classes which can gain resolve by upping their primary, or charisma which is definitely a secondary for them. Otherwise envoy's and dex focussed solutions will have very very high resolve, for what is very little investment for them. Most other classes will only get marginal benefit.


The above two posts tackle the game from a class perspective. At the moment I m trying to resolve the dexterity-uber stat and then balance class.

I feel that applying the above will lead to an increased importance of Charisma but wont make dexterity of equal importance to say strength.

The more I think about it the more I am certain that the problem is far more convoluted. It is a about the hit chance and the AC. Both Strength and Dexterity would be balanced in a far better way if they did not provide the hit chance. If dexterity was a tad less important for AC, then we would be able to have a system of 6 more or less equal stats.

At that point I would implement @Kodaku's idea and be done with it.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

While I don't really want to dive into the weeds ( a lot of this feels to me like "Charisma does what it logically should do, and this is too weak!" ), I do feel like an angle is being ignored here:

If "bonus to social skills" is not enough of a reason to take Charisma, maybe what needs to happen is for people to put more emphasis on social skills and encounters? Instead of giving Charisma some artificial added use, just take the existing use and make it more useful. I realize this might take some fiddling to keep from hitting the "just have the one specialist do everything" solution, and also that it involves the dreaded "good GM practices, rather than game mechanics" solution. Still, some broad ideas:

1. Group Social Efforts. When using social skills to cover or effect the whole party ( ie, diplomacy checks to win favor, bluff checks to sneak the group past guards, etc ), *require* that all benefiting party members Aid Another for the attempt. Also, failed checks ( or perhaps failed-by-5 checks ) provide a penalty rather than a bonus. You can have the most smooth talking Envoy ever, but if the rest of the party are all Charisma 8 munchkins, he'll have a much harder time carrying the party.

2. Combat Morale. This would require a new system of some kind, but for larger combats, have charisma and social skills effect how soon the enemy loses moral and breaks when things go bad. Probably best to not make it a flat Intimidate check, though you could use an Intimidate check as an action to facilitate the process.

3. Party Demeanor. A group of adventurers projects an aura about them, that effects how people perceive their competence, dangerness, etc. Not reputation, per se, since it would apply to people who don't know you, they just look at you and see what you appear to me. Would effect things like first impressions, ability to avoid or attract trouble, stuff like that. Maybe use as a baseline the party's average ( or total ) Charisma bonus.


I agree with the sentiment metaphysician stated. I have seen many of those mechanics implimented in other games and it denfinitly made dumping charisma a real decision rather than a given.


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Metaphysician wrote:
If "bonus to social skills" is not enough of a reason to take Charisma, maybe what needs to happen is for people to put more emphasis on social skills and encounters? Instead of giving Charisma some artificial added use, just take the existing use and make it more useful. I realize this might take some fiddling to keep from hitting the "just have the one specialist do everything" solution, and also that it involves the dreaded "good GM practices, rather than game mechanics" solution.

The issue there is that Charisma doesn't even have the most skills tied to it. Other skills have more non-combat stuff AND combat uses.

I also don't like 'The GM can fix it, so it's not a problem' stuff. Every RPG is someone's first and you shouldn't rely on such things, which take time for a new GM to learn. Mechanical balance supports GMs, not undermines them.

I liked 4e's system with saves where you took the higher of two stats for the save. Str/Con = Fort (You are big,strong and tough), Int/Dex = Ref (You are good at tactical positioning and fast on your feet), Cha/Wis = Will (You are observant and have a strong sense of self)

Liberty's Edge

I use the Cha or Wis (your choice) for Will in Pathfinder games, and I'm inclined to follow that example in Starfinder.

That powers up Cha a fair bit given that it's also used in Starship Combat and used with several skills. This is probably sufficient to make Cha good without devaluing other stats too much. It does mean that few characters will have high Wisdom and Charisma, but that's pretty accurate to a lot of fiction and many real people to boot.

I'm a little worried that this makes Cha better than Wis in Starfinder, but I think how essential Perception is offsets that somewhat.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

I use the Cha or Wis (your choice) for Will in Pathfinder games, and I'm inclined to follow that example in Starfinder.

That powers up Cha a fair bit given that it's also used in Starship Combat and used with several skills. This is probably sufficient to make Cha good without devaluing other stats too much. It does mean that few characters will have high Wisdom and Charisma, but that's pretty accurate to a lot of fiction and many real people to boot.

I'm a little worried that this makes Cha better than Wis in Starfinder, but I think how essential Perception is offsets that somewhat.

I am testing something similar in my own Starfinder game. I am limiting it to, at the moment, a Solarian trait.

Namely Solarians can use Charisma in place of Wisdom for Will Saves. Solves the Solarian Save Discrepancy issue easily. A Melee Solarian can now pump Strength, Dex, Con, and Charisma and not have to sacrifice saves or Resolve.

Liberty's Edge

I prefer to make it a general thing. That has the same effect on Solarians, and also allows concepts like a charming and likable Soldier or Technomancer to be more mechanically viable, which I like.

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