Solarian Weapon Crystals constructed from Special Materials


Rules Questions


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Can a Solarian Weapon Crystal be constructed from Adamantine or Cold Iron to gain the associated benefits? Can they be Silvered?

A big point of contention, I'd think, is that Adamantine, Cold Iron and Silver all seem to share the clause of "weapons and ammunition without metal parts can’t be made from adamantine alloy". But I've heard arguments that a crystal could be considered "metal", and my chemistry knowledge isn't enough for me to personally agree or disagree.

Thoughts?


Starfinder Core wrote:
A solarian weapon crystal adds damage to a solarian’s solar weapon. The solarian can place the crystal inside his mote as a standard action. While within a mote, a crystal applies its effects any time that mote is in a solar weapon form. A crystal within a mote can’t be interacted with in any way other than via abilities that specifically target a mote.

A silver weapon crystal would no more turn a solarian's solar weapon metal than installing a normal crystal would turn it into crystal.

The crystal is simply a magic item that enhances the weapon. It is not the weapon itself and never comes in contact with (and in fact cannot be interacted with) an enemy combatant.

It sounds like you are the GM in this situation however, so if you think it would make your game better to allow it, don't feel constrained by what I say.


Lost In Limbo wrote:


The crystal is simply a magic item that enhances the weapon.

I'm a little iffy on this part. You're right in that I'm not going to swing my weapon crystal at an enemy, but Solarian Weapon Crystals can have fusions applied to them. This suggests to me that a weapon crystal is considered a weapon for certain circumstances. Though, I don't know whether or not this would be considered as one of those circumstances.

Though, we do have a few weapons that can be made from adamantine despite lacking a metallic striking face. The Plasma Doshko, Yellow Star Plasma Sword, Tactical Skyfire sword ... these weapons can RAW be constructed from adamantine despite striking an enemy with a contained field of plasma or fire. I don't know how it would be justified in terms of fluff, but if a plasma sword's beam can be adamantine-like, I don't think it's a leap to think that a solar weapon could be similar.

Lost In Limbo wrote:
It sounds like you are the GM in this situation however, so if you think it would make your game better to allow it, don't feel constrained by what I say.

Alas, I hath not ventured as far yet. I'm just a player at the moment, and I ran the idea past my GM to see if he liked it. He seemed receptive, but told me to "wait for the Pact Worlds to release" so he could check. I interpreted that as "I'd rather go by official ruling".


Lost In Limbo wrote:
Starfinder Core wrote:
A solarian weapon crystal adds damage to a solarian’s solar weapon. The solarian can place the crystal inside his mote as a standard action. While within a mote, a crystal applies its effects any time that mote is in a solar weapon form. A crystal within a mote can’t be interacted with in any way other than via abilities that specifically target a mote.

A silver weapon crystal would no more turn a solarian's solar weapon metal than installing a normal crystal would turn it into crystal.

The crystal is simply a magic item that enhances the weapon. It is not the weapon itself and never comes in contact with (and in fact cannot be interacted with) an enemy combatant.

It sounds like you are the GM in this situation however, so if you think it would make your game better to allow it, don't feel constrained by what I say.

As has already been clarified by the devs on these boards the Solarian Weapon Crystal is a weapon and anything on it (such as a fusion) imparts to the Solar Weapon, so yes, an adamantine Solarian Weapon Crystal will transfer those properties to the Solar Weapon thus making it an Adamantine Solarian Weapon.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thinking of the crystal, it does seem to be the point of the thing to add properties to the otherwise mystical force embodiment/striking edge, it seems very thematically appropriate for special materials to add to the weapon effect. And the little bit of rules guidance we have does suggest to treat the crystals as weapons. i would probably not let the plasma doshko get the benefits though... but this is getting away from RAW and more into my head canon of how things work in setting.


Here is the truth about the Solar Weapon -

The Solarian Weapon Crystal is, for all intents and purposes, the weapon. By the rules it IS a weapon. It is not an energy attack. It is thus subject to anything any other kinetic attack can be augmented with or by.

Unfortunately, because they aren't metal, none of the current special materials apply. We can only hope this is corrected in the future.


Do the books ever state what Solarian crystals are made of? I'm no expert on crystals and it's been some time since I studied natural science, but as far as I know it's not that hard to make metallic crystals -
here are some Bismuth crystals you can quite literally make on your kitchen stove. Since Solarian crystals are already hybrid items made by a mix of technology and magic, using a similar (but obviously more complicated) technique to make adamantine crystals doesn't seem entirely beyond the realm of possibility?

I can't say for sure if metallic crystals are RAI, but I think the bismuth crystal is a good precedent for houseruling it and/or a decent argument to convince your GM. :)


Most metals are crystalline (i.e. solid and have a set structure).

As for the plasma weapons, there's nothing stating they can't be used in vacuum, so they must have some form of material reservoir with which to form the blade. Adamantine is more of a thematic stretch, but for the more supernaturally-tied Silver and Cold Iron it's entirely possible that the ionized form can still bypass DR. It's then a matter of adding some of the relevant material into whatever it is that holds the ammunition.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Plasma weapons are Fire & Electric. They can’t be made of special materials, but it really doesn’t matter since they have to deal with energy resistance.

Starfinder CRB, pg. 191 wrote:
Only cartridges of ammunition and melee weapons that deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage can be made out of special materials.

Similarly the Photon weapon crystal does Fire damage, so it can’t be made of a special material but has to deal with energy resistance.

The other weapon crystals might allow for special materials. Doing a web search, it appears to me like there are such things as silver and iron crystals. I expect this to be an area of table variation unless an FAQ or something comes out clarifying this.


BretI wrote:

Plasma weapons are Fire & Electric. They can’t be made of special materials, but it really doesn’t matter since they have to deal with energy resistance.

Starfinder CRB, pg. 191 wrote:
Only cartridges of ammunition and melee weapons that deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage can be made out of special materials.

Similarly the Photon weapon crystal does Fire damage, so it can’t be made of a special material but has to deal with energy resistance.

The other weapon crystals might allow for special materials. Doing a web search, it appears to me like there are such things as silver and iron crystals. I expect this to be an area of table variation unless an FAQ or something comes out clarifying this.

It could then, legitimately be argued, that since the Solar Weapon Crystals add damage, that damage is often slashing, bludgeoning, or piercing, and as such by the strict RAW you then *could* make those out of metallic crystal and thus have those special properties. Right now the Solarian Weapon Crystals, going off of the names, seem to be types of "Photonic Crystals" (seriously, look it up) so they may be literally crystals made of light.


Also of note, even though the solarian weapon with plasma sheath only does fire damage it still targets kac. It's specifically called out in plasma sheath's description.


does anyone kinda find it odd that energy infusions or abilites that deal energy damage with melee weapons still target KAC?


Eh, most of the weapons that target kac do more damage than their counterparts which target eac. If just adding a fusion changed which you target you would fairly buy a weapon that targeted eac from the start. It's a balance thing.


i'd say this: Could you have special material crystals? Yes, but it isn't going to be a silver coated crystal or just a piece of adamantine.

An adamantine solarian weapon crystal would have adamantine as a component of its crystalline structure. Conversely, you could have solarian weapon crystals that bestow the properties of a special material but they themselves are not made of said material. in this case a silver solarian weapon crystal tied to a spear and then thrusted into a lycanthrope isn't going to do anything special. But a solarian using one properly would be a different story.


What the crystal is made of has no impact on your solarian weapon. Whether it's made of silver or a pine cone makes no difference whatsoever. The crystals are designed to impart a specific effect onto your weapon. The properties of the material it's made of are irrelevant.

Could a crystal be made to impart an effect that allows it to bypass DR? Absolutely. Does one currently exist? No


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Perdue wrote:

What the crystal is made of has no impact on your solarian weapon. Whether it's made of silver or a pine cone makes no difference whatsoever. The crystals are designed to impart a specific effect onto your weapon. The properties of the material it's made of are irrelevant.

Could a crystal be made to impart an effect that allows it to bypass DR? Absolutely. Does one currently exist? No

You are incorrect.

As we have already had a Dev post on this issue, if you (for example) put a fusion onto a Solarian Weapon Crystal it transfers those properties to the Solarian Weapon.

So, example, if you had a 2d6 Slash Solar Weapon and a Crystal that added +1d6 Fire damage that you put a Holy Fusion onto, then put it into your Solar Mote, your Solar Weapon would do 2d6 Slash + 1d6 Fire and be treated as a Holy Weapon.

If the Fusion instead was Shock, then you'd choose to replace either the Fire, or the Slash damage with Electricity, thus getting a weapon that did 2d6 Electricity + 1d6 Fire. (Or 2d6 Slash + 1d6 Electricity)

Etc etc.

Basically, by the rules, the Solar Weapon Crystal is your Solar Weapon. It provides an item level and counts as a weapon for all intents and purposes by the rules.


Fusions just add addition effects that gets imparted to your weapon. The crystal itself isn't the weapon. I've not seen anything that says otherwise. Of course, I cannot say I've seen everything there is though. So it's possible I've missed something.


Perdue wrote:
Fusions just add addition effects that gets imparted to your weapon. The crystal itself isn't the weapon. I've not seen anything that says otherwise.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Yes, you can add fusions (or even fusion seals) to solarian weapon crystals.

Bottom of page here. I think that's the comment HWalsh is referring to, though he can correct me if the devs have made a statement elsewhere.

Starfinder CRB p. 191 wrote:
A weapon fusion is a small, prepackaged add-on that can be attached to any weapon to infuse it with magic.

I assume that Stephens' comment is an example of fusion rules, rather than an exception to them - which by CRB would mean that a Solarian Weapon Crystal is technically a weapon.


Oh I'm not saying crystals aren't weapons. You can totally make that argument. They are in the weapons section, they are on the weapons tables, they are described under weapons, etc.
I'm saying it's not the solar weapon you form out of a mote of stellar energy. So what one weapon is made of doesn't effect what another is made of.

"You can seize your solar mote in one hand to form a melee weapon out of stellar energy."
Your solar weapon is made of stellar energy. Period. Tying a silvered dagger to an axe, doesn't make the axe silvered.


Perdue wrote:
Oh I'm not saying crystals aren't weapons. You can totally make that argument. They are in the weapons section, they are on the weapons tables, they are described under weapons, etc.

Ah, my apologies - I got tied up on the wording.

Perdue wrote:

I'm saying it's not the solar weapon you form out of a mote of stellar energy. So what one weapon is made of doesn't effect what another is made of.

"You can seize your solar mote in one hand to form a melee weapon out of stellar energy."
Your solar weapon is made of stellar energy. Period. Tying a silvered dagger to an axe, doesn't make the axe silvered.

While I don't agree with your logic, I can't necessarily discount it either. We have a very limited understanding of how a crystal is constructed and how it interacts with the solarian weapon, so I'm on the fence - it could go either way.

You're not hitting an enemy with an adamantine striking face, so in one interpretation that could strictly rule out any chance of applying adamantine's penetrating effects to the weapon. But for all we know, the solarian weapon may adjust its structure to imitate that of the weapon crystal - in which case the weapon might imitate the hardness and/or density of the adamantine, creating a kind of "pseudo-adamantine" made from light.

But I still think HWalsh makes a point with weapon fusions nonetheless. A weapon fusion is specifically attached to a weapon crystal - not the solarian weapon. In a manner of speaking, you can tie a flaming dagger to a regular axe to get a flaming axe. Given the limited information we have about weapon crystals, I don't think it would be a huge leap for the same principle to apply to special materials.


I think we've made decent cases for both sides. But one reading helps solarians that want to use arguably one of their most iconic class features, and the other one potentially heavily penalizes them for not using a conventional melee weapon instead. When there is legitimate doubt I'd rather rule in favor of the solarian player and allow it - having access to special materials can be very important for some campaigns (Space Hell's Rebels* without silver?) and adamantine is absolutely crucial if you want to play a sunder build at low to medium levels. While I could be wrong, I don't think it would be overpowered.

*:
Although come to think of it Solarians would suck in Hell's Rebels. Devils are immune to fire damage, completely invalidating Plasma Sheath. Hmm.


Solace of Thorns wrote:
you can tie a flaming dagger to a regular axe to get a flaming axe.

Ah but that just because the axe has a special slot on it that reads "feed me" :-)

I can see where you are coming from. I just think the rules as they are written have them as two separate things. Where one of those things adds more damage to the other.


Perdue wrote:
Solace of Thorns wrote:
you can tie a flaming dagger to a regular axe to get a flaming axe.

Ah but that just because the axe has a special slot on it that reads "feed me" :-)

I can see where you are coming from. I just think the rules as they are written have them as two separate things. Where one of those things adds more damage to the other.

At the moment, I don't allow my players to make crystals out of special materials. I assume that the crystals are not made of metal and therefor you cannot put materials that only work if the crystal is made out of metal on them.

Though, if there are future materials added without that caveat then that may be different.


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"Most beings, when they think of cosmic iron, think only of destruction. The Starkiller or the Bombardment. But beneath the surface, iron allows complexity and life to exist. It is stable, enduring, creates shields to preserve frail planetside life, and brings the works of stellar forges to the universe as a whole. I walk the Cycle between radiating outwards and collapsing inwards. I gain strength from a path cosmic pairings. Why would the focus of that strength be anything but iron, the redistributor of elements, the shield of planets, the defence against beings outside our universe, the catalyst of supernovae?"


From a materials science standpoint all metals are crystalline (although mercury melts at a very low temp).


All metals may be crystalline, but it does not then follow that all crystals are metal. And I'm pretty sure that Iron would make a lousy stand-in for quartz in a quartz clock, or silicon in a microchip. As such, with just the information we have, I think it's a bit of a stretch to assume that you can use just any metal to make Solarian Weapon Crystals.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

No one claimed all crystals are metal.

Quartz may also make a horrible stand in for a Solarian Weapon Crystal. Right now, we don’t have anything indicating what they are normally made of.

I expect a lot of table variation on this point until we get some more information.


Shinigami02 wrote:
All metals may be crystalline, but it does not then follow that all crystals are metal. And I'm pretty sure that Iron would make a lousy stand-in for quartz in a quartz clock, or silicon in a microchip. As such, with just the information we have, I think it's a bit of a stretch to assume that you can use just any metal to make Solarian Weapon Crystals.

While true, how well would different forms of quartz work in a quartz clock? For instance: amethyst is a quartz that, among other things, contains some iron.

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