Thoughts on roleplaying a Solarian


General Discussion


1 person marked this as a favorite.

An idea that occurred to me the other day in the course of RPing a Solarian character.

We're told that Solarians use their Charisma to channel their connection to the cosmos; which is confusing until you realise that the Solarian tradition comes specifically from Kasatha culture and this business is supposed to reflect the importance of storytelling and tradition in that culture. This was something I made part of my character's backstory too, and became basic to the notion of her Solarian powers.

But something else occurred to me in the course of play. Charisma can also reflect your ties to cosmic forces. Solarians are in contact with vast, functionally infinite sources of power that change them, and change the way they see things and interact with the world. That aspect of their lives makes them weird and different from other people, especially by the fact that they are tied into it at an instinctual, pre-rational level rather than through the mediation of a deity or the frameworks of technology. It influences the way they think of and interact with the world... and the more their power grows, the truer that becomes.

This idea is becoming a key to my character in the early going and will become more and more definitive as she grows into her powers (and out of certain internal conflicts she has regarding them). The moment I realized how much this dynamic could bring to playing the character was like a miniature roleplaying epiphany, so I thought I'd share it with other Solarian players here who might find it useful. Happy Starfinding.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

While the following idea works far better for an NPC than a PC, I'd like to take your (wonderful and super cool) epiphany one step further.

Given that there are sentient forces of active balancing in the universe and, that collective consciousnesses unconsciousnesses? exist in environments where none should be, who is to say that the will is the Solarion's at all?

What if the will is that of the universe itself?

Theoretically, it could happen. There are many instances of mortals, usually villains, becoming the manifestation of some natural/supernatural force. Ethereal undead are half-remembered souls bound to negative energy and a bit of ectoplasm. The Druids of Lost Golarion referred to "nature" as a reciprocative entity that empowered its defenders.

Granted, mortal minds are not so good with cosmological scales, they can only handle so much at any one time. (Thus, limiting it to whatever the character's charisma score could feasibly explain.) Example: An Aeon bestows the powers that balance the universe unto a mortal, but the mortal's will/identity is then wholly or partially subsumed into that greater conceptual structure.

It should be said, I love your idea way more than mine, but given that yours is so terribly perfect for PC's, I figured I should give the NPC's a fair shake.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have a similar idea with my character Altea. Her background is that she, as a child, was uncontrollable. Even as a toddler her angry outbursts were dangerous.

When her body perceived a threat, real or imagined, it would flare up. It wasn't life threatening, but it was disturbing. As she grew older it became too risky for her to be around other children.

Left with no other option, her parents sent her to the cosmonestary. The Solarian monks helped her to understand and later control her power. The power of the Solarian is an unquantifiable universal energy.

It isn't technology and it isn't magic. It is something different and because of that it is feared. It is primal, it defies definition. That makes those who possess it looked on with suspicion.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

How do solarians feel about the inevitable heat death of the universe?


It is a definite bummer.

Unless you're a Devourer Cultist? They must have Solarians, too, so I guess they'd be all for it.


CeeJay wrote:

It is a definite bummer.

Unless you're a Devourer Cultist? They must have Solarians, too, so I guess they'd be all for it.

If it comes up in any games I run, I'll probably have them disbelieve it, and say they can "sense" a growing gravitational force to pull it the expanding universe back in to restart the cycle. Could be a plot point.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

how I roleplay my solarian is that they can feel the various energies of stellar phenomena and taht each of them have a primal set of instincts/emotions. As a solarian he must keep himself calm and centered so as not to fall too much into these instincts and lose control of his powers. In addition he has his own pool of cosmic energy to use his powers, but draws from the energy of these phenomena to refill said pool once he's used a zenith revelation (seeing as it automatically knocks you out of attunement). And that as a channeler of the energies of creation and entropy that he must do his best to defend these ideals (in his mind, being a symbol of hope and strength for hte meek against those who would harm others)


I feel like Josh's question deserves a more serious answer than the Dude answer I gave it, so here it is:

if it were my character, her feelings about the heat death of the universe are pretty much her feelings about entropy. Entropy is part of the system. It is part of the vast cosmic dance* that ultimately allows life to bloom, and then to die. It's the same philosophical attitude that allows people to see forest fires as not only death, but also the birth of new life, and this is true even on the most vast cosmic scale: universes die in order that new universes may live, and at a certain scale that just is what it is. Working to your own scale as a living organism with a stake in the short-term outcome is something you have to remind yourself to do; in the end, the stars will work themselves out.

* She's a maraquoi and she's all about dancing on account of her sonic-sensitive skin. All Things Dance.

What she would object to is someone trying to hasten or deform that process. A Devourer Cult Solarian who was in a hurry to bring about the death of the universe would be an affront. She's not terribly fond of the undead and Eox either, since they represent an attempt to prolong life by unnatural means beyond the point where, cosmically-speaking, it should have expired.

(And yes there's a whole huge philosophical morass there.)


And thanks for the responses! Some very cool takes there, I'm pleased to see the Solarian concept inspiring imaginations.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Your mentioning of Devourer cultist Solarions got me thinking about each core 20 deity's ideas about solarions.

Abadar: Alignment, coordination, comprehensive thinking, and harmonic interactions are the best way to progress civilization out amongst the stars. Plus, there's a a significant amount of chaos out there that needs some methodical identification, categorization, and subsequent smiting.

Desna: Stars man, they're like, everywhere, and they're great, and we should go see them all!

Besmara: Mood swings like the waves of the oceans of a missing planet. Equal distribution of powers between Photon and Graviton. to be good whether manic or depressive.

Iomedae/Sarenrae: Praise the Sun.

Yaraesa: Approves of the rigorous meditations and introspection of the traditional Kasathan practice of Solarionism, but also appreciates the folk who want to feel the forces of the universe just because.

Hylax: Understanding the hows and whys of opposing viewpoints is imperative to diplomacy.

Weydan: Space is composed of both creation and destruction. There is something worth seeing in both.

Talavet: Prefers scholarly solarions, the philosopher side of "warrior-philosophers."

Eloritu: Eloritu's holy symbol is comprised of magical glyphs from multiple distinct cultures from throughout the Dark Tapestry. There are secrets past each star and in the center of every black hole.

Ibra: Literally the deific embodiment of stars and black holes.

Oras: Systems with different kinds of stars/orbits will create different conditions for evolution. Suddenly swapping them will be a neat experiment.

Triune: Quit hacking the universe! As if the Technomancers weren't enough of a headache.

Damoritosh: Crush your enemy, bring them low with the power of the gravitons, and vaporize their hope with the fury of a neutron star.

Zon-Kuthon: Doesn't care much for the brightness of the sun, but without it shadows would not be cast. Loves the burns it leaves. Forcing someone to obey you with a force-choke is always handy.

Lao Shu Po: Ascended to divinity by eating the corpse of a moon goddess. After that, not much connection.

Urgathoa: Snuff all the stars, collapse all the black holes.

The Devourer: Crush, burn, crush, burn burn BURN, crush.

Nyarlathotep: *Opens creepy trench coat* Hey, you wanna buy a Schwarzchild, Stellar, or Supermassive? No? How about Neutron, Red Dwarf, or Quasar?"


I love these. Triune and Nyarlathotep especially. :D

I figure Grandmother Rat would favour the use of stellar power, as with the use of shadows, for stealth and mobility, manipulation and shifting the ground (and the gravity) to your advantage.

Urgathoa could see Solarian power as the ultimate in using the uncaring power of the cosmos in order to keep the party going. I wonder if there are Eoxian solarians... there must be.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Eoxian society in general doesn't seem well suited for esoteric mysticism, but I don't see why you couldn't have an undead Solarian, at least without making an explicit cosmological judgement. So, there's probably at least a few oddballs who reject the Eoxian norm. I imagine they tend to follow an ethos along the lines of "Take into your hand the eternal cycle, and control it". Eoxian Solarians don't serve the stars, they command them, just as they refuse to serve the cycle of life and death.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alayern wrote:
Triune: Quit hacking the universe! As if the Technomancers weren't enough of a headache.

You're thinking pretty narrowly here. Sometimes you need some coders to help with the new hardware.


Metaphyisician wrote:
Eoxian Solarians don't serve the stars, they command them, just as they refuse to serve the cycle of life and death.

Yeah, that's perfect.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Metaphysician wrote:
Eoxian society in general doesn't seem well suited for esoteric mysticism, but I don't see why you couldn't have an undead Solarian, at least without making an explicit cosmological judgement. So, there's probably at least a few oddballs who reject the Eoxian norm. I imagine they tend to follow an ethos along the lines of "Take into your hand the eternal cycle, and control it". Eoxian Solarians don't serve the stars, they command them, just as they refuse to serve the cycle of life and death.

I'd like to back this up with a silly linguistic quirk of the setting.

Back in Pathfinder's ancient history, there were a bunch of really bad folks called Runelords. They were all a bit melodramatic, and modeled their magic, ethos, personality, and surroundings to suit the theme of one of the Seven Mortal Sins. The Runelord of Pride was named Xanderghul.

Xander-ghul.

"-ghul" sounds like "Ghoul."

Clearly, Xanderghul was Eoxian, and this explains his immortality and his obnoxious self-obsession. The cataclysm that destroyed Eox's ecosystems was probably his fault too. In turn, his influence as a Bone Sage would instill a cultural more of inherent superiority.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have yet to run Starfinder yet, but I'm toying with a 'price of admission', as it were - like one of the roleplaying requirements for 3.5/PF prestige classes:

Each solarians has had close, intimate encounter with the raw forces of the Universe. Maybe a bombardment of Solar radiation that miraculaously did not leave them a cancer-riddled husk; maybe spending time wracked by the gravity oh-so-near the event horizon of a supermassive black hole, maybe accelerated by some gravitational phenomenon past all sense of time-dilation. In any case, some event has opened the channels in the solarian's brain to the stars.

I can even imagine people exposing themselves to such phenomena in an effort to become solarians - and failing.


Something I've added to the solarian class in my group as a roleplaying element is a short list of traits, some good and some bad, associated with either side of the stellar coin:

Photonic traits: manic, jubilant, zealous, reckless, raging, hyper-empathy
Gravitonic traits: melancholic, nihilistic, dour, apathetic, merciless, introverted

As a solarian becomes increasingly attuned to one side, much like the barbarians of old, their emotions and behavior become increasingly influenced by that side. Players would choose 1 or 2 of these traits as their character's version of "battle rage".


Oh that's kinda neat. An added manifestation of Unbalanced Revelations, too.


CeeJay wrote:
Oh that's kinda neat. An added manifestation of Unbalanced Revelations, too.

This is a tangential topic for a roleplaying post, but I'm not a big fan of the mechanical penalty for unbalanced revelations. While on some level I get that enforcing Solarians to take some from both ensures they won't always be attuned for 100% of their revelations, I feel like the main motivation for this rule was less balance and more to make it look less like a Jedi.

Besides, Paizo did a great job making sure that the best revelations were spread between the two. Any character that focuses exclusively in photon or graviton would only be able to take half of the most powerful abilities.


Alayern wrote:

What if the will is that of the universe itself?

In my homeworld Solarians are based on Wisdom, not Charisma (mystics are based on Charisma), so no need to "explain" charisma..

But the "will of the Universe" is an underlaying plot in my twisted Starfinder setting.

I got rid of gods, all of them. Changed religions to be more pantheistic.

I have:

Destinism: a religion that believes the universe has a pre-set destiny. Mortals can only choose "the river they sail", but they'll always will arrive to the same sea. Also believe all sentient beings "share" the same consciousness. It's a typical Lashunta and Shirren religion, with Barathus also joining it.

The Doctrine: original from Versk. Believe the cosmic force that guide life is Evolution: survival of the fittest. Only the strong survive, and weaklings die. The strong shall rule over the weak, and you shall try to be as strong as possible.

The Logic of War: an heretic split of The Doctrine. They believe disciples of war SHOULD try themsleves, and look for other people weaknesses to attack them. If they can defend themselves and prove to be worthy, that's ok. If they don't, that's a weakling less to worry. It's typical for drows.

Cult of the Devourer: as in the book. Entropy is alive, and has will.

Solaris: the solarian religion. Pretty much by the book: there is a balance between creation and destruction, energy and entropy.

Silent Song: Death is the Enemy. With Death comes Oblivion. Death feeds of souls. To avoid Death, one should embrace undeath, because it's the only way to keep the Enemy from feeding.

Unity: anacites, people with cybernetic implants (specially Ysoki), many androids, and some Barathu, believe the future of sentient species is to form a network. That technology is the driving force of the universe: sooner or later all civilizations embrace technology, construct AI, and produce cybertech. Once all sentients go there, they'll become a Consensus based network, and violence and war will stop.

The Universal Equation: they believe there is a single, huge, equation that "explains" the Universe. Those who understand it, can change reality, becoming, essentially, gods.

There is also a pseudo-religeous figure in Absalom, The Messenger, who speaks for the station. Lot of people believe him and follow him, even those with other religion. He says that Absalom is alive. Or, at least, that it has Will, and Purpose.

I'm also going to introduce during the campaign The Church of Omnitruth, based on Marvel's Church of Universal Truth. It will raise a lot of followers in very small time.

The thing is...

don't read this if you play in my game:
all of them are right, in a sense. here's an ongoing, unknown war between ancient forces of energy and entropy. The Cosmic Imperatives of Life and Death, of Evolution and Oblivion. Absalom Station is just a very advanced ship for one of the factions, with the Starstone being a weapon. Everything else, the Doctrine, the Unity, the Song of Silence, it's just the way sentient species "deal" with the fact that they somehow feel they are doomed.

Death is coming, to Devour all of us. The Kishalee of Dead Suns were trying to kill Death, but they failed. And that made Death very angry.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
gustavo iglesias wrote:
The Universal Equation: they believe there is a single, huge, equation that "explains" the Universe. Those who understand it, can change reality, becoming, essentially, gods.

*cough*


Nethys, "Elder God" wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
The Universal Equation: they believe there is a single, huge, equation that "explains" the Universe. Those who understand it, can change reality, becoming, essentially, gods.
*cough*

And.... we have a winner!


I just found about Annunakis in Pathfinder.
I'm going to put them somewhere in kishalee's past, that's for sure.

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Starfinder General Discussion / Thoughts on roleplaying a Solarian All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.