Was a consesus ever reached on Solarians?


General Discussion

1 to 50 of 153 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>

I've been away from these boards for a while, but when SF first hit, several "Solarians need a fix" threads were pretty active, mostly concerned over the fact that they were far more MAD than any other class, and as I look over them again, I can definitely see it. It's not so much that they can't be effective, but making one effective seems to call for a much higher level of system mastery than other classes (I mean it's pretty easy to optimize an operative totally by accident), and they seem to have far fewer viable builds than other classes. It still bothers me that their builds aren't really intuitive - I feel like if a reasonably smart person with little system knowledge sat down to build each class, going with what

That was my impression on going back to them, but I was wondering if the community had ever reached a general consensus?


My personal opinion falls to their MAD nature being a deterrent. However I can't deny 2 things. The first is that they are at the higher end of the damage spectrum when all the classes are compared. The second, is with Starfinder's ability score progression, between 4 attributes up every 5 levels (by 1 or 2 points depending) and personal upgrades, their MAD isn't really that bad.

However you are right. They take a little more system mastery to reach their potential (especially compared to operatives, which is something I have more of an issue with), and their viable roles are a little more limited since they can't really afford Int, which controls not only skills per level but is the associated attribute for most of tge games major skills.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I largely agree with the assessments above.

I think the chassis of the solarion is rife with room for expansion, but that can be said for pretty much all classes (a good thing). I, too, wish that the early levels offered a little more build leeway for the solarion. The ability score increase at level 5 and so on greatly helps, though. Right now Solar Weapon builds are pretty much superior, but I wager the margin of viability will diminish with time.

It's a very cool class. I can't wait to see where it goes in the future.


Solarians don't feel weak so much as limited. You can play the system by going lighter on charisma or moving into power armor where strength is a non-issue if you really want to get the most out of them.

My solarian has been an absolute tank and damage machine with con, str, and some charisma for resolve, though he doesn't spend it much.


The "Solarians need fixing" threads have retreated because the angst over the Solarian was largely misplaced, and the more people have play experience with them the clearer this becomes. A bit harder to build (but not that significantly) and there's a couple of Revelations that could use clarification or re-tuning.


martinaj wrote:

I've been away from these boards for a while, but when SF first hit, several "Solarians need a fix" threads were pretty active, mostly concerned over the fact that they were far more MAD than any other class, and as I look over them again, I can definitely see it. It's not so much that they can't be effective, but making one effective seems to call for a much higher level of system mastery than other classes (I mean it's pretty easy to optimize an operative totally by accident), and they seem to have far fewer viable builds than other classes. It still bothers me that their builds aren't really intuitive - I feel like if a reasonably smart person with little system knowledge sat down to build each class, going with what

That was my impression on going back to them, but I was wondering if the community had ever reached a general consensus?

Having played one my conclusion was:

I can build one for normal play (not space combat), but was only good at melee combat. No real skills to speak of. Which made the character a liability in space combat. The MAD nature of the class really makes things difficult to be able to do anything but combat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

solarians are pretty awesome. i don't think they need a fix. the rules do need some clarification though.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Solarian is fine. The iconic makes Harsk look like the most hyper-optimized munchkin in all of history, though.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Commodore_RB wrote:
The Solarian is fine. The iconic makes Harsk look like the most hyper-optimized munchkin in all of history, though.

Ouch. What'd he do wrong?


Claxon wrote:
martinaj wrote:

I've been away from these boards for a while, but when SF first hit, several "Solarians need a fix" threads were pretty active, mostly concerned over the fact that they were far more MAD than any other class, and as I look over them again, I can definitely see it. It's not so much that they can't be effective, but making one effective seems to call for a much higher level of system mastery than other classes (I mean it's pretty easy to optimize an operative totally by accident), and they seem to have far fewer viable builds than other classes. It still bothers me that their builds aren't really intuitive - I feel like if a reasonably smart person with little system knowledge sat down to build each class, going with what

That was my impression on going back to them, but I was wondering if the community had ever reached a general consensus?

Having played one my conclusion was:

I can build one for normal play (not space combat), but was only good at melee combat. No real skills to speak of. Which made the character a liability in space combat. The MAD nature of the class really makes things difficult to be able to do anything but combat.

Generally with Full BAB and likely at least decent dex solarians even without any other skills should be one of the better gunners on any ship. Solarians if they are boosting their charisma may wind up being the best ships captain for a party depending on the group makeup.

The only class I have seen that really struggles in a way I think needs fixing in space combat is mystics. Right now they pretty much HAVE to spec into some skills for space combat to do much of anything and even then tend to come out behind anybody else in that role.


kaid wrote:

Generally with Full BAB and likely at least decent dex solarians even without any other skills should be one of the better gunners on any ship. Solarians if they are boosting their charisma may wind up being the best ships captain for a party depending on the group makeup.

The only class I have seen that really struggles in a way I think needs fixing in space combat is mystics. Right now they pretty much HAVE to spec into some skills for space combat to do much of anything and even then tend to come out behind anybody else in that role.

The problem is getting a "decent dex". Depending on how you want to define it, can be hard to obtain.

A human solarion for instance with a 16 strength, could go either 14 charisma and a 12/13 dex or a 16 charisma with 10/11 dex. I wouldn't define that as decent.

I guess you could start with 14 str, 14 cha, 14 dex (and 1 more point some place else) but I feel like that sort of character will be mediocre all around instead of being good at anything.

More importantly, the real problem is that everyone can substitute their piloting skill for BAB and pretty much everyone except the melee soldier and solarion is going to have dex as the secondary most important attribute without question. Which means they only need to spend 1 skill point per level to be better, which most classes except the mystic can afford to do.

In summary, the space combat roles leave both the Solarion and the Mystic in a poor position. Which is exactly why my friend and I changed our characters from Solarion and Mystic, to Solider and Operative.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Claxon wrote:

Having played one my conclusion was:
I can build one for normal play (not space combat), but was only good at melee combat. No real skills to speak of. Which made the character a liability in space combat. The MAD nature of the class really makes things difficult to be able to do anything but combat.

Being a liability in space combat is a problem that Mystics and melee Soldiers have as well. I don't think it's game-breaking, and speaks more to issues with how the space combat rules work. Too much relies on Pilot/Computers/Engineering, so anyone who isn't DEX or INT based is really just along for the ride when space combat breaks out.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So if I, as a GM, felt like this was an issue, and wanted a house-rule fix for my own games, what would you suggest? I had a couple ideas for minor tweaks (would only use one of these).

Give solarians +2 skill points per level.

Change the Solarian's main ability score. Just as soldiers can chose between dex/str, maybe Solarians could chose between channeling the power of the stars via meditation (Wis) or rigorous conditioning (Con), with their DCs calculations likewise adjusted. At first using con as a main attribute seems kinda over the top, but Con also isn't as meaningful in SF as it was in PF. Would this buff be too significant?

Use D&D 5th ed style saves, where everyone gets to use Str or Con for Fort, Int or Dex for ref, and Wis or Cha for Will. This is the one I am currently favoring, because it would open up new viable build options (especially melee) for other classes.


Yeah, I've strongly considered (either/or) of letting Solarions choose between Str/Cha or giving them extra skill points per level.

I think that would be sufficient for the Solarion. A wise player will use their Skill Adept class feature to pick up at least 1 Space Combat Skill and their extra skill points to keep it working (if not optimal).

If you let them instead choose Str (or another attribute besides Cha) they can invest points in Int instead of Cha (which largely does nothing for the class except establish the DC of some revelations (which mostly shouldn't be selected because the DCs don't scale well, regardless of Cha modifiers). Oh an Resolve Points. Which are real frickin important.

That's the overall problem is that Charisma does little for the class except for resolve.


Has anyone seen a problem with letting the Solarian manifest the weapon and the armor?
I've been allowing it in my game and haven't seen any issues, but we are only 3rd level.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Mystics do fine in starship combat if you remember to build for it. They have 6 +int ranks don't any stat other than wisdom (some spell selections don't even need much wisdom...) , and there aren't any must have feats for spellcasters so drop a theme or a skill synergy on a starship skill and you're fine.


Captain Cosmos wrote:

Has anyone seen a problem with letting the Solarian manifest the weapon and the armor?

I've been allowing it in my game and haven't seen any issues, but we are only 3rd level.

I wouldn't think there's any problem with it. Most Solarions pickup Heavy Armor proficiency anyways, which is approximately on par with Light Armor + Solar Armor. But! It doesn't actually fix the problems Solarion has. The Solarion is good, perhaps even great, at combat. It doesn't really need boosts to be better at combat. What it needs is to be better at skills and space combat (which is related to the skill issue).


A fellow GM has been doing Solarions with the options of INT, WIS, or CHA as the key stat. They wanted to reflect that you could come at the unique relationship solarions have with stellar mechanics from a variety of angles. Mixing that with 2 extra skill points could certainly help some.


Ravingdork wrote:
Commodore_RB wrote:
The Solarian is fine. The iconic makes Harsk look like the most hyper-optimized munchkin in all of history, though.
Ouch. What'd he do wrong?

Altronous stat line at level 1:

Str 14/Dex 12/Con 12/Int 11/Wis 12/Cha 12

He's got an EAC 12/KAC 13 with 8 Stamina Points, 11 hit points, and 2 resolve points. So he's a bit light on survivability while needing to go into melee for his combat style.

On the other hand, I've seen a level 4 Altronous in play in SFS, and he contributed just fine and was never in any danger of dying, so perhaps we're over thinking it. The level 4 version does has the highest diplomacy of all the level 4 iconics (8+1d6 vs +9, so on average 2.5 more points than the envoy out of combat).


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The other thing Altronous did wrong is they don’t have good position they can fill in Starship combat.

They need a better Dex for Gunner, can’t use Sidereal Influence in Starship combat so their diplomacy lags behind, and don’t have either of Computers or Engineering skill.

If you put Altronous at Gunner, the Captain will want to just give them a computer node for the bonus and use their encourage action to further help them hit.


For my game we changed how the Solarian uses its powers. Each time it gains a power it gets to choose one power from each path. How we balanced this is it is only able to use the powers from the path it is attuned.

Example: level 2 gain stellar rush and dark matter. But can only use stellar rush while in photon mode and dark matter while in graviton.

That is really the only thing I saw wrong with the class.


Farlanghn wrote:

For my game we changed how the Solarian uses its powers. Each time it gains a power it gets to choose one power from each path. How we balanced this is it is only able to use the powers from the path it is attuned.

Example: level 2 gain stellar rush and dark matter. But can only use stellar rush while in photon mode and dark matter while in graviton.

That is really the only thing I saw wrong with the class.

Out of curiosity, do you let them use both sets of powers while unattuned? Or let them attune out of combat? Or just don't let them use powers outside of combat anymore?

Claxon wrote:
I guess you could start with 14 str, 14 cha, 14 dex (and 1 more point some place else) but I feel like that sort of character will be mediocre all around instead of being good at anything.

Playing such a build in SFS isn't actually that bad. Have you tried writing one up? Try stating it out at 5th and 10th, and compare to a the maximum strength soldier at the same levels. The diminishing returns in stats after 18 start to matter at that point.

For reference, I'm playing a Human Priest Theme Solar Armor Solarian using a tactical pike that started 14 Str/14 Dex/14 Cha. Currently 3rd level (7 sessions) with Diplomacy +8 (+1d6 non-combat), Intimidate +8, Athletics +9 (+17 total when climbing), Sense Motive +6 (+1d6 non-combat), Mysticism +7

Melee stats are +7 to hit, 1d8+7 damage and has an EAC/KAC of 18/18. Its quite playable and contributes both in and out of combat.


I think the problem with Solarians is that while the concept is great, MADness aside, mechanically is has a couple of flaws.

1st issue- It has a feat tax. I understand that they want you to choose between solar weapons and solar armor, but no matter what you choose, it feels like you need to take a specific feat just to make sure the class works. If you take solar weapon, you're going to want heavy armor so you don't get completely destroyed in melee and to alleviate some of the MAD problems the class has by limiting the amount of Dex you need for AC. If you take solar armor and go for ranged, you're going to need to spend a feat on better ranged weapons. The only exception is if you're going with solar armor and melee- but then we once again run into the MAD problem again with having to take Str AND Dex.

2nd issue- Stellar Mode balance. This is really where the great concept, poor execution comes in, imo. The concept is clear- photon mode is your damage mode, graviton mode is your crowd control and utility mode. I think the expectation, especially with the unbalanced attunement penalty, is to use both modes, if not equally, with some sort of balance. But it doesn't work out that way. Graviton utility is situational but extra damage is almost ALWAYS useful. And photon's revelations provide that in spades. Even just being in the mode gives a straight damage buff- again, always useful where as better reflex saves are situationally useful. Add in being able to use a weaker, but still useful, form of graviton abilities without being attuned (minus zenith abilities) and there is little reason to leave photon mode. Plus, it's a bit of a nightmare trying to keep track off all the different bonuses you currently have active in each mode.

But those are honestly my only two problems with the class. I've seen a bunch of different house rules from allowing a Solarian to take both solar weapon and solar armor to removing the damage/reflex bonus and giving them Monk-like AC bonuses from Wisdom and specialized feats. Solarian isn't a bad class by any means and can dish out ridiculous damage. It's just flawed.


Considering that Starfinder is still recent, people just need to let the game progress.

On a sidenote, I always felt that the Solar Armor wasn't as well-scaled a Solar Weapon. I mean, you buy a regular weapon with the same damage as a 20th-level Solar Weapon, but I would have thought that the Armor would have granted +1 / 2 levels or something better.


Hiruma Kai wrote:
Claxon wrote:
I guess you could start with 14 str, 14 cha, 14 dex (and 1 more point some place else) but I feel like that sort of character will be mediocre all around instead of being good at anything.

Playing such a build in SFS isn't actually that bad. Have you tried writing one up? Try stating it out at 5th and 10th, and compare to a the maximum strength soldier at the same levels. The diminishing returns in stats after 18 start to matter at that point.

For reference, I'm playing a Human Priest Theme Solar Armor Solarian using a tactical pike that started 14 Str/14 Dex/14 Cha. Currently 3rd level (7 sessions) with Diplomacy +8 (+1d6 non-combat), Intimidate +8, Athletics +9 (+17 total when climbing), Sense Motive +6 (+1d6 non-combat), Mysticism +7

Melee stats are +7 to hit, 1d8+7 damage and has an EAC/KAC of 18/18. Its quite playable and contributes both in and out of combat.

I played a Dragonkin Solarion (because I wanted to be a dragon jedi) up to 3rd level. The combat portion I super excelled at. I started with stats of 16 str, 11 dex, 10 con, 10 int, 10 wis, 16 cha (I think). Outside of combat I couldn't effectively contribute. The main reason being is propping up my cha score for resonance. My character ended basically every combat either almost unconscious or unconscious, I was basically always the target of the enemy attacks since I was in their face and causing the most damage. Which meant I needed healing and also to use Resolve Points to restore stamina. I don't know if my character would have survived or been as combat effective with reduced str and cha. The drawback was that because I had no int or dex I basically had nothing for starship combat and no skills really useful to the party. I was fine not being a skill monkey, but I was a liability in starship combat.

Which was unacceptable.

Which is why the character has been converted to a Dragonkin Soldier with 16 str, 14 dex, 11 con, 12 int, 10 wis, and 10 cha. And with the "extra" feats I took Skill Focus Engineering and Skill Synergy for computers and culture.


JiCi wrote:

Considering that Starfinder is still recent, people just need to let the game progress.

On a sidenote, I always felt that the Solar Armor wasn't as well-scaled a Solar Weapon. I mean, you buy a regular weapon with the same damage as a 20th-level Solar Weapon, but I would have thought that the Armor would have granted +1 / 2 levels or something better.

Armor scaling is built into the armor you buy. Since Solar armor is a bonus on top of that light armor, it can't also scale significantly or else you'll rapidly outstrip everyone else's AC.

For example, if Solarians had +10 EAC/KAC at level 20 from Solar Armor, they'd basically be untouchable. Soldiers would be sitting at EAC/KAC 41/42 in heavy armor while the Solarian with minimal investment in Dex at level 20 (starting 10, no augmentations, +2 x4 for 18 total) would be sitting at 46/46. Max Dex Solarians would be at 51/51. If enemies hit Soldiers 50/50, they'd be hitting Solarians 1 time in 20.

As it stands, +2 to AC at level 10 is quite good.

Claxon wrote:

I played a Dragonkin Solarion (because I wanted to be a dragon jedi) up to 3rd level. The combat portion I super excelled at. I started with stats of 16 str, 11 dex, 10 con, 10 int, 10 wis, 16 cha (I think). Outside of combat I couldn't effectively contribute. The main reason being is propping up my cha score for resonance. My character ended basically every combat either almost unconscious or unconscious, I was basically always the target of the enemy attacks since I was in their face and causing the most damage. Which meant I needed healing and also to use Resolve Points to restore stamina. I don't know if my character would have survived or been as combat effective with reduced str and cha. The drawback was that because I had no int or dex I basically had nothing for starship combat and no skills really useful to the party. I was fine not being a skill monkey, but I was a liability in starship combat.

Which was unacceptable.

Which is why the character has been converted to a Dragonkin Soldier with 16 str, 14 dex, 11 con, 12 int, 10 wis, and 10 cha. And with the "extra" feats I took Skill Focus Engineering and Skill Synergy for computers and culture.

Thanks for sharing that, it makes for an interesting play experience data point. I'll note that I've had a completely different experience in SFS than what you've had in what I assume is a home campaign. Not sure if its home GM style versus SFS, party composition, playstyle, whether 1 to 2 AC makes that much difference, or some combination of that led to differences in experience. My Solarian has never dropped unconscious. I've occasionally needed a treat deadly wounds treatment or a healing serum, but certainly not after every fight.

I'm guessing my play style with my 14 Str/14 Dex/ 14 Cha Solarian may be different than what yours was with 16 Str/16 Cha.

With my light armor Solar Armor Solarian, I've been known to Stellar rush in with my reach weapon, then with my move action back off up to 40 feet to cover or total cover. Alternatively, if the ceiling is right (seems like a lot of spaceships have 15 foot tall ceilings), I'll simply be 10 feet above enemies out of melee reach, while threatening their squares. Essentially, as a melee character with good mobility (40 foot land speed, 20 foot climb speed, standard action charge), I feel like I can control when I'm taking damage, and take appropriate action to convince enemies to spread damage around to other characters (or simply waste actions).

Although for the majority of fights, they don't last long enough to warrant such tactics. I know we've beaten at least one encounter in 6 seconds. I'd say around 50% have been done in 3 rounds or less, as I don't get to use Supernova all that often.

In the 3 (I think) sessions with starship combat, I've always taken the captain or spare gunner position. Starship Gunnery of +5 isn't great compared to the maximum possible of +8 at 3rd level, but its sufficient to contribute. I succeed in giving +2 to hit to the gunner 80% of the time or hitting a typical tier 2 or 3 enemy AC of 16 50% of the time.

Alternatively, I aid with Diplomacy 70% of the time to piloting/engineering/computers (fails on a 6 or less). My taunt and demand with intimidate is admittedly only 50% (DC 19 vs +8).

Given nearly every other character seems to already have Computers/Engineering (i.e. Envoys, Operatives, Mechanics, Technomancers, and even a number of Soldiers), having my character bringing another copy of that skill set would be inefficient. It seems Diplomacy is an in demand skill for SFS that the majority of characters don't have. I certainly feel like I'm rolling it most sessions, and have a solid bonus averaging +11.5 out of combat at level 3 with no feat investment. Depending on scenario, sense motive and mysticism also get exercised.

I also don't think my Solarian's base combat stats are significantly different from your new Soldier's. At level 3, its in the Soldier's favor probably to the tune of +1 to hit, +2 to damage (melee damage gear boost?), 2 points of KAC (assuming level 4 heavy armor), +4 initiative, and 1 resolve point. EAC works out to be the same.


Hiruma Kai wrote:
Farlanghn wrote:

For my game we changed how the Solarian uses its powers. Each time it gains a power it gets to choose one power from each path. How we balanced this is it is only able to use the powers from the path it is attuned.

Example: level 2 gain stellar rush and dark matter. But can only use stellar rush while in photon mode and dark matter while in graviton.

That is really the only thing I saw wrong with the class.

Out of curiosity, do you let them use both sets of powers while unattuned? Or let them attune out of combat? Or just don't let them use powers outside of combat anymore?

You can’t use powers unattuned in my game. They only time you are unattuned is out of combat or after using a zenith power. You can use powers out of combat but you attune while using them and then unattune. But I mean it kind of depends on the power. Using Astrologic Sense you basically attune and then use the power. The Solarian in my game can use Defy Gravity like a jump jets but still has to end its movement on solid ground. I looked at the Solarian and I can get over how MAD it is but penalizing characters for choosing powers they want (Disproportionate Revelations) is a bad decision in my opinion.

Make sense?


I will add that the problem for my Solarion were compounded by the fact hat we had an Envoy who wanted to be captain, and a Mechanic who claimed the pilot position.

The Envoy claiming the captain position is what really made my position difficult for space combat, as I was at best a mediocre gunner (relying only on BAB) but I did have a skill point spent on diplomacy (because Jedi try diplomacy first)...but my ability in that was completely subsumed by the Envoy.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Dipping blitz soldier lets a solarion use strength for resolve and gives them a much needed 10 feet of movement.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So... why not just be a gunner? Yes, you will not be maximally optimized, but you still will have a full BAB. Even if you have no Dex at all, that will catch up pretty soon with anyone who isn't maxed Dex. And regardless, you'll only be about 10% or so behind in accuracy versus anyone whose not a high dex full BAB.

The minimum threshold to be useful at something is not "as high as you can possibly go at level 1".


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

A while back someone mentioned the idea of allowing solar weapon Solarians to use CHA instead of STR or DEX to hit with attack rolls, and solar armor Solarians to replace DEX with CHA for AC bonus. Seems like this would allow the class a lot more flexibility, but I haven’t had the chance to try it in action yet. Anyone have any thoughts or experience with that approach? Would it make the class too powerful?


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Dipping blitz soldier lets a solarion use strength for resolve and gives them a much needed 10 feet of movement.

That isn't a bad way to fix things, take first level as blitz solider and then go the rest of the way as Solarion. But once I reached the point of realizing the core problem of the class, I just decided to go full soldier instead. But what you suggest is a reasonable fix.

It just sucks if you wanted to be single classed.

Metaphysician wrote:

So... why not just be a gunner? Yes, you will not be maximally optimized, but you still will have a full BAB. Even if you have no Dex at all, that will catch up pretty soon with anyone who isn't maxed Dex. And regardless, you'll only be about 10% or so behind in accuracy versus anyone whose not a high dex full BAB.

The minimum threshold to be useful at something is not "as high as you can possibly go at level 1".

I agree that you don't necessarily need to be optimized, but BAB alone is insufficient. And if we take Mystics out of the mix, everyone else can afford to spend points on piloting if they don't have another role in space combat to be a gunner with effectively full BAB and dex to back it up.

The builds in my party ran 16 in main class stat, 16 in dex. Because it's the default needed stat for starfinder since it drives AC and ranged attacks, which everyone needs.


So much deja vu.

--

Hiruma Kai wrote:
Given nearly every other character seems to already have Computers/Engineering...

Two engineers isn't so bad if the ship is taking a lot of hits - more shields recovered, and faster repairs.

But I'd consider it only if the best guns are already being manned, or if the party has 7 or more players.


Claxon wrote:

I will add that the problem for my Solarion were compounded by the fact hat we had an Envoy who wanted to be captain, and a Mechanic who claimed the pilot position.

The Envoy claiming the captain position is what really made my position difficult for space combat, as I was at best a mediocre gunner (relying only on BAB) but I did have a skill point spent on diplomacy (because Jedi try diplomacy first)...but my ability in that was completely subsumed by the Envoy.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. Having more revelations is nice, as is not worryng about disproportionate revelations. However, I feel it actually hinders a Solarian even more than the bse system.

A Solarian in Graviton mode can still Flare and blind enemies for a round or emit radiation for a round. In Photon mode, they can still use Anchor for a +4 bonus against bull rushes or use Gravity Boost to get to more advantages positioning. It feels like limiting them to only being able to use powers while attuned kills a LOT of combat options and penalizes them more than disproportionate revelations would, especially when they have to waste a couple rounds switching to the other mode.


The Ragi wrote:

So much deja vu.

--

Hiruma Kai wrote:
Given nearly every other character seems to already have Computers/Engineering...

Two engineers isn't so bad if the ship is taking a lot of hits - more shields recovered, and faster repairs.

But I'd consider it only if the best guns are already being manned, or if the party has 7 or more players.

Sadly, two engineers does not recover shields faster.

CRB, page 323 wrote:

As an engineer, you can take any of the following actions,

depending on your ranks in the Engineering skill. These
actions can be taken only during the engineering phase.
Unless otherwise noted, each action can be performed only once
per round, no matter how many engineers are on a starship.

So the Divert action can only be taken once per round. Multiple Engineers can take the Patch action in a round though, as it explicitly notes otherwise, so repairs can in fact go faster. But in general, while the shields hold and no damage has been taken, a 2nd engineer literally can't do anything.

Multiple Science Officers have it a bit better as they can at least balance shields, scan, and target systems.

But as you note, manning guns is probably the best option for extra crew.


Whoops.. Just realized my last reply quoted the wrong post. That was meant to be directed at house rules for not being able to use powers without being attuened tp that specific mode.


@KLGChaos

KLGChaos wrote:
A Solarian in Graviton mode can still Flare and blind enemies for a round or emit radiation for a round.

Who chooses Flare over Plasma Sheath or Stellar Rush? The player in my game didn't and all the builds I have seen on the internet don't ever use it. Why choose it when you get so few powers?

KLGChaos wrote:
In Photon mode, they can still use Anchor for a +4 bonus against bull rushes or use Gravity Boost to get to more advantages positioning. It feels like limiting them to only being able to use powers while attuned kills a LOT of combat options and penalizes them more than disproportionate revelations would, especially when they have to waste a couple rounds switching to the other mode.

I don't see it that way. So as you pointed out below...

KLGChaos wrote:
2nd issue- Stellar Mode balance. This is really where the great concept, poor execution comes in, imo. The concept is clear- photon mode is your damage mode, graviton mode is your crowd control and utility mode. I think the expectation, especially with the unbalanced attunement penalty, is to use both modes, if not equally, with some sort of balance. But it doesn't work out that way. Graviton utility is situational but extra damage is almost ALWAYS useful. And photon's revelations provide that in spades. Even just being in the mode gives a straight damage buff- again, always useful where as better reflex saves are situationally useful. Add in being able to use a weaker, but still useful, form of graviton abilities without being attuned (minus zenith abilities) and there is little reason to leave photon mode.

What we did was actually give you more options, not less. I will also add in that instead of getting a +1 to reflex you get a +1 to AC if in graviton mode. Which gives the player choice. Be defensive or offensive.

Example
Solarian:
2nd dark matter/stellar rush
4th gravity hold/plasma sheath
6th defy gravity/astrologic sense

So when you start combat you look at the battlefield and decide "What do I need? Do I need the extra damage or do I need to dodge what's about to hit me? If most people stay in photon mode anyway then you are most likely going to choose those heavy hitting abilities. So you might not have even picked any graviton powers. So if you want to go damage, you'll likely activate plasma sheath and then stellar rush in.

If you want to control the field, You'll likely activate dark matter, and then gravity hold an enemy in the air while your friends shot them... or defy gravity towards your enemies and attack?

If you stick with only getting one revelation you get half those options and will likely never leave photon mode. A lot of people have said that graviton is too weak so they rarely use. Others think it's fine. For our game it was weak.

I hope that answers why we changed it.


I will comment that I felt Graviton mode is too situational and that I never used it at all while I played my character.

There were some high level powers that were interesting, but all the low level options were bad. And because of that I had just planned to be unbalanced and deal with the penalty, which isn't much of one since it only takes one extra round to be fully attuned. Most of the powers I liked weren't ones that needed to be fully attuned to get the main benefit from.


Claxon wrote:

I will comment that I felt Graviton mode is too situational and that I never used it at all while I played my character.

There were some high level powers that were interesting, but all the low level options were bad. And because of that I had just planned to be unbalanced and deal with the penalty, which isn't much of one since it only takes one extra round to be fully attuned. Most of the powers I liked weren't ones that needed to be fully attuned to get the main benefit from.

Do you think my change helps with this? Sounds like you stopped playing your character so more of opinion I guess. Works for our game but never got any outside views.


Farlanghn wrote:
Claxon wrote:

I will comment that I felt Graviton mode is too situational and that I never used it at all while I played my character.

There were some high level powers that were interesting, but all the low level options were bad. And because of that I had just planned to be unbalanced and deal with the penalty, which isn't much of one since it only takes one extra round to be fully attuned. Most of the powers I liked weren't ones that needed to be fully attuned to get the main benefit from.

Do you think my change helps with this? Sounds like you stopped playing your character so more of opinion I guess. Works for our game but never got any outside views.

I think your rule goes too far.

I think not allowing you to use the powers unattuned goes to far.

My perspective is that I would never leave photon mode because it's just too good. Regardless of you having given me powers from both, I would just never end up using the Graviton mode (in combat) revelations because they're too situational.

Perhaps if you also changed the rules that you didn't have to spend a dead turn (going from Photon to Graviton normally requires you to spend a turn unattuned first) then I could see locking the powers to only being usable while attuned. At least then if I needed utility I could swap out damage one turn for utility and then go back.

But currently the problem is if I need utility I have to wait a turn, then get to do it, and then wait another to go back. It just takes too much time.


Claxon wrote:

I think your rule goes too far.

I think not allowing you to use the powers unattuned goes to far.

You can use your powers out of combat. Did you read this comment?

Farlanghn wrote:

You can’t use powers unattuned in my game. They only time you are unattuned is out of combat or after using a zenith power. You can use powers out of combat but you attune while using them and then unattune. But I mean it kind of depends on the power. Using Astrologic Sense you basically attune and then use the power. The Solarian in my game can use Defy Gravity like a jump jets but still has to end its movement on solid ground. I looked at the Solarian and I can get over how MAD it is but penalizing characters for choosing powers they want (Disproportionate Revelations) is a bad decision in my opinion.

Make sense?


Farlanghn wrote:


What we did was actually give you more options, not less. I will also add in that instead of getting a +1 to reflex you get a +1 to AC if in graviton mode. Which gives the player choice. Be defensive or offensive.

Example
Solarian:
2nd dark matter/stellar rush
4th gravity hold/plasma sheath
6th defy gravity/astrologic sense

So when you start combat...

OK, I see where you're coming from. You're more limited in being able to use powers freely from either, but having more revelations in your attuned mode gives you more options.

Question on Graviton AC bonus though- are you scaling it up with levels like reflex saves do or are you just keeping it at +1? It seems like it would be really powerful at high levels if you did. Solar Armor only gives +2 at 20 after all.

Claxon wrote:
Perhaps if you also changed the rules that you didn't have to spend a dead turn (going from Photon to Graviton normally requires you to spend a turn unattuned first) then I could see locking the powers to only being usable while attuned.

There is an item level 11 ring that does this. If you choose to switch to the opposite mode, you can basically start with 1 rank in it so you don't have a dead round. Doesn't work after you use a Zenith Revelation because you can already instantly gain one rank during the next round anyway.

Still not 100% sure how I'm going to house rule Solarians in my game. I've seen a lot of good suggestions.


KLGChaos wrote:

OK, I see where you're coming from. You're more limited in being able to use powers freely from either, but having more revelations in your attuned mode gives you more options.

Question on Graviton AC bonus though- are you scaling it up with levels like reflex saves do or are you just keeping it at +1? It seems like it would be really powerful at high levels if you did. Solar Armor only gives +2 at 20 after all.

It gains as does reflex. Armor does only get +2 AC but gains damage reduction +20. The +1 AC bonus isn't that strong. Essentially if you are putting everything in Cha, Str and Int you'll have a lower Dex. But the bump is only +1 every 9 levels. Not that great in my opinion if you are a front liner anyway. Even if you wanted to be a solar armor/ranged solarian who only stayed in graviton you would still only be getting that +1.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Farlanghn wrote:
Do you think my change helps with this? Sounds like you stopped playing your character so more of opinion I guess. Works for our game but never got any outside views.

I'm in agreement with Claxon, your ruleset would make the good Graviton powers even less used. It also rules out a number of nice combinations.

For example, at 6th I plan on taking Defy Gravity. Combined with Light Armor, Fleet, a Minimal Speed Suspension, Stellar Rush, and Graviton mode, I can in a single round charge up to 100 feet with a reach weapon, then fly 60 feet back to cover (or even total cover). This is useful for controlling how damage is distributed to the party if the melee gets focused a little bit too much.

To be honest, Graviton's attractiveness to most players will probably go up as more and possibly better revelations are released with new books.

Farlanghn wrote:
It gains as does reflex. Armor does only get +2 AC but gains damage reduction +20. The +1 AC bonus isn't that strong. Essentially if you are putting everything in Cha, Str and Int you'll have a lower Dex. But the bump is only +1 every 9 levels. Not that great in my opinion if you are a front liner anyway. Even if you wanted to be a solar armor/ranged solarian who only stayed in graviton you would still only be getting that +1.

+2 to AC is a fairly strong ability to have at 9th level.

The class abilities in the game which increase AC above your armor are:
1) Soldier Armored Advantage (+1 insight KAC only,3rd level)
2) Guard Soldier's increase in maximum dex (+1 effective,1st)
3) Exocortex Mechanic's Hyperclocking (+1 insight,8th level)
4) Mechanic's Miracle worker (+2 enhancement, temporary, 7th level)
5) Solar Armor (+1 to +2 enhancement)
6) Solarian Gravity Shield (+1 circumstance,14th level)

The largest permanent boost is Solar Armor at +2 at levels 10-20. No single ability gets a +3, which is what this would do at level 18.

The reason Solar Armor is +2 I'm pretty sure is to make up for the MAD nature of Solarians and being unable to keep their Dex up to date to benefit enough from light armor. +2 AC is like 4 more stat points in Dex as far as AC goes.

A Solarian starting with 14 Dex and putting their 2nd best augmentation into it, is like an Operative starting with 18 Dex and putting their best augmentation into it. At 10th level, the Operative has a +7 Dex mod. The Solarian has a +5 Dex mod, and an extra +2 AC, making them equivalent in terms of AC in light armor. Except at 10th level, the maximum Dex bonus in light armor is 6, meaning the Solarian is actually higher AC with only a starting 14 Dex.

Graviton mode providing +1 to +3 AC would certainly make Solarians the hardest to hit characters in the game, and I'm pretty sure increase Graviton mode's use. I don't know if its too strong or not without some play testing. Its probably OK in the level 1-17 range, matching the best KAC Soldiers can get, although they need to invest in a specific fighting style and a gear boost to do so.

To be honest, if I'd designed the Solarian class, I probably would have made Graviton "absorb" damage rather than provide a reflex save bonus. So instead of increasing all outgoing damage rolls like Photon, it would decrease all damage rolls against the Solarian by the same amount (1 at 1st, 2 at 6th, 3 at 12th, 4 at 20th). Thus it would kinda be like a stacking DR and stacking energy resistance combined. That way it becomes useful in more fights than a reflex save bonus, which in many fights never comes up. More universally useful, and acting more like a Con bonus than a Dex bonus.


Farlanghn wrote:
Claxon wrote:

I think your rule goes too far.

I think not allowing you to use the powers unattuned goes to far.

You can use your powers out of combat. Did you read this comment?

I worded my response poorly, I didn't mean unattuned. I meant not allowing the use of the power except for when you're attuned in the right mode (which is not currently a requirement).


I just had a thought. What if, as a house rule, I added the operative quality to the solar weapon? This wouldn't change a thing if they want to outright optimize their damage, but it gives them the option of taking a bit of a hit to it and forgo the heavy armor feat tax (I figure you'd still want to increase strength, but about to the degree that a heavy armor solarian would want to increase their dex). Between plasma sheath and the boost from photon attunement, they'd still be able to achieve fairly respectable damage, I think, if they want to go that way.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
martinaj wrote:
I just had a thought. What if, as a house rule, I added the operative quality to the solar weapon? This wouldn't change a thing if they want to outright optimize their damage, but it gives them the option of taking a bit of a hit to it and forgo the heavy armor feat tax (I figure you'd still want to increase strength, but about to the degree that a heavy armor solarian would want to increase their dex). Between plasma sheath and the boost from photon attunement, they'd still be able to achieve fairly respectable damage, I think, if they want to go that way.

They would take a huge hit to damage overall. Operative weapons and Small Arms only get 1/2 level from Specialization.


There was a nice set of house rules someone made a while ago, but it only works for a Solar Weapon Solarian... Basically you get a boon (feats) every five levels that let you do things like create a second weapon (and use multi-fighting with it), use 1 1/2 x your strength for damage, give you solar weapon reach, etc. You lose the damage/reflex save bonuses from modes, but also add your charisma to your AC along with Dex (still limited by armor cap), which makes heavy armor less necessary. It looked pretty cool, but again, only affects solar weapon users.

My biggest fear with using house rules has always been maintaining balance. I don't want people playing other classes to feel like one class is being favored instead of fixed.


Start off by saying Thanks as always for your long and detailed response Hiruma Kai. I am going to address your points in a different order.

Hiruma Kai wrote:
The largest permanent boost is Solar Armor at +2 at levels 10-20. No single ability gets a +3, which is what this would do at level 18.

We won't get to level 18. In my 10 years of play no one has ever gotten that high. Also just browsing the Alien Archive high level CR creatures have a high chance of hitting. So a +1 again isn't anything(Even a +3). I can tell you that the Solarian in my game still gets hit on a regular basis. Flanking bonuses still exist and since he is the only melee player in my game he needs the AC bonus.

And still, it's only in grav mode. Still situational. You ask @Claxon and he never used grav mode anyway so how would this effect his game? He would still only pick Pho powers and only attune to Pho mode so this would literally only give him powers he would never have chosen if he played the game normally. Still scratching my head how some confused on this.

Hiruma Kai wrote:
The reason Solar Armor is +2 I'm pretty sure is to make up for the MAD nature of Solarians and being unable to keep their Dex up to date to benefit enough from light armor. +2 AC is like 4 more stat points in Dex as far as AC goes.

And I am sure it is not that because you can be a ranged solar armored Solarian, invest strictly in Dex and light armor and have a better outcome. Look at the example Solarians. The Solar armor solarians are ranged focused.

Hiruma Kai wrote:
A Solarian starting with 14 Dex and putting their 2nd best augmentation into it, is like an Operative starting with 18 Dex and putting their best augmentation into it. At 10th level, the Operative has a +7 Dex mod. The Solarian has a +5 Dex mod, and an extra +2 AC, making them equivalent in terms of AC in light armor. Except at 10th level, the maximum Dex bonus in light armor is 6, meaning the Solarian is actually higher AC with only a starting 14 Dex.

I am not going to try and answer hypothetical character builds.

Hiruma Kai wrote:
For example, at 6th I plan on taking Defy Gravity. Combined with Light Armor, Fleet, a Minimal Speed Suspension, Stellar Rush, and Graviton mode, I can in a single round charge up to 100 feet with a reach weapon, then fly 60 feet back to cover (or even total cover). This is useful for controlling how damage is distributed to the party if the melee gets focused a little bit too much.

Wow, That does sound pretty cool. But what sounds cooler is being more than just a guy that flies around hitting things. The whole reason why I changed this was because I know my player wanted to play a Solarian before the game was released and then was disappointed when he read it. Being a melee character you are basically punished if you choose a none damage dealing ability. Why would you choose Astrologic Sense or Hypnotic Glow when you can set people on fire? @KLGChaos even mentioned Flare. WHY would you ever pick flare over the other powers when you get so few?

A lot of people on the threads have said they decided to not choose any grav powers and just take the penalty. I completely understand standing behind Paizo on this. They are group of individuals who create expansive and detailed worlds. But objectively if threads are still being made about the Solarian almost a year after the game was released maybe their class is too complicated or doesn't provide players with the tools to have fun.

-You shouldn't have to dip into blitz soldier to make the character functional.
-You shouldn't have a penalty for disproportionate revelations if the powers on grav aren't that great. You shouldn't have to wait for "Future Releases"
-There shouldn't be a "feat tax".
-You shouldn't ignore half of a class concept because it's not as great as having a +1 to damage rolls.

The Ranger was fixed in 3.5 and I fully believe the Solarian will be tweeked in an update down the line. Starfinder was made to kind of streamline gameplay from pathfinder and then you have this one class that sticks out like a sore thumb because it's overly complicated. Of course, all my opinions though.


Farlanghn wrote:
-You shouldn't have to dip into blitz soldier to make the character functional.

Is this notion still floating around? I would have thought the experience of players who didn't have to dip levels to make the character "functional" would have penetrated this "one true build" static by now.

1 to 50 of 153 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Starfinder / Starfinder General Discussion / Was a consesus ever reached on Solarians? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.