Concerns regarding having to roll to buff a teammate


Biohacker


A friend of mine on Discord has one big problem with the Biohacker and, to quote him directly, "I just think rolling to buff your allies is silly".

While I don't quite agree, I can see where he's coming from. The Biohacker being a medium BAB class and flat-footed not being as big an impact in SF as it can be in PF, having your main gimmick be reliant on attack rolls feels off.

Anyone have similar concerns about the class or is it not as bad as it sounds?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I'm not looking at it as needing to roll to buff, but needing to roll to buff from range.

Based on the statement that "You must hit an unwilling creature with a melee attack to inject them with an injection" it seems that you can still avoid the attack roll if you inject your ally point blank. I think that having a risk/reward tradeoff between needing to hit your allies from a distance, or needing to get close to them, possibly in a more dangerous position, makes for fun gameplay, as long as the buffs can be good enough to be worth running up to deliver them.

I am also good with this because the fairly common (though definitely not universal) assumption I saw that needlers pistols should be usable to inject allies at a distance while ignoring their armor/cover/etc was always pretty grating for me, but that is purely a personal reaction.


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If you're adjacent, which you often will be, you don't have to roll. And remember they last longer as buffs, so delaying/organizing initative and spacing in that first round to ensure the buff isn't that big of a deal.

The buffs are also not as good as the debuffs, so I don't know that you'll use them as often that way. When you do, it might be an out of combat skill boost so none of this matters.

You get accuracy boosts (+1 standard, +2 from flatfooted) when shooting allies, and you can invest in an additional +3. If you don't want to miss and you want to buff at range you can make it happen reliably.


Been a while since I checked the spells; are there many buff spells they can use from range?


ShadowFighter88 wrote:
Been a while since I checked the spells; are there many buff spells they can use from range?

This is the biohacker forum - they shoot people (or stab if adjacent) with injections to buff them, no spells.


Xenocrat wrote:
ShadowFighter88 wrote:
Been a while since I checked the spells; are there many buff spells they can use from range?
This is the biohacker forum - they shoot people (or stab if adjacent) with injections to buff them, no spells.

I was asking in comparison to a Mystic buffing people. Like if they're also restricted to getting adjacent to an ally to deliver buffs as a Biohacker would if they didn't want to have to make attack rolls for buffing.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

There are not many buff spells for either mystic or technomancer, but a fair number of those that do exist, like Resistant Armor, Death Ward or invisibility are touch range.

Those that are usable at some distance, like haste, do not require a roll. A different class working differently is not a bad thing, though.


The few buffs also have minutes or longer duration, where a biohacker only has (very few) rounds. Not really comparable.


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Still being able to give your melee fighter the toxic "restorative" that makes anybody who attempts to hit them in melee -2 to hit them for four rounds at level one is a pretty solid buff that can easily be given before the fight starts.

Applying stuff at a range being something that can fail is the downside of a lot of their stuff either stacking with other buffs or applying some serious conditions at a range.

At level 2 you can rock a +6 to hit friendly targets at a range not including any dex or other feat modifiers. If you are worried about trying to apply this stuff to friendly targets at a range you can mitigate that pretty well.

Otherwise just get adjacent to them and there is no chance of flubbing.

Also there is the conserving fusion that appears to let you on a miss not expend the injection/serum as it specifically works on dart weapons. If you find yourself needing to shoot healing serums on the battlefield investing in the conservation fusion when you are able to acquire it seems very much worth doing.


Haste can buff the party from short range


I'll echo the range oddity.

The people who need the most buffs tend to be the most armored and so biohacker buffs becomes a bizzare pvp kind of thing.

Which isn't ideal as Starfinder PVP is wonky since PCs, by design, have lower attack bonuses than NPCs so have a higher chance of whiffing against PCs.

Basically in the game I'm playing as a Vanguard I have 3/4 BAB Biohackers trying to land a hit on me very highly armored self and failing constantly as they need to roll better than a 10 to buff.

It's still fun to have Biohackers miss their buff attempts on on occasion but far less often than is happening right now. Perhaps willing allies should have a far lower AC than just flat footed to Buffing Fire. -8 or something.


You should have a functional +5 to hit your friends backsides, +3 from the theorum and +3 because they're flat footed. Its not an auto hit but it's close.


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If getting the Theorem ends up being virtually mandatory, it's an issue.
Really don't think we're there yet, but the results of the playtest will define that.

If it does turn out to be a problem, folding the to-hit bonus on allies into the baseline Injections Expert feature might solve it. Be it as is, which would be strong, or nerfed to compensate it being free, like doubling the existing bonus when targeting friendlies at range or something similar.


Also it should be noted as you advance in levels your buffs last a pretty good chunk of time. Hitting your melee with buffs before they charge off to battle should be pretty easy and those are auto hit if done adjacent on a willing target. You can rebuff at a range but a lot of your buffs especially as things go on as you level probably are going to be the close quarters no miss ones.


On the Theorom being manditory.
The conserving (assuming it works) fusion also effectively becomes required.

Things like Iron Sights or Accuracy fusion, or seeking also become highly wanted for them.

as a random sidenote


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I see no reason why the Conserving Fusion should grant any class more uses of their class abilities, no matter how those abilities are flavored.


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Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Metaphysician wrote:
I see no reason why the Conserving Fusion should grant any class more uses of their class abilities, no matter how those abilities are flavored.

It's only "more uses" in the same way that holding a charge is "more uses" of spell slots. Both let you retry a miss instead of wasting a daily resource.


Nyerkh wrote:

If getting the Theorem ends up being virtually mandatory, it's an issue.

Really don't think we're there yet, but the results of the playtest will define that.

If it does turn out to be a problem, folding the to-hit bonus on allies into the baseline Injections Expert feature might solve it. Be it as is, which would be strong, or nerfed to compensate it being free, like doubling the existing bonus when targeting friendlies at range or something similar.

I think instead of having Theorems giving more damage and accuracy would be better to make the class already function with 2-handed weapons dealing level to damage and being full BAB. The class has a high risk and high reward type of play, it should have a stronger chassis than spell casters, when in fact it is not. Otherwise it will be like the Envoy again, just a half-class with a lot of meh to "why would anyone ever pick this" class choices.


I think the long arm issue will clear up a bit when it actually comes out..because I can not see them not having Needler long arms (atm only lv 1). It would be kind of insane if they didn't honestly. It is quite possible though I suppose.

Assuming they do make more injection long arms, then likely there will be many who opt for those + versitle specialization to get them full damage at lv 3 like other classes.

I personally hope they put in some damaging injection snipers in. And then allow the "load an injection into a weapon" to be combined with the "aim action" of a sniper or iron sights etc.

Alternatively they could make some weird and neat Special category weapons. I'd actually love if they made weird ones. There are a ton of good Media based ideas from anime/games. Iria's needler mine trap, the needler shotgun effect( target would be weird), needler from Halo. Or just make a variety of weird needler ammo.
Yakno go for weird ones.

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I think they need to lower the full level to damage with all of them theorom down a few levels though. Because at lower levels you don't really have much injections, nor do they last that long, nor is your to hit particularly great. but all those sure up decently well later through use of accuracy theoroms, tools, and just level growth.

A lot of the abilities require an open hand so I think they want to default to mostly one handed tools in the current class build. I think they want to avoid being full bab. but give a near effective full bab due to wanting the long ranged auto success upon hit buff/debuffs thing.

I'd really prefer they stay the current bab, move that theorom choice lower.
and also bake in some pharmaceutical and poison per day theorom. Sorta like the healing theorom. Or. a theorm that lets you "dillute" a poison or medical, or healing serum, into X number of loaded darts. (can just add some restriction to only being usable via biohacker or something)


For me, all support classes that don't have spells to perform their role should've been given higher BAB, it's not like this will suddenly make them on par with Soldiers and Solarians in terms of raw damage, but this definitely would make more sense. Biohackers are already risking their actions just to buff up allies mid-battle, imagine wasting an action and limited resources to do your MAIN THING, the only thing going for them is the untyped bonus, which is marvelous for synergy with other classes.

I just worry that biohackers will receive the envoy treatment and be left in the dust with just a couple of gimmicks that aren't even that great (poor stamina heal with tons of restrictions) and completely pigeonholed into doing the same thing over and over and over for no particularly good reason.


The biohackers BAB is nearly on full when using the weapons they're supposed to be using. If you give them full BAB you have to take away a lot of their goodies or you eat the soldiers cookie.


Yeah, pretty much every class has a MAIN THING with a chance of failure. Even if there's no attack roll, there's still saves and spell resistance.

Besides, if you get too close to auto-succeeding with your class feature, you start eating the Operative's cookie.


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I get that their chance to hit their allies shouldn't be 100% but as someone who has experienced the level 20 range (we had a campaign that stretched from level 1-20 I see an issue to properly hit their allies in combat at the higher levels. While most campaigns never make it there a few do and it'd be nice to address this issue.

So correct me if I'm wrong but we have a theorem that gives +3 chance to hit allies, they have a +2 from using injection weapons that stacks with + 2 from weapon focus and a BAB of 15. You also have allies being flat flooted for another essential +2. This adds up to +9. So 24. Plus 8 dex if fully optimized takes your chance to hit an ally to 32. This means we hit an AC of 42 on a 10 and AC 40 on an 8. Anything higher (which is possible) and we have less than a 50% chance to hit.

This is specializing entirely on hitting our allies and going full optimization to do so. Is there something I am missing? Because according to this math (which might be wrong I admit) it looks like not only is the theorem required for party support but so does full optimization. Ally AC is always higher than enemy AC and enemy hit chance is higher than party hit chance.

At level 20 our party had between 37-42 AC but we saw ways to push that a bit higher.


Rhyltran wrote:

I get that their chance to hit their allies shouldn't be 100% but as someone who has experienced the level 20 range (we had a campaign that stretched from level 1-20 I see an issue to properly hit their allies in combat at the higher levels. While most campaigns never make it there a few do and it'd be nice to address this issue.

So correct me if I'm wrong but we have a theorem that gives +3 chance to hit allies, they have a +2 from using injection weapons that stacks with + 2 from weapon focus and a BAB of 15. You also have allies being flat flooted for another essential +2. This adds up to +9. So 24. Plus 8 dex if fully optimized takes your chance to hit an ally to 32. This means we hit an AC of 42 on a 10 and AC 40 on an 8. Anything higher (which is possible) and we have less than a 50% chance to hit.

This is specializing entirely on hitting our allies and going full optimization to do so. Is there something I am missing? Because according to this math (which might be wrong I admit) it looks like not only is the theorem required for party support but so does full optimization. Ally AC is always higher than enemy AC and enemy hit chance is higher than party hit chance.

At level 20 our party had between 37-42 AC but we saw ways to push that a bit higher.

That's exactly why I think the class should be full BAB. Classes with Full BAB get a lot more going on for them than just that, which is why I think support classes without spells should have a stronger chassis than spellcasters, which is not particularly the case, specially with the half-class Envoys that is overshadowed in its own turf by another core class that's also better in combat.

Getting Full-BAB would be the best option while removing accuracy boosts on Theorems... Because they'll always be the best option or at least the most attractive, so giving the class better BAB can free them to make actual choices. Not that envoys have that many good choices or at least mildly interesting, but there's still hope for Biohackers.


Starfinder Superscriber

Sorry about being late to this discussion, but there is a pretty simple solution that makes logical sense.

IRL if I'm throwing something at someone, and they're not trying to dodge it, they're "flat footed"

If they are trying to get hit by it (blocking) they're using their dexterity bonus to do so. Thus, a teammate who is aware of the biohacker's efforts would provide their dexterity bonus to ac as a bonus to the to hit. (basically leaning into the projectile).

Finally if they are trying to "catch" something being thrown at/to them, then they using their whole skill to get hit by it. E.G. catching a pass.

Catching would be a reaction, and would provoke. It also could use a few mechanics (reflex saving throw value without a roll being the simplest, with the roll possibly being the best, but flat d20 + dex, or d20+bab+dex also being options).

Plus it's just neat. The biohacker fires their final serum at their soldier buddy who has to decide if they risk getting hit by the monster they're engaged with to raise their chances of receiving the serum. That's cool.


I feel like a bit too many of the ideas cost too much for other charcters, even if it is cool. It simply makes it so no one would really ever try to boost via ranged, and instead default in teh far easier, far more likely, debuffing.

At least, I know I'd never try buffing a friend at range, if it cost me actions (1 or more depending on what the gun loadout is atm) and then have to hit them, AND them having to have the allied target(various actions depending on which idea presented in this thread) in order to make it even decently likely to hit--actions which may or may not compete with their classes' own suite of abilities. Honestly the buffs are not worth many of the competing choices. (Much less the c omparison to envoy or casters)

Any change should really remain solidly within the class itself.
What that is? Plenty of good opinions on that, that hopefully inspire the design team.
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I still think that Friendly Aim theorom should be a inset normal class ability. A swift action with the Custom Scanner--giving it another use (as it really has so few "in class" uses unlike Mechanic). This would make it compete with full actions (such as full attack). It absolutely should not be a move action. They must already load via a move action (baring theoroms), AND so many weapon attachments that greatly work well with this class require move actions (sights/scopes).

This being an in class native ability, along with the Injection Expert (and likely weapon focus) would allow the biohacker to hit more allies with more frequency (didn't do math as there is math around the forums on this scale)
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An alterntive would be lowering Stable Injection theorom from 8th lv to 2nd level. This would allow a biohacker to "hand out" their buff to their team mates, instead of having to be in melee or shooting. I find it rather odd that it is a lv 8 ability in general considering things like Mechanic's overcharge weapon explosives are not limited.
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Heck you could in bake the two options above at level 1, so a class could choose, A Melee Biohacker could chooes the stable and a ranged could choose the friendly aim. It would help both builds. Then stick the other as a lv 8 possible choice.

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