My One Major Question About the Vanguard


Vanguard

Scarab Sages

Is why the class is called Vanguard? As far as I can tell the only reasons are because it is a CON based class and it uses shields. Every other class in the game has a very fitting class name, but Vanguard is so generic and just doesn't paint a picture of that the class does like all of the others.

I feel like Vanguard should get a name like Solarian has, where it is tied to the game universe in some way and more accurately describes what the class does.

Anyone have any suggestions for a better name than Vanguard?


There were a few suggestions in this thread but I didn't see any that stuck out as good ones.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It paints a pretty good image to me: the vanguard are the first in the fight. The ones charging the enemy, or taking the charge. And as a class, the Vanguard is exactly that, the hard bricky tank that can and does want to be first in the fight, because they can take the attacks, take the risks, better than others.

Sovereign Court

Yeah my experience from playing in the playtest is that you feel pretty good about diving right into melee. You know you're just about made out of stamina, have high armor class, and need to be up close to touch people. So you're definitely the vanguard of the party.


The Vanguard does need some tweaking... they need some sort of movement ability to get into the fight faster, and either to scrap Entropy Points or heavily rework them to be something that I want to get and use.

But yes, they will THE vanguard of a Starfinder party. First in, last out. Oorah!

Sovereign Court

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I didn't really experience trouble getting into the fight (L8); the usual recipes apply.
* Jetpack so you don't get stumped by verticals
* A light armor vanguard makes total sense and isn't slow
* Heavy armor vanguards can get a mobility enhancer to offset that.
* Dwarves make a lot of sense as heavy armor vanguards too.
* Speed Suspension is an option too.
* There's various 40ft speed races.

There are plenty solutions available, but you do have to plan for it.


Ascalaphus wrote:

I didn't really experience trouble getting into the fight (L8); the usual recipes apply.

* Jetpack so you don't get stumped by verticals
* A light armor vanguard makes total sense and isn't slow
* Heavy armor vanguards can get a mobility enhancer to offset that.
* Dwarves make a lot of sense as heavy armor vanguards too.
* Speed Suspension is an option too.
* There's various 40ft speed races.

There are plenty solutions available, but you do have to plan for it.

Most of those aren't terribly useful for low-level play. Solarians can (and generally should) get Stellar Rush at 2nd level to get a standard action charge, which is incredible for getting into the fight.

Also something that could help with positioning... like an entropy-fueled way to avoid AoO, would be welcome. Maybe a teleport that costs EP? Vanguard is an incredibly tactical class where positioning matters a great deal.

Sovereign Court

Well, I didn't play vanguard at low level, only level 8. I imagine you can have trouble if you're a heavy armor vanguard, but I don't think it should be quite that bad? I've played characters with low speed and the main situation where it was really problematic was if other characters were rushing ahead at maximum speed. But you can just tell them "if you want to stay protected behind me, don't run out too far in front of me". Also, actually being in the vanguard of the party gives you a head start.

For a light armor vanguard I don't really see the problem. If 30ft speed is really insufficient there's the fleet feat, and the longstrider module.

I'm not against the vanguard gaining more mobility options, but I don't subscribe to the theory that they're currently crippled by low speed.


I didn't say "crippled." I said they needed help with positioning to round out their class features.

Vanguards are encouraged to go heavy armor for their role as tanks, though there is some debate on the subject, given that they have Stamina for days and need to get hit to gain EP. I think that overall it is better to not get hit at all with heavy armor than to have light armor and more EP to spend on questionably advantageous powers.

Everything may change by final draft, of course.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

How many classes *aren't* heavily limited and suffering from numerous inefficiencies when at very low level? The whole point of low level is "you have not yet mastered all the skills that make your class work".

Sovereign Court

From a lot of theorycrafting I've come up with three base vanguard builds:

1) Maximized Dex, near-max Con, light armor. Milk the operative property of your entropic strike and light armor's high max dex value. I think this is the benchmark vanguard build.

2) High Dex, high Con, heavy armor, shields. Not getting full AC value for your Dex because it's constrained by the armor, but getting the highest AC possible at your level. Which is 1-2 points over the #1 option. You can't use some disciplines in heavy armor (evasion) but can use some others.

3) Very high strength, high Con, medium Dex, heavy armor. You might have a shield, or two-handed weapon. Your focus is on strength-based melee combat using a thrown and/or reach weapon with Entropic Weapon to have lots of damage type and range options. AC suffers a bit but you still have crazy stamina.

Most of the time, the difference between a maxed-dex light armor character and a heavy armor character in AC is quite small (1-2 points). And maxing Dex is quite doable if it's also your to-hit stat and Con is your damage stat.

It's one of the things I really like about the Vanguard: there are quite different builds available that all work.

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