The Envoy, Whats with all the spoony bards?


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Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Emphasis mine, I don't avoid organized play because of how it's set up, but by the perception I have of it from the people on these forums who play it.

Well, I'm on this forum and I play it. So, I could feel insulted :P

Also, as you can see, BNW and I rarely agree even if we both play organized play.
I like rules and rules discussions, but at a table, the only rule is "DM's always right", whatever my position at this table. 2 different pleasures that musn't be mixed together.


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I didn't read through the whole thread, but I thought it was generally understood that classes that don't innately get long arms proficiency* should invest two feats into proficiency and versatile specialization. Which shouldn't be a big deal because there aren't a lot of great feats in the first place.

*Classes that don't get long arm proficiency but intend to use ranged weapons and don't have some sort of class based bonus to damage. Which is long way of saying, Operatives are fine because Trick Attack, and Solarions are fine as long as they're going melee. Mechanics are fine if they go exocortex rather than drone, etc.

Like your other abilities are great too, but what are you spending the feats on? Spell casting as a Technomancer or mystic can be awesome, but you don't have enough spells to cast a spell every round. You've got to have a backup plan. And if your backup plan is just shooting a pistol...you should make a better plan.


Claxon wrote:
I didn't read through the whole thread, but I thought it was generally understood that classes that don't innately get long arms proficiency* should invest two feats into proficiency and versatile specialization.

I have to correct you:

"I didn't read through the whole thread, but I thought it was generally believed that classes that don't innately get long arms proficiency* should invest two feats into proficiency and versatile specialization."

My Mystic only draws a weapon for fun. There are non weaponized build of the non weaponized classes which have excellent efficiency.
There is a big lack of knowledge on casters, for example, making lots of people think Mystics and Technomancers need a gun to be fully efficient.


Yes, there are a lot of non-weapon builds. They're perfectly fine to play. I'm okay with that, I suppose others aren't

I'm still a bit hung up on why 18 CHA seems so necessary to some for an envoy though? I get it if you're built to feint/demoralize, but if you're not, why aren't a few of those points knocked over to INT or DEX?

You can max out INT for a mechanic, but it doesn't seem like your best bet outside certain specific character concepts. I would say the same for an envoy.

Sovereign Court

Claxon wrote:
I didn't read through the whole thread, but I thought it was generally understood that classes that don't innately get long arms proficiency* should invest two feats into proficiency and versatile specialization. Which shouldn't be a big deal because there aren't a lot of great feats in the first place.

I think a lot of this is a teething problem for a new game. As you say, operatives have business using small arms. Envoys get comparatively little out of it. Other classes have some obvious class-driven weapons plan, envoys are left a bit floundering to either "DIY with feats" or accept being outgunned.

My hope is actually in a different direction. We've heard about several ways envoys can be useful in combat, but there's one I haven't heard mentioned yet: the weird utility build. Not trying to do damage directly, but more focused on manipulating the situation. Throwing smoke grenades for example. Spending actions on these things to also take some of it out of the hands of the people who are doing the hitting and damaging.

The thing is, there aren't really that many things to do yet like that. Pathfinder has a lot more items and feats that let a non-caster contribute to combat without attacking. Pathfinder tanglefoot bags entangle if they hit, even if the enemy succeeds at the save. Starfinder entangling grenades only entangle if the enemy fails a save that doesn't really scale very good (unless you want to allocate embarrassing amounts of WBL). Also, "touch AC" in Starfinder is EAC and goes up a lot faster than in Pathfinder. In Pathfinder a so-so Dex character can harass effectively with alchemical weapons, that's not so viable in Starfinder.

Yet. Smoke grenades are one of the few grenades that stay good throughout many levels. Perhaps with SCOM we'll get more options.

Ideally, they're built so that they mesh with the action economy of envoys..


Garretmander wrote:
I'm still a bit hung up on why 18 CHA seems so necessary to some for an envoy though? I get it if you're built to feint/demoralize, but if you're not, why aren't a few of those points knocked over to INT or DEX?

I'm probably not the best to answer, as pointed out I am a demoralize build. We just hit 7 and after 2 personal upgrades my stats are as follows:

Str 17 (Mk II)
Dex 16 (Mk I)
Con 10
Int 14*
Wis 10
Cha 19

My main reason for maxing Cha? Resolve points. I could have had more Con for hit points and Fort, Dex/Str for attack, Wis for a few skills and Will, but Resolve for me has multiple uses.

The first, more chances to 10 minute break my stamina back up, especially considering I deliberately provoke a lot of AoO that don't have much trouble hitting me.

The second, ties a bit into the first, compared to starting 14 I've got 2 more Resolve which means at least 1 extra time of remaining at 1 HP instead of dying. I got crit by a trap last night that dealt something dumb like 156 damage, and thanks to resolve I was allowed to stay at 1. Minimal extra HP makes no difference when you have the ability to stay at 1.

The third, less Envoy than it is my archtype, Skyfire Centurion bonded ally swap at 10 costs a resolve. The ability to do that more often to trade my +4 cover/harry around, or swap my concentrate fire to an ally who's having trouble dealing damage against an enemy whether due to DR or a specific resistance (anti mind effecting is a big hit to our Mystic and I).

Basically every resolve point I have is one more combat in our day. Were I an Operative I could have maxed Dex and done similar, but would then lack the main things I wanted like move action baby demoralize, and sharing Expertise dice in skills I lack the maxed stat for.

*Human so I also have a bonus skill point/level


SuperBidi wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Emphasis mine, I don't avoid organized play because of how it's set up, but by the perception I have of it from the people on these forums who play it.
Well, I'm on this forum and I play it. So, I could feel insulted :P
And we can safely say you aren't the only one playing the game.
Quote:
I like rules and rules discussions, but at a table, the only rule is "DM's always right", whatever my position at this table.

Gonna very disagree on that.


Garretmander wrote:
I'm still a bit hung up on why 18 CHA seems so necessary to some for an envoy though?

I don't think it's necessary to anyone. The thing is more about what you want to play. When I make a character, I often think: What is my character supposed to be good at. I don't care if he's bad at other things, but I really care for him to be good at what I want him to be good.

So, going for 14 in Charisma for an Envoy is perfect for me... as long as that's what I want to play. But if I want to play a character which specializes in Charisma, I want my 18 (or any number which makes me think my character is a charismatic bastard).
There is really a concept around the 18 Charisma Envoy, which has nothing to do with the rules. It's the guy who's main contribution is Charisma. The party face. And during combat, Envoy class gives you a lot of abilities which are not much attribute dependant.
So, the full Charisma Envoy is perfectly acceptable as a character in and outside combat, and it's clearly the best social character you can do. Hence its popularity.

Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Gonna very disagree on that.

Ok. Why do you disagree on this rule? Not sure it has anything to do with the discussion :)


SuperBidi wrote:
Claxon wrote:
I didn't read through the whole thread, but I thought it was generally understood that classes that don't innately get long arms proficiency* should invest two feats into proficiency and versatile specialization.

I have to correct you:

"I didn't read through the whole thread, but I thought it was generally believed that classes that don't innately get long arms proficiency* should invest two feats into proficiency and versatile specialization."

My Mystic only draws a weapon for fun. There are non weaponized build of the non weaponized classes which have excellent efficiency.
There is a big lack of knowledge on casters, for example, making lots of people think Mystics and Technomancers need a gun to be fully efficient.

My question to you then is what does your Mystic do when they're not casting spells? And do you cast spells every round?

The mystic in my party doesn't have spells that are useful every round, and doesn't have enough of them to cast every round even if they did. So often pulls out her pistol and fires away. Now, I don't say anything because as long as shes having fun and we're succeeding in combat I don't mind. But if she started complaining about not being effective enough in combat I'd tell her she needs to invest in long arms. If we started losing combats I might also consider complaining. Though the significant healing ability the mystic is capable of has made the chance of losing mostly a non-issue.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Claxon wrote:
I didn't read through the whole thread, but I thought it was generally understood that classes that don't innately get long arms proficiency* should invest two feats into proficiency and versatile specialization. Which shouldn't be a big deal because there aren't a lot of great feats in the first place.

I think a lot of this is a teething problem for a new game. As you say, operatives have business using small arms. Envoys get comparatively little out of it. Other classes have some obvious class-driven weapons plan, envoys are left a bit floundering to either "DIY with feats" or accept being outgunned.

My hope is actually in a different direction. We've heard about several ways envoys can be useful in combat, but there's one I haven't heard mentioned yet: the weird utility build. Not trying to do damage directly, but more focused on manipulating the situation. Throwing smoke grenades for example. Spending actions on these things to also take some of it out of the hands of the people who are doing the hitting and damaging.

The thing is, there aren't really that many things to do yet like that. Pathfinder has a lot more items and feats that let a non-caster contribute to combat without attacking. Pathfinder tanglefoot bags entangle if they hit, even if the enemy succeeds at the save. Starfinder entangling grenades only entangle if the enemy fails a save that doesn't really scale very good (unless you want to allocate embarrassing amounts of WBL). Also, "touch AC" in Starfinder is EAC and goes up a lot faster than in Pathfinder. In Pathfinder a so-so Dex character can harass effectively with alchemical weapons, that's not so viable in Starfinder.

Yet. Smoke grenades are one of the few grenades that stay good throughout many levels. Perhaps with SCOM we'll get more options.

Ideally, they're built so that they mesh with the action economy of envoys..

I generally agree with everything you're saying here.

Bidi mentioned that their character was "excellently efficient" and I'm generally curious what that means.

In Starfinder contributing to combat generally means:
1) Making melee or ranged attacks
2) Casting spells
3) Envoy buffing/debuffing
4) Occasionally using certain items (smoke grenades really the only one I know) to debuff.

But items 2-4 ones that you don't perform every round, and would generally cause you to fall back to item 1.

So what I'm wondering is are there other actions I'm not aware of that make you "excellently efficient".


Claxon wrote:
My question to you then is what does your Mystic do when they're not casting spells? And do you cast spells every round?

Yes.

I cast spell each and every round but the very last one of each combat when you have just one remaining useless guy waiting for a last hit. Then, I draw my large sniper rifle I once bought as a trophy and make a shot at +2, miss it 95% of the time, but, sometimes, I scream "Boum! Headshot!" when I roll a natural 20. Funny moments.

And I cast Summon Monster if I can't affect the monster. But it becomes more and more rare especially now that I can cast Slow.


SuperBidi wrote:
Ok. Why do you disagree on this rule? Not sure it has anything to do with the discussion :)

it doesn't so this is a tangent.

I disagree for the very obvious fact that the DM is not always right. I also disagree because for the faux elevation it implies, basically that the DM is more important than the players.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
SuperBidi wrote:
Claxon wrote:
My question to you then is what does your Mystic do when they're not casting spells? And do you cast spells every round?

Yes.

I cast spell each and every round but the very last one of each combat when you have just one remaining useless guy waiting for a last hit. Then, I draw my large sniper rifle I once bought as a trophy and make a shot at +2, miss it 95% of the time, but, sometimes, I scream "Boum! Headshot!" when I roll a natural 20. Funny moments.

And I cast Summon Monster if I can't affect the monster. But it becomes more and more rare especially now that I can cast Slow.

How well this works depends a lot on the type of game, I think. From my experience, at least, it is a lot easier to stretch spells and spell gems to last through a 4 hour Society scenario, with a good estimation of how many encounters I'll need to worry about than the couple of rougher 7-9 encounter adventuring days I've had with some non society play.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Claxon wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
Claxon wrote:
I didn't read through the whole thread, but I thought it was generally understood that classes that don't innately get long arms proficiency* should invest two feats into proficiency and versatile specialization.

I have to correct you:

"I didn't read through the whole thread, but I thought it was generally believed that classes that don't innately get long arms proficiency* should invest two feats into proficiency and versatile specialization."

My Mystic only draws a weapon for fun. There are non weaponized build of the non weaponized classes which have excellent efficiency.
There is a big lack of knowledge on casters, for example, making lots of people think Mystics and Technomancers need a gun to be fully efficient.

My question to you then is what does your Mystic do when they're not casting spells? And do you cast spells every round?

While not a mystic, my technomancer doesn't use weapons except in an emergency. I reallocated the credits that would have been spent of weapons and instead bought a big pile of spell chips of magic missile. It's great. Magic missile is just way more reliable than trying to fire weapons on a 3/4 bab class, and the damage output will only be outpaced by weapon attacks somewhere around 10th level, at which point the character will have plenty of spell slots for explosive blasts, haste and slow spells, and other goodies.


HammerJack wrote:
How well this works depends a lot on the type of game, I think. From my experience, at least, it is a lot easier to stretch spells and spell gems to last through a 4 hour Society scenario, with a good estimation of how many encounters I'll need to worry about than the couple of rougher 7-9 encounter adventuring days I've had with some non society play.

My last adventure was Dead Suns AP part 3. There are 2 long adventuring days. I start having issues after 6 fights, depending on their length and difficulty. But most classes have problems after 6 fights in a row.

Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
I also disagree because for the faux elevation it implies, basically that the DM is more important than the players.

I speak about rule questions. Ultimately, the DM's the one choosing.


SuperBidi wrote:
Claxon wrote:
My question to you then is what does your Mystic do when they're not casting spells? And do you cast spells every round?

Yes.

I cast spell each and every round but the very last one of each combat when you have just one remaining useless guy waiting for a last hit. Then, I draw my large sniper rifle I once bought as a trophy and make a shot at +2, miss it 95% of the time, but, sometimes, I scream "Boum! Headshot!" when I roll a natural 20. Funny moments.

And I cast Summon Monster if I can't affect the monster. But it becomes more and more rare especially now that I can cast Slow.

SuperBidi wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
How well this works depends a lot on the type of game, I think. From my experience, at least, it is a lot easier to stretch spells and spell gems to last through a 4 hour Society scenario, with a good estimation of how many encounters I'll need to worry about than the couple of rougher 7-9 encounter adventuring days I've had with some non society play.

My last adventure was Dead Suns AP part 3. There are 2 long adventuring days. I start having issues after 6 fights, depending on their length and difficulty. But most classes have problems after 6 fights in a row.

Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
I also disagree because for the faux elevation it implies, basically that the DM is more important than the players.
I speak about rule questions. Ultimately, the DM's the one choosing.

The mystic in my party has choosen a spell list that is more thematic than effective. She choose a lot of spell around undead and dealing with the dead. So spells haven't been effective for her.

I'm also not sure that I believe the spells have enough effect, but I also don't know what you're casting either. I also has reservations about being able to cast spells every round of every combat. Combats for my party are around 6 rounds each (combats are longer than PF1). At level 7 (current level) a mystic only has 9 spells. That's not enough for even two combats.

However, someone else mentioned buying spell gems instead of buying weapons. Doing that method with some better offensive spells probably would make things work.


Claxon wrote:

I'm also not sure that I believe the spells have enough effect, but I also don't know what you're casting either. I also has reservations about being able to cast spells every round of every combat. Combats for my party are around 6 rounds each (combats are longer than PF1). At level 7 (current level) a mystic only has 9 spells. That's not enough for even two combats.

However, someone else mentioned buying spell gems instead of buying weapons. Doing that method with some better offensive spells probably would make things work.

Enough effects? My Mystic once saved the day against a CR8 monster (she was level 5 at that time), dealing 70 damage in 5 rounds (most of the party was running in fear): Summon Monster II followed by 4 Mind Thrust II.

In general, I carry three times my spell list in Spell Gems and don't hesitate to cast twice the spells per day I have. Of course, I speak of highest level spells I can cast, I only cast low level spells for utility and the rare occasions when they are the most appropriate.
My usual party is quite violent, so combats rarely last 5 rounds unless they are very tough. I contribute quite a lot, but it's true that for simple fights, my contribution is low, as I need time to ramp up (summoning starts to shine when you have 6 creatures on the board).

I was thinking in creating a discussion about pure casters, as they clearly are a thing (and I now have sufficient experience to say they work as intended in Starfinder).


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Whats with all the spoony bards?

Sometimes, that's the kind of character that a person wants to play.

/thread


I hate to be that guy, but it's been bugging me since this thread started.

What the hell does 'spoony' mean, and where did it come from?

I mean, I understand what it means here, in context, but is that some kind of slang term from somewhere or somewhen?


SuperBidi wrote:
Claxon wrote:

I'm also not sure that I believe the spells have enough effect, but I also don't know what you're casting either. I also has reservations about being able to cast spells every round of every combat. Combats for my party are around 6 rounds each (combats are longer than PF1). At level 7 (current level) a mystic only has 9 spells. That's not enough for even two combats.

However, someone else mentioned buying spell gems instead of buying weapons. Doing that method with some better offensive spells probably would make things work.

Enough effects? My Mystic once saved the day against a CR8 monster (she was level 5 at that time), dealing 70 damage in 5 rounds (most of the party was running in fear): Summon Monster II followed by 4 Mind Thrust II.

In general, I carry three times my spell list in Spell Gems and don't hesitate to cast twice the spells per day I have. Of course, I speak of highest level spells I can cast, I only cast low level spells for utility and the rare occasions when they are the most appropriate.
My usual party is quite violent, so combats rarely last 5 rounds unless they are very tough. I contribute quite a lot, but it's true that for simple fights, my contribution is low, as I need time to ramp up (summoning starts to shine when you have 6 creatures on the board).

I was thinking in creating a discussion about pure casters, as they clearly are a thing (and I now have sufficient experience to say they work as intended in Starfinder).

The enough effect part was in regards to using 1st level spell slots at level 7. Sure you have 9 spells at 7th level, but 4 of them are level 1 spells. I haven't played a caster in Starfinder, but I'm still under the impression that really only your two highest level of spells remain relevant.

And your next part of your statement seems to confirm this. You carry a bunch of spell gems to keep you casting spells all day.

Which does seem like a very effective way to do things. But if you aren't told that you need to rely on spell gems to remain an effective caster all day, so that you know to pick them up, you end up having to rely on guns instead.

Now I understand what you mean and where you're coming from.

I will agree that, if a caster decides to invest in spell gems instead of firearms and pickups up some appropriately offensive spells then they can cast every round and contribute effectively.

However, this is a big change from Pathfinder and not something I'm used to even thinking about. Getting items that let you cast additional spells were expensive, like Pearls of Power, or didn't work well offensively (like wands, since they we're at minimum caster level and save DC).

But spells gems work as though you had cast the spell, and are relatively cheap. For the amount you spend on a gun you can really pick up a lot of spell gems.

A mystic using mind thrust 2 at 7th level can buy each spell gem for 450 credits. My character has a weapon which costs almost 7000 credits. That allows for 15 spell gems. And as you acquire new loot you can sell and purchase new gems as you use them up.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Pantshandshake wrote:

I hate to be that guy, but it's been bugging me since this thread started.

What the hell does 'spoony' mean, and where did it come from?

I mean, I understand what it means here, in context, but is that some kind of slang term from somewhere or somewhen?

It it a meme from the English translation of Final Fantasy IV, where Tellah uses "You spoony bard!" as one of his insults against Edward.

It means 'foolishly or overly-sentimentally in love', which is true in context. As Edward is nigh-useless in combat (when low on HP, he will automatically hide and allow 10 year old Rydia to take hits in his place), 'spoony' has also come to take on that meaning in RPG circles.

Acquisitives

As a "Spoony" Witchwyrd Envoy, up through level 5, I generally granted a +3 to +5 bonus swing to my party, which consists of:

Sarcesian Sharpshooter Soldier (sniper rifles)
Human Heavy Weapon Drone Mechanic
Heavy Weapon Drone
Dwarf Operative (melee/pistol switch hitter)
Lashunta Weapon Solarian

With this crew, a swing of the size I grant is enough to sometimes convert multiple misses per round into hits, and often by only 1 or 2 points (so a lesser bonus from a lower commitment to the schtick would have not been enough).

If I were to shoot or stab on my own, losing at least 2 points to my bonus swing, I would maybe do 1d4+2 damage... certainly not the gross amounts of damage that the crew does.

Now that I am level 6, I can buy a little more into attack options (as Improved Get 'Em! includes a potential standard action attack), but I'm still not contributing as much as any one of my hard core murderhobo teammates, all of whom rely on attack rolls to do their damage.

In addition, being so "Spoony" with an 18+ Charisma allows me to handle all of the social duties that my emotionally stunted comrades cannot reliably handle. Freeing them up for more murder. I bluffed and disguised our way through Escape from the Prison Moon without difficulty.

So... as my contribution to this discussion, I believe that the party composition can contribute to Spooniness.

Also people should play what they want.


Doctor Zorkfeld wrote:


If I were to shoot or stab on my own, losing at least 2 points to my bonus swing

Except you have improved get em, which is equal to any other debuff you can do as a standard action. So how do you wind up losing anything by shooting, and what ability do you have to boost the parties accuracy that would be lost by picking up a longarm?

Quote:
I would maybe do 1d4+2 damage... certainly not the gross amounts of damage that the crew does.

Changing the assumption about the amount of damage you're not doing as an opportunity cost is kind of the point here.

Quote:
In addition, being so "Spoony" with an 18+ Charisma allows me to handle all of the social duties that my emotionally stunted comrades cannot reliably handle.

Hey I resemble that rema...OH. The characters.

The envoy comes with so much ability to do that that the 18 charisma seems like overkill/diminishing returns.

Quote:
Also people should play what they want.

It's a little weird to me that people are letting a number under charisma and the size of their g...choice to use small arms be defining characteristics of their character.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
It's a little weird to me that people are letting a number under charisma and the size of their g...choice to use small arms be defining characteristics of their character.

It's not only a number. And there are rules behind it.

First, it's not a number. If you want to play an extremely charismatic guy, then you put 18 in Charisma. It's what you wanna play, period. Rules don't matter at all.
Second, if you don't have Dexterity at all, Longarms Proficiency is a liability, as you don't hit anyway, so damage is not important.
Third, there are no diminishing returns in having 18 in Charisma. Starfinder rules encourage balanced DCs. So, 18 in Charisma is 10% more chances to succeed. It's true that going from 80% to 90% may seem strange, still, it's 10% less chances to miss the check. And if it's character defining, then it's a no-brainer.

Clearly, your not spoony bard has one main drawback in my opinion, its underpar Charisma. And if you start reducing it's Dexterity then it loses much of the incentive to go for Longarms. So, all in all, your build is a perfectly valid build, but it's not what everyone wants to play when playing an Envoy, and there are alternative builds.
Also, it's not an Envoy. It's a Soldier Envoy. Soldier doesn't add anything to Envoy, so if you can multiclass it, it's because you don't want to play an Envoy. You want to play something else (a Soldier Envoy).

In fact, I should rephrase all of that in one question: If I want to play an 18 Charisma Icon, what build do you advise me, BNW?


Coming from Pathfinder it was my impression that Starfinder was supposed to be the less combat focused game (or at least not focused on a particular kind of combat, since starship combat and vehicle combat doesn't care about your longarm proficiency). So from that perspective, "I want to play a character who is good at skills and utility, even if it means I am less good in a firefight" is 100% understandable- this is the Paizo game where that is (supposed to be, at least) a valid choice.

Acquisitives

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Except you have improved get em, which is equal to any other debuff you can do as a standard action. So how do you wind up losing anything by shooting, and what ability do you have to boost the parties accuracy that would be lost by picking up a longarm?

I have Improved Get Em! now... I was mostly discussing my time until this point.

Also I am mostly melee when I do fight so I can help with flanking and Coordinated Shot, so replace potential longarm with potential advanced melee, I guess, though it is kinda a waste with my big +1 Str/Dex bonus.

Quote:
The envoy comes with so much ability to do that that the 18 charisma seems like overkill/diminishing returns.

I see that you are not familiar with my terrible luck.

Quote:


Quote:
Also people should play what they want.
It's a little weird to me that people are letting a number under charisma and the size of their g...choice to use small arms be defining characteristics of their character.

Choice to use basic melee weapons, thanks.

It's a little weird to me that people are letting a maximum efficiency argument to suggest that other people are playing the wrong way, especially when the numbers aren't even decisive.

I think it is cool that players can contribute without raising a hand in anger. It is a play style that hasn't been well supported, historically.


To me, the biggest problem of the envoys are their routine. Your action economy is pure trash and you're stuck in a loop over and over just to contribute with boring abilities, albeit valuable in their environment.

To me, the class could have more power in its basis, so that more builds could be viable without having to pick just the 3 main roads to screw your action economy (Dispiriting taunt, Clever Feint, Get'em). The features of the class are way too boring and small, almost like the class was designed in a different game and setting compared to Operatives (the other non-magic skill monkeys).

Regardless of how build X or Y are "performing", the issue is that Envoys currently are all about their options... But their options don't make a significant impact on how you'll play, they at best tie together with a Expertise Skill to make you reroll their skill checks. Regardless of what you choose, you'll still be contributing solely through minor +1's and no matter the choice in the beginning, your character will be just spamming their feature over and over and over, because otherwise the class doesn't offer anything meaningful outside of it. At least in combat. In terms of being a skill monkey, which is supposed to be their main shtick, they're still overshadowed by Operatives in most fields (that are also better hackers/mechanics than Mechanics, but this is another discussion).

The class could simply use better abilities overall, that meaningfully represent what Envoys should do, not just minor bonuses that you're forced to use because it's your only way of contributing.

Inb4 the "role-play" masters come after me, remember that roleplay can turn any class into anything you want... But the whole point of having a robust set of rules, rather than just loose guidelines, is to have your ideas expressed more than just re-skins and change of theme.

Acquisitives

Uh, aren't classes that make attack rolls (or trick attacks) just "spamming their feature over and over?"

I mean, yeah, there's some repetition in gameplay. That's the nature of the game (unless you are a D&D/Pathfinder Wizard who just gets to do whatever they want until they can browbeat their party into resting for the night).

As an Envoy, I flank, I Coordinate Shots, I assist rolls all over the place, I take scenario-relevant social or technical actions so my beatstick friends don't screw up their action economy, I debuff and buff, I occasionally kill-steal from the Solarian when enemies have 1 hit point left, just to be a jerk, I heal both stamina (with Improvs) and hit points (with Medicine).

I am hardly bored, even though most rounds consist of Get 'Em!/Clever Feint. I make my friends happy, because I turn their disappointing misses into victorious hits, sometimes very unexpectedly (like when that natural 6 turns into a hit against the boss because of my +5).

And that has value, I think.


So you tell me it wouldn't be nicer to have Get'em be a lasting bonus, Clever Feinting doing something actually better than just applying Flat-footed differently (since the ability itself says it can't be used with Feint-related feats) or maybe instead of having Clever Feint, we started out with Clever Attack, but without the safety net of always applying Flat-Footed at least for you?

That's what I'm talking about. Making all my choices have a significant impact, instead of picking something early on and taxed later just to move on from the garbage first version. Get'em, for example, is less than sending an order or making a call mid battle and more of annoyingly screaming/talking at your teammates every round to keep doing what they're doing. Hell, dispiriting taunt is limited enough that it could start out as AOE and the class wouldn't come even close to be OP.

We're just too used to play with the class having tons of restrictions and crushed under the paradigm that because it's not magical, it must have s~@!ty abilities that are just good, because they're the only thing we have.

Well, maybe the problem is that I expected something more of the class and the way it plays now is the more balanced way they could make it. I don't know. I just got extremely disappointed with the class after playing with it for months.


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SuperBidi wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
It's a little weird to me that people are letting a number under charisma and the size of their g...choice to use small arms be defining characteristics of their character.

It's not only a number. And there are rules behind it.

First, it's not a number. If you want to play an extremely charismatic guy, then you put 18 in Charisma. It's what you wanna play, period. Rules don't matter at all.

It is absolutely just a number. It's 18. There is no discernible way for a player to SHOW the difference between an 18 and a 16, and the mechanics don't make for much difference either.

Quote:
Second, if you don't have Dexterity at all, Longarms Proficiency is a liability, as you don't hit anyway, so damage is not important.

Or strength. If not, where are you points going? you can have an 18 charisma a 16 dex with a charisma dex halfling. Then pump charisma, and your shots are only 2 behind a dexvoy. One weapon harness later and you can rock the zamboni.

Quote:
Third, there are no diminishing returns in having 18 in Charisma.

At level 5 you and the character who started with a 16 will have the same effective charisma score (+4). At level 10 you'll be 1 higher. At level 15 you'll be the same again.

Quote:
Starfinder rules encourage balanced DCs. So, 18 in Charisma is 10% more chances to succeed.

On a 20 sided die how do you figure +1 being worth 10%?

Quote:
It's true that going from 80% to 90% may seem strange, still, it's 10% less chances to miss the check. And if it's character defining, then it's a no-brainer.

The envoy has a reroll ability on skills they really care about.

IF you are 90% likely to succeed then you are 99 percent likely to succeed in 2 shots

If you are 80% likely to succeed then you are 96% likely to succeed in 2 shots . The reroll is worth more closer to the middle.

Quote:
Also, it's not an Envoy. It's a Soldier Envoy. Soldier doesn't add anything to Envoy, so if you can multiclass it, it's because you don't want to play an Envoy. You want to play something else (a Soldier Envoy).

The non spoony bard isn't spoony bard enough isn't much of an answer. Its sort of a smurf defense.

Quote:
In fact, I should rephrase all of that in one question: If I want to play an 18 Charisma Icon, what build do you advise me, BNW?

Dipping blitz soldier because that works with everythin...ow ow ow kidding.

I would advise you that just as 18 strength isn't a personality (but might suggest one) neither is an 18 charisma. You're not playing an "18 charisma icon" you're playing "a ridiculously charismatic and popular character that is famous for _________" The difference a professional actor could show between a 16 and an 18 is i think, almost indiscernible. Your very amature role player? Definitely not going to show up.

So since the difference between an 18 and a 16 or even a 14 won't affect the way people see your character as role played the question is what will the 18 get them mechanically? The envoy is the poster child for starfinder with characters not benefiting mechanically from their alleged prime stat (a healing mystic is more egregious but slightly more corner case). For talents charisma only effects inspiring boost, and then barely.

I would have to ask what kind of group your character is going into. More than any other class an envoy needs to work with their group. If you're going into team brainblast get em won't help you much. If you're on team operative clever feint is going to be a waste of your action after level 7. If you're going into SFS groups of mixed nuts you want a higher int to cover skills your envoy might not think of as theirs (like engineering and computers)

And if when someone goes ahead with it anyway, I can point them at the grim trophies and improved demoralize to be the best spoony bard as a bard can spoon, because you DO pick up new information in threads like these


BigNorseWolf wrote:
So since the difference between an 18 and a 16 or even a 14 won't affect the way people see your character as role played the question is what will the 18 get them mechanically?

Sorry to be blunt, but an 18 Charisma Icon is no 14 Charisma Icon. An 18 Charisma Icon is no 16 Charisma Icon. And if you don't get it, you missed the word character in character sheet.


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Simple answer to your completely overly-complicated question: Because combat is not the only thing that happens in Starfinder session, and Envoys can be very good at many of those other activities and encounters.

I find it a little absurd that so many people posting on the forums seem to act like the only thing the game is balanced around is direct combat contribution.

Sovereign Court

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SuperBidi wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
So since the difference between an 18 and a 16 or even a 14 won't affect the way people see your character as role played the question is what will the 18 get them mechanically?
Sorry to be blunt, but an 18 Charisma Icon is no 14 Charisma Icon. An 18 Charisma Icon is no 16 Charisma Icon. And if you don't get it, you missed the word character in character sheet.

So your character is defined by the number 18?

It kinda feels to me as if people are attaching way too much qualitative significance to the quantity 18 over 16.

The only real difference I can see between 16 and 18 charisma is that the guy with 18 can say "I'm the best you can be at level 1, nobody of my own level will upstage me". It's a kind of trophy number fetishism.

If I wanted to play a charismatic celebrity I could do that with 16 or 18. If I wanted to play a supermodel I could do that with 18 or 16. If I wanted to play a dark and terrifying figure who leads the mob with demagoguery, I could do that with 16 or 18. There's no real descriptive bit in the rules that tells me the one is very different from the others.

If an outside observer was seeing my charisma 16 and your charisma 18 character compete, and couldn't see our d20 but only hear who won the opposed rolls, and I got just lucky enough to roll 2 higher than you a large part of the evening, then he'd be hard pressed to say which character was more charismatic.


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SuperBidi wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
So since the difference between an 18 and a 16 or even a 14 won't affect the way people see your character as role played the question is what will the 18 get them mechanically?
Sorry to be blunt, but an 18 Charisma Icon is no 14 Charisma Icon. An 18 Charisma Icon is no 16 Charisma Icon. And if you don't get it, you missed the word character in character sheet.

Ccharacter resides in the player. Not on the sheet.


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BlueCatastrophe wrote:
Simple answer to your completely overly-complicated question: Because combat is not the only thing that happens in Starfinder session

In simplifying the question you missed it.

You can charm the pants off of the guard and THEN blow a giant hole in robot. Why pick?

Premise: A teeny tiny iota of non combat effectiveness can be traded for a large amount of combat effectiveness.

Question: Why aren't more people making this trade?

Your simple answer would only work if I thought combat was the only thing. I don't. I DO know that combat is A thing, and in the vast majority of campaigns your character is going to wind up there.

An Envoy doesn't have to pick ice cream or rootbeer. They can make a rootbeer float very easily

Wayfinders

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Charli Poshkettle marches up to the Wolf and waves her spoon right under his well-developed nose. "Of course I wield a spoon! What else would I stir my tea with?"


Charli Poshkettle wrote:
Charli Poshkettle marches up to the Wolf and waves her spoon right under his well-developed nose. "Of course I wield a spoon! What else would I stir my tea with?"

Digs up a femur


Ascalaphus wrote:
If I wanted to play a charismatic celebrity I could do that with 16 or 18.

True, but with an 18 you don't need a rich dad. You can't be a charismatic celebrity without being much charismatic. With a 16, you're no world class material at all, with a 14 you're just part of the wallpaper next to Brad Pitt, you can be a Youtuber if you want.

Ascalaphus wrote:
If an outside observer was seeing my charisma 16 and your charisma 18 character compete, and couldn't see our d20 but only hear who won the opposed rolls, and I got just lucky enough to roll 2 higher than you a large part of the evening, then he'd be hard pressed to say which character was more charismatic.

He would say the low Charisma person was very good at speaking.

Magnetism, attractiveness, aura, all these words describe an 18 Charisma character, but not a 16 one. Then, there are the skills, but it's something else. Someone with 18 Strength and 1 in Athletism is stronger than someone with 10 Strength and 10 in Athletism, period. But he's worse at Athletism, and only Athletism. If they do arm wrestling, the guy with 18 is supposed to win.
The 18 Charisma guy is more charismatic than the 16 Charisma guy, period. There are no rolls or skills which will change that.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ccharacter resides in the player. Not on the sheet.

Lawful good's overrated, just play paladin for the bonus to saving throws!

If the party faces a riddle and you play an 8 Intelligence Soldier, if you find the solution do you say it to the party?


SuperBidi wrote:
If the party faces a riddle and you play an 8 Intelligence Soldier, if you find the solution do you say it to the party?

No, but the difference between an 8 and a 14 is rather noticable. A 16 and an 18 on something harder to measure not so much.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
No, but the difference between an 8 and a 14 is rather noticable. A 16 and an 18 on something harder to measure not so much.

And if he had a 10 in Intelligence, would you give the solution?


@Arutema, pantshandshake: I'd always assumed 'spoony' came from 'I'd eat them up with a spoon', i.e. the person is being compared to ice cream. I'd be surprised if a video game was the original source tho' it might have popularised the term in your social circles.

@BigNorseWolf: Starfinder buffing is generally less impressive than in Pathfinder (PF1). It might be that players are trying to scrape in every last +1 to avoid feeling bad at that job.


SuperBidi wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
No, but the difference between an 8 and a 14 is rather noticable. A 16 and an 18 on something harder to measure not so much.
And if he had a 10 in Intelligence, would you give the solution?

Given 10 Intelligence traditionally was average intelligence (even if adventurers only really go up now) I absolutely would.

avr wrote:
@Arutema, pantshandshake: I'd always assumed 'spoony' came from 'I'd eat them up with a spoon', i.e. the person is being compared to ice cream. I'd be surprised if a video game was the original source tho' it might have popularised the term in your social circles.

I've also only ever heard it originating from the game. Which, since FFIV came out in 1991, it doesn't seem unreasonable for a game in that time period to be the origin for a term that circulated from there through geek culture.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
SuperBidi wrote:
If the party faces a riddle and you play an 8 Intelligence Soldier, if you find the solution do you say it to the party?
No, but the difference between an 8 and a 14 is rather noticable. A 16 and an 18 on something harder to measure not so much.

The point is that, when you stop talking mechanics and start talking role play, numbers no longer have a real meaning.

A 16 doesn't make me role play my character as less charismatic than an 18. The only thing it effects is dice rolls.

In fact, saying you're the most charismatic person in the universe, because role play, and then pointing to your 18 in charisma on the sheet, is literally the OPPOSITE of role playing.

Secondary in fact, a charisma 10 character and a charisma 18 character can make the same in-character charismatic speech, at which point the GM will say “Ok, make a (insert skill) check.” 10 Charisma guy rolls a 20, 18 charisma guy rolls a 4. Guess who is more charismatic in both role play and mechanics in this instance? That’s right, charisma 10 guy.

I don’t have an opinion in the spoony vs non-spoony argument. This isn’t a job, being the most efficient shouldn’t be the benchmark, having the most fun should be. If you have fun being spoony, spoon it up. But coming in here and equating your character numbers with your character role playing is such a fallacy, I’m having a hard time even arguing it.


Shinigami02 wrote:

Given 10 Intelligence traditionally was average intelligence (even if adventurers only really go up now) I absolutely would.

Me too. I was pointing out that a difference in 2 in an attribute is actually very easy to understand.

Between 16 and 18 Charisma, there is a clear difference. It's like comparing an average politician to Trump, Poutine or Obama. High Charisma to world class Charisma.

Pantshandshake wrote:

Secondary in fact, a charisma 10 character and a charisma 18 character can make the same in-character charismatic speech, at which point the GM will say “Ok, make a (insert skill) check.”

At my tables, the DM will ask you to stay in his role (the players, too, we have such a player, who always roleplay like if he had Charisma whatever the Charisma of his character, and he pisses us off). If you roleplay a 10 Charisma character like an 18 Charisma character, then you're out of your roleplay. It's like giving solutions to riddles with an 8 Intelligence. You do what you do, but don't be sad if people say your bad at roleplaying your characters, or if they say you always play your characters the same way.

A 10 Charisma character is bland. He's not someone you listen to. So people cut him and start speaking instead of him or more or less kindly remind him to stay at his role.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm seeing a lot of unnecessary defensiveness in this thread. The premise of the original post is in no way hostile, and poses a fair question.

No one is saying it's objectively wrong to build a character one way or another. The OP just happens to see a lot of people building envoys focused on indirect contribution to combat, when an alternative playstyle is readily available.

Being in a party with one "spoony bard" I got to see exactly how it came to be, and I can identify several factors:

1. Unfamiliarity With the System. Our envoy saw that they were proficient with small arms, and didn't realize how little damage they do, and felt it was fine to stick with it. 10 levels later we're considering doing some retraining.

2. Juicy Sounding Feats. Our envoy currently has Antagonize, Enhanced Resistance, Fast Talk, Unfriendly Fire, and Weapon Focus. Turns out, Fast Talk and Unfriendly Fire are incredibly situational, but at the time sounded right up their alley. Weapon Proficiency and Specialization would have taken their place.

3. Lack of Comfort With Multiclassing. Being new to the system, our Envoy didn't even consider a dip into Soldier, and multiclassing is somewhat troublesome for manually adding up HP and skill points for a new player.

4. Roleplay. The player's concept was a non-combatant ambassador, and put their starting stats into charisma, dexterity, wisdom, and intelligence. It's taken a while to make up the starting dexterity deficit, so their accuracy has suffered, making them lean further into a build focused on not shooting.


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

Trying to make friends and influence people with mediocre charisma is something that happens all the time with real people. This even applies to making speeches. Toastmasters, Little League Coaches and butterbars are all real world phenomena.

If someone with lower charisma tries to convince people of things, that isn't bad roleplay. Charisma on the character sheet determines how well they pull it off, but the idea that they're wrong for attempting it makes no sense.


HammerJack wrote:

Trying to make friends and influence people with mediocre charisma is something that happens all the time with real people. This even applies to making speeches. Toastmasters, Little League Coaches and butterbars are all real world phenomena.

If someone with lower charisma tries to convince people of things, that isn't bad roleplay. Charisma on the character sheet determines how well they pull it off, but the idea that they're wrong for attempting it makes no sense.

That's not what I say. I say that you should not roleplay an 18 Charisma character the way you roleplay a 10 Charisma character.

If my character has to speak, and if he has 18 in Charisma, I'll make the best speech I can, something appealing, as magistral as my interpretation can be.
If my character has only 10 in Charisma, I'll play him hesitantly, reluctantly speaking, making mistakes and things like that.
It's not the action, but the way you make it. If you play a 10 Charisma character like Churchill, then god, this is just bad roleplay. Other players are supposed to feel your character.

It's like the riddle question I've made to BNW: As a player, you can have the solution, but as a character, you may not give it. Being able to do something as a player doesn't mean your character is able to do it as well as you do.


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

Unsurprisingly, most players giving their best speech will provide a very accurate portrayal of an average charisma character giving their best speech. Very few players best speech is going to be delivered as well as a highly skilled maximum charisma character. But it doesn't need to be. What comes out of the player's mouth is about establishing what kind of approach the character is attempting to take, nit about how well they do it.

The style of address they try to use is not tied to a charisma score. A lower charisma character can totally try for magisterial, they're just more likely to come across as pompous, instead. By the same token, a very charismatic character could go much more lowkey and relatable, with the same approach that might just read as "yokel" when done badly. You can certainly play your uncharismatic character as hesitant, and that isn't wrong, but neither is someone else's character overreaching, and trying to pull off the Churchill speech that they don't have the chops for. It's only wrong when they expect the quality of their speech OOC to prevent the character flubbing it IC.


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I do want to join in and say, SuperBidi I do feel you're placing too much emphasis on starting with 18 in a stat.

Especially on a Envoy. Most of their class abilities don't even depend on charisma. Mechanically there is a 5% difference between starting with an 18 in charisma vs a 16 (for the relevant related abilities). But that 5% could be applied to make a more well rounded character.

I had more I wanted to say but go side tracked and interrupted while I was making this post, so I'll just end here.


Claxon wrote:
Especially on a Envoy. Most of their class abilities don't even depend on charisma. Mechanically there is a 5% difference between starting with an 18 in charisma vs a 16 (for the relevant related abilities). But that 5% could be applied to make a more well rounded character.

Not everything is game mechanics.

If I describe a 7ft tall Vesk with overdevelopped muscles and then say he has 10 in Strength, everyone will say there's an issue.
If I say my character has a degree from Harvard and a few years of work at Google with a 10 Intelligence and no point in Computers, everyone will see an issue.
If I describe a celebrity with sex appeal and magnetism, he will have 18 in Charisma. With 14, I describe my uncle Harry who's making jokes at the Christmas table and is quite a funny lad.
To me, there's a difference between 14 and 18 Charisma. The mechanics are not important, I speak of what the numbers describe. A 14 Charisma guy is average charismatic. With his friends, he's the spirit of the party. But that's all.
An 18 Charisma character has an aura. Next to him, the 14 Charisma character looks bland and uninteresting. He may be good at diplomacy, he can convince his friends of whatever he wants, but next to an 18 Charisma character, he's just invisible.

But well, looks like I'm trying to use the character sheet to describe my character. And it's not what people make. I find that strange.

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