A Discussion on Envoys


General Discussion

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I'm fully aware that players use EAC melee weapons. I have a bombardier soldier with a Sonic pickaxe. That does not invalidate the fact that most melee options, especially the favor given to natural and unarmed attacks, target KAC. That's a simple fact. I am also fully aware that kac weapons, in either the ranged or melee category, do more damage. A tac semi auto does 1d6, wheras comperable energy weapons do 1d4. It is worth noting however that those same weapons have shorter ranges than their energy counterparts. This only reinforces my stance that, as a rule of thumb, kac = closer = harder to hit but more damage. Wheras EAC = further with same accuracy = less damage. Again, this is not a hard and fast rule, I never claimed it applied to all weapons, but it applies to enough of them that saying "most" is justified, and it's a reliable rule of thumb.

The same applies to monsters. You are pulling monsters who's kac is lower than expectation, I can find monsters I'm sure who have higher than expectation. Besides, it doesn't matter if the difference is 1, 2, or 10. It's a safe bet that if you are trying to decide to attack EAC or kac, EAC is going to be lower. There isn't enough outlier to establish itself as a norm rather than an exception.


Pogiforce wrote:
I'm fully aware that players use EAC melee weapons. I have a bombardier soldier with a Sonic pickaxe. That does not invalidate the fact that most melee options, especially the favor given to natural and unarmed attacks, target KAC. That's a simple fact.

It's simple, certainly.

As usual, my responses to people like you aren't meant to help you, but hopefully they are able to clarify things for other people reading the read.

Pogiforce wrote:
Besides, it doesn't matter if the difference is 1, 2, or 10.

Yeah, I definitely can't help you.


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

I'm not actually sure where this idea that melee has to target KAC comes from. There are plenty of EAC targeting melee weapons.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

Being the ships engineer works.

Engineering is a class skill, envoys can snag a D6 in it, and int is a good stat for envoys. And Since you only recharge shields (trying to overpower everything at once is a terrible option) you don't need an uber engineering score.

And you can stylize your weapon as a giant honking wrench.

Hmm have you made a Brakim yet?

They have a Cha penalty, but a Dex and Engineering bonus; might be interesting to make one as an Envoy who "charms" machines into working.

Like the Fonz kicking the jukebox to start it up... only they can kick it from 10 feet away...

Just a funny thought.


Xenocrat wrote:
Pogiforce wrote:
I'm fully aware that players use EAC melee weapons. I have a bombardier soldier with a Sonic pickaxe. That does not invalidate the fact that most melee options, especially the favor given to natural and unarmed attacks, target KAC. That's a simple fact.

It's simple, certainly.

As usual, my responses to people like you aren't meant to help you, but hopefully they are able to clarify things for other people reading the read.

Pogiforce wrote:
Besides, it doesn't matter if the difference is 1, 2, or 10.
Yeah, I definitely can't help you.

I'm not sure I like what you are implying. What do you mean "people like me", and what makes you think I wanted or needed your help?

HammerJack wrote:
I'm not actually sure where this idea that melee has to target KAC comes from. There are plenty of EAC targeting melee weapons.

And I'm sure there are plenty of people who use apple computers.

Again, I'm not saying those options don't exist. They are just in a minority in both quantity and favor. Especially since amped up natural attacks are such a popular melee choice.


In practice, I see a lot of people using

- the ring of fangs and a punching vesk which targets KAC but does 2x level specialization damage

-solarion weapons which target KAC

-tactical pikes (I don't know if there's a reach EAC weapon?)

-ranged EAC weapon

- The singing disks are gaining some popularity as the better, sonic, eac targeting starknife.


Like I said, I chose a Sonic pickaxe for my soldier, but mainly because he's a stereotypical mining profession dwarf. I think sonic, like in Pathfinder, is the most favorable energy type because barely anything resists it. So unless they nerf sonic effects somehow with errata, or present more monsters with resistance/ immunity, players are going to naturally gravitate to it. Especially since I think sources of sonic damage are more readily available in Starfinder.

Tangent to back on topics, how about a fun envoy improv that let's Envoys treat shout weapons as a class proficiency? Maybe a higher level improv that gets them 1.5 or 2.0 level to damage with shout guns. Would give Envoys another cool must have improv. Iunno, just an idea. I like throwing ideas around in case a Dev sees it and goes "that's a good idea" and does something like that for a future book. Suggestions, really.

Exo-Guardians

BigNorseWolf wrote:


-tactical pikes (I don't know if there's a reach EAC weapon?)

I use a Yellow Star Plasma Lance, which has Reach.

Also fun are the Shadow and Burning Chains, and the various energy lashes, including the Disintigrator Lash, which has the Living property, in addition to Reach.

These are all Advanced Melee Weapons, though. The only Basic weapons with Reach are the Lance series from Armory, which target KAC. That's what my Envoy uses.

As an aside, it should be noted that, as a Vesk with Improved Unarmed Strike and the Unarmed Mauler gear boost, I have pretty good unarmed attacks, but hitting EAC with Reach is such a huge upgrade that I generally only use unarmed when I am trying to take the enemy alive (embarrassing when I crit them with the bleed condition, let me tell you...).


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Claxon wrote:
Pogiforce wrote:
I also thought Inspiring Boost would be first, since anyone can shoot things but battlefield healing is at a premium.

It's at best a once per combat per person heal.

I can tell you that my experience for my melee soldier is that it would basically negate one attack that I took. Which isn't bad, but also isn't as useful generally, as the attack bonus. And denying everyone the attack bonus that round to do it, is the real problem. Although, I guess you could regular Get 'Em and do Inspiring Boost. It's still on the lack luster side, in my opinion.

The only problem with limiting it to once per person per combat is that usually damage is not evenly distributed. My melee solider takes a majority of the damage most of the time (unless I'm not doing my job or we get rushed by lots of melee enemies at once).

I think it depends how long your "adventuring days" are. Inspiring boost just used once on each person per day is not that impressive but you can do that every single combat if you have minimal breaks and the resolve saving means you can as a group afford to push and do more than a group without an envoy could safely. Over the course of an adventure it adds up to a lot of damage mitigation.

If you are in a group that does one or two fights and then does a long rest then yes probably not that useful.

Sovereign Court

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Voyd211 wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
Well. The statement that Starfinder favors ranged combat is pretty shaky. Well everyone should absolutely have a ranged weapon, and the addition of the Gunner Harness to heavy weapons has closed the gap up a lot, melee is where the real damage is.
That's... honestly news to me. While I haven't been able to play Starfinder myself yet, the sheer prevalence of firearms makes it seem like melee attacks are best left on the wayside. If every goon has a gun (which, if they're non-kasatha humanoids, they're going to), then you'll probably get turned into Swiss cheese on the way up to them.

In theory, but not in practice. See, most combats start with the combatants fairly close together. Most combats start when you open a door or walk past some trees in an alien jungle. Combats that start with more than 60ft distance between you and the enemy are the exception. They happen, but not all that often.

And the divide between melee characters and ranged characters isn't so hard. Thrown weapons use Strength to hit in Starfinder, and the Called fusion means you can cheaply get a Starknife that you can throw over and over again while closing in on the enemy, moving from cover to cover.

Sovereign Court

Pogiforce wrote:

Melee attacks are also mostly against KAC, whereas most guns are against EAC. Combine that with accuracy boosters, and ranged attacks are generally safer and more likely to hit. But melee attacks do more damage. As was said earlier, it's a risk/reward thing.

I'm not sure how melee would work as an Envoy.

Since Armory, there are a lot of EAC-hitting (advanced) melee weapons. Since Strength and Weapon Specialization make up a large part of the damage, the small loss in smaller damage dice is easily made up for in hitting more often.

For example: a level 3 soldier with Melee Striker as gear boost and Strength 18 wields Acolyte Shadow Chains for 1d3+9 vs. EAC or a longsword for 1d8+9 against KAC.

He can also throw a Called Sopranino Singing Disc for 1d4+9 Sonic damage, again against EAC.


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kaid wrote:


If you are in a group that does one or two fights and then does a long rest then yes probably not that useful.

It's still a once per combat heal.

There's a few levels of hurt in this game

Fresh as a daisy
Out of staminia
Into hit points
Taking an involuntary nap
dead

Since the target of inspiring boost needs to rest to be inspired again the most common form of hurt (resting for staminia) the inspiring boost just doesn't matter that much. You're either resting for staminia or you're not.

Hit point damage isn't that big of a deal: even if you don't have a mystic with healing touch six packs of healing serums are cheap

So it really only matters if you drop. Inspiring boost scales terribly compared to incoming damage to prevent that from happening. It's a standard action to use to its full effect , which if you've optimized other aspects of the character could be better used dropping someone a round sooner.


Agreed that it would be a lot more appealing if it was just once per combat without the need to rest in between.

Soldier gets hit, takes 13 points of damage. Level 4 Envoy Inspiring Boosts, recovers 12. Soldier is left with 1 stamina point of damage. that's it for that combat. takes a few more points of damage as things go, ends up with about 10 Stamina Damage. He's still got 22 Stamina left, so they keep going.

Next combat, soldier gets hit, takes 9 points of damage. Inspiring Boost, he's at 7 stamina damage. takes another 6 before the end of the combat, he's now down 13. Only slightly worse off than before, let's keep going.

Big baddie time, not thte boss but definitely mean. Soldier takes a wopping 20 points of damage, 1 point of that goes into HP. Inspiring Boost the Soldier, he has 12 stamina points. Fighting continues, he loses another 20 points of damage, which eats up that stamina and puts him into 8 health. He now has no stamina, and 8 HP damage. Maybe Time for a break.

If this was how the rules are now:

Soldier gets hit, takes 13. Envoy recovers 12. takes more, ends up at 10 damage.

next fight, takes 9 more, then six more. down 23 stamina, only 9 stamina remaining. The Soldier is ballsy, insists on continuing.

big baddie hits for 20. Soldier is now 11 points into HP. takes another 20 hit, that's 31 HP and the Soldier is down. He's now spending his RP to stabilize instead of recover stamina, and he's still got all that HP damage unless he wants to burn limited use resources.

If you have a party taking a rest every time between fights, they're being overly cautious, and ten minute breaks add up to a lot of time sitting around when the party may have urgent business to attend to. So to me, taking a rest after every fight is not ideal.

I get that they don't want people spamming Inspiring Boost. If they could always do it, it's kinda like DR on tap. Guy takes 10 points of damage, but when the level 2 envoy inspiring boosts for 8 really he only took 2. At that point you're trying to outdamage the cheering squad, and multiple Envoys only makes this worse. So I get it, don't let them spam it. But once per ten minute rest is very limited. Once per Combat lets you get more mileage out of the party before a rest without it becoming spammy. A suggestion to the Devs. Would certainly make Inspiring Boost more appealing, at least.


My two cents on the matter:

I think that for a class without any spellcasting, good chassis and completely modular (Improvisations), the Envoys options as a whole range from no-brainer (Clever Feint line, Get'em line and mostly because it's the only source of SP heal instead of actually being good:Inspiring Boost) to almost useless (Most 8th-level improvisations).

I think the class has a sever lack of inspired features and mechanics built into it. Honestly, I find it's very hard to actually look at an improvisation and think "wow I really want to USE THIS!!", instead you're mostly just paying taxes (Clever Attack and Improved Get'em/Dispiriting Taunt) or looking for options that would hardly come up and not be as useful as something that's the core of your class should be. For Example: Look Alive (This ability is simply boring), Watch Your Step (Should be re-roll at 1st level), Duck Under (should be a reaction that initially gives bonus AC), there's way more that could be changed without making the class insane.

I feel like that when you look at the Envoys improvisations ,that aren't the main ones (undeniably useful, but could be implemented better to allow a more smooth play from the get-go), everything else is just subpar or something that is interesting only in its latest form and even so, they aren't even as powerful as spells (which, in my opinion, they should, because they're the ONLY thing that the envoy has).

My dream is to have an Envoy class that has a lot more actual tools that shape the way they play. Not just a combo of Get'em/Clever Feint with whatever else you're less annoyed to pick up.

To paint a clearer picture, it would be great to play an inspiring Envoy that issue orders/battlecries into battle and have the freedom to do other things that are also meaningful. Because currently, the Envoy that does that is the one focusing on Get'em... But it must be used EVERY round, otherwise, you're not doing your job because you don't have BAB, neither combat features that will make it worth NOT get'em every round. It's even more exacerbated when you need to take any action that is not Get'em. Cut the taxes, I'm pretty sure that the envoy will not be overpowering any class with it, it will only be more reward to choose your part.

Wanna keep the Envoy's progression strictly improvisation-only? Fine. But make them actual tools in the Envoy's belt, not just minor situational bonuses that aren't worth the action or choice.

Okay, this ended being more than two cents. Sorry. But I wanted this out, because I really like the type of character that Envoys could represent (I'm more of a Firefly/Cowboy Bebop/Hitchhiker's Guide kind of guy) and I really want them to be a fun class to play. Creating a character you love is really easy and doesn't matter the class, but a good chunk of this game focuses on combat and playing a class that's stuck between a limbo of strong but seriously limiting and highly situational yet almost negligible abilities is not ideal, to say the list, specially for someone that wants to be a support character that doesn't have spells.


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Expert attack is expensive but amazing if you've invested in your offense (and there really is very little lost by NOT investing in your offense)

Improved hurry is amazballs. Your meatshield (who probably has a haste circuit) can now 5 foot step into combat, full attack, and then 5 foot step OUT of combat , nearly halving the damage they'll take while still full attacking.

But yes, the rest are bad and what makes it even worse: 8 is the highest level of envoy ability there is. So... what are you supposed to take for the next 12 levels?


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BigNorseWolf wrote:

Expert attack is expensive but amazing if you've invested in your offense (and there really is very little lost by NOT investing in your offense)

Improved hurry is amazballs. Your meatshield (who probably has a haste circuit) can now 5 foot step into combat, full attack, and then 5 foot step OUT of combat , nearly halving the damage they'll take while still full attacking.

But yes, the rest are bad and what makes it even worse: 8 is the highest level of envoy ability there is. So... what are you supposed to take for the next 12 levels?

Expert Attack, Expanded Attunement, Universal Expression, Long Range Improvisations and Clever Improvisations are in my pool of things that should've been inherent abilities for the class. They are just abilities that enhance your main shtick and are also very underwhelming as an option.

Also, I don't think the class is weak as a whole or anything, it's just that it has so little and what it does have is for some random reason, either full of restrictions or don't do enough. I just wish the class had more reactions, swift actions and ways to contribute to combat without doing Get'em EVERY round.

The Bard in PF2e has a similar mechanic, but it's miles superior, you not only have the opportunity to extend the duration of your buff so you are not just a slave repeating the same task each 6 seconds, but it's also a way stronger (+1 hit and +1 dmg, for the party not against a target), I really can't see a reason why the Envoy must be shouting every 6 seconds over and over, repeating orders (or "quipping" if you're playing a silly character).

I can't think of a good reason why they made such an important ability (I know that Get'em benefit is premium) so restrictive, and it's not the only feature. It's just silly. And I used it a ton when I played, the first round it was kinda nice, my character would just pick the most suitable target and rally the party to focus fire on the guy... Then the next rounds it was just "I used Get'em..." to keep the bonus going. Just a chore. I'm focusing Get'em because it's one of the best things about the class and everything else was just "meh".

Meanwhile, the other aspect of the class is overshadowed by Operatives. That can do the social aspects quite well (except the handful of choices an Envoy picks) and are miles better at combat (Even though I'm also not a huge fan of trick attack, it at least offer different ways to approach the same ability and it's not must use every round).

Exo-Guardians

"Shoot the one with an icicle in his (*#*#$$"

Mook "Wait what? "

**fires zamboni**


There's a lot of good feedback here. It sounds like The Envoy is undenisbly useful, but nonetheless limited in it's usefulness and not terribly exciting to play. I hope paizo is seeing this feedback, and might be looking at ways to errata/fix these issues before the core book update. It's a core class, and the first one listed in the book. It's a shame it leaves so many people underwhelmed...

Sovereign Court

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I think in broad strokes, you could improve envoys a lot by adopting some principles for giving them abilities:

* "Attrition costs" are things that tick down during the adventuring day and you don't regain them until you take a long rest. Resolve is an attrition cost. Spells are an attrition cost. "Once per combat" is not an attrition cost. "Once between uses of Resolve to regain Stamina" is an attrition cost.

* "Repeat limits" are things that stop you from using an ability over and over again, even if it has a cost. Spells don't have a repeat limit. "Spend 1 resolve" is not a repeat limit. "Once per target between rests" is a repeat limit. "Once per combat" is a repeat limit. "Once per day" is a repeat limit.

* Abilities that make the party do something better (Get 'Em) but don't accomplish anything on their own (a to hit bonus doesn't do something unless someone shoots) should be swift actions.

* Abilities that are a form of attack (Improved Get 'Em) usually should be standard actions.

* Abilities that you can expect to be useful every round of a combat, or repeat many rounds in a row, should not be move actions. Exception: if the ability also moves you. The goal is to avoid nailing the envoy to the floor because he's spending all his actions to keep up a routine.

* Abilities that give someone more actions than they'd normally have should cost more actions than they're giving. Hurry for example gives a sort of move action and costs a standard. This can be discounted if there's an attrition cost or a repeat limit.

* Avoid designing abilities that give other characters extra standard or full actions. That opens the door to both double whammy attack stratagems, and encourages an unfun playstyle where one primadonna character soaks up actions from others that can only stand around and applaud. This can be discounted if there's an attrition cost or a repeat limit.

* Abilities that mitigate a loss of action economy (like removing Frightened) can be less costly than the actions they're giving back. It's part of the envoy's role to keep everyone else in the fight, but not at the cost of being completely locked out yourself. For significant conditions, it's okay that it costs a standard action, but then the mitigating effect should last longer than a round (for example, spend a standard action to suspend a condition for Cha-mod rounds, or spend a standard and a resolve point to remove a condition).

* Healing actions should always be bounded by an attrition cost. In the interests of stopping the party from burning all its juice in one combat (and to discourage building that style of encounters by the GM), healing actions should also have a repeat limit.

* Condition removal actions can have an attrition cost, but because many conditions can be inflicted repeatedly, be very careful with adding repeat limits. If you're using a repeat limit, then the condition removal should also make it harder to inflict that condition on the person you helped (like a saving throw bonus to avoid reinfection).

* Abilities that prevent other characters from being out of the fight for a long time (like getting Frightened and running away, and then having to run back) make for excellent Reactions.

* When writing Reactions that would give someone a bonus on a save or AC against an incoming attack, be especially clear on when you need to commit to the Reaction. Is it before the roll is made, after the roll is made but before the outcome is determined, or when the outcome is determined but your bonus might just change it? Avoid writing a power that you have to take [opportunity cost] so that you spend a precious Reaction [opportunity cost] to give a bonus that you don't know if it'll help. If you have to pay a double opportunity cost, you should be fairly sure you'll get your money's worth.

* Keep an eye on narrowness of abilities vs. their power. In particular, consider the opportunity cost of taking a narrow ability. An ability is narrow if the PCs have little control over how often and when it will be applicable. For example, using Get 'Em to target an enemy is not narrow at all. Giving one PC an AC bonus for a round as a move action is quite narrow: it's only worthwhile if the PC gets attacked, (or not, if the special goal was to discourage attacking a wounded PC). If the enemy just goes on to hunt other PCs then you didn't get a lot of bang for your improvisation. If the AC bonus was given as a Reaction when the PC was targeted, it's a lot less narrow. Given the same cost, narrow abilities should do more. So don't write an ability that gives small bonuses to saves against grenades. Enemies deciding to throw grenades is narrow. So the power should go up: give the PCs a chance to throw the grenades back before they explode.

* Avoid "tax" powers. Don't make people take lame powers as a prerequisite for cool powers. Any power that you would never use again after taking the next step up the ladder, is bad design. Any power that you would never take if it didn't lead to another power, is bad design.

* Believe in the awesomeness of Envoys. They're in a good design position to give them fantastical awesome scene-shaping powers, without quite getting so unhinged as you used to get with 9-level casters that make their own demiplanes and stop time. But be ready to push past "highly competent mundane" at higher levels.


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Ascalaphus wrote:

I think in broad strokes, you could improve envoys a lot by adopting some principles for giving them abilities:

...

Everything said here sums up everything I feel about the state of the class. It even brought some issues I didn't stop to think more thoroughly.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Sovereign Court

So from what I hear, in the beginner box, Get 'Em is a free action. I'd have gone with Swift, but I don't know the BB even has swift actions. But I do think it's an improvement.


Ascalaphus wrote:
So from what I hear, in the beginner box, Get 'Em is a free action. I'd have gone with Swift, but I don't know the BB even has swift actions. But I do think it's an improvement.

sounds like something that needs to carry over.


Ascalaphus wrote:
So from what I hear, in the beginner box, Get 'Em is a free action. I'd have gone with Swift, but I don't know the BB even has swift actions. But I do think it's an improvement.

Swift is a good spot of it to be in. Free Action is a bit too much. Unless it becomes a free action when it's done together with other actions (like it currently is with "Improved" Get'em).


Lightning Raven wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
So from what I hear, in the beginner box, Get 'Em is a free action. I'd have gone with Swift, but I don't know the BB even has swift actions. But I do think it's an improvement.
Swift is a good spot of it to be in. Free Action is a bit too much. Unless it becomes a free action when it's done together with other actions (like it currently is with "Improved" Get'em).

The funny thing is, if it was a swift improved may need to be.... Well, Improved. Part of the charm of improved is it turns the move action into basically a free while you attack, plus the additional +1 to hit and +2 vs all enemies if the resolve is spent.improved effectively turns get em into a free/swift action. The thing is as a swift action, get em would be extremely similar in terms of action economy. So the Improved action exonomy of improved get em may not be as appealing.

Sovereign Court

Pogiforce wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
So from what I hear, in the beginner box, Get 'Em is a free action. I'd have gone with Swift, but I don't know the BB even has swift actions. But I do think it's an improvement.
Swift is a good spot of it to be in. Free Action is a bit too much. Unless it becomes a free action when it's done together with other actions (like it currently is with "Improved" Get'em).
The funny thing is, if it was a swift improved may need to be.... Well, Improved. Part of the charm of improved is it turns the move action into basically a free while you attack, plus the additional +1 to hit and +2 vs all enemies if the resolve is spent.improved effectively turns get em into a free/swift action. The thing is as a swift action, get em would be extremely similar in terms of action economy. So the Improved action exonomy of improved get em may not be as appealing.

Yes and no. The list of points I posted earlier today was meant as a package:

* Boosts that aren't themselves attacks should be swift (like basic Get 'Em)
* Things that are attacks should be standard (like Improved Get 'Em)
* Move actions are only for improvisations that also involve the envoy moving.

The idea is that the envoy becomes very swift action oriented: every turn you're yelling at your team to do something in a particular way, while also doing something yourself with your standard action, and you can always move about.

Improved Get 'Em is relevant then because you're giving a bigger bonus (which is important), but also because it frees up your swift action to use on other improvisations that are also swift actions.

Also, this paradigm would encourage envoys to pick up big unwieldy weapons. I'm okay with leadership by cannon...


Well. Honestly, there shouldn't be an "improved" version anyways. Because this is just making the previous version obsolete. So the first and only version of "Get'em" you would pick up would progress naturally over levels. Until it reached the status of free action when used with other action. Casters are still quadratic, why not add a little more spice for non-casters as well?

There's plenty of them that do that... Sadly they start out as very underwhelming and improve to usable very later on. I get that they wanted to keep high-level in control and tame. But I find it very unnecessary to keep the "cool" stuff - a HUGE stretch when we're talking about Improvisations- for later when not only the game is more often player at lower levels, but it's also when you choices impacts your character the most, due to the lack of any other features beside your Improvisations.

Sovereign Court

I'm not sure casters are really all that quadratic, considering that most spells don't scale with level.

I agree that "improved" talents are a plague on design though.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Pogiforce wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
So from what I hear, in the beginner box, Get 'Em is a free action. I'd have gone with Swift, but I don't know the BB even has swift actions. But I do think it's an improvement.
Swift is a good spot of it to be in. Free Action is a bit too much. Unless it becomes a free action when it's done together with other actions (like it currently is with "Improved" Get'em).
The funny thing is, if it was a swift improved may need to be.... Well, Improved. Part of the charm of improved is it turns the move action into basically a free while you attack, plus the additional +1 to hit and +2 vs all enemies if the resolve is spent.improved effectively turns get em into a free/swift action. The thing is as a swift action, get em would be extremely similar in terms of action economy. So the Improved action exonomy of improved get em may not be as appealing.

Yes and no. The list of points I posted earlier today was meant as a package:

* Boosts that aren't themselves attacks should be swift (like basic Get 'Em)
* Things that are attacks should be standard (like Improved Get 'Em)
* Move actions are only for improvisations that also involve the envoy moving.

The idea is that the envoy becomes very swift action oriented: every turn you're yelling at your team to do something in a particular way, while also doing something yourself with your standard action, and you can always move about.

Improved Get 'Em is relevant then because you're giving a bigger bonus (which is important), but also because it frees up your swift action to use on other improvisations that are also swift actions.

Also, this paradigm would encourage envoys to pick up big unwieldy weapons. I'm okay with leadership by cannon...

I disagree with that because of the action economy. If get em was a swift, but improved get em let's you do it as a standard with an attack, yeah the bonus is one higher, but in using your Improved get em that way you are dedicating your standard action to attacking. Whereas regular get em, if a swift action, may use your Swift action but frees up your standard action to use how you see fit. Like drink a serum, or hack a computer, or perform first aid on a downed ally. Yeah the bonus is one higher, but you're giving up versatility in combat when you do that, and I'm not counting the all enemies in 60 feet get em because that has a resource cost and you're not going to do that Everytime you use get em.

I think if they are going to have improved get em and not just have it, say, improve by 1 for every 4 envoy levels, it needs to be a bigger difference than another +1, with a resource cost to get em all foes in 60. Maybe have it default to bonuses to both attack and damage, instead of that having a resource cost.


As someone who greatly enjoys his Envoy (in Society play), I'll add my two cents.

I do think Envoys could use a boost in some way, but personally, I don't think action economy is what's needed, but either a small injection of power or long(er)-term buffs.
To me, the action economy feels nice. I wouldn't complain if more things became move actions, but in general I don't feel like I'm dragging the team down by playing my Envoy. My main beef is that nearly all Improvisations only last one round. Pathfinder Bards were absolute buffing monsters, where the longer a fight lasted, the better the team became. But here, you can basically have only one or two buffs running at a time. Applying the same buff over and over feels a little tiresome. If I'm spending my standard action on it, I either want it to actually do something, or last longer, so it's a worthwhile investment. I haven't played high level yet (she's level 7), but I feel like Get 'Em is a trap. It's a bonus of only +1, or +2 if you choose it twice. I'm pretty sure the math works differently than in Pathfinder, but at least there Inspire Courage leveled up along with you. Once you combine that with Clever Feint, that's a swing of 3 (or 4), that's something, at least. If that Get 'Em bonus was higher, I'd consider taking it, even though it's only a move action. I'm already losing lots of standard actions, but if I can't move at all during my turn, things become too static. And same with longer-lasting Get 'Em. As it's only one turn, I wouldn't bother with it. But if it lasted two or three rounds (or, say, half your level), I can throw it up, move around some, and refresh it when it's either run out or I don't have a better use for a move action.

I've heard people complain about Envoys being "boring" because they can't participate in the most fun part of combat: shooting. For me, that's not true. Envoys are a little puzzle: what buff do I need to hand out this turn? Those buffs are usually better than trying to hit the thing myself, but I can imagine building a combat-focused Envoy. Anyway, messing with the action economy could also be an interesting thing. Something like Clerics did in the 2.0 Playtest with Channel Energy. One action, healing a little bit. Two actions, healing more. Three actions, healing a lot. Then the puzzle I mentioned above will become more interesting. I can throw out two or three buffs at once, at varying intensity/duration. Say I use Get 'Em. Move action, +1. Standard action, +2. Full action, +3. Let's not mess with swifts just yet. If my team's having trouble hitting, I can modulate how big a boost they're getting, as well as doing something else. Combine that with Inspiring Boost (let's say, move action, level + CHA Stamina back, standard action double level + CHA Stamina, full action and perhaps a Resolve, triple level + CHA Stamina) and you can either heal a little and buff a lot, or buff a lot and heal a little. And again, this could work across both axes: more actions = higher buff, or more actions = longer duration (would only make sense for some improvisations, obviously).


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Quote:
but I feel like Get 'Em is a trap. It's a bonus of only +1, or +2 if you choose it twice.

The thing with get em is that regular get em being a move action is fine IF you don't need to move and improved get em is functionally a free action if you shoot/swing the right weapon (like an unwieldy one)

It's also a unique bonus. If you try making the target flat footed you're competing with the other abilities that do that, and most do it better. Envoy flat footed is only kinda sorta flat footed whereas envoy flat footed stops aoos and the like as well as giving the hit bonus. Thats well worth waiting a level or two for the improved version to come online.

So your default action economy eventually becomes move action to either move into position or use a move action hurry, and then get em with the heavy gun.

I really wanted to make a second envoy for sFS but i can't see not taking the same exact improvs all over again.


Quentin Coldwater wrote:
I've heard people complain about Envoys being "boring" because they can't participate in the most fun part of combat: shooting.

That's not true even on it's own. The basic class doesn't support being a combat type, but it only takes a few feats to pick up a heavy weapon and go to town. As a bonus, unwieldy heavy weapons mesh really well with clever attack + get 'em/improved get 'em.

It's not the one true build, but Envoys can be combat characters if built for it.


Quentin Coldwater wrote:

As someone who greatly enjoys his Envoy (in Society play), I'll add my two cents.

I do think Envoys could use a boost in some way, but personally, I don't think action economy is what's needed, but either a small injection of power or long(er)-term buffs.
To me, the action economy feels nice. I wouldn't complain if more things became move actions, but in general I don't feel like I'm dragging the team down by playing my Envoy. My main beef is that nearly all Improvisations only last one round. Pathfinder Bards were absolute buffing monsters, where the longer a fight lasted, the better the team became. But here, you can basically have only one or two buffs running at a time. Applying the same buff over and over feels a little tiresome. If I'm spending my standard action on it, I either want it to actually do something, or last longer, so it's a worthwhile investment. I haven't played high level yet (she's level 7), but I feel like Get 'Em is a trap. It's a bonus of only +1, or +2 if you choose it twice. I'm pretty sure the math works differently than in Pathfinder, but at least there Inspire Courage leveled up along with you. Once you combine that with Clever Feint, that's a swing of 3 (or 4), that's something, at least. If that Get 'Em bonus was higher, I'd consider taking it, even though it's only a move action. I'm already losing lots of standard actions, but if I can't move at all during my turn, things become too static. And same with longer-lasting Get 'Em. As it's only one turn, I wouldn't bother with it. But if it lasted two or three rounds (or, say, half your level), I can throw it up, move around some, and refresh it when it's either run out or I don't have a better use for a move action.

I've heard people complain about Envoys being "boring" because they can't participate in the most fun part of combat: shooting. For me, that's not true. Envoys are a little puzzle: what buff do I need to hand out this turn? Those buffs are usually better than trying to hit the thing myself, but I can...

Your second paragraph pretty much encapsulates what we're talking about when we mean "The action economy sucks". Action economy is not only what type of action you're using, but how much of it you need to be spending to do your job. The Envoy must be doing the same thing over and over and over, because otherwise he's not doing his job properly, after all, an Envoy will hardly be carrying his weight if he's just occasionally using his Improvisations and choosing to shoot every round, the class doesn't have the BAB, class features or spells to enhance its performance in combat. Which is why everyone here is advocating for making an Envoy, more of an Envoy, not a discount Operative.

The Envoys shouldn't be paying so much tax. Their choices should mean more and they need to have a better "gameplay loop" for a lack of better term. I don't know why, but I feel the class really has a "beta testing" quality to it, everything is just "almost there" and need some changes to make it play smoothly (the biggest problem). I mean, when the class features themselves exclude potential synergy, you know things aren't as elegant as a finalized class should be.


I don't remember a Starfinder playtest is all I'm saying...


Pogiforce wrote:
I don't remember a Starfinder playtest is all I'm saying...

Certainly not like it happened with PF2e. Maybe they didn't have the same type of structure for it, after all, the playtest was a huge endeavor that took serious effort on their part.


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Frankly, the first six months of this forum convinced me Paizo was 100% right to avoid having an open playtest. Whatever legitimate information they'd have gained, wouldn't be worth the 90% deluge of "It is wrong for not letting me play in my accustomed broken Pathfinder style!"

I have no idea how they managed the Pathfinder 2e playtest. Hopefully they brought earplugs.


Wrong thread, mate.


Xenocrat wrote:

Smoke grenades in front of their position, the same way real world infantry/armor screens movements when they have no cover or concealment.

Or just throw it in front of you and leap frog towards them on consecutive rounds if they're far away. All they can do is pick a square to shoot at random and hope you're there with a 50% miss chance. Or leave their cover to get line of sight on you.

Smoke grenades grant concealment, not total concealment.


I got this idea in my head now of an icon envoy who leads a metal band, joined the Starfinder society for inspiration and publicity, and gets necrografts to enhance his bad boy image. Plays hard but turns chicken when things get dicey. May outgrow that, we'll see.


Metaphysician wrote:

Frankly, the first six months of this forum convinced me Paizo was 100% right to avoid having an open playtest. Whatever legitimate information they'd have gained, wouldn't be worth the 90% deluge of "It is wrong for not letting me play in my accustomed broken Pathfinder style!"

I have no idea how they managed the Pathfinder 2e playtest. Hopefully they brought earplugs.

There's some middleground between "i want the game broken" and "hey, there's no reason to use offensive readied actions like... at all. So you kinda need to tweak the envoy ability that uses them so it does something"

Or.. hey. Where's the level 9 through 20 stuff?

Noise to signal ratios are admittedly a problem.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:

Frankly, the first six months of this forum convinced me Paizo was 100% right to avoid having an open playtest. Whatever legitimate information they'd have gained, wouldn't be worth the 90% deluge of "It is wrong for not letting me play in my accustomed broken Pathfinder style!"

I have no idea how they managed the Pathfinder 2e playtest. Hopefully they brought earplugs.

There's some middleground between "i want the game broken" and "hey, there's no reason to use offensive readied actions like... at all. So you kinda need to tweak the envoy ability that uses them so it does something"

Or.. hey. Where's the level 9 through 20 stuff?

Noise to signal ratios are admittedly a problem.

I think it's safe to assume that everyone participating in this discussion is trying to make the Envoy more up to par with other classes. That can fill in its intended role in different ways. Because right now, you only have two effective lanes (Get'em/Clever Feint) and another that seems great (Dispiriting Taunt) but has a lot of restrictions, while everything else is just things that hurt less to choose.

We want the Envoy to be a fun class to use and that offers actual variations in playstyle not just a couple of useful options and everything else completely subpar in what they are useful, not one that completely overtakes the other classes' intended role with ridiculous free bonuses and amazing combat prowess on top of interesting class features, you know, like a certain class that was also printed in the same book and doesn't have any of the Envoy's problems, so much so, that feels like they were designed with two different paradigms in mind.


I don't get why people are so dismissive of hurry. Yes it's situational when it's a standard action but even then it has its uses. Once it's a move action its tactical implications are pretty big.


Improved hurry is very nice, especially combo'd with a melee pinball type like a solarian. Or just rearranging your team.

It's also basically the reason to go envoy 12 instead of envoy 8. Even then, it depends on your party makeup.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
I don't get why people are so dismissive of hurry. Yes it's situational when it's a standard action but even then it has its uses. Once it's a move action its tactical implications are pretty big.

Honestly, its first version has a pretty steep cost. But in a world where the Envoy is not obligated to spend every single action just keeping its minor buffs running, it's a great choice. In fact, I think Hurry is better than most (if not all) 8th level improvisations, specially when you take into account that Haste is not as insane as it is in PF1e. I think the problem is the steep cost competing with other proactive choices that can be done every time and is not so conditional.


Lightning Raven wrote:
Honestly, its first version has a pretty steep cost. But in a world where the Envoy is not obligated to spend every single action just keeping its minor buffs running, it's a great choice. In fact, I think Hurry is better than most (if not all) 8th level improvisations

It lets your melee full attack, in a party with at least 2 melee probably with a +2.

Quote:
specially when you take into account that Haste is not as insane as it is in PF1e.

as someone with both a mystic and an arcanist that introduces themselves as "Hi I'm justin I'll be your haste spell tonight" I think they made haste more insane. It doesn't provide the same numerical bonuses but it actually increased the tactical differences. Your vesk can run 90 feet around the corner behind the other guys and still full attack them: starfinder haste is pounce without the limitations.

The thing a lot of people miss is that the haste circuit functionally doesn't work on round 1: you've burned your swift to turn it on now you can't full attack with it.

garretmander wrote:
It's also basically the reason to go envoy 12 instead of envoy 8. Even then, it depends on your party makeup.

I don't know about giving up my standard action. There's an improved get em and a large chunk of ice on that. Maybe if the caster at that level has the right spells on hand.

For envoy 12 i was looking at Don't quit fully maturing. Unless you've got a mystic in the party with the full removal suit of spells that's the only way to get some of those conditions off.


It is more situational than the move action. It's probably also better if you know your party members well. On top of spells I was thinking surprise round shenanigans, letting a solarian explode and full attack, letting blitz soldiers charge and attack twice... twice, I think mechanics and technomancers have a few neat tricks they do with back to back standard actions, or standards+full.

It's definitely more situational than improved get 'em. Good point about don't quit though.


My current SFS Envoy, who is a pacifist and will be a field medic, currently has Inspiring Boost, Don't Quit, and Long-Range Improvisations. I plan to take Bedside Manner and Quick Quaff at some point, with the character running around dispensing healing in various ways. That leaves me 2 more improvs on the path to level 12. I'm thinking hurry could be something I can do if I don't need to / can't boost somebody. Though Watch out looks promising come level 8, being able to buff an Ally's AC by 4 as a reaction. Watch your step might be good too.


As a pacifist, Hurry will definitely be your bread and butter in my opinion, because it's more proactive than the "fixing problems" playstyle that a pacifist type of character will have. You may not be attack with your standard action, but you're allowing your party members to attack more and get in better positions. For someone not joining the fight in the standard manner, it may be a valid substitute.


Pogiforce wrote:
My current SFS Envoy, who is a pacifist and will be a field medic, currently has Inspiring Boost, Don't Quit, and Long-Range Improvisations. I plan to take Bedside Manner and Quick Quaff at some point, with the character running around dispensing healing in various ways. That leaves me 2 more improvs on the path to level 12. I'm thinking hurry could be something I can do if I don't need to / can't boost somebody. Though Watch out looks promising come level 8, being able to buff an Ally's AC by 4 as a reaction. Watch your step might be good too.

I have found healing builds to be very situational in PFS. The situation usually being AOE damage. The kind of buffs needed to make not shooting something a viable option for a character just really don't exist yet.

For single target healing anyone with a spell throwing weapon and a spell gem of mystic cure 1 can walk up to the meatshield and hand then 1d8+20 hit points and rely on their staminia to get them back around a corner.


I really don't get why people like clever feint

1) There's a roll involved. Even if it's an easy one with the right resources its still not the guarantee that get em is

2) Its available (albeit slightly later) with feats. How many classes would kill to have an Extra gearboost/improv/ exploit/? Improved feint and greater Feint functionally give you that.

3) It competes with other methods of giving people flat footed. Operatives are a really, really, good class (so the odds of having one in a party are pretty high) and their non flat footed options are kinda meh for either requiring a save or just not working on a lot of enemy types. Other methods give real flat footed, not just the AC penalty.


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I think the idea is to use Improved Get'em as a move for the +2 and then use Clever Attack for a total of +4 to hit for everyone. Also, it's because there's very little good options, so applying flat-footed while not insanely great because Operatives can also be in a party, it will only become an issue when the Operative will be able to apply the debuff for a whole round, but you can simply focus in another enemy to spread the focus.

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