I don't "get" the design of Solarians - please help?


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Quote:
More broadly, though? The issue probably shouldn't ever come up, because why would a party have two characters who do almost the exact same specialty?

Because the operative doesn't have or need a specialty. They have 10+ int skills per level that have the largest/tied for largest bonus in the game for most of the played levels. The hacking tricks are niche or irrelevant if you don't have the skill plus

The way stat boosts work a starting 14 and 18 int bonus narrow a bit as you level

Dark Archive

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Belafon wrote:

I (and the rest of my SFS table) had a very informative talk with one of the Paizo designers at GenCon the year Starfinder was released. He agreed the Solarion was "off" in comparison to the other classes, and he shared the reason that happened:

Until very late in the development cycle, Starfinder used a very different attribute-boost system. Instead of a flat increase to four attributes every 5 levels, they were originally using a system where you received "points" every level that you could use to "buy" an increase to an attribute. The higher the attribute value, the more points it cost to get to the next value. (So it would cost more points to go from 18 to 19 than 17 to 18.) Similar to PF 1's point-buy system, but for a character's entire career, not just starting attributes.

Using that system, the solarion's dependence on multiple attributes was in-line with other classes that favor one attribute. For the same number of points a soldier would need to spend to raise her strength from 18 to 19, a solarion could raise his strength twice from 14 to 16, or raise both his strength and charisma from 14 to 15 (or something similar). If you poured all your points into one attribute you would of course always be better than someone who split attributes but that gap would narrow as higher values got more and more expensive.

The change to the current system was apparently made at the very last minute and there wasn't time to rework the solarion. I like the simplicity of the current attribute increase system much better, but it does mean that the solarion feels further "behind" than it should.

This is incredibly enlightening, thank you for sharing this. Every time I looked at the Solarian, it just seemed like it had a different design philosophy behind it in comparison to the other classes, and now especially compared to the Vanguard.

Heck, maybe we'll get an Unchained Solarian?(Mostly kidding, but I'd be up for them taking another "stab" at it)

The Exchange

Ran into the same designer at PaizoCon 2018 and he mentioned that the system Starfinder ended up using was the one that they had come up with for the very first internal drafts of Pathfinder 2. (He couldn’t tell us that at GenCon 2017 because Pathfinder 2 hadn’t been announced yet.)

I get what they ended up doing for PF2, where your overall character idea (ancestry, background, etc.) ends up framing your ability scores but leaving room for customization. Very thematic but I prefer the very straightforward and even more customizable ability score generation that is the final Starfinder method.

Sovereign Court

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The overall outcomes of PF2 and Starfinder ability generation don't seem so different to me. The similarities are far more key:
- Can't go above 18
- No hyperefficient races for particular classes
- No races that really can't do a particular class

But for Solarian, it's more that it really seems built quite differently than the Operative, seems like they were designed by people who didn't communicate much.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Does anyone have any thoughts on the Solar Flare Solarian? The idea is appealing but the damage seems absurdly low for someone who is a primary fighter. What am I missing here that makes this one really viable?

Hmm


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Hmm wrote:

Does anyone have any thoughts on the Solar Flare Solarian? The idea is appealing but the damage seems absurdly low for someone who is a primary fighter. What am I missing here that makes this one really viable?

Hmm

Full level specialization plus a crystal gets you to top end longarm damage, plus you can apply solarian weapon abilities (e.g. plasma sheath bonus damage, attractive force ranged disarm) and flashing strikes.

Sovereign Court

Hmm wrote:

Does anyone have any thoughts on the Solar Flare Solarian? The idea is appealing but the damage seems absurdly low for someone who is a primary fighter. What am I missing here that makes this one really viable?

Hmm

Opinions are currently divided on whether Soulfire would work. If it does, it'd actually be the non-thrown ranged weapon with the largest static damage at starting level, and get specialization thereafter.

The real kicker is that you are no longer MAD: you can focus on Dexterity and Charisma with a side serving of Constitution. You don't need Strength anymore for to-hit or damage.

Sovereign Court

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Assuming that Soulfire works on Solar Flare (I believe it does, but the RAW squad is having a brawl with the largely unwritten rules for fusions on crystals).

Level 1 SFS, a halfling with that one boon that gives you a +2 to a stat that's 14 or lower:

Str 8
Dex 18
Con 10
Int 10
Wis 10
Cha 16

Weapon Focus (Small Arms), Apocalypse crystal shard
Solar Flare (cold/force): +6 to hit vs. EAC, 1d4+3+1 (photon mode) +1 (crystal) cold damage.

Level 3:
Add Plasma Sheath, Weapon Specialization, Personal Augmentation (Dex):
Solar Flare (fire/force, due to plasma sheath): +9 to hit vs. EAC, 1d4+3+1+3+1+1 damage

Level 6:
Bump personal augmentations to +4/+2, add levvel 5 ability boosts:
Solar Flare (fire-ish/force): +13 vs. EAC, 2d4 + [5 Cha] +2 [solar mode] +6 [specialization] +3 [plasma sheath] +1d4 [crystal] damage.

---

I think these numbers are nothing to sneeze at.


I think the longarms that are competitive with solar flare on damage target KAC, so that’s another solar flare advantage.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I have that halfling boon, but I am thinking that I might do this with a 16/16 pahtra instead.


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Starfinder Superscriber

The RAW for adding Charisma to damage on Solar Flare doesn't work. Soulfire explicitly states that it's a fusion that can only be applied to solarian crystals, and Solar Flare explicitly states that it can only benefit from fusions that work on Small Arms. Those two things are unequal and mutually exclusive. It may have been intended for them to work together, but without a FAQ they don't. I wouldn't recommend building a character around the assumption that they do until a DEV (or your GM in a home game) confirms that they do.

I think you probably want a 16/16 or 18/14 on a ranged solarian (either longarm+armor or solar flare), as you need the resolve and on top of that new revelations for solarian make it possible for you to do some ranged tricks with your other revelations making the DC boost worth it.


Okay this is something that's bugged me basically since I got into Starfinder but I figured I'd go ahead and ask it here;

Given that the various visual qualities of the stellar mote - whether it's a star or a black hole, what type of weapon it appears as or what design the armor has - are all purely aesthetic with no mechanical impact at all, why do the rules specify that these elements are set once chosen and either can't be changed at all or can only be changed when the character gains a new solarian level?

I mean, it's a minor thing that's easy enough to house rule away & ignore, but I'm just curious as to why it's a thing at all, who felt this bit of restriction was integral enough to the fantasy that the class was meant to represent that it needed to be put into the rule?


FormerFiend wrote:

Okay this is something that's bugged me basically since I got into Starfinder but I figured I'd go ahead and ask it here;

Given that the various visual qualities of the stellar mote - whether it's a star or a black hole, what type of weapon it appears as or what design the armor has - are all purely aesthetic with no mechanical impact at all, why do the rules specify that these elements are set once chosen and either can't be changed at all or can only be changed when the character gains a new solarian level?

There is a mechanical difference - a star mote can shed light, a black hole mote cannot lower light levels. I think I recall discussion of something in the CRB that implied that at one point of development it might have, before they realized that was a big power differential in favor of the black hole. Now the solar mote only matters if you're in the dark without your armor or comlink and don't have darkvision, the black mote only matters if you're trying for an edgelord esthetic.


Xenocrat wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:

Okay this is something that's bugged me basically since I got into Starfinder but I figured I'd go ahead and ask it here;

Given that the various visual qualities of the stellar mote - whether it's a star or a black hole, what type of weapon it appears as or what design the armor has - are all purely aesthetic with no mechanical impact at all, why do the rules specify that these elements are set once chosen and either can't be changed at all or can only be changed when the character gains a new solarian level?

There is a mechanical difference - a star mote can shed light, a black hole mote cannot lower light levels. I think I recall discussion of something in the CRB that implied that at one point of development it might have, before they realized that was a big power differential in favor of the black hole. Now the solar mote only matters if you're in the dark without your armor or comlink and don't have darkvision, the black mote only matters if you're trying for an edgelord esthetic.

Okay that's one thing but it doesn't account for the shape and form the weapon/armor takes being fixed.


Probably to avoid prima donnas boring everyone else by describing their kool weapon every fight.


They just did the same thing with some of the new stellar revelations. Where you get to pick 4 different appearances for what you can summon, even though they are forced to have identical stats so there is no mechanical difference between having 1 choice, 4 choices, or 100 choices.


Thought the shape & type of weapon the mote formed determined the type of damage.

Slashing, Bludgeoning, or Piercing.


Matt2VK wrote:

Thought the shape & type of weapon the mote formed determined the type of damage.

Slashing, Bludgeoning, or Piercing.

That's true for the weapon, but doesn't hold up for shields which can only ever do bludgeoning, regardless of their shape.


Matt2VK wrote:

Thought the shape & type of weapon the mote formed determined the type of damage.

Slashing, Bludgeoning, or Piercing.

No, each level you choose both appearance and damage type, but they aren’t linked. A solar weapon that looks like a hammer can do piercing damage and a stellar sea urchin bludgeoning.

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