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


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I think this all started after a friend of mine played a Solarian in one of my first Starfinder campaigns, and he had a really rough time of it. I initially assumed he was just poorly optimized (he had a low dex, high strength and charisma, an went with the solar weapon) but as I've spent more time looking at the class and trying out builds on my own, I'm left with some puzzling questions.

1. Why do they get two extra class skills at 1st level when they have so few skill points to begin with? The class requires investing in STR, DEX, and CHA at a bare minimum, and CON would certainly be a higher priority than INT, so at most they'd start with 5 skill points as a human.

2. Why don't they get more ways to use their Charisma? They're a Charisma-based class, it gives them Resolve points, but all it does for the class itself is affect the DCs of their revelations, most of which do not require a saving throw. Some kind of Charisma-based damage bonus seems like a no-brainer here, but perhaps I'm not seeing something and that would be unbalanced?

3. What is the role of the Solarian? As a melee combatant they are outperformed at low levels by Soldiers (who can focus on fewer ability scores, and thus invest in some utility as well); their revelations do offer some interesting battlefield utility, but Technomancers offer much more diverse options and superior field control. In starship combat they're basically stuck being gunners, as other classes likely have higher DEX (for piloting), INT (for engineering/science office) or CHA (for captain) abilities/skills. Is it sort of a compromise between having a Soldier in the party and having an Envoy?

4. Is it just me, or is it odd that while Kasathans are (in lore) the originators of the Solarian tradition, Korasha Lashuntas are far more optimized for the class?

I'm not pointing these things out to complain; rather, just to illustrate my current understanding of the class. If other people have found ways to make it work and make sense, then I'm eager to learn more. Please, post some example builds, or an explanation of what approach works best when creating a Solarian. All I can figure is taking Heavy Armor Proficiency if you go Solar Weapon and saving a little on DEX.


From what little experience I have with the system and from what I've read online: you can either be a melee focused Solarian or a range focused Solarian. If you want to go with Melee, you should focus on Strength, take the blade option, and get proficiency in heavy armor. If you want to go Ranged, you should focus on Dex, take the armor option, and get proficiency in better ranged weapons. Ideally you want to start off with at least a 14 in Charisma and put an Ability Boost in it every chance you get.

If I was GMing the game, I would probably houserule it and say that, Solarians get 6+Int Skill ranks per level instead of 4+Int and instead of Charisma being their key attribute, they can choose any of the three mental attributes to contribute to their saving throws and Resolve points.


Eh, a slightly more reasonable thing to in my opinion, theelcorspectre, is to let Solarions used Charisma instead of wisdom to their Will save.

I don't want them to become the "Choose any mental stat class" because if you get to choose which score boosts saves and resolve, then everyone should choose int since it gives you extra skill points.


Claxon wrote:

Eh, a slightly more reasonable thing to in my opinion, theelcorspectre, is to let Solarions used Charisma instead of wisdom to their Will save.

I don't want them to become the "Choose any mental stat class" because if you get to choose which score boosts saves and resolve, then everyone should choose int since it gives you extra skill points.

That's a good point. I wonder why they went with Charisma as the Key Attribute rather than something like Wisdom?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Just to add to the Cha talk: in case anyone is unaware, for melee solar weapon solarian, the Soulfire fusion is basically mandatory, letting you add your Cha mod to melee damage with your solar weapon.
It doesn't solve all of the issues, but it does help you get a bit more oomph out of that key stat.


Claxon wrote:

Eh, a slightly more reasonable thing to in my opinion, theelcorspectre, is to let Solarions used Charisma instead of wisdom to their Will save.

I don't want them to become the "Choose any mental stat class" because if you get to choose which score boosts saves and resolve, then everyone should choose int since it gives you extra skill points.

I think this is one of the stances of "Why is it NOT this way?". The Solarians literally use their charisma to tap into the universe and manifest all sorts of crazy weapons or envelop their bodies with energy from the very universe itself. Either the class should've been focused on Wisdom or their should use Char in the Will department.

One option is to limit it to Armor Solarians, since they're a bit weaker overall and gain a s~#*ty reflex bonus.

Sovereign Court

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To the original poster: you're not wrong, the solarian class definitely is clunkier than the soldier or the operative.

That said, it can be made to work well in practice. But you should be willing to ignore some of the advice in the CRB;
- If you multiclass with 1 level of Soldier you can ignore Charisma, by using Strength or Dex as resolve stat and just not investing in save-inducing revelations.
- If you're not using zenith revelations, then it doesn't matter if you're unbalanced by only taking photon revelations.
- Heavy armor is your friend. Light armor is for people who aren't going on the front line, or who will max out Dex. Maxing out Dex is not in your budget if you're not using it to hit.

That said, there are some consolations:
- Stellar Rush is really good. Charging as a standard action means you can first do a move+swift to for example activate a haste circuit or move around an obstacle, and then close on an enemy. Or you can charge an enemy, hurt them, and then Guarded Step aside so you don't obstruct your allies' ranged attacks (but still cling to the enemy for AoOs). Works nicely with the Coordinated Shot feat.
- Corona is pretty sweet, especially if you also go for Enhanced Resistance and Electrostatic Fields. At that point people hitting you tend to hurt themselves more than they hurt you. And then they're next to an angry solarian.
- Plasma Sheath goes well with a Holy fusion, because that gives you a lot of ways to bypass DR/resistance.
- The Apocalypse crystal lets you do full damage to incorporeal creatures which aren't all that rare in Starfinder. While not as terrifying as in low-level Pathfinder, in Starfinder most people do only half damage against them so going full damage is a 100% increase, and you do this easier than most classes.

I'm playing a charisma 8 android soldier 1/solarian 10, and it works very nicely. Androids' extra armor upgrade slot is quite good, and their bonus to a lot of saves also helps, because people tend to target you with mental spells to try to shoo away the frontliner, and as frontliner you're exposed to poisons and diseases.

---

House rules I'd use for solarians myself:
- Big revision to Sidereal Influence since it's just too clunky compared to other classes.
- Gains heavy armor proficiency, and armor solarian works in heavy armor.
- You may choose for your solar weapon to have the Operative trait. In combination with Soulfire infusion, this makes light armor Dex based solarians work.
- All classes: drop the idea of key stat for resolve, everyone gets 4+(1/2 level) resolve.


I do agree Ascalaphus that’s Solarians should gain proficiency with Heavy Armor, as nearly every melee Solarian build demands it. Maybe you could give players the choice between Heavy Armor and Longarm proficiency?


To the OP,

Solarians are a grab bag class that can be build to do alot of different things, but only one at a time if you want to be good at it.

1) Solarians can be the best at battle field control if you focus on CRA and the grav powers Such as Black Hole, Gravity Hold, Gravity Surge, and Crush.
-Against Higher level mobs this wont be that awesome as most of them will make their saves, but against groups of low level mobs you will be moving them all over the battle field.

2) Solarians can be amazing tanks with the DR and resistance they can get with Armor
-Can have a very high AC with shield and solarian armor bonus and high dex
-can get DR from powers and feats so don't have to spend credits on that
-can get resist from powers and Sol armor so saves credits there

3) Can be amazing beat sticks with Sol weapon extra dmg and the Soulfire fusion and plasma sheath. Very close to the Highest melee dmg in the game if not the highest I havent done the math past lvl 15
-One lvl of soldier works well with this build as previously mentioned so you can get heavy armor and str for RP

Solarians have a lot of different build options, but can really only do one of those at a time

Personally I am playing a Armor Solarian with lots of DR an Resist with Corona and Electro Static Fields.

I am lvl 8 and do 5d6 fire/electric when I get hit. I have In harm's way so that I can protect allies, and Blazing orbit so I can provide some battle field control. I am having alot of fun with this build, but I am a little concerned that the DR/Resist wont keep up with the dmg at higher level.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:
I'm playing a charisma 8 android soldier 1/solarian 10, and it works very nicely. Androids' extra armor upgrade slot is quite good, and their bonus to a lot of saves also helps, because people tend to target you with mental spells to try to shoo away the frontliner, and as frontliner you're exposed to poisons and diseases.

Androids are great for Solarian for other reason too.

My Soldier1/Solarian12 has high strength and dex, and high-ish int and con.

The high dex contribution to armor isn't always wasted, sometimes I find a light armor that outperforms my older heavy armor. The high dex does give me ranged options, skills, and starship role versatility.

The high-ish int gets me access to Technomantic Dabbler, and a whole lot more skill points. Technomantic Dabbler gets me spell gems which are freakin invaluable.

My character is a very effective all-rounder, cycling between Science Officer, Engineer, and Gunnery on the ship, and assisting the Operative with hacking and engineering off the ship. I also bring the Mysticism checks, which can basically always be made with Sidereal Influence.

Dropping Cha just totally unlocks the class, in my opinion.


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Starfinder Superscriber

'Blitz-larian' or the other soldier/solarian hybrids are solid, but they aren't the only way to build a solarian. Power-larian (Power Armor + Weapon Solarian + Max Cha + Soulfire) works really really well. So does 'Shot-larian' (Longarm + Max Dex + Armor Solarian). I've both played and run for those, they're both fun and powerful, and don't think they need much, if anything. I haven't personally seen the BFC-larian builds, but I've heard they can work.

In my home Dead Suns campaign, which began post Armory and therefore the solarian started with a soulfire crystal, the solarian is the primary tank and damage dealer for the group. He outdamages both the melee and the heavy weapons soldier, easily. The first few levels were rough, in that he basically lost consciousness *every* fight, but from level 1-4 he still did well over half the damage for the entire party. Anything that wasn't a boss was a 1 or 2 hit kill and the bosses rarely lasted more than a round after he got to them.

Solarians basically have 3 problems. 1. They're extremely squishy until ~level 4. 2. They have basically nothing to do outside of combat or in Starship Combat. 3. They're MAD.

I think number 1 is an okay tradeoff for the amount of damage they can do, but could probably use a tweak. I probably would have given them Cha to Damage from the start, instead of making that later equipment dependent.

For number 2, I think they probably should have gotten 2 free ranks in their 'chosen' skills and I think Sidereal Influence should explicitly work in starship combat.

Number 3 can be helped pretty easily with equipment or multiclassing. That should have been something caught in playtesting but wasn't. MAD isn't necessarily 'bad' but since they're basically the only class that's MAD out of the box it makes them feel a lot harder than they are. I don't know that there is anything you can do about it without a complete re-write, maybe making them Wis or Con based instead of Cha would have been better. I have a feeling people are going to end up liking Vanguard a lot more than Solarian because they're less MAD from the start, even though, I bet they end up significantly 'weaker' in combat than an optimized solarian.


given vanguards are more defensively oriented being weaker than an optimized solarian for damage dealing should be a given.


theelcorspectre wrote:
I do agree Ascalaphus that’s Solarians should gain proficiency with Heavy Armor, as nearly every melee Solarian build demands it. Maybe you could give players the choice between Heavy Armor and Longarm proficiency?

Houserule:

I tied this to the Stellar Manifestation a Solarion chose.
If he chose the blade he will get heavy armor prof. (melee build)
If he chose the armor he will get longarms prof. (ranged build)


I wish heavy armour wasn't basically Auto required with weapon solarians since I want to go with the light armour and be mobile, especially since graviton has mobility powers.

And yeah, the lack of skills is very confusing to me when it's so mad but the class features assume you'll be playing a skill character.


Milo v3 wrote:

I wish heavy armour wasn't basically Auto required with weapon solarians since I want to go with the light armour and be mobile, especially since graviton has mobility powers.

And yeah, the lack of skills is very confusing to me when it's so mad but the class features assume you'll be playing a skill character.

Bucket of level 1 healing potions is cheaper than armor which is kinda meh at keeping you from getting hit anyway

Sovereign Court

Milo v3 wrote:

I wish heavy armour wasn't basically Auto required with weapon solarians since I want to go with the light armour and be mobile, especially since graviton has mobility powers.

And yeah, the lack of skills is very confusing to me when it's so mad but the class features assume you'll be playing a skill character.

I think one simple house rule can unlock light armor solarians:

"You may choose for your solar weapon to have the operative property."

That way you can focus on Dexterity and Charisma, and recoup the halved specialization from Operative weapons with the Soulfire infusion. Any strength you still happen to snag at level 5+ leveling moments is a bonus.


Operative trait does sound like a decent idea.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Milo v3 wrote:

I wish heavy armour wasn't basically Auto required with weapon solarians since I want to go with the light armour and be mobile, especially since graviton has mobility powers.

And yeah, the lack of skills is very confusing to me when it's so mad but the class features assume you'll be playing a skill character.

a vesk light armor solaria can be decent particularly if you go armor solarian with an advanced melee weapon

but yes in general heavy is a better choice, im hoping the character book has some more options for them


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Solarians are a grab bag class... but as a grab bag class, if you roll well, you have all the glamour moments in the party.

They get fun tools, hit hard, and are generally awesome.

B/C they are charisma based, unless you have an envoy in the party, the Solarian gets to be the Captain, which is fun.

The Solarian gets to Stellar Rush, explode, throw enemies around the battlefield, get helpful immunities, and set herself on fire, and lots of other awesome things. Soldiers are 'better' at hitting, but they don't get to do any of that stuff.

And yeah, there's weaknesses, but doesn't that just make the winning that much more glorious?


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Honestly at this point the only thing I would change about the Solarians specifically is 6+Int skills (as opposed to 4+Int) and an additional Combat Feat at level 1. This way if you want proficiency in something like Heavy Armor or Long Arms you don't have to use your one level one feat (two if you're human) for something you see as necessary, or alternatively you can try a different feat if you don't see the proficiency as necessary you can take something else.

What do you guys think?


I would prefer to see these changes (because I don't see the Solarion as a skillful class):
Solarions can use either Wisdom or Charisma to Will Saves (not both)
Solarions at level 1 can choose either Heavy Armor proficiency or Long Arms proficiency as a bonus feat.

This lets melee Solarions ignore dex and invest in int to get more skill points. And lets armor Solarions ignore strength and invest in int.


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Those aren’t bad changes, but mechanically Solarians offer more skill bonuses then a Soldier for example. Seeing as the Vanguard is going to get 6+Int skills, I feel like the Solarians getting it too would make sense.


Honestly, I go the other way.

I think the Vanguard needs to be brought down to 4+int skill points per level.

They had a thing where full BAB meant 4 skill points per level
Partial BAB classes had 6 (or 4 if they were int based classes)
And intentionally skillful classes (Operative and Envoy) had 8.

I liked this setup, and the Vanguard breaks it.


I understand your point of view even if I don’t necessarily share it. I’d rather accidentally give a class too many skills than too few. It gives characters a little more non-combat oomph. However for many players 4+Int is enough.

Different strokes I guess.


It's more, as someone who enjoys the soldier, I think it would be unfair for them to end up alone as theonly class with 4+int skills per level, as they're already the least interesting class outside of combat, with no real boosts to out of combat activities.


Also thematically it makes sense. If you studied the cosmos enough to tap into the energies of the universe you too may not know as much of other topics.

Personally I don't think there is anything wrong with the solarian. I eagerly await the new book to see if we get an operative sol weapon, a ranged sol weapon, armor crystals for sol armor and options to have both sol armor and weapon. It is a big xmas list :P


Claxon wrote:
It's more, as someone who enjoys the soldier, I think it would be unfair for them to end up alone as theonly class with 4+int skills per level, as they're already the least interesting class outside of combat, with no real boosts to out of combat activities.

Well the Mechanic, Technomancer, Biohacker, and Witchwarper also have/will have 4+Int skill ranks per level, but to be fair of those four only the Witchwarper has a Key Attribute. At the very least we agree that Vanguard and And the Solarian should have the same number of skill ranks. Lol


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If I were modifying the Solarian, and *not* doing a from-the-ground-up rebuild? The main things I'd do would be "6 skill points" and "you don't choose solar armor or weapon, you get both and can use both". The former is for all the reasons mentioned already.

The latter? I feel like solar armor is already a notably inferior choice, except for some limited and rather twinkish builds. Thus, its a choice that's not really a choice, and I don't like providing fake choices. Since solar armor is only cumulative with light armor, it wouldn't break the AC curve, and it would help balance out the issues with MAD: if you are getting a point or two of extra armor from your class, you don't need to get that point or two from your dexterity score. It also discourages heavy armor builds a bit, which is a plus since there already are a bunch of combat classes which revolve around heavy armor.

The net result is a Solarian that has more skill flexibility than current, and that has about as much survivability as the typical heavy armor build except without having to spend the feat or the money. You are still more fragile than the typical tank, but only by a little, and you still have the best DPS, but only in melee. Its about the best you could do to improve the class without a full reinvention.

Note: I do actually favor a full reinvention, for two reasons. One, unlike all the other classes, the Solarian is tied to a single ideological and cultural origin. I vastly prefer each class to be able to mean widely different things across different cultures and characters. Two, the class only really does one thing, without a lot of variation. There's no real equivalent to different connections or fighting styles, aside from the fake-choice of weapon vs armor.

If I had my druthers, I'd reinvent the class from scratch, ditch the faux-Jedi space monk aspects entirely, and reconceive of them as energy-controllers. A solarian isn't about enlightenment, they are about being a channel for cosmic energy. I'd drop the balance element entirely, and have each solarian choose one "flavor" of cosmic energy, based on a particular type of star, which would determine various aspects of their powers. The result is them being even less faux-Jedi than currently, which is a plus, as I feel the false appearance of Jedi-ness is part of what causes play problems with them. This would, admittedly, be a *huge* undertaking, not some minor bit of house ruling.


theelcorspectre wrote:
Claxon wrote:
It's more, as someone who enjoys the soldier, I think it would be unfair for them to end up alone as theonly class with 4+int skills per level, as they're already the least interesting class outside of combat, with no real boosts to out of combat activities.
Well the Mechanic, Technomancer, Biohacker, and Witchwarper also have/will have 4+Int skill ranks per level, but to be fair of those four only the Witchwarper has a Key Attribute. At the very least we agree that Vanguard and And the Solarian should have the same number of skill ranks. Lol

I think you meant, out of those classes only the witchwarper doesn't have int as its key ability.

And the rules on starjammersrd have different skill point per levels, I guess they used to be 6 for the play test.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also, honestly, I'd just make all the classes 6+ skill points. It won't meaningfully hurt the skill monkey classes ( who benefit from varyingly huge insight bonuses, and usually high INT ), while helping ensure the non-skill monkeys have enough points to make meaningful choices. Variety of skills is almost never a balance issue, on the positive side.


That is a fair observation, the Operative and the Envoy both enjoy bonuses that ensure their position as "best" at any given skill the choose to focus on.

I remember actually maligning it a bit because I was disappointed that a mechanic would have a lower engineering or computers skill than an operative who decided to pick up those skills, due to Operative's Edge.


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Metaphysician wrote:

If I were modifying the Solarian, and *not* doing a from-the-ground-up rebuild? The main things I'd do would be "6 skill points" and "you don't choose solar armor or weapon, you get both and can use both". The former is for all the reasons mentioned already.

The latter? I feel like solar armor is already a notably inferior choice, except for some limited and rather twinkish builds. Thus, its a choice that's not really a choice, and I don't like providing fake choices. Since solar armor is only cumulative with light armor, it wouldn't break the AC curve, and it would help balance out the issues with MAD: if you are getting a point or two of extra armor from your class, you don't need to get that point or two from your dexterity score. It also discourages heavy armor builds a bit, which is a plus since there already are a bunch of combat classes which revolve around heavy armor.

The net result is a Solarian that has more skill flexibility than current, and that has about as much survivability as the typical heavy armor build except without having to spend the feat or the money. You are still more fragile than the typical tank, but only by a little, and you still have the best DPS, but only in melee. Its about the best you could do to improve the class without a full reinvention.

Note: I do actually favor a full reinvention, for two reasons. One, unlike all the other classes, the Solarian is tied to a single ideological and cultural origin. I vastly prefer each class to be able to mean widely different things across different cultures and characters. Two, the class only really does one thing, without a lot of variation. There's no real equivalent to different connections or fighting styles, aside from the fake-choice of weapon vs armor.

If I had my druthers, I'd reinvent the class from scratch, ditch the faux-Jedi space monk aspects entirely, and reconceive of them as energy-controllers. A solarian isn't about enlightenment, they are about being a channel for cosmic energy. I'd drop...

The idea of getting both solar infusions is interesting. I actually like the Solarian flavor as is, but I see where you are coming from.


As of Character Operations Manual you can take the Extra Manifestation class ability instead of a Zenith Revelation(s) to get an extra Manifestation.

We also have guns and shields now.


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I just don't get the advantage to armor at all. It's a very small boost whereas the weapon has all of the cool effects and addons.


One thing I hope will be mitigated or fixed in COM is giving you a reason to not just be in a single stellar mode until 4th level. Seems weird to me that you can go three levels before you have any reason to ever go into graviton mode if you selected a photon revelation, which is weird to me when the classes flavour is about balancing the two states.


I believe so on first glance, haven't gone in depth quite yet.


Milo v3 wrote:
One thing I hope will be mitigated or fixed in COM is giving you a reason to not just be in a single stellar mode until 4th level. Seems weird to me that you can go three levels before you have any reason to ever go into graviton mode if you selected a photon revelation, which is weird to me when the classes flavour is about balancing the two states.

You know, you have a point here.

Maybe it would make sense to halve how often you get revelations, but force you to pick one graviton and one photon revelation at each point.

I'm not even sure if it would break things to keep the current schedule of acquisition and just force you to take one photon and one graviton revelation.


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Claxon wrote:

You know, you have a point here.

Maybe it would make sense to halve how often you get revelations, but force you to pick one graviton and one photon revelation at each point.

I'm not even sure if it would break things to keep the current schedule of acquisition and just force you to take one photon and one graviton revelation.

I'd just give them additional ones, though I think Starfinder takes far too long to give you abilities in general so if I had my way every class would probably get more "talents".


Milo v3 wrote:
Claxon wrote:

You know, you have a point here.

Maybe it would make sense to halve how often you get revelations, but force you to pick one graviton and one photon revelation at each point.

I'm not even sure if it would break things to keep the current schedule of acquisition and just force you to take one photon and one graviton revelation.

I'd just give them additional ones, though I think Starfinder takes far too long to give you abilities in general so if I had my way every class would probably get more "talents".

Hmmm, I don't agree with that but to each their own.

The Exchange

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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.


I quite like the solarian but I think of them as I do my least favorite class in pathfinder, the bard. Both of them can do almost anything, have a very specific imagery when you think of them, and are fun to play. Are they the best class? No. Can they fill any roll? Yes.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

It always amuses me to hear bards listed as someone's least favorite Pathfinder Class, because they top my list. Heck, even my non-bard PF1 characters are secretly bards who perform and do other bard-like things. I love it when others don't want to play bards, because that means more bards for me! Yay, bards!

I really don't think Solarians can fill any role. They are amazing in combat, but the lack of skill points hampers them a bit. Still they are pretty versatile.

Now to bring this thread back on topic... Pithica mentioned the Power-Armor Solarian as a potential build. Do you have a character online that you can point to? I would love to see the build out for one. Even if it is painful in the first four character levels, I am a prolific SFS GM and am always struggling with where I apply my SFS credits. I could GM baby something through the first three levels or so until the character gels.

Hmm


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At this point we might as well wait for the Character Operations Manual to be released and see where it takes the class.


Starfinder Superscriber
Hmm wrote:
Now to bring this thread back on topic... Pithica mentioned the Power-Armor Solarian as a potential build. Do you have a character online that you can point to? I would love to see the build out for one. Even if it is painful in the first four character levels, I am a prolific SFS GM and am always struggling with where I apply my SFS credits. I could GM baby something through the first three levels or so until the character gels.

The higher level one is played by someone in my home game. As the GM, I have the link to his online character sheet, but don't want to post it without his permission. I'll ask him next game.

He's 11th level, though, and absolutely crazy in combat. My version of his character is only 2nd level and hasn't gotten to power armor yet, I've just been running the numbers. It was pretty painful for him from 1-3. He went unconscious in almost every fight, but only after putting a serious hurting on everything that got in melee range. So far, at 2, my experience has been similar the few times I've played mine.

Actually, I can build you a sample example character...Example Power-Larian at 10th

Basically you try to start with a 13 or 14 in Strength, and focus entirely on maxing Charisma (with Dex Secondary for AC and Ranged Attacks and Starship Combat). By level 5 you want Weapon Focus - Advanced, Heavy Armor Prof, and Power Armor Prof. After that, whatever you take is whatever you think works. (I go with Enhanced Resistance-Kinetic and Coordinated Shot in the example at 7 and 9.)

That's all off the top of my head, it could probably be optimized better. I believe that one would be SFS legal sans boons. I actually prefer the lesser Apocalypse Crystal (which is what the level 11 solarian in my home group has) for an extra d6 of base damage and full damage vs incorporeal, but I don't think you can get that in SFS at 10. I'd also be really really hungry for a Celerity Rigging which you could get at that level in a home game but not SFS, I think. (Unless either are on a chronicle that I don't know about.)

+16 base to hit, 4d6+22 base damage before the insight bonus from stellar mode or the bonuses from stellar revelations. He has a better than 50/50 chance to hit an even CR (Combatant) creature. With a flanker, an operative, and an envoy, he has (I think, I'm doing the math in my head) a 70/30 chance to hit an even CR mob on full attack. That's a DPR of around 55 under those conditions, I think (again, doing the math in my head), which is enough to kill an average CR 10 in an average of 3 rounds assuming noone else in the party does any damage. It's better off than a Blitz-Larian that dumps Cha for Strength by a few points because you'd only end up 2 or 4 points higher on strength but 4 to 10 points lower on Charisma.

It also has 50 skill points because the Power Armor freed up some of the 'MAD-ness' of the class by letting me ignore strength. That makes it much more viable a character in the SFS world. The high charisma makes it possible to be a pretty solid captain and the not tanked Dex means it's an okay gunner. With the upcoming changes in COM, it could certainly also be a Chief Mate and possibly a backup pilot, engineer, or science officer depending on selections from Student and Skill Adept.

Hope this answers your question(s).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

It looks like Powered Armor Proficiency only comes in at Level 5? Which means that the character needs to start with an 11 Strength, bare minimum at Level 1?

This is starting to look doable...


Starfinder Superscriber

Yes. 11 is the min you can start with and still pull it off. But You need Heavy Armor Prof at either 1 or 3, so you either have to push Powered Armor Prof to 7 or use a Mk2 Ability Crystal that will serve no purpose once you get Powered Armor Prof (which is what happened to the Solarian in my home game). Anything over 13 is technically 'wasted', though starting with a 14 does make the first 4 levels a little easier with the extra +1 to hit/damage at those levels.

Even unoptimized weapon solarians can push well over 40 DPR in melee. I haven't done all the math for every build, obviously, but I suspect that an optimized Power-Larian may have the highest DPR, at least pre-COM.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Claxon wrote:

That is a fair observation, the Operative and the Envoy both enjoy bonuses that ensure their position as "best" at any given skill the choose to focus on.

I remember actually maligning it a bit because I was disappointed that a mechanic would have a lower engineering or computers skill than an operative who decided to pick up those skills, due to Operative's Edge.

I mean, in theory, sure. The Mechanic is going to have a *lot* of Computer/Engineering special abilities that the Operative lacks, mind, which is probably more valuable from a pure effectiveness perspective than a single point or so of bonus.

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? It would be like having a party which has both a solar weapon/heavy armor Solarian, and a advanced melee/heavy armor Soldier. They do almost the exact same thing, whatever difference in who does it "better" is less important than the problem that you have two characters trying to fill the exact same niche.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
I just don't get the advantage to armor at all. It's a very small boost whereas the weapon has all of the cool effects and addons.

In theory its useful, since its *added* armor, in a system where even a single point of attack/defense bonus is valuable. Its also a goodly big chunk of energy resistance. Sure, both of those things can be done other ways with equipment, but DPS can *also* largely be done with equipment. Its not a unique problem.

The bigger issue is that Solar Armor just isn't as *interesting*. Solar Weapon gives you a powerful primary attack. Its an innate weapon that is with you always. It can be modified by a variety of solar crystals. It, IIRC, interacts with a number of solar revelations. Its a big visually distinct centerpiece around which the player has lots to do. Solar Armor. . . is a buff to armor, that the PC is already wearing, and that's it. You don't do anything with it, its just there. Hence, its boring.

Dark Archive

Claxon wrote:
I think the Vanguard needs to be brought down to 4+int skill points per level.

You 'bout to be disappointed.


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Metaphysician wrote:
Claxon wrote:

That is a fair observation, the Operative and the Envoy both enjoy bonuses that ensure their position as "best" at any given skill the choose to focus on.

I remember actually maligning it a bit because I was disappointed that a mechanic would have a lower engineering or computers skill than an operative who decided to pick up those skills, due to Operative's Edge.

I mean, in theory, sure. The Mechanic is going to have a *lot* of Computer/Engineering special abilities that the Operative lacks, mind, which is probably more valuable from a pure effectiveness perspective than a single point or so of bonus.

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? It would be like having a party which has both a solar weapon/heavy armor Solarian, and a advanced melee/heavy armor Soldier. They do almost the exact same thing, whatever difference in who does it "better" is less important than the problem that you have two characters trying to fill the exact same niche.

Because as an Operative you pickup all the skills that seem like they might be relevant. And at least numerically speaking, you're probably the best at them.

My Starfinder group found it very easy to have a lot of overlap, especially on any skills that had use in space combat since people can shift around a lot depending on the encounter and what needs to be done.

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