Biohacker underwhelming?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Anyone else feel like the Biohacker is rather underwhelming? Most of their abilities are so weak I feel like I'd only bother to use them because I could. Remove/add dazzling? +1/-2 to attacks or ACs? Like, it's not nothing, but it feels like you could do an entire adventure path and only actually derive any benefit from these abilities a few times. Even the presentation - you get Minor and Basic Biohacks, but there's no Improved/Greater (etc.). I feel like they hit the nail on the head - the abilities are basic, and minor, and they basically never get upgraded to anything better.
The class isn't god-awful, but I feel like they're not The Best at literally anything. The envoy, for instance, as another class with lackluster raw offense/defense, actually gets some pretty significant combat abilities, with healing, extra actions, debuff removal, etc. This feels like that, only all those capabilities are lesser, with seemingly nothing out of combat to make up for it.
Am I missing something?

Sovereign Court

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Yeah, you are missing something. The basic biohacks are indeed rather basic, but the ones you get from your field of study are really strong. And you get SO MANY of them.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ascalaphus wrote:
Yeah, you are missing something. The basic biohacks are indeed rather basic, but the ones you get from your field of study are really strong. And you get SO MANY of them.

True, but even those... I definitely would not call them "really strong". For a random example: a pharmacologist can end the bleed condition (might come up 1 or 2 fights per adventure path, maybe) or encumber/entangle an enemy. It's not *nothing*, but since all of the fields of study are unranked, and thus accessible at any level, there's no capstone to be working towards. Just more mediocre balanced-for-low-level abilities.


As I recall though, that was the purpose of the Biohacker. It fulfills the aid role similarly to how the envoy does it, as well as similarly as how the mystic does it. But not as well as either of those classes. A jack of all trades.


Do Biohackers get any in-combat healing abilities?


They did in playtest. They healed ho, but not as much as the mystic. And they healed stamina, but not as much as the envoy.


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

It's an option.


Now Instinctive heals Stamina and Studious heals HP if they take the healing theorem. It isn't a ton, but their pool of uses is separate from their injections.

This also has interesting feat/multiclass implications, since Wisdom heals SP and Intelligence heals HP, which means Biohacker/Technomancers get some HP healing based on Int and Biohacker/Mystics get SP healing based on Wis. An Instinctive Biohacker with Connection Inkling would have good access to both.


What does giving a creature vulnerability look like in the final version?

Without that i really had little reason to play a biohacker rather than an operative with a wasp gun.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

What does giving a creature vulnerability look like in the final version?

Without that i really had little reason to play a biohacker rather than an operative with a wasp gun.

If you take Genetics as your field, you give Vulnerability to one energy type unless they have resistance or immunity to it. If they were immune they now have Resistance 20. If they had resistance, it goes down by 10 (minimum 0). Seems pretty strong.


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I think you might be underestimating how effective a lot of their debuffs could be, especially since many of their abilities refresh every short rest (!! ).

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BigNorseWolf wrote:

What does giving a creature vulnerability look like in the final version?

Without that i really had little reason to play a biohacker rather than an operative with a wasp gun.

I think it's intended to mean vulnerability in the casual English sense, not in the Universal Monster Rule sense. As in, negating an "invulnerability"/immunity.


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Ascalaphus wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

What does giving a creature vulnerability look like in the final version?

Without that i really had little reason to play a biohacker rather than an operative with a wasp gun.

I think it's intended to mean vulnerability in the casual English sense, not in the Universal Monster Rule sense. As in, negating an "invulnerability"/immunity.

Absolutely not. There's no reason to use the same term and then list no effect at all if the creature isn't already immune or resistant.


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Boedullus wrote:

Anyone else feel like the Biohacker is rather underwhelming? Most of their abilities are so weak I feel like I'd only bother to use them because I could. Remove/add dazzling? +1/-2 to attacks or ACs? Like, it's not nothing, but it feels like you could do an entire adventure path and only actually derive any benefit from these abilities a few times. Even the presentation - you get Minor and Basic Biohacks, but there's no Improved/Greater (etc.). I feel like they hit the nail on the head - the abilities are basic, and minor, and they basically never get upgraded to anything better.

The class isn't god-awful, but I feel like they're not The Best at literally anything. The envoy, for instance, as another class with lackluster raw offense/defense, actually gets some pretty significant combat abilities, with healing, extra actions, debuff removal, etc. This feels like that, only all those capabilities are lesser, with seemingly nothing out of combat to make up for it.
Am I missing something?

Improved and Greater versions of feats/features/etc are just tax.

But I don't know hw the class is currently, but seems like it's the exact same issue of the Envoy. Paizo overestimates the abilities advantage of "Limitless uses" and completely gut the abilities utility and fill them with tons of restrictions, when in game we all know that rare will be the situations where the party will keep moving forward when everyone is depleted of their resources, basically making the advantage of having a minor ability always available irrelevant. I much rather limited resources but these resources are actually impactful and interesting. Spamming clever feit/get'em over and over is boring, even if they're useful, they're just plain boring, the biohacker seems to share a lot of similarities with this paradigm.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Biohacker can put out some decent dps as a small arms gun guy with the injection weapons at later levels.

Sovereign Court

Lightning Raven wrote:
Boedullus wrote:

Anyone else feel like the Biohacker is rather underwhelming? Most of their abilities are so weak I feel like I'd only bother to use them because I could. Remove/add dazzling? +1/-2 to attacks or ACs? Like, it's not nothing, but it feels like you could do an entire adventure path and only actually derive any benefit from these abilities a few times. Even the presentation - you get Minor and Basic Biohacks, but there's no Improved/Greater (etc.). I feel like they hit the nail on the head - the abilities are basic, and minor, and they basically never get upgraded to anything better.

The class isn't god-awful, but I feel like they're not The Best at literally anything. The envoy, for instance, as another class with lackluster raw offense/defense, actually gets some pretty significant combat abilities, with healing, extra actions, debuff removal, etc. This feels like that, only all those capabilities are lesser, with seemingly nothing out of combat to make up for it.
Am I missing something?

Improved and Greater versions of feats/features/etc are just tax.

But I don't know hw the class is currently, but seems like it's the exact same issue of the Envoy. Paizo overestimates the abilities advantage of "Limitless uses" and completely gut the abilities utility and fill them with tons of restrictions, when in game we all know that rare will be the situations where the party will keep moving forward when everyone is depleted of their resources, basically making the advantage of having a minor ability always available irrelevant. I much rather limited resources but these resources are actually impactful and interesting. Spamming clever feit/get'em over and over is boring, even if they're useful, they're just plain boring, the biohacker seems to share a lot of similarities with this paradigm.

Let's say that you make a biohacker with Dex 18 and Wis or Int 16. Should be doable with the wide range of racial ability adjustments.

This gives you three biohacks between each short rest, and the best to hit you can hope for. And as long as you hit, the inhibitor generally doesn't allow a save, and adds a significant debuff.

That's really quite generous compared to spellcasters who only get spells per day.


"Only" gets spells per day.

Sovereign Court

Lightning Raven wrote:
"Only" gets spells per day.

Only get spells per day: they don't refresh every time you take a 10 rest.


That's true. But the spells are still impactful when you use them and as you level up they get even stronger.

When the combats have very few rounds and don't happen enough to completely deplete the resources, it makes less impactful but unlimited resources lose its 'biggest' advantage. Sure, the highest spell you can cast is extremely limited, but if you're using one of them, odds are you're going to make a huge difference in the battle.

At least the Biohacker had some really some interesting fields and abilities, even if they needed some tuning during the playtest.

Sovereign Court

Lightning Raven wrote:

That's true. But the spells are still impactful when you use them and as you level up they get even stronger.

When the combats have very few rounds and don't happen enough to completely deplete the resources, it makes less impactful but unlimited resources lose its 'biggest' advantage. Sure, the highest spell you can cast is extremely limited, but if you're using one of them, odds are you're going to make a huge difference in the battle.

At least the Biohacker had some really some interesting fields and abilities, even if they needed some tuning during the playtest.

Yeah like any game, Starfinder is written with certain expectations. One of those expectations is "multiple encounters per day". In practice, some groups play the game differently. It's not that unusual for a group that can schedule sessions of only a couple of hours to fall into a "one fight per evening" pattern. That fight might be higher CR, but the fact of just having one fight does mean that you're doing something different than what the game was balanced for.


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It still doesn't account for the fact that the Envoy suffers from a huge bottleneck of actions and that it would go a long way if the swift action were some thing frequent for the class (I still wonder why it exists, when it's so rare).

I would really like the class more if it had either the option of combining its features with movement (Clever feint/attack including movement after a few levels) or more swift actions. It would also be nicer to have actually COOL stuff to use. Get'em every round is just dumb, for example, why not just target one enemy with focus fire (Get'em seemingly intended flavor) then targeting another afterwards with more than one target being impossible (transferring focus fire, rather than getting the +1 for multiple targets).

There's some many ways to nudge the class into a fine spot without making any major overhauls. I wonder why the class was shipped into such a clunky state. Meanwhile, I'm destroying my enemies with my solder, operative or solarian or using insane spells to help my teammates.

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