Finesse Striker-I want this to be good


General Discussion

Scarab Sages

So I've always liked the idea of the Elegant Duelist. One of my great regrets is that I didn't make one in PF1. Now, with the COM out now, that can kinda-sorta maybe become a reality. The 'Finesse Striker' Gear boost allows a Soldier to add their full level to damage with operative weapons, allowing for a step closer towards that duelist concept, but I still don't see it doing well.

The problem is you still just can't compete with a melee soldier. I mean, 22 Strength +Melee Striker Gear boost=+9 to damage by around level 7. A dex-based duelest type soldier can't compete with that. Anyone have any ideas on how to make this not terrible? I mean, I'd be willing to take a minor ding to damage in favor of flavor, but 9 less damage.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Here's the thing, reframing expectations might be needed. A strength-based melee Soldier represents perhaps the upper end of possible damage for the class. You're probably not going to have a lot of options in terms of bridging that gap but doing less damage than the absolute best is not exactly 'terrible'

There are also three things that need to be taken into account. The first is that your AC will mostly likely be better. The second is that nothing is stopping you from throwing some spare points from level advancement into strength. The third is that specializing in operative weapons allows you to use Multi-Weapon Fighting and net yourself a lower penalty for full attacking.

Sovereign Court

Yeah, strength/melee striker is at the upper edge for damage, only really facing competition from tricked out solarians with plasma sheath and solar attunement going.

That said, I think melee striker needs to be evaluated against another contender: Advanced Coordination. When used well, Advanced Coordination allows the melee character to interpose themselves between enemies and your ranged party members, and your allies aren't hindered by the cover. That gives you a huge advantage in corridor fights. Even on open ground, it saves your allies a lot of moving to get around your cover. If they're not taking the 4 cover hit, the -4 full attack hit becomes quite doable even for 3/4 BAB classes with good dexterity.

So basically, you lose out on 3 or 6 damage on your own attacks, but if even one extra ally hits, you've won that back easily.

---

And for Finesse Striker, if Multi-Weapon Fighting gives you a couple more hits, then it's worth it. But that does call for a move+full attack fighting style, so perhaps Hit and Run soldier style.


To me the most difficult part is that operative weapons just have so many fewer damage dice than other options they just don't work without trick attack as an option.

Scarab Sages

Looking over options, the Wrathful Warrior fighting style might make this a better fit. You could reflavor barbarian rage as intense concentration on a duel (so you can't do other stuff) and it would get you a damage boost. Not going to do much as a Strength wrathful warrior, but it would narrow the gap between a normal strength warrior and my Duelist idea.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think Finesse striker works great for a "switch hitter" type of solider, where you can focus mainly on Dex and be able to shoot really well with a ranged weapon, and then swing accurately with a melee operative weapon, maybe investing some points in strength to boost your melee damage. I don't know if you can still hold ranged weapons with them, but polarity gauntlets, while a dice behind some 2 handed weapons at some levels, can catch up on the second swing due to the polarized effect. There's also the quick draw feat that can help.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Uchuujin wrote:
To me the most difficult part is that operative weapons just have so many fewer damage dice than other options they just don't work without trick attack as an option.

Especially in melee, at least until high levels, your bonus damage outclasses your dice damage to such a degree that the die really doesn't matter too much. When choosing weapons for my melee soldiers, I look for whether they work with my build, not what their damage die is. The difference between 1d4+17 and 1d8+17 is kinda trivial, especially if the d4 goes against EAC and the 1d8 goes against KAC. More important is stuff like Reach or energy type.

The innate damage bonus on Finesse Striker is probably enough to make it comparable to non-operative weapons, and if you hit more often that way? Gravy.


This makes hulk with a dagger viable , doesn't make flash with a dagger viable.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I plan on making a Dex-focused soldier who uses this. With the extra AC, the fact my ranged attacks won't suffer, and some of the options that were already mentioned in this thread (Advanced Coordination is so good!) I think it will make for a really fun character.

Will it match the raw DPR of a stacked out STR Melee Soldier? No, but that has downsides too.

edit: Multi-Weapon Strike/Versatility stands out to me as well tbh, but YMMV


BigNorseWolf wrote:
This makes hulk with a dagger viable , doesn't make flash with a dagger viable.

The difference in maximum damage is relatively negligible and can be mitigated through other factors. Dex-melee is plenty viable. Regardless, Starfinder has a considerably lower bar for optimization needed to contribute to the game.

Scarab Sages

BigNorseWolf wrote:
This makes hulk with a dagger viable , doesn't make flash with a dagger viable.

Reminds me of what I'm doing in Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition right now. I have a half-Orc Kensai with 19 strength who is proficient in daggers and Katanas. Since you can't start the game with a Katana (it costs 750 gold at the start of the game, which you don't start with, and the next time you come across one is a decent ways into the game).

So my character is naked (Kensai can't wear armor), is wielding a dagger, and is the most dangerous PC in the party.

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Starfinder General Discussion / Finesse Striker-I want this to be good All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.