Awesome Treatise on the Biohacker!

General Discussion

Second Seekers (Jadnura)

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Just posted an awesome treatise on the Biohacker class by contributing author Moniquer!

Biohack the Pact Worlds!

The peer review process is brutal....sorry! *wince*

I see the advice to pair your prime stat with your choice of theme a lot, but mechanically there's little reason to.

You are going to have an odd stat somewhere. Odd stats are almost entirely superfluous in starfinder except to let you meet a feat pre req, and even then as long as your theme bonus winds up anywhere that you put any build points it doesn't matter where the point come from.

On the plus side, this lets you pick up any theme you want for an interesting ability or flavor rather than having to be limited to the few tied to the stat you want.

Being able to reload as a swift action is kind of meh: I certainly wouldn't get charisma out of it. Very seldom do I see reloading in combat, and even then a swift action in starfinder is far more limiting than in pathfinder. It prevents your full action, and if you've fired enough times to empty your gun you're probably standing where you want to be anyway, so move to reload and fire once vs. swift action reload fire once and move action to... something? Isn't that big of an upgrade.
You can just keep your old gun on you and loaded, move, draw it on themove and fire it if you say, need to shoot while out running the space t rex.

For races, when playing the playtest biohacker I never wished I had four arms more. (this may be less useful now that biohackers just add the biohacks at will rather than needing to pre load them)

I am hearing rumblings that the genetics booster wasn't intended to do that (although if that's the case why they didn't figure out during the playtest i have no idea). If thats how it plays, You can be some pretty serious damage Dual wielding injection acid pistols: shoot someone Multi weapon fightin to give them vulnerability to acid and then shoot them with acid. Next round full attack them with pistols that do full level to damage.

Feats: see above for the problem with quickdraw. Upgrades to swift actions don't do much in starfinder.

Alright defend your thesis...TO THE DEATH! :)

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My comments:

1. I agree with BNW on theme points. They're either irrelevant or only slightly relevant for meeting a feat prerequisite (often not until level 5 or 10), and only need to go in either your primary stat, a stat you were going to raise anyway at chargen, or your target stat for your prereq. Either ignore or work within those constraints.

But really just pick for your bonus class skill and level 1/6/12 powers. Get intimidate or mysticism or stealth or something like that.

2. I find the recommendation for instinctive biohackers to choose any of life science, physical science, or medicine very weird for your free skill ranks and insight bonuses, as is the SFS pregen doing that. You have total freedom, this is your chance to do something weird like a stealth, intimidate, or acrobatics build in support of a combat style, or a hacker or engineer technician. The studious gets insight bonuses to three boring knowledge/support skills locked in, you have the freedom to be cool and customized. Do that.

3. "Their spark of ingenuity is also amazing: the ability to instantly remove the conditions of dazzled, fascinated, and shaken is extremely powerful." Dazzled is an inconvenience, fascinated can be removed pretty easily. Shaken is taken care of by remove condition treatment option if you go that route, making the instinctive spark of ingenuity pretty bad IMO. At level 7+ it's ok offensively and just ok as a condition remover if you're not planning to use the theorems to remove conditions.

4. On races I agree with BNW that swift action reloads are rarely relevant because few reload in combat and you generally don't have a good use for your move action since you're not likely an Improved Intimidate build (unless you went there with your instinctive bonus) and don't have any class abilities (unlike some Mystics, Technomancers, and most Solarians) that use move actions.

The general rule for picking races based on attributes is try to take a penalty in an attribute you don't care about (dumping Cha or Str are most common) and try not to take a bonus in something you don't want to increase at level 1.

5. Short duration on genetics inhibitor? 3+attribute rounds is plenty for most combats. I don't think it's too overpowered because it's only a 50% party damage boost if everyone is using the same damage type exclusively, which leaves you in the lurch when you hit a highly resistant or immune creature. And compare to the -2 AC inhibitor, which has an effective 20% damage boost for all damage types if you change a hit rate from 50% to 60%, or a 25% boost if you change the party's hit rate from 40% to 50% on a tough enemy. That sort of inhibitor works on everything without having to coordinate or worry about energy matching, and is relatively even stronger on less accurate but more damaging projectile weapons.

And all these damage boosting calculations assume the biohacker hits on his first shot and before the rest of the party acts. Neither is terribly likely, reducing your expected damage boost over the course of a fight to something less than this optimal calculation.

So I really hope they leave the genetics inhibitor alone.

6. I completely agree with you on the other fields of study.

7. Studious biohackers can't damage undead with their healing. Healing in Starfinder doesn't damage undead, not even the Mystic Cure spell.

8. You're way overrating powerful biohacks theorem, which is easy to do on your first couple of read throughs. All of your biohacks already work on unliving unless they have the poison descriptor or some other descriptor that unliving are immune to. All this theorem does is remove the poison descriptor, which I think only applies to the toxicology inhibitor (sickened), the pharmacology inhibitor (encumbered/entangled), and the tranq dart (asleep).

But if those unliving have independent resistances to these things because they can't fall asleep (undead vs tranq dart) or can't be affected by mind affecting (undead vs pharmacology inhibitor) they still don't work. So I think the only thing this really does is let you sicken constructs and undead with the toxicology inhibitor. That's not nothing, but it's pretty limited.

9. No, don't pick Skill Synergy or Skill Focus with Life Science, Physical Science, or Medicine! Those don't stack with the insight bonus that studious biohackers already get, and even instinctive biohackers probably have better uses for a +2 or +3 than a better identification of enemies when they already have a guaranteed take 20 with their microlab.

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I would add for races that any with a racial bonus to medicine is worth considering when starting at level 1, as dc 25 medicine checks can be difficult to make then. This includes shirren with individual obsession, ramiyels, and ghorans.

Also, I'm not sure about the statement that crafted poisons gain +2 DC. I suspect this came from the core rulebooks statement that crafted items treat their level as higher for saving throws. I believe this refers to instances where an ability targets a piece of equipment (i.e. mechanic's overcharge ability), not saves made against the equipment. At any rate, this would be shaky for poison DCs anyway since their DC is not determined by item level but the poisons own stat block.

Second Seekers (Jadnura)

Thanks for the detailed feedback folks - I have passed it onto the author as well.

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