Solar Flare Solarian build advice


Advice


Here is what I have so far:

Race: Halfling
Theme: Pilot

Stats @ lvl 1:
str 8
dex 18
con 11
int 10
wis 10
cha 16

Revelations:
2 plasma sheath
4 gravity boost
6 gravity pulse | blazing orbit
8 gravity pulse | blazing orbit
9 stellar acceleration, nebula storm
10 debris field
12 soul furnace
14 gravitic shield
16 glow of life
17 constellation blast, gravitic calling
18 ultimate grav
20 crush

- No defy grav--rely on jet packs when actual flight is needed, otherwise jet dash lets you jump 2x as high, should be sufficient for battlefield positioning? (Alternatively, drop gravity pulse since it gives 2 saves if you are pushing them off a cliff/etc, and grab defy gravity or agile wavelengths instead.)

Feats:
1 weap focus sm arms
3 fleet
5 enhanced resistance
7 jet dash
9 nimble moves
11 mobility
13 kasathan battle dance
15 improved init
17 constant alertness
19 indirect retreat? (not having to run in a straight line)

- I like the idea of jet dash + reasonably good base move speed + grav boost; can do things like run up a 300' building at lvl 7 (50' base, with fleet & speed suspension) with no athletics check needed.

Is this mobility overkill?

Skills:
Acrobatics for tumbling, athletics for maneuvering/climbing/etc, some stealth for scouting, and diplomacy/intimidate. (Max acrobatics & athletics, can give up some stealth & diplo/intim for minimal ranks in a few other skills as desired. Though maybe that much athletics won't actually be needed, with the other bonuses.)

General strategy:

Out of combat: Scouting (stealth & crazy mobility), social stuff (cha bonus, ranks in diplo/intimidate). Fitting hypnotic glow into the build would be nice for out of combat utility... (and also sometimes about-to-combat utility).

Combat:
Pre lvl 10:
- Generally attune photon. Use plasma sheath if enemies aren't fire resistant. (Use a cold dmg flare so without sheath you can deal with fire resist.) Use blazing orbit when it will help. Acrobatics for tumbling away (halfling bonus + class skill + dex bonus is helpful), grav boost can help position in places enemies can't get to easily, especially after lvl 6 (grav boost gives spider climb but with running allowed) and jet dash (6x speed run, no flat footed), and fleet to boost base speed. Get speed suspension when able to boost this further.

- If the terrain has a lot of stuff that would be bad to be moved into (falls, damaging terrain, etc), once grav pulse is attained, attune graviton & use that to force enemies off cliffs/onto bad terrain/etc. (Though I notice it gives 2 saves; one to resist moving at all, and a second to resist moving into bad stuff...)
- Could replace blazing orbit with distant burst; the only thing in this build it would affect is supernova. Up to 40 feet away is a big boost. I opted not to go this route--I figured it is most useful in early levels then falls off as more zeniths open up.

Post 10:
- When safe to do so, attune photon & use pre-lvl-10 strategy, building to solar acceleration zenith generally.

- If not feeling safe to do so, can position in all sorts of places (e.g., hanging off the wall too high up to melee attack) with debris field making it hard to hit you. Once grav shield is in play that would more than compensate for flat footed. (If there are platforms or something that enemy melee can't get to you on, that is better, but even if there aren't, you can hang off a wall and probably be ok.) Should succeed on the athletics check to climb, with halfling bonus, grav boost of 2/3 level bonus (attuned grav), and putting ranks into athletics.

- Grav boost from photon mode can be useful for clutch repositions, but really it is for when attuning graviton mode, all attacks while attuned will have gravitation 20 ft.

- If unable to maneuver (small, flat battlefield with no walls that can be climbed), debris field & grav shield should still provide decent defenses, while gravity pulse can help keep melee enemies away.

Thoughts/advice?


Alternatives to the last two revelations:
- Gravitic reinforcement (decent bonus to all saves by lvl 18 when taken, or just to reflex when in photon mode but still useful)
- Superlative constellation for 3x uses on glow/soul furnace.

I went towards ultimate grav for the grav boost bonus to acrobatics, and to enable crush to be decent (60' range, 2 targets) when obtained at 20.

The other way I was thinking of going would be pure photon attunement.

This build would end up with unbalanced revelations at some levels..

Something like:

Level Revelation Feat
1 weap focus sm arms
2 distant burst
3 Divine blessing (Sarenrae)
4 gravity boost
5 enhanced resistance
6 plasma sheath
7 fleet
8 grav resist
9 stellar acceleration, <any grav won't use> jet dash
10 soul furnace
11 mobility

(Unbalanced revelations from now on.)

12 hypnotic glow
13 nimble moves
14 blazing orbit
15 improved init
16 luminescent inquisition
17 solar incursion, <any grav, won't use> constant alertness
18 ultimate grav
19 skill synergy (athletics, acrobatics)
20 crush

Could instead get crush at 12 & ultimate grav at 16 to stay balanced, leaving two of those photon revelations to be taken at 18 & 20.

If going this route, I'd probably fit Divine Blessing (Sarenrae) into feats early, to help mitigate fire resist/etc. (Though leaving sheath off and just dealing cold dmg with the flare also works; at lvl 9+ can use solar acceleration as zenith. Pre 9 you won't have a zenith that works well against fire-resist enemies.)

Not sure what I'd replace ultimate grav/crush with... I think the bonus to acrobatics makes tumbling more likely to succeed by a good bit, which is nice. I figured once I have that, may as well pick up a 2x range, 2x targets crush ability for disrupting hard enemies.


For the photon-attunement-only build, I gave it some more thought.

Option 1: No disproportionate revelations

2 distant burst
4 gravity boost
6 plasma sheath
8 defy gravity
9 solar acceleration, <any grav won't use>
10 soul furnace
12 grav resist
14 blazing orbit
16 ultimate grav
17 solar incursion, <any grav, won't use>
18 luminescent inquisition
20 burn enchantment

Can swap defy & grav resist if desired.
I figured luminescent/burn enchantment will have more utility in late-game than hypnotic glow. Not sure on that--could always pick it up instead of one of those options.

Feats:

1 weap focus sm arms
3 Divine blessing (Sarenrae)
5 enhanced resistance
7 fleet | jet dash
9 fleet | jet dash
11 mobility
13 nimble moves
15 improved init
17 constant alertness
19 skill synergy (athletics, acrobatics)

Though perhaps with defy gravity in the mix, jet dash isn't needed.

Option 2: Disproportionate

2 distant burst
4 gravity boost
6 plasma sheath
8 blazing orbit
9 solar acceleration, <any grav won't use>
10 soul furnace
12 hypnotic glow
14 curving flare
16 ultimate grav
17 solar incursion, <any grav, won't use>
18 luminescent inquisition
20 burn enchantment

Feats: Same as option 1.

This gets blazing orbit a lot earlier, you get utility from hypnotic glow, curving flare may be useful for hitting targets out of your line of sight (though you only get the 2nd attack if the first hits, and at lvl 13 you are giving up your 3rd attack).
I still picked up ultimate grav for the acrobatics bonus from boost (which should make tumbling pretty successful).

In exchange, you lose out on the bonus to reflex saves from gravitic resist, lose out on the defy grav (though with jet dash & grav boost it won't matter most of the time?), and take 4 rounds to fully attune from lvl 8-19.

I think I prefer option 1. I would consider replacing defy gravity, maybe with gravity surge (unclear whether ultimate grav lets you trip/disarm 2 targets simultaneously with this), though I don't think it would be of much use until ultimate grav for the range boost.


Not sure I'd pick up the Feat: Fleet. As you can grab Cybernetics that allow the same thing.

Speed Suspension, Minimal. Tech Level 4, 1,900 cr.
You increase your land speed by replacing joints and tendons in your legs with high-performance cybernetics. A minimal speed suspension replaces only a few parts, increasing your land speed by 10 feet. A standard suspension is more invasive and increases your land speed by 20 feet. Replacing all your leg joints and tendons with a complete speed suspension increases your land speed by 30 feet.

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Something to think about (RAW) -
The Revelations that give bonuses to skills mostly only give those bonuses when attuned or fully attuned. From my understanding of Stellar Mode & Attunement, you only can become attuned at the start of your turn in combat. Which means you don't get those bonuses except in combat.


Does speed suspension not stack with fleet? My naive guess was that if a specific type of bonus (e.g., insight/enchantment/etc) is mentioned, only one of that bonus type applies, but both fleet and speed suspension do not have a bonus type listed, so I was assuming they stack.

Which revelations are you referring to? The only one giving skill bonuses that I picked above is gravity boost, which works unattuned (bigger bonus when attuning grav mode, I miss out on that doubled bonus but the base bonus should always be on).


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Speed Suspension
You increase your land speed by replacing joints and tendons in your legs with high-performance cybernetics. A minimal speed suspension replaces only a few parts, increasing your land speed by 10 feet. A standard suspension is more invasive and increases your land speed by 20 feet. Replacing all your leg joints and tendons with a complete speed suspension increases your land speed by 30 feet. You can install a speed suspension into prosthetic legs. Extra speed from these augmentations is treated as an enhancement bonus.

No such wording with Fleet. I assume they stack.

I think the post above was basically giving you the old adage "Never accomplish with a feat that which you can accomplish via cash."


I will put down equipment goals too I suppose, though I don't want a detailed 'this is the equipment I want' at each character level as that would be tedious.

But generally, I think I want as much base speed as I can get, so I can get where I need to go with just one move action. Base speed will limit how high I can jump, for instance. If I can get 60' base, I could do a 10' move then jump 50 feet up @ dc 25 (with jet dash), grab on to the ceiling or wall I jump to, shoot from there for the turn. (Flat footed & need a climb check to hang on, but with focus on athletics & the halfling & the grav boost bonuses, hopefully that won't be too hard.)

Equipment goals:

Solarian weapon crystals:
- Focus on increasing damage.

Weapon fusions:
- Soulfire fusion (GM says this works with flare at his table)
- Not sure what else.

Augmentations:
- Speed suspension definitely
- Personal upgrades for dex, cha, con (in that order), or int instead of con if I am not having survivability trouble and want more skill points... (I see the int boost gives retroactive skill points, which is nice)
- Vision -- darkvision capacitors look promising
- Not sure what else, haven't browsed them all yet. I'll be focusing on mobility & evasiveness. Things like glass skin look interesting for evasiveness, or nimble soles for the bonus to acrobatic tumbling.

Armor: Staying with light armor with a high enough max dex bonus that I can use my full dex bonus.

Armor upgrades:
- Early, before I have darkvision capacitors, infrared sensors look good.
- Targetting computer looks good
- Force fields
- Not sure what else

Hybrid & magic items:
- Not sure what to get, I haven't browsed through them yet... any suggestions?

Tech items:
- Not sure, need to browse these. Any suggestions?


Hmm, so haste is an enhancement bonus to speed.
If I picked up the haste circuit armor upgrade, it wouldn't stack with speed suspension. (Though the other effects would still work.)

I'm not sure it would be that great though--at the start of combat or on rounds after I use a zenith, I'd probably want to use a move action to re-activate plasma sheath. (And, if I have grav resist, use a move action the round after that to activate it, though I don't need to repeat after zenithing.)
Since haste only lets you move (if I'm reading it right), I wouldn't be able to activate plasma sheath with a move and also do a full attack while hasted.

So if I need a move action for sheath & grav resist, that takes up move actions the first two rounds of combat.
After I zenith, plasma sheath takes up a move action the next round.

So, assuming proportionate revelations (so fully attuned in 3 rounds):
R1: No haste benefit (move action sheath)
R2: no haste benefit (move action grav resist)
R3: no haste benefit (standard action zenith, using move afterward to activate sheath useless as I'm not attuned and it would fall off at the start of my next turn)
R4: no haste benefit (move action sheath)
R5: haste benefits
R6: no haste benefit (standard action zenith)
etc

I.e., it seems the full-attack and still move benefit is only useful once every 3 rounds (except the first 3, where it isn't useful).

The speed boost may still be useful, but since it is an enhancement bonus I can get that with speed suspension.

If I did get disproportionate revelations (no grav resist), it would be useful in 2 out of 4 rounds:
R1: no haste benefit (move action sheath)
R2: haste benefits
R3: haste benefits
R4: no haste benefit (standard action zenith)
R5: no haste benefit (move action sheath)
R6: haste benefits
R7: haste benefits
R8: no haste benefit (standard action zenith)
etc

Bionic knee seems more useful when I don't have defy grav, too. So if I went disproportionate, I may get:
- Bionic knee
- haste circuit

If I did pick up grav resist at some point, it would mean haste is only beneficial in one of the first 4 rounds. (Well, the speed boost is useful in all the rounds where I am moving.)

Since haste circuit is magical, it only gets those 10 charges per day and can't be recharged by normal means, so I'd still get solar acceleration. I think I'd be using 3 haste circuit charges per combat (round 1 activate as a swift, round 4 deactivate as a swift). (I assume it doesn't use a charge in round 4 if I deactivate it? Not quite clear to me.)

With proportionate, I'd get speed suspension & use that armor upgrade slot for something else. I'd get solar acceleration @ lvl 9 and just have distant burst supernova for aoe damage.

EDIT: Also seems to me that blazing orbit doesn't work with haste, as orbit requires spending a move action to activate it (and lets you move your speed as part of that), while haste just lets you spend a move action to move your speed.
One of the things I like about the disproportionate build is getting blazing orbit early; not being able to use it when full attacking with haste makes that a bit less attractive.

I'll probably end up doing the proportionate build.


If you're also looking at gear, I put up a thread for gear that can effect skill modifiers. While not really that helpful for combat, can be useful for those non-combat checks.

https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42xpu?Gear-with-Skill-modifiers

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All that speed can be nice in certain, limited, encounters. Most of those types of encounters are 'limited' and usually don't come up that often.

Two questions you need to think about -
1) Do you want to spend all those resources on something that is only effective during a limited amount of time?

2) With all that speed, where's the rest of the party going to be at?
Asking as you'll be out of support range for the rest of the party for most situations where you want all that speed.


I consider speed pretty useful. Being able to flank/circle behind/etc is useful, especially if you can do it in a single move action.
I feel like situations come up fairly often where extra movement results in being able to target someone you couldn't otherwise, or having a clear shot vs shooting through cover.

The only feat I would swap in would be kip up so I can play with move (or activate plasma sheath/etc), drop prone (swift), fire. Next round stand up (swift), move, fire. Etc.

But in rounds where I want to full attack (with or without haste), I won't have any swift actions to use anyway.


If I were to give up some of the mobility feats, what feats would you consider slotting in instead?

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