Evolutionist Playtest


Evolutionist Class

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

Welcome to the Evolutionist Playtest!

This forum is a place to discuss the playtest version of the evolutionist class.
Feel free to ask questions and give feedback as you try out the class—we're listening!

Another great place to give your feedback is in the playtest survey (found here), which includes a free-form text box to tell us anything not covered in the survey.

Thank you for helping us make Starfinder even better!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Evolution point question--it looks as though evolution points just stick around until you spend them on something, or until you dump 2/4/6 of them as a move/standard/full-round action? I'm not able to find anything that says you lose them at the end of combat or after a ten-minute rest or at the end of a day or anything like that.

Reading some of the other text makes me think that's PROBABLY intended, but we all seem to be reading it in a slightly different way. Help?!


Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Quick point of clarification:

Page 3 under Maintaining EP, the last univeral instinct says

Quote:
"8 EP: The enhancement bonus to your AC or EAC increases to 2"

Should this have said

Quote:
"8 EP: The enhancement bonus to your KAC or EAC increases to 2" ?


Lavabeing wrote:

Quick point of clarification:

Page 3 under Maintaining EP, the last univeral instinct says

Quote:
"8 EP: The enhancement bonus to your AC or EAC increases to 2"

Should this have said

Quote:
"8 EP: The enhancement bonus to your KAC or EAC increases to 2" ?

Nope. You either get a bonus to all AC or to EAC, depending on your type of armor.


Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
QuidEst wrote:
Nope. You either get a bonus to all AC or to EAC, depending on your type of armor.

I see. I quickly glossed over the 4 EP effect and without that context, the 8EP effect didn't make sense.


Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Page 3 again

Quote:
Special: Once per round, you can spend Evolution Points with no effect to regain control of your body.

The wording of this (again without the deep context of the rest of the class rules) makes it seem like EP can possibly be spent to end enchantment or other mind-affecting effects to regain mental control over an uncontrolled body.

I had to read the sentence more than a few times. After reading more of the class abilities, it eventually became clear that this ability ​mechanically does not do what I thought.

I'm confident now it is meant to give characters the ability to lower their EP to reduce the mechanical effects of a niche drawback, or reduce some of the perceived signs of the evolution.

I'm wondering if anyone else might have been confused by this as well.


Lavabeing wrote:

Page 3 again

Quote:
Special: Once per round, you can spend Evolution Points with no effect to regain control of your body.

The wording of this (again without the deep context of the rest of the class rules) makes it seem like EP can possibly be spent to end enchantment or other mind-affecting effects to regain mental control over an uncontrolled body.

I had to read the sentence more than a few times. After reading more of the class abilities, it eventually became clear that this ability ​mechanically does not do what I thought.

I'm confident now it is meant to give characters the ability to lower their EP to reduce the mechanical effects of a niche drawback, or reduce some of the perceived signs of the evolution.

I'm wondering if anyone else might have been confused by this as well.

I was absolutely confused as well. I thought that the move/standard/full actions were what you were reclaiming from mind control or something.


Pathfinder Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Some questions about content on page 4 under fulcrum:

Quote:
. Your fulcrum has an item level equal to your evolutionist level, and you can install weapon fusions and fusion seals onto your fulcrum as if it were a weapon of that level

How does this work with item level restrictions normally present on weapon fusions? Do Evolutionist lose any fusions that aren't high enough level to be applied to their fulcrum after they level up? Does the fusion just go *poof* ? Or do they somehow lose the effect of the fusion until they complete additional work to *maybe* upgrade it?

Can an evolutionist have more than one fulcrum?

Can the fulcrum be damaged/destroyed/stolen?

How does an evolutionist replace a lost fulcrum?

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Thanks for the questions!

From here on, please start new threads for specific questions and concerns about the evolutionist; that way, folks can more quickly and easily find them.

Terminalmancer wrote:
Evolution point question--it looks as though evolution points just stick around until you spend them on something, or until you dump 2/4/6 of them as a move/standard/full-round action?

I will start a clarifications thread, but the current intention is that you lose all EP at the end of combat.

Lavabeing wrote:
The wording of this (again without the deep context of the rest of the class rules) makes it seem like EP can possibly be spent to end enchantment or other mind-affecting effects to regain mental control over an uncontrolled body.

Good to know! Have made a note to clarify.

Lavabeing wrote:
How does this work with item level restrictions normally present on weapon fusions?

Great question: TBD!


Starfinder Superscriber

These are my initial suggestions for the new Evo class:

1. Make the Evo class purely Augmentation Driven, where a character begins to loose their race's identities as they add more augmentations = Drawbacks, since EP will enhance the Evo's augmentations:

* The Evo gains a free augmentation at level 1 and every-other level thereafter per their augmentation type (specializing in either: Biotech, Cybernetics, Megitech, Negrografts, or Species Grafts). The level of the augment = character level or lower.
* Allow more augmentations than allowed in a specific region/slot, potentially causing additional or increased Drawbacks. However, the Evo can take an Evo feat (multiple times) to create additional slots to help negate Drawbacks (note that The augmented archetype adds free augment slots, so does the geneturge mystic, as well as either cyberborn or roboticist themes, as does the verthani race and that magical construct race).
* The Evo can change 1 augment for another (of the same level as the augment being changed) every 5 levels.
* At a certain level, the Evo can specialize in more than one augmentation type (?).
* The Evo can use "EP" to enhance its augments in various ways. An example would be to increase the damage of a damage-dealing augment.
* Remove Adaptive Strike (Ex)!!!!!! (this is of the utmost important change)

2. Keep at least a 10% discount for purchased augmentations per their specialization (type of augment).

3. Allow "EP" to be useful outside of combat.

Note: in making the Evo more augmentation-centric, it will make cyberpunk-style players more excited about this class and it may help push for Augmentation specific equipment/rule books!


Are the augmentation discounts to apply to personal augmentations? Where technology would align with cybernetic, etc? Or is that not a goal here?

Though this may more broadly be a question of if personal upgrades fall under the assorted categories too of cybernetic, biotech, etc.


Starfinder Superscriber
jrock9430 wrote:

These are my initial suggestions for the new Evo class:

1. Make the Evo class purely Augmentation Driven, where a character begins to loose their race's identities as they add more augmentations = Drawbacks, since EP will enhance the Evo's augmentations:

I realize now that some of my suggestions sound like the Augmented Archetype. lol

Grand Archive

jrock9430 wrote:
jrock9430 wrote:

These are my initial suggestions for the new Evo class:

1. Make the Evo class purely Augmentation Driven, where a character begins to loose their race's identities as they add more augmentations = Drawbacks, since EP will enhance the Evo's augmentations:

I realize now that some of my suggestions sound like the Augmented Archetype. lol

Interesting thought, what happens if you give the evolutionist the augmented archtype? Good? Bad? Indifferent?


Jared Thaler - Personal Opinion wrote:
jrock9430 wrote:
jrock9430 wrote:

These are my initial suggestions for the new Evo class:

1. Make the Evo class purely Augmentation Driven, where a character begins to loose their race's identities as they add more augmentations = Drawbacks, since EP will enhance the Evo's augmentations:

I realize now that some of my suggestions sound like the Augmented Archetype. lol

Interesting thought, what happens if you give the evolutionist the augmented archtype? Good? Bad? Indifferent?

Unknown. We don't have archetype rules for the class, so we don't know what it trades. (We can guess, but it'd mess with playtesting to be able to just trade out chunks of the class.)


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I have a few simple questions, mostly on matters on formulation, clarity, intent and the like. Also a few thoughts. Not gonna touch the EP situation in this one though.

- The attack necessary for Evolution Drain doesn't do damage, does it ?
Feels like it could simply be about making contact, no harm done, just as well as it could be a matter of "if you deal damage you also steal essence materials for your own evolution", so I'd rather check. (If it does damage, I assume it's regular Adaptive Strike damage ?)
- While Augmented Form can increase a discount on augmentations from other sources (like the biotech theme or the Augmented archetype), the Augmentation Focus does nothing more to said other discounts, yes ? You get the 20%, or you get the same X+5 you'd have anyway ?
- Is the Mechanized's instinct ability to reduce damage actually Damage Reduction ? The Rapid Reboot's effect on your "hardness" should probably be reworded, unless it is indeed Hardness (seems unlikely).

- Unlike Explosive Strike, the Area Strike adaptation makes no mention of needing a ranged adaptive strike, is that on purpose ? I'm okay with the added versatility, mind you.
- It wouldn't be much use, but I'm kinda surprised we don't get the option of taking the Extraordinary Sense adaptation more than once, to get more alternative senses.
- Extreme Mobility can interact with Enhanced Mobility's swim (and fly) speed, but does nothing for the climbing part of it : is that voluntary ? Feels like it might have meant to give climbing the same speed upgrade swimming gets.

- Why specify Species grafts as one of the Vital Niche augmentations of choice ? "Species grafts can be cybernetics, biotech, magitech, nanite enhancements, or any other form of augmentation." Are Sepulchral, Mechanized and Eldritch Evolutionists not able to get their usual discount on their species augmentations ?

- Cybernetics and Magitech might need a way to compete.
Biotech can reproduce any cyber for a price and Necrografts can just do anything cyber or biotech, and do so at a discount (which seems like it might stack fully btw, considering the wordings).
Not too worried about that one, considering we're getting a full tech book, but it's worth keeping in mind. Well, noone can imitate Magitech so far, so it can stay on its island I guess : it simply having more options could suffice.

- Damage vulnerability drawbacks take me back to the Consumed Oracle curse. And I can't remember anyone enjoying that.

- If this is to be a class that does nothing but fight, having a full BaB baseline seems necessary. It's also a missed opportunity, so I'd rather have some out of combat utility.
I get that the idea is that the money saved on weapons is supposed to go into discounted augmentations to round everything out, and it's certainly helpful, but I'm not convinced that's enough.
Many augmentations also compete with adaptations - and can come out on top.


Nyerkh wrote:

- The attack necessary for Evolution Drain doesn't do damage, does it ?

Feels like it could simply be about making contact, no harm done, just as well as it could be a matter of "if you deal damage you also steal essence materials for your own evolution", so I'd rather check. (If it does damage, I assume it's regular Adaptive Strike damage ?)

Definitely no damage, otherwise it would let your physical damage attacks resolve against EAC and get a rider.

Grand Archive

Nyerkh wrote:


- Unlike Explosive Strike, the Area Strike adaptation makes no mention of needing a ranged adaptive strike, is that on purpose ? I'm okay with the added versatility, mind you.

Given that one of the examples is "A barrage of tentacle strikes" I would say that is on purpose.

Nyerkh wrote:
- Extreme Mobility can interact with Enhanced Mobility's swim (and fly) speed, but does nothing for the climbing part of it : is that voluntary ? Feels like it might have meant to give climbing the same speed upgrade swimming gets.

Are there really circumstances when you would rather climb than fly given the choice?


Starfinder Superscriber
jrock9430 wrote:
jrock9430 wrote:

These are my initial suggestions for the new Evo class:

1. Make the Evo class purely Augmentation Driven, where a character begins to loose their race's identities as they add more augmentations = Drawbacks, since EP will enhance the Evo's augmentations:

I realize now that some of my suggestions sound like the Augmented Archetype. lol

However, what would make the Evo more interesting (than the archetype) is the fact they would use EP to enhance their Augmentations, and another idea would be to added augmentations that the Evo class has exclusivity to based on its Niche (augmentation specialization: Biotech, Cybernetics, Megitech, Negrografts, or Species Grafts).

The Augmented Archetype may even elevate the Evo and vice-versa; complementing each other.

Note: you do see other classes focused around equipment, such as the Experimental Mechanic.


Starfinder Superscriber
jrock9430 wrote:

These are my initial suggestions for the new Evo class:

1. Make the Evo class purely Augmentation Driven, where a character begins to loose their race's identities as they add more augmentations = Drawbacks, since EP will enhance the Evo's augmentations:

* The Evo gains a free augmentation at level 1 and every-other level thereafter per their augmentation type (specializing in either: Biotech, Cybernetics, Megitech, Negrografts, or Species Grafts). The level of the augment = character level or lower...

How does the Evo get its free Augmentations you ask? They have a mobile pod, a backpack, like a mechanic's custom rig or biohacker's custom microlab if you will, that uses nano-tech magic to develop augmentations. That's how they could also get their exclusive augmentation specific to their niche or "augment specialization."


Starfinder Superscriber

EP is an acronym currently used by the Vanguard class; to avoid confusion I think the Evolutionist's Points, if still a thing by the end of the playtest, should be renamed to EVP (Evolution Points) or VP.


Packmaster V Eldritch adaptation question :
So, the 1st level thingie of niches is in fact an adaptation, meaning packmasters can share them.
Most I'm fine with, they fairly obvious : your mechanized self explodes in your foe's face, so does your partymate. You heal or regain stamina, so do your buddies. Easy.

You twist a spell and use your basic packmaster ability ... what happens ?
PMs only "share" the effects the adaptation has on the evolutionist themselves, it certainly doesn't grant (re)actions. Can you force the spell to "bounce" through an adjacent ally ? Would that even do anything ?


What about 10-th level ability of Eldritch Evo? There are mentioned some "spell bending adaptation", but there are no adaptation with such name.
I didn't see this in clarification, so come to mention this

Also, what's about robotic evo and Envoy with ability to give morale bonuses to robots? To me, RAI, Envoy should give morale bonuses to Evo with such ability, but RAW nothing happens, sounds pretty sad.

And if I take ranged strike, can I double tap with it?


Double tap is easy. Nothing happens.
Double tap increases your WS damage to your level. Doesn't add to your damage, it changes the WS damage. Since the Adaptive strike already does full level damage, you would only get the +1 to hit, oh unless you contradict this.
The small arm used cannot have the blast, explode, flexible line, line, unwieldy, or wide line weapon special properties, or any other property that allows it to attack multiple targets or an area in a single attack.

Also, I am sure it is a mistake, probably means spell twisting


Wesrolter wrote:

Since the Adaptive strike already does full level damage, you would only get the +1 to hit, oh unless you contradict this.

Also, I am sure it is a mistake, probably means spell twisting

Well, any +1 may be crucial)

Hmm, it may be spell twisting, sounds nice to me


In my opinion it's more useful to get your +1 or more from spending EP to increase your BAB, because about half the drawbacks are so monumentally crippling in certain situations that you want your EP stuck at 0, which is what I came here to complain about; it doesn't feel the wibbly-wobbly teetery-tottery track we were promised, instead "I need 0EP, I'm being hit by mundane attacks... Oh no, I'm being hit by a Spellcaster, better get 8EP for that 13+ SR!" Whether you like the teeter-totter mechanic is another point entirely, but it isn't executed very well in my opinion.

Also, a question: you make your attacks "as if" your BAB was equal to your level. But it isn't actually equal to your level... Does this mean that Weapon Focus adds +1, or +2?

Silver Crusade

Is this class ever going to be released?


… yes?

It’s coming out next month in Interstellar Species like has always been the plan.

Silver Crusade

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Thank gods. (oh, and you too Rysky). I made a character build that relies on it.

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