To build a Solarian in Starfinder, consider the following:
- Solar Manifestation for unique armor or weapon
- Stellar Mode attunement: gravitons vs photons
- Stellar Revelations (super attacks)
- Sidereal Influence/Weapon Specialization
- Flashing Strikes
- Best alien races to choose
In Starfinder, the Solarian class is a unique spell sword build, pulling from the power of stars. To me, this is a prime candidate for a Jedi character, complete with force manipulation and swords of light. Playing a Solarian means tapping into your warrior side. Maybe you build a Vesk bounty hunter who enjoys capturing his prey by hand. Or, you could go Lashunta Jedi, complete with bonus psychic powers and a philosophy of balance.
Either way, this class takes a unique niche in gameplay, wielding cosmic energy and implements of outer space during the session. Let’s dive into this mystical warrior class to understand their thematic and strategic role in the party.
The first thing you choose is the way your power is manifested. A physical, glowing orb of bright starlight floats around you. Or, maybe it’s deep purple or blue (giving it a black hole flair). This orb of energy is representative of your cosmic power, a small piece of the stellar energy you can manipulate. Choose the way your orb expresses itself, then choose whether it will form into armor or a weapon.
One form the mote could take is stellar armor. This armor can essentially look like anything. Want a form-fitting speed suit made of solid black energy? You got it. Maybe you want your armor to look more like classic knight plate mail made of light. That’s dope. Once you have your design, you won’t be able to change it until you gain another Solarian level.
Functionally, this armor adds a +1 bonus to both Kinetic and Energy armor classes. Upgrade this to +2 when you hit 10th level.
As a Jedi lover, I’ll probably choose this form. Technically, the weapon can be any melee weapon—or even a whipping, organic shape. Naturally, I’m going with a katana of SUNLIGHT.
This sword acts as a one-handed kinetic advanced melee weapon, dealing 1d6 + Strength modifier at 1st level. Increase the number of d6 rolls at level 6, 9 and everything above 12. These weapons can be enhanced by Solarian weapon crystals, so artificial upgrades can enhance your sword or whip or mace further. You know, in case you’re feeling Sith—y. The weapon can be drawn as if unsheathed and disappears when it leaves its owner’s hand.
But wait, the cosmic star magic doesn’t end there. This goes deep, kids.
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Solarians draw their magic from the cosmic balance of creation and destruction, light and dark, symbolized by the forces of supernovas and blackholes. As a Jedi must be in balance with the force, Solarians must keep the balance between these polar cosmic forces. This is important to know as you move forward because it comes into play. It’s a part of the theme.
During battle, you align with these cosmic forces, both as gravitons (blackhole) and photons (starlight). Or you can choose to be neutral in any given turn. As you connect with gravitons and photons, or neither, you choose a cosmic force to align your energy with. This has varying effects depending on which you choose.
Graviton Mode allows you to tap into gravity-based powers. Gain 1 graviton point each turn. When you build up to 3, you can unleash a Stellar Revelation (a super attack). One such move is named Black Hole, which pulls enemies up to 20 feet away 10 feet closer to you. This could be crucial for dealing with ranged fighters. Also, while graviton attuned, gain a +1 bonus to Reflexive saving throws.
Photon Mode is a similar set-up using solar power. While photon attuned, you gain a +1 bonus to damage rolls, which raises by 1 every 6 levels. After 3 photon counters, the Supernova revelation is opened. This blast of star fire deals 1d6 damage (+ 1d6 for Solarian level) to every enemy within a 10-foot radius.
Sidreal Influence and Weapon Specialization
These abilities show up at level 3, offering cosmic influence on some skill checks. Choose two skills to gain a d6 insight bonus, one representing photons and the other gravitons. Skills related to these stellar forces match up thematically, which is a cool aspect of class. The list of photon skills includes Culture (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Medicine (Int) and Survival (Wis).
The list of graviton skills is Bluff (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Mysticism (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis) and Stealth (Dex).
Weapon Specialization adds extra damage equal to character level on certain weapons. This is reduced to half with small firearms or operative melee weapons. Using the solar sword (or whatever) counts as an advanced military weapon.
Flashing Strikes (Level 7)
For this ability, it’s important to know about full attacks. Essentially, this allows the character to attack 2 times. Remember, this means no moves or other actions. Normally, this adds a -4 attack penalty. Flashing strikes reduces this penalty to -3 as long as the attacks are made with melee weapons.
Best alien races to choose
In my opinion, this is the optimum race for the Solarian class.
The Lashunta are humanoids with long antennae on their heads, giving them natural psychic gifts. All Lashunta receive a +2 to Charisma, the guiding stat for Solarian spells. Put the two together and your already off to a great start.
Being a Dimorphic race, these aliens come in two forms: Korasha and Damaya. The Korasha form gains a +2 to Strength, being the muscular warrior. The Damaya, on the other hand, tend to be more delicate with heightened Intelligence (bonus +2). For the purpose of Solarian melee combat, the Korasha makes the most sense.
All Lashunta are telepathic with willing participants (we’ll get to the unwilling ones). Up to 30 feet, Limited Telepathy allows you to converse with those who know your language. You know, mentally and not out loud.
Lashunta bonus spells
Oh, but there’s more. Lashunta gain 3 additional spells. At will they can cast daze and psychokinetic hand, and once a day they can detect thoughts. Jedi, anyone?
Daze is a helpful spell to confuse opponents and render them useless. A humanoid creature with a CR of 3 or lower is unable to take actions for 1 around against a Will saving throw. It’s important to note they take no penalty to AC.
Psychokinetic hand is straight-up telekinesis. Within a range of 15 feet, you can propel an item forward, open doors, and push simple buttons. The effect wears off when you exceed the range and can’t fix a computer or fire a gun. The benefits are similar to D&D spell Mage Hand. The uses for this ability in story are near limitless, so get creative and have fun with it.
Detect thoughts is straight-up telepathy. Who would have thought?
But seriously, there’s a lot to this once-a-day Mystic spell.
The amount of information you can gather depends on how long you focus the spell. This focus can last as long as 1 minute, beginning with the detection or absence of thoughts. Intelligence scores of your target need to be 1 or higher for this to work (we need some sort of consciousness).
In battle, the duration goes three rounds of focus. On the second round, the spellcaster can sense how many thinking minds are in the area. Watch out: a superintelligence can leave you stunned if its score is 10 points higher, starting at a score of 26. The third round actually allows you to read the minds of everyone in a room. If a foe succeeds in a Will saving throw, the effect doesn’t stick.
Giant, predatory lizard people could make for interesting Solarians. This is especially true if you want to play a melee tank warrior.
As far as racial bonuses, the Vesk get +2 to Strength and Constitution. This will certainly come in handy with any melee fighter. Fearless allows them to add +2 to saving throws against fear effects and Low-Light Vision allows them to see in low light as if it were normal. They have Natural Weapons (claws) that deal 1d3 lethal damage and aren’t considered archaic.
The real kicker, however, is the Armor Savant feature, which adds +1 to AC. Heavy armor penalties are reduced by one as well. Add this in with Solar Armor, and you can play a star-powered tank.
This four-armed, cone-headed race is reminiscent of an Ancient Aliens episode. Coming from a planet orbiting a dying star, this race is known as the founders of Solarian solar magic. It probably has something to do with the dying star they orbit. Anyway, those four arms come in handy—you can ready weapons in each hand. As a racial bonus, they receive +2 Strength and +2 Wisdom.
They also have the ability to move through difficult terrain (desert, mountain, hill) at normal speed and gain +2 skill check to Athletics and Acrobatics.
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