Iconic Design: Son of Vesk-3

Hey everyone, welcome back to Guidance! An especially warm welcome if you’re a nufriend of the Know Direction Network, because today’s build is especially glad to meet you! Today I’m sharing my build for Daxenrae, my sun-themed Starfinder Society skittermander. How do you make a sun-themed skittermander? I’m glad you asked! Let me show you my build….


Any information important to understanding the build or its roots goes here.

  • Race: Skittermander (ultimately irrelevant; this build works for any race)
  • Class: Soldier 1 / Solarian 11
  • Feats: Improved Combat Maneuver: grapple (1st), Weapon Focus: advanced melee weapons (3rd), Weapon Specialization (Bonus), Coordinated Shot (5th), Enhanced Resistance: damage reduction (7th), Cleave (9th), Lunge (11th)
  • Class Features: flashing strikes, skill adept
    • Fighting Styles: blitz (1st)
    • Sidereel Influence: Diplomacy and Sense Motive (3rd), Culture and Stealth (11th)
    • Skill Adept: Any two; skittermanders don’t really have the skill ranks for this to
    • Solar Manifestation: weapon.
    • Stellar Revelations: black hole (1st), supernova (1st), stellar rush (2nd), plasma sheath (4th), defy gravity (6th), subduing beams (8th), soul furnace (10th)
    • Zenith Revelations: solar acceleration and wormholes (9th)

Playing the Build

If solarians have a problem, its that they need too many ability scores to work well. Specifically, this affects their to-hit, since you typically want your 18 in the stat you’re going to use to hit things, but solarians don’t get to use their Charisma to attack rolls with their stellar weapon. (You can, however, get the soulfire weapon fusion from Starfinder Armory and add your Charisma to your stellar weapon’s damage rolls.) This is the reason why the Iconic Solarian is just so bad; he has his Strength maxed out, but his key ability stat (his Charisma) is low, meaning he has almost no Resolve Points and dies easily. My solution out of this problem was simply to take my first level in soldier. Yes, blitz is AMAZING for the solarian, but you don’t take a dip into soldier for the movement speed bonus or the initiative. You take it because as a soldier, you can choose Strength as your key ability score and therefore base your Resolve Points off of it. Yes, ONE level of soldier lets you do that.

Now, the major downside of not really boosting my Charisma (I keep a 12 at 1st level because Daxenrae is a skittermander) is that my revelations don’t have their DCs increased. The solution to this problem is, surprisingly, to simply ignore those revelations and focus on stuff that doesn’t care about your Charisma. Surprise, most revelations don’t. Interestingly, because graviton revelations are so utility oriented, its photon that has most of the “these don’t care about your Charisma” revelations, so I made the decision to throw my stellar balance out of whack. Normally as a solarian you want to keep your graviton and photon revelations balanced so you can become fully attuned faster. Yet except for supernova, no stellar revelation cares if you’re fully attuned. You don’t see that distinction as a mechanic until 9th level when the solarian gets zenith revelations. So for my build, I did two things that are odd for solarians.

  • I picked revelations that didn’t use my Charisma to determine their save DCs or effects.
  • I picked revelations that didn’t need to be fully attuned to work.

This left me with the list above, and its REALLY solid. Stellar rush allows Daxenrae to charge with no penalties while plasma sheath allows him to add extra fire damage to his solar weapon attacks. Subduing beams basically allows Daxenrae to make all of his solar weapon attacks nonlethal if he wants, and soul furnace allows him to attempt to burn away corruptions on his body and soul (aka dispelling harmful conditions). The only graviton revelation I took was defy gravity because its movement flexibility is extremely powerful and there wasn’t any other photon revelations I wanted at that level. As for zenith revelations, solar acceleration (which lets Daxenrae full attack as a standard action) is extremely powerful, but it isn’t a damage increaser. If it takes me one additional round to fully attuned to access that revelation because my cycle is out of harmony, that’s pretty fine. Wormholes is just a cool name, but I have no intention of ever actually using that zenith revelation. I’m only picking it because I have to.

Featwise, I grabbed Improved Combat Maneuver (grapple) because as a skittermander, my grappling is insane. My solar weapon counts as an advanced melee weapon for things like Weapon Focus, so I picked Weapon Focus: advanced melee weapons. This also gave me a fun interaction with the flame grips weapon from Starfinder Armory; they’re a one-handed advanced melee weapon with the grapple special property, meaning you can use them for grapples. Because its an advanced melee weapon, I get to add my Weapon Focus: advanced melee weapons bonus to grapple attempts with them, meaning that I get a bonus of +7 to grapple attempts on top of my Strength and base attack bonus. At his current level (4th), Daxenrae’s grapple bonus makes it so he’s only 5% less likely to grapple a foe then he is to hit them with his solar weapon. Those are VERY good odds, and totally worth one feat as an investment (Weapon Focus hardly counts since it benefits my solar weapon). From there, I just picked some strong melee feats like Cleave, Lunge, Coordinated Shot, and the ever-amazing Enhanced Resistance. Because yes, I WOULD like damage reduction equal to my base attack bonus.

So as a quick recap, my solarian:

  • Uses Strength as his key ability score thanks to a dip into soldier.
  • Ignores revelations that would benefit from a high Charisma score.
  • Ignores revelations that require full attunement.
  • Is unlikely to fully attune, but is designed to not be penalized too hard for that.
  • Has an incredibly good grapple bonus.
  • Has a movement speed bonus and initiative bonus.
  • Is proficient with heavy armor, heavy weapons, longarms, and sniper weapons for free because he’s soldier.

This build comes with the downside that you don’t have Weapon Specialization until 4th level and your solar weapon damage is one level behind, but ultimately its a very strong build that is more survivable than the average solarian due to the fact it really only cares about your Strength score with Constitution and Dexterity as secondaries instead of needing those three PLUS Charisma. But these are just my thoughts; I’d love to hear yours! Leave your comments below, or tell me what you think on the Know Direction discord. (@ me as EverymanGamer!). Until next time, I’m signing out. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex also cohosts the Private Sanctuary Podcast, along with fellow blogger Anthony Li, and you can follow their exploits on Facebook in the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Group, or on Alexs Twitter, @AlJAug.

Alex Augunas

Alexander "Alex" Augunas is an author and behavioral health worker living outside of Philadelphia in the United States. He has contributed to gaming products published by Paizo, Inc, Kobold Press, Legendary Games, Raging Swan Press, Rogue Genius Games, and Steve Jackson Games, as well as the owner and publisher of Everybody Games (formerly Everyman Gaming). At the Know Direction Network, he is the author of Guidance and a co-host on Know Direction: Beyond. You can see Alex's exploits at http://www.everybodygames.net, or support him personally on Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/eversagarpg.

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