Hello, everyone, and welcome to Guidance! Today we’re going to switch from Pathfinder to Starfinder as I pull out a build for an envoy character. The envoy is a really cool class that got a lot of hate in Starfinder’s early days, but is widely considered mandatory in most groups now. (That isn’t true, mind you, but a well-built envoy affects a Starfinder party as much as a well-built bard affects a Pathfinder party.)
The envoy has a LOT of different roles that it can fill in a party: face, buffer, debuffer, skill money, and more. When building an envoy, its very possible to build your character solely for buffing or for debuffing, but for today’s build, I’m going to be trying to give my envoy the tools to do both rather well. Can I do it? Strap yourselves in and find out on today’s Iconic Design!
Any information important to understanding the build goes here.
- Class: Envoy 12
- Feats: Longarm Proficiency (1st), Weapon Focus: longarms (3rd), Fast Talk (5th), Unfriendly Fire (7th), Versatile Weapon Specialization (9th), Improved Initiative (11th)
- Class Features: expertise (1d6+2), weapon specialization
- Envoy Improvisations: Clever Feint (1st), Get’em (2nd), Clever Attack (4th), Improved Get’em (6th), Inspiring Boost (8th), Don’t Quit (10th), Hurry (12th)
- Expertise Talents: Borrowed Guise (3rd), Altered Bearing (7th), Convincing Liar (11th)
- Skill Expertise: Disguise (1st), Bluff (5th), Diplomacy (9th)
Playing the Build
One of the things I really like about the envoy class is that all its abilities really allow you to customize exactly what your character’s potential actions look like each round. Every improvisation, expertise talent, and feat comes together to create an interesting, unique play experience that can differ dramatically from envoy to envoy. The same is true with this character build. Ultimately, I don’t plan to ever have my envoy build use a full attack during combat. Why bother when I can provide so many better benefits to my allies? Looking over it quickly, by 12th level here’s my potential action library.
- Get’em and Clever Attack: This is the default move here: give myself and my allies +2 to hit and damage one target, then use Clever Attack to render that foe flat-footed and make an attack against them. That’s a 4 point swing for me, which is bound to be HUGE for my full BAB allies.
- Get’em and Inspiring Boost: This is an effective way to give my allies a buff and protect a hurt ally by pumping just a little more Stamina into them.
- Get’em and Don’t Quit: Similar to the Get’em/Inspiring Boost combo, this allows me to remove one of several incredibly lethal penalties on my allies. It gets even better at high levels when you can spend Resolve and flat-out remove hampering conditions, but even at low levels just suppressing something nasty like confused or exhausted can really turn the tides of battle in your favor.
- Improved Get’em and Movement/Move Actions: This is the default action set if I need to move. Improved Get’em allows me one attack with get’em’s bonuses and still allows me a move action to do whatever else I want.
In addition to these great action line-ups, this build has all of the Disguise expertise talents. Why? Because They’re SO cool. Borrowed guise allows you to pull off that super iconic Hollywood “infiltrating the spy base” style event while Altered Bearing allows you to disguise yourself with amazing speed; its literally out of a Superman story. Convincing Liar is just good for this build; with so many Bluff checks flying around getting to either reroll or add your expertise die based on the result of the check is incredibly good when you’re trying to feint the pants off of your enemy.
In addition, this built has two feats that use Bluff that you don’t see very often: Fast Talker and Unfriendly Fire. I think that Fast Talker is an AMAZINGLY good feat. You can basically use it to prevent one enemy from acting in the first round of combat. Yes, I know that technically a surprise round occurs, but it excludes the target of your choice, who has to just sit there and do nothing while everyone forms ranks around them. This is REALLY good for shutting down high-impact characters, such as spellcasters or boss monsters. This feat isn’t reliable—you need to be able to talk to the thing you want to Fast Talk, but this seems like a feat that will happen enough times in a typical Starfinder game that you can really get some value setting up your team for success with this. The other feat, Unfriendly Fire, is just fun. Yeah, my character’s Armor Class won’t be the greatest in the world, but low rolls happen. And when they do, I can try a Bluff check to make my foe shoot someone else instead. Hilarious!
And that, my friends, is today’s build! When building my envoy I was a little disappointed in how few meaningful feats there were for a character who doesn’t just shoot all day long, hence why I ended up grabbing Longarm Proficiency and Versatile Weapon Specialization. Hopefully this gets addressed in Alien Archive 3 or more reasonably the Character Options Manual, but what do you think? Make sure to leave me comments below or in our Know Direction Discord, and thanks for reading. I’ll see you back next week for another installment of Guidance! Bye!
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 Alex’s Twitter, @AlJAug.