Iconic Design: Vulpine Vanguard

Welcome to Iconic Design! I’m Alexander Augunas, the Everyman Gamer, and MAN February 2021 has been a great year to be a fan of kitsune! Not only did we get kitsune formally added to PF2 in this month’s Ancestry Guide, but we ALSO got a stealth-addition of everyone’s favorite floofy foxfolk into Starfinder via the Alien Character Deck, which is basically a deck of playing cards for Starfinder that have references for something like 50 playable Starfinder species. Kitsune were one of five brand-new species added this way, the others being grippli, gnoll, kobold, and samsaran. I mean, sure, I wrote kitsune for Starfinder back in 2017 in a 3PP the day Starfinder came out, but I’m a big proponent in stuff like species being made canon because that means you get official support from Paizo in addition to me, slugging away in the 3PP Shadows.

In celebration of kitsune getting added to yet another game, today’s Iconic Design will be a Starfinder kitsune! Specifically, a vanguard. Why? Because this is my blog and no one can stop me from doing whatever I want. NO  ONE. Well, almost no one … *glances towards Ryan and Perram’s office.*

Let’s get started!

Build Concept

  • Ability Scores | Str 8 | Dex 16 | Con 17 | Int 10 | Wis 10 | Cha 12 |
    • Ability Boosts (5th): Str, Dex, Con, Int
    • Ability Boosts (10th): Str, Dex, Con, Cha
  • Theme | Sensate (+1 Con) |
  • Species | Kitsune |
  • Feats | Improved Maneuver: Reposition (1st; Aspect) | Coordinated Shot (1st) | Weapon Specialization: Vanguard Weapons (3rd; Bonus) | Skill Focus: Intimidate (3rd) | Diehard (4th; Discipline) | Deadly Aim (5th) | Antagonize (6th; Discipline | Improved Demoralize (7th) | Improved Maneuver: Dirty Trick (8th; Aspect)|  Step Up (9th) | Step Up and Strike (11th) |
  • Class Features: entropic attunement (critical effect, reach, weapon special property), entropic pool, entropic strike 4d6, flashing strikes, mitigate, reactive 2/day, uncanny agility
    • First Aspect (inversion) | aspect (1st) | embodiment (4th) |  catalyst (12th) |
    • Second Aspect (reaction) | aspect (8th) |
    • Disciplines | evasion (2nd) | metabolic stability (4th) | antagonize (6th) | swift antagonize (8th) | accelerate (10th) | improved evasion (12th) |

Playing the Build

Naturally, you don’t need to be a kitsune to play this build but you sure as heck can if you want to. The idea here is that you’ve got a lot of tricks for messing up your opponent’s day, both in terms of their positioning and their general action economy. One of the nice things about the inversion vanguard aspect is that as you level up, you basically get minor group Stamina healing options, giving you one of like four options in the game that can heal allies’ Stamina Points (the others being envoys, medics, and battle commanders). Coordinated Shot is awesome in a ranged-heavy party, and Improved Maneuver: Reposition allows you to set enemies in Squares where your allies are more likely to benefit from that feat. Improved Demoralize allows you to demoralize as a move action and synergizes well with the Antagonize disciplines that this build gets, and with so much Intimidate action Skill Focus: Intimidate makes a ton of sense as well. Going reaction as your second aspect gives you Improved Maneuver: Dirty Trick, which can be a very powerful option, and Step Up / Step Up and Strike are golden because they allow you to keep foes in melee range for your combat maneuvers, Antagomize / Demoralize shenanigans’, and of course, your entropic strikes.

One of my favorite tricks that this build has is accelerate, which is a weird little vanguard power that allows you to amplify the damage dealt by an area effect that you’re affected by for other enemies. Basically, you can ask your friends to fireball you, amplify the damage, and then use evasion / improved evasion to just negate most of that damage for yourself. Pretty cool, right?

And that’s my tricky vanguard build! Hope you enjoyed it, and I’ll see you back in two weeks for another Everyman Gamer article! What will I decide to write about? I dunno! I’ve been thinking about writing an article about my biggest annoyances with the Starfinder system, but I might just make more kitsune characters instead. Whatever strikes my fancy, ya know?

Take it easy!

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.