Welcome back to Card Catalog’s look at Starfinder. As previously mentioned, the resulting characters are getting advanced all the way to Seventh Level and if you have not checked out the overview for this series the link is right here! Also, a reminder that I ignored the suggested wealth table to have more fun with the characters. After the original five characters for the Troublemaker were in my head, I flipped towards the back of the book where Starfinder addressed legacy character options and the picture on page 506 made me want to make a dwarf in powered armor. You are therefore getting a dwarf in powered armor!
I’ve previously mentioned my fondness for dwarves, and I hadn’t planned to make a dwarf for this crew, but as I looked deeper, I realized that the crew needed some more heavy duty tanking and fire support and saw the picture of a dwarf in powered armor with what seemed to me like a grenade launched. This meant I would revisit the Soldier class and demonstrate how it can be used differently, but also I would make use of the Mercenary Theme that makes an almost archetypal combination for a Soldier. Starfinder provides quick start Ability Score options where instead of rolling for your Ability Scores, you can start with a preset list of rolls to assign as you wish. If you recall from the overview, no Ability Score can start over 18, but we will get well past them later. With a spread of 14, 14, 14, 11,10, and 10, I am starting her with STR 11, DEX 14, CON 14, INT 10, WIS 10, and CHA 14. Stoli Kilaim is a Dwarven Mercenary Soldier, so we will start by unpacking those choices.
Species – Dwarf. If you are familiar with fantasy dwarves in general, and Pathfinder dwarves in particular, you will likely recognize the dwarven advantages and disadvantages. First, Ability scores are modified with +2 CON, +2 WIS, and -2 CHA. They may be short and have a limited movement of 20’, but they never lose movement from being encumbered or wearing armor. They can see in the dark, are resilient in resisting poisons and spells, and have the traditional enemies of goblins, orcs, and giants. These are all reflected on the character sheet below. Culturally, they acknowledge coming from the lost planet of Golarion, but are mostly accepting of this seeing space as the result of the Quest for the Sky being fulfilled.
Theme – Mercenary. Mercenaries always exist when there is a need for combat and conflict. Mercenaries sell their services often having had some form of military service before entering the private market. This provides a bonus on culture checks or Profession (Mercenary) checks to recognize military tactics, personnel, or similar knowledge. Athletics becomes a class skill, or receives a bonus, and the theme provides a +1 STR.
Class – Soldier. If you recall when we talked about Besu before, the Soldier has the choice from 7 different Primary Fighting Styles to help provide flexibility in the concepts. Because, no matter how much the Core Rule Book may not have the best options, I want a power armored dwarf, Stoli is choosing Armor Storm as his Primary Fighting Style. The Hammer Fist ability means that Stoli, when wearing Heavy or Powered Armor, strikes with the equivalent of a powered gauntlet called a Battlefist AND adds one and a half times his STR bonus to damage.
For his starting Feat, Stoli is going to have Blind-Fight. Having been on more than one bug hunt before, and dealt with enough things that specialize in concealment, he can not only better target them but also withdraw or break away from enemies he can’t always see.
Unsurprisingly, the Soldier does not come with many skills. The 4 + INT bonus number of skills means that Stoli will not have the most flexibility there. He starts with Athletics, Culture, Profession (Miner), and Survival. I decided to go with Profession (Miner) rather than (Mercenary) to give him a little bit of a different background to flesh out.
Soldiers Weapon Proficiency list amounts to all weapons and all armor with the best BAB and Strong Fortitude and Will saving throws. To round out the beginning character, we look to the Hit Points from Species and Class (13) and the Stamina Points from Class plus CON (7+3). Finally, Resolve Points start as half your level, rounded up plus your class chief ability score modifier, DEX for Stoli means he will have a lower number of Resolve (3). Stoli is going to be Lawful Good as well as Hiroko, but for different reasons. Stoli’s background definitely instills the respect for order and for structures that is reinforced by his lawful alignment choice. His goodness comes from his belief that there is a place for everyone under this “Sky” this is the Pact World. He may be a Soldier, but he isn’t without humanity.
Check the link below for the full character sheet, but we will look at the highlights of the character advancement here.
First, on the Ability Score increases, as a Soldier and a Tank, STR, DEX, and CON all get bonuses especially because CON is at the cusp of the +2 bonuses. Finally, CHA gets a bump as I want a well liked and jovial dwarf who gets others deep in their cups with him. To enahnce the tanking, I went for a Mark I personal upgrade to Stoli’s CON – Angradd’s Blessing. A mystic ore is mined deep in the Asteroid belts before infused with magical energy by Dwarven mystics. When it is grafted to dwarven bones, those bones take on the strength and durability of the stone itself. This gets Stoli to a CON of 20 and keeps him a tough character to take a few extra hits.
Athletics is the only skill I keep all the way at maximum partially to help offset the Armor Check Penalty he has for wearing the heavy armor. I shave a few ranks from the other skills to add Sense Motive at one rank and Perception at 2 ranks. His Mercenary theme also means that his STR is treated as one higher to determine his encumbrance.
I only added a Respiration Compounder for Augmentations. A cybernetic enhancement extending an Oxygen supply and providing a bonus to hold his breath and against airborne poisons seemed like something Stoli would do. In the Magical gear department, Stoli now has an Efficient Bandolier which blends tech and magic to allow him to carry ammunition and batteries for weapons with no additional bulk to his encumbrance. Extra grenades are always a good thing for someone like Stoli.
Soldiers come stacked, though with abilities and bonus feats. We have three Feas, three Bonus Feats, two Gear Boosts, and a Fighting Style ability that have shown up! Perhaps surprisingly, I took Mobility to begin to allow Stoli to act as mobile fire support while also adding Enhanced Resistance and by the time he gets his last Feat – Adaptive Fighting to give him the flexibility to use something else. His Mobility is enhanced by the Soldier Class Combat Feats of Shot on the Run and Nimble Moves. Take a look at the Starfinder CRB for full details of how these all work together. His Armor Storm Class Ability, though, is the fantastic one. He gets a suit of Powered Armor, and Powered Armor Proficiency! Yes!! This is a suit with an extra enhancement slot as well that fits an enhancement at half price. It should come as no surprise that Stoli has an articulated grenade launcher mounted on his armor with an autoloader and Deflective Reinforcement to provide DR 5/-. He does keep a Estex III LIght armor on underneath because you can do that in a powered armor, and it has a Radiation Buffer and Thermal Capacitor to give him some extra protection without adding to his armor class.
One aspect of the Soldier Class I also like is the Gear Boost abilities where the soldiers are able to make better use of certain types of gear further allowing for variation in what has evolved from the most basic of classes. It is another obvious choice, but Armored Advantage Gear Boost adds a +1 to KAC and the Powerful Explosives Boost increases the explosive radius of many of his grenades from 10; to 15’.
As with other d20 based systems, the Base Attack Bonus and Saving throws also increased. Check out the character sheet linked below for the full write up. Yes, he does have a Tactical Hammer if you get a little too close for comfort.
Stoli Kilaim was born to the open expanse of the “Sky” that is space and at the same times the depth and comfort of a deep cavern aboard a Citadel ship belonging to Ulrikka Clanholdings. His clan firmly believed that he Quest for the Sky was successful and Torag left to protect Golarion once his people, the dwarves, were safely away. With the Gap’s lack of records nobody could tell them otherwise. The Kilaims had entered a contract with Ulrikka Clanholdings so that they were guaranteed employment if requested but that they had to provide a certain amount of services every century to keep that contract renewed. So far, the family had kept its end of the bargain and so far UC had more than enough work for the Kilaims.
Stoli had little in the way of ambitions, though. Despite a long a storied history of the Kilaim’s heroics and exceptional forerunners, Stoli wanted little more than to spend time with friends and earn a fair wage. He became a miner, one of the miners who would actually pilot the powered loaders into the asteroids and do the work alongside the drones. There was still a need for that no matter what all those Mechanics claimed. It was here, twenty six years back, that Stoli’s direction changed.
Pirates and raiding have always been a danger, but the Swarm were something new and something that the Pact Worlds were not ready to face. While the Silent War ended as the Veskarium joined the Pact Worlds in resistance, Stoli was front and center to see the Swarm attack his mine. The “Cavers”, dwarven special forces from Ulrikka Clanholdings fought them back and held them off. Stoli had direction. While he may never be as agile or precise, he knew he could serve his fellow dwarves by enrolling with the Ulrikka Clanholdings private security and military wing.
Stoli found that he enjoyed wearing the heavy armor and using his knowledge of mining explosives in more militant action. He had the gusto and bravado that seems to come with a great many dwarves. He even made his grandparents proud. He still had his friends and they still would get deep in their cups, but it was between serving some greater good … or that’s what he told himself.
Stoli and the rest of his unit were having trouble fighting off the uptick in pirate attacks, so Ulrikka brought in some freelancers on a ship called The Troublemaker. And make trouble they did. While they helped save Stoli and a handful of remaining dwarves when they arrived, eventually Stoli had to come rushing in to save them months later. These deep policing actions further into the Diaspora were showing Stoli that Ulrikka didn’t treat every employee, or even every dwarf, as well as they treated the Kilaims. If he wasn’t doing much for the greater good of the dwarves and the other Ulrikka workers, what was he doing with Ulrikka? He had nephews and nieces old enough to take up the indentured contract. He can look for a loophole out, or a favor to call in, so his family can leave.
He left with these Troublemakers, besides they needed some more levity. Valaeyo was a serious type of Lashunta, and Hiroko was always thinking far too much. Chitter … well, it’s always fun to poke at a pilot on board their ship. The Elven conspiracy to wipe out thousands on Castrovel and feed the Bone Sage’s personal army was just more proof that the Quest for the Sky was being subverted and harmed. Stoli is still looking for a way to free his family, and take them far away from the Disapora. He is still looking for a way to see what true freedom is, but for now will drain his cups with Clausweld and Besu and look to the sky, in moe ways than one.
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Sheet by http://paizo.com/people/Gilfalas