Hey Starfinders, it’s been awhile and boy has a lot been going on. The whole Wizards of the Coast OGL controversy for one, which I won’t summarize here (you can easily find a world of information on it out there) other than to say Solo Run Studio is an ORC supporter and will be using that license when it is available. In other news, just all kinds of RL disasters, but thankfully things have settled down.
But enough about that, what about Starfinder? This week I’d like to take a look at an early milestone in the game. At about level 6-7 you should start to run into challenges that require a greater range of motion than you’ve likely encountered before. More specifically, encounters at that level are going to start expecting some or all of the players to have some form of flight. This really gets hammered home in Dead Suns, as there is an encounter there where a character without flight can easily end up permanently and unrecoverably dead. So what options are there? And to be clear, I’m talking real flight, not just ‘fly in zero-g vacuum conditions’ like some classes and species offer.
First off, you can go the straight gear option. Probably the easiest way to acquire flight is the Wingboard vehicle. Introduced in volume 4 of the Three-Fold Conspiracy AP, it’s basically a lesser form of hoverboard. It’s also 900cr, and while it’s tiny (1ft across, 3ft long) expect to encounter some table variation as to whether your GM is going to allow you to carry one around. And to cap the situation, it can’t ascend on it’s own, only go down. You could just wait at get a Skyboat vehicle at level 2, but again, it’s going to be hard to have that around with you at all times. More personal gear options include the Jump Jets armor upgrade (flight, sorta, but you have to land at the end of your turn) as a level 2 item, and the Static Glider is a level 4 item that actually does offer a true flight option, but not one you’d want to use in a fight if you can help it (makes a great Gear Array choice for Nanocyte though). The classic Jetpack armor upgrade, level 5, is one of the most common and iconic methods of personal flight, and you can even upgrade to the level 9 Forcepack when it becomes available.
If you’d rather go the magic route, you essentially have two options – the flight spell (Technomancer, Witchwarper) and the polymorph spell (Mystic, Technomancer, Witchwarper). In both cases you need the 3rd level version of the spell to get true flight, so you’d need at least a 7th level caster. There isn’t, as yet, a magic or magitech item that will get you in the air in the 1-8 level range more than in specific situations, with the closest being the Falcon Boots, a level 5 item.
Going past spells and gear, what about straight up altering your character’s body to give them flight? There are actually strong options in the augments. Force Soles MK2, the level 8 magitech augment, is effectively flight in that you can literally walk on air and stand on empty space, and has the added bonus of letting you use your land speed in the air (which is easier to improve than your flight speed). Available at one level lower is the Ultralight Wings biotech augment, but the level 7 version has clumsy maneuverability. The level 5 Strix Mobility species graft (introduced in Alien Archive 3) is a great way to get a full flight speed at an early level, and while you do have to trade 10 ft of land speed for it, that can easily be offset by a feat or speed suspension. Or you could forgo all that if you are playing an Evolutionist and just get the level 6 Adaptation Enhanced Mobility.
Last, but not least, if flight is a core part of your character concept, there are a number of playable species that have flight from the get go. Aasimar (with an alt species trait), Astriapi, Barathu, Contemplative, Dessamar Imago, Espraksa, Ghibrani Membrane, Kiirinta, Neskinti (glide only), Spathinae, Strix, and Tiefling (with an alt species trait).
I’ll finish with two options that can improve your flight if you already have it. The Glider Foils armor upgrade can increase your flight maneuverability (and is one of the only ways to do so), and the Thruster Heels cybernetic augment can increase your flight speed should you need to get somewhere particularly fast in a short amount of time.
As always, if you like this or any of the other content here on Solo Run Studio I would welcome a little of your support through Ko-fi. Until next time Starfinders!
Artist and Writer