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I know there is GM discretion allowed as to the situations affecting a Solarian's ability to enter a Stellar Mode, but I would like other GMs opinions on this situation.

RAW seem to generally require that the Solarian be "in combat" and facing a significant threat. In fact, the description specifically says that:

you must be facing a significant enemy (see page 242).

Description of Significant Enemy:

...a creature with a CR less than or equal to your character level – 4 is not a significant enemy

So... nowhere does it give consideration as to the Solarian's personal situation.

In a hypothetical situation even a lowly CR-1 creature would present a dire threat to a Paralyzed 6th level Solarian, but she would not be permitted to enter Stellar Mode and become attuned, to use her Corona Revelation as a defense because of the low CR rating of the enemy.

In our example situation, the party encountered a group of Ghoul Soldiers who managed to paralyze the Solarian via bite. Combat moved into the next room, leaving the Solarian alone and still paralyzed (for 2 more rounds). I presumed the Solarian's Stellar Mode ended because there was no current threat to her, and stated such. She argued that the state of paralyzation itself constituted a threat and/or the fact that I still had her in "melee round" mode meant she was still "in combat" (she wanted to become fully attuned so she could jump back in the fight if/when released from paralyzation). I ruled that it must be a threat from an enemy and that her Stellar Mode ended, but she was still in "melee mode" so I could track the rounds of her paralyzation; she was unhappy with this decision.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Out of curiosity, was it made clear to the player that the same ruling now applies equally to PC solarians? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 20 at 18:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean "NPC" solarians? Yes, it was basically going to be a precedent setting decision so would apply to any solarians in our game, but I am doubting myself on the ruling. I am thinking any "significant threat" to a solarian would/should trigger the cosmic link that activates their Stellar Mode, not just a enemy of this or that CR, and that the circumstances at the time could/should influence what constitutes such threat. \$\endgroup\$ – Jimmy Fix-it Jun 20 at 18:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ Indeed I meant NPC. My apologies. And, with regard to that comment, I appreciate your conscientious approach to managing the game. Good show. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 20 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I started to downvote the answer because I disagreed with it, then realized that this should probably be closed for seeking opinions. This would be a better Stack Exchange question if you asked about the repercussions of allowing Conditions to factor into "danger" \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Jun 20 at 19:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Otherwise, this is better suited to a forum \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Jun 20 at 19:24
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Yes, it can

Here's the full text:

When you’re not in combat, you can’t enter a stellar mode. This ability manifests only in high-stakes situations, when your training takes over and connects your mind to the universe. There needs to be some risk to you for your stellar mode to activate, so you must be facing a significant enemy. If there’s any doubt about whether you’re in combat or able to access your stellar mode, the GM decides. This also means that your stellar mode might end before what was previously a dangerous battle is over, once all that remains are dregs that don’t pose a real threat to you.

and:

In general, a creature with a CR less than or equal to your character level – 4 is not a significant enemy.

Your quote contained most of that sentence but omitted the text "in general".

If a character is paralyzed, then a CR1 ghoul is certainly a "significant enemy". This is an exception to the general case described above.


You've described a situation where a character is paralyzed and then combat moved into the next room. In this case it's murkier, because the character isn't actually "facing" anyone at all. The combat isn't over, and the character is certainly still in danger -- but we shouldn't allow characters to activate their abilities just on the basis that there are enemies nearby.

On the gripping hand, one of the main purposes of GM discretion is to make sure the game is fun!

In the situation you've described, your solarian player is definitely not having fun. They've been paralyzed, sidelined, and left out of the combat. The player turns to you and says: "well, that's pretty awful. But at least I can keep building attunement, right?"

In this situation, the right thing to do is show mercy. Let them squeeze at least a little bit of silver lining out of the awful situation they're in. It won't cost you anything, and they'll have more fun in your game.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you; your and Hey I Can Chan's positions have solidified my thoughts on this, and I concur that all circumstances should be considered. \$\endgroup\$ – Jimmy Fix-it Jun 20 at 19:24

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