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This is a weird one, but nobody seems to have asked about it.

The Character Operations Manual (p. 84) adds the Solar Flare option for the solarian's Solar Manifestation feature. Its description says, in part:

Your solar flare functions as a one-handed uncategorized small arm that targets EAC (though it can’t be used to make trick attacks, if you have that class feature), and you’re automatically proficient with it. At 1st level, choose whether your solar flare deals cold damage or fire damage. You can change the damage type each time you gain a new solarian level. Your solar flare deals 1d4 damage and has a range increment of 60 feet. This damage increases by 1d4 at 6th level, 9th level, 12th level, and every level thereafter.

The book clearly states that the solar flare functions like a small arm weapon. Scopes (Armory, p. 60-61) and other accessories can be added to small arms.

Can a scope therefore be mounted on a solarian's solar flare?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there another section that defines natural weapons that are like this? I mean, if there isn't, aren't there also the questions of ammo capacity and reload time and expense? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31 at 5:21
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This is most likely up to GM Discretion

There are no specific rules regarding the interaction of solar flares and weapon accessories and this has not yet been addressed by an official FAQ, leaving this particular combination within a GM's purview to adjudicate. That said, I would personally be inclined to allow it.

In terms of game balance, there are no particular concerns with allowing weapon accessories to work with solar flares. The solar flare functions as a small arm with damage closer to a long arm once the bonus damage of a solarian weapon crystal is included. Since weapon accessories function equivalently for small and long arms, the designers clearly don't see an issue with higher damage ranged weapons gaining the benefit of weapon accessories.

In terms of narrative, the solar flare is described as:

This weapon appears to be made of either glowing light or solid darkness, as determined by the appearance of your solar manifestation, but it can take any general shape you desire. The shape of normal ranged weapons—such as pistols, crossbows, and handcannons are fairly common—but more esoteric manifestations such as a shimmering crystal that launches fragments of itself, a dark aura that forms directly onto your foes, or an orb of stellar energy that releases beams of pure light are also possible. Your solar flare’s general design has no impact on its function, and it doesn’t give the weapon any weapon special properties.

Although the text states that the shape of the flare has no impact on its function, narratively the more esoteric manifestations lack a physical form that you could mount an accessory on. On the other hand, a manifestation of "solid darkness" in the shape of a conventional weapon could easily have the right shape and solidity to carry an accessory. As a result, I would be inclined to allow more conventional manifestations to function with weapon accessories.

However, a significant concern with accessories is what happens when the solar flare is dismissed back to mote form. For the solarian weapon crystals, they explicitly remain within the mote until the next time the weapon is created. For accessories, I would be inclined to rule that they detach and drop off, and need to be reattached next time.

See the following Paizo forum thread for a brief discussion of whether this is possible.

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