Really Wild West Key Ability Scores and Resolve (for Starfinder)
Posted by Owen K.C. Stephens
Characters in the Really Wild West campaign have some drawbacks due the rules of the setting hack, when compared to standard Starfinder Roleplaying Game PCs. Some equipment is rarer. Weapon capacities are lower. Information has less accessibility. These are minor restrictions, but if the players are being asked to take on threats designed for the standard RPG rules and monsters using the normal Challenge Ratings, there needs to be some balancing factor to make up for the slight changes to PC power levels the campaign enforced.
Some of that can be done with the campaign’s genre feats, but those don’t work for everyone, and don’t quite make up the difference.
The rest is handled with a change to Key Ability Scores, and Resolve.
Key Ability Scores
Really Wild West is designed to allow for over-the-top, heroic characters common to the old pulp stories. These often include oddball characters with unexpected characteristics. Genius sharpshooters. Spellcasting card sharps. Singing cowboys with the gift of gab. Making characters like this should be encouraged in Really Wild West, but it can be difficult to focus on two disparate elements of a character without making them a little less effective. Normally that’s fine, the game doesn’t require optimized heroes, but since Really Wild West already restricts other options a bit and it encourages playing character concepts that are a bit wackier than normal, it’s best if players aren’t also put at any disadvantage for wanting to make characters outside the typical mold.
Thus, the first time you take a class level in Really Wild West, you may select any one ability to be your Key Ability Score. Dexterity-based mechanic? Sure, your nimble fingers let you build clockworks no one else can master. Constitution-based mystic? Your psychic powers draw directly from your physical endurance. Charisma-based soldier? Brilliant leader, dashing pugilist, or even a singing cowboy.
In addition to determining how you calculate your Resolve Points, your Key Ability score becomes the ability all your class features use for calculations. A Constitution-based mystic uses her Constitution modifier to determine bonus spells, spell DCs, and connection power DCs, for example. This doesn’t impact how you calculate skill points, or anything based on the general rules of the game (such as EAC, KAC, melee attack bonus, and so on). But for things listed under class features in the class’s 20-level table, switch from whatever ability score is listed to your chosen Key Ability Score.
If you take any additional character classes after your first, those use the normal key ability score options. You get to personalize how one class works, but after that you need to follow the same limitations everyone else does.
The Really Wild West can be deadly and grueling, and its heroes need to be more resolute to survive. PCs gain +2 Resolve Points at 1st level, and an additional bonus Resolve Point at 3rd, 6th, and 9th level.
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About Owen K.C. StephensOwen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is a full-time ttRPG Writer, designer, developer, publisher, and consultant. He's the publisher for Rogue Genius Games, and has served as the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the Editor-in-Chief for Evil Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps. He has a Pateon which supports his online work. You can find it at https://www.patreon.com/OwenKCStephens
Posted on January 19, 2018, in Anachronistic Adventurers, Game Design, Microsetting, Starfinder Development and tagged Game Design, PC Options, Really Wild West, Starfinder, Worldbuilding. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.