Developing to Spec: Part 22b (Trample Undead)

This is the second section of Part 22 of a series of articles looking at creating a set of Starfinder feats under specific constraints.  You can read along as we convert every feat in the PF core rulebook to Starfinder (and  share my thoughts on that process, as a developer and writer)— or you can just look at the finished feats (as they are written, and I have time over the holidays to update the list) here.

We’re into the T feats now, near the end, with Trample.

In PF Trample applies to the overrun combat option which anyone can access. Starfinder doesn’t have a generic version of overrun, but we did create some overrun options for Improved Overrun and Greater Overrun. While the game mechanics need total revision, conceptually there’s nothing wrong with running down foes in Starfinder. There is a trample rule in the Universal Creature Rules of the Alien Archive books, but it’s a bit too powerful to put into player’s hands. However, it can serve as the basis for a powerful feat we put at the end of the a relatively rare Starfidner feat chain.

TRAMPLE (Combat)
When riding or driving into combat, you are skilled at knocking foes over.
Prerequisites: Greater Overrun, Improved Overrun, Pilot 8 ranks or Survival 8 ranks.
Benefit: When mounted (if you have at least one rank of Survival) or controlling a vehicle (if you have at least one rank of Pilot), as a full action you can move up to your mount/vehicle’s speed and through the space of any creatures that are at least one size smaller than your mount or vehicle. You not need to make an attack roll; each creature whose space it moves through takes half your mount’s unarmed or natural melee damage or half your vehicle’s ram damage. A target of a trample can attempt a Reflex save (DC 10 +1/2 your ranks in the relevant skill + your Dexterity score) to take no damage, or choose to fall prone to automatically take no damage. If it takes either actions, it can’t make an attack of opportunity against you that is provoked by your movement. A creature can deal trample damage to a given target only once per round.

That brings us to Turn Undead. Like all the other PF things based on clerical channel energy, we’ll base this on the mystic’s healing channel and the Turn Undead feat. Of course at this point, you could build a whole new mystic connection just on gaining healing channel feats…

I have seen more players be annoyed by making undead run away (so you have to hunt them down later, and they aren’t tight;y grouped for area attacks) than cheer that affect, so because I can I am going to make the “turn” part of turn undead more conceptual.

You can use your healing channel to force undead to turn their attention away from you and all their foes, spending much of their effort guarding their eyes from a light only they can see.
Prerequisites: Harm Undead, healing channel connection power, mystic level 1st.
Benefit: When you use your healing channel to Harm Undead, those undead that fail their saving throw are also flat-footed, off-target, and staggered for a number of rounds equal to the level of the spell you expended to use Harm Undead.

That’s still a huge tactical benefit–indeed, smart undead might CHOOSE to run when they are successfully turned–but given that it requires a use of healing channel, and the highest-level spell lost the character has available, and two feats to perform, I think it’s reasonable.

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About Owen K.C. Stephens

Owen 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

Posted on January 29, 2020, in Game Design, Pathfinder Development, Starfinder Development and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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