Designing to Spec: Support Material (Part 5)

So we’ve finished creating Starfinder versions of all the Pf Core Rulebook feats that weren’t already in Starfinder, and we’re spending this week looking at things we may want to add to Starfinder, now that we’ve added such a huge load of feats.

The core thing we are trying to do is make it easier for characters to access the additional feats appropriate to their character concept without that being the only thing those characters can do. Essentially an additional 130 feats is a considerable “weight” of concepts that it can be difficult for a class to access a reasonable number of. Certainly giving classes new ways to gain these feats is one way to accommodate the additional weight of concept options on a character, but there are other options. You can, for example, take some of the new options you created with feats and build them into a class feature without accessing the feats directly. This works best with classes that don’t have a good class feature to use to hand out one feat, or a small collection of feats.\

Like the mystic.

Given all the healing channel options we added with feats, it begins to seem odd that healing connection mystics, and ONLY healing connection mystics, can access this vast array of new powers. But there’s a good way to fix that — an Alternate Class Feature. Alternate class features were added to Starfinder in the Character Operations Manual, so we have a precedent.

That brings us to the channel energy alternate connection power.

Channel Energy (Su) 1st Level

You can channel mystic energy. You can spend 1 Resolve Point to channel this energy. Having the channeled energy just affect yourself is a move action, while affecting one adjacent creature is a standard action, and affecting all appropriate creatures within 30 feet is a full action. This channeled energy’s effect starts at 2d8, and increases by 2d8 at 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter.

Your channel energy qualifies as healing channel for prerequisites, and can be modified by feats and options that modify healing channel.

You can choose one of the following channel effects.

Alignment Harm: Select one of the following alignment subtypes: chaos, evil, good, law. Your alignment cannot include any aspect of the selected subtype. When you use your channel, you can expend a mystic Spell slot of the highest level you can cast to also deal damage equal to the amount you heal to all foes in the area with the selected subtype. The foes can attempt a Will save for half damage, at your usual connection power DC.

Elemental Harm: Your channel energy deals damage equal to its effect to elemental foes (including all creatures of the elemental type) targeted. The elementals can attempt a Will save for half damage, at your usual connection power DC.

Harm Undead: Your channel energy deals damage equal to its effect to undead foes (including all creatures of the undead type) targeted. The undead can attempt a Will save for half damage, at your usual connection power DC. This qualifies as the Harm Undead feat for other prerequisites, and things that modify Harm Undead can modify this ability.

Healing: The channeled energy heals all targeted allies a number of Hit Points equal to its effect.

Special: Any connection can take Channel Energy as a replacement for it’s 1st-level power. This is normally themed in a way appropriate to the connection (the crusader connection might well take alignment harm to smite its supernatural foes) or the character (even if the empath connection has no specific link to undead, a character taking it as the priest of a god that abhors undead might well replace it’s first level power with the harm undead alternate connection power).

Of course just because something can be an alternate power of other connections doesn’t mean it can’t also be the core of it’s own connection, which we’ll explore tomorrow.

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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 February 11, 2020, in Game Design, Starfinder Development and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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