Super-Strength, a Tiered Mutation for GammaFinder and Freedom Finder (Starfinder-compatible)
Posted by Owen K.C. Stephens
So, tiered mutations designed for the GammaFinder setting continue to be both extremely popular, and fascinating to me from a game-design perspective. I originally began working on them as a way to have a few powers that were too potent to gain as a single mutant ability, which is why the first one was teleportation. But the more of them I create, the more interesting I find them as a design space.
It’s clear that as their own rules module, mutant abilities and tiered mutations could be used for a lot more than just the GammaFinder setting. For example, combined with a way for one or more character classes to easily access them, they could be used to create a mid-range “FreedomFinder” setting, with militant, armored heroes in paramilitary-style four-color comicbook settings.
You could, in fact, do an all-soldier Freedom Finder campaign, where rather than most equipment, characters focus on various mutations. All you need for that is some mutant abilities to replace gear boosts and combat feats. (And, or course, you could use these mutant soldiers in a GammaFinder campaign as well).
Mutant Soldier Class Features
(Art by Jacob Blackmon)
NEW GEAR BOOST
Mutant Power: You gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your soldier level.
ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: COMBAT MUTATION
Combat Mutation: You gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your soldier level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of combat feat. You make this decisions each time you gain the combat feat class feature.
Super-Strength Tiered Muation
When considering a tiered mutation that works well for both GammaFinder and the still-entirely-theoretical FreedomFinder, super-strength seems an obvious place to start. How strong the strongest heroes are helps set the tone for a superheroic game setting, and how much the strongest mutant can lift or tear apart with their bare hands helps set what the power level of mutations are in a GammaFinder setting.
(Art by DM7)
You are spectacularly strong. Your fast-twitch muscle fiber is impressive, but it is your slow-twitch muscle fiber that exceeds what seems possible.
Tier 1: You add double your super-strength tier to the bulk you can carry without being encumbered, and add your tier as an insight bonus to Strength-based ability checks and skill checks. Your KAC against grapple checks is increased by your super-strength tier (though this bonus is reduced by 1 for each tier of super-strength the grappler has, to a minimum bonus of +0).
Tier 2: You can make super-strength attacks. These are melee attacks as if wielding an uncategorized advanced 2-handed melee weapon you are proficient with (and gain Weapon Specialization with, if you are 3rd level of higher). If a calculation uses item level, your super-strength attacks have an item level equal to your character level. You do not need a hand free to make a super-strength attack (it can be a kick or headbutt), but you must be in a circumstance that would allow you to make an unarmed attack if you had a free hand to do so.
Your super-strength attacks are considered analog, but not archaic. You can do any damage type you can deal with unarmed attacks, and use this damage in place of options that allow you to do unarmed damage, but do not get to add any special abilities that affect the damage of your unarmed attacks. If you normally have the ability to add 1.5x your level to unarmed attacks as a special Weapon Specialization, you instead add 1.5 times your Strength modifier to damage of your super-strength attacks.
Your super-strength attacks do 1d8 damage.
Additionally, you can lift and carry a weight equal to your super-strength tier squared x 1,000 pounds without becoming overburdened. You can voluntarily carry double that while accepting the overburdened condition. Due to limitations in size and leverage you can generally only use this lift/carry ability to manipulate a single object (or tightly bound collection of objects). Picking up a single 100 bulk vehicle is reasonable, picking up 50 2-bulk rifles is not unless they are in a crate or similar stowage.
Tier 3: Your super-strength attacks now do 2d6 damage. You may add one of the following weapon special properties to your super-strength attack: block, breach, deflect, feint, or underwater. Once made, this decision cannot be changed.
Tier 4: Your super-strength attacks now do 3d6 damage. You may add one of the following critical hit effects to your super-strength attack: demoralize, knockdown, push (distance is tier x3 in feet, rounded down to the nearest 5 feet), stifle, or staggered.
Tier 5: Your super-strength attacks now do 5d6 damage. You may add a second weapon special quality to your super-strength attack, which may be from the tier 3 list or the following list: disarm, grapple, penetrating, sunder, or trip. Once made, this decision cannot be changed.
Tier 6: Your super-strength attacks now do 6d6 damage. You may add a second critical hit effect to your super-strength attack, which may be from the tier 4 list or the following list: blind, deafen, stunned, or wound. Once made, this decision cannot be changed.
Tier 7: Your super-strength attacks now do 9d6 damage. You may add a third weapon special quality to your super-strength attack, which may be from the tier 3 or tier 5 lists. Once made, this decision cannot be changed.
Tier 8: Your super-strength attacks now do 11d6 damage. You may add a fourth weapon special quality to your super-strength attack, which may be from the tier 3 or tier 5 lists. Once made, this decision cannot be changed.
Tier 9: Your super-strength attacks now do 15d6 damage. You may add a fifth weapon special quality to your super-strength attack, which may be from the tier 3 or tier 5 lists. Once made, this decision cannot be changed.
Tier 10: Your super-strength attacks now do 20d6 damage. You may add a third critical hit effect to your super-strength attack, which may be from the tier 4 or tier 6 lists. You also select one critical hit effect your super-strength attack has that is triggered when your attack roll is a natural 19 (a “19” shows on the d20). Such as attack does not do double damage, it just applies the critical hit effect if the attack is successful. Once made, these decisions cannot be changed.
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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 April 13, 2020, in Microsetting, Starfinder Development and tagged Class Options, FreedomFinder, gaming, GammaFinder, Geekery, Mutations, PC Options, Starfinder. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.