Monthly Archives: June 2020

Vanguard Multiclass ThemeType (For Starfinder)

We’re starting this week with Multiclass ThemeTypes, which give you some abilities of a second character class but counts as both your theme and as an archetype for the first class you take levels in. We’re focusing on the classes from the COM. We did the biohacker yesterday, and you can pick up the pdf of multiclass themetypes for all the classes from the Core Rulebook at DriveThruRPG.

Multiclass ThemeType abilities marked with (Theme) occur when you reach the listed character level, regardless of what classes you have taken levels in. Those marked (Archetype) are gained only when you reach the listed level in the first character class you take levels in. However, it is also recommended that characters with a Multiclass ThemeType not be allowed to also use normal multiclassing rules (in which case the character’s character level and class level will always match).

A character cannot take class levels in the class that matches their Multiclass ThemeType.

SF vanguard
(art by sogsonyeka)

Vanguard ThemeType
While you lack the in-depth level of training and devotion of a full vanguard, you have studied the supernatural arts of manipulating entropy, and apply it to your pursuits. This does not give you the mighty entropic strike vanguards possess, or their extreme level of durability, but it can swing situations in your favor in ways your foes do not expect.

Key Ability Boost (Theme, 1st level): At 1st level you gain a +1 to your Constitution score. This acts as the normal +1 to ability score gained from a theme.

Theme Knowledge (Ex, Theme, 1st Level): At first level, you gain either Acrobatics or Athletics as a class skill. If you have both of these as class skills from other sources at 1st level, you instead gain a +1 bonus to one of the two skills. Once these choices are made, they cannot be changed.

If you select Acrobatics, you may use your Acrobatics skill bonus as your Athletics skill bonus, and are considered trained in Athletics. If you select Athletics, you may use your Athletics skill bonus as your Acrobatics skill bonus, and are considered trained in Acrobatics.

Minor Entropic Pool (Su, Archetype, 2nd Level): You gain a limited form of the vangaurd’s Entropic Pool ability. This acts as the entropic pool, but with the following modifications.

*When combat begins, you do not gain an Entropy Point (EP)at the beg8nning of your first action. Your maximum entropy pool is 2 EP.
*You only gain entropy points by taking or receiving a critical hit in combat, or taking a full action to charge.
*You do not gain a bonus to AC for having an EP in your entropic pool.
*You can expend your EP to increase your speed, as outlined in the entropic pool class feature, or to add +1d4 damage to an unarmed attack.

Minor Mitigate (Ex, Archetype, 4th Level): You can now use EP for a weakened version of the vanguard mitigate ability. You only reduce damage by an amount equal to half your class level.

Basic Aspect (Ex, Archetype, 6th Level): Select one vanguard aspect. You gain the aspect insight of that aspect.

Basic Discipline (Ex, Theme, 6th Level): You gain one vanguard discipline, selected from the list of 2nd level vanguard disciplines. You treat your character level as your vanguard level for all vanguard disciplines gained from this themetype.

Improved Aspect (Ex, Archetype, 9th Level): You gain aspect embodiment of your aspect.

Improved Discipline (Ex, Theme, 12th Level): You gain one vanguard discipline, selected from the list of 2nd or 6th level vanguard disciplines.

Improved Entropic Pool (Ex, Archetype, 12th Level): Your entropic pool now gains EP in all the normal ways, and has a maxmum of 4 EP.

Greater Discipline (Ex, Theme, 18th Level): You gain one vanguard discipline, selected from the list of 2nd, 6th, or 10th level vanguard disciplines.

Greater Aspect (Ex, Archetype 18th): You now gain the aspect catalyst of your aspect, but not the improved aspect catalyst.

Want More?
If you want more Starfinder content, or value anything I write on this site, please back my Patreon! Even just the cost of a cup of coffee a month is a huge help.

Biohacker Multiclass ThemeType (for Starfinder)

Character concepts don’t always fit neatly into just one character class. Sometimes you want to play a a reality-warper who has also studied diplomacy, a spy who has studied just enough biological engineering to consider it one more tool in her toolbox, or a soldier with mystic martial powers. Starfinder offers three broad tools for adjusting a character to fit such concepts—themes (to represent background training), archetypes (to represent a different path than a typical member of a class), and multiclassing (to represent training in more than one role). Generally exactly the right balance of those options can make nearly any character concept work.

But it can take a lot of effort.

Maybe, if they were all blended into one definitive all-encompassing option, a broad range of new character concepts could be made easier and faster to write up. A way to indicate that a character has been working to add a second career to their primary training for most of their life, and plans to continue to blend the things represented by multiclassing, theme, and archetype. Something that takes some of the advantages of multiclassing, and places them in the slots of additional abilities normally granted by themes and archetypes. In short, a Multiclass ThemeType.

MultiClass ThemeTypes

A Multiclass ThemeType gives you some abilities of a second character class, but counts as both your theme (preventing you from gaining any other theme, and requiring you to select the ThemeType at 1st level) and as an archetype for the first class you take levels in (requiring you to give up some abilities of your primary class, as normal for an archetype). You can pick up the pdf of multiclass themetypes for all the classes from the Core Rulebook at DriveThruRPG. But, the concept has not yet been used for the new classes from COM — biohacker, vanguard, and witchwarper. So, this week we’ll look at those.

Multiclass ThemeType abilities marked with (Theme) occur when you reach the listed character level, regardless of what classes you have taken levels in. Those marked (Archetype) are gained only when you reach the listed level in the first character class you take levels in. However, it is also recommended that characters with a Multiclass ThemeType not be allowed to also use normal multiclassing rules (in which case the character’s character level and class level will always match).

A character cannot take class levels in the class that matches their Multiclass ThemeType.

While ThemeTypes can be used in any Starfinder campaign, they are particularly appropriate for the mash-up world of the Really Wild West setting hack.

SF Mad Scientist

(art by David Edwards)

Biohacker ThemeType
You have studied the arts of biohacking enough to be able to apply some of their techniques and secrets in your day-to-day life. You’re not a master of biohacking, but you know enough to have a few surprises up your sleeve.

Key Ability Boost (Theme, 1st level): At 1st level you decide if your biohacking was more instinctive, or more studious. If instinctive, you gain a +1 to your Wisdom score. If studious, you gain a +1 to your Intelligence score. This acts as the normal +1 to ability score gained from a theme.

Theme Knowledge (Ex, Theme, 1st Level): At first level, you gain either Medicine or Life Science as a class skill. If you have both of these as class skills from other sources at 1st level, you instead gain a +1 bonus to one of the two skills. Once these choices are made, they cannot be changed.

If you select Medicine, you may use your Medicine skill bonus as your Life Science skill bonus, and are considered trained in Life Science. If you select Life Science, you may use your Life Science skill bonus as your Medicine skill bonus, and are considered trained in Medicine.

Minor Biohacks (Ex, Archetype, 2nd Level): You gain a limited form of the biohacker’s minor biohack ability. You can use a minor booster or minor inhibitor a number of times per day equal to the modifier of the ability score your gained a bonus to with your key ability boost for this themetype (minimum 1/day). You do not have a full custom microlab but do have enough expertise to attune a number of creatures equal to 3 +your key ability score, to allow you to deliver biohacks to the attuned creatures using ranged injection weapons without making an attack roll under the same circumstances a biohacker can, using the same attunement rules as the customer microlab.

Basic Biohacks (Ex, Archetype, 4th Level): You can now use a basic booster or basic inhibitor. This counts against your total minor biohacks you can use per day. Once you use a basic booster or basic inhibitor, you cannot use that biohack again until you have expended a Resolve Point to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest.

Basic Field of Study (Ex, Archetype, 6th Level): Select one biohacker field of expertise. You gain access to that field of study’s booster or inhibitor (your choice). Using this counts against your total uses/day of minor biohacks. Once you use a the field of study’s booster or inhibitor, you cannot use that biohack again until you have expended a Resolve Point to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest.

Basic Theorem (Ex, Theme, 6th Level): You gain one biohacker theorem, selected from the list of 2nd level biohacker theorems. You treat your character level as your biohacker level for all biohacker theorems. gained from this themetype.

Improved Field of Study (Ex, Archetype, 9th Level): You gain your field of study’s booster or inhibitor (whichever you did not select for the basic field of study). Using this counts against your total uses/day of minor biohacks. Once you use a the field of study’s booster or inhibitor, you cannot use that biohack again until you have expended a Resolve Point to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest.

Improved Theorem (Ex, Theme, 12th Level): You gain one biohacker theorem, selected from the list of 2nd level or 8th level biohacker theorems.

Greater Field of Study (Ex, Archetype, 12th Level): You gain the breakthrough of your field of study. If it is a biohack, it counts against your total uses/day of minor biohacks and once you have used it you cannot use that biohack again until you have expended a Resolve Point to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest.

Greater Theroem (Ex, Theme, 18th Level): You gain one biohacker theorem, selected from the list of 2nd level, 8th, or 14th level biohacker theorems.

Unlimited Minor Biohacks (Ex, Archetype 18th): Your minor booster and inhibitors are no longer limited to a specific number per day. Your other biohacks remain limited to a daily number equal to the modifier of the ability score your gained a bonus to with your key ability boost for this themetype (minimum 1/day).

Want More?
If you want more Starfinder content, or value anything I write on this site, please back my Patreon! Even just the cost of a cup of coffee a month is a huge help.

 

The Game Industry “In These Uncertain Times”

RPG illo
(Photo by Tab10)

I’m interrupting this week’s at-your-table game content to discuss the state of the industry. We’ll get back to fund stuff, but this is important.

I’ll start with some recent history.

The 2016 eat coast blizzard made a noticeable negative impact on print RPG sales. Stores were shut down, people did not go out. It hurt. Companies suddenly were not selling like they had been, but expenses didn’t go down at all. While it didn’t drive anyone major into bankruptcy, it did have serious impacts. Budgets were slashed. Plans for new hires were axed. Raises were cancelled. Projects were scaled back. Not necessarily at every game company–some had very deep pockets from parent companies or investors and could just take the hit — but more companies than not had to change plans to survive.

Sales of PDFs did not see a significant uptick. Sales did not spike to higher-than normal levels after the snow melted and life got back to normal. Inventory for products created just before the blizzard did sit around longer. Some never sold. The expected money that would have been made that season was just gone.

Obviously the past few months have been worse. Worse for publishers, worse for companies, distributors, and individual creators.

But if the current upward pandemic infection trends continue and/or a second wave is bad? It doesn’t have to be the whole country to kill already struggling companies. The 2016 blizzard was a bit less than 1/3 of the US population, and everyone knew it couldn’t last. But it’s economic impact on gaming was widespread and serious.

There’s a reason so many ads currently begin with “In these uncertain times.” No one knows when a vaccine is coming. No one knows how bad the current rising numbers are going to get, or if they will spike again in the fall. In the US, there does not seem to be any national plan to handle this pandemic. Some places are depending on voluntary steps. Others are mandating masks.

Unlike 2016, there’s could reason to fear the impacts could keep going, or get worse, for a year. I hope a vaccine comes out before that, but I can’t depend on it. Not as a writer, and not as a citizen trying to pay the bills.

So even as governments open for business, sales are still down. They are improved over total lockdown, obviously, but companies aren’t getting the lost money from the lockdown back. Ever. The blows taken in the next few months don’t have to be as bad as the lockdown in order to kill stores and companies, and drive creators out of the industry forever, because everyone already took several serious financial hits.

If you want professional ttRPG material in the future, there are things you can do, now and in coming months,

Support your local stores if you safely can. Some stores are doing curbside pickup, some are doing delivery.Some are allowing a small number of people wearing masks in at a time. I don’t want anyone to risk their health for games, but if your safety measures allow for contactless delivery, and you have the money, those stores are still hugely important. They sell more, total, than online places (yes, including Amazon). And they bring more new people into the industry.

Support game companies. Buying from a local store absolutely counts, but if that’snot an option for you for whatever reason, look to see if the publisher has their own online store. Look to sign up for mailing lists and get special offers. If you have to buy through online stories, try to find a game-specific store you like and buy through them. The huge distributors don;t care about RPGs, and they’ll survive or not with no regard to how many dice and game books they move.

Finally, support game creators directly if you can. Even those who have full-time on-staff positions with game companies often make ends meet by taking on additional freelance… and that freelance is greatly reduced right now because game companies are tightening their belts. If you have a creator you particularly like or enjoy the work of, find if they have a Patreon, of Ko-fi, or other means of receiving money.

Because if the stores go, the game companies will suffer. if the game companies go, the creators will suffer. And if the creators go?

Then there’s much less chance the game content YOU want will even be created.

And, yes, I have a Patreon. I am a full-time freelance and contract writer now. I pay for my own insurance, pay my own social security and self-employment taxes, have to make quarterly payments on income tax, and then try to pay all my bills with what’s left of the money made on words.

So if you found this article at all informative, or enjoy any of my content, or just want to toss a coin to your writer, please consider doing so at my Patreon. https://www.patreon.com/OwenKCStephens

Anti-Eugenics

Eugenics, as a concept, is evil. It does real harm.
Things that promote it are problematic-at-best.
That includes a lot of my very favorite entertainment options, from many RPGs to the Lensman series.
I need to do better in not just supporting it, but fighting it.

And, related.

The game balance of the Starfinder Roelplaying Game is perfectly maintained if EVERY character, regardless of playable species, gets to choose between +2 to one ability score, or +2 to two scores and -2 to one score.

I may just make that my default from now on.

Filling out the GammaFinder/FreedomFinder Tiered Powers (for Starfinder), Part 4

This whole week is about adding tiered powers to the list we have for use in GammaFinderFreedomFinder, or any other Starfinder-compatible campaign setting.

As I am sure you could predict yesterday, today we do retrocognition.

Male Psychic in Wheelchair color 9reversed)

(art byJacob Blackmon)

Retrognition
You can look backwards in time to witness past events, though like any sense it is imperfect, can be tricked or fail to note specific details, and has greater difficulty with things further away.
Tier 1: You can look into the past to learn about creatures, items, civilizations, and nearly anything else. You can take 20 on skill checks to recall knowledge without access to an InfoSphere or similar database. This takes one minute, during which time you are flat-footed.
Tier 2: You can invoke your retrocognition as a spell-like ability to look into the past of a person, place, or object. You choose if this functions as akashic download, detect affliction, detect magic, or detect tech. If the spell you select has a spell level equal or greater to 1/3 your character level, this is a major invocation. If the spell level is lower, it is a minor invocation. You can only perform one major invocation once per day. You can perform another minor invocation after you expend 1 Resolve Point to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest.
You do not need any materials mentioned in a spell your retrocognition functions as.
Tier 3: Invoking your retrocognition can now function as comprehend customs, detect augmentation, detect radiation, identify, or know coordinates.
Tier 4: Invoking your retrocognition can now function as recall, scan environment, or share memory.
Tier 5: Invoking your retrocognition can now function as hologram memory.
Tier 6: Invoking your retrocognition can now function as discern lies.
Tier 7: Invoking your retrocognition can now function as commune with nature or commune with planet.
Tier 8: Invoking your retrocognition can now function as retrocognition.
Tier 9: Invoking your retrocognition can now function as the vision.
Tier 10: You gain a +4 bonus to your effective caster level when your ability functions as the retrocognition spell. At caster level 21+, you can look back one century per minute, though only the most impactful event of each century is revealed.

WANT MORE MATERIAL LIKE THIS?
I now depend on my Patreon for more of my income and support than I ever expected to. If you find any value in my blog posts or videos, I could use help with the Patreon. If you can spare a few bucks a month, it’s a huge help. If not, even just sharing and linking to my blogs, videos, and the Patreon itself is a huge help that just takes a moment of your time.

Thanks, everyone.

Filling out the GammaFinder/FreedomFinder Tiered Powers (for Starfinder), Part 3

This whole week is about adding tiered powers to the list we have for use in GammaFinderFreedomFinder, or any other Starfinder-compatible campaign setting.

As I am sure you could predict, today we do precognition.

Male Psychic in Wheelchair color

Precognition
You can see into the complex weave of possible futures. Often you gain only a glimpse a moment before a relevant event, or see images and impressions that don’t make sense until their context evolves. As a result of your precognition you often have a slight advantage in the actions you take, represented by the ability invoke various bonuses you gain from your precognitive insights.
Tier 1: You can invoke your precognition a number of times per day equal to your tier. At tier 1 you have the options below. At higher tiers you gain both invocations which always count against your daily total), and some other abilities with their own limitations.
You can invoke precognition prior to any one initiative check to gain an insight bonus equal to half your tier (minimum +1).
You can invoke precognition prior to any one saving throw to gain an insight bonus equal to half your tier (minimum +1).
You can invoke precognition prior to any one skill check to gain an insight bonus equal to your tier.
Tier 2: You can cast augury once per days as a spell-like ability, using your character level as your caster level.
Tier 3: You can invoke your precognition as part of any attack roll. That attack ignores miss chances due to concealment, invisibility, or mirror image and similar effects.
Tier 4: When you make an initiative check, saving throw, or skill check without invoking your precognition, after you learn the result, you may immediately expend 1 Resolve Point as a reaction to retroactively add the appropriate bonus from your precognition and use the new total as your result. This counts against your total daily invocations of precognition. Once you do this, you cannot do so again until after you expend 1 RP to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest.
Tier 5: When you use a consumable resource (such as ammunition or a grenade, serum, spell ampule, or even a spell you have with limited uses per day), and it has no effect (makes no change either intended or unintended), as a reaction you can invoke your precognition to not expend the resource. You do not get to take a different action instead. You cannot use this ability on precognition powers.
Tier 6: When you roll initiative, you can invoke your precognition to chance what equipment you have in each of your hands.
Tier 7: When you use your daily augury spell-like ability, you may choose to gain information as if you had cast divination instead.
Tier 8: When an ally within 60 feet who can see and hear you makes a saving throw, as a purely defensive reaction you can invoke your precognition to grant them a +4 insight bonus to their save.
Tier 9: When you use your daily augury spell-like ability, you may choose to gain information as if you had cast contact other plane instead.
Tier 10: Immediately after you take an action, as a reaction you can invoke your precognition to negate the action you took and all its effects. You can take another legal again in its place (this cannot be the same action repeated).

WANT MORE MATERIAL LIKE THIS?
I now depend on my Patreon for more of my income and support than I ever expected to. If you find any value in my blog posts or videos, I could use help with the Patreon. If you can spare a few bucks a month, it’s a huge help. If not, even just sharing and linking to my blogs, videos, and the Patreon itself is a huge help that just takes a moment of your time.

Thanks, everyone.

 

 

 

 

Filling out the GammaFinder/FreedomFinder Tiered Powers (for Starfinder), Part 2

This whole week is about adding tiered powers to the list we have for use in GammaFinderFreedomFinder, or any other Starfinder-compatible campaign setting.

Let’s get to barriers.

GW Wall of stone

(art by Maxim_Kasmin)

Barrier
You can create a solid barrier. You may choose for your barriers to take half damage from one damage type, but in doing so must make them vulnerable to one other (taking double damage). For example, if your barriers are walls of ice, you might choose for them to be resistant to cold damage, but take double damage from fire.
When you gain upgrades you may select one of the following.
*Increase range by 10 feet/level. You may select this upgrade more than once.
*Increase area radius by 10 feet. You may select this upgrade more than once.
*Increase barrier hardness by a value equal to your tier.
*Double the barrier’s duration if not destroyed.
*Increase your effective tier by 1 for calculating HP and size of the barrier. You may select this upgrade twice if you are tier 4 or higher, and three times if you are tier 8 or higher.
*Increase the number of separate barriers you can have active without paying a RP by 1.
*Gain fine manipulation, allowing you to put doors, windows, or firing slits in your barrier.
*Gain the ability to try to look like some other barrier (such as a wall of a house), allowing a Bluff check with a special additional bonus equal to your tier against the Perception check of observers.
*Gain the ability to cause your barrier to do damage equal to your tier to creatures that hit it with melee attacks, or to radiate that damage one one side for 10 feet. You must select one damage type (acid, bludgeoning, cold, electricity, fire, piercing, slashing, or sonic).
*Gain the ability for your barrier to be difficult to see, requiring a Perception check to notice before interacting with it (DC 10 +1/2 your character level +power tier). Otherwise, the barrier is obvious and blocks line of sight.

Tier 1: As a standard action you can create a barrier, the entirety of which must be within the range and area of your power. This power has a range of 10 feet/character level, and a 20-foot radius. The barrier lasts 1 minute if not destroyed.
You can normally only have 1 barrier active at a time. If you are 5th level or higher you can create additional barriers by expending a Resolve Point to create each barrier after the first.
The barrier is a number of 5-foot cubes no greater than your tier. The cubes must each connect along one side with at least one other cube. Alternatively you can have the barrier be a wall just one foot thick, in which case it is a number of 5-foot lines no greater than your tier and must be a contiguous line that follows the edge of squares.
The total barrier has hardness equal to your tier, and  HP equal to 5 × your tier.
Tier 2: You gain an upgrade.
Tier 3: The HP of the barrier is now per square, rather than for the entire barrier. It’s duration is now ten minutes if not destroyed beforehand.
Tier 4: You gain an upgrade.
Tier 5: The barrier gains resistance equal to its tier against all kinetic attacks, or all energy attacks, Alternative if you choose for your barrier to take half damage from one damage type, you may now make it immune to that damage type.
Tier 6: You gain an upgrade. It’s duration is now one hour if not destroyed beforehand.
Tier 7: You gain an upgrade.
Tier 8: You gain an upgrade.
Tier 9: You gain an upgrade. It’s duration is now 24 hours if not destroyed beforehand.
Tier 10: You gain an upgrade. Alternatively, you can now have the barrier have no maximum duration.

WANT MORE MATERIAL LIKE THIS?
I now depend on my Patreon for more of my income and support than I ever expected to. If you find any value in my blog posts or videos, I could use help with the Patreon. If you can spare a few bucks a month, it’s a huge help. If not, even just sharing and linking to my blogs, videos, and the Patreon itself is a huge help that just takes a moment of your time.

Thanks, everyone.

 

Filling out the GammaFinder/FreedomFinder Tiered Powers (for Starfinder), Part 1

Now that we have done a ranged attack tiered power, a lot of the most common mutant ability/supers powers from genre fiction is now available for GammaFinder, FreedomFinder, or any other Starfinder-compatible campaign setting.

But that just means we should turn out eyes on uncommon powers, to try to build a depth of options big enough for a range of concepts and characters to be built.

One obvious way to do that is to pick a popular character, and be inspired by their abilities to create new options. For example, if I choose a thunder god, I can see we already have a form of flight (though… maybe wings isn’t the best option), super-strength, toughness, ranged attacks, and weather control.

So, what about someone bitten by a radioactive weredrider?

GW Drider

That gives us two new tiered powers, Danger Sense, and Entangle.

Danger Sense
Whether you have higher-honed training that allows you to detect danger, or some supernatural sixth sense that warns you of threats, you are extremely alert to danger.
Tier 1: Whenever you are about to take an action that would trigger a trap or hazard, you are automatically allowed to make a Perception check to realize the action will trigger a trap or hazard. The GM makes this check in secret. You are not told the nature of the threat that activates your danger sense, just that such a thing exists. If the trap or hazard would not normally allow a Perception check to detect it, the DC of your check is 20 +1.5x the CR of the trap or hazard.
You may choose to not take the action, in which case it is lost (you cannot select a different action instead.)
Tier 2: You add your tier to Perception checks to determine if you are surprised, and to notice traps or hazards. Additionally, when you fight defensively or take the total defense action, you gain an additional +2 bonus to AC and Reflex saves.
Tier 3: You take only a -1 penalty to AC for the flat-footed condition. Additionally when your tier 1 power warns you of a hazard or trap, you learn it’s CR, if it makes an attack or requires a saving throw (and weather it target EAC or KAC and what type of save), and whether it does damage (and if so what type) or imposes a condition or affliction (and if so, which ones).
Tier 4: When your tier 1 power warns you an action will trigger a trap of hazard, and you choose not to take that action, you may replace it with another appropriate action.
Tier 5: You do not take a penalty to AC for the flat-footed condition. Additionally, when you first meet a creature without taking an action you can make a Sense Motive check (DC 20 +1.5x creature’s CR) to know if they would qualify as a significant opponent if you fought them. This does not tell you their attitude toward you, or if they see you as a foe.
Tier 6: You add half your tier to Sense Motive checks.
Tier 7: You add half your tier to Initiative checks.
Tier 8: You gain a +1 insight bonus to AC and Reflex saves.
Tier 9: Your tier 1 power is now rolled whenever you are in a location of an encounter of with a CR equal to or greater than your level -4. On a successful check, you learn if the encounter is a hazard, trap, or “something else.” You do not learn the CR of the encounter, how likely it is to go off, or what triggers it. You do not roll for encounters not based on a location.
Tier 10: You are immune to the flat-footed and off-target conditions.

Entangle
You are capable of slowing down and wrapping up foes.
Tier 1: You can make a ranged attack against KAC. This has a range increment of 30 feet, is considered a small arm with an item level equal to your character level -2 (minimum item level 1), and on a hit causes the target to be flat-footed or off-target (your choice) for 1 round. On a critical hit, the target is entangled. The entangle lasts a maximum of 1d4 rounds.
Tier 2: You can now cause the target to be both flat-footed and off-target for 1 round.
Tier 3: Your entangle is now considered to have an item level equal to your character level -1 (minimum level 1).
Tier 4: You can now entangle a target if your attack exceeds the KAC by 8 or more. If it is a critical hit, the DCs for them to escape are increased by +1.The entangle lasts a maximum of 1 minute.
Tier 5: Your entangle is now considered to have an item level equal to your character level.
Tier 6: You can now entangle a target if your attack exceeds the KAC by 4 or more. If it is a critical hit, the DCs for them to escape are increased by +2. The entangle lasts a maximum of 10 minutes.
Tier 7: Your entangle is now considered to have an item level equal to your character level +1
Tier 8: You can now entangle a target if your attack hits. If it is a critical hit, the DCs for them to escape are increased by +4. The entangle lasts a maximum of 1 hour.
Tier 9: Your entangle is now considered to have an item level equal to your character level +2
Tier 10: You can now use this attack to perform combat maneuvers at range.

WANT MORE MATERIAL LIKE THIS?
I now depend on my Patreon for more of my income and support than I ever expected to. If you find any value in my blog posts or videos, I could use help with the Patreon. If you can spare a few bucks a month, it’s a huge help. If not, even just sharing and linking to my blogs, videos, and the Patreon itself is a huge help that just takes a moment of your time.

Thanks, everyone.

Weapon Upgrade Pricing for Starfinder

Here’s the final post for the week, playing with fun options for the weapon damage benchmarks per level for Starfinder I posted on Monday.

Since those benchmarks allow you to determine the damage of nearly any weapon at any item level (grenades and special weapons are special cases), they are half of what we need to allow you to upgrade Starfinder weapons. If you want to have your laser pistol be improved so it does more damage, just select an item level on the EAC small arms table with a benchmark that’s better than your current damage, and increase the pistol’s item level to match.

The big question left, of course, is “how much does that cost?”

Enter the Weapon Upgrade Pricing chart.

To determine the cost of such an upgraded weapon, find the first value on the chart that is more than it’s current cost. Then go three steps down the chart from there for each increase in item level. That entry is the new value of the weapon. Pay the difference between that new value and your original value, and your weapon is upgraded. (Upgrading a weapon requires the same time, resources, and skill at building a weapon of the new item level from scratch).

SF Dull Revolver

SF Revolver

(art by 3droman)

For example: Carl has a 5th level wyrmling dragon rifle, a longarm which does 1d8 fire damage and costs 3,020 credits. But his character is 7th level, has money to spare, and he wants to upgrade the weapon. Looking at the benchmark table, he sees that if he upgrades his longarm to 7th level, it’ll do 2d6 damage. Much better!

His friend Ali the mechanic has the ranks and tools to do the upgrade. All Carl needs to know is the price.

Looking at the Upgrade Pricing Chart, he sees the first value higher than 3,020 is 3,250. Since he increased two item levels he needs to go six steps down the chart, which is 7,000 credits. Since his weapon currently has a value of 3,020, he needs to pay the difference — 3,980 credit (likely in UPBs) to get the weapon upgraded.

Weapon Upgrade Pricing Chart
Credits
100
250
400
500
750
1000
1,175
1,350
1,500
1,750
2,000
2,250
2,500
2,750
3,250
3,750
4,125
4,500
5,250
6,000
7,000
8,000
9,000
10,000
11,000
12,500
14,000
15,500
17,000
19,000
21,000
23,000
26,000
30,000
34,000
38,000
42,500
37,000
52,000
60,500
69,000
78,000
92,000
106,000
120,000
140,000
160,000
180,000
210,000
240,000
270,000
310,000
350,000
400,000
465,000
530,000
600,000
700,000
800,000
900,000
1,050,000
1,200,000
1,500,000

You can also use the chart to estimate the cost of other kinds of equipment such as armor and even magic items… but that’s a different article!

Patreon
Do you find these kind of analyses and design tools useful? Want to suggest a specific topic for an article? Support this blog by joining my Patreon!

Weapons in DungeonFinder (Starfinder variant)

So, Monday I posted a big entry with long lists of tables that gave benchmark damage values for weapons of all types at all item levels in Starfinder, and mentioned there were lots of fun things we could do with a list like that. Here’s another one.

We can eliminate weapon damage being primarily determined by item level.

There are lots of good and well-thought out reasons why damage is tied to item levels in Starfinder, and it works great for the core game, but it makes some setting hacks harder to pull off. In particular, it doesn’t work well for genres that encourage players to get attacked to specific weapons (the Colt revolver Shanna the Gunslinger left you when she rode back into the Outlands, or the longsword your Grandfather carried in the aberration wars two generations ago, and so on).

So, let’s say we wanted to use Starfinder for a pure fantasy campaign, rather than science-fantasy. Perhaps a game set in Solstice, with charters constantly looking for new dungeons to explore.

We’ll call is DungeonFinder… for now.

And we want people to fight with swords and axes and bows in DungeonFinder, rather than plasma sabers and laser pistols. So, first, we make a few fantasy weapons. (This isn’t an exhaustive list, just a short set of examples).

For now we’ll list the prices in “cr,” which could stand for credits, crown coins, copper reals, or whatever. For this example we can treat 1-handed and 2-handed as properties for now (to keep these on fewer charts), allow boost on things without charges, and list the range increment of thrown weapons after the thrown property.

DungeonFinder Weapons

Basic Melee Weapons
Weapon  Item Level  Cost    Damage  Critical           Bulk Properties
Club                  0             0 cr       1d2 B         Knockdown   1        1H, Thrown (10 ft.)
Dagger             1             10 cr     1d3 S                                   L       1 H,  Thrown (15 ft.)
Mace                1             25 cr      1d4 B         Knockdown   1       1H, Boost (1d4)
Maul                1             10 cr      1d6 B         Knockdown   2       2H, Boost (1d6), unwieldy
Spear, light     1             15 cr      1d4 P                                  L       1 H, Reach
Spear, heavy  1             25 cr      1d6 P                                  1       2 H, Reach
Staff                 1             5 cr        1d4 B         Knockdown   1       2H, Block
Stiletto             1             50 cr      1d3 P        Bleed (1d3)     L       1H, Conceal, operative
Torch               1             1 cr         1d2 B & F Burn (1d3)     L       1 H, One 1-hour charge

Advanced Melee Weapons
Weapon  Item Level  Cost    Damage  Critical        Bulk     Properties
Battle Axe        1             50 cr     1d6 S      Wound          1           1 H, boost (1d6)
Great Axe        1            100 cr    1d10 S   Wound           2           2 H, boost (1d6), unwieldy
Great Sword   1             110 cr   2d4 S      Bleed (1d8)   2           2 H
Short Sword   1             30 cr     1d6 S      Bleed (1d4)   L           1 H
Longsword     1             50 cr      1d8 S     Bleed (1d6)   1            1 H
Rapier              1            150 cr     1d6 P     Demoralize  L           1 H, Block, feint, operative

THEN, we say if you are proficient with a weapon, when using it you do either its listed damage, or damage from the appropriate benchmark table using your class level (or perhaps equal to your base attack bonus if we want to give soldiers more of an edge) as the item level.

Magic weapons can have fusions… or really powerful ones could actually do damage at +1 or +2 levels on the benchmark chart.

Dungeonfidner Magic Axe

Slings and throw darts can be Small Arms. Crossbows and longbows Long Arms.

But MAGIC WANDS can be small arms too! Your cogamancer might have a wand of lighting that’s just a 1d6 ranged electricity attack with arc on it…

Dungeonfinder Magic Wands

This allows for a HUGE range of weapons, all of which need only be designed as a single item level, since damage will scale automatically.

Want More DungeonFinder?!
The best way to get more of this content, and to suggest other kinds of content you;d like to see, it by joining my Patreon for just a few dollars a month!