Biohacker Multiclass ThemeType (for Starfinder)
Posted by Owen K.C. Stephens
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.
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.
(art by David Edwards)
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).
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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 June 29, 2020, in Starfinder Development and tagged Game Design, gaming, Geekery, PC Options, Really Wild West, Starfinder, ThemeTypes. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.
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