Monthly Archives: September 2020

OGL Warlock for Starfinder Part 2: Spell Slots

My class table and proficiencies for the Starfinder OGL warlock has an entry for “spell slots” rather than the normal “spells per day” for a starfinder spellcaster. This difference in terminology is intentional, and crucial to how I am designing the Starfinder warlock.

Rather than have a daily limit of spells, a warlock will gain spells that are restored each time they recuperate*. However, they will always be a full spell level behind a traditional caster — a warlock doesn’t gain 1st level spells until the “full” spellcasters (mystic, technomancer, and witchwarper) all have access to 2nd level spells, and so on. Because the overall power level of Starfinder spells does not rise nearly as sharply with caster level (compared to the original 3.5 game rules, of PF 1st edition), this means the warlock needs to have a large selection of spells known to make sure their dramatically less-powerful best spells are likely to include something appropriate to a given situation.

Thus a warlock has much less powerful spells, and can’t unleash nearly as many spells in a single encounter as a fresh “full” spellcaster, but can reliable restore their spell power numerous times per day, making them less likely to have to carefully conserve their spells.

With longarms and heavy armor options a warlock need not depend on spells for basic offense and defense, and each will receive an eldritch blast with their patron. They do have a potential issue with spell DCs being too low compared to “full” spellcasters, but we’ll address that in different ways in different places.

(Art by James Thew)

So, let’s look at the actual game rules for warlock cantrips and spell slots.


Warlocks cast spells drawn from the technomancer and witchwarper spell lists, though they cannot cast spells that require them to have class features they lack. They begin play knowing 4 cantrips. They gain bonus cantrips known equal to their key ability modifier, to a maximum of one bonus cantrip known per warlock class level.

Spell Slots

Warlocks cast spells drawn from the technomancer and witchwarper spell lists, though they cannot cast spells that require them to have class features they lack.

Each time a warlock gains access to a new level of spells, they begin play with six spells known of their choice, and gain one additional spell known of each lower level of spell or cantrip. For example, when a warlock reaches 7th level, they gain access to 2nd level spells, and begin play knowing six 2nd level spells of their choice. They also gain one additional 1-st level spell and 0-level cantrip known.

A warlock can cast any warlock spell they know by expending a spell slot of the same or higher spell level. A warlock regains all used spell slots when they recuperate*.

A warlock with a key ability bonus gains a single additional spell slot. This spell slot is of a spell level equal to the key ability bonus, to a maximum of 5th level.

*Recuperate is my proposed game term to represent when a character spends 1 Resolve Point to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest.

Want me to create more adaptations from other games to Starfinder? Want to see the warlock for YET other game systems? Want something else? Really Wild West content? Would you rather see more material for 5e, or industry insider articles? Join my Patreon for a few bucks a month, and let me know!

An OGL Warlock for Starfinder

Having created a version of the OGL warlock for Pf1, I thought we’d try the same thing for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. I love the idea of exploring what scifi heroes who gain powers from pacts with otherworldly beings might bring to a setting. As with last time, let’s start with what the class table and proficiencies and such might look like.

(Art by Grandfailure)


Hit Points: 6

Stamina Points: 6 + Constitution modifier

Key Ability Score: Different warlock patrons are compatible with different personalities and demand differing mental attributes of their bound agents. As a result a warlock may select Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as their key ability score at 1st level. Once made, this decision cannot be changed.

Class Skills: Bluff (Cha), Culture (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Life Science (Int), Medicine (Int), Mysticism (Wis), Perception (Wis), Physical Science (Int), Profession (Int, Wis, Cha), Sense Motive (Wis), and Survival (Wis)

Skill Ranks Per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Proficiencies: Armor–light, heavy. Weapons–Basic and advanced melee weapons, small arms, longarms.

Table: The Warlock

So, what do all those class features mean? And why does the table list is spell slots, rather than spells per day like most spellcasters?

Tune in tomorrow to find out!

Want me to create more adaptations from other games to Starfinder? Want to see the warlock for YET other game systems? Want something else? Really Wild West content? Would you rather see more material for 5e, or industry insider articles? Join my Patreon for a few bucks a month, and let me know!

Ways to Boost a Foe’s CR in Starfinder

Yesterday we discussed why Starfinder doesn’t really follow the CR and CR equivalent charts in the core rulebook in all situations. I also linked to my “CR 6 +1” manticore as a way I had created a CR 7 monster appropriate for 5th level characters. A lot of people wanted to know if there were fast and easy ways to boost the CR of a Starfinder creature by +1 without making them too dangerous for lower-level players.

So, here are three! (Note that these don’t work as well if the players are already higher-level than the monster’s CR.)

Art By Herschel Hoffmeyer

*Boost All It’s Lower Values: Look at the creature’s saving throws, and make them all as good as its best save. Look at its attacks, and make all its attack bonuses as good as it’s best attack bonus. Look at its skills, and give them all the bonus for its highest skill. Increase its initiative modifier to be 4 higher than its highest ability score modifier. If it’s EAC is more than 2 lower than its KAC, bring it to be within 2. Remove any vulnerabilities.
This doesn’t raise the opponent’s numbers to be higher than the PCs can deal with at its level, but it does make it as strong as is reasonable in every area of combat. Without a weakness the PCs can exploit, the foe is more effective in whatever area happens to be important in the chaos of a fight.

*Double Its Hit Points: A foe that lasts longer can do more damage, but obviously it’s as dangerous as two of the same foe, since it can still make only one set of attacks per round, can only be in one place, and any penalties the PCs inflict only have to target one enemy. This one is fast and easy, but it has the downside that combats can drag on a bit, so only use this sparingly, and when you want an opponent to come off as super-tough.

*Give It Area/Ranged Attacks: You don’t want to make it do more damage or have a better attack bonus, but you can give it ranged, area attacks that do appropriate damage for its level. A breath weapon is a good example of this, as are any grenades with an item level equal to its CR or less. The idea here is to let it damage multiple PCs in a single attack action, and be able to switch up its attack options based on what’s happening in the combat.

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The Issues of CRs and Multiple Creatures in Starfinder

So if you look in the Starfinder Core Rulebook, it’ll tell you that encounter difficulty is determined by comparing an encounter’s CR to your player’s Average Party Level (APL), as follows:

Encounter Difficulty

DifficultyCR Equivalency
EasyAPL – 1
ChallengingAPL + 1
HardAPL + 2
EpicAPL + 3

It’ll also tell you that you can determine the CR equivalence of multiple creatures with the following table.

CR Equivalencies

Number of CreaturesCR Equivalency
1 creatureCR
2 creaturesCR + 2
3 creaturesCR + 3
4 creaturesCR + 4
6 creaturesCR + 5
8 creaturesCR + 6
12 creaturesCR + 7
16 creaturesCR + 8

Both these tables are useful… and both are wrong in ways the core rulebook doesn’t explain (we didn’t really realize it when we wrote the book — or at least I didn’t), and that isn’t intuitively obvious. But depending on how you combine these, your encounters may be way too easy, or way too hard.

Let’s start with when it may create an encounter much harder than expected.

Single Creatures of Higher CR

If you use a single higher-CR creature to make an encounter above your player’s APL, that encounter is going to be much harder than the core rulebook suggests. A single creature 1 CR higher than your PCs’ APL is on the tougher end of “Hard,” not merely “Challenging.” A single creature 2 CR’s above APL is Epic. And a single creature 3 CR above APL is likely to be more murderous than fun.

The reasons for this are baled into how Starfinder is different from pathfinder. First, the math is tighter. In Pathfinder you often have 1 or 2 players who are well ahead of the average PC curve in one area or another. Thus when you challenge them with a higher-CR foe, the one PC who is above the curve in whatever aspect of the game is effective against that foe can affect it, and the other PCs can support them. In Starfinder, the upper level of effectiveness is much more tightly controlled (and monster state blocks are much more consistent), so as the CR of a single monster goes up, the % chance of any attack of ability affecting them drops in ways the PCs cannot easily deal with.

Similarly, the raw bonuses and DCs a monster has increase in ways the PC’s defenses aren’t designed to handle, and a single higher-CR creature is likely to focus its attacks more than two lower-CR ones, just as a practical matter of space, reach, and line of sight.

Relatedly, the prevalence of save-or-lose effects is much lower in Starfinder than Pathfinder. In Pf, if you are just facing one foe players can spam hold or similar spells until the enemy fails a saving throw. Which such effects exist in Starfinder they are much less common, and generally more limited in scope.

Additionally Starfinder generally increases combat effectiveness not with multiple attacks, as Pathfinder does, but with each single attack anyone makes doing more and more damage. This both means the PCs can;t spam 3-6 attacks a round at a foe hoping to roll well on at least a few (and thus get a little damage in each round), and that a GM can’t have a foe divide their attacks among multiple PCs to make sure one is not killed in a lucky shot.

These factors combine to mean than one CR 8 foe is much more dangerous to a group of PCs than three CR 5 foes. It is much harder for the PCs to connect with it, given it’s higher ACs and better saves, and rather than have the threat be reduced as they drop one enemy and can focus on the other two, it remains at full effectiveness until dropped. And many legitimate class builds that focus on area attacks which help deal with three CR 5 creatures are actually less common against one CR 8.

So the table that tells you an APL +3 encounter is Epic (but reasonable) is only true if you are using multiple creatures of roughly your parties APL.

But, of course, there’s another possible weird result, when things are much easier than expected…

Art by likozor

Multiple Creatures of Lower CR

The other thing the core rulebook tells you is that 16 creatures make up an encounter with a CR equal to their indiviual CRs +8. That ought to mean that if you have an APL of 9th level, you can challenge them with 16 1st level foes.

But you can’t. I mean you can do it, but it won’t be a challenge.

In this case, the tighter math and reduced attacks per round work in the PCs’ favor. The AC of a typical CR 1 combatant is 11 lower than a CR 9 combatant, and it has 20 HP, compared to the CR 9’s 145. One or two area attacks can wipe out all the CR 1 foes, and their attacks are insignificant even if they manage to connect with PCs.

Now being able to be in multiple places can given useful otpions, and of course a clever Gm CAN build an encounter where eight CR 1 foes are at least interesting (putting them in defensive positions, for example, or spread them out and set the encounter so the PCs want to capture them all without letting any escape, rather than just defeat or bypass them). But failing that, for a satisfying encounter you generally don’t want to use foes with a CR more than 3 below your PCs’ APL.

The Takeaway

When using the CR system in Starfinder, try to stick to creatures with a CR no more than 3 below, or 1 above, your party’s APL.

(Unless you are prepared to get clever, as I experimented with when building a CR “6 +1” Manticore.)

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The “Damn” Manticore of Really Wild West (in Starfinder)

In yesterday’s session notes for my third Really Wild West Game, I mentioned the main villain was a modified manticore. I took the base stats from Legendary game’s excellent Alien Bestiary (name mentioned here with special permission from LG), and made some changes.

Some of those changes are stylistic. I wanted a scorpion-tailed manticore, rather than a spike-flinging tail. But some of the changes (higher will saves, flexible tail, flyby attack, advanced weaponry) are specifically designed to make it a more dangerous foe.

Essentially, I wanted a CR 7 threat to be an epic encounter for the five 5th level heroes, but I didn’t want to use a CR 7 monster. In Starfinder, the math is so tight, fighting something that is 2 CRs above you can be extremely frustraintg, ebcause it never misses, and you rarely hit. Using two CR 5 monsters as a CR 7 encounter works great, but here I experimented with boosting the combat effectiveness of a foe without boosting their HP, AC, attack values, and so on. I list this as CR 6 +1; it’s CR 7 for all purposes except it’s array.

Then at the end I list my GM notes on two of the bits of treasure Gaotema had. They helped tell this specific monster’s story — an Ottoman Turk manticore who has been around since the 1700s, and fought for the Confederates in the US Civil War, then turned mercenary and gang leader after the South lost.

Gaotema, sans hat, art by Jacob Blackmon

Manticore           CR 6+1
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +13
DEFENSE              HP 95    
18; KAC 20
Fort +10, Ref +10, Will +10
40 ft., fly 60 ft. (Ex, average)
claw +16 (1d8+11 S) or stinger +16 (1d8+11 P, Fort DC 17)
grenade launcher +14 (“Puckle Gin,” See below)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with stinger)
Offensive Abilities Flexible Tail (Threaten foes in reach even if they have cover)
+5, Dex +2, Con +3, Int –1, Wis +0, Cha +0
Skills Survival +18 (+22 when tracking)
Feats Flyby Attack (as PF1), Mobility, Spring Attack
Languages Common, Ottoman Turkish
Doomstone-Enhanced Poison – Uses track of target’s highest ability score. End State is Venom-Wight. DC 17 (7 points of damage)

Each state takes twice as long as the one before it
Immediate/1 round – Save or Weakened             
2 rounds – Save or Impaired                                       
4 rounds – Save or Staggered                                    
8 Rounds – Save or Immobile                                     
16 rounds – Save or Venom-Wight                        

Puckle Gun
2280 cr.               60 ft.     8 grenades         5 bulk    Analog, Expiramental
Grey Smoke – Fortitude saving throw each round (DC = 13 + 1 per previous check) or spend that round choking and coughing; he can do nothing else. A character who chokes for 2 consecutive rounds takes 1d6 nonlethal damage. Concealment.
Silver Smoke – DC 14, or forget details of what you saw without confirmation afterward.
Black Smoke – As smoke + tail venom, above
Red Shell – 5d6 fire, half damage to targets within 20 feet (Ref negates)
Experimental — If damaged, roll d20 on the mishap chart, below.
1-5: Backfire, user takes 1d6 fire damage each time it fires.
6-10: Takes a full round action to attack.
11-15: Can’t load a new round without a DC 17 Engineering check
16-20: Inaccurate. Roll scatter for every attack.

Artilleryman’s Hat – Constant – Reduce effect of miss change from smoke/fog/vapor-base concealment by half, and it is never total concealment.
Standard Action – Grant 1 hour of immunity to inhaled smoke/fog/vapor effects. 1/day.
“A battered hat with many cuts and scrapes, there is a Confederate artillery pin stuck on top of a faded Union artillery patch.”

Compression Gear Harness
Standard to activate, 1/day, for 1 hour +4 to bulk carrying capacity, +2 damage with melee attacks
2 bulk, 5k credits, item level 5, must be custom fit with Engineering check

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Really Wild West “Doomstone” Campaign — After-Action Report (Game Session 3)

Since people still seem to be enjoying after-action reports of my Really Wild West: Doomstone campaign, here’s a write-up adapted from notes taken by my wife Lj (who is playing the fenrin operative bounty hunter named “Sawyer”) as a quick report for Session Three!

You can find Session One here: Part One, Part Two.
Session Two here: Part One, Part Two.

If you don’t recognize a reference, it may (or may not) be in a previous session, or at the updated campaign notes page.

Session 03:

Day 06

The players investigate the eponymous Circle Axe the Circle Axe Ranch is named for. It is 4ft tall, 30lbs. When the land was pioneered 50 or so years ago, Dwargus hardfist (the current foreman and a dwarf) was here with his grandmother. She had them stop here and dig up this axe, buried in the ground, because she could sense it. She believes it dates back to when a Hardfist was with Leif Erikson’s exploration of the area.

  • Discover it is a magic item, The Double Blade, which is Axiomatic, Bane vs. creatures aligned to, or serving humility or gluttony.
  • Serves Pride and Patience. “Pride and Pateince” is the Hardfist family motto. It dates back to Nordic days, when Pride was seen as a sin by the family, and patience their failing.
  • Can oversee an oath – is doing so right now. Therefore, that oath is still intact. Dwargus is sure no one has used it for an oath since it was buried. Since it was buried, the PCs think the oath might have been a treaty of some kind (for “Bury the hatchet’)
  • Made of steel alloyed with a star metal – noqual. Not usually compatible with steel.
    • Some magical process fused them
    • It weighs 2x-3x what it should
    • It has become a crystalline matrix of steel

Since the PCs are here to stop the Manticore only Dwargus has ever seen, which always kills of his (and ONLY his) cattle each time they are picked from the general hear, their plan is to have the cattle picked, put in buildings in a nearby abandoned town (Horse Creek), and wait for the Manticore to arrive. Sawyer (fenrin operative bounty hunter) buys a cow to mix in with Dwargus’ herd

Day 07 – At the ambush

  • The cows are in two buildings
  • Two ranch hands — Bohoss (an ogre) and Waterlily (an elf) are handling the cattle to keep them calm
  • PCs wait for the attack … and it comes!


  • First there’s a distant “thump” then a silvery fog rolls in. Everyone needs to make a DC 10 Will save, and those who fail it can’t remember any element of the situation they aren’t currently seeing. Tess (human mechanic) fails her save… but asks her drone what she is doing in a building, at night, near cows, and when explains she rushes out to help.
  • Then the hossest-looking manticore flies in
    • Wearing a previously Union Artilleryman’s hat – debadged
    • Armored forearms with mechanical thumbs
    • Mounted, heavily modified and updated Puckle Gun on its shoulder
The Manticore, Gaotma, by Jacob Blackmon
  • He swoops in and fires at Anuthyr (centaur paladin) – same “thump” sound occurs
    • It’s his fog gun!!
    • He calls her a bad name in Ottoman Turkish – Pislick (“dirt” – piece of crap or asshole)
  • Sawyer flies up and shoots the manticore … real hard
  • Liam (human soldier) was in a sniper position behind the saloon sign on its roof. He drops his rifle and leaps upon he Manticore’s back in an attempt to sunder its gun harness.
    • Gets stung – poisoned
    • Extremely virulent (Doomstone does not use the normal Starfinder poison rules for common poisons, but DOES use them for this poison. Which, worse, uses the track of your HIGHEST ability score!)
    • Liam and damages the harness (As an Experimental weapon it rolls on a failure chart each time it is damaged — it is now a full action to use. So the manticore can no longer use it while flying, and must land).
    • Hangs on, dragging the Manticore to the ground
  • Anuthyr sets for charge and challenges the manticore
  • He shoots her, she stands strong and challenges again
  • Brone (Half-orc technomancer cartographer) tries to cast from cover and is stung and poisoned. The manticore’s tail has reach AND can make attacks of opportunity around corners!
  • Four serpentfolk teleport in, drop off masked bandits, then disappear
    • The bandits have sawed-off double-barrel shotguns, and mining picks with green rims
  • Liam sends up a flare so that Anuthyr can see the manticore on the other side of the black gas
    • Liam starts to succumb to the poison – Dex for him
  • Anuthyr charges – her attack glances off the Manticore’s shoulder armor
    • Manticore identifies himself as Gaotema
  • Gaotema stings and poisons Anuthyr
    • She begins to succumb to the poison – Str for her
  • Sawyer (flying with Davinci wings) keeps Gaotema flatfooted with successful trick attacks
  • Tess and Pinon take on the bandits
  • Brone begins to succumb to the poison – Int
  • The bandits finally get to take action
    • One of them takes on Tess
    • The other two enter the building with Waterlily and 6 cows
    • Lily is shot, but manages to keep the cows calm… during an active shootout right next to them!
  • Liam is stung a second time – poisoned
  • Lily kills a bandit
  • Anuthyr drops her lance, activates Smite, and smacks Gaotema with her sword
    • SMOTE!!
  • Gaotema flies by, attacking Anuthyr
  • Sawyer misses this time
  • Tess takes out another bandit
  • Brone throws a magic Missile at Gaotema
  • Liam shoots Gaotema, putting him on his last leg. Liam’s poison finally stops progressing.
  • Anuthyr charges
  • Gaotema attempts to fly away
  • The last remaining bandit wings a huge knife at Tess, injuring her and knocking her down with a critical hit
  • Liam shoots Gaotema one last time – finally killing him
  • Anuthyr steps up to remove his head saying “You shall see your master in hell.”
    • He responds “Kral Zenhiri is not in hell”


  • Brone falls over
    • Anuthyr helps him
    • Brone is still in trouble
  • Waterlily is bleeding out
    • Sawyer helps her – stops the bleeding
  • Tess tries to make an anti-venon
    • We need to get his venom out to do so
    • There is something stuck inside the stinger
    • Bohoss smashes it with a rock and gets out a piece of glowing green iron
    • It’s a piece of green iron – radiated. “Doomstone” Get it far enough away from the poisoned, will help
    • Tess gives it to Pinon, who runs it far, far away
  • Brone is still in trouble
    • This isn’t gonna kill him… it’s final state will turn him into something
    • Finally, he stabilizes

We set watches and discuss what to do with the body. Bury them all.

Day 08

  • Brone’s good
  • Bury the bodies – the bandits are all branded with a manticore, and they used to have bounties on them
    • Each had a token of one drop of poison – likely used to locate them by the serpentfolk. We give them all to Anuthyr.
    • The manticore had a flower stuck in his gear (cliff dandelion) that locally is only found on Neblin Ridge – in the disputed territory between the Circle Axe and Vicious Hippogriff ranches.
  • Bury all the items tainted with radiation
  • Leave it unmarked for now

LOOT: Artilleryman’s hat (magical), compression gear harness, Puckle gun (original to 1700s, and upgraded by the Confederates and again recently with Martian-derived tech), one black gas shell, one silver shell, two gray shells. Four sawed-off double-barreled shot guns, four bowie knives, 400 credits worth of Vicious Hippogryph script. Lead case for the Doomstone.

  • The hat
    • The bones and fangs cover up the Union marks
    • Brone mends it
    • It helps the wearer see through smoke, fog, and vapor
    • Gives wearer immunity to smoke, fog, and vapor effects once per day for an hour
  • Harness
    • Once per day, for one hour, allows +4 to bulk carrying capacity, and +2 damage with melee attacks (2 bulk)
  • Puckle gun
    • Grenade launcher – custom made (5 bulk)
  • Lead case
    • Designed to hold the green radiated rock Domstone
    • Inscribed with

Mark II


Go out and get the stone and put it in the case. All the vegetation around it has died.

The rock doesn’t want to be enclosed. It *fights* being put in the lead case, but Tess forces it in.

Anuthyr and Liam can both tell where it is. Brone can too.

PCs return to Dwargus

  • His cattle are fine
  • Bring back the manticore head
  • They cheer, feed us, put us to bed
  • We take watches

Day 09

Everyone’s healed up. Now, only Anuthyr and Brone can feel it where the Doomstone is.

LOOT: 200 credits each for the bounty

Dwargus gives the PCs a writ to legally explore Neblin Ridge, in the disputed territory, as there is enough evidence to suggest criminals are operating out of there.

  • Wants to send the Puckle gun ammo to the Speaker of the State House
  • Wants to buy the Puckle gun for 1500 credits
  • Tess wants to keep the tech

The Plan

  • Stay here tonight
  • Send the ammo to Fontz and Bizmark to take to the State Speaker of the House, who Dwargus trusts, as evidence of criminals with access to martian tech, in the hopes of getting state or federal peacekeepers out here… in 3-4 weeks.
    • Sawyer and Tess write letters of witness for Dwargus
  • PC’s keep the stone with us and head to Neblin Ridge first thing in the morning
  • Use the VH scrip to buy some anti-toxins here at Circle Axe. (Medicinals cost 1/10th list price in Really Wild West)
    • One tier 2 anti-venon
    • Six tier 1 anti-venons
    • One tier 1 sedative

Day 10 – 2 days to Neblin Ridge

Brone says if we take the direct route, the PCs will be seen.

  • However, he says they can take a dry creek bed, not be seen, and take three days instead of two. So they do.
  • As we approach the entrance to the gully, Sawyer finds a trip wire made of spider silk.
  • Loud gunshot goes off – green iron shot
    • Not radioactive, not poisonous, but it would sicken you if shot with it
    • They must have a green iron mine
    • Tess gathers up the pellets

LOOT: Shotgun w/a manticore symbol in the butt

  • We notice that this gully is wide enough for the manticore
  • They have a trail-craft expert with them
  • Find his half-way campsite
  • Used in the last week 5-20 people, possibly the manticore
  • It’s been here weeks, months, maybe years
  • PCs camp aways off so we can watch the camp

As we settle down to camp …

  • Sawyer’s hackles raise
  • Tess sees impact terms in her tea
  • Something is vibrating. Underground?
  • The local fauna doesn’t seem to care
  • Tess determines it’s happening at Neblin’s Ridge, whatever it is
    • Ten to twenty miles away
  • For the next 3-4 hours, the vibration goes off for one minute every half hour
    • Tess gets no sleep

Day 11

On toward Neblin Ridge. Find another trip wire. This time the PCs disarm it and rig it back up to appear to be set up.

LOOT: green iron shot, shotgun

Tess determines these are very well-made shotguns made by a master engineer, but using an extremely simple design, as if he’d never made guns before.

That night, the PCs find another camp site, with a shallow grave next to it.

  • At least three sverfneblin. Dead for awhile.
  • Liam talks to them.
    • In olde German, the corpse will say
    • “They said it was part of the pact. Why are they killing us? They said it was part of the pact. I didn’t know they were killing us.”
    • The body turns to dirt. Released?
    • They were on their way to becoming undead, but being allowed to speak after death has given them epace.
  • We dig them up to give them proper burial.
    • Find a total of 9 bodies
    • Looks like they were buried every three months
  • Other relevant things they say
    • “They do not respect the ore. They do not respect the old ways of mining.”
    • “Damn the pact. Damn the traders. We should have closed the vault.”

XPs: 950

PCs at 12,000 total (15,000 to 6th)

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Pathfinder Warlock Index

So, here’s how to find the elements of the Pathfinder-compatible OGL Warlock class I designed.

Here’s where you can find the elements of the class on my blog.

The class advancement chart,
Spell access rules
Fiendish patron 
A Draconic patron,
Some pact boons
The base invocation rules along with the hex-access invocations, and a set of non-hex invocations.
The shadow-haired warlock archetype.

Want More Professional Pathfinder 1st Edition?!

Hey folks! I know there’s less-and-less material being produced for Pathfinder 1st edition by people who worked on the game as Paizo developers. If you want to encourage me to keep creating new options for this rule system, please consider joining my Patreon (or buying a cup work of support at my Ko-Fi) and letting me know!

An OGL Warlock for Pathfinder 1e (Part 8: Archetypes)

At this point, our Pathfinder 1e warlock has the class advancement chartspell access rules, a Fiendish patron , a Draconic patron, some pact boons, and the base invocation rules along with the hex-access invocations, and a set of non-hex invocations. What’s left?

Well, one of the things you need in Pathfinder for a class to be “complete” is archetypes.

Honestly? A LOT of archetypes. This is a place where Pathfinder 2e and Starfinder are much easier to work with, because their archetype schemes work for all classes.

But we’re doing a PF1 class, so we need some archetypes to give it the full flexibility typical of base classes. I likely can’t turn this into the Warlock Archetype Blog (although, I mean if you are paying me on my Patreon and want to see that, let me know!) But I can do one or two, just to give some examples of what those might look like.

So, let’s create an archetype!

Art by Dominick

Shadow-Haired Warlock

A shadow-haired warlock is so infused with shadow energy it leaks out of her body in her eyes, skin… and long, animate shadowy hair.

The shadow-haired warlock is an archetype of the warlock class.

Shadow Hair (Su)
At 1st level, a shadow-haired warlock gains the ability to use her hair as a weapon. This functions as a primary natural attack with a reach of 5 feet. The hair deals 1d8 points of damage (1d6 for a Small warlock). The warlock adds her Charisma bonus to attacks and damage with her hair in place of any other ability score bonus (such as Strength or Dexterity).

In addition, the warlock gains one of the following feats of her choice: Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Drag, Improved Grapple, Improved Reposition, Improved Steal, Improved Sunder, or Improved Trip. She gains this feat without meeting the prerequisites, but if she does not meet the prerequisites she may only use it with her shadow hair. As long as her hair is free to make attacks, the shadow-haired warlock can add her Charisma bonus to her CMD and CMB in addition to the typcial ability score modifiers.

When grappling a foe with her hair, the warlock does not gain the grappled condition.

At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, a shadow-haired warlock’s hair adds 5 feet to its reach, to a maximum of 30 feet at 20th level.

The hair cannot be sundered or attacked as a separate creature.

At 2nd level, when the shadow-haired warlock’s successfully performs a combat maneuver with her hair (including to maintain a grapple) she can also constrict the target as a swift action*, dealing damage equal to that of her hair attack.

This replaces the eldritch blast gained from the warlock’s patron, and the pact boon class feature.

Shadow-Hair Warlock Invocations

A shadow-haired warlock can select from the following invocations in addition to the standard list.

Maneuver (Ex): The shadow-haired warlock gains another Improved Combat maneuver from the list given in the shadow hair archetype feature.

Pull (Ex): If the shadow-haired warlock successfully strikes a foe with her hair, she can attempt a Reposition combat maneuver check to pull the creature 5 feet closer to her as a swift action. this does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Rogue Talents: The shadow-haired warlock can learn rogue talent from a limited list, using her warlock level in place of her rogue level.

A shadow-haired warlock cannot select an individual rogue talent more than once, and can select from among the following: assault leader, combat trick, finesse rogue, positioning attack, resiliency, surprise attack, and weapon training. beginning at 17th level, she can choose from among the following advanced rogue talents: another day, defensive roll, improved evasion, opportunist, redirect attack, slippery mind, and thoughtful reexamining.

Shadow Form (Sp): You can cast shadow projection once per day. If you are at least 15th level, you may instead choose to shadow body once per day. You must be at least 9th level to select this shadow-haired warlock invocation.

Shadow Magic: The following spells are added to your warlock spell list at the listed spell levels. You must still select them as spells known if you wish to cast them with your spell slots–shadow trap (1st), shadow anchor (2nd), shadow step (3rd), shadow conjuration (4th), shadow walk (5th).

Strangle (Ex): When the shadow- hair warlock is using her hair to grapple with an opponent, that creature cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components.

Want me to create more adaptations from other games to pathfinder 1e? Want to see the warlock for other game systems? Want something else? Really Wild West content? Would you rather see more material for 5e, or industry insider articles? Join my Patreon for a few bucks a month, and let me know!

An OGL Warlock for Pathfinder 1e (Part 7: Other Invocations)

So far on our project to create a Pathfinder 1e warlock, we’ve done the class advancement chartspell access rules, a Fiendish patron , a Draconic patron, some pact boons, and the base invocation rules along with the hex-access invocations.

So, let’s get to the other potential invocations, shall we? These follow the rules we outlined yesterday (and it’s worth noting even spell-like invocations use the invocation rules for determing save DCs, unless otherwise noted).

(Art by Asanee)

Armor of Shadows (Su): You gain a +3 armor bonus. In bright light, the armor bonus is reduced by 1. In dim light, the armor bonus is increased by 1.

Beast Speech (Sp): You have a persistent speak with animals. If this is dispelled, you can cast it on yourself at will.

Beast Whispers (Sp): You can cast animal messenger at-will. You must have beast speech to select this invocation.

Eldritch Might (Su): You gain a +1 enhancement bonus to the attack and damage rolls of the eldritch blast you gain from your patron. This increases to a +2 bonus at 9th level, and a +3 bonus at 18th level.

Eldritch Might, Greater (Su): The enhancement bonus you gain for your eldritch blast increases by 1. At 14th level, the enhancement bonus instead increases by 2. You must have eldritch might to select greater eldritch might. You must be at least 7th level to select this invocation.

Eldritch Reach (Su): The range of your eldritch blast increases. If it has a range increment or is a cone or line, it’s range doubles. If it is a melee attack, its reach increased by 5 feet. If it is a radius, its radius increases by +10 feet.

Eldritch Vigor: You gain Endurance and Toughness as bonus feats.

Eldritch Vision (Ex): You gain the see in darkness ability. If you have darkvision of low-light vision, you also gain a +2 bonus to Perception checks in dim or no light.

Fel Words (Sp): You can cast bane at will.

Mask of Many Faces (Sp): You can cast alter self on yourself at will. You can use this to make a Disguise check as part of the same action, without taking penaties for altering your gender, size (if it is the size of your new form), or species (if it is a humanoid species).

Minions (Sp): Once per day you can cast a summon monster spell with a spell level up to half your warlock level. The summoned creatures all speak one language you know of your choice. The spell has a duration of 1 minute/level, but when in combat each round of combat reduces the duration by 1 minute.

Misty Visions (Sp): You can cast silent image at-will.

One With Shadows (Sp): In areas of dim light or no light you can cast vanish at-will. The invisibility ends if you are even in normal or greater light.

Otherworldy Leap (Sp): You can cast jump on yourself at will.

Repelling Blast (Su): When you successfully damage a creature with the eldritch blast from your patron, you may choose to push the creature 10 feet directly away from you. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Shield of Shadows (Sp): You can cast shield on yourself at will. In bright light, the AC bonus it grants is reduced by 1. In dim light, the AC bonus it grants is increased by 1.

Sign of Ill Omen (Sp): You can cast bestow curse once per day.

Sinful Comforts (Sp): You can cast create food and water, prestidigitate, and unseen servant at will. Only you can benefit from the food or water you create. If others touch it, it turns to dust.

Vengeful Blood (Su): When a creature scores a critical hit against you, the critical effect is not someone countered, and you take damage from the attack, your eldritch blast gained from your patron becomes bane against that creature for 10 minutes. You can only be bane against one creature at a time, any new bane ends a previous one.

Visions (Sp): You can cast arcane eye at will. You must be at least 15th level to select this invocation.

Warlock Sight (Sp): You gain persistent true seeing, but it only allows you to see the true form of creatures within 30 feet — all other illusions affect your normally.

Want me to create more adaptations from other games to pathfinder 1e? Want to see the warlock for other game systems? Want something else? Really Wild West content? Would you rather see more material for 5e, or industry insider articles? Join my Patreon for a few bucks a month, and let me know!

OGL Warlock for Pathfinder 1st edition (Part 6: Hexes as Invocations)

So far on our project to create a Pathfinder 1e warlock, we’ve done the class advancement chartspell access rules, a Fiendish patron , a Draconic patron, and some pact boons.

Let’s get started with Invocations.

While we WILL have other invocations, this is also how warlocks access hexes. So let’s take care of those options, shall we?

Fantasy warrior girl

(Art by Maxim B)

A warlock gains their first invocation at 2nd level, and gains an additional invocation at 3rd level and every other level thereafter. If an invocation requires a saving throw, the DC is 10 + 1/2 your warlock level + your Charisma modifier unless otherwise noted. You cannot select the save invocation more than once unless otherwise noted.

Hex: One of the most common invocations is the hex, a power patrons grant to warlocks more sparingly than witches, but remain a common symbol of their otherworldly power.

Each time you select this invocation, you gain a common hellion, shaman, or witch hex. You cannot select a spirit hex or patron hex. You treat your warlock level as your the appropriate class level for all purposes with hexes, and you must meet any prerequisites the hex has. You cannot select an individual hex more than once. If a hex by the same name exist for both the witch and another class, you use the witch version. You cannot select a hex that affects class features you do not have. Unless otherwise noted, using a hex is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. The save to resist your hexes is 10 + 1/2 your warlock level + your Charisma modifier.

You can select this invocation more than once, but not more than once for every 2 levels of warlock you have. Each time, you select a new common hex.

Major Hex: As the hex invocation, but you gain a major hex. You cannot have more major hexes known than hexes known. You must be at least 11th level before you take this invocation.

Want me to create more adaptations from other games to pathfinder 1e? Want to see the warlock for other game systems? Want something else? Really Wild West content? Would you rather see more material for 5e, or industry insider articles? Join my Patreon for a few bucks a month, and let me know!