Owen Explains It All – Warbeasts for Starfinder

Before we get to any OGL content, an editorial aside:

First, this blog has spoilers for the finale of The Book of Boba Fett (and, by extension though less so, The Mandalorian). So if you want to avoid those, don’t read this.

Second, you may be wondering why is this tagged as an “Owen Explains It All” post, when that’s very unlike my normal marketing tone? Well, because this links into a show from the BAMF podcast I’m on, titled “Owen Explains It All!“. We do an episode every two weeks, picking new things from the zeitgeek to use as inspiration for game material, specifically the Starfinder Roleplaying Game.

We have a logo and everything!

So, whatever most people’s opinion on The Book of Boba Fett were (and, personally, I enjoyed all of it, though I always saw it as part of The Mandalorian‘s storytelling, so the tight links between the two shows didn’t bother me the way it did some people expecting each to stand on its own) most (though certainly not all) of the fan reviews I have seen say the final episode is well-worth watching the rest of the series.

And, when they both to say why (which IS a spoiler), it’s because Boba Fett rides a rancor into battle at the end of the episode, which hits the Ruel of Cool so hard I expect it to get its own entry on TVTropes.com someday.

What struck me, as a gamer, was how well that use of the rancor aligns with the idea of mechs in Starfinder Tech Revolution, which are presented as an option to allow PCs to take on encounters otherwise beyond them. The idea that, along with mecha, characters might have home bases, rancors, vehicles, minor allies, and other advantages they could pull out when appropriate spoke to me, and I though it’s be pretty easy to use the mech rules for near-kaiju-like warbeasts.

And all of that leads me to Warbeasts, as OGL content tying into Starfinder Tech Revolution.

Warbeast Rules

Unlike a mech, a warbeast can take actions without an operator. Indeed, often warbeasts without operators attack anything that attacks then, startles them, or attracts their attention. The take actions as a creature when lacking any operator. if you need any other statics, such as skills, treat the warbeast as if it was being controlled by a typical combatant NPC with a level 3 below the warbeast’s tier.

Warbeasts do not have shield points. Instead they have an equal number of Stamina Points, which are automatically restored (up to a maximum of the warbeast’s HP) with a 10-minute rest, or fully restored with a night’s rest. Warbeasts otherwise take damage as mechs (as do their riders, treating the cockpit as the saddle or hourdah of the warbeast).

Warbeasts are considered creatures, and can be targeted by spells and effects that target creatures, including mystic cure. You may wish to give the warbeast a type (often magical beast), which may also impact what abilities can affect it.

Warbeast Options

These are optional itsems you can slap on a mech statblock to change it to be more warbeast-themed.

No Ranged Attacks: If the base mecha has ranged and melee attacks, and you eliminate the ranged attacks for the warbeast, it gains +3 EAC and +2 KAC. If it normally does not have melee attacks, and you switch its ranged attacks to be melee, the warbeast only gains +2 EAC and +1 KAC. (Note that you can leave a warbeast with ranged attacks and just define them as kaiju-like breath weapons, eyebeams, projectile barbs, and so on.)

Exposed Rider: The rider’s position is not as protected as with a fully enclosed cockpit. Creatures may attack a controller of the warbeast directly, though controllers are always considered to have cover as long as the warbeast is active, regardless of where the attack against them originates. However, exposed controllers can also make attacks with their personal weapons without harming their warbeast. A warbeast with exposed controllers gets a +4 bonus to initiative checks, due to their much higher level of visibility of the situation around them.

Expanded Content

In addition to these warbeast rules, I created a simple option for using Resolve Points (or a lack of them) as a way to represent certain kinds of “old wounds,” a concept that developed as Jacob Blackmon and I discussed way to represent things from the show on the Feb 14th, 2022 episode of Owen Explains It All. This is bonus content for my Patrons, and is presented exclusively at my Patreon. You can join for a monthly cost of less than a cup of coffee!


About Owen K.C. Stephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is a full-time ttRPG Writer, designer, developer, publisher, and consultant. He's the publisher for Rogue Genius Games, and has served as the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the Editor-in-Chief for Evil Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps. He has a Pateon which supports his online work. You can find it at https://www.patreon.com/OwenKCStephens

Posted on February 16, 2022, in Game Design, Starfinder Development and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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