Converting PF1 spells to Starfinder: Glyph of Warding/Glyph Circuit

This is another entry in my project to convert to Starfinder all the Pathfinder 1st edition spells that don’t already exist (or have a clear replacement) in that game. You can find an index of the spells that have been converted to-date here.

Going in alphabetical order, the next spell we’d convert would be absorb rune, which works on magical glyphs, symbols, and similar spell effects. The problem? Starfinder doesn’t really have glyphs, symbols, and similar spell effects. (Enduring stylus may create a symbol, but no one is going to care much about moving the location of one.) But if we are going to convert all the PF1 spells into Starfinder spells, it will have such effects eventually. So, it makes more sense to hop forward to glyphs now (and maybe symbols right after), and once we have figured out how those are going to work, we can build the spells designed to modify such abilities.

And that brings us to glyph of warding.

Glyph Circuit
Classes mystic 3, technomancer 3
School abjuration
Casting Time 10 minutes
Range touch
Effect one rune
Duration permanent until discharged (D)
Saving Throw
see text; Spell Resistance no (object) and yes; see text

You create a circuit of magic energy that can discharge to harm a target that enters a warded area, or touches or activates a warded object. A glyph circuit can be placed on an object, or an area up to a 20-foot-square. For example, it can be used to guard a bridge or passage, ward a portal, trap a container, weapon, scanner, tool, and so on.

You set all of the conditions of the ward. Typically, any creature entering the warded area or activating the warded object without speaking a password (which you set when casting the spell) is subject to the magic it stores. Alternatively, or in addition to a password trigger, glyph circuits can be set according to physical characteristics (such as height or weight) or creature type, subtype, or kind, or to a specific activity (such as speaking a specific word, or touching the warded object rather than activating it). They cannot be set according to alignment, creed, class, HD, or level. Glyph circuits respond to invisible creatures normally but are not triggered by those who travel past them ethereally. Multiple glyphs cannot be cast on the same area. However, if a cabinet has three different drawers, each can be separately warded.

When casting the spell, you weave a tracery of faintly glowing lines in a circuit-pattern around the warding sigil. A glyph circuit can be placed to conform to any shape up to the limitations of your total square footage. When the spell is completed, the glyph and tracery become nearly invisible.

Glyph circuits cannot be affected or bypassed by such means as physical or magical probing, though they can be dispelled. Mislead, polymorph, and nondetection (and similar magical effects) can fool a glyph, as can any disguise that gains a bonus to the Disguise check (such as granted by technological or magic assistance), though other disguises and the like can’t. Detect magic allows you to identify a glyph circuit with a DC 15 Mysticism check. Identifying a glyph circuit does not discharge it and allows you to know the basic nature of the glyph (version, type of damage caused, what spell is stored). Each time you cast a glyph circuit, you must expend one Resolve Point. You cannot regain that RP until the glyph circuit is discharged, dismissed, or dispelled.

Magic traps such as glyph circuits are hard to detect and disable. While any character can use Perception to find a glyph circuit, a character must use the lowest of their Engineering or Mysticism skill (based on the skill’s total bonus) to disarm it. The DC in each case is 28.

Depending on the version selected, a glyph circuit either blasts the intruder or activates a spell.

Blast: A blast glyph circuit deals 4d8 points of damage to the intruder and to all within 5 feet of them. This damage is acid, cold, fire, electricity, or sonic (your choice, made at time of casting). Each creature affected can attempt a Reflex save to take half damage. Spell resistance applies against this effect.

Spell: You can store any harmful spell of 2nd level or lower that you know. All level-dependent features of the spell are based on your caster level at the time of casting the glyph circuit. If the spell has a target, it targets the intruder. If the spell has an area or an amorphous effect, the area or effect is centered on the intruder. If the spell summons creatures, they appear as close as possible to the intruder and attack. Saving throws and spell resistance operate as normal, except that the DC is based on the level of the spell stored in the glyph circuit.

Glyph Circuit, Greater
Classes mystic 6, technomancer 6
School abjuration
Casting Time 10 minutes
Range touch
Effect warding rune on an object or an area up to a 20-foot-square
Duration permanent until discharged (D)
Saving Throw
see text; Spell Resistance no (object) and yes; see text

This spell functions like glyph circuit, except that a greater blast glyph deals up to 10d8 points of damage, and a greater spell glyph can store a spell of 5th level or lower.

Detect magic allows you to identify a glyph circuit with a DC 21 Mysticism check. To use Perception to find a glyph circuit, and for a character to the lowest of their Engineering or Mysticism skill (based on the skill’s total bonus) to disarm it, is a DC 34 skill check.

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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

Posted on March 1, 2022, in Game Design, Starfinder Development and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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