Converting PF1 spells to Starfinder: Mirror Emoji

Okay, we’re still doing glyphs, runes, and symbols for the 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.

I noticed that while several symbol spells are cued off HP in PF1, such as symbol of death, others aren’t linked to HP but still otherwise follow all the “symbol” spell rules. Obviously, I’ll want to be able to refer to previous spells, i.e. “this spell acts as death emoji, except…” but it makes sense to have one set of rules for those that work on SP/HP/RP, and a different set for those that just affect every creature in the area when triggered. So, I found the lowest-level “symbol” spell in PF1 and have made a Starfinder emoji spell version, so that all higher-level spells using these rules can refer to this one.

(Art by Zahid)

Mirror Emoji
 technomancer 2
School illusion [figment]
Casting Time 10 minutes
Range 0 ft.; see text
Effect one rune
Duration see text
Saving Throw None (harmless); Spell Resistance yes

This spell allows you to scribe a potent rune of power upon a surface or encode it within a computer program. Each viewer of the rune perceives it slightly differently, with the rune taking the visible form of a simple symbol that indicates a mirror or reflection to the viewer. When triggered, a mirror emoji grants a single image (as mirror image) to each creature within 60 feet of the rune (treat as a burst). The mirror image lasts as long as the creature is within the rune’s area (a new image appearing at the end of the creature’s turn if the previous one is destroyed), and for one minute or until it is struck once the creature leaves the area. Each time you cast a mirror emoji, you must expend one Resolve Point. You cannot regain that RP until the mirror emoji is discharged, dismissed, or dispelled.

Once triggered, the mirror emoji‘s rune becomes active and glows, lasting for 10 minutes per caster level. A creature that enters the area while the mirror emoji‘s rune is active is subject to its effect, whether or not that creature was in the area when it was triggered. Until it is triggered, the mirror emoji is inactive (though visible and legible at a distance of 60 feet). To be effective, a mirror emoji must always be placed in plain sight and in a prominent location, or tied to a computer or computer program so it becomes visible when they are activated. Covering or hiding the rune renders the mirror emoji ineffective, unless a creature removes the covering, in which case the mirror emoji works normally. Similarly if attached to a program in a computer, it has no affect until and unless that program is activated or hacked, in which case the mirror emoji‘s rune appears on the computer’s control screen and becomes active.

As a default, a mirror emoji is triggered whenever a creature does one or more of the following, as you select: looks at the rune; reads the rune; touches the rune; passes over the rune; activates a computer or a computer program into which the rune is embedded, or passes through a portal bearing the rune. Regardless of the trigger method or methods chosen, a creature more than 60 feet from a mirror emoji can’t trigger it (even if it meets one or more of the triggering conditions, such as reading the rune). If a mirror emoji is tied to a computer or computer program, it can appear at any interface (including a hacking effort), but once it does so that is the only interface the spell’s rune appears at. Once the spell is cast, a mirror emoji‘s triggering conditions cannot be changed.

In this case, “reading” the rune means any attempt to study it, identify it, or fathom its meaning. Throwing a cover over a mirror emoji to render it inoperative triggers it if the spell is set to reacts to touch. You can’t use a mirror emoji offensively; for instance, a touch-triggered mirror emoji remains untriggered if an item bearing the spell’s rune is used to touch a creature. Likewise, a mirror emoji cannot be placed on a weapon and set to activate when the weapon strikes a foe.

You can also set special triggering limitations of your own. These can be as simple or elaborate as you desire. Special conditions for triggering a mirror emoji can be based on a creature’s name, identity, or official group affiliation, but otherwise must be based on observable actions or qualities. Intangibles such as level, class, HD, alignment, Resolve Points, Stamina Points, or Hit Points don’t qualify.

When encoding a mirror emoji, you can specify a password or phrase that prevents a creature using it from triggering the spell’s effect. Anyone using the password remains immune to that particular mirror emoji‘s effects so long as the creature remains within 60 feet of the spell’s rune. If the creature leaves the radius and returns later, it must use the password again.

You also can attune any number of creatures to a mirror emoji, but doing this can extend the casting time. Attuning one or two creatures takes negligible time, and attuning a small group (as many as 10 creatures) extends the casting time to 1 hour. Attuning a large group (as many as 25 creatures) takes 24 hours. Attuning larger groups takes an additional 24 hours per 25 creatures. Any creature attuned to a mirror emoji cannot trigger it and is immune to its effects, even if within its radius when it is triggered. You are automatically considered attuned to your own mirror emojis, and thus always ignore the effects and cannot inadvertently trigger them (though you may consciously choose to trigger it).

Detect magic allows you to identify a mirror emoji with a DC 16 Mysticism check. Of course, if the symbol is set to be triggered by reading it, this will trigger the symbol.

mirror emoji can be removed by a successful dispel magic targeted solely on the rune. Other spells that affect text or computer programs do not affect a death emoji unless they specify they function against magic glyphs, runes, and symbols. Destruction of the surface where a mirror emoji is inscribed or a computer it is imbedded in destroys the symbol but also triggers it.

Magic traps such as mirror emoji are hard to detect and disable. While any character can use Perception to find a death emoji (which may trigger it), 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 21.

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About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue 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.

Posted on March 9, 2022, in Game Design, Starfinder Development and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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