Converting PF1 spells to Starfinder: Confusion Emoji

Continuing this week’s theme, here are more 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. We’ve made it to symbol of insanity… and, again, I don’t like it.

My issue with symbol of insanity is less that it it’s a bad thematic fit for technomancers (though it might make more sense for empaths, and at least as much for mystics and witchwarpers), as that I dislike how the PF1 spell it is based on (insanity) uses terminology for real-world mental health to game effects that have nothing to do with real-world mental health issues. However, since the insanity spell causes you to suffer confusion, and we have a confusion effect in Starfinder, I can just make this the confusion emoji, and get the same idea without the terminology I don’t want to use.

(Art by koya979)

Confusion Emoji
 technomancer 6
School enchantment [compulsion, mind-affecting]
Casting Time 10 minutes
Range 0 ft.; see text
Effect one rune
Duration see text
Saving Throw Will partial (see text); Spell Resistance yes

This functions as mirror emoji, except as noted above and as follows.  Each viewer of the rune perceives it slightly differently, with the rune taking the visible form of a simple symbol that is commonly associated with altered states of mind, bemusement, confusion, of having one’s “mind blown.”. When triggered, affected creatures are overcome with waves of confusion. The effect lasts as long as they remain within the area, and for 1d4 rounds after they leave. If a creature succeeds at their initial save against this effect and leave the area, they are not affected again if they re-enter the area. Creatures that fail their save are affected each time they enter the area.

Creatures who succeed at a saving throw and have both Stamina Points and Hit Points remaining are flat-footed and off-target. They can expend 1 Resolve Point to ignore these condition for 1d4 rounds.

Both creatures that succeed at a saving throw but do not still have both Stamina Points and Hit Points remaining, and creatures that fail at a saving throw and do have both SP and HP remaining, are staggered, flat-footed and off-target. If they expend a Resolve Point at the beginning of their turn, they can ignore the staggered condition, and merely be flat-footed and off-target for 1d4 rounds.

Creatures that fail a saving throw and do not have both SP and HP left are confused. If they expend a Resolve Point at the beginning of their turn, they can ignore the confusion for 1 round and instead be staggered, flat-footed, and off-target.

Detect magic allows you to identify a confusion emoji with a DC 21 Mysticism check. Of course, if the symbol is set to be triggered by reading it, this will trigger the symbol.

Magic traps such as confusion emoji are hard to detect and disable. While any character can use Perception to find a confusion 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 34.

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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 21, 2022, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. this is strange… it explicitly affects PCs different from equivalent NPCs: it differentiates those who “have both Stamina Points and Hit Points remaining” from those who do not. So those who *never had* any Stamina points (every being other than a PC character) is treated differently from a PC with remaining Stamina.

    Not at all sure that I agree with that design decision.

    I would use a rule of: if the being possesses a Stamina Point score and has both SP and HP… or if it lacks SP but has more than half HP. ???
    Even that is different for those who record SP but have taken direct HP damage.

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