Converting PF1 spells to Starfinder: Barrier Emoji

Okay, this week I’m back to 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.

Today I’m converting symbol of sealing, which mostly works like my mirror emoji spell, but is just different enough that I decided I needed to write out the spell’s details out, rather than saying “as mirror emoji, but…” .

(Art by Franck Thomasse)

Barrier Emoji
 technomancer 6
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 adjacent to a door, doorway, portal, corridor, junction, or similar area creatures can more through, which must be no larger than 25 square feet (one side of a 5-foot x5-foot square) per caster level. Each viewer of the rune perceives it slightly differently, with the rune taking the visible form of a simple symbol that indicates a barrier or wall to the viewer. When triggered, a barrier emoji covers the selected doorway or portal with a wall of force. Once triggered the wall of force lasts 10 minutes, though it can be re-triggered during that time to reset the duration. Each time you cast a barrier emoji, you must expend one Resolve Point. You cannot regain that RP until the mirror emoji is discharged, dismissed, or dispelled. Additionally, when you cast this spell you can choose to instead expend 4 RP to cause the barrier emoji to reset after each use, as long as you neve choose to recover those RP.

Until it is triggered, the barrier emoji is inactive (though visible and legible at a distance of 60 feet). To be effective, a barrier emoji must always be placed in plain sight and in a prominent location. Covering or hiding the rune renders the mirror emoji ineffective, unless a creature removes the covering, in which case the mirror emoji works normally.

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; or attempts to pass through a portal bearing the rune. Regardless of the trigger method or methods chosen, a creature more than 60 feet from a barrier emoji can’t trigger it (even if it meets one or more of the triggering conditions, such as reading the rune). When you cast the spell, you can also specify a password or phrase that allows a creature speaking it to bypass the rune and pass through the opening. You can also attune any number of creatures to the barrier emoji so they do not trigger it, but doing this extends the casting time by 10 minutes per creature you attune it to. However, the force wall created by the rune blocks attacks and line of effect even for creatures that know the password or are attuned—the password only prevents them from triggering the symbol, not from ignoring its effects if triggered. Once the spell is cast, a barrier emoji‘s triggering conditions, passwords, and attuned creatures 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 barrier emoji to render it inoperative triggers it if the spell is set to reacts to touch. 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 barrier 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.

Detect magic allows you to identify a barrier emoji with a DC 34 Mysticism check. Of course, if the symbol is set to be triggered by reading it, this will trigger the symbol. A barrier 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 barrier emoji unless they specify they function against magic glyphs, runes, and symbols. Destruction of the surface where a barrier emoji is inscribed in destroys the symbol, but such attacks also trigger it causing it to be protected by its own wall of force before an attack can hit it.

Magic traps such as barrier emoji are hard to detect and disable. While any character can use Perception to find a barrier 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 39.

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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 December 12, 2022, in Game Design, Starfinder Development and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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