Converting PF1 spells to Starfinder: Explosive Icon and Weakness Emoji

Today we continue 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 all the PF1 spells I have already converted here.) We’re still working on doing all the glyphs, runes, and symbols. 

The second spell listed, weakness emoji (converted from symbol of weakness), means we’ve gone through all the PF1 “symbol” spells. But since we originally started this whole set of spells so we could eventually convert absorb rune I-III, and we already got glyph of warding changed over to glyph circuit, we might as well hop from symbol spells to other similar runes and magic traps… which brings us to explosive rune, which becomes explosive icon.(which I present first due to alphabetization). When designing explosive icon, I carefully kept in mind that glyph circuit already exists, so I want this new spells to be different enough to justify it’s own spell entry.

(Art by lassedesignen)

Explosive Icon
 technomancer 3
School abjuration (force)
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range touch
Effect one rune
Duration permanent until discharged (D)
Saving Throw Reflex half (see text); Spell Resistance yes

You create a mystic icon on a computer, comm unit, or piece of electronic technological equipment (including anything that uses batteries and does not note it is a hybrid or magic item) to ward it so that it can discharge to harm a target that touches or activates the warded object.

You set all of the conditions of the ward. Typically, any creature 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, explosive icons 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. Explosive icons respond to invisible creatures normally but are not triggered by those who travel past them ethereally. Multiple icons cannot be cast on the same object. However, you can individually ward components of an item — for example you could place an explosive icon on both a laser pistol and the battery inside it. In such cases, wards on individual components are only triggered when they are accessed separately (firing a laser pistol with a warded battery would not set off the battery’s ward, but removing the battery could if that is how the ward is set).

When casting the spell, you weave a tracery of faintly glowing lines in the pattern of a computer icon that looks like an explosion. Explosive icons 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 ward, 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 an explosive icon with a DC 15 Mysticism check. Identifying an explosive icon does not discharge it and allows you to know the basic nature of the ward (both damage it deals and what conditions set it off).

You can have one explosive icon active at a time without expending any additional resources. Each time you cast an explosive icon when you already have one or more active, you must expend one Resolve Point. You cannot regain that RP until the explosive icon is discharged, dismissed, or dispelled.

Magic traps such as explosive icon are hard to detect and disable. While any character can use Perception to find an explosive icon, 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.

When activated, an explosive icon deals 5d8 bludgeoning force damage to the creature that triggered it. Creatures and objects within 10 feet of the warded object also take damage, but are allowed a reflex saving throw for half damage. When you cast the spell, you decide if it damages the object it is warding, or not.

Weakness Emoji
 technomancer 4
School transmutation
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 being encumbered or weak. When triggered, affected creatures in the area are weighed down (see below). 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 unaffected. 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 encumbered for as long as they stay within the rune’s area and for 1d4 rounds after leaving it. Creatures that fail a saving throw and do not have both SP and HP left are overburdened for as long as they stay within the rune’s area and for 1d4 rounds after leaving it.

Detect magic allows you to identify a weakness emoji with a DC 19 Mysticism check. Of course, if the symbol is set to be triggered by reading it, this will trigger the symbol.

Magic traps such as weakness emoji are hard to detect and disable. While any character can use Perception to find a slow 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 29.


So, I need to shill for my Patreon. The time I take to write these posts is paid for my people paying me as little as $3 a month. I very much prefer making the vast majority of these posts publicly available, but right now my Patreon is not bringing in as much as I need to cover the time my blog takes up.

So, beginning next week and until my Patreon hits a higher benchmark, my Tuesday and Thursday posts are going to be Patreon-exclusive. At $1k/month, I’ll go back to having Thursday posts be public, and at $1500/month, I’ll go back to all my posts being public. I hate having to close some of my content, and I know a lot of people are in tight circumstances (and I get it), but the reality is I need to either cut back on the time taken on these blogs, or have my Patreon grow. Rather than cut back immediately, I’m trying to encourage more people to join my Patreon, in the hopes that can benefit everyone.

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

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