Category Archives: Starfinder Development

Converting PF1 spells to Starfinder: Beguiling Emoji and Pain Emoji

Okay, I’m hopping back to 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. We’re still working on doing all the glyphs, runes, and symbols.

You can find an index of the spells that have already been converted on this blog to-date here.

(Art by film.design)

Beguiling Emoji
Class
 technomancer 6
School enchantment [charm, 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 charm, enchantment, or being starry-eyed. When triggered, affected creatures in the area gain a charm effect toward the caster. The effect lasts as long as they remain within the area, and a limited duration after they leave (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 take a -2 penalty to any attack against the caster and skill checks opposed by the caster, and the caster gains a +2 bonus to all saving throws against their effects. This effect lasts for 1 round after an affected creature leaves the rune’s area.

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 affected in the same way, but the effect lasts for 10 minutes after they leave the area.

Creatures that fail a saving throw and do not have both SP and HP left are charmed by the caster, as if they had been affected by a charm monster spell. This lasts for 1 hour per caster level.

Detect magic allows you to identify a beguiling 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 beguiling emoji are hard to detect and disable. While any character can use Perception to find a beguiling 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.

(Art by voinsveta)

Painful Emoji
Class
 technomancer 5
School necromancy (pain)
Casting Time 10 minutes
Range 0 ft.; see text
Effect one rune
Duration see text
Saving Throw Fortitude 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 agony, suffering, or trauma. When triggered, affected creatures feel pain for as long as they are in the area, and a limited amount of time after they leave (see below).

Creatures who succeed at a saving throw and have both Stamina Points and Hit Points remaining take a -1 penalty to all attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws. If they expend a Resolve Point at the beginning of their turn, they can ignore this penalty for 1d4 rounds. The penalty ends when affected creatures leave the rune’s area, but returns if they re-enter.

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, take a -2 penalty to all attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws. If they expend a Resolve Point at the beginning of their turn, they can ignore this penalty for 1d4 rounds. The penalty ends 1d4 rounds after an affected creature leaves the rune’s area, but returns if they re-enter.

Creatures that fail a saving throw and do not have both SP and HP take a -4 penalty to to all attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws. Each round such creatures may expend a Resolve Point to reduce this penalty to -2. This penalty is active anytime the affected creature is in the rune’s area, and for 10 minutes after they leave it.

Detect magic allows you to identify a painful emoji with a DC 20 Mysticism check. Of course, if the symbol is set to be triggered by reading it, this will trigger the symbol.

Magic traps such as painful emoji are hard to detect and disable. While any character can use Perception to find a painful 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 32.

PATREON!
If you enjoy any of my various thoughts, ideas, and posts, please consider adding a drop of support through my Patreon campaign!, or dropping a cup of coffee worth of support at my Ko-Fi (which is also filled with pics of my roommate’s cat).

Owen Explains It All: Plot-Driven, City-Destroying Fireworks for Starfinder

Before we get to any OGL content, an editorial aside:

You may be wondering why is this tagged as an “Owen Explains It All” post, when that’s very unlike my normal marketing tone? Well, because this links into a show from the BAMF podcast I’m on, titled “Owen Explains It All!“. We do episodes picking new or classic things from the zeitgeek to use as inspiration for game material, specifically the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. This article ties in to the “Owen Explains It All: Independence Day” episode.

The show has a logo and everything!

The main game-rule idea we discuss in the show is that sometimes, for plot purposes, you want to be able to catch PCs in an area of mass destruction (be that a hurricane, carpet bombing, or alien citykiller beam), which places them as risk but can’t kill them. This is splitting the difference between an entirely game-driven event (where standing around as a city is destroyed can definitely do enough in-game damage to kill someone) and an entirely-narrative even in a game (where the GM just tells the players what happens to set up an important situation necessary for the game).

This allows a GM to ensure the PCs end up in the situation needed for the game to move on, and places them at some risk (which their actions and abilities can mitigate), with no chance they’ll be killed.

Plot-Driven, City-Destroying Fireworks

The skies darken as the K’ruel City Killer materializes high above the city center. There’s a moment of silence as the population takes in the sight of the massive starship, it’s hull covered in runic circuitry glowing a sickly yellow. Then, as its dematerializer pylon begins to power up with a thundercrack, the sounds of screaming and panic begin…

So, the PCs have been caught in a massive, plot-driven even that’s going to destroy everything around them. That’s bad, but as the GM you have assured them that they’ll survive… but their actions, characters’ resilience, and the luck of the dice are going to determine in what condition they survive. They’ll be at 0 Stamina regardless (it’s a massive city-destroying effect after all — of their starship exploded, building collapsed on them, interdimensional oozes swept away all corporeal matter into a interdimensional vortex — whatever massive event your plot needs). But their Hit Points and Resolve Points are still up for grabs, and they may be able to do something about those.

The Warning

This even isn’t supposed to be a gotcha moment — the GM should tell the players what is happening, and how it’ll work. That lets them set their expectations appropriately, and make informed decisions as part of the event, which is an important part of a fun game.

Once you tell the players how this will work, each character gets two rounds of actions before The Event hits them. They can try to get defenses ready, aid one another, take cover–whatever makes sense to them to help their characters come out of this in the best possible condition.

The Threat

Since there aren’t any game statistics for “Plot-Driven, City-Destroying Fireworks,” you’ll need to have a baseline to make sure your Event is an appropriate challenge for the PCs. So, go to the creature creation rules in Starfinder Alien Archive, and look at a combatant with a CR equal to the character’s average character level. When we discuss the Event having an attack bonus, or skill bonus, we’ll be talking about the values from that line of the combatant character creation table.

After the PCs have all has 2 rounds of actions, the Event hits. It comes in 3 waves, but there’s no time to take actions (other than reactions) between the first two. The PCs are going to be subject to an attack roll in part 1, a saving throw in part 2, and then a skill check in part 3. Here’s how it breaks down.

Part 1: Initial Damage

Make a single attack roll using the Event’s highest attack bonus against every PC’s EAC. If the attack hits, the PC takes 4 HP per level of the Event. If the attack missed by 5 or less, the PC takes 2 HP per level of the Event. If the attack misses by 6 or more, the PC takes no HP damage.

Part 2: Saving Throw

Each PC must attempt a Reflex saving throw against the Event’s ability DC. On a failed save, the character loses half their Resolve Points. If the save is failed by 5 or more, the Resolve Points only return at the rate of 1 per full day of rest.

Part 3: Skill Test

Having survived the first two initial waves of damage, the players then get to take a single action to try to avoid the aftershock of flying debris, collapsing buildings, secondary fireballs, and so on. Each player must describe how they use a skill to protect themselves. Appropriate choices include an Acrobatics check to dive into a narrow crevice for cover, an Athletics check to jump into a trench of other safer location, a Computers check to use a datapad to calculate a gap in the oncoming wave of destruction, a Culture check to know where an entrance to a bomb shelter is, an Engineering check to know what walls or vehicles are going to survive the damage and be a good option to get behind, a Mysticism check to use a spell to mitigate the effect, or a Survival check to take steps to mitigate the damage as if it was a natural disaster and damaging weather. The GM has the final say on whether a suggested skill use is appropriate, but the rule of cool should definitely be considered in these cases.

The skill DC is equal to the Event’s Good skill bonus +10. If the PC succeeds by 10 or more, they not only take no damage, they can aid a number of other targets equal to their level + Charisma modifier. This allows them to save an NPC (who will be at 0 SP, 0 HP, and 0 RP), or grant a +5 bonus to an allies’ skill test check. If the PC succeeds by 9 or less, they simply survive with no further effects. If they fail by 5 or less, they lose 1/2 their Resolve Points. If they fail by 6 or more, they lose 1/2 their resolve Points, and those points only return at a rate of 1 per day of rest.

The Aftermath

Unless the PCs are *very* good, and very lucky, after the Event they will be at a serious disadvantage in any combat or resource-intensive encounters (possibly for several days). As the GM you should be ready for this, and may want to focus on things like rescuing other survivors, gathering information, sneaking around, and finding a secure new base or operations before throwing a lot of fights at the characters.

Supporting This Blog
I’m absolutely not immune to the money crunch in the game industry, so if you want to help ensure blog posts like this keep getting produced, please consider supporting my efforts through my Patreon campaign, or dropping a cup of coffee worth of support at my Ko-Fi (which is also filled with pics of my roommate’s cat).

Owen Explains It All — Ghost-Busting Weapons for Starfinder

Before we get to any OGL content, an editorial aside:

You may be wondering why is this tagged as an “Owen Explains It All” post, when that’s very unlike my normal marketing tone? Well, because this links into a show from the BAMF podcast I’m on, titled “Owen Explains It All!“. We do episodes picking new things from the zeitgeek to use as inspiration for game material, specifically the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. This article ties in to the “Owen Explains It All; Ghostbuster’s Afterlife” episode.

The show has a logo and everything!

Adding Weapons to Use Against Ghosts to Starfinder

Really, the two things you need to add the ability to bust ghosts to Starfinder are weapons that can affect and grab ghosts, and traps to hold them. So, here are two OGL options for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, designed to work together: the antiectoplasmic fusion, and the ghostbinder grenade modifications.

(Art by evilratalex)

New Fusion: Antiectoplasmic [Level 1]

Only weapons that deal electricity damage, and no other type of damage, can have the antiectorplasmic fusion.

An antiectoplasmic weapon does full damage to incorporeal creatures, and can score critical hits against incorporeal creatures. If an incorporeal creature is out of Stamina Points (or is at half or less of its HP, for creatures without a Stamina Point score), and has unrecovered damage from an antiectoplasmic weapons on it, then any ectoplasmic weapon can be used to grapple the target (even at range) by hitting its EAC +4 (rather than KAC +8). If an antiecotplasmic weapon has an incorporeal creature grappled, as a standard action you can both maintain the grapple and move the creature a number of squares equal to the weapon’s item level. This counts as an attack, including for purposes of expending charges or ammunition.

Grenade Modification: Ghostbinder

Ghostbinder is a modification that can be applied only to grenades that do electricity damage, and it increases their cost by 100%. A ghostbinder grenade does half damage, and has a trigger connected to it by a cord allowing it to be triggered within 30 feet. A grappled incorporeal creature in the area of a ghostbinder grenade must make a Fortitude save against the grenade’s DC, or be trapped within it. For every foe grappling the incorporeal creature, it takes a -2penalty to this save. An incorporeal creature within a ghostbinder grenade can take no action, cannot affect anything, and is immune to the affects of anything other than the grenade. If the grenade is shut off or destroyed, the incorporeal creature is released.

Unlike most grenades, a ghostbinder grenade is not destroyed when used. If there is no incorporeal creature bound within it, it can be recharged for the cost of a normal grenade of its type.

Expanded Content

In addition to these its, I briefly present rules for long-term ghost storage exclusively at my Patreon. You can join for a monthly cost of less than a cup of coffee!

Hold-Out Grenadier Feat, for Starfinder

Grenades in Starfinder are specifically designed to work in-game. That is, their cost, range, and power is scaled in such a way as to make them useful, but not something that is going to end an encounter with one action or allow minor NPCs to kill all the PCs with one lucky throw. That is, of course, arguably not how grenades work in the real world. That’s the “game” part of a roleplaying game.

But there are other factors as well when scaling grenades compared to reality. They are heavy and expensive per use, compared to other ranged counterparts, and real-world fatigue is more complex than just a bulk or credit system. They can be unpredictable in exact aiming, pose a potential danger to the user or their allies, break or detonate when damaged on your person in combat, and often require you to expose yourself more from cover than using a rifle does. None of these factors are major enough to call for complex rules to model them in Starfinder, but they are a reason it’s not common for individual soldiers to carry 20 grenades with them.

So, is there a way to give players the big-boom-to-save-our-butts experience, without breaking the game so grenades become the go-to solution for every combat? Well, yes, but since we are trying to overcome a gamist issue, it’s going to require a gamist solution with some limitations that have to do with fun gameplay for everyone rather than modeling reality. Not everyone will like that, but for those who do, here’s a feat to become the guy who has one cinematically-impressive grenade on their belt for when the situation calls for a big boom.

(Art by Sarah Hollund)

Hold-Out Grenadier (Combat)
You keep one bad boy ready, in case things go badly south.
Prerequisites: Proficiency with grenades and heavy weapons
Benefit: Once a day, when one of more of your allies is out of Stamina Points (or is down to 25% of their HP, for allies that lack a SP score), and you have access to your normal selection of gear (so not if captures searched and weapons removed, or when you have unable to resupply since last using this ability, and so on), as a full-round action you may throw a hold-out grenade that you keep for emergency situations.

The grenade is a grenade of your choice with an item level no greater than your item level +2, and you add your level to damage dealt by the grenade. If the grenade does dice of damage, it deals one additional die of the same size its damage is calculated in (thus a 4d6 grenade becomes a 5d6 grenade). The grenade cannot be one that does not directly deal damage (such as a smoke grenade, flash grenade, or grenade that summons a creature).

The round after throwing the grenade, you cannot make an attack, attack action, full-attack action, cast any spell unless it is harmless, or use any ability that requires an attack roll or forces opponents to make a saving throw.

Supporting This Blog
I’m absolutely not immune to the money crunch in the game industry, so if you want to help ensure blog posts like this keep getting produced, please consider supporting my efforts through my Patreon campaign, or dropping a cup of coffee worth of support at my Ko-Fi (which is also filled with pics of my roommate’s cat).

New Operative Exploits for Starfinder: Damage Trick, Quick Trick

We’ve been focusing on fantasy and the real-world game industry for a while, let’s drop some items I’ve been testing fora while for Starfinder operatives.

(Art by grandfalure)

6th Level Exploits

Damage Trick (Ex)
When using a small arm or operative melee weapon and making an attack that is not a trick attack and does not have any trick attack damage added to it, you can add trick attack damage as an operative of a level equal to half your operative level. You do not need to make a skill check, and you do not get any other of effects of using a trick attack.

Quick Trick (Ex)
You can make a single trick attack as a standard action. You cannot move as part of this trick attack. All the other rules and limitations of trick attacks apply.

Supporting This Blog
I’m absolutely not immune to the money crunch in the game industry, so if you want to help ensure blog posts like this keep getting produced, please consider supporting my efforts through my Patreon campaign, or dropping a cup of coffee worth of support at my Ko-Fi (which is also filled with pics of my roommate’s cat).

ShadowFinder Magic Item Sketches

Yep, I’m still working on ShadowFinder. Here are some ides I’m working on for magic items in that modern play mode for Starfinder. I haven’t worried about things like bulk, cost, or item level yet. I want to get the cool ideas nailed down a bit, then I’ll fill in game stats as appropriate for what the items do.

Floating Flashlight

(Art by Oleksandr)

A floating flashlight acts as a normal flashlight, but floats at your command. It can even draw itself and put itself away, which takes normal time but does not require you to have a hand free. It can float along with you, moving as you do and facing wherever you look, or as a move action you can direct it to go up to 60 feet from you. When moving with you, attacks against it are sunder combat maneuvers based on your KAC, as if you held it. When moving independently of you, it has an EAC and KAC of 12.

Temporary Hand Tattoos

Temporary hand tattoos look like small, innocuous items of 0 bulk you can hold in one hand. When picked up, they become tiny tattoos in the palm of your hand. You can have only one temporary tattoo in the palm of each hand, though artificial limbs and limbs you can use to carry more equipment (such as prehensile tails) also count for this purpose. You can activate a temporary tattoo as a standard action, which creates a magic effect. The tattoo is then discharged and no longer exists. You can “put down” a temporary tattoo, causing it to remove itself and go back to looking like a 0 bulk item.

Unless stated otherwise, activating a temporary tattoo is a standard action, which also triggers whatever ability it grants For example, if a temporary tattoo allows you to make an attack, the attack is part of the action to activate the tattoo.

(List to follow)

Door, Slammable

(Art by 3Dmavr)

A slammable door appears to be just a doorknob until picked up. You can make a single melee attack as part of activating the tattoo, causing a full-sized door to briefly appear, which you slam on a foe as if they were standing in a doorway. If it hits, the unarmed attack does 1d10 more damage than normal, and it does not count as nonlethal or archaic. The item is then expended.

This same magic item sometimes takes other forms, such as a giant wooden mallet that appears just in time for you to hit a foe and then fades away, an anvil that drops on the target, or a gun that, when fired, has an enormous boxing glove extend out of it to punch your target.

Gun Slide, Instant

(Art by Kamiya Ichiro)

Also known as a “ka-chunk-chunk,” an instant gun slide looks like the slide of a typcial pistol (such as a 1911a Colt .45) until picked up. Triggering an instant gun slide is a move action, which allows you to boost a ranged weapon (as the boost special weapon quality) for an additional 1d10 damage. This looks like you are working the slide of an automatic weapon, racking a pump-action shotgun, cocking the hammer of a firearm, or otherwise getting ready to fire. This is a magical action–it doesn’t matter if your weapon is already fully ready to fire (it still looks and sounds as if you racked it again), and this does not expend or eject extra ammunition.

Vest, Surprise Concealed

This item looks like an extremely thin, barely noticeable armored vest that can easily be worn under even the flimsiest of shirts. Normally it cannot be detected when worn, unless you choose to show it to someone. However, if you are attacked while at 0 HP by an attack that would require you to spend Resolve Points to not die, the surprise concealed vest automatically negates that one attack, revealing itself in the process as if you had always worn it. It is then expended and useless.

Patreon
I have a Patreon. It helps me carve out the time needed to create these blog posts, and is a great way to let me know what kind of content you enjoy. If you’d like to see more Starfinder or ShadowFinder content (or more rules for other game systems, fiction, game industry essays, game design articles, worldbuilding tips, whatever!), try joining for just a few bucks and month and letting me know!

Shakk (Species for Starfinder)

The shakk are an amphibious species who evolved as aquatic solo alpha predators on their home world. Their own legends claimed they choose to evolve the ability to move on land, however awkwardly, to ensure there was no part of their planet they could not dominate. However, shakk evolved into sentience and sapience hundreds of thousands of years ago, and their planet was ravaged by numerous world wars fought with terrible weapons of mass destruction. Their entire pre-technological history is long lost, with counterfeits and propaganda from 103 known previous worldwide cultures further cluttering what is known about previous ages.

Shakk claim to now be in their “104th Society,” and it is this culture which became starfarers thousands of years ago. Thier current parent culture never moved past a form of technological feudalism that closely resembles the structure of organized crime in other societies, and many shakk are socialized to see might-makes-right mobster and corporate organizations as the “true” and “most real” types of government. A classically-educated shakk learns about negotiation, game-theory, and leverage as children, the lessons being thought much more important than “good behavior,” “making friends.” or “sharing.”

The 104th Shak Society sees the need to have a firm hierarchy the only way to prevent more destructive wars that could finally wipe them out as a species. As a result, shakk are often accused of being a species of mobsters, though of course they are no more genetically attuned to being mobsters than dwarves are crafters or humans are renegades. But the fact many shakk have managed to be extremely successful as overbosses of illegal and semi-legal operations keeps the stereotype alive.

There is some anthropological and genetic evidence to suggest shakk are distantly related to (or were perhaps engineered by) the alghollthus. Shakk themselves tend to see this claim as weak-at-best, and even if there is some relationship, fine it more likely that alghollthus are a genetically-engineered offshoot of shakk, perhaps a lost colony of a previous society that used genetic engineering to alter themselves to survive harsh environments.

(Art by Jacob Blackmon)

Shakk
+2 Con, +2 Int, -2 Dex
Hit Points: 2
Large aberration
Swim speed: 40 feet
Slow but Steady: Shakk have a land speed of 20 feet, which is never modified when they are encumbered or wearing heavy armor. They also gain a +2 racial bonus to saving throws against poisons, spells, and spell-like abilities, and when standing on the ground they gain a +4 racial bonus to their KAC against bull rush and trip combat maneuvers.
Hefty: Shakk are treated as huge creatures when determining if they can be affected by maneuvers and special abilities. They can use weapons designed for Medium, Large, or Huge creatures without penalty.
Lungful: A shakk can hold its breath for a number of hours equal to it Con score.
Darkvision: Shakk can see up to 60 feet in the dark.
Sly: Shakk gain a +2 species bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks. (This represents a classic shakk education. Shakk raised in different environments can learn different lessons, and a GM may grant them a +2 species bonus on four different related skills.)
Strong Mind: Shakk gain a +4 racial bonus to Will saves vs compulsion effects, and the DC to Intimidate them is 4 higher than normal. If a shakk succeeds at its save against a compulsion effect, it has no effect on the shakk (even if there is normally a partial effect on a successful save).

Supporting This Blog
I’m absolutely not immune to the money crunch in the game industry, so if you want to help ensure blog posts like this keep getting produced, please consider supporting my efforts through my Patreon campaign, or dropping a cup of coffee worth of support at my Ko-Fi (which is also filled with pics of my roommate’s cat).

ShadowFinder Bestiary Teaser: Soul Lamprey

As work on ShadowFinder continues, I will occasionally preview things that will be in its Bestiary section. Many of these will be creatures from the ShadowBlast, but others will fill in the “normal” niches a typical modern adventure/scifi/fantasy/surreal/horror game might need.

For each of these, I plan to show some art, talk a bit about why I’m putting it in the ShadowFinder Core Book, and enough info a GM could create a version of the monster at any CR, using the standard Starfinder creature creation rules. In the final entries for these in the Core Book there will be at least one full stat block, but I do also want to give enough info on special abilities and role in an adventure that a GM can reliably make versions at different CRs as they need them.

So, let’s start with the soul lamprey.

(Art by Kalifer)

Soul lampreys are creatures apparently native to the Shadowblast (though like anything in the Shadowblast, they might originally be from somewhere else and just trapped in that dim demiplane). They are driven by an insatiable hunger to consume the determination and drive of sapient beings, as well as the flesh of any sentient creature they can eat while it still lives.

The idea behind the soul lamprey is to get some of the player-dread that creatures that inflicted level drains and negative levels did in older ttRPGs… without the bookkeeping, refiguring, and literal inability to keep playing the character usefully in the same adventure that those rules often inflicted on players. Instead, soul lampreys eat Resolve Points.

To build a soul lamprey, you use a combatant stat array, a single bite melee attack that deals piercing damage, and give it these special abilities and adjustments:

Slow But Tough: A soul lamprey has EAC and KAC 2 lower than normal for the combatant array at its level, but also has 25% more Hit Points.

Devour Determination (Su): When a soul lamprey damages a target with tis bite, the target must make both a Fortitude and Will save. If it makes both saves, there is no additional affect. If the target fails 1 save, it loses 1 Resolve Point. If it fails both saves, is drained of 1d4 Resolve Points (+1d4 for every 4 full levels of the lamprey’s CR). Drained RP do not recover normally. Instead, each time the character regains their daily abilities, they reroll the Fort and Will saves, regaining 1 RP for each save they succeed at each day. If they make both saves, they regain an addition 1d4 RP (+1d4 for ever 4 character levels they have).

The soul lampry gains these Resolve Points, and can use them normally and to fuel its special abilities. While a soul lamprey has RP, any creature missing RP from a soul lamprey drain is flat-footed and off-target to the soul lamprey.

Digest Determination (Su): When a wounded soul lamprey devours determination, it can choose to expend any number of the RP it absorbs to heal itself as part of the attack. For each RP expended, it regains 1d8 HP + 1/2 its CR. It may only do this when it absorbs new RP.

Target Sense (Su): As part of any action it takes, a soul lamprey can expend 1 RP to gain blindsight (telepathy) with a range of 5 feet per CR of the lamprey. This only detects creatures missing RP drained by a soul lamprey. The ability lasts for 10 minutes per CR of the soul lamprey.

Trap Blind (Ex): A soul lamprey is vulnerable to attacks from things that lack their own determination. This includes traps, mindless creatures, and mechanic’s drones. Such attacks gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls and save DCs, and deal double damage, against soul lampreys.

Shudder Step (Su): When a creature damages a soul lamprey with a ranged attack, the soul lamprey can follow the trace of psychic energy carried by the decision to attack it back to its point of origin, teleporting to be adjacent to the attacker (or as close as possible if there is no safe space adjacent to the attacker). This does not take an action, but does expend 1 Resolve Point.

Want to get news about ShadowFinder as it develops? Send an email to shadowfinderlist@gmail.com and ask to sign up, so we can send you notifications for this project and its tie-ins!

PATREON!
If you enjoy any of my various thoughts, ideas, and posts, please consider adding a drop of support through my Patreon campaign!, or dropping a cup of coffee worth of support at my Ko-Fi (which is also filled with pics of my roommate’s cat).

ShadowFinder Gazetteer: Elseward

ShadowFinder continues to work towards release. Some of the material I am drawing on for parts of the worldbuilding in this play mode are heavily inspired by things that helped me through some dark times in my life. Elseward is one of those.

(Art by Grandfailure)

Elseward

Some of the areas in the demiplane known as the Shadowblast that are very close to the Material Plane. These regions, called Shallows, appear to be tightly bound to some mortal concepts or emotions and follow special rules compared to the rest of the Shadowblast. There exist natives of the Material Plane who are survivors of severe trauma and depression that can access a Shallows section of the Shadowblast known as Elseward – a violent, vicious realm that mixes dense noir city and surreal untamed jungle with no apparent rhyme or reason – usually without even knowing it. Projecting themselves partially into the Shallows, these Elsewarders exist in both their native Material Planes and the Elseward Shallow. They see and experience things other folk around them in the Material world do not, often mistaking Elseward events for daydreams. Some Elsewarders even develop special powers with the Shallows, creating a ethereal ShadowSelf that exists within Elseward even when the Elsewarders are not connected to it. Elsewarders then experience their ShadowSelf lives through dreams and reveries.

In a few cases, Elsewarders manage to heal and slowly disconnect from the Shallow, perhaps leaving their ShadowSelf behind, perhaps integrating it into themselves and departing from Elseward entirely. But more often, they eventually begin to draw bits of that Shallow region out into the Material Plane, beginning with minor Shadowblastoi creatures crossing over and growing in number, complexity, and power as time goes on. Such a traveller from Elseward into the Material Plane is known as a Drawesle, and its behavior is often dictated by the fears and nightmares of the Elsewarder that drew it through the Shallow.

(Art by Duy)

It’s common for Drawesles to destroy their related Elsewarder, ending their link to the Material world and sending them back to the Shadowblast. Elsewarders with extreme will or some eldritch power source sometimes instead begin to spread their vision of the Elseward into their own world, and in rare cases even forge links between the Elseward and Material world denizens to whom they have strong (not necessarily positive) emotional connections. These advanced situations can result in small groups or even tightly-linked communities existing in both their own realities and the Elseward at once, appearing to experience ongoing shared dreams and hallucinations.

Some Elsewarders continue to hop back-and-forth for decades, with more and more links to the Shadowblast connecting to them as time passes. When the Elsewarder is secure, supported, and dealing with their trauma well, incidents are mostly just deep dreams and odd noises in dark corners, and easily dismissed by them and others as a wandering mind’s intrusive thoughts. When exposed to new trauma or under high stress, these well-worn links can actually anchor parts of Elseward to the Material world, generally in abandoned, remote, or chaotic, badly monitored locations. This leads to Drawesles building a Material Plane power base, seeking to torment the Elsewarder and those close to them to further strengthen the link.

In these cases, outside intervention is often needed to save the Elsewarder and those near them from their literal personal demons. This may be done by seeking out and ending the Drawesles’ base of operations on the Material world, or it may require a trip into Elseward to cut off the intrusion from the source. Of course, destroying a trauma-induced monstrosity preying on an Elsewarder doesn’t end the Elsewarder’s underlying issues. But it can help give them space to do the work needed to heal themselves, and give reassurance that their trials are very, very real.

(Art by evilinside)

DEEP ELSEWARDER [QUIRKY]
At one time, you were tightly linked to the Elseward, or some other section of the Shallows in the Shadowblast, and you have developed special powers that only function there.
Benefit: For each character level, you can select one tier of enigma power, one bonus feat for which you meet the prerequisites, or one level of spellcasting from a specific spellcaster class list (gaining spells known, spells per day, and a caster level equal to your levels of spellcasting selected with this feat). These are separate from your normal feats and (if you have them) enigma powers and spells. Abilities gained through this feat only function in Beachheads and Shallows of the Shadowblast.

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PATREON!
If you enjoy any of my various thoughts, ideas, and posts, please consider adding a drop of support through my Patreon campaign!, or dropping a cup of coffee worth of support at my Ko-Fi (which is also filled with pics of my roommate’s cat).

Converting PF1 spells to Starfinder: Laugh Out Loud Emoji and ROFL

Today we continue 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’re working out way through all of PF1’s symbol spells and have reached symbol of laughter. In PF1 this symbol works off hideous laughter, a spell that doesn’t exist in Starfinder. So, just for consistency, it makes sense to create both spells at the same time for our project. While we are at it, we might as well create some more separation between our laughter spell and hold person, which are remarkably similar in the PF1 versions. IF we can, it’s also worth trying to make sure the spell isn’t overpowering, but still has some utility even against creatures that succeed at their save against it.

(Art by Tartila)

Laugh Out Loud Emoji
Class
 technomancer 3
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 humor or laughing. When triggered, affected creatures are overcome with laughter. 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 laugh loudly, making Stealth checks against auditory senses impossible and the base DC of a Perception check to hear them is 0. They can expend 1 Resolve Point to ignore these conditions 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 affected as above and additionally are unable to communicate normally (though they can try to work information into their laughter as a move action, which acts as a Bluff check to pass secret messages) or use language-dependent and sense-dependent abilities. If they expend a Resolve Point at the beginning of their turn, they can ignore all these restrictions (except for the inability to use Stealth) for 1d4 rounds.

Creatures that fail a saving throw and do not have both SP and HP left are affected as above, and staggered. If they expend a Resolve Point at the beginning of their turn, they can ignore the staggered condition from this spell for 1 round.

Detect magic allows you to identify a laugh out loud emoji with a DC 17 Mysticism check. Of course, if the symbol is set to be triggered by reading it, this will trigger the symbol.

Magic traps such as laugh out loud emoji are hard to detect and disable. While any character can use Perception to find a laugh out loud 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 23.

ROFL – Roll On Floor Laughing
Class
 technomancer 1
School enchantment [compulsion, mind-affecting]
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range medium (100 feet +10 feet/level)
Target one creature
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Will partial (see text); Spell Resistance yes

This spell causes the target to burst into uncontrollable gales of laughter. When initially affected the target falls prone (though it can stand normally afterwards), and for the duration of the spell it is staggered and laughing so loudly that making Stealth checks against auditory senses impossible and the base DC of a Perception check to hear them is 0. At the end of each turn the target can make a new Will save (at the same DC) to end the staggered effect.

Creatures that succeed at their initial save against this spell snort and chuckle involuntarily, but without the extreme effects described above. They are off-target, and take a -5 penalty to all Stealth checks against auditory senses. At the end of each turn the target can make a new Will save (at the same DC) to negate the spell entirely.

Because humor can be difficult to translate easily, even with magic, if a target could not be targeted by a language-dependent effect from you, has an Int bonus of -3 or less, or is of a different creature type, it gains a +4 bonus to saving throws to end or reduce this spell’s ongoing effects (but not its initial saving throw).

PATREON!
If you enjoy any of my various thoughts, ideas, and posts, please consider adding a drop of support through my Patreon campaign!, or dropping a cup of coffee worth of support at my Ko-Fi (which is also filled with pics of my roommate’s cat).