Category Archives: ShadowFinder

Things You Need to Know in ShadowFinder

Yep, it’s another preview of some of the material from the ShadowFinder book! Nothing on this page is OGL. This is a post of Community Use content of Paizo materials, and is a follow-up to my ShadowFinder Is Coming post from earlier in the week.

Unedited, still with its formatting tags.

[H1]New Things You Need to Know

While ShadowFinder is 100% Starfinder compatible, there are still a few things that are ShadowFinder-specific you need to know when going through this book. The key such things are detailed below.

And, yes, some of these things are straight-up benefits for player characters. It’s okay. The GM has a section on how things from the Shadowblast work, and why your PCs need these benefits.

Boosted Reroll: Some d20 reroll rules in ShadowFinder specify they allow a “booster reroll.” This means that when you reroll the d20 using that rule, if the result on the die is a 1-10, you add 10 to your total result. Thus, if you make an boosted reroll attack roll with a +5 attack bonus, and the d20 shows an 13 on your roll, you total is (13 + 5) 18. But if your d20 shows a 6 on your reroll, you add another +10 bonus, and your total is (6+5+10) 21.

Even on a boosted reroll, a natural 1 on an attack roll is an automatic failure, though if you need to know how much you miss by, you do get to add the additional +10 for rolling under an 11 on the die.

Heroic Defense: Characters in ShadowFinder are imbued by destiny to be major players in the battle against the worst parts of the Shadowblast, and as a result they just get harder to hurt when wearing their typical gear as they gain levels, without the need for heavy or bulky armor. When wearing their typical adventuring gear, every ShadowFinder character (regardless of character class), has a base armor bonus to EAC equal to their character level + the number of armor types (light, heavy, and powered) they are proficient with, and an armor bonus to KAC two higher than that.

Normally if you aren’t ready-for-trouble (sleeping, in a prison uniform, and similar circumstances where you haven’t had a chance to gear up), you don’t get your Heroic Defense. It’s up to the GM whether any given circumstance counts as being geared for trouble, but normally unless the PC willfully removed their gear or had it stripped from them while helpless, they get Heroic Defense.

You can wear armor if you want and can get hold of it—but its armor bonus doesn’t stack with the armor bonus from Heroic Defense.

There are also personal defense items, like protective vests, which can help you survive other-wise lethal weapon attacks and be used with or without other forms of armor. Additionally, you may be able to access armor upgrades as stand-alone “gizmos.” See Chapter XX for more details on this equipment.

Heroic Resolve: ShadowFinders are literally people who can change the force of the Shadowblast by setting their will against it. As a result, all ShadowFinder characters (regardless of class) have access to Heroic Resolve, allowing them to expend Resolve Points to reroll failed attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks. You must decide to use Heroic Resolve after you know what your d20 roll is, but before the result of that roll is revealed by the GM.

A reroll with Heroic Resolve is a “boosted reroll,” as defined in this section.

Recuperate: Whenever ShadowFinder mention recuperating, it’s using that as a game term to describe when a character takes a 10-minute rest and expends a Resolve Point to regain Stamina Points. This if an ability says “Once you use this ability, you can’t use it again until you next takes a 10-minute rest and expends a Resolve Point to regain Stamina Points.

Saying “recuperate” is just faster, and makes it clear we’re always talking about the same thing. You can recuperate even if you don’t need to recover Stamina Points, but it still costs 1 Resolve Point.

Minimum Damage Dice: Whenever a ShadowFinder character (regardless of class) uses a weapon with which they are proficient, they can choose to roll that weapon’s damage dice, or use the minimum damage dice for their level and that weapon. For example, Seelah uses a longsword, an item-level 1, 1-handed advanced melee weapon that does 1d8 damage. When Seelah is 7th level, she can choose to use the longsword’s d8 damage, or her minimum damage dice in that category of 2d6. She adds her Strength bonus and Weapon Specialization bonus normally in either case.

See Page XX for the full rules on determining your minimum damage dice with a specific weapon.

Wealth Checks: Most things on Earth and Lost Golarion are bought with credit cards, paper money, signature-promised loans. Whenever you want to buy a typical piece of mundane, public-available gear, from an alarm clock to a car, you just need to make a Wealth Check, based on either half your level + one ability score (depending on the tye of work you wish to do), or a Profession skill check.

However, that economy simply does not cover strange gizmos of weird science, magic items of any type, black-market goods, and other things most common citizens don’t need, but adventurers often do. These things are purchased with Coin of the Realm (or “cr.” for short), special metal money minted by various secret societies and that are ultimately backed by a complex web of promises, rules, and reputation.

And by remarkable coincidence, the cr. cost of magic, gizmos, and so on in ShadowFinder, is exactly equal to the credit cost in a typical Starfinder game. See page xx in Chapter X: Equipment and Wealth, for more information on wealth checks, and Coin of the Realm.

(I can’t WAIT to actually show you the ShadowFinder art by Jacob Blackmon! .. Well, okay, obviously I CAN wait, but I don’t want to.)

Want to ask questions about ShadowFinder? See a huge backlog of game stuff in articles? Just like my stuff and want to support its creation? Check out my Patreon!

ShadowFinder Classes

Nothing on this page is OGL. This is a post of Community Use content of Paizo materials, and is a follow-up to my ShadowFinder Is Coming post from earlier in the week.

Since that announcement, a lot of people have asked me what classes will be in ShadowFinder. The short answer is “anything designed for Starfinder.” The long answer is a little more complicated, because the first ShadowFinder book will specifically be designed around eight classes – enigma, envoy, mystic, operative, soldier, sword saint, technician, and warlock.

So, if every class works, why focus on just a subset of them? Well it turns out I wrote a whole sidebar about that! here it is, complete with layout formatting just so people can see what my 3pp manuscripts tend to look like.

[BEGIN SIDEBAR][H2]“Why Can’t I Play A Vanguard In ShadowFinder?”
Good news, you can play a vanguard, if your group wants that!

Oh, still here? Want more of an explanation? Okay, let’s talk.
The ShadowFinder Play Mode is designed to evoke a different set of tropes and sub-genres than standard Starfinder. It’s much more Modern Urban Fantasy than Science-Fantasy, so we expect you’ll mostly adventure on one planet, hunt cryptids, run down cults, and fight things you find in the shadows (see what we did there?), rather than have battles in starships, hop from world to world, explore strange new sections of space, and combat the forces of entire star kingdoms.
So, for that different Play Mode, we focus on the 8 classes that feel most appropriate for the kinds of stories we expect to be part of that – envoy, mystic, operative, soldier, the new enigma and warlock classes, the hybrid mechanic/technomancer technician class, and the sword saint alternate class for the solarian. As a result, those classes are given more support (and in the case of new/hybrid/alternative classes, introduced, blended, and modified) to fit the tone of ShadowFinder.
But that’s the game we envision. If you’re reading this, they’re YOUR ShadowFinders now! Yes, we played with Armor Class rules, damage, equipment… but that can all be applied to any Starfinder class (even other classes on Starfiner Infinite, or things Paizo hasn’t released yet). The whole point of making ShadowFinder be 100% Starfinder compatible is that anything in ShadowFinder can be used in a typical Starfinder game, and anything designed for Starfinder can be used in the ShadowFinder Play Mode.
A single player want to be the only vanguard in the known world and the GM is cool with that idea? Great, no issues here. You want to port in more fantasy-themed classes from Rogue Genius Games’ Starfarer Companion? Be our guest. Don’t like our technician class, and you want to give its class features out to mechanics and technomancers? That’ll work just fine. ShadowFinder is both a toolbox and a goody bag. Use it however you want—be designed it that way.
TL;DR – Anything that works in Starfinder works in Shadowfinder. This is a Play Mode, not a different game or campaign. If you want to have biohackers and vanguards and technomancers finding shadows, go for it!

[END SIDEBAR]

Obviously, I’ll talk more about this both running up to the book’s release on Satrfinder Infinite, and afterward.

(Yep, more Jacob Blackmon ShadowFinder art you don’t get to really see yet!)

Want to ask questions about ShadowFinder? See a huge backlog of game stuff in articles? Just like my stuff and want to support its creation? Check out my Patreon!

ShadowFinder is Coming!

So, first some legal stuff.

Nothing on this page is OGL. This is a post of Community Use content of Paizo materials.

And I am doing it because with the announcement of Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite, I am, in fact, going to be doing ShadowFinders, like I have ben carefully not focusing on for a few years now.

So, what the heck is ShadowFinder? Well I’ll talk about it more once the first ShadowFinder product is up on Starfinder Infinite, but until then, let’s look at part of the introduction from that book.

What is ShadowFinder?

ShadowFinder is a Play Mode for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. What do we mean by “Play Mode?” We mean this is not a new game, or even a new campaign. It’s just a way to play Starfinder and get a different feel, and be focused on different kinds of stories. You don’t need to learn a new system, and while we tweaked a few things to better support the playstyle we expect game groups to use for ShadowFinder, none of that is mandatory.

Specifically, ShadowFinder is a game about being on a world with a technology level very like the Earth currently has, and yet a world with a great deal of magic as well. In fact, one of the two places we assume you’ll play ShadowFinder is Earth… but an Earth that has been very different since heroes from Golarion arrived during WWI to kill Rasputin. The other world is Golarion, but not only is it much further along in its technological development, it’s been cut off from all the rest of the universe by some sort of cosmic Gap, and Torag is the only god that directly talks to people anymore.

In both these worlds there is what is known on the surface… and then greater threats that lurk in the Shadows. Specifically, there is the Shadowblast  (“Shadобласть,” in the first Soviet notes to talk about it), a hazy and semi-substantial place that seems to be a overlapping blend of the Shadow Plane, First World, and some infernal planes. Journying from Golarion to Earth apparently left a scar in the Astral plane, and the Shadowblast is a demiplane that has formed within that scar.

On Earth, the Shadowblast has been the source of magicand magic creatures to seep into the world, bringing back energies and secrets kept locked away since the Old Egyptian Gods left the world. On Golarion, the Shadowblast is a way for the planar flotsam and jetsam to wash ashore in this Gap-severed pocket of the Material Plane, causing things from Earth to arrive… but also horrors and travelers from other realms who are pretty annoyed that, once on Golarion, they seem stuck here forever.

And in both worlds, the Shadowblast is clearly a thing being explored by alien empire far from known space, as shirren, ysoki, vesk, and other species find themselves dumped out of the planar darkness, generally suffering great confusion and memory loss. And, it seems, less savory things from the Void have been visiting, and perhaps even leaving, with grays and reptoids the least horrific of these threats.

Whether playing in a relatively normal-looking Deep Shadows game on Earth, where the general public is still in the dark about the growing eldritch threats, or a Shadows Everywhere game on either world, where magic and mythic species are well-known, but the true danger from the Shadowblast remains a problem only a small fraction of people are willing to do anything about, the PCs take on the role of ShadowFinders, trying to mitigate the damage from things leaking out of (and sometimes plotting from within) the Shadowblast, while seeking answers to the true nature of the incursions that are growing in frequency and intensity.

Welcome to ShadowFinder.

(I literally cannot show you this amazing ShadowFinder image by Jacob Blackmon yet. But, soon!)

Want to ask questions about ShadowFinder? See a huge backlog of game stuff in articles? Just like my stuff and want to support its creation? Check out my Patreon!