Filling out the GammaFinder/FreedomFinder Tiered Powers (for Starfinder), Part 3

This whole week is about adding tiered powers to the list we have for use in GammaFinderFreedomFinder, or any other Starfinder-compatible campaign setting.

As I am sure you could predict, today we do precognition.

Male Psychic in Wheelchair color

Precognition
You can see into the complex weave of possible futures. Often you gain only a glimpse a moment before a relevant event, or see images and impressions that don’t make sense until their context evolves. As a result of your precognition you often have a slight advantage in the actions you take, represented by the ability invoke various bonuses you gain from your precognitive insights.
Tier 1: You can invoke your precognition a number of times per day equal to your tier. At tier 1 you have the options below. At higher tiers you gain both invocations which always count against your daily total), and some other abilities with their own limitations.
You can invoke precognition prior to any one initiative check to gain an insight bonus equal to half your tier (minimum +1).
You can invoke precognition prior to any one saving throw to gain an insight bonus equal to half your tier (minimum +1).
You can invoke precognition prior to any one skill check to gain an insight bonus equal to your tier.
Tier 2: You can cast augury once per days as a spell-like ability, using your character level as your caster level.
Tier 3: You can invoke your precognition as part of any attack roll. That attack ignores miss chances due to concealment, invisibility, or mirror image and similar effects.
Tier 4: When you make an initiative check, saving throw, or skill check without invoking your precognition, after you learn the result, you may immediately expend 1 Resolve Point as a reaction to retroactively add the appropriate bonus from your precognition and use the new total as your result. This counts against your total daily invocations of precognition. Once you do this, you cannot do so again until after you expend 1 RP to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest.
Tier 5: When you use a consumable resource (such as ammunition or a grenade, serum, spell ampule, or even a spell you have with limited uses per day), and it has no effect (makes no change either intended or unintended), as a reaction you can invoke your precognition to not expend the resource. You do not get to take a different action instead. You cannot use this ability on precognition powers.
Tier 6: When you roll initiative, you can invoke your precognition to chance what equipment you have in each of your hands.
Tier 7: When you use your daily augury spell-like ability, you may choose to gain information as if you had cast divination instead.
Tier 8: When an ally within 60 feet who can see and hear you makes a saving throw, as a purely defensive reaction you can invoke your precognition to grant them a +4 insight bonus to their save.
Tier 9: When you use your daily augury spell-like ability, you may choose to gain information as if you had cast contact other plane instead.
Tier 10: Immediately after you take an action, as a reaction you can invoke your precognition to negate the action you took and all its effects. You can take another legal again in its place (this cannot be the same action repeated).

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Filling out the GammaFinder/FreedomFinder Tiered Powers (for Starfinder), Part 2

This whole week is about adding tiered powers to the list we have for use in GammaFinderFreedomFinder, or any other Starfinder-compatible campaign setting.

Let’s get to barriers.

GW Wall of stone

(art by Maxim_Kasmin)

Barrier
You can create a solid barrier. You may choose for your barriers to take half damage from one damage type, but in doing so must make them vulnerable to one other (taking double damage). For example, if your barriers are walls of ice, you might choose for them to be resistant to cold damage, but take double damage from fire.
When you gain upgrades you may select one of the following.
*Increase range by 10 feet/level. You may select this upgrade more than once.
*Increase area radius by 10 feet. You may select this upgrade more than once.
*Increase barrier hardness by a value equal to your tier.
*Double the barrier’s duration if not destroyed.
*Increase your effective tier by 1 for calculating HP and size of the barrier. You may select this upgrade twice if you are tier 4 or higher, and three times if you are tier 8 or higher.
*Increase the number of separate barriers you can have active without paying a RP by 1.
*Gain fine manipulation, allowing you to put doors, windows, or firing slits in your barrier.
*Gain the ability to try to look like some other barrier (such as a wall of a house), allowing a Bluff check with a special additional bonus equal to your tier against the Perception check of observers.
*Gain the ability to cause your barrier to do damage equal to your tier to creatures that hit it with melee attacks, or to radiate that damage one one side for 10 feet. You must select one damage type (acid, bludgeoning, cold, electricity, fire, piercing, slashing, or sonic).
*Gain the ability for your barrier to be difficult to see, requiring a Perception check to notice before interacting with it (DC 10 +1/2 your character level +power tier). Otherwise, the barrier is obvious and blocks line of sight.

Tier 1: As a standard action you can create a barrier, the entirety of which must be within the range and area of your power. This power has a range of 10 feet/character level, and a 20-foot radius. The barrier lasts 1 minute if not destroyed.
You can normally only have 1 barrier active at a time. If you are 5th level or higher you can create additional barriers by expending a Resolve Point to create each barrier after the first.
The barrier is a number of 5-foot cubes no greater than your tier. The cubes must each connect along one side with at least one other cube. Alternatively you can have the barrier be a wall just one foot thick, in which case it is a number of 5-foot lines no greater than your tier and must be a contiguous line that follows the edge of squares.
The total barrier has hardness equal to your tier, and  HP equal to 5 × your tier.
Tier 2: You gain an upgrade.
Tier 3: The HP of the barrier is now per square, rather than for the entire barrier. It’s duration is now ten minutes if not destroyed beforehand.
Tier 4: You gain an upgrade.
Tier 5: The barrier gains resistance equal to its tier against all kinetic attacks, or all energy attacks, Alternative if you choose for your barrier to take half damage from one damage type, you may now make it immune to that damage type.
Tier 6: You gain an upgrade. It’s duration is now one hour if not destroyed beforehand.
Tier 7: You gain an upgrade.
Tier 8: You gain an upgrade.
Tier 9: You gain an upgrade. It’s duration is now 24 hours if not destroyed beforehand.
Tier 10: You gain an upgrade. Alternatively, you can now have the barrier have no maximum duration.

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Filling out the GammaFinder/FreedomFinder Tiered Powers (for Starfinder), Part 1

Now that we have done a ranged attack tiered power, a lot of the most common mutant ability/supers powers from genre fiction is now available for GammaFinder, FreedomFinder, or any other Starfinder-compatible campaign setting.

But that just means we should turn out eyes on uncommon powers, to try to build a depth of options big enough for a range of concepts and characters to be built.

One obvious way to do that is to pick a popular character, and be inspired by their abilities to create new options. For example, if I choose a thunder god, I can see we already have a form of flight (though… maybe wings isn’t the best option), super-strength, toughness, ranged attacks, and weather control.

So, what about someone bitten by a radioactive weredrider?

GW Drider

That gives us two new tiered powers, Danger Sense, and Entangle.

Danger Sense
Whether you have higher-honed training that allows you to detect danger, or some supernatural sixth sense that warns you of threats, you are extremely alert to danger.
Tier 1: Whenever you are about to take an action that would trigger a trap or hazard, you are automatically allowed to make a Perception check to realize the action will trigger a trap or hazard. The GM makes this check in secret. You are not told the nature of the threat that activates your danger sense, just that such a thing exists. If the trap or hazard would not normally allow a Perception check to detect it, the DC of your check is 20 +1.5x the CR of the trap or hazard.
You may choose to not take the action, in which case it is lost (you cannot select a different action instead.)
Tier 2: You add your tier to Perception checks to determine if you are surprised, and to notice traps or hazards. Additionally, when you fight defensively or take the total defense action, you gain an additional +2 bonus to AC and Reflex saves.
Tier 3: You take only a -1 penalty to AC for the flat-footed condition. Additionally when your tier 1 power warns you of a hazard or trap, you learn it’s CR, if it makes an attack or requires a saving throw (and weather it target EAC or KAC and what type of save), and whether it does damage (and if so what type) or imposes a condition or affliction (and if so, which ones).
Tier 4: When your tier 1 power warns you an action will trigger a trap of hazard, and you choose not to take that action, you may replace it with another appropriate action.
Tier 5: You do not take a penalty to AC for the flat-footed condition. Additionally, when you first meet a creature without taking an action you can make a Sense Motive check (DC 20 +1.5x creature’s CR) to know if they would qualify as a significant opponent if you fought them. This does not tell you their attitude toward you, or if they see you as a foe.
Tier 6: You add half your tier to Sense Motive checks.
Tier 7: You add half your tier to Initiative checks.
Tier 8: You gain a +1 insight bonus to AC and Reflex saves.
Tier 9: Your tier 1 power is now rolled whenever you are in a location of an encounter of with a CR equal to or greater than your level -4. On a successful check, you learn if the encounter is a hazard, trap, or “something else.” You do not learn the CR of the encounter, how likely it is to go off, or what triggers it. You do not roll for encounters not based on a location.
Tier 10: You are immune to the flat-footed and off-target conditions.

Entangle
You are capable of slowing down and wrapping up foes.
Tier 1: You can make a ranged attack against KAC. This has a range increment of 30 feet, is considered a small arm with an item level equal to your character level -2 (minimum item level 1), and on a hit causes the target to be flat-footed or off-target (your choice) for 1 round. On a critical hit, the target is entangled. The entangle lasts a maximum of 1d4 rounds.
Tier 2: You can now cause the target to be both flat-footed and off-target for 1 round.
Tier 3: Your entangle is now considered to have an item level equal to your character level -1 (minimum level 1).
Tier 4: You can now entangle a target if your attack exceeds the KAC by 8 or more. If it is a critical hit, the DCs for them to escape are increased by +1.The entangle lasts a maximum of 1 minute.
Tier 5: Your entangle is now considered to have an item level equal to your character level.
Tier 6: You can now entangle a target if your attack exceeds the KAC by 4 or more. If it is a critical hit, the DCs for them to escape are increased by +2. The entangle lasts a maximum of 10 minutes.
Tier 7: Your entangle is now considered to have an item level equal to your character level +1
Tier 8: You can now entangle a target if your attack hits. If it is a critical hit, the DCs for them to escape are increased by +4. The entangle lasts a maximum of 1 hour.
Tier 9: Your entangle is now considered to have an item level equal to your character level +2
Tier 10: You can now use this attack to perform combat maneuvers at range.

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Weapon Upgrade Pricing for Starfinder

Here’s the final post for the week, playing with fun options for the weapon damage benchmarks per level for Starfinder I posted on Monday.

Since those benchmarks allow you to determine the damage of nearly any weapon at any item level (grenades and special weapons are special cases), they are half of what we need to allow you to upgrade Starfinder weapons. If you want to have your laser pistol be improved so it does more damage, just select an item level on the EAC small arms table with a benchmark that’s better than your current damage, and increase the pistol’s item level to match.

The big question left, of course, is “how much does that cost?”

Enter the Weapon Upgrade Pricing chart.

To determine the cost of such an upgraded weapon, find the first value on the chart that is more than it’s current cost. Then go three steps down the chart from there for each increase in item level. That entry is the new value of the weapon. Pay the difference between that new value and your original value, and your weapon is upgraded. (Upgrading a weapon requires the same time, resources, and skill at building a weapon of the new item level from scratch).

SF Dull Revolver

SF Revolver

(art by 3droman)

For example: Carl has a 5th level wyrmling dragon rifle, a longarm which does 1d8 fire damage and costs 3,020 credits. But his character is 7th level, has money to spare, and he wants to upgrade the weapon. Looking at the benchmark table, he sees that if he upgrades his longarm to 7th level, it’ll do 2d6 damage. Much better!

His friend Ali the mechanic has the ranks and tools to do the upgrade. All Carl needs to know is the price.

Looking at the Upgrade Pricing Chart, he sees the first value higher than 3,020 is 3,250. Since he increased two item levels he needs to go six steps down the chart, which is 7,000 credits. Since his weapon currently has a value of 3,020, he needs to pay the difference — 3,980 credit (likely in UPBs) to get the weapon upgraded.

Weapon Upgrade Pricing Chart
Credits
100
250
400
500
750
1000
1,175
1,350
1,500
1,750
2,000
2,250
2,500
2,750
3,250
3,750
4,125
4,500
5,250
6,000
7,000
8,000
9,000
10,000
11,000
12,500
14,000
15,500
17,000
19,000
21,000
23,000
26,000
30,000
34,000
38,000
42,500
37,000
52,000
60,500
69,000
78,000
92,000
106,000
120,000
140,000
160,000
180,000
210,000
240,000
270,000
310,000
350,000
400,000
465,000
530,000
600,000
700,000
800,000
900,000
1,050,000
1,200,000
1,500,000

You can also use the chart to estimate the cost of other kinds of equipment such as armor and even magic items… but that’s a different article!

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Weapons in DungeonFinder (Starfinder variant)

So, Monday I posted a big entry with long lists of tables that gave benchmark damage values for weapons of all types at all item levels in Starfinder, and mentioned there were lots of fun things we could do with a list like that. Here’s another one.

We can eliminate weapon damage being primarily determined by item level.

There are lots of good and well-thought out reasons why damage is tied to item levels in Starfinder, and it works great for the core game, but it makes some setting hacks harder to pull off. In particular, it doesn’t work well for genres that encourage players to get attacked to specific weapons (the Colt revolver Shanna the Gunslinger left you when she rode back into the Outlands, or the longsword your Grandfather carried in the aberration wars two generations ago, and so on).

So, let’s say we wanted to use Starfinder for a pure fantasy campaign, rather than science-fantasy. Perhaps a game set in Solstice, with charters constantly looking for new dungeons to explore.

We’ll call is DungeonFinder… for now.

And we want people to fight with swords and axes and bows in DungeonFinder, rather than plasma sabers and laser pistols. So, first, we make a few fantasy weapons. (This isn’t an exhaustive list, just a short set of examples).

For now we’ll list the prices in “cr,” which could stand for credits, crown coins, copper reals, or whatever. For this example we can treat 1-handed and 2-handed as properties for now (to keep these on fewer charts), allow boost on things without charges, and list the range increment of thrown weapons after the thrown property.

DungeonFinder Weapons

Basic Melee Weapons
Weapon  Item Level  Cost    Damage  Critical           Bulk Properties
Club                  0             0 cr       1d2 B         Knockdown   1        1H, Thrown (10 ft.)
Dagger             1             10 cr     1d3 S                                   L       1 H,  Thrown (15 ft.)
Mace                1             25 cr      1d4 B         Knockdown   1       1H, Boost (1d4)
Maul                1             10 cr      1d6 B         Knockdown   2       2H, Boost (1d6), unwieldy
Spear, light     1             15 cr      1d4 P                                  L       1 H, Reach
Spear, heavy  1             25 cr      1d6 P                                  1       2 H, Reach
Staff                 1             5 cr        1d4 B         Knockdown   1       2H, Block
Stiletto             1             50 cr      1d3 P        Bleed (1d3)     L       1H, Conceal, operative
Torch               1             1 cr         1d2 B & F Burn (1d3)     L       1 H, One 1-hour charge

Advanced Melee Weapons
Weapon  Item Level  Cost    Damage  Critical        Bulk     Properties
Battle Axe        1             50 cr     1d6 S      Wound          1           1 H, boost (1d6)
Great Axe        1            100 cr    1d10 S   Wound           2           2 H, boost (1d6), unwieldy
Great Sword   1             110 cr   2d4 S      Bleed (1d8)   2           2 H
Short Sword   1             30 cr     1d6 S      Bleed (1d4)   L           1 H
Longsword     1             50 cr      1d8 S     Bleed (1d6)   1            1 H
Rapier              1            150 cr     1d6 P     Demoralize  L           1 H, Block, feint, operative

THEN, we say if you are proficient with a weapon, when using it you do either its listed damage, or damage from the appropriate benchmark table using your class level (or perhaps equal to your base attack bonus if we want to give soldiers more of an edge) as the item level.

Magic weapons can have fusions… or really powerful ones could actually do damage at +1 or +2 levels on the benchmark chart.

Dungeonfidner Magic Axe

Slings and throw darts can be Small Arms. Crossbows and longbows Long Arms.

But MAGIC WANDS can be small arms too! Your cogamancer might have a wand of lighting that’s just a 1d6 ranged electricity attack with arc on it…

Dungeonfinder Magic Wands

This allows for a HUGE range of weapons, all of which need only be designed as a single item level, since damage will scale automatically.

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Ranged attack tiered power for GammaFinder/FreedomFinder (Starfinder)

This week we’re looking at fun ways to utilize the Starfinder weapon damage benchmarks I posted Monday. that gave benchmark damage values for weapons of all types at all item levels in Starfinder, and mentioned there were lots of fun things we could do with a list like that. Here’s one of them.

It’s a new Tiered Mutation for GammaFinder and/or FreedomFinder. This specifically makes sure that if you take the power at tier 1 it’s of modest use throughout your career, while if you somehow manage to get it at tier 6 even at low levels that’s impressive, but doesn’t break the game.

RGGSA273 Blackmon Combat Robot Cover

(Mecha-Man, defender of Europa City, prepares to unleash his Voltaic Blast)

Ranged Attack (Ex)
Be it optic beams, laser fingers, ghost bullets, flame gouts, or somethign even more esoteric, you have an innate ranged attack.
Tier 1: You gain an innate ranged attack that does one type of damage you select (acid, bludgeoning, cold, electricity, fire, piercing, slashing, or sonic). Select a ranged weapon category with which you are proficient (small arms, longarms, or heavy weapons). Your attack does damage as a benchmark for that weapon two levels below your class level (using the EAC or KAC chart based on your damage type), and is treated as a weapon of that type with an item level equal to your character level. You can choose for your attack to be a line or blast (reducing the benchmark damage appropriately, to a minimum level of -3).
The attack has a range increment of 30 feet (or a total range of 60 feet if a line, and 30 feet if a blast).
You gain two customization. This may be one critical hit effect and one weapon. special property, to two weapon special properties You are limited to the following options:
You may have one of the following critical hit effects: arc, bleed, blind, burn, corrode, deafen, demoralize, fatigue, knockdown, leech, pulse, push (10 feet), sicken, staggered, or stifle. Any critical hit that does additional damage (arc, bleed, burn, corrode, pulse, ) does damage equal to 1d6, +1d6 per 5 character levels you possess. If you can additional critical hit effects later, you can still only apply a single critical hit effect on any given attack. You can add a critical hit effect you qualify for to a specific critical hit as a Power Stunt (rules coming soon for power stunts).
You may add one of the following weapon special properties;  breach, bright, echo, force, harrying, nonlethal, penetrating (rating equal to your character level), sniper (double range increment), stun, underwater, and variant boost (+1d6, +1d10 at 5th level, plus and additional +1d10 every 5 levels thereafter, uses/day equal to your tier). You can also increase your range/range increment by +50% in lieu of one weapons special property. You can select this customization a number of times equal to half your tier.
Tier 2: You gain an additional customization. You may change any previous customization, as well.
Tier 3: You now do benchmark damage (and have an effective item level) equal to your character level -1.
Tier 4: You gain an additional customization. You may change any previous customization, as well. You can now select the nauseate, second arc, stunned, or wound critical hit effect, or aurora weapon special quality as one of your customization.
Tier 5: You now do benchmark damage (and have an effective item level) equal to your character level.
Tier 6: You gain an additional customization. You may change any previous customization, as well. In lieu of a customization, you may choose to add a second damage type. Your attacks can do either damage type, or both, as you prefer.
Tier 7: You now do benchmark damage (and have an effective item level) equal to your character level +1.
Tier 8: You gain an additional customization. You may change any previous customization, as well.
Tier 9: You can now expend a Resolve Point to force a target you hit to make a Fortitude save or Reflex save (DC 10 +1/2 your effective item level + your key ability score) or suffer your critical hit effect. This is not otherwise considered a critical hit.
Tier 10: You now do benchmark damage (and have an effective item level) equal to your character level +2.

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Fun with Starfinder Damage Benchmarks

So, yesterday I posted a big entry with long lists of tables that gave benchmark damage values for weapons of all types at all item levels in Starfinder, and mentioned there were lots of fun things we could do with a list like that. Here’s one of them.

We can scale weapon damage without having pre-written weapons.

For example, here’s a new version of the hammer fist ability from the soldier’s armor storm fighting style.

Hammer Fist (Ex) – 1st Level
You treat any unarmed attack you make while wearing heavy or powered armor as being made with a battleglove with an item level equal to or lower than your soldier level. Calculate damage for these attacks using the 1-handed basic melee benchmark damage, and adding bonuses as if you had the melee striker gear boost. If you have the melee striker gear boost, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with your unarmed attacks when using this ability. These unarmed attacks don’t benefit from other abilities that apply specifically to unarmed attacks (such as the Improved Unarmed Strike feat).

Scifi hand

(art by photoslaz)

With the core rulebook version of hammer fist, you have long dead levels where your damage with this ability doesn’t keep up. Now it goes to 1d6 at 2nd level and so on, keeping up with relevant weapons you could gain at those levels.

We can now also create class features that allow you to exceed the limits of your weapon’s damage, built on the idea a character *can* get access to an item up to their level +2, without creating some stacking nightmare that could be combined with higher-level gear to break the game.

Let’s say we wanted a Melee Weapon Master archetype, and we wanted them to do more damage with their melee weapon than other folks. The archetype can require to you to focus on an advanced melee weapon type, and then give you advantages with it.

Masterwork Damage (Ex): When using a weapon of your focused type that has an item level no greater than your character level, you may do more damage with it. Find the benchmark damage* matching your advanced melee weapon (KAC or EAC, 1-handed or 2-handed). You deal damage one level above your weapon’s benchmark.
*If your weapon damage dice do not exactly match a listed benchmark, your benchmark damage is considered to be the highest damage dice that have an average result that does not exceed your weapon’s damage dice’s average result. For example, if using a 1-handed EAC advanced melee weapon that does 1d20 damage, your benchmark damage is considered to be 3d6 (average of 10.5), as that is the highest total that does not exceed your weapon’s average (also 10.5). You would thus do 3d8, one benchmark level higher, when using this ability.

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They Killed Me, Again, Today

They killed me again, today.

I suppose I should be used to it by now. I mean, anytime anyone comes to the old carnival grounds, or the camp and lake next door, it always ends up with me getting killed again.

I mean, yes, the first time was legitimately surprising. I put on the dead firefighter’s gas mask and coat to help get those campers out of the burning building, not hurt them. But I guess when you catch on fire, roll around in plastic tarps to put it out, and get covered in patchy molten tarp cloth, you look a little scary.

Especially when you have a 4-foot long flaming bill hook hedge cutter in your hand.

So, sure. I get that they thought I was a vengeful spirit come to drag them to hell. I don’t think they needed to wrap a chain around me, hook it to a pickup truck, drive to the lake and jump out just as it went off the dock, so I was pulled underwater and drowned in brackish muck, but at least I get it.

And I guess if you are dumb enough to run an illegal underground carnival and blare intentionally Satanic lyric over the loudspeakers, and that actually DOES raise a vengeful spirit in the form of one wet dude with a patchy coat, mask, and flaming bill hook, you might decide to “douse its hellfire” before discovering I was vengeful about poor OSHA compliance from the original carnival’s corporate owners. I still think dumping the illegally-stored tanks of liquid nitrogen on me was taking it a bit far, though.

So I confess, when one of the things stored in the liquid nitrogen turned out to be a human regeneration formula that brought me back as an infectious zombie… rotting flesh visible through the broken gas mask (but still with the same patchwork coat and flaming bill hook — Black and Decker, man, it’s a quality brand), I was pretty sure it was going to go badly for me. So, yes, I lurked a bit as the urban explorers took pictures of my stomping grounds. I didn’t want to get frozen or drowned again! But when i saw they had mobile phones, I did try to ask them to call for help!

Turns out, enunciation is tricky with a rotting, burned, flash-dried tongue.

No drowning, at least. Getting fed into a wood chipper, mixed with mulch, and spread over the baseball field was hellishly painful, especially since as a regenerating mutant undead spirit of vengeance I was still aware the whole time, but at least I was outside. Some nights it was quite nice.

I DO feel bad for terrorizing people when that freak storm dropped a phone line onto the field and I was sucked into cyberspace and tried to kill people using the internet. But what can I say, it was the 1990s, and netiquette for horror monsters wasn’t really codified yet.

And then the seance, being reverse-possessed by the brother of my first “victim,” the attempt to recreate the serum by cloning me, turning out not have been killed but just in hibernation for 7 years while digesting a guys liver, the SECOND clone of me, the group of multi-denominational priests who summoned me just so they could destroy me “once and for all,” the alien parasite…

I gotta be honest, I’m not even sure I didn’t hallucinate that last one.

So when I reformed from a single drop of my original burning blood and found a mock-up of my original mask and coat in the roadside attraction based on my exploits (but with the SAME bill hook — *man* those people can make gardening tools!), I should have know that moving away from everyone and everything wasn’t going to be enough.

At least someone ought to be able to make a cool movie out of all that cell phone footage those kids got of me and themselves before the fungus that grows on my mutant undead body turned them all into homicidal killers and they did each other in.

And chained me to a bigger truck, and drove me into a bigger lake.

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Weapon Damage Benchmarks for Starfinder

The following tables are benchmarks for how much damage a typical weapons of a specific type should do at each item level. This is the result of a LOT of work, which I have been doing literally for a couple of years. These numbers are based on creating weapons that match the mathematical assumptions behind combat in Starfinder, so if you have a weapon within a few item levels of your character level, you are within the range of combat effectiveness the game assumes when determining enemy AC and HP.

RealWildWest-Pistols003-color-01

Of course such a system is not perfect. You can tell just by looking at it that it doesn’t perfectly recreate weapons in Starfinder, especially weapons of item level 5 or less. This is because lower-level weapons are, in fact, too good for the “assumed math” of Starfinder. An optimized 1st-level character can often kill a CR 1 or less foe in a single slightly-luckier-than-average shot. This is never the case at higher levels, and that’s intentional. Essentially when designing this system, low-level fights being easier for low-level characters than mid- and -high level fights are for mid- and high-level characters was considered an acceptable consequence of not wanting to say a 2-handed doshko does 1d6 to 1d8 damage.

Those issues even out at higher item levels, and even so these numbers provide weapons within the rough range of “useful.” That’s going to be important with some interesting things we’re going to do with these values as the week progresses.

*There are assumptions built into these numbers:
*These values assume typical range increment, usage, critical hit effect, and cost.
*A line does damage equal to a weapon three levels lower.
*A blast does damage equal to a weapon four levels lower.
*An unwieldy weapon does damage equal to a weapon two levels higher.
*A typical weapon has a single moderate critical hit and 1-2 positive special qualities. A weapon with none of these can do increased damage, but not as much as a 1-level shift. A weapon with wound, severe wound, or stunned and 1-2 positive special qualities, or with 3 or more special qualities, does damage equal to a weapon one level lower. Being unusually cheap, having a better-than-average range, or having unusually low usage count as a special quality, while the inverse can negate the impact of a special quality.

Weapons of level 9 or less should not have wound, severe wound, or stunned. No weapon should have more than one critical hit effect.

00 Retro Raygun 02 - JEB

Single Target, Ranged KAC Weapons

Item                     

Level     Heavy   Longarm   Small Arm

-3            1d2         1 pt.       1 pt.

-2            1d3         1d2         1 pt.

-1            1d4         1d3         1 pt.

0              1d6         1d4         1d2

1              1d8         1d6         1d3

2              2d4         1d8         1d4

3              1d10      2d4         1d4

4              1d12      1d10      1d6

5              2d6         1d12      1d8

6              2d8         2d6         1d8

7              3d6         2d8         1d12

8              3d8         3d6         2d6

9              3d10      2d12      2d8

10           5d6         3d8         2d10

11           5d8         4d6         3d6

12           7d6         4d8         3d8

13           7d8         4d10      4d6

14           8d8         5d10      4d8

15           9d8         6d10      6d6

16           10d8      7d10      5d8

17           10d10    8d10      6d8

18           11d10    9d10      7d8

19           12d10    10d10    8d8

20           13d10    11d10    9d8

21           14d10    12d10    10d8

22           15d10    13d10    11d8

Single Target, Ranged EAC Weapons

Item                     

Level     Heavy   Longarm   Small Arm

-3            1 pt.       1 pt        1 pt.

-2            1d2         1 pt.       1 pt.

-1            1d3         1d2         1 pt.

0              1d4         1d3         1d2

1              1d6         1d4         1d3

2              1d8         1d6         1d3

3              2d4         1d6         1d4

4              1d10      1d8         1d4

5              1d12      1d8         1d6

6              2d6         1d10      1d8

7              2d8         2d6         2d4

8              3d6         2d8         1d10

9              4d6         4d4         2d6

10           5d6         3d6         3d4

11           4d8         3d8         2d8

12           6d6         3d10      3d6

13           5d8         5d6         2d10

14           6d8         4d10      2d12

15           7d8         5d8         3d8

16           6d10      7d6         3d10

17           7d10      8d6         4d8

18           8d10      6d10      4d10

19           9d10      7d10      5d8

20           10d10    8d10      5d10

21           11d10    9d10      6d10

22           12d10    10d10    7d10

KAC Melee

Single Target Melee KAC Weapons

Item        1-handed            2-handed                                          1-handed            2-handed

Level     Advanced            Advanced            Operative          Basic                    Basic

-3            1d2         1d4         1 pt.       1 pt.       1d2

-2            1d3         1d4         1 pt.       1 pt.       1d3

-1            1d3         1d4         1 pt.       1d3         1d3

0              1d4         1d6         1d3         1d4         1d4

1              1d4         1d6         1d3         1d4         1d6

2              1d6         1d6         1d4         1d6         1d6

3              1d6         1d8         1d4         1d6         1d6

4              1d8         1d8         1d4         1d6         1d8

5              1d8         1d10      1d6         1d8         1d8

6              2d4         2d6         1d6         1d8         1d10

7              2d6         2d8         1d8         1d10      1d12

8              2d8         3d6         2d4         1d10      2d8

9              3d6         4d6         2d6         2d8         3d6

10           4d6         5d6         3d4         2d8         3d8

11           5d6         4d8         2d8         2d10      4d6

12           4d8         6d6         3d6         3d8         5d6

13           6d6         7d6         3d8         3d10      4d8

14           6d8         9d6         4d6         4d8         5d8

15           9d6         10d6      5d6         5d8         8d6

16           10d6      11d6      6d6         6d8         9d6

17           12d6      13d6      7d6         7d8         10d6

18           14d6      15d6      8d6         8d8         12d6

19           16d6      17d6      9d6         9d8         13d6

20           18d6      20d6      10d6      11d8      15d6

21           20d6      22d6      11d6      12d8      17d6

22           22d6      25d6      12d6      13d8      19d6

EAC Melee

Single Target Melee EAC Weapons

Item        1-handed            2-handed                                          1-handed            2-handed

Level     Advanced            Advanced            Operative          Basic                    Basic

-3            1 pt.        1d2         1 pt.       1 pt.       1 pt.

-2            1d2         1d3         1 pt.       1 pt.       1 pt.

-1            1d2         1d3         1 pt.        1d2        1 pt.

0              1d3         1d4         1d3         1d3         1d3

1              1d3         1d4         1d3         1d3         1d3

2              1d4         1d4         1d3         1d3         1d4

3              1d4         1d6         1d3         1d3         1d4

4              1d4         1d6         1d3         1d3         1d4

5              1d6         1d8         1d4         1d4         1d6

6              1d8         1d10      1d4         1d6         1d8

7              1d10      2d6         1d6         1d8         1d10

8              1d12      2d8         1d8         2d4         1d12

9              2d8         3d6         2d4         1d10      2d6

10           3d6         3d8         1d10      1d12      2d8

11           3d8         4d6         1d12      2d6         3d6

12           4d6         4d8         2d6         2d8         2d10

13           5d6         6d6         2d8         3d6         3d8

14           5d8         7d6         3d6         3d8         4d6

15           6d6         6d8         3d8         4d6         5d6

16           6d8         7d8         4d6         4d8         5d8

17           7d8         8d8         5d6         6d6         6d8

18           8d8         9d8         4d8         7d6         7d8

19           9d8         10d8      6d6         9d6         8d8

20           10d8      15d6      7d6         10d6      9d8

21           11d8      17d6      8d6         12d6      10d8

22           12d8      19d6      9d6         13d6      11d8

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Save to Negate Fun? (Starfinder)

(A prelude — I moved cross-country last week. I had expected to be up and running my blog by Monday… and was not. further while we have arranged for connectivity at the new house, there seem to be some issues. Long story short, this is a Week’s Worth of blog posts — a 750+ word article for Monday on the basic concept and design concerns, then 4 days worth of looking at specific spells in short snippets.

My hope is that by June 15th, i can go back to giving you these things daily. 🙂 )

You are a spellcaster in the Starfinder RPG — a master of esoteric energies that can rewrite the universe’s laws. Having read about the cool abilities of a spell you select it and, when the time is right, stars in your eyes, you unleash eldritch powers beyond mortal comprehension on a foe…

“It succeeds at its saving throw. The spell is negated.”

Well… THAT’s not fun. At least if you have tried a damaging spell, it would have had SOME effect on creatures that made their save against it. And… HOW many spells saving-throw-negates spells did you put on your spell list? You only get so many spells known, after all… Oh, and hey, you can’t swap those out all that often. Lower-level spells are much more likely to be successfully saved against. And even if you use them against lower-level foes… those often don’t last long enough for the penalties you assess against them to be worth a spell slot either.

It’s not just that you had an action not be effective. Attacks miss sometimes. But you have SO few resources, you had to select which spells to trust in, and if you have spell after spell get negated with a saving throw…

Sometimes, it’s the fun that gets negated.

So, what if we rewrote those spells? What if we added minor effects that apply, briefly, even against foes that negate the primary effect? It would have to be carefully balanced — spells that target multiple foes or an area are already pretty powerful because *all* targets are unlikely to negate it. Lower-level spells need to not be able to stack so many minor status effects you can overwhelm a high-level foe. That’s all tricky, but doable.

But, let’s be clear — this is a pure power-up of these spells. If you are finding the use of the spells listed below is already skewing things in the favor of the PCs on a regular basis, then these optional rules aren’t for your group. Also, this is designed only for Starfinder. The core math of similar d20-based systems is just too different for anything designed to rebalance the utility of Starfinder save-to-negate spells to apply well in other game systems.

While they’ll need some playtesting, I’ll likely use these rules as “core” in the Really Wild West setting. (With the lower tech level technomancers, at least, may need the help 🙂 )

RWW Technomancer

(art by Дмитрий)

Lingering Penalties: There’s only so much failed magic can do to hamper a creature that has successfully negated a spell. Many of the additional effects added below list “lingering” penalties. If a creature is suffering multiple lingering penalties to the same roll or value, only the highest of those penalties applies. Such penalties overlap–if you are taking a -3 lingering penalty to AC for 1 round and a -1 lingering penalty for 1 minute, you take the higher -3 penalty for the first round, then the remaining -1 penalty for the next 9 rounds.
This is also designed to prevent spellcasters from being able to cast low-level spells against the same foe over and over to stack up minor penalties until they are insurmountable. Much as casting a 1st-level damaging spell against a CR 9 foe may do a little damage and be of some use–but isn’t likely to be the major factor in a combat–casting a low-level save-negates spell against a high CR foe should, at best, have a modest effect on the combat.
The idea is for the player not to feel like their precious, limited resource was totally wasted, or that they might as well have fired their small arm (which might still miss, but ammunition is in much readier supply than spell slot–and that doesn’t feel very spellcaster-y).

Sample Lingering Effects
These are the spells from the Core Rulebook I consider most in need of modifications to increase their fun value without making spellcasters overpowered. If there’s demand for it, I might take a look at Armory and COM spells.

Baleful Polymorph: On a successful save the target suffers a -1 lingering penalty to attack rolls and damage for 1 minute. This increases to a -2 lingering penalty for spell level 4 and up.
Baleful Polymorph, mass: If only a single creature is targeted by the mass baleful polymorph, on a successful save the target suffers a -2 lingering penalty to attack rolls and damage for 1 minute.
Bestow Curse: On a successful save the creature suffers a -1 lingering penalty to saving throws for 1d4 rounds as the curse energy continues to try to bring it misfortune.
Charm Person: On a successful save for 1 round/level the target suffers a -2 lingering penalty to attacks and damage against you, and the save DC of any effect it forces you to save against is reduced by 2, as it struggles with feelings for trust and friendship it knows to be false.
Command:
On a successful save the creature suffers a -1 lingering penalty to attacks and damage rolls for 1 round as it fights the foreign urge of the spell. 
Command Undead:
On a successful save the creature suffers a -2 lingering penalty to attack rolls against you for 1 minute as it fights the foreign urge of the spell.
Confusion: On a successful save a creature suffers a -1 lingering penalty to attacks and damage rolls for 1 round as it fights the foreign urge of the spell.
Confusion, lesser: On a successful save a creature suffers a -1 lingering penalty to attacks and damage rolls for 1 round as it fights the foreign urge of the spell.
Control Machines: On a successful save targets suffers a -1 lingering penalty to attack rolls against you for the spell’s duration, as they fight the foreign urges of the spell.
Control Undead: On a successful save targets suffers a -1 lingering penalty to attack rolls against you for the spell’s duration, as they fight the foreign urges of the spell.
Deep Slumber: On successful saves, targets take a -2 lingering penalty to Perception rolls and initiative checks for 1d4 rounds.
Detect Thoughts: If the target succeeds at its saving throw against this spell, you gain a +2 bonus to Perception and Sense Motive checks against it for the spell’s duration.
Directed Denial of Strength Attack: On a successful save, the creature suffers a -1 lingering penalty to all Strength- and -Dexterity based skill checks, and to its AC against combat maneuvers, for 1d4 rounds.
Discern Lies: If a target succeeds at its saving throw against this spell, you gain a +2 bonus to Perception and Sense Motive checks against it for the spell’s duration.
Discharge: On a successful save the target suffers a -1 lingering penalty to any attacks or damage for 1d4 rounds.
Dismissal: On a successful save the creature suffers a lingering penalty to attacks and damage rolls for 1d4 rounds as it fights the effort to force it off this plane. The penalty is equal to 1 + any bonus to the caster level check of spell you gain with the use of special materials.
Dominate Person: If the target saves against this spell, it is at a -2 lingering penalty to attack rolls and damage against you, and you gain a +2 bonus to Perception and Sense Motive checks against it, for the duration of the spell.
Fatigue: On a successful save, the target is affected for 1 round.
Feeblemind: On a successful save, the target takes a -4 lingering penalty to all Int- and Cha- based skills for 1 minute. If Int- or Cha- are its key ability scores, it’s spell and class feature save DCs take a -1 lingering penalty for the same time period.
Flesh to Stone: On a successful save the target’s move rate is halved as a lingering penalty, and it takes a -1 lingering penalty to AC, for 1d4 rounds.
Hold Person: On a successful saving throw, the target takes a -1 lingering penalty to attack rolls, initiative checks, and Dexterity-based skill checks for 1 round.
Mind Probe: If the target succeeds at its saving throw against this spell, you gain a +3 bonus to Perception and Sense Motive checks against it for the spell’s duration.
Overload Systems: On a successful save, the target is staggered for 1d4 rounds.
Rewire Flesh: On a successful saving throw, the target still takes 1d6 slashing damage per round (Fortitude half, as normal).
Rewire Flesh, mass: On a successful saving throw, a target still takes 1d6 slashing damage per round (Fortitude half, as normal).
Slow
: If only a single creature is targeted by the slow, on a successful save it’s move rate is halved as a lingering penalty for 1d4 rounds.
Synaptic Pulse: On a successful save, a target is instead sickened for 1 round.
Suggestion: On a successful save the creature suffers a -1 lingering penalty to attack rolls and skill checks for 1d4 rounds as it fights the foreign urge of the spell.
Suggestion, mass: If only a single creature is targeted by the slow, on a successful save the creature suffers a -2 lingering penalty to attack rolls and skill checks for 1 minute as it fights the foreign urge of the spell.
Unwilling Guardian: On a successful saving throw, the target takes a -2 lingering penalty on attacks against you for 1d4 rounds.

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