The hill people are as much a culture as an occupation. They have traditions and customs different from civilization, but those off-the-norm backgrounds come with powers that are just as different from the standards of society. Hill people often suffer from significant wonderlust, and it is not unusual for them to spend many years adventuring. However, they dislike committing violence, and generally look for places they can safely travel, or companions they can safely travel with. However on the rare occasion they are pushed to defend those they love, their powers to do so are significant.
Despite not fitting any of the classic roles of heroes, most groups who have a hill person as an ally are delighted to have their knowledge, good cheer, and not a small bit of luck along even in the darkest of times. And hill people are rugged and sturdy enough (though they mostly don’t look it) to survive even the most dangerous of adventures without being a significant drain on their allies.
Hill people are, obviously, inspired by one of my favorite fantasy movies. (And they aren’t the first thing the movie inspired.)
Hit Die: d12
Starting Wealth: 2d6 × 10 gp (average 70 gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less, and one pie.
The hill person’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Dex), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all, each skill taken individually) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), Swim (Str), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier.
Table: Hill Person
Level BaB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +0 +2 +2 +2 Hill shape, knack, lack the power to do harm, organize notes
2nd +1 +3 +3 +3 Luck of the hill folks 1/day
3rd +2 +3 +3 +3 Knack
4th +3 +4 +4 +4 Luck of the hill folks 2/day
5th +3 +4 +4 +4 Knack
6th +4 +5 +5 +5 +1 hill shape luck of the hill folks, 3/day
7th +5 +5 +5 +5 Knack
8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Luck of the hill folks 4/day
9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +6 Knack
10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +7 Luck of the hill folks 5/day
11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +7 Knack
12th +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 +1 hill shape, luck of the hill folks 6/day
13th +9/+4 +8 +8 +8 Knack
14th +10/+5 +9 +9 +9 Luck of the hill folks 7/day
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +9 +9 Knack
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Luck of the hill folks 8/day
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Knack
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +11 +1 hill shape, luck of the hill folks 9/day
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +11 Knack
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +12 Hill lord, luck of the hill folks 10/day
The following are class features of the hill person.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Hill people are proficient with all simple weapons and light armor, but not with shields.
Hill Shape (Su): At 1st level, a hill person gains the ability to turn himself into any Tiny or Small animal of no more than 1 HD (and back again) three times per day. This ability functions like the beast shape III spell, except as noted here. The effect lasts for 1 hour per hill person level, or until he changes back. Changing form (to animal or back) is a standard action and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. The form chosen must be that of an animal the hill person is familiar with. The hill person retains the ability to speak in this form, though he can also make sounds appropriate to the form, and speak to creatures of the same general grouping (canine, feline, avian, etc.) as determined by the GM as though using speak with animals.
You can also attempt to use this power on another target, in which case it functions as baleful polymorph. However, you must roll a natural 20 on a d20 for this to work. Otherwise you transform yourself into the desired creature, as if you had used the reflexive form knack. (Though you can use luck of the hill folk to try this roll multiple times).
A hill person can use this ability an additional time per day at 6th level and every six levels thereafter, for a total of six times at 18th level.
As a hill person gains in levels, this ability allows him to take on the form of larger and smaller animals and elementals as an extreme measure. Each form expends one daily usage of this ability, regardless of the form taken. Any time the hill person uses this ability to become anything except a Tiny or Small animal of 1 HD or less, it counts as making an attack for purpose of his Lack the Ability to Do Harm class feature.
At 6th level, a hill person can use hill shape to change into a Medium or Large animal or a Small elemental. When taking the form of an elemental, the hill person’s hill shape functions as elemental body I.
At 8th level, a hill person can use hill shape to change into a Huge or Diminutive animal, or a Medium elemental. When taking the form of an elemental, the hill person’s hill shape now functions as elemental body II.
At 10th level, a hill person can use hill shape to change into a Large elemental. When taking the form of an elemental, the hill person’s hill shape now functions as elemental body III. At 12th level, a hill person can use hill shape to change into a Huge elemental. When taking the form of an elemental, the hill person’s hill shape now functions as elemental body IV.
Lack the Power to Do Harm (Su): The hill people dislike violence, and are blessed by powerful good fortune when they avoid it while maintaining strong hill people traditions. A hill person gains a luck bonus to AC and saving throws equal to his Charisma bonus. However, if the hill person makes an attack (as defined by the invisibility spell), they lose this power for 24 hours. Additionally, if a hill person multiclasses to the point they don’t have more “hill person” levels than all other combined class levels, they also lose access to this power.
Organize Notes (Ex): All hill people have a pile of notes, generally in the form of a loose shuffle of papers and mementos, but they can take nearly any easily-recognizable form, which contain their thoughts on mystic incantations, cooking, and anything else they find important.
These are never organized.
Each day you try to organize your notes. You can only do this once per day, and only after getting 8 hours of rest. This takes one hour, and resets your daily class abilities. Also, if you have not attempted to organize your notes for more than 24 hours, you lose access to one randomly determined hill person knack, plus one additional knack for every additional 12 hours. These return once you properly attempt to organize your notes.
Hill Person Knacks: You gain one hill person knack at 1st level, and an additional knack at 2nd level and every level thereafter. You cannot take a knack more than once unless it says otherwise.
Actions Give You Weight (Su): Hill people often place themselves at risk to aid others. As a standard action you can give an ally within 30 feet the benefits of your Lack the Power to Do Harm class feature until the beginning of your next turn. If the ally makes an attack (as defined by the invisibility spell) during this time, they lose this benefit and cannot regain it for 24 hours.
General Knack: You gain one general feat (a feat that is not also any other kind of feat) for which you meet the prerequisites, as a bonus feat. You may take this knack more than once. Each time, you must select a different general feat.
Great Chooser of Roads (Ex): You and your allies increase your overland travel speed by 10%, and do not have it reduced for terrain.
Minstrel (Ex): You have learned some of the storytelling and singing art of the hill people. You know spells and have spells per day as a bard of 1/3 your class level. Your caster level is equal to your class level. You must be at least 3rd level to select this knack.
Narrow of Purpose (Ex): Hill people are capable to being very focused, directing all their attention to a single goal. You gain Skill Focus as a bonus feat. Each day when you try to organize your notes, you may select what skill this bonus feat applies to. This must be a skill you have ranks in.
Pack Mule (Ex): Hill people can be surprisingly hearty when carrying large piles of gear. Your carrying capacity is tripled.
Reflexive Form (Su): If the result of an attack is a critical hit, or causes you to be unconscious or dead, as an immediate action you can expend one daily use of your hill shape ability to turn yourself into a tiny 1 HD animal. This causes the attack to miss entirely, but you are stuck in that shape for 1d4 rounds.
Rushed Flight (Su): Once per day you can expend one daily use of your hill shape ability to turn into a fireball that flies through the air at a speed of 1,000 miles per hour. You can do nothing but fly during this time, and if you touch down, hit an object, or are stopped or slowed down at any point the effect ends. Navigation in this form is difficult, and requires a Survival check with a DC equal to 10 +1 per 100 miles travelled.
Short in Stature (Ex): You are particularly slight of build, even for one of the hill people. While your weapon and equipment use, space, reach, and movement are determined by your true size category, for all other purposes you calculate your modifiers as if you were one size smaller.
Sweet tooth (Ex): Many hill people are strongly drawn to sweets, from gooseberry pies to nut bars. However, they do not carry such things themselves, and do not wish to pay for them. You are one such hill person. If you acquire a dessert through a skill check (Bluff, Diplomacy, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth are most common), once during the next 24 hours you can use that skill check result in place of any failed skill check for a skill you have at least as many ranks in. If you acquire a new dessert with a new skill check before you use the old one, you can keep the new check in reserve if it is better, but you may only have one in reserve at a time. Once you use this ability to replace a skill check, you can’t use it again until you organize your notes.
Wide of Vision (Ex): Hill people are often very alert to their surroundings. You gain a bonus to Perception checks equal to half your class level (minimum +3). Additionally, if you succeed at a Perception check to act on a surprise round, you may choose to limit yourself to a move action while warning your allies within 60 feet of the danger you spotted, allowing them to also act on the surprise round.
Wishful Banter (Ex): Hill people are excellent at cheering people up and imagining better circumstances. Over the course of one minute, you can daydream about better circumstances for yourself, and a number of willing allies equal to your Charisma bonus (who must be willing to discuss things they would prefer with you). You and those allies each gain a +1 morale bonus to one d20 check made in the next 24 hours. The decision to use this bonus must be made prior to the check. The bonus increases to +2 at 5th level, and by an additional +1 for every 5 levels thereafter.
Luck of the Hill Folk (Su): Things just tend to go well for hill people, and their allies, and tend to go badly for those who wish them harm. Beginning at 2nd level, once per day as a swift or immediate action after a d20 roll of a creature within 60 feet has been determined to be a success or failure, you may immediately force the die to be rerolled. The new roll is used to determine if the original roll was successful or note. This second roll gains a bonus or penalty (your choice), equal to 1, +a value equal to 1/5 your level.
You gain an additional use of this ability at 4th level, and every 2 levels thereafter.
Hill Lord (Su): At 20th level if the hill person would lose the lack the power to do harm class feature due to making an attack or taking a hill form that isn’t a 1 HD or less animal, he can decide not to lose the benefits of the ability by expending a daily use of luck of the hill folk. This leaves the hill person clear to attack and take any desired form for 1 minute.
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Some weird, awesome stuff came out in the 1980s, that impacted my geek trajectory significantly. The Awesome 80s line of blog posts is about sharing some of the things I have been inspired to create by movies, shows, games, and literature of that decade. In this case, it’s gazer guns, optical weapons that use the optic nerves (or cameras) to access the nervous systems.command circuits of a target and shut them down.
This one is a bit more obscure so I’ll mention, there was this 1981 science fiction film written and directed by Michael Crichton called Looker…
Gazer guns create bolts of intense optical patterns that, when perceived by optical nerves, travel directly to the brain and can short-circuit the nervous system (or control circuitry) of nearly any creature with sight. Gazer gun attacks are made against a target’s EAC.
The damage dice of a gazer gun don’t indicate points of damage, but instead the number of rounds an affected creature is dazzled. If a gazer gun affects a creature that is already dazzled, the creature is instead dazzled, flat-footed and off-target for the duration indicated by the damage dice. If a gazer gun hits a target that is already dazzled, flat-footed, and off-target, the target must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 +1/2 weapon item level +attacker’s Dex modifier, minus any penalties that apply to the attack roll) or be dazzled, flat-footed, off-target, and staggered for the duration indicated by the damage dice. If a gazer gun hits a target that is already dazzled, flat-footed, off-target, and staggered, the target must make a Fortitude save (same DC) or be dazzled, flat-footed, off-target, and dazed for the duration indicated by the damage dice.
A creature dazed by a gazer gun does not notice the passage of time while dazed, and is not aware of events that happen within the condition’s duration.
A gazer gun cannot make attacks against creatures that cannot see the attacker, including those that are blinded or sightless.
All gazer guns are of light bulk, and have a capacity of 20 and a usage of 1.
|Untyped Small Arms|
|Gazer, astarte||1||200||1d2||Staggered||20 ft.|
|Gazer, qetesh||4||2,500||1d3||Staggered||30 ft.|
|Gazer, hathor||8||10,000||1d4||Stunned||30 ft.|
|Gazer, turan||10||19,000||2d3||Stunned||40 ft.|
|Gazer, nanaya||12||44,000||2d4||Stunned||50 ft|
|Gazer, venus||14||90,000||2d5*||Stunned||60 ft|
|Gazer, xochipili||16||200,000||2d6||Stunned||70 ft|
|Gazer, prende||18||400,000||2d7*||Stunned||80 ft|
*If you do not have access to d5s, this damage can be 1d4+1d6. If you do not have access to d7s, this damage can be 1d6+1d8.
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Some weird, awesome stuff came out in the 1980s, that impacted my geek trajectory significantly. The Awesome 80s line of blog posts is about sharing some of the things I have been inspired to create by movies, shows, games, and literature of that decade. In this case, it’s the Kontos, a legendary line of throwing weapons that remain relevant even with the prevalence of far-future technology.
The origins of the Kontos can be traced back to a small world of humanlike beings who possessed a feudal society with primarily analog technology. They had some rudimentary control of magic, but primarily used it for healing and magical metallurgy, with anyone attempting more advanced magic (such as shapeshifting) generally being at best half-trained and often seen as lacking the power to do harm. However, several lines of these people had innate psychic powers. Those lines often rose to positions of nobility and royalty. Inbreeding then caused their powers to weaken, requiring them to be channeled through devices such as the original Kontos, a bladed throwing weapon though could be controlled telekinetically by even the most latent of psychics. This weapon evolved from spears and lances and is still called by the same name, despite clearly not being a polearm.
This minor world likely would have gone almost entirely unnoticed if an invading aberration had not landed a teleporting magitech starship on the surface and, treating it as a nigh-impregnable keep, moved to conquer the world. This caused once-opposing factions to join, combining two royal lines in such a way that they could both maximize the effectiveness of the Kontos, and granting them (and their offspring) powerful pyrokinetic powers. This alliance defeated the alien invades, backwards-engineered its teleporting hybrid starship’s magitech, and within a generation became a powerful starfaring power, bringing duplicates and variants of the original Kontos with them to the stars.
Rapid Returning Fusion
At its base, the Kontos is a typical thrown weapon with a special weapon fusion. This functions as the returning fusion, but the weapon returns immediately after each attack, allowing it to be used to make multiple attacks in the same turn. It also gains the penetrating special weapon quality. However, a character must meet the prerequisites for the Psychic Power feat to gain these additional benefits—for anyone else it functions purely as a returning thrown weapon.
The rapid returning fusion costs 125% of a normal fusion, and all Kontos have it added automatically (it is included in their base price). As a result, all Kontos are magic items.
The blades on a Kontos retract automatically when they approach their thrower, making it safe to catch and throw again quickly. All Kontos have light bulk.
|Advanced Melee Weapons, 1-hand|
|Kontos, guisarme||1||490||1d4 S||Knockdown||Thrown (20 ft.)|
|Kontos, fauchard||4||3,180||2d4 S||Knockdown||Thrown (30 ft.)|
|Kontos, volge||8||12,710||4d4 S||Staggered||Thrown (50 ft.)|
|Kontos, corseque||10||21,300||3d8 S||Staggered||Thrown (60 ft.)|
|Kontos, ranseur||12||49,000||4d8 S||Staggered||Thrown (70 ft)|
|Kontos, sovnya||14||95,100||6d8 S||Staggered||Thrown (80 ft)|
|Kontos, caber||16||215,000||8d8 S||Staggered||Thrown (90 ft)|
|Kontos, glaive||18||445,000||11d8 S||Staggered||Thrown (100 ft)|
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Some weird, awesome stuff came out in the 1980s, that impacted my geek trajectory significantly. The Awesome 80s line of blog posts is about sharing some of the things I have been inspired to create by movies, shows, games, and literature of that decade. In this case, it’s the digital cyber disc.
A cyber disc is a round, glowing hardlight construct about the size and shape of a child’s thrown gliding toy. It functions as a computer of a tier equal to half it’s item level, and can have additional modules and upgrades added (at their normal cost) without increasing its size or bulk. Because it is a focused energy object, it can also be used to block incoming attacks, and to damage targets and objects by flinging it at them at range, or striking them in melee. It returns to the thrower immediately and unfailingly, allowing it to be used to make full attacks if desired, though it can also be used to make more powerful focused attacks (represented by its boost feature).
With a successful Computers check (DC 15 + new cyber disc item level) and 10 minutes of work, a cyber disc (and its computer functions) can be upgraded to a higher-level cyber disc. This counts as item creation (you must have ranks in Computers at least equal to the item level of the new cyber disc) and costs UPBs equal to the cost of the new disc, -205 of the cost of the old disc.
Shielding: In addition to having the block special weapon property, the cyber disc has the shielding special weapon property. This means if you take the fight defensively or total defense actions, you gain a +2 bonus to EAC/KAC.
|Untyped One-Handed Basic Melee Weapons|
|Cyber disc, basic||1 / 300||1d4 S||Stunned||20/1||L||Block, boost 1d4, operative, shielding, thrown (20 ft.)|
|Cyber disc, tactical||4 / 2,500||1d6 S||Stunned||20/1||L||Block, boost 1d6, operative, shielding, thrown (30 ft.)|
|Cyber disc, advanced||7 / 6,300||2d4 S||Stunned||40/1||L||Block, boost 1d6, operative, shielding, thrown (30 ft.)|
|Cyber disc, superior||11 / 27,500||2d6 S||Stunned||40/1||L||Block, boost 1d8, operative, shielding, thrown (40 ft.)|
|Cyber disc, elite||15 / 98,000||5d6 S||Stunned||40/1||L||Block, boost 2d6, operative, shielding, thrown (40 ft.)|
|Cyber disc, gladiatorial||19 / 625,000||7d6 S||Stunned||80/1||L||Block, boost 4d6, operative, shielding, thrown (50 ft.)|
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For less than the cost of a weekly cup of coffee… you know what, nevermind. You do you. 😀
Some weird, awesome stuff came out in the 1980s (okay, I’m cheating, this one was inspired by something from the 1990s), that impacted my geek trajectory significantly. The Awesome 80s line of blog posts is about sharing some of the things I have been inspired to create by movies, shows, games, and literature of that decade. In this case, it’s the smallest imaginable longarm, the raucous circada.
The tiny disruptors known as “raucous cicadas” are the smallest longarms available, easily fitting in the palm of a human’s hand and possessing negligible bulk. However despite their tiny size, their recoil is so great that they still require two hands to fire with any hope of hitting a target—firing one with one hand is no different that trying to fire any longarm one-handed—you can pull the trigger, but there is no chance your attack will be effective.
A raucous cicada fires a concentrated column of the same kind of effect as is used to create force fields, and does bludgeoning force (BF), and is considered to have the force descriptor. Firing a raucous cicada generates a loud burst of sound, electromagnetic static, and even a compression wave of psychoactive energy that can be heard with telepathic senses. Characters receive a +10 bonus to Perception checks to hear this combination of sensory inputs, and once your fire such a weapon any Stealth check you made ends, and you cannot make another one until the beginning of your next turn. Additionally the recoil of the tiny weapon is disproportionately massive, and the firer moved 5 feet away from the direction of the attacked target. (This is not considered a guarded step, and provokes attacks of opportunity if it moves you out of a threatened square, but it is the same action as making the ranged attack so a creature can only make an attack against you for one of those two triggers.) On a critical hit, the attacked must make a saving throw against the raucous cicada’s critical effect save DC, or be thrown 1d4 x 5 feet back and knocked prone.
|Raucous cicada, MK 1||1 / 280||1d6 BF||50 ft.||Knockdown||20/4||—||Boost 1d4, unwieldy|
|Raucous cicada, MK 1||4 / 2,200||1d12 BF||50 ft.||Knockdown||20/4||—||Boost 1d6, unwieldy|
|Raucous cicada, MK 1||7 / 5,900||3d6 BF||60 ft.||Knockdown||40/8||—||Boost 1d8, unwieldy|
|Raucous cicada, MK 1||11 / 25,000||6d6 BF||60 ft.||Knockdown||40/8||—||Boost 2d6, unwieldy|
|Raucous cicada, MK 1||15 / 90,000||10d6 BF||70 ft.||Knockdown||80/8||—||Boost 2d8, unwieldy|
|Raucous cicada, MK 1||19 / 575,000||12d6 BF||80 ft.||Knockdown||100/8||—||Boost 3d6, unwieldy|
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Some weird, awesome stuff came out in the 1980s, that impacted my geek trajectory significantly. The Awesome 80s line of blog posts is about sharing some of the things I have been inspired to create by movies, shows, games, and literature of that decade. In this case, it’s the sonic weapon, the Faiet Module.
Faiet Modules are hybrid magic item weapons that use the power of specific words or sounds, and converts them into killing energy. They are the ultimate expression of the Faiet Way, a method of influencing and controlling creatures through the use of specific tones of voice and combinations of phrases that bypass much of the psychological defense of a target. However, Faiet Modules take those sounds and convert them into physical harm far beyond some tool of coercion or deceit.
In addition to a small hand-held emitter, a Faiet Module has a throat mic, which must be worn to use the weapon. The price is included in the price of the module, and it can be added to armor without taking up an upgrade slot. If the operator of the Faiet Module is for some reason unable to speak to make a sound as loud as a shouted word, the module cannot be used to attack,
The results from attacking with a Faiet Module are only partly about accuracy and combat acumen. A great deal of the successful use of a such a module depends on the ability to accurately create the needed killing words, and to do so in rhythm with the sounds of a conflict. As a result, despite being small arms Faiet Modules cannot be used to perform trick attacks (the misdirection required for trick attacks is not compatible with the voice control and forthrightness needed to create effective killing words), and rather than the normal Weapon Specialization a character gains bonus damage equal to their ranks in Bluff, Culture, Diplomacy, or Intimidate (whichever is higher). Additionally Faiet Modules are sound-dependent—if a target cannot hear them, it cannot be harmed by them (and thus, for example, they don’t work in a vacuum). Despite that, only half the damage from a Faiet Module is sonic (So), the rest being untyped damage (U) that is caused by the association of the sounds with concepts of destruction.
A character that has no ranks in Bluff, Culture, Diplomacy, or Intimidate can’t use a Faiet Module at all.
|Sonic Small Arms|
|Faiet Module, Mummer||1||400||1d6 S & U||30 ft.||Wound||20/1||L||Sound dependent|
|Faiet Module, Eulogy||4||2,500||1d10 S & U||40 ft.||Wound||20/1||L||Sound dependent|
|Faiet Module, Epitaph||7||6,500||2d6 S & U||40 ft.||Wound||20/1||L||Sound dependent|
|Faiet Module, Lament||11||28,000||4d6 S & U||40 ft.||Wound||40/2||L||Sound dependent|
|Faiet Module, Dirge||15||100,000||6d6 S & U||40 ft.||Wound||40/2||L||Sound dependent|
|Faiet Module, Requiem||19||625,000||9d6 S & U||50 ft.||Wound||100/4||L||Sound dependent|
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The always-amazing Crystal Frasier called over the cubical wall “Owen! I want a laser dress for Starfinder!” just as I was going on break.
I mean, who am I to refuse to create a laser dress?
Laser Dress (for Starfinder Roleplaying Game)
A laser dress is a truly outrageous, glittering high-fasion dress that is always considered to be in style regardless of the occasion. It is spectacularly bright, glittery, and fabulous.
A laser dress comes with a battery, but can use up to ultra-capaicty batteries if they are bought separately, and consumes 1 charge per 10 minutes of use.
A laser dress grants you a bonus to Profession (dancer) checks equal to the square root of its item level (+1 at 1st, +2 at 4th, +3 at 9th, +4 at 16th).
A laser dress allows you to make a Profession (dancer) in palce of Acrobatics to for the tumble task. It also allows you to use Profession (dancer) in place of Diplomacy checks for the Change Attitude task, though doing so requires the target be present for at least 30 minutes of your dancing.
A laser dress can also be used to make ranged attacks in a radius, with a range equal to it’s item level x5 feet. This is a full round action, but you can move up to your speed as part of this action if you succeed at a DC 15 Profession (dancer) check. You make a single ranged attack roll against all foes in range, doing 1d6 fire damage, plus double the dress’s item level (critical effect: target makes Reflex save or is blinded for 1d4 rounds). For this purpose, the laser dress is treaded as a small arm in the laser category, and each attack has a usage of 1.
A laser dress has negligible bulk, and costs 50 credits, +its item level squared x100 credits, + and additional 10,000 credits per item level above 10th.