Blog Archives

Developing to Spec (Part 5): Corner Cases (with Starfinder Missing Legacy Feats)

This is Part Five of a series of articles looking at creating a set of Starfinder feats under specific constraints. The point of these is to offer practical examples of how I approach developing and writing supplemental rules for tabletop RPGs. Rather than just blather on about things as I think of them, I go over issues as I encounter them in a real-world example.

The goal of this project is to create the “Missing Starfinder Legacy Feats,” a Starfinder-compatible version of every feat in the PF core rulebook that doesn’t have an SF match. (We discussed the impact of having to do that, whether that’s a good idea or not, in Part One.)

You can find previous entries here — Part One , Part Two, Part Three, Part Four — or just the finished feats (as they are written) here.

We’ve tackled a lot of PF feats that would be useless or annoying if translated directly into Starfinder, using methods ranging from exploring alternate design spaces within the same rule systems to creating brand-new benefits that are at most vaguely conceptually connected to their PF versions. Today we get one really easy feat — Arcane Strike — and one really difficult one — Armor Proficiency (Medium).

Let’s start with the easy one.

While Arcane Strike doesn’t exist in Starfinder the core concept–take an extra action, do extra damage, actually works just fine. Even the scaling of +1 damage, going up to +5 at 20th level, it okay. There are only really three issues. First, if we leave it a swift action, you could use Arcane Strike and the boost special weapon property in the same attack on the same weapon, and unlike PF, Starfinder has lots of multiple-target, area-affect weapons. Those two things together (use a swift and a move to add Arcane Strike and boost to an area effect weapon) are “corner cases” — they don’t apply to the most common types of attacks — but the result in those cases might be too good to just translate the feat directly.

However, if we switch the swift action of PF Arcane Strike to a move action for the Starfidner version, we prevent double-dipping, and essentially have a simple version of boost spellcasters can add to the area weapons they tend to be proficient with.

The third issue, which is a bit less of a corner case, is that operative melee weapons and small arms already have some significant enhancers within the game. So much so that they are limited to smaller damage dice and half the damage bonus from Weapon Specialization. Which suggests half the benefit of an extra action will cover that issue.

So:

ARCANE STRIKE (Combat)
You draw upon your mystic power to enhance your weapons with magical energy.
Prerequisite: Ability to cast spells as a class feature.
Benefit: As a move action, you can imbue your weapons with a fraction of your power. For 1 round, your weapons deal +1 damage and are treated as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and damaging incorporeal creatures. For every five caster levels you possess, this bonus increases by +1, to a maximum of +5 at 20th level. If the weapon is an operative melee weapon or small arm, it gains half the normal damage bonus (minimum +1).

And that brings us to Armor Proficiency (Medium). Which doesn’t exist in Starfinder… because Starfinder doesn’t have medium armor. If ever there was a case to go back to your theoretical boss and ask for an exception to the rule that every feat in the PF core rulebook has to be given a Starfinder equivalent, this is it!

So, let’s assume they said no. You HAVE to include this feat. What are our options.

Well, you could add medium armor to Starfinder. But if we compare the weight of those rules to the benefit for a single feat, it’s clearly not worth it.

That leaves us in a pickle. There’s no good design space, and there’s no justification to create a new design space just for this one feat. So, how do we fulfill our mandate that REQUIRES us to include this feat?

If you can’t make something that’s awesome, at least try to make something that isn’t harmful.

In this case, we clearly need something that’s better than just light armor proficiency, but not the same as heavy armor proficiency. We could do something that gives you some of the benefit of heavy armor proficiency, but not all of it. But then we need to add at least some minor additional benefit, because otherwise you could just grab Heavy Armor Proficiency. So we could let you use powered armor too, though not to its full benefit. And then we’d have to detail what happens if you DO become fully proficient with heavy armor…

Sigh. It’d be so much easier to just not do this, but a remit is a remit.

ARMOR PROFICIENCY (MEDIUM) (Combat)
You have some training with heavy and powered armor, but have not mastered them completely.
Prerequisite: Proficiency with light armor.
Benefit: You can use heavy and powered armor as if you were proficient with it, but take a -2 penalty to all attack rolls you make while doing so. You are not considered to be proficient in heavy or powered armor for purposes of any prerequisite.
Special: If you gain proficiency in heavy armor and have a base attack bonus of +5 or more, this instead becomes Powered Armor Proficiency.

That’s… not terrible. If you lack the Strength minimum needed for heavy armor but really wanted to wear it and didn’t care too much about attacks, it could be useful. Or, if you have a feat that you WANT to use to get Powered Armor Proficiency but can’t because you don’t have the needed base attack bonus yet, you could take this and then upgrade when you can. Those are also corner cases–most characters won’t fall into those categories–but since anyone else can just ignore this feat, that qualifies for not doing anything harmful to the game balance.

PATREON
Like all my blog posts, this is brought to you by the wonderful patrons of my Patreon! If you want to see more of these types of instructional how-I-do-the-work-of-a-professional-RPG-developer, or any other of my kinds of content, please join my Patreon to support their creation and let me know what you want to see!

Advertisements

Developing to Spec (Part 4): Creating New Mechanical Benefits (with Starfinder Missing Legacy Feats)

This is Part Four of a series of articles looking at creating a set of Starfinder feats under specific constraints. The point of these is to offer practical examples of how I approach developing and writing supplemental rules for tabletop RPGs. Rather than just blather on about things as I think of them, I go over issues as I encounter them in a real-world example.

The goal of this project is to create the “Missing Starfinder Legacy Feats,” a Starfinder-compatible version of every feat in the PF core rulebook that doesn’t have an SF match. (We discussed the impact of having to do that, whether that’s a good idea or not, in Part One.)

You can find previous entries here — Part One , Part Two, Part Three — or just the finished feats (as they are written) here.

We’re done Acrobatic, Acrobatic Steps, Agile Maneuvers, Alertness, Alignment Channel, and Animal Affinity. And that brings us to Arcane Armor Mastery and Arcane Armor Training.

And a brand new problem.

Both Arcane Armor Mastery and Arcane Armor Training are designed to allow characters with arcane spellcasting to overcome the penalty of arcane spell failure when wearing armor. But Starfinder doesn’t differentiate between arcane spellcasters and any other kind, and doesn’t have any arcane spell failure mechanism. These PF feats interact with two sets of rules Starfinder doesn’t have! As a result we can’t just use the trick we did for Acrobatics and Alertness, and look for design space in the SF rules to match the intent of the version of the PF feats.

So, we’re going to have to make up some entirely new benefits, guided by little more than the feat names and the kinds of PF characters who might take the feats.

Every class in Starfinder has access to proficiency with light armor (to date, anyway), and none of the spellcasting classes (again, so far) have access to heavy armor. But there’s no problem spellcasting in heavy armor — the classes just aren’t proficient with it. And it’s easy enough to get proficiency, with a feat or multiclassing, so that’s not likely a fruitful direction for developing an SF version. On the other hand, it means any feat we create tied into light armor is accessible to all spellcasters.

That givens us a where or when for bonuses for these feats, but not a what. Worse, since we know we have to do both Arcane Armor Mastery and Arcane Armor Training, we need a bonus that can scale up, or two related bonuses. And, we need them to not give the kinds of numerical bonuses that can break the game math in Starfinder — just having Arcane Armor Training give you +2 if you can cast spell and are wearing armor, and Arcane Armor Mastery give you a +4, won’t work. they’d immediately be the go-to of any spellcaster, and might even convince soldiers to take one level of technomancer just to qualify for them.

But just because Arcane Armor Training gives spellcasters access to better mundane defenses in PF doesn’t mean it has to do the same thing in Starfinder. We could, in fact, have the feats not be training in armor for arcane characters, but training in arcane armor for any classes.

Viewed through that lens, we can decide the feats give you bonuses only against spells and spell-like abilities. That’s a much narrower field than a bonus to all ACs, but still makes sense with the names, AND is still appealing to fighting-casters who might have wanted the PF version (though we are opening it up to a broader group, potentially).

While we can’t hand out universal bonuses without risking imbalance, we can create situational benefits a player can call on from time to time, especially if they have a cost. So, what we need are defensive benefits, tied to armor, against spells and spell-like abilities, with a cost. Since we are designing for Starfinder, it seems a good idea for that cost to involve Resolve Points, and t make sure it’s useful but not a no-brainer, we should limit it’s uses.

And that leads us to these.

ARCANE ARMOR MASTERY
You can focus mystic energies into your armor, creating a powerful beneficial magical talisman.
Prerequisite: Arcane Armor Training, proficiency with light armor, Mysticism 9 ranks.
Benefit: When you expend your arcane armor talisman to reroll a saving throw, you roll 2d20 and take the higher of the two results.

ARCANE ARMOR TRAINING
You can focus mystic energies into your armor, creating a beneficial magical talisman.
Prerequisite: Proficiency with light armor, Mysticism 1 rank.
Benefit: You can take one minute and expend on Resolve Point to create an arcane armor talisman in one upgrade slot of your armor. You can only have one arcane armor talisman in existence at a time, creating another one automatically causes any existing ones to fade, and your arcane armor talisman only works for you and only when you are wearing the associated armor. While your arcane armor talisman exists, you cannot recover the Resolve Point used to create it.

When you fail a saving throw against a spell or spell-like ability, as a reaction you may expend your arcane armor talisman and reroll the saving throw.

.

Tomorrow we’ll take on Arcane Strike and… Armor Proficiency (Medium)?

PATREON
Like all my blog posts, this is brought to you by the wonderful patrons of my Patreon! If you want to see more of these types of instructional how-I-do-the-work-of-a-professional-RPG-developer, or any other of my kinds of content, please join my Patreon to support their creation and let me know what you want to see!

Developing to Spec: Judging Rule Weight (with Starfinder Missing Legacy Feats) (Part 3)

This is Part Three of a series of articles looking at creating a set of Starfinder feats under specific constraints. You can find Part One here, Part Two here, hop ahead to Part Four, or just the finished feats (as they are written) here.

So last week in the first two parts we discussed what to do if you have a developer/writer job to take on you don’t think is a great idea, and how to work to make it a great idea. To serve as our examples, we’re creating the “Missing” legacy feats for Starfinder, taking every PF Core Rulebook feat that doesn’t have a feat by the same name in SF, and writing a new version.

And now we are up to Alignment Channel. And that deserves a discussion on rules weight.

Rules weight is my own term for the impact a rule has on the ease, flow, and fun of a game. Rules weight isn’t necessarily bad — a good “heavy” rule that opens up lots of concepts and play space can be worth the time it takes players and GMs to learn, understand, and apply it. For example, the fact that kinetic attacks target Kinetic Armor Class and energy attacks target Energy Armor Class in Starfinder has a fair amount of rules weight behind it. Not only does that core concept need to be understood, but it impacts things such as changing the damage type of an attack not changing what it targets, needing to be careful to note if bonuses apply to all AC in general or just EAC, and so on. But it also opens up interesting design space, such as allowing energy weapons to in general do a bit less damage, but be more accurate. It’s design weight is worth the benefits.

OTOH, I was once developing a trap a freelancer had written that added complex rules on how much you failed a disarm attempt varying the amount of damage the trap did, and how much applied to the contents, and had a sidebar to explain the whole thing. It was balanced and made sense. It was also in an adventure, used only once, and unlikely to ever becomes a standard rule subset for that game system. When GMs ran into it, they’d have to learn a whole subsystem just to run a single element of one encounter. No matter how much it made sense, the rules weighed too much for their benefit to the game. I changed it to a flat amount of damage if you failed a disable check badly enough.

I mention all that, because Alignment Channel in Pathfinder is its own rulesubsystem, with its own weight, that lots of different things tie into and multiple classes can access. In Starfinder, we instead have only the healing channel class feature of the mystic, and it’s single augmenting feat, Harm Undead.

So we COULD introduce a whole, broad set of energy channeling rules and ways for various classes to access them and try to build the concept into something as robust as the Pathfinder version… or we can just borrow from Harm Undead and keep things working in a way Starfinder players who might interact with these should understand.

In this case, I think the latter choice is much smarter.

ALIGNMENT CHANNEL
You can use your healing channel to harm creatures with a specific alignment subtype.
Prerequisites: Healing channel connection power, mystic level 1st.
Benefit: Select one of the following alignment subtypes: chaos, evil, good, law. Your alignment cannot include any aspect of the selected subtype. When you use your healing channel, you can expend a mystic Spell slot of the highest level you can cast to also deal damage equal to the amount you heal to all foes in the area with the selected subtype. The foes can attempt a Will save for half damage, at your usual connection power DC.

And that brings us to Animal Affinity, which has similar issues as Acrobatic, which we discussed back in Part One of this series. We could just look for ways to expand the Survival skill when dealing with animals (since it covers both Handle Animal and Ride in Starfinder, the two things Animal Affinity gives bonuses to), or we could  investigate what design space might be available.

The third Starfinder Alien Archive has companion creature rules. These obviously have a good deal more rules weight to them than just adding some benefit to the use of a skill, but that weight opens up a whole range of new character concepts, and the rules are optional and open to any character. As long as we write rules that doesn’t add much more weight on top of the creature companion rules, and won’t be encountered outside of them, this may create a more interesting option for players.

ANIMAL AFFINITY
You can easily direct an animal you have taken as a companion.
Prerequisites: Creature companion of the animal type.
Benefit: As part of any standard or full action you take, you can also grant an action to your animal creature companion as if you had taken a standard action to do so. You cannot do this the same round you use any other action to grant your creature companion another action. Once you have used this ability, you cannot do so again until you have expended Resolve Points to regain Stamina Points after a 10-minute rest.

Which brings us to Arcane Armor Mastery… which has it’s OWN set of problems, and we’ll tackle them tomorrow!

PATREON
Like all my blog posts, this look inside my development process is brought to you by the wonderful patrons of my Patreon! Want more of this content? Want to suggest specific game systems, topics, of kinds of articles? Join my Patreon and let me know what you want to see!

Developing to Spec: Starfinder Missing Legacy Feats (Part 2)

This is Part Two of a series of articles looking at creating a set of Starfinder feats under specific constraints. You can find Part One here, or hop ahead to future posts (Part Three, Part Four), or just the finished feats (as they are written) here.

So yesterday in Part One we discussed what to do if you have a developer/writer job to take on you don’t think is a great idea, and how to work to make it a great idea.

To serve as our example, we’re creating the “Missing” legacy feats for Starfinder, taking every PF core rulebook feat that doesn’t have a feat by the same name in SF, and writing a new version.

So far, we’ve done Acrobatic and Acrobatic Steps (see part One for a detailed discussion of that).

And now, we have to tackle Agile Maneuvers.

In PF, this feat allows you to use your Dexterity when calculating your CMB (combat maneuver bonus). Our problem? In Starfinder, we don’t USE CMB, and we don’t want to give bonuses to combat maneuvers based on Dexterity, because there are already ways for a character to do that.

So, again, we need a different benefit with the same name and a similar niche. So, we need to read the rules again.

Going over combat maneuvers in Starfinder, we see they are a standard action. That’s it, no way to make multiple combat maneuvers as part of a full attack. Well, okay then! Let’s run with that as a place to make our new feat. (This kind of “place where the rules leave room to do multiple different kinds of things that are balanced and interesting” is sometimes referred to by game professionals as a game’s or concept’s “design space.”)

So let’s see what that might look like.

AGILE MANEUVERS
You’ve learned to leverage your quickness when attempting complex maneuvers in combat.
Benefit: When you take a full attack action, you can make a melee combat maneuver in place of one or more of your attacks. The combat maneuver takes the same penalties to its attack roll from being part of a full attack as the attack it replaces would, as well as any normal bonuses or penalties related to being a combat maneuver.

So, this is designed to only work in melee (on purpose–ranged combat maneuvers are rare but already a big advantage over melee combat maneuvers, and giving characters who focus on melee in Starfinder new options generally has less impact on the play space, and encourages creative and mobile tactics). It also works with abilities that improve your accuracy when making multiple attacks in a round (which is good–combat maneuvers are hard enough unless you’re a specialized taclash-wielding skittermander), but doesn’t break any of the game’s underlying combat math.

That brings us to Alertness as a feat… which has the same problems as Acrobatics as an unneeded feat in Starfinder. So, again, we need to read the relevant section of the Starfinder rules to look for a new design space, and that runs us right into the states of awareness. Which seems ripe with design space, but…

Here’s one of the places where being aware of the issues found in a game as it is played is important. The states of awareness already confuse, confound, and annoy a lot of GMs and players. We CAN build on it if we need to — it’s a functional and official part of the rules — but it’d be better if we can find some design space more easily utilized by a bigger portion of the target audience.

(Full disclosure–I helped with those states of awareness rules. Mea culpa. A rewrite is something I keep thinking about… but not for this project.)

So, time to do a search for “Perception Checks” and “Sense Motive.”

There are rules on Perception while asleep. It’s not much, but it’s not nothing. Having an alertness ability mean you don;t take -10 to Perception checks certainly feels appropriate. Sense Motive has an option to sense mental effect, which normally takes a minute. Allowing that to be done in one round might not be bad–but it also might spoil adventures specifically designed to make sure you can’t interact with someone for a full minute. We can cut it down to half a minute maybe, but that’s not much of a benefit, even coupled with the sleep benefit. Similarly, adventures can be ruined if it’s too easy for a character to call out a lie.

But there ARE less adventure-ruining used for Sense Motive, to oppose Bluff uses such as diversion, feint. While we normally don’t want to play with the math in Starfinder, if it is tightly limited to specific events, it can work.

So, our new Alertness.

ALERTNESS
You often notice things that others might miss.
Benefit: When asleep, you take only a -2 penalty to perception checks, rather than the normal -10. Additionally, you gain a +5 bonus to Sense Motive checks to oppose Bluff checks to create a distraction, and your Sense Motive bonus is treated as 5 higher for Bluff checks made to feint.

And that brings us to Alignment Channel, which, woof.

But we’ll tackle it next week!

PATREON
Like all my blog posts, this is brought to you by the wonderful patrons of my Patreon! Want more of this content? Want to suggest specific game systems, topics, of kinds of articles? Join my Patreon and let me know what you want to see!

And every little bit helps. Even if you can’t support me with just dollar a month right now, you can share the link to my Patreon with your friends, and on social media. I promise, it makes a difference. https://patreon.com/OwenKCStephens

Developing to Spec: Starfinder Missing Legacy Feats (Part 1)

This is Part One of a series of articles looking at creating a set of Starfinder feats under specific constraints. You can find future entries (Part Two, Part Three, Part Four), or just the finished feats (as they are written) here.

The point of these is to offer practical examples of how I approach developing and writing supplemental rules for tabletop RPGs. “Developing to Spec,” as it were. Rather than just blather on about things as I think of them, I go over issues as I encounter them using a specific Starfinder-related project as a real-world example.

The job of a freelance game developer (or writer) isn’t always to do the thing you think is the best, or the most fun. Sometimes, it’s to do the best, most fun version of the thing you are being paid to create. You may think that core idea is a bad one, but if you agree to do the job, you are agreeing to fulfill its design goals. You can (and should) suggest the design goals might not be good ones (you are being paid for your opinions and talents, by all means be a strong advocate for your opinion), but in the end the people paying you deserve to get what they ask for if they aren’t convinced by you.

And there absolutely CAN be good business reasons to do a product that has a concept that isn’t the most fun, or more useful addition to a game. If you have moral or ethical objections to that concept, the right answer is to refuse to do it at all. If you just think it’s not a great idea, and you agree to do it, your task is to make the best version of that product you can.

Sometimes, the results can surprise you.

So, let’s look at some concrete examples of developing an idea that, at least at first blush, isn’t fun or smart.

Let’s do the Starfarer Missing Legacy Feats.

Here’s our remit: Create Starfinder-compatible versions of all the feats that are in the PF Core Rulebook, but not in the Starfinder Roleplaying Game.

There are some obvious issues here. the two games are different, despite sharing a lot of the same DNA. And many feats are “missing” because they’ve been simplified or replaced. In fact, we run into this issue with the VERY first “missing” Legacy feat: Acrobatic.

Acrobatic is one of the PF feats that gives you +2 to two skills: Acrobatics and Fly. There’s no need for that feat in Starfinder, because Skill Synergy covers it and more. (And the skill DC math is different, the bonus structure is different, and there’s no Fly skill, and… lots of reasons, but Skill Synergy is the most obvious).

So, we are required to have an Acrobatic feat, and it’s a terrible idea for it to do the same thing. So, as a developer or writer where do we start? Well, I always like to go read the rules we’re dealing with, so it’s time to read Starfinder’s Acrobatics skill.

Here we see the skill has 4 tasks: balance, escape, fly and tumble. We don;t want to give numerical bonuses to any of those (because that would interefere with the balance of skill DCs in the game), and we want to give benefits that feel ‘acrobatic,’ and apply to both being acrobatic and flying.

Looking at fly first, we see you normally have to take a move action to hover, or if you have perfect maneuverability you can do it without making a check, or as a swift action if you make a check. But taking a swift action still prevents a full action in Starfinder. So, here’s a place we could have a benefit — allow you to hover as if you had perfect maneuverability even if you don’t, and allow you to hover without using any action without making a check if you do have perfect maneuverability.

So, that means we need some similar benefit for one or more of balance, escape, and tumble.

With balance, you need to make a check if you take damage, so we could allow someone with this feat to ignore that requirement.. but that’s pretty corner-case so more is needed. Escape is a standard action, or a minute for restraints, so we could make that faster. Tumble requires you to not be encumbered… but that makes sense. It also requires you to move at half speed as a move action, so there’s a place we can give some benefit for the feat.

And as a last step, we need to check all other feats and class abilities to make sure none of them already do the things we are now considering making feat benefits.

Then, we pull the whole thing together, as follows:

ACROBATIC
You are particularly talented at balancing, flying, and tumbling.
Benefit: When using the Acrobatics skill for the following tasks, you gain the listed advantages.
Balance: You do not have to make a skill check to maintain your balance if you take damage.
Escape: You can attempt to escape from a grapple or pin as a move action. You can attempt to escape from restraints in half the normal time.
Fly: If you do not have perfect maneuverability, you can attempt to hove as if you did have perfect maneuverability. If you do have perfect maneuverability, you can hover without making a check and without taking an action to do so.
Tumble: You can make an Acrobatics check to tumble as part of any action in which you move, and do not have to move at half speed to do so.

So those are all situational, minor benefits–but there are four of them, they are all linked to the same skill, and none of them alter the balance of skill check math in the game. Overall, not a bad feat!

Next comes Acrobatic Steps… which is built on Nimble Moves. Starfinder has a feat called Nimble Moves, which is better than PF’s Acrobatic Steps, but our remit requires us to create Acrobatic Steps, so…

ACROBATIC STEPS
You can easily move over and through obstacles.
Prerequisites: Dex 15, Nimble Moves
Benefit: As long as you are not encumbered or overburdened, you ignore the effects of difficult terrain.

Which brings us to Agile Maneuvers, which has a similar, but potentially more complex set of issues. Which we’ll tackle tomorrow!

PATREON
Like all my blog posts, this is brought to you by the wonderful patrons of my Patreon! Want more of this content? Want to suggest specific game systems, topics, of kinds of articles? Join my Patreon and let me know what you want to see!

 

Shield Feats for PF 2E

Okay I’m at Gen Con, but I can’t help but want to play with some of the most interesting new rules of the  Pathfinder Second Edition Core Rulebook. Shields!

Here are some new shield-focused feats. I am still trying to decide how I want to present some of the new information PF2 feats need in my blog format, so here’s a first try.

Angle Shield[General][Feat 1]

Prerequisites Shield Block
You can angle your shield to deflect part of the force of a powerful blow. When you use the Shield Block feat, your shield takes 5 points less damage than normal (minimum 0).

Duck Down[General][Feat 3]

[Reaction]
Trigger: When you have your shield raised and are forced to make a saving throw.
You can duck down behind your shield, making it more difficult for spells and special abilities to target and effect you. You gain a +1 bonus to the triggering saving throw. You are no longer considered to have your shield raised.

Knock Aside [General][Feat 1]

When you are wielding a shield, you gain a +2 bonus to the Disarm, Force Open, Shove, and Trip actions of Athletics.

Want More of This? Support my Patreon!

Do you enjoy the content on this blog? Why not become a patron, and support the creation of more free material! And tell me what you want to see! More PF1? PF2? SF? Writing 101 articles?

If enough patrons signed up, I could give this stuff away full time!

Starfarer’s Codex: Missing Legacy Feats

Here’s a running compilation of the “Missing” Legacy Feats I am writing for Starfinder, based on every feat that is in the PF core rulebook, but not in Starfinder. I go over the development process for those in articles on my blog (Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four). But if you JUST want the feats:

ACROBATIC
You are particularly talented at balancing, flying, and tumbling.
Benefit: When using the Acrobatics skill for the following tasks, you gain the listed advantages.
Balance: You do not have to make a skill check to maintain your balance if you take damage.
Escape: You can attempt to escape from a grapple or pin as a move action. You can attempt to escape from restraints in half the normal time.
Fly: If you do not have perfect maneuverability, you can attempt to hove as if you did have perfect maneuverability. If you do have perfect maneuverability, you can hover without making a check and without taking an action to do so.
Tumble: You can make an Acrobatics check to tumble as part of any action in which you move, and do not have to move at half speed to do so.

ACROBATIC STEPS
You can easily move over and through obstacles.
Prerequisites: Dex 15, Nimble Moves
Benefit: As long as you are not encumbered or overburdened, you ignore the effects of difficult terrain.

AGILE MANEUVERS
You’ve learned to leverage your quickness when attempting complex maneuvers in combat.
Benefit: When you take a full attack action, you can make a melee combat maneuver in place of one or more of your attacks. The combat maneuver takes the same penalties to its attack roll from being part of a full attack as the attack it replaces would, as well as any normal bonuses or penalties related to being a combat maneuver.

ALERTNESS
You often notice things that others might miss.
Benefit: When asleep, you take only a -2 penalty to perception checks, rather than the normal -10. Additionally, you gain a +5 bonus to Sense Motive checks to oppose Bluff checks to create a distraction, and your Sense Motive bonus is treated as 5 higher for Bluff checks made to feint.

ALIGNMENT CHANNEL
You can use your healing channel to harm creatures with a specific alignment subtype.
Prerequisites: Healing channel connection power, mystic level 1st.
Benefit: Select one of the following alignment subtypes: chaos, evil, good, law. Your alignment cannot include any aspect of the selected subtype. When you use your healing channel, you can expend a mystic Spell slot of the highest level you can cast to also deal damage equal to the amount you heal to all foes in the area with the selected subtype. The foes can attempt a Will save for half damage, at your usual connection power DC.

ANIMAL AFFINITY
You can easily direct an animal you have taken as a companion.
Prerequisites: Creature companion of the animal type.
Benefit: As part of any standard or full action you take, you can also grant an action to your animal creature companion as if you had taken a standard action to do so. You cannot do this the same round you use any other action to grant your creature companion another action. Once you have used this ability, you cannot do so again until you have expended Resolve Points to regain Stamina Points after a 10-minute rest.

ARCANE ARMOR MASTERY
You can focus mystic energies into your armor, creating a powerful beneficial magical talisman.
Prerequisite: Arcane Armor Training, proficiency with light armor, Mysticism 9 ranks.
Benefit: When you expend your arcane armor talisman to reroll a saving throw, you roll 2d20 and take the higher of the two results.

ARCANE ARMOR TRAINING
You can focus mystic energies into your armor, creating a beneficial magical talisman.
Prerequisite: Proficiency with light armor, Mysticism 1 rank.
Benefit: You can take one minute and expend on Resolve Point to create an arcane armor talisman in one upgrade slot of your armor. You can only have one arcane armor talisman in existence at a time, creating another one automatically causes any existing ones to fade, and your arcane armor talisman only works for you and only when you are wearing the associated armor. While your arcane armor talisman exists, you cannot recover the Resolve Point used to create it.

When you fail a saving throw against a spell or spell-like ability, as a reaction you may expend your arcane armor talisman and reroll the saving throw.

PATREON
Like all my blog posts, this is brought to you by the wonderful patrons of my Patreon! Want more of this content? Want to suggest specific game systems, topics, of kinds of articles? Join my Patreon and let me know what you want to see!