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Rowdies, for Starfinder (Really Wild West, GammaFinder, FreedomFinder)

The standard system for creation npc opponents in Starfinder is specifically designed to focus on making foes that can last through a fight and work well alone or in groups of 2 or so. It’s simple and easy–a typical encounter for a group of 5th level PCs is CR 5. If you want to combine lower-level challenges the rules cover that as well.

But what is doesn’t do well it let you throw 8-24 foes at the heroes, and have that be a typical encounter. Technical you can through 12 CR 1 creatures at an 8th level party, but truthfully they won’t actually pose any significant threat. And, of course, there are no CR -2 creatures to collect 12 of to challenge a group of 5th level heroes.

So, enter the Rowdy

RWW Rowdy

(art by Warpaintcobra)

Designed specifically for the Really Wild West (and named to be appropriate for that pulp-fantasy-western 1891 setting, though just as usable in standard Starfinder, GammaFinder, or  FreedomFinder campaign), Rowdies are creatures that are less dangerous, and much MUCH less durable, than the core creature they are based on. As a result while they have the game values to be an interesting challenge for PCs, you can use four times as many rowdies in an encounter as the core creature they are based on.

So if you need 4 members of a typical gang to attack the 4th PC’s train as a typical fight, you just add the Rowdy graft to a CR 4 foe and you are all set. If you want to let the 5th-level PCs fight their way past a hoard of 24 staggering undead, slap the Rowdy graft on a CR 0 monster (since 6 CR 0 monsters is a typical CR 5 encounter, 24 CR 0 Rowdies are also a typical encounter).

Rowdies are also useful for backup to a major foe, without overshadowing the foe. If you want a CR 6 encounter to challenge your 5th level heroes, a single CR 4 main foe, and 4 CR 4 rowdies neatly fits the bill.

The mechanical adjustments of the graft are fairly straightforward:

Rowdy Graft
*Reduce initiative bonus by -5, -10, -15, and -20 for the 4 rowdies. (It’s best if they don’t all act at once, but if you need to simplify initiative, you can have them all go with a -12 penalty to their initiative modifier).
*Reduce all attack bonuses by 1.
*Reduce all save DCs by 3.
*Reduce average damage by 50%. (Or close to it. If it’s normally 1d8+7, taking it to 1d4+3 is close enough. Or, just roll normal damage and halve it for each attack).
*Reduce all ACs and saving throw bonuses by 3
*Reduce HP by 75% (round up).
*If the base creature has special attacks or spells with limited uses/day, only one of the four rowdies should use them. If that rowdy is dropped, any remaining uses can apply to a second rowdy (you can track resources in a single place for simplicity).

It’s also important to give PCs an opportunity to recognize a rowdy, since they may well use different tactics and resources when facing them. After all sine the game doesn’t promise players that encounters will be balanced, if you tell players there is a pack of 16 wolves surrounding their camp they may well think this is an encounter they are meant to flee or avoid at any cost.

By the same token, you want to be able to scare players now and then. 🙂

So, anytime PCs successfully make a skill check to identify a creature, and beat the DC by 5 or more, they automatically identify the creature is a Rowdy, in addition to the standard second piece of useful information.

(Editorial Design Note: I first ran into the concept with “Mooks,” from Feng Shui, and later examined some of oddities it could create in a d20 game with the “Minion” rules from 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons. The concept is absolutely not original to me, though I feel I have done my own take on the concept with this Starfinder-compatible versions.
This editorial is not part of the OGL content of this blog.)

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Summoning for GammaFinder and FreedomFinder (Starfinder-compatible)

Yep, another tiered power, appropriate for use as a tiered mutation for GammaFinder, or Power Set for FreedomFinder (both Starfinder-compatible setting hacks).

This is summoning as a power, which for balance purposes is always treated as spell-like, but the player and GM can be flexible with the nature of the power. Perhaps your genetic sorcery extends to summoning daemons… even if you would rather not deal with such creatures. Perhaps you are a fire-manipulator, and the fire elementals you summon are just forms or pyrokenesis. maybe you have a form of technokinesis and technopathy, and can turn anything into servant robots.

We’ll be touching on some of those related powers later, but for now, let’s look as summoning as a tiered power.

PA Phoenix

(art by grandfailure)

Summoning (Sp)
When you first gain the summoning tiered mutation, you must decide what type of creature you summon, from the following list: aeon, agathian, angel, archon, azata, daemon, demon, devil, elemental (select one subtype), fey plane beast, inevitable, protean, robot, or shadow creature. you are not restricted by the normal summoner requirements (you can summon demons even if you are lawful good… you poor soul).
These re summoned as the appropriate summon creature spell, obey you (regardless of alignment difference, though evil creatures will tend toward evil methods unless given orders restricting their options, even of summoned by good-aligned characters), and understand any orders you give.
Summoning grants you upgrades, which are special powers you have with your summoned creatures that acts differently than the summon creature spell. You can select from the upgrades below. Once made, these choices cannot be changed. You cannot select an upgrade more than once unless it says otherwise.
Upgrades:
Broad Summoning: You can select an additional type of creature to summon, and mix and match your summoning to include any of your allowed types.
Communication: You and your summoned creatures have limited telepathy, which only works with each other (but functions regardless of language).
Environmental: Select one environmental graft. You can apply it to any creatures you summon. The creatures gain all the abilities always granted by the graft, and any one of those sometimes granted. A given summoned creature can only have one environmental graft applied to it. You can select this upgrade multiple times. each time, you select a different environmental graft.
Language: Creatures you summon know a single language you know, fo course chocie, and can communicate in this langauge.
Lasting: You can have a single summoned creature be persistent when it is not in combat. However, if it makes an attack or is attacked, forced to make a saving throw, or takes damage, it reverts to having a duration of 1 round/level.
Variable Sizes: You can summon creatures up to one size larger, or two sizes smaller than those normally summoned by the appropriate summon creature spell. This does not impact their stat block or reach, only their actual size.
Tier 1: You can summon creatures (as summon creature I) as a full action once per day.
Tier 2: You gain one upgrade.
Tier 3: Your summoning can now act as creature summoning II. You regain the ability to use this power after you expend Resolve Points to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest.
Tier 4: You gain a second upgrade.
Tier 5: Your summoning can now act as creature summoning III. You can now use this ability at any time by expending a Resolve Point. If you use this ability while any previously summoned creatures are still extant, they immediately dissappear.
Tier 6: You gain a third upgrade.
Tier 7: Your summoning can now act as creature summoning IV.
Tier 8: You gain a fourth upgrade. You can now use this spell-like ability as a standard action.
Tier 9: Your summoning can now act as creature summoning V. You gain a fifth upgrade.
Tier 10: Your summoning can now act as creature summoning VI. You gain a sixth upgrade.

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Thanks, everyone.

Tiered Incorporeality and Invisibility for GammaFinder and FreedomFinder (Starfinder-compatible)

It’s a double-sized weekday post with TWO tiered powers, appropriate for use as tiered mutations for GammaFinder, or Power Sets for FreedomFinder) both Starfinder-compatible setting hacks).

Incorporeality (Sp)
Tier 1: You can expend 1 Resolve Point to become incorporeal (as the Universal Creature Rule) as a full action once per day. You can be incorporeal for a maximum of 5 rounds, and must take a move action to dismiss it prior to this. This acts as  a spell with a spell level equal to 1/3 your character level.
Tier 2: You can now become incorporeal as a standard action, and end it as part of any other action.
Tier 3: You regain the ability to use this power after you expend Resolve Points to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest.
Tier 4: Your ability to become incorporeal is now a supernatural ability (as a result, using it no longer provokes attacks of opportunity).
Tier 5: When you are incorporeal you can now move a single unattended object of up to light bulk with you.
Tier 6: When incorporeal, you can now attack and affect corporeal objects, thought your attacks do only half damage. You can only make one attack each round.
Tier 7: You can now make a normal number of attacks while incorporeal, but still only do half damage. You can now become incorporeal by expending 1 Resolve Point an unlimited number of times.
Tier 8: When you become incorporeal, you can now also make incorporeal an adjacent willing ally (or grabbed helpless creature, or held unattended object, or grappled active foe) and cause them to be incorporeal as well. This takes one free hand. You cannot move to a location where a creature or object you have made incorporeal would be damaged if it became incorporeal while it is with you, and if you stop touching it for any reason the creature or object ceases to be incorporeal.
Tier 9: You now gain the ability to use your land speed to move in any direction while incorporeal, even if there’s no ground there to move on.
Tier 10: You can now become incorporeal without expending a Resolve Point. Once you have done so, you cannot use this power without expending a RP again until after you expend Resolve Points to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest.

00 Catfolk - a nice fade - JEB (1)

Invisibility (Sp)
Tier 1: You can become invisible as a full action once per day, as the invisibility spell, with a maximum duration of 5 rounds.
Tier 2: You regain the ability to use this power after you expend Resolve Points to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest.
Tier 3: You can now become invisible as a standard action, with a maximum duration equal to 1 round/level.
Tier 4: You can now make a Stealth check as a move action, even when you have no concealment or cover. This Stealth check lasts 1 round, take a -5 penalty, and if you make an attack roll when you have neither concealment nor cover the Stealth immediately ends.
Tier 5: Your invisibility is now treated as a supernatural ability (as a result, using it no longer provokes attacks of opportunity).
Tier 6: You can now also become invisible by expending a Resolve Point to do so.
Tier 7: If you make an attack while invisible, you can now expend a Resolve Point for it to not end your invisibility.
Tier 8: When you are invisible, you can now touch an adjacent willing ally (or grab a helpless creature or unattended object, or grapple an active foe) and cause them to be invisible as well. This takes one free hand. If you make an attack roll as part of this, you must expend a Resolve Point for it to not end your invisibility.
Tier 9: Your invisibility now lasts 1 minute/level. You can now extend your invisibility (as with Tier 8) to one creature per hand you use.
Tier 10: Your invisibility now lasts 10 minutes/level. Making an attack without expending a Resolve Point does not end the invisibility, but instead reduces its duration by 10 minutes. If this would reduce the duration to less than 0, it instead lasts 1 more round.

WANT MORE GAMMAFINDER?! OR FREEDOMFINDER?
I now depend on my Patreon for more of my income and support than I ever expected to. If you find any value in my blog posts or videos, I could use help with the Patreon. If you can spare a few bucks a month, it’s a huge help. If not, even just sharing and linking to my blogs, videos, and the Patreon itself is a huge help that just takes a moment of your time.

Thanks, everyone.

FreedomFinder, a Super and Heroic Setting Hack for Starfinder.

FreedomFinder
In the not-too-distant future, the rapid advances of technology and societal change outstrip the capacity of the law and government officials to keep up. As alien species contact humanity (and begin to move in to once-all-human living spaces), terraforming makes the Moon, Mars, Venus, Titan, Callisto, Ganymede, Europa, Enceladus, and even the dwarf planet Ceres viable living spaces, FTL travel breaks causality, genetic engineering make superhuman abilities commonplace, and quantum engineering and psionic frequency adjustments (both sometimes called “magic”) allow reality itself to be manipulated, the legislatures and courts of the Sol System governments cannot keep up as they are choked with questions ranging from if telepathy is covered as free speech or is considered unlawful search and seizure to the legality of trying someone for a crime committed by a version of themselves from a slightly different reality.

As is always the case, as societal protections and institutions prove inadequate to protect people, gangs, thugs, immoral organizations (from corporations to insincere religions to secret societies) and a dozen brands of organized crime move in to fill the void, profiting on human need and misery in the process. Justice becomes rare. Even essential freedoms are at risk of being lost and forgotten.

The heroes of this new era, the FreedomFinders, don’t intend to allow that.

FreedomFinder is a setting hack for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, designed to use that games’ rules (with a few additions and changes, the “hack” part). It also draws extensively on the rules for tiered mutations for GammaFinder.

RGG-LashuntaLawstar-color-02

(all art by Jacob Blackmon)

ARMOR
There is no assumption that character wear armor in FreedomFinder. Without armor,  you get a bonus to EAC equal to your level, and a bonus to KAC equal to your level +2.
If you are proficient with heavy armor, you get an additional +1 bonus to EAC and KAC, and if you are proficient with powered armor, you get an *additional* +1 bonus to EAC and KAC.
You can wear armor—light armor gives +1 to KAC, with a max Dex of +5 and an armor check penalty of -1, while heavy armor gives +2 to EAC and KAC, with an armor check of -3 and a -5 ft. speed adjustment.
You can also have armor be something you pick up with the Geared power set. In that case you get all its functions EXCEPT its EAC and KAC boost, which are limited to those of light and heavy armor above.
You can gain and use armor upgrades with the Geared power set without depending on actually having any armor upgrade slots. They are simply high-tech devices (HTDs). There is a maximum of how many HTDs you can use at once, equal to one, plus one for every kind of armor you are proficient with, +1/3 character levels.

CLASSES
You can be an envoy, mechanic, operative, or solider at no cost. You can also choose to be any other class, but doing so costs your “B” Power Set (see below), Thus a starting envoy FreedomFinder PC has an A and B beginning power set, while a starting technomancer only gets an A Power Set. At 2nd level, both would receive their C power set.
You gain all the normal class features of your class, though you may choose to swap some out for Power Sets using various Alternate Class Features (see Power Sets, below).

Male Human Battle Wizard color

POWER SETS
Every character in FreedomFinder has Power Sets, which are special abilities you possess that place you apart from even the extraordinary members of your species and class. You gain two or three power sets (referred to as sets A, B, and C), depending on your class (see above). Each power set gives you one GammaFinder mutation tier or FreedomFinder Power Set tier at specific character levels, as noted below.

Power Set Tiers by Character Level
1 Power set A tier 1, power set B tier 1
2 Power set C tier 1
3 Power set A tier 2, power set B tier 2
4 Power set C tier 2
5 Power set A tier 3, power set B tier 3
6 Power set C tier 3
7 Power set A tier 4, power set B tier 4
8 Power set C tier 4
9 Power set A tier 5, power set B tier 5
10 Power set C tier 5
11 Power set A tier 6, power set B tier 6
12 Power set C tier 6
13 Power set A tier 7, power set B tier 7
14 Power set C tier 7
15 Power set A tier 8, power set B tier 8
16 Power set C tier 8
17 Power set A tier 9, power set B tier 9
18 Power set C tier 9
19 Power set A tier 10, power set B tier 10
20 Power set C tier 10

EQUIPMENT
You can have any minor, noncombat gear based on real-world items that would normally be light or negligible bulk and 5 credits or less, such as cell phones, flashlights, and so on. You are also considered to have any toolkit you need to use your skills without penalty, as well as a basic medkit if you have ranks in Medicine, but toolkits that grant bonuses must be gained through the geared power set (see below).
You otherwise don’t receive any equipment as “loot,” and this game ignores wealth by level. However, you can take the Geared Power Set for FreedomFinder characters who depend on their equipment to be effective.

Male Punishing Vigilante color

GEARED POWER SET
You have access to devices and items others don’t. You may have inherited such items, have them provided to you by some organization that supports you (or that you work for), or have created them yourself.
If one of your items is lost or destroyed, you can replace it within 30 days, though the GM may require you to undertake an adventure to do so.
If an item uses batteries, ammunition, or other minor forms of charges, it refills every day that you have access to your normal supplies and civilization.
It an item is a 1-shot (such as a grenade or serum), it is restored (normally by acquiring a new one from the same source as the original) once every 30 days. Alternatively, you can have a 1-shot item be restored every day by treating it as having an item level 5 levels higher than it’s normal item level for purposes of when the Geared Power Set can access it. For example, if you take a item level 1 grenade as a piece of equipment it is restored every 30 days. But if you treat it as an item level 6 piece of equipment for purposes of the Geared Power Set, you can use the grenade once per day.
The Geared Power Set has three subsets, all of which follow the basic Geared rules. These are Geared (basic), Geared (specialized), and Geared (focused). You may take each of these Geared Power Sets as a separate Power Set if you wish to have a lot of equipment beyond comm units and mundane things.
Geared, Basic
Tier 1-10:
You gain a number of items equal to your tier. The highest level of these has a maximum item level equal to (double your tier) -2, the next-highest a max of (double your tier) -4, and so on.
Geared, Specialized
Tier 1-10: You have two items , each with a maximum item level equal to your double your tier.
Geared, Focused
Tier 1-10: You have a single item, with a maximum item level equal to your 2 + double your tier. Thus at Tier 3, you can have a single (2 + [3 x 2]) 8th level item. Each time you gain a character level, you may change what this item is. If it has a minor form of recharge, it’s capacity is double the norm for an item of its type.

WANT MORE FREEDOMFINDER?!
I now depend on my Patreon for more of my income and support than I ever expected to. If you find any value in my blog posts or videos, I could use help with the Patreon. If you can spare a few bucks a month, it’s a huge help. If not, even just sharing and linking to my blogs, videos, and the Patreon itself is a huge help that just takes a moment of your time.

Thanks, everyone.

Mutations as Alternate Class Features (for Starfinder)

One of the interesting things about designing things in blog-sized pieces is seeing how gamers respond to various concepts as they are being developed. In the case of GammaFinder (and it’s conceptually but not-yet-existent cousin, FreedomFinder) there has been a huge surge of interest in mutant abilities and tiered mutations, and ways characters can get them.

PA Distant Ruins

(art by David Edwards)

I had developed options for gaining mutations with alternate racial traits, a theme, an archetype, a feat, and as alternate class features for a single class (soldier). Given how well all of that has been received, I’m adding rules for alternate class features to gain mutations for all the official Starfinder classes, and compiling all the other options to-date in one post (and adding one new archetype), to make it easy for folks to look at these rules all in one place.

(My Patreon backers also got a post today compiling all the mutant abilities and tiered mutations I have released to-date. There’s no new rules in that post, just all the info in one place, but it that appeals to you, go become a Patron!)

MUTIE THEME (+1 to any)
Yup, you’re a mutie.
Theme Knowledge (1st)
Your brain focuses on something a little differently than other people. Select one skill to gain as a class skill or (if you already have it as a class skill at 1st level) gain a +1 racial bonus to.
In addition, you gain an ability adjustment of +1 to one ability score of your choice at character creation.
Mutation (6th, 12th)
Your mutant abilities grow and evolve. Select a mutation from the Mutant Abilities list, below.
Mutant Heartiness (18th)
Your mutant physiology allows you to recover more easily than those with standard genomes. Twice per day you can recover Stamina Points after a 10-minute rest without expending a Resolve Point to do so. This does reset any abilities that normally reset after you expend a Resolve Point to recover Stamina Points after a rest.

PA Six Arms

(art by warmtail)

ALTERNATE RACIAL TRAITS: MUTANTS
You are a mutated version of your base species. You gain one 
Mutant Ability for which you meet the prerequisites. Your mutation replaces the following racial feature, based on your species, as noted below:
Core Species – Android (upgrade slot), Human (bonus feat), Kasatha (natural grace), Lashunta (lashunta magic), Shirren (communalism), Vesk (armor savant), Ysoki (moxie)
Legacy Species – Dwarf (traditional enemy), Elf (elven magic), Gnome (gnome magic), Half-Elf (adaptability), Half-Orc (orc ferocity), Halfling (sure-footed)
Other Species– Astrazoan (rapid revival), Bantrid (balanced), Borai (resist energy drain), Ghoran (past-life knowledge), Haan (slow fall), Hobgoblin (battle hardened), Kalo (cold resistance), Maraquoi (blindsense), Nuar (maze mind), Orc (fierce survivalist), Pahtra (wary), Skittermander (grappler), Strix (nightborn), Uplfted Bear (limited telepathy).

ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURES

BIOHACKER ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Evolution
Evolution: Whether in an effort to evolve yourself intentionally, or in reaction to exposure to the materials you use to biohack, you gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your biohacker level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of a theorem. You make this decisions each time you gain the theorem class feature.

ENVOY ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Genetic Progress
Genetic Progress: You discover a latent tendency within yourself that can be brought to full expression, allowing you to gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your envoy level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of an envoy improvisation or expertise talent. You make this decision each time you gain one of those class features.

MECHANIC ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Genetic Engineering
Genetic Engineering: You engineer your own gene sequence, perhaps intentionally, perhaps in a bid to prevent some ailment from striking you down, and gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your mechanic level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of a mechanic’s trick. You make this decisions each time you gain the mechanic’s trick class feature.

MYSTIC ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Altered State
Altered State: Your connection to the universe allows you to become something more, and you gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your mystic level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of a connection power gained from your connection. You make this decisions each time you gain a new connection power.

OPERATIVE ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Genetic Quirk
Genetic Quirk: You have always been a little different, so it is no shock to you when you gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your operative level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of an operative exploit. You make this decisions each time you gain the operative exploit class feature.

SOLARIAN ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Cosmic Mutation
Cosmic Mutation: Channeling the power of cosmic radiation, you gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your solarian level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of a theorem. You make this decision each time you gain the theorem class feature.

SOLDIER: Mutant Power, Combat Mutation

New Gear Boost
Mutant Power: You gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your soldier level. You cannot select this gear boost more than once.

Alternate Class Feature; Combat Mutation
Combat Mutation: Maybe you have been exposed to one to many leaky plasma cannons power cores, maybe you have spent too much time in radiation-blasted battlefields, but you gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your soldier level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of combat feat. You make this decision each time you gain the combat feat class feature.

PA Electroflies

(art by grandfailure)

TECHNOMANCER ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Gene-Hack
Gene-Hack: Perhaps you meant to warp your genetic code by turning your eldritch powers inward, perhaps it was an accident, but you gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your technomancer level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of a magic hack. You make this decision each time you gain the magic hack class feature.

VANGUARD ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Genetic Discipline
Genetic Discipline: Entropy controls all things, including the errors in DNA that lead to mutation. Using this knowledge, you gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your vanguard level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of a vanguard discipline. You make this decision each time you gain the vanguard discipline class feature.

WITCHWARPER ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Alternate DNA
Alternate DNA: IN the infinite number of alternate realities, there are infinite variations of you, each with different combinations of DNA. You duplicate one of the variations in an alternate version of yourself, and gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your witchwarper level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of a paradigm shift. You make this decision each time you gain the paradigm shift class feature.

PA Powered Woman

(art by warmtail)

MUTAMORPH (Archetype)
Your body, exposed to the strange energies of the GammaFinder World, has morphed.
Mutation (2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th, 12)
At these levels you may choose a mutant ability (see below) as an archetype ability, or take your class’s normal class feature instead. Each time you take a mutant ability, you may also replace one mutant ability gained at an earlier level from the archetype or the mutie theme with a new mutation (losing the old mutant ability).

POWERED MUTATION (Archetype)
You have a single, growing, focused mutant power.
Mutation (2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th, 12th)
Select on tiered mutation. You gain one tier of this mutation at every even class level. This replaces your normal class features at the levels listed above. You cannot gain tiers in this tiered mutation from any other source.

NEW FEAT: MUTANT
MUTANT
You do not fall within the most common genetic baseline for your species.
Benefit: Select one Mutant Ability for which you meet the prerequisites. You gain this mutant ability.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times, but not more than once per 3 levels. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your character level.

Elasticity, a Tiered Mutation for GammaFinder and Freedom Finder (Starfinder-compatible)

We’re still doing tiered mutations, designed for both the GammaFinder and a more comic-book themed theoretical “FreedomFinder” setting (which so far only exists as a thought experiment and a single set of soldier options).

Since it’s Friday, I decided to get casual and do a weirder power. So the next dual-purpose power to get the tiered mutation treatment is… Elasticity.

PA Elastic

(art by higyou)

Elasticity
Your body is malleable, flexible, and stretchy. You gain elasticity points, which you can assign to various abilities as you mold and shape your body. Once assigned your elasticity points (and the powers they give you) remain until you are stunned, knocked unconscious, or killed. Any power or attack you make using elasticity points immediately ends if you reassign those points. You can change your elasticity points as part of any other action, but can only do so once per round. You cannot affect the same aspect of yourself with multiple elasticity point powers (you cannot assign both 1 elasticity point to be one size larger and 2 to be two sized larger, for example).
Tier 1: You reduce any damage you take that is not energy damage, or piercing or slashing damage, by 5 points per tier of elasticity. This includes kinetic damage from nonweapon sources, such as falling or crush attacks.
You have 1 elasticity point.
You can assign 1 elasticity point to gain the compression UCR.
You can assign 1 elasticity point to increase your size category by 1 step (maximum of colossal).
Tier
2: You now have 2 elasticity points.
You can assign 2 elasticity point to gain 1 extra arm using the multiarmed UCR. This represents stretching out some loop of your body to serve as a spare limb. The carrying capacity of this limb is separate from your normal carrying capacity, and is calculated as if it has a Strength equal to your tier +10.
You can now assign 2 elasticity points to increase your reach by +5 feet. When you use any elasticity power to increase your reach, you gain a circumstance bonus to Athletics checks to climb equal to your tier.
Tier 3: You now have 3 elasticity points.
You can now assign 2 elasticity points to increase your size category by 2 steps (maximum of colossal).
Tier 4: You now have 4 elasticity points.
You can now assign 4 elasticity points to increase your reach by +10 feet.
You can assign 2 elasticity points to gain the amorphous UCR.
Tier 5: You now gain a bonus to attack rolls to maintain (but not initiate) a grapple equal to your tier.
You can now assign 1 elasticity point to increase your land speed by an amount equal to your current reach.
You can now assign 2 elasticity points to increase your size category by 3 steps (maximum of colossal).
You can now assign 4 elasticity points to turn yourself into a glider wing, gaining 20 feet extraordinary flight with poor maneuverability.
You can now assign 4 elasticity points to gain the ability to make trample attacks, using the trample UCR. Your trample attacks do your unarmed damage.
Tier 6: You now have 5 elasticity points.
You can now assign 2 elasticity points to gain the ability to make attach attacks, using the attach UCR.
You can now assign 2 elasticity points to gain up to 4 limbs using the multiarmed UCR.
Tier 7: You now have 5 elasticity points.
You can now assign 4 elasticity points to increase your reach by +15 feet.
Tier 8: You can now assign 2 elasticity points to increase your size category by 4 steps (maximum of colossal).
You can now assign 4 elasticity points to increase your reach by +20 feet.
Tier 9: You now have 6 elasticity points.
You can now assign 4 elasticity points to increase your reach by +25 feet.
Tier 10: You can now assign 2 elasticity points to gain the ability to make swallow whole attacks with your unarmed attacks, using the swallow whole UCR. Your swallow whole attack deals your unarmed damage each round to those swallowed. You can swallow 1 creature up to 1 size larger than your current size, two your size, and double the number for every size smaller the targets are.

WANT MORE GAMMAFINDER?! OR FREEDOMFINDER?
I now depend on my Patreon for more of my income and support than I ever expected to. If you find any value in my blog posts or videos, I could use help with the Patreon. If you can spare a few bucks a month, it’s a huge help. If not, even just sharing and linking to my blogs, videos, and the Patreon itself is a huge help that just takes a moment of your time.

Thanks, everyone.

ESP, a Tiered Mutation for GammaFinder and Freedom Finder (Starfinder-compatible)

We’re still doing tiered mutations, designed for both the GammaFinder and a more comic-book themed theoretical “FreedomFinder” setting (which so far only exists as a thought experiment and a single set of soldier options).

So the next dual-purpose power to get the tiered mutation treatment is ESP.

PA ESPer

(art by roman3d)

ESP
You can see a world of pure mental energy, allowing to you send and receive thoughts, and manipulate the pure energy f the mind in various ways. This Extra Sensory Percpetion causes some to call you an “ESPer.” This perception eventually allows you to cast your thoughts into the formless space of the ethereal plane, though doing so is not without risks.
Tier 1: You gain your choice of limited telepathy or telepathic message at will. You gain one of the following 1st-level spells of your choice 1/day (select one): akashic download, detect thoughts, mind link, or share memory.
Tier
2: You can cast mind thrust as a 1st-level spell at will, but it does only 1d4 damage (Will negates). You can now once per day cast any of the tier 1 1st-level spells.
Tier 3: You can cast mind thrust as a 1st-level spell at will, but it does only 1d4 damage (Will save half).
You can now make ESPer checks to see creatures not native to the ethereal plane that are on the ethereal plane, and magic efforts to scry on you. This is a special Sense Motive check, and the DC to spot such things is 15 + 1.5x the level or caster level of the effect that made the target ethereal or allowed it to scry. When you perceive such things, they are within your line of sight and line of effect for your ESPer powers.
Tier 4: You can cast mind thrust as a 1st-level spell at will, but it does only 1d6 damage (Will save half). Each day you can cast one of the following 2nd-level spells once: ego whip, hold person, mind thrust (2nd-level spell), paranoia.
Tier 5: You can cast mind thrust as a 1st-level spell at will, but it does only 1d8 damage (Will save half).
You can now attempt Ethereal Projection once per day. This acts as clairvoyance/clairaudience, but you can move the point of the invisible sensor and your mind travels with it. You can see things that could be spotted with an ESPer check as well as things on your own plane. You can be spotted by any creature with any form of telepathy as if they used an ESPer check. If spotted, they can make mind-affecting attacks against you as if you were at the location of your sensor.
For the duration of the Ethereal Projection, you cannot perceive anything using your normal senses, and cannot take any actions using your body. Your body is considered helpless.
Tier 6: You can cast mind thrust as a 1st-level spell at will, but it does only 1d10 damage (Will save half). Each day you can cast one of the following 3rd-level spells once: charm monster, intellect fortress, mind thrust (3rd-level spell), suggestion.
Tier 7
: You can cast mind thrust as a 1st-level spell at will.
Now when you attempt Ethereal Projection, if a creature perceives you and attacks you with a mind-affecting effect, you can use your own mind-affecting effects against it as if you were at the location of your sensor.
Tier 8: You can cast mind thrust as a 2nd-level spell at will. Each day you can cast one of the following 4th-level spells once: confusion, mind probe, mind thrust (4th-level spell), telepathic bond.
Tier 9:
You can cast mind thrust as a 3rd-level spell at will.
Now when you attempt Ethereal projection, your body is not helpless. You can perceive through it and take actions, though you must split your actions between using your sensor and having your body act.
Tier 10: You can cast mind thrust as a 4th-level spell at will. Each day you can cast one of the following 5th-level spells once: dominate person, mind thrust (5th-level spell), modify memory, telepathy.

WANT MORE GAMMAFINDER?! OR FREEDOMFINDER?
I now depend on my Patreon for more of my income and support than I ever expected to. If you find any value in my blog posts or videos, I could use help with the Patreon. If you can spare a few bucks a month, it’s a huge help. If not, even just sharing and linking to my blogs, videos, and the Patreon itself is a huge help that just takes a moment of your time.

Thanks, everyone.

 

Genetic Sorcery, a Tiered Mutation for GammaFinder and Freedom Finder (Starfinder-compatible)

We’re still doing tiered mutations, designed for both the GammaFinder and a more comic-book themed theoretical “FreedomFinder” setting (which so far only exists as a thought experiment and a single set of soldier options).

So the next dual-purpose power to get the tiered mutation treatment is Genetic Sorcery.

The idea of a genetic or mutant ability to manipulate magic is common in comicbook hero tales, and also often mixed with (and thus defined as different from) magic gained from knowledge of secret words and gestures, gained from being granted power by otherworldly beings, or magic drawn from a magic device. The idea is somewhat less common in science-fantasy, though the witches of the Darkover book may fit the bill, and similar ideas can be found in The Death Gate Cycle, and is fairly common in urban fantasy from the Dresden Files to the Dora Wilk series.

Certainly, the idea of a GammaFinder setting with genetic sorcerers calling on the real energy of magic, as pyrokineticists can call on fire, is in keeping with the stories of post-apocalypse magic and super-science in a broken world gone mad, and it’s easy to conceive of a group of young mutant spellcasters (the Hex-Men?) in FreedomFinder.

sci-fi character in black cloak with light spear standing agains

(art by grandfailure)

Genetic Sorcery
Magic is real, and it is in your DNA. While others access magic through faith, or study, or as part of some lineage, your claim is more random, and primal. You have a mutant power to manipulate magic. The technical term for this is “psytheurgy,” but it is better known as genetic sorcery. Your understanding of magic is instinctual, rather than learned, but still often brings out fear and suspicion in others.
The spells you select with Genetic Sorcery do not need to be from the same spell list–your mutant power can grab different forms of magic nearly at random (and the flexibility is compensated for in the total power your early tiers grant you as opposed, for example, to the psionic mutations). Each time you gain a new Genetic Sorcery tier, you can change any one spell you selected in a previous tier.
Tier 1: You gain spell-like abilities: Select any 2 0-level spells, which you can cast at-will. Additionally, Mysticism becomes a class skill for you. If it is already a class skill, you instead gain a +1 bonus to Mysticism checks.
Tier 2: You gain any 1 additional 0-level spell you can cast at-will, and any 1 1st-level spell you can cast once per day.
Tier 3: You gain an additional 1st-level spell known, though you can still only cast one 1st-level spell per day. You gain any one 2nd-level spell, which you can cast one per day.
Tier 4: You gain a third 1st-level spells known.
Additionally, each time you expend a Resolve Point to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest, you regain one casting of your 1st-level spells from genetic sorcery, not to exceed your maximum.
Tier 5: You gain an additional 2nd-level spell known, though you can still only cast one 1st-level spell per day. You gain any one 3rd-level spell, which you can cast one per day.
Tier 6: You gain a third 2nd-level spells known, and you can now cast your 1st level spells twice per day.
Additionally, each time you expend a Resolve Point to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest, you regain one casting of your 1st-level or 2nd-level spells from genetic sorcery, not to exceed your maximum.
Tier 7: You gain an additional 3rd-level spell known, though you can still only cast one 3rd-level spell per day. You gain any one 4th-level spell, which you can cast one per day.
Tier 8: You gain a third 3rd-level spells known, and you can now cast your 2nd level spells twice per day.
Additionally, each time you expend a Resolve Point to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest, you regain one casting of your 1st-, 2nd-, or 3rd-level spells from genetic sorcery, not to exceed your maximum.
Tier 9: You gain an additional 4th-level spell known, though you can still only cast one 4th-level spell per day. You gain any one 5th-level spell, which you can cast one per day.
Tier 10: You gain a third 4th-level spells known, and you can now cast your 3rd level spells twice per day.
Additionally, each time you expend a Resolve Point to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest, you regain one casting of your 1st-, 2nd-, 3rd-, or 4th-level spells from genetic sorcery, not to exceed your maximum.

WANT MORE GAMMAFINDER?! OR FREEDOMFINDER?
I now depend on my Patreon for more of my income and support than I ever expected to. If you find any value in my blog posts or videos, I could use help with the Patreon. If you can spare a few bucks a month, it’s a huge help. If not, even just sharing and linking to my blogs, videos, and the Patreon itself is a huge help that just takes a moment of your time.

Thanks, everyone.

 

Luck Manipulation, a Tiered Mutation for GammaFinder and Freedom Finder (Starfinder-compatible)

So, tiered mutations designed for the GammaFinder setting continue to be both extremely popular, and fascinating to me from a game-design perspective. I now view each tiered mutation as potentially useful in both a post-apocalypse GammaFinder setting, and in a more comic-book themed theoretical “FreedomFinder” setting, which so far only exists as a thought experiment and a single set of soldier options.

Which means I am currently being inspired to create tiered powers that work for both settings, looking at mutant abilities and tiered mutations as a growing Starfinder-compatible rules subset.

So the next dual-purpose power to get the tiered mutation treatment is Luck Manipulation.

Design Concerns
Super-luck is a classic comic-book power, but has deep roots in science-fiction as well (such as Teela Brown from the Ringworld novels, or Odysseus Gaul in “Oddy and Id”). However from a game-mechanical perspective, keeping super-luck both interesting (so it is not just a set of bonuses and rerolls, which are easy to balance but dull when one considers all the narrative possibilities being luck can bring) and defined (so a GM knows what luck reasonable can and can’t do) is tricky.
That same trickiness can be found in many social skills and situations, such as what a good Diplomacy check can get for a character. As a result my solution for Luck Manipulation is a combination of reliable rerolls and bonuses, some skill-replacement, and effects defined as being as-useful-as typical npcs of various levels of friendliness. While this still puts some decision-making on the GM, it is grounded in the same sorts of decisions GMs already have to make, and tied to specific existing guidelines.

realweirdwest-gambler-color-01

(Art by Jacob Blackmon)

Luck Manipulation (Su)
You have inexplicable luck that seems to kick in at just the right moment.
Tier 1: You have 3 luck points per day. Whenever you make an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you may spend 1 luck point to roll an additional d20. You can use this ability after the original roll, but before the outcome is revealed. You choose which of the d20s is used for the attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.
Whenever something is determined entirely at random, you may spend a luck point to have a second result rolled. You may then choose between the two random results.
Spending luck points does not take an action, but you may only spend one per round. You character need not be conscious or able to move to spend luck points, and what is “best” for the character is determined by the desires of you (the player), rather than from the character’s point of view. (For example if your PC is charmed and convinced to attack a friend, you could use luck rerolls to make the character more likely to miss, even thought the character wants to successfully attack).
Tier 2: You can now spend 3 luck points to create a minor fortuitous circumstance. This circumstance is as useful as if there was an appropriate indifferent NPC present. (“They don’t care about your plight, but may give you simple advice or directions. “) Thus you can receive simple advice or directions a typical local person would be able to give you without putting themselves at risk.
While this is a minor effect, it can still give you information and options you cannot gain any other way. For example, if lost in a wilderness and seeking the closest city, a typical, local, indifferent person could point you down the right path as “simple directions.” You could therefore use your minor fortuitous circumstance to come across a scrap of a map showing a path to a city (though no details about the city), or even flip a coin at a crossroad to pick the better of the two paths.
Tier 3: You can now also spend one luck point when an attack roll is made against you. Roll a d20, and choose whether the attacker’s roll uses their d20 roll or yours.
If multiple creatures use a luck point on the same roll, they cancel out, resulting in no additional dice.
Tier 4: You now have 4 luck points per day. You can also now spend a luck point to have a lucky random event, which duplicates the result of any one skill check. You do not need to have the skill, or the normal tools or special conditions for the skill, though all other limitations apply. For example you could push random numbers to access a security code (Computers), mention your mother’s name and have it be the name of your interrogator (Diplomacy), or walk through a room at just the moment no one is looking at you (Stealth).  You resolve this skill check with a special luck check (1d20 + double your tier) with no other bonuses. As a result at this tier, this power normally only accomplishes relatively minor tasks.
Tier 5: You can no create a tier 2 minor fortuitous effect for 2 luck points. If you spend 3 luck points, you can create a moderate fortuitous effect. This circumstance is as useful as if there was a typical friendly local NPC present (“Friendly creatures treat you with kindness and respect. They may give you more-detailed advice or simple aid, but generally won’t go out of their way to be helpful.”)
Tier 6: When you create a tier 4 lucky random event, the luck check is now 1d20 + double your tiers in luck, + your key ability modifier.
Tier 7: You now have 5 luck points per day. Each day, you assign a +1 luck bonus for the day to your EAC, KAC, melee attack rolls, ranged attack rolls, one save category, or to all ability and skill checks based on one ability score. Alternatively, you can add a +2 luck bonus to all luck checks and rerolls gained from expending luck points. Once you make this decision, it cannot be changed until you regain your daily abilities.
Tier 8: You can now create a tier 2 minor fortuitous effect for 1 luck point, and a tier 5 moderate fortuitous effect for 2 luck points.
You can also now create a major fortuitous effect for 4 luck points. This circumstance is as useful as if there was a typical helpful local NPC present (“Helpful creatures typically give you more lengthy or difficult aid, or offer small services that are readily available to them.)
Tier 9: You can also now spend a luck point to gain a +1 luck bonus for 1 round. You choose to add this to your EAC, KAC, melee attack rolls, ranged attack rolls, one save category, or to all ability and skill checks based on one ability score. Alternatively, you can add a +2 luck bonus to all luck checks and rerolls gained from expending luck points for 1 round.
Tier 10: You now have 6 luck points per day.
You can also now create a tier 5 moderate fortuitous effect for 1 luck point, or tier 8 major fortuitous effect for 3 luck points. When you create a tier 9 luck bonus, it lasts for 1d4+1 rounds.

WANT MORE GAMMAFINDER?! OR FREEDOMFINDER?
I now depend on my Patreon for more of my income and support than I ever expected to. If you find any value in my blog posts or videos, I could use help with the Patreon. If you can spare a few bucks a month, it’s a huge help. If not, even just sharing and linking to my blogs, videos, and the Patreon itself is a huge help that just takes a moment of your time.

Thanks, everyone.

Super-Strength, a Tiered Mutation for GammaFinder and Freedom Finder (Starfinder-compatible)

So, tiered mutations designed for the GammaFinder setting continue to be both extremely popular, and fascinating to me from a game-design perspective. I originally began working on them as a way to have a few powers that were too potent to gain as a single mutant ability, which is why the first one was teleportation. But the more of them I create, the more interesting I find them as a design space.

It’s clear that as their own rules module, mutant abilities and tiered mutations could be used for a lot more than just the GammaFinder setting. For example, combined with a way for one or more character classes to easily access them, they could be used to create a mid-range “FreedomFinder” setting, with militant, armored heroes in paramilitary-style four-color comicbook settings.

You could, in fact, do an all-soldier Freedom Finder campaign, where rather than most equipment, characters focus on various mutations. All you need for that is some mutant abilities to replace gear boosts and combat feats. (And, or course, you could use these mutant soldiers in a GammaFinder campaign as well).

Mutant Soldier Class Features

Female Chain Super color

(Art by Jacob Blackmon)

NEW GEAR BOOST

Mutant Power: You gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your soldier level.

ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: COMBAT MUTATION

Combat Mutation: You gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your soldier level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of combat feat. You make this decisions each time you gain the combat feat class feature.

Super-Strength Tiered Muation

When considering a tiered mutation that works well for both GammaFinder and the still-entirely-theoretical FreedomFinder, super-strength seems an obvious place to start. How strong the strongest heroes are helps set the tone for a superheroic game setting, and how much the strongest mutant can lift or tear apart with their bare hands helps set what the power level of mutations are in a GammaFinder setting.

super muscleman will smash your face in a white background

(Art by DM7)

Super-Strength (Ex)
You are spectacularly strong. Your fast-twitch muscle fiber is impressive, but it is your slow-twitch muscle fiber that exceeds what seems possible.
Tier 1: You add double your super-strength tier to the bulk you can carry without being encumbered, and add your tier as an insight bonus to Strength-based ability checks and skill checks. Your KAC against grapple checks is increased by your super-strength tier (though this bonus is reduced by 1 for each tier of super-strength the grappler has, to a minimum bonus of +0).
Tier 2: You can make super-strength attacks. These are melee attacks as if wielding an uncategorized advanced 2-handed melee weapon you are proficient with (and gain Weapon Specialization with, if you are 3rd level of higher). If a calculation uses item level, your super-strength attacks have an item level equal to your character level. You do not need a hand free to make a super-strength attack (it can be a kick or headbutt), but you must be in a circumstance that would allow you to make an unarmed attack if you had a free hand to do so.
Your super-strength attacks are considered analog, but not archaic. You can do any damage type you can deal with unarmed attacks, and use this damage in place of options that allow you to do unarmed damage, but do not get to add any special abilities that affect the damage of your unarmed attacks. If you normally have the ability to add 1.5x your level to unarmed attacks as a special Weapon Specialization, you instead add 1.5 times your Strength modifier to damage of your super-strength attacks.
Your super-strength attacks do 1d8 damage.
Additionally, you can lift and carry a weight equal to your super-strength tier squared x 1,000 pounds without becoming overburdened. You can voluntarily carry double that while accepting the overburdened condition. Due to limitations in size and leverage you can generally only use this lift/carry ability to manipulate a single object (or tightly bound collection of objects). Picking up a single 100 bulk vehicle is reasonable, picking up 50 2-bulk rifles is not unless they are in a crate or similar stowage.
Tier 3: Your super-strength attacks now do 2d6 damage. You may add on of the following weapon special properties to your super-strength attack: block, breach, deflect, feint, or underwater. Once made, this decision cannot be changed.
Tier 4: Your super-strength attacks now do 3d6 damage. You may add one of the following critical hit effects to your super-strength attack: demoralize, knockdown, push (distance is tier x3 in feet, rounded down to the nearest 5 feet), stifle, or staggered.
Tier 5: Your super-strength attacks now do 5d6 damage. You may add a second weapon special quality to your super-strength attack, which may be from the tier 3 list or the following list: disarm, grapple, penetrating, sunder, or trip. Once made, this decision cannot be changed.
Tier 6: Your super-strength attacks now do 6d6 damage. You may add a second critical hit effect to your super-strength attack, which may be from the tier 4 list or the following list: blind, deafen, stunned, or wound. Once made, this decision cannot be changed.
Tier 7: Your super-strength attacks now do 9d6 damage. You may add a third weapon special quality to your super-strength attack, which may be from the tier 3 or tier 5 lists. Once made, this decision cannot be changed.
Tier 8: Your super-strength attacks now do 11d6 damage. You may add a fourth weapon special quality to your super-strength attack, which may be from the tier 3 or tier 5 lists. Once made, this decision cannot be changed.
Tier 9: Your super-strength attacks now do 15d6 damage. You may add a fifth weapon special quality to your super-strength attack, which may be from the tier 3 or tier 5 lists. Once made, this decision cannot be changed.
Tier 10: Your super-strength attacks now do 20d6 damage. You may add a third critical hit effect to your super-strength attack, which may be from the tier 4 or tier 6 lists. You also select one critical hit effect your super-strength attack has that is triggered when your attack roll is a natural 19 (a “19” shows on the d20). Such as attack does not do double damage, it just applies the critical hit effect if the attack is successful. Once made, these decisions cannot be changed.

WANT MORE GAMMAFINDER?! OR FREEDOMFINDER?
I now depend on my Patreon for more of my income and support than I ever expected to. If you find any value in my blog posts or videos, I could use help with the Patreon. If you can spare a few bucks a month, it’s a huge help. If not, even just sharing and linking to my blogs, videos, and the Patreon itself is a huge help that just takes a moment of your time.

Thanks, everyone.