Blog Archives

The Magic of Little Details

Worldbuilding can often get bogged down in big-picture questions and large-scale issues. Yes, there’s use to knowing how rivers flow from mountains to sea level, what kinds of natural barriers are likely to become borders, and how socio-economic statuses can form political lines. But those questions still just outline nations and factions. At the scale that most players are interacting with your world, it doesn’t really matter in play if the border between Heroton and Badlandia is a river, a mountain range, or a big blue dotted line that runs through a flat plain. What DOES matter to players is how those places feel and act differently while you are within them.

And for that, it’s often useful to throw in just a few little details.

If the common drink for a culturally-interlinked area is a tea just known as Steeps, maybe the people in Heroton like it strong and bitter, while the peasants of Badlandia make it weak and sweetened with honeysuckle. Elves prefer red Steeps, while human throw away the red stems as tasteless. The dwarves of Ironbeard make Steeps with weak beer to ensure no diseases remain in the local water, while the gnomes of Rillridge ferment it until foam forms on the surface which is then skimmed off.

None of that *matters*, but those kinds of tiny details, when used in sparing moderation, can help bring regions and cultures alive. Players who don’t care can wave it off, but those who enjoy engaging in fictional cultures have the option of paying attention, and offering the Big Bad of Badlandia honeysuckle-sweetened Steeps at the peace conference. And maybe he smiles, and notes he actually always preferred it strong and bitter, like his parents made it… suddenly given a new context into his background, based on how he takes his tea.

Nearly anything can be made into this kind of cultural detail and, as long as you don’t load ever city with 27 things you expect players to keep track of. Adding just one or two tiny differences can help immerse players, and make regions distinctive.

Nearly anything can be made into this kind of detail, but it helps if it’s something publicly noticeable (how the Halfling war bakers of Gnabysko bless their battle muffins in secret ceremonies isn’t going to impact player perception much, unless someone is playing a Halfling war baker), minor (so players don’t feel they must remember the detail or get into cultural trouble, which can feel like homework), and relatable (details that tie into activities players understand are more easily understood and remembered—the fact there are 17 “proper” foot stances for fighting with an orroc gutting axe is interesting… but for players with no melee combat training experience it doesn’t connect to anything they’ve done).

You can also build off a detail, creating slang and cultural notes that play off the detail. This can help the detail be memorable, but it also invites the players to dream up such phrases and ideas as well.

For example, let’s say you have decided that in the Free City of Campaign, street performers put out a boot for people to toss coins into, rather than a hat or other collection device. That’s easy to work into a campaign as an observed behavior, unlikely to make any player feel they have to memorize it, and replaces a common occurrence in a way players are likely to understand.

Once you’ve done that, it’s easy to see how some local slang might develop around the tradition. “Giving you the boot” could mean firing someone, so they now have to earn money on the street, while “Earning your boot” might indicate you are good enough at some performance to make a living as a busker. Having a “hole in your boot” could indicate someone is stealing from you, and “looking in the toe” could mean you’re scrounging for every last coin (like checking the cushions of your sofa).

If players show interest in a detail, and explore it, you can build on it. Maybe the boot tradition dates back to when soldier came back from a war, and without enough work used their hard military boots to gather coins as beggars, and the tradition grew from there. Maybe there was a tax on all labor performed ‘without boots” that was designed to exclude hard workers, but street performers used this to get around it. You don’t HAVE to do that kind of background work, but if players dig around it shows they have an interest in that element of your world.

Tiny details like this should be sparing, to ensure a world remains familiar enough for players to be comfortable with it. These are seasoning for the main course of your world, rather than the entrée itself. But used properly, that kind of seasoning can elevate the flavor of your creations, and make them much more memorable.

Putting My Boot Out

I have a Patreon. Feel free to throw a few coins in as I sing and dance. 🙂

Advertisements

Minotaur Mafia Mash-Up

This grew from the causal thought “What two ideas have I not seen jammed together before?” with the answer being “Minotaur mafia.”
So:

The Bulls of Mingul

When the enslaved people of Mingul prayed for salvation from the scorpionfolk masters, or at least escape from the vast labyrinthine cave complexes the scorpionfolk build as their temple cities, at first no gods answered. The envenomed deity of the scorpionfolk was too dangerous to other gods, her poison able to slay even deities.

But in time the field mother and the sly trickster decided to risk their existence to help the enslaved peoples. They took cattle, who were under the aegis of the field mother, and turned them into something else using the tricksters bag of secrets. Tall now, and powerful, and unable to be confused to lost by the most complex maze, the “Bulls of Mingul” waged war on the scorpionfolk. The minotaurs, as they came to be known, worked with the enslaved people to free Mingul, drive the scorpionfolk into hiding, and build new cities above the vast cavern-cities the scorpionfolk one ruled.

But when the war ended, and the enslaved people were freed, the minotaurs had no further purpose. They had no history of agriculture as a people, no legends of their own, no traditions to call upon. They knew only pathfinding and war. And so they demanded the people give them food and goods, in return for protections. The people were willing to pay an army, but not to trade one set of masters for another. The minotaurs fragmented into great herds of criminals, one controlling each of the mazes beneath the cities of Mingul.

All crime in Mingul is controlled, one way or another, by a Herd Lord. Law and Order have grown in power, but none but a minotaur can move safely through the ancient scorpionfolk tunnels beneath ever city. Thus the minotaur criminals have a secure stronghold, and ways to move unseen through every city. Some become guards of course, and can lead peacekeepers through the dark depths, but their number are few, and those who track down their own kind too often are often found slain, their bull head severed and replaced with that of a pig. Meanwhile criminals of other races often take the “sign of the bull,” a horn-shaped brand, declaring their loyalty to one or another Herd Lord.
The Herd Lords still protect Mingul from outside threats, and see the good and money they demand as their just due. Most Mingul cities and citizens see it as easier to allow the Herds to control and monitor crime, and accept the occasional theft or beating as the cost of freedom and having a vast force securing the underground zones of their land from attacks by drow or other subterranean threats.

Enjoy This Weird Idea?

Back my Patreon to support more such things!

The Cinematic Sci-Fi Timeline

This is a cinematic sci-fi timeline, and effort to create a rich history of advancing technology and the issues, heroes, and morality tales that lead to a moment rich for player character involvement. That moment might be at the end of this progression, or at any point along the way the GM finds interesting.

This isn’t an effort to actually jam all these differing stories into a single continuity, and I am not claiming RUNAWAY is actually the precursor to RoboCop. I am also aware that some of these do have official crossovers (half of then through Dark Horse comics), and I don’t care if I invalidate those either.

Nor am I trying to fit ever science-fiction movie in existence into a single reality. Just a specific subset I feel have some themes and throughlines in common that make for an interesting potential universe.

This is just a thought experiment, designed to place actual inspirations into slots where a pastiche of each *could* form a logical continuous timeline with just a little tweaking.

Each movie includes the year the movie was released, for clarity. No specific set time is suggested for when these movies should occur, but I assume the timeline runs roughly 200 years from 1970 to 2170. The timeline movies forward with each italicized breakdown of how the listed movies represent the events of that point in the timeline.

The Timeline (1970-2070)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
The governments of the world come to accept that alien life is real and travelling the stars, but keep the information from the general public.

Terminator (1984)
Crucial moments in the development of the world are impacted by a very small number of time travelers, resulting in multiple, overlapping alternate timelines, proof of some variant of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Carrie (1976)
Firestarter (1984)
The Fury (1978)
Perhaps as a step in evolution, perhaps as a response to the first cases of time travel and alien contact, verifiable psychic phenomenon begin to sporadically manifest. The governments of the world alternate between exploiting and just killing such talents, but needless to say thigns often go poorly.

Predator (1987)
Aliens continue to visit Earth in small numbers and without the public learning, but such visits are not always friendly.

Looker (1981)
As technology advances, the wealthy and powerful begin to realize it can be used to control the lower classes, to focus even more power in the hands of the few.

Runaway (1984)
As society groans under the need to provide for an expanding population and worsening natural resources, autonomous robots become increasingly common in advanced societies. Something they go rouge, and must be put down. Sometimes an increasingly tech-savvy criminal class makes use of them.

Push (2009)
Scanners (1981)
Suspect Zero (2004)
The number of individuals with psychic powers grows, and organizations begin to form to deal with them exclusively.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Predator II (1990)
The pressure on society begins to lead to the collapse of institutions and social norms. As the middle class ceases to exist, the underclass becomes increasingly violent and hard to control. The tiny sliver of the wealthy and powerful, and their increasingly independent corporations, seek to control the masses through any means. This is a rich environment for a small number of alien visitors to exploit conditions for their own amusement or gain.

Red Lights (2012)
Slowly, the scientific community begins to publicly study psychic powers, though skepticism remains high.

RoboCop (1987)
Governments begin to collapse and corporations gain more power. This leads to efforts to have corporate-controlled paramilitary forces, and to use cybernetic technologies to enforce obedience on a soldier-servant class.

Event Horizon (1997)
The strain humanity is putting on Earth is clearly unsustainable. The oligarchs and mega-corporations experiment with ways to spread to other worlds, though their reckless willingness to attempt anything that might succeed leads to horrific failures.

Outland (1981)
Total Recall (1990)
Thanks to advanced in space travel, humanity begin to move to new worlds, though all still within the solar system.

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
The need for cheap labor leads to attempts to uplift other simians. But if we made apes intelligent and independent enough to serve as slave labor, they are intelligent and independent enough to rebel. Such efforts are outlawed.

Furtureworld (1976)
Rollerball (1975)
Solent Green (1973)
Westworld (1973)
The world is in near collapse. The upper classes have literally fantasy worlds to play in with their nearly unlimited wealth, while everyone else fights for scraps and is distracted by death sports. Early cyborg technology begins to advance to primitive androids, though these require fairly regular maintenance and human-augmented control.

(If society does totally collapse, a new timeline forms here, with Damnation Alley, Mad Max, A Boy and His Dog, and so on, eventually reaching Thundarr. Our timeline doesn’t go that route.)

Minority Report (2002)
The existence of psychics is publicly accepted, and they begin to be integrated into the government and corporate efforts to control a growing population that is increasingly dissatisfied and dangerous.

Blade Runner (1982)
The total collapse of human civilization is prevented by creating autonomous androids to serve as the ultimate slave labor force, while humanity begins to truly move to the stars. But only those who are healthy and talented are chosen my megacorporations to be shipped off Earth, and it turns out intelligent and independent android slaves have many of the same issues intelligent and independent ape slaves did.

Alien (1979)
Silent Running (1972)
Robots begin to be replaced by androids in most tasks, though simpler robot technology is more stable. Though some governments have gone to the stars, it is the corporations who have the money and resources to push the boundary of the final frontier. What they find doesn’t always go well for the corporate employees who find it.

Blade Runner 2049
Back on Earth, things still boil (details left out as spoilers for the movie)

Aliens (1986)
Colonization becomes standard, and most android behavior issues are solved. But as humanity’s sphere of influence spreads, so does its interactions with other alien life.

This Post Brought to you By: The Open Gaming Store

What this post is really about is inspiration. If you need yet more inspiration for your games, check out the thousands of products available at the Open Gaming Store, who made this post possible through their support of my Patreon!

Introducing the Spell-Fist

A Pathfinder-compatible multiclass character concept. Definitely NOT a “classic” multiclass combo, but if the number of people I see playing monks with wands is any indication (and yes, I know it isn’t), this is a popular concept. Maybe you are from a post-apocalyptic future and have a martial art style named after a constellation. Maybe a monkey taught you to fight and do magic tricks. Maybe you punched a dragon in the heart while training. Who knows? You’re a spell-fist now.

Begin with Unchained Monk.

Your monk level counts as your sorcerer level for any prerequisites. Any monk class feature (or feat with special rules for monks) that makes calculations using Wisdom, instead use Charisma. Your base attack bonus uses the normal monk chart, rather than the unchained monk chart.

Force of Ki: When unarmed and unencumbered, you may use your Charisma modifier in place of your Dexterity modifier for any calculation that normally uses Dexterity, including your AC, Initiative Bonus, and ranged attack rolls. Additionally, when unarmored and unencumbered, you gain a +1 bonus to your AC, Initiative, and CMB and CMD at 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter.

This replaces the normal monk AC bonus.

Spells: You have spells known and spells per day as a bard of the same level, but you draw these spells from the sorcerer spell list. This replaces the bonus feat gained at 1st level, 2nd level, and every 4 levels thereafter and flurry of blows.

Spell-Fist: At 2nd level when you use Stunning Blow, you may replace the stunning effect with a spell with a casting time of 1 standard action or less. This spell must affect an area or one of more targets, and deal damage, require an attack roll, or force targets to make a saving throw. This spell affects only the target of your stunning first. Casting this spell does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If it is a melee touch spell, if your attack misses you retain the charge and may add it to the next unarmed strike your hit with, as long as you take no action beforehand that would cause you to lose the charge.

You do not gain the ability to add other effects to your stunning fist beginning at 4th level.

This ability modifies Stunning Fist.

Ki Pool: At 3rd level you can spend 1 ki to gain one additional attack when you take a full attack action, even if you are not using flurry of blows. This ability modified ki pool.

Flurry of Blows: At 10th level you gain flurry of blows, but treat your monk level as your spell-fist level -9.

Speaking of Cool Stuff!

This post was sponsored by one of my patreon backers, Christen N Sowards! Christen is currently wrapping up a Kickstarter, City of 7 Seraphs! It has three days to go, and is almost funded. I have nothing to do with it but it sure looks cool. Check it out!

Star-Crossed Races: The Lashirren

Continuing the idea of Starfinder-compatible crossbreed races, we present the lashirren. You can go back and find our first crossbreed, the aeshun, here.

Lashirren

Lashirren are the product of two shirren parents, and one lashunta parent, and only exist as a result of powerful magic. In general the two species are not in any way genetically compatible, but with delicate application of transmutation and conjuration magic, it is possible for one shirren and one lashunta parent to combine their genetic material into an embryo that then gestates in a shirren host. This step is rarely taken but the shirren drive for individuality, even from the shackles of species, sometimes leads to situations where it is seen as desirable.

Lashirren view the world differently than any of their parents, and indeed each lashirren appears to form a worldview unique to them, and often incomprehensible to others. This often leads to valuable insights missed by those who accept common theories as to how and why things work, but it also sets lashirren apart, and sometimes sets them down long rabbit-holes of false equivalence or misunderstood phenomena. While shirren delight in the individualist approach of lashirren, other races often find them obtuse and frustrating.

Appearance: Lashirren look much like lashunta, but have ridges of chitin across their brow and protecting most joints, knuckles, and the soles of their feet. Their coloration generally matches one of their shirren parents, with their hair generally green, black, or deep brown.

Racial Traits

HP: 6

Dimorphic: All lashirren have a deep understanding of how differences drive the universe, but can become so engrossed in contemplating such differences they overlook practical matters. Lashirren all have +2 Wisdom, and -2 Intelligence. Like their lashunta parents, lashirren are dimorphic and at puberty can choose to become muscular korasha (+2 Strength), or nimble damaya (+2 Dexterity).

Size and Type: Lashirren are medium humanoids with the lashunta and shirren subtypes, and a 30 foot speed.

Blindsense: As the shirren racial ability.

Focus: Lashirren often become strongly focused on one idea or skill early in their lives. Select one skill. If it not a class skill for your theme or first class level, gain it as a class skill. If it is a class skill from some source other than your race, you gain a +1 bonus to all skill checks.

Individualism: A lashirren knows that ultimately it is alone in the universe, and must depend on itself above all others. Once per day, as long as no ally is within 10 feet, a lashirren can roll a single attack roll or skill check twice and take the higher result.

Limited telepathy: As the lashunta racial trait.

Vital Statistics

Lashirren stand between 5’ and 7’ tall, weigh between 120 lbs. and 180 lbs., with korasha skewing on the shorter but heavier side of those numbers. They reach maturity at 10,
aging similarly (though not as quickly) as their shirren parents, and have a maximum age of 60 +3d10 years.

This Post Sponsored By

Justin Andrew Mason! Justin backed MY Patreon at a level that calls for a monthly shout out to him as a supporter of this blog. You can go check out what Justin is up to at HIS Patreon, which produces dungeon maps for VTT and tabletop RPG play!

Star-Crossed Races: The Aeshun

Yep, it’s time for more out-their ideas for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game! (And remember folks, this is unofficial, third-party, Rogue Genius Games content!)

The core rulebook presents two crossbreed races—the half-elf and half-orc. It also presents a universe with multiple species sharing the same homeworlds (elves and lashunta, for example), biotech grafts, powerful magic, and machine gods. It seems unlikely that with all those environment-changing, reality-warping options, no new crossbreed races would emerge.

So over the next week or so I’ll be presenting three crossbreeds – the aeshun (elf/lashunta), lashirren (lashunta/shirren), and vorruk (orc/vesk) – each with a different circumstance leading to their creation.

Aeshun

Aeshun are the crossbreed children of elven and lashunta parents. While mating between elves and lashunta is not uncommon, the production of aeshun is. Fewer than 1 in 100 elf/lashuna couples produce children, and even among those that do roughly half are indistinguishable from damaya lashunta (though they are born with that state already in place, rather than selecting it at puberty). Aeshun are often seen as miracles by parents that build lasting, living relationships—but can also be viewed as burdens by couples that are already unstable in their relationship, or not ready for the additional stress a child brings.

Aeshun are gifted with natural curiosity and unusual ways of looking at the world, but their heritage causes each aeshun to have their own innate strengths and weaknesses. Generally considered curiosities by lashunta (who often wish to study them), and dangerous wild cards by elves (who generally don’t trust aeshun they don’t personally know well), aeshun often have trouble fitting in on their hoemworld. However once they leave their native lands and travel into the larger galaxy, they often find truly alien races have no preconceived notions of what aeshun should be like, and do not care about their unusual lineage.

Appearance: Aeshun appear to be tall, lithe elves with lashunta-like antennae (though roughly one in 16 aeshun lacks the antennae). Their skin is even and smooth, though coloration can range from creamy to dark. Many have natural patterns of darker skin in small spots or lines along their temples, spines, and lower back. They have pupils, unlike their elven parents, and their hair and eye color generally match, but can be of nearly any hue.

Racial Traits

2 HP

Ability Adjustments: Though aeshun are all generally tall and lean, their actual natural talents range from being strong and wise, to weak but tough and nimble, to likeable and bright but klutzy. It’s not quite true that no two aeshun are alike, but they do have a broad range of inherent advantages and drawbacks. An aeshun gains +2 to any 2 ability scores, and -2 to any 1 ability score. These modifier must be applied to three different ability scores.

Size and Type: Aeshun are medium humanoids with the elf and lashunta subtypes, and a 30 foot speed.

Aeshun Magic: At character creation select either the elven magic racial trait, or the lashunta magic racial trait.

Limited telepathy: As the lashunta racial trait.

Low-Light Vision: As the elven racial trait.

Vital Statistics

Aeshun stand between 5’10” and 6’6” tall, weigh between 150 lbs. and 200 lbs. They reach maturity at 17, much faster than either parent race, but rarely know when their natural time is up due to a tendency to die suddenly with little sign of aging, with a maximum age of 300 + 3d100 years.

Pateon-Exclusive

I also posted the similar-but-not-the-same-idea of android ratfolk, the e-soki, over at my patreon as (for the moment) patron-exclusive content. Check it out!

Sponsored By!

This post is brought to you by the backers of my patreon, and in this case is specifically sponsored by supports of Glenbuckle Publishing, who wanted to draw attention to the Gardener base class! Here’s the description, from DriveTrhuRPG!

Life is always Greener with a Gardener around!

Have your field and grow it too with the new gardener base class, the triumphant return of Glenbuckie Publishing! Enjoy a new base class with the potential to cultivate plants that interrupt your foes’ actions, find stability in slow-and-steady strikes, and become a soldier that bridges the path between civilization and nature!”

Return of the Cleric/Fighter/Magic-User!

When I get on a “old-school multiclass concepts for Pathfinder” kick I generally do several in a row as ideas rattle around in my head. So far I’ve done the anruth (an old school druidic bard), cavalier-paladincleric/assassincleric/fighter/thief, cleric/ranger, druid/fighterfighter/magic-user/thief, illusionist/thiefthief-acrobat, as well as randomly acquired psionics, and even the fighter/illusionist at my patreon.

That doesn’t leave a lot of “legal” old-school combinations… but it DOES leave the dreaded cleric/fighter/magic-user!

When looking to combine the spell power of two of the most powerful spellcasters with the weapon and armor expertise of the fighter, there are two obvious places to begin – the magus, and the warpriest. Either makes sense as an opening class for a cleric/fighter/magic-user, but having built the druid/fighter off the magus yesterday I’m going to start with the warpriest this time.

A warpriest is a fine cleric/fighter, but obviously has no magic-user in it at all. It also has some things we can likely cut while still feeling fairly divinely-inspired and martial, which gives us room to expand its spell list and class features to include some wizardly material.

Cleric/Fighter/Magic-User

The cleric/fighter/magic-user is an archetype for the warpriest that also counts as a hybrid class of the cleric, fighter, and wizard classes.

Spellcasting: You cast spells drawn from the cleric and wizard spell lists. You cast cleric spells as divine spells, and wizard spells as arcane spells. You have access to all cleric spells of a spell level you can cast, but must add wizard spells to a spellbook as a wizard does. You begin play with a spellbook with all 0-level wizard spells, and a number of 1st level wizard spells equal to 1 + your Intelligence bonus. At each new class level, you can add any 1 wizard spell of a level you can cast to your spellbook. You otherwise learn new spells and scribe them into your spellbook as a wizard does.

Your Wisdom determines what level spell you can cast, your bonus spells, and the save DCs of any cleric spell you cast. Your Intelligence determines the save DC of any wizard spell you cast.

You can cast any spells you gain as a cleric/fighter/magic-user in armor without having to deal with arcane spell failure, but suffer normal ASFfor arcane spells you gain from other sources.

All your spells gained from this class (cleric and wizard) count as warpriest spells for purposes of other class features (such as fervor).

This modifies the cleric/fighter/magic-user’s spells.

Fight Smarter (Ex): A cleric/fighter/magic-user has learned to fuse his training with gods, spells, and fighting into a single art. At 1st level, you can add your Intelligence bonus, instead of your Strength bonus, to attack rolls and weapon damage rolls. When using a weapon that would normally only allow you to add half your Strength bonus to damage you may only add half your Intelligence bonus, but when using a weapon that would normally allow you to add x1.5 or x2 (or more) of your Strength bonus to damage, you can only add x1 your Intelligence bonus. (If your bonus to damage from Strength would thus be better than your bonus to damage from intelligence, you may use your bonus to damage from Strength.)

Additionally, treat your cleric/fighter/magic-user levels as fighter levels when meeting prerequisites for feats.

This ability replaces focus weapon and sacred weapon.

Domains and Schools: At 1st level you select one cleric domain granted by your god, and one wizard school. These have no effect on your spells per day, spells known, chance to learn spells, and so on. One of these selections is your primary selection, and the other is secondary. For your primary selection, you gain special abilities as if your cleric/fighter/magic-user level was your level in the appropriate class. For your secondary selection, you treat your cleric/fighter/magic-user -3 as your level in the appropriate class.

This ability replaces all minor blessings and sacred armor.

Bonus Feats: You gain a bonus feat at 3rd level, and every 3 levels thereafter, as a normal warpriest does. In addition to combat feats, you may select from any item creation or metamagic feat you meet the prerequisites for as bonus feats.

This ability modifies bonus feats.

Spell Combat (Ex): At 10th level, you gain spell combat as the magus class feature. You can use it with any light or 1-handed melee weapon, or with your deity’s favorite weapon. If your deity’s favorite weapon takes 2-hands, you can cast spells when wielding 2-handed it as if you had one hand free.

This ability replaces major blessings.

This Post Brought to By:

City of Seven Seraphs – A Planar Campaign Capstone for PFRPG!

Seriously, this amazing-looking Kickstarter campaign (which I have nothing to do with) supported me through my Patreon, and earn themselves this plug! Go check it out, and see if it looks like something you want to support! You have until September 9!

Return of the Druid/Fighter

Yep, we’re back to doing old-school multiclass concepts for Pathfinder. There aren’t a lot of classic “old school” multiclass combinations left I haven’t addressed, having done the anruth (an old school druidic bard), cavalier-paladincleric/assassincleric/fighter/thief, cleric/rangerfighter/magic-user/thief, illusionist/thiefthief-acrobat, as well as randomly acquired psionics, and even the fighter/illusionist at my patreon.

But we haven’t done a druid/fighter.

You could emulate a lot of druid/fighter builds with the hunter, but that saddles you with an animal companion, and doesn’t give you any wildshape. Plus, we already have a magus, so a true hybrid 9-level caster/fighter seems in reach.

The Druid/Fighter (Strider)

A strider is a magus archetype that also counts as a hybrid druid/fighter class. The strider has the following changes.

Armor Proficiency: The strider cannot wear metal armor or use a metal shield. A strider who wears prohibited armor or uses a prohibited shield is unable to cast strider spells or use any of her supernatural or spell-like class abilities while doing so and for 24 hours thereafter.

Spells: A strider knows all spells of the spell levels he can cast from the druid and ranger spell lists, rather than the magus spell list. She treats this as the magus class list for purposes of what class features and magus arcana work with her spells.

Unarmed Arcana (Su): At 3rd level a strider can apply any magus class feature that she could apply to a held melee weapon to her unarmed and natural attacks. (Once she can shapeshift this includes using spellstrike with natural attacks, though she would need Natural Spell to complete the verbal and somatic components of spells while using wild shape.)

This ability replaces the magus arcana gained at 3rd level.

Wild Shape (Su): At 4th level, a strider can wild shape as a druid of the same level.

This ability replaces spell recall, knowledge pool, improved spell combat, improved spell recall, heavy armor, greater spell combat, counterstrike, greater spell access, and true magus.

Natural Weapon Master (Ex): A strider can apply any feat she has taken that normally applies to only one weapon or one set of weapons to any natural attacks she has that would have been legal selections for the feat.

This replaces the bonus feat gained at 5th level.

Woodland Ways: Beginning at 6th level, a strider can select the following druid class features as magus arcana: wild empathy, woodland stride, trackless step, venom immunity, a thousand faces, timeless body. The strider must have a class level at least equal to the level that a druid gains the selected ability, and treats her class level as her druid level for such abilities.

A strider cannot select any magus arcana that duplicates a spell from the magus or wizard spell list (unless it is also on the druid or ranger spell list), or that involves gaining additional spells known, regaining spells, or using spells from other class lists with magus class features.

This ability modifies magus arcana.

Starfinder: Make Some Noise

We continue our look at some of the weirder classic magic items, and how they can be updated to the Starfinder Roleplaying Game.

But first, an aside.

All Starfinder content offered here is third-party material provided under the Open Gaming License and the Starfinder Compatability License. It is not official. It is not available for use in Starfinder Society organized play. It’s not even in its final form. It’s just fun thought experiments that may, or may not, ever show up in a rogue Genius Games product someday.

Air-Horn of Interruption
Hybrid Item
Level: Varies (see text)     Cost: Varies (see text)
Bulk: L

Air-horns of interruption can be found at various item levels, from level 7 and up. They have the same price as the cheapest armor upgrade of the same level from the Starfinder Core Rulebook. When the air-horn is held, you can ready a standard action to use an air-horn of interruption to use against a creature when it next casts a spell. This is a purely defensive action, and the readied action preempts the target’s action if it attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability. When the readied action goes off, you make a ranged attack against the target’s EAC. If your attack hits you do 1 point of damage, and the target loses the spell (and its spell slot). Once you have successfully caused a target to lose a spell with this device, it is immune to the air-horn of interruption for 24 hours.

More Star Magic

I have a Patreon, which supports this blog and is sometimes home of some exclusively-patron bonus content.

Even More Star Options

There are tons of new PC options for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game in the Starfarer’s Companionavailable at DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store!

Astra Arcanis I

Two new Starfinder Roleplaying Game spells! Both based on vehicles.

Polymorph Vehicle (Technomancer 3)
Casting Time 1 full action
Range touch
Target One vehicle with an item level no greater than your caster level
Duration 1 hour/level
Saving Throw Fortitude negates (object)      Spell Resistance yes

You can transmute a vehicle (but not starship) into any other vehicle of a lower item level. The vehicle becomes a typical, “stock” version of the new vehicle, not one that has any special equipment or upgrades. The vehicle must be empty of all passengers and cargo to be affected by this spell. The vehicle retains any damage it had on it before you cast the spell, and if this damage would causes it to be broken or have 0 HP in its new form, the spell fails. At the end of the spells duration, the vehicle is restored of half the damage it took in its transformed form. When the spell ends (even if dispelled), it takes one minute for the vehicle to assume its original form, and any creature or cargo that cannot fit in the new form is ejected harmlessly at the end of this time.

Vehicle Link (Mystic 3)
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range touch
Target One creature and one vehicle
Duration 1 hour/level
Saving Throw Fortitude negates (object)      Spell Resistance yes

You forge an eldritch bond between one creature and a specific vehicle that creature is within. The creature gains an intuitive understanding of the vehicle and its control, allowing the creature to use Acrobatics checks in place of Pilot checks to operate the vehicle, and granting the creature a +2 circumstance bonus to all skill checks made in regards to the vehicle. Additionally, anytime the vehicle takes damage, the creature may opt to reduce the damage the vehicle takes by half, and apply that amount of damage to itself. The creature must make this decision immediately after the amount of damage done to the vehicle is determined.

More Star Magic

I have a Patreon, where I posted the reload spell for mystics and tecnomancers as (at the moment) exclusively-patron bonus content.

Even More Star Options

There are tons of new spells for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game in the Starfarer’s Companion, available at DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store!