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Weather Control, a Tiered Mutation in GammaFinder (for Starfinder)

GammaFinder (a post-apocalypse campaign setting and ruleset for Starfinder) has tiered mutations which allow a character to gain an ability that grows in complexity and power over the course of their career. We started with mutant teleportation.

And that seemed popular.

So, for no particular reason, here’s mutant weather control. 🙂

PA Storm Control

Art by AnnaPa

Weather Control (Sp, Su)
Tier 1
: You can create a micro-vortex at will. This acts as a psychokinetic hand, except as follows. The force in question is tiny vortexes of air, and does not work in environments that do not have air. The effect lasts 1 round per level after you stop concentration, but you cannot have more than 1 micro-vortex effect from this tiered mutation active at the same time.
You can make a special check (1d20 + character level + weather control tier + key ability score) to endure severe weather and predict weather (as the Survival skill tasks). When you endure severe weather, a successful check grants you bonuses as if you had built a shelter if you you move at full speed, and you can grant the bonus to up to 4 other creatures per tier of weather control you have.
Tier 2: You can use your micro-vortex to bludgeon and batter a target. This acts as unarmed attacks, made at range. These function exactly as your melee unarmed attacks (including benefiting from abilities that affect unarmed attacks, such as Improved Unarmed Attacks), but you can make them anyplace your micro-vortex can reach. These are considered melee attacks for rules interactions.
Tier 3: You can create a storm effect. It acts as fog cloud. You can move the center of this version of storm effect as a standard action using your micro-vortex (allowing you to move it to anyplace within your micro-vortex’s range). Once you create a storm effect, you cannot do so again until you expend Resolve Points to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest.
Tier 4: You can increase or decrease the current wind condition by 1 step as a standard action. This covers an area with a radius up to 5 feet x your weather control tier cubed. Thus at tier 4 you can cover an area 320 feet in radius. This lasts for up to one minute per level.
Tier 5:  Your storm effect can now be a powerful wind blast. This acts as force blast, but is a push of air and does not work in environments that do not have air. Your mirco-vortex range increases to medium (100 feet +10 feet/level).
You can also increase or decrease the perceptional level by 1 step as a standard action, as with wind control in tier 4. You can affect precipitation and wind in the same standard action.
Tier 6: You can unleash a lightning bolt once every 1d4 rounds as a standard action. There must be cloudy or foggy conditions available for you to do this, but the fog cloud from your storm effect counts for this purpose. Your lighting bolt targets a single creature for 1d6 electrical damage per character level you possess. A target may make a Reflex save (DC 10 +1/2 your character level + your key ability modifier) for half damage.
Tier 7: You can now also create a storm effect by expending a Resolve Point to do so. Your wind blast now deals 1d6 damage per 2 character levels you possess.
Tier 8: You can now create the force blast version of your storm effect with a point of origin anywhere within long range 9100 feet. +10 feet/level).
You can also increase or decrease the temperature of a natural, outdoor environment by 20 degrees as a standard action, as with wind control in tier 4. You can affect temperature, precipitation, and wind in the same standard action.
Tier 9: When altering wind severity, precipitation, and temperature, you can now alter one of those variables by 2 steps, rather than by 1. You cannot affect more than one of these variables by multiple steps at the same time, even if you take multiple actions.
Tier 10: You can now unleash the lightning bolt from tier 6 once per round. Additionally, when altering wind severity, precipitation, and temperature, you can now alter each of those variables by 2 steps, rather than by 1.

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Thanks, everyone.

Tiered GammaFinder Mutant Abilities for Starfinder

GammaFinder is a post-apocalypse campaign hack and rules expansion for Starfinder. It has rules for mutation as a character emphasis, and mutant abilities you can gain through a theme, archetype, alternate racial trait, or feat. While mutations taken as a character emphasis scale as you gain levels, most mutatant abilities from other sources don’t.

In most cases, there’s no need for them to. But some classic mutant abilities call for powers that can grow and evolve. These are called tiered mutations. Tiered mutations are complex, powerful mutant abilities that scale through ten tiers of power.

If you select a tiered mutation as your character emphasis, it’s tier is equal to half your character level +1 if you took a single mutation emphasis, and equal to 1/3 your character level (minimum tier 1) if you took two mutation emphasizes.

If you select a tiered mutation as mutant abilities (from the mutie theme or mutamorph archetype, or as an alternate racial trait or the Mutant feat) you increase it’s tier by 1 each time you take it.

Here’s an example of a tiered mutation, teleportation.

PA Teleport

Art by Andrey Burmakin

Psychoportation (Sp)
Tier 1: You can teleport as a full action once per day, with a maximum range of 30 feet. You can bring along one creature you are touching that is willing or helpless and is your size or smaller. This otherwise functions as dimension door.
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: Your psychoportation range increases to 60 feet, and you can now bring along up to two creatures you are touching that are willing or helpless and are your size or smaller. You can replace two creatures your size with one creature a size larger.
Tier 4: Using this ability is now a standard action.
Tier 5: This ability is now treated as a supernatural ability (as a result, using it no longer provokes attacks of opportunity).
Tier 6: The range of this ability is now Medium (100 feet +10 feet per character level).
Tier 7: You can now also use this ability by expending a Resolve Point to do so.
Tier 8: You can now bring up to four willing or helpless creatures with you, and they may each be up to one size larger than you. You can replace two creatures a size larger than you with one two sizes larger.
Tier 9: You can now bring a creature with you that is unwilling, as long as you can touch it. It receives a Will saving throw (DC 10 +1/2 your character level + your key ability score modifier) to not be teleported.
Tier 10: You can now have this ability function as the teleportation spell, if you wish to.

WANT MORE GAMMAFINDER?!
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.

 

GammaFinder Mutations for Starting Characters

We have GammaFinder rules for mutations as a character emphasis, and for growing mutations as your gain levels, but nothing that just lets you be a typical mutant as a 1st-level character (though standard GammaFinder characters don’t start at 1st level anyway). That seems like a gap.

So, let’s fix it!

Alternate Racial Feature: Mutant

PA Winged Woman
Art by Bert Folsom

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 SpeciesAndroid (upgrade slot), Human (bonus feat), Kasatha (natural grace), Lashunta (lashunta magic), Shirren (communalism), Vesk (armor savant), Ysoki (moxie)
Legacy SpeciesDwarf (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).

New Feat

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.

PA Alien Women

art by warpaintcobra

Filing Off the Serial Numbers
One of the advantages of using the Starfinder rules for GammaFinder is that the game comes with dozens of alien races ready to use. A GM should generally allow a player to select one of these species to represent a mutant (and if the race is humanoid, change their subtype if appropriate). for example, a kalo could be used for a mutant human who is adapted to the cold and water, losing the kalo subtype and gaining the human subtype to represent their heritage.
Similarly once a character has a mutation, GMs are encouraged to allow players to describe the character physical appearance as anything they wish within reason, even if it falls well outside the normal parameters for that species’ vital statistics. If a player wants a nuar to look like a boarfolk, with bright green hair and six tusks, that’s not really any weirder than an albino bullfolk.

WANT MORE GAMMAFINDER?!
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.

GammaFinder Mutations (for Starfinder)

So there are quick and easy rules for mutations in the GammaFinder base rules (a campaign hack for Starfinder), but a weird post-apocalyptic game just isn’t the same if you can’t be even more mutated than that.

So, here are some more ways to gain even more mutations, and lots of mutations you can get.

PA Mutie

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 Shive

MUTAMORPH (Archetype)
Your body, exposed tot 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).

Mutant Abilities
The following mutant abilities can be gained from mutie theme or mutamorph archetype.
Additional Arms
Blindsense
Change Form
Climber
Compression
Creaturelike
Digger
Exceptional Vision
Expanded Lung Capacity
Fortified
Frenzy
Limited Telepathy
Mutable
Natural Weapons
Psionic, minor
Psionic, moderate
Psionic, major
Rapid Revival
Steady Stride
Swimmer
Telekinetic Flight
Toughened
Venomous
Wings

Additional Arms
You grow two additional arms (or a long prehensile tail, or other manipulative limb), which allows you to wield and hold up to two more hands’ worth of weapons and equipment. While your multiple arms increase the number of items you can have at the ready, it doesn’t increase the number of attacks you can make during combat.

PA Add Arms

Blindsense
You grow sensitive antennae that grants your blindsense (vibration)—the ability to sense vibrations in the air—out to 30 feet. You ignore the Stealth bonuses from any form of visual camouflage, invisibility, and the like when attempting a Perception check opposed by a creature’s Stealth check. Even on a successful Perception check, any foe that can’t be seen still has total concealment (50% miss chance) against you, and you still have the normal miss chance when attacking foes that have concealment. You are still flatfooted against attacks from creatures you can’t see.

Change Form
As a standard action, you can physically alter your form to look like any Medium creature, as long as you have seen a similar creature before. You can attempt to either mimic a specific creature or look like a general creature of the chosen type. You gain a +10 bonus to Disguise checks to appear as a creature of the type and subtype of the new form. The DC of your Disguise check is not modified as a result of altering major features. You can remain in an alternate form indefinitely.
If you take this mutation a second time, you do not take a penalty to Disguise when you mimic a creature of a different species or type.

Climber
You gain a climb speed of 40 feet.

Creaturelike
You have mutated to be very similar to another creature. You might look like an anthropomorphic animal, have the strange anatomy of an aberration, seem to be a plant, or have some other strange mix of features. Your features are a blend between your true type and substype, and another type (and possibly subtype).
You gain the creaturelike trait. Select one type and, if desired, an appropriate subtype. You gain these in addition to your normal type and potential subtype. You gain no special abilities of the type or subtype except as noted here. When you are targeted by an effect, if it effects just one of your types or subtypes, it affects you. If it affects your types or subtypes differently, you take the effect that is worse for you.
Skill checks to identify your type or subtype take a -5 penalty.
You gain a +2 racial bonus to one saving throw category of your choice, or +1 racial bonus to two saving throw categories.
You gain one of the following senses or movement types of your choice: blindsense (scent) 30 feet, climb 20 feet, darkvision 60 feet, fly 20 feet (poor)(ex), low-light vision, swim 20 feet.
You can change your unarmed attacks to do piercing or slashing damage, if you wish, or gain do +1 damage with unarmed attacks.

PA Hippolike

Compression
You can move through an area as small as one-quarter your space without squeezing or one-eighth their space when squeezing.

Digger
You gain a burrow speed of 30 feet.

Exceptional Vision
You gain low-light vision and darkvision. As a result, you can see in dim light as if it were normal light, and you can see with no light source at all to a range of 60 feet in black and white only. If you already had low-light, your darkvision now grants you color vision with no light. If you already had darkvision, its range increases by 60 feet.

Expanded Lung Capacity
You have extraordinary lung capacity. You can hold your breath for 10 times the normal duration, and you can begin to hold their breath as a purely defensive reaction whenever you are submerged underwater, enter a vacuum, enter a gas or smoke field, or would otherwise begin suffocating or inhaling a substance you suspect to be harmful.

Fortified
You gain a +2 racial bonus to Fortitude saves against environmental hazards and radiation effects. In addition, you reduce the duration of the sickened and nauseated conditions by 1 round.

Frenzy
When badly enough damaged, you enter a fighting frenzy. When you are at 0 Stamina Points, you gain a +1 bonus to melee attacks and AC.

Limited Telepathy
You can communicate telepathically with any creatures within 30 feet with whom you share a language. Conversing telepathically with multiple creatures simultaneously is just as difficult as listening to multiple people speak.

PA Telepathy

Mutable
Your body is mutable and can adapt to many different situations. Once every 1d4 rounds as part of any other action, you can reshape your body and adjust your chemistry to gain one of the following qualities. The adaptation lasts until you dismiss it, use this ability again, fail a saving throw, or are dazed, confused, staggered, stunned, or unconscious.
*Upper limb refinements enable you to add an additional amount of damage to melee attacks equal to half your Strength modifier.
*A toughened dermal layer grants you a +1 racial bonus to KAC.
*Developed lower limbs grant you a +10 bonus to one speed you already possess.
*Molecular-level modifications grant you resistance 2 against a single energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic).
*Elongated limbs extend your to 10 feet.

Natural Weapons
You are always considered armed. They can deal 1d3 lethal damage with unarmed strikes and the attack doesn’t count as archaic. You choose if the attack does bludgening, piercing, or slashing damage when it is gained, and what kind of attack it is (bite, claws, tail slap, and so on). You gain a unique weapon specialization with your natural weapons at 3rd level, allowing you to add 1–1/2 × your character level to your damage rolls for your natural weapons (instead of just adding your character level, as usual).

Psionic, minor
You gain the following spell-like abilities: At will: (select any two of the following) daze, detect magic, fatigue, ghost sound, psychokinetic hand, telepathic projectile, telepathic message, token spell; 1/day (select one): akashic download, battlemind link (lesser), confusion (lesser), detect thoughts, mind link, share language, share memory.

Psionic, moderate
Select two more at-will spells and one more 1/day spell from the minor psionic list. You must already have two of the at-will spells and one of the 1/day spells as spell-like abilities to select moderate psionic.

PA Psionic Cyborg

Psionic, major
Select two more at-will spells and one more 1/day spell from the minor psionic list. Additiinally, select one of the following spells as a 1/day spell-like ability: augury, perfect recall, predict foe, status. You must already have four of the at-will spells and two of the 1/day spells as spell-like abilities to select moderate psionic.

Rapid Revival
Once per day, when you take a 10-minute rest to regain Stamina Points, you can additionally recover Hit Points as though you had taken a full night’s rest.

Steady Stride
You can move through nonmagical difficult terrain at your normal speed.

Swimmer
You gain a swim speed of 40 feet.

Telekinetic Flight
You gaining a supernatural fly speed of 10 with perfect maneuverability and the ability to hover without taking an action.

Toughened
Your sturdy physiology backs up armor’s defensive properties particularly well. When wearing armor, you gain a +1 racial bonus to AC. If you already have a +1 racial bonus to AC, you instead gain a +1 racial bonus to Fortitude and Reflex saves.

PA Turtle

Venomous
You can deal piercing or bludgeoning damage with your unarmed strikes. When you make a successful unarmed strike (or innate melee attack, such as might be gained from another mutation) that deals piercing damage, and the target takes damage from the attack, as a reaction you can expose the target to venom. Once you have used your venom, you can do so again only after taking a 10-minute rest to regain Stamina Points. You are immune to the effects of your own venom.
Mutant Venom
Type poison (injury); Save Fortitude (DC = 10 + half your level + your key ability modifier)
Track Dexterity (special); Onset 1 round; Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds
Effect Progression track is Healthy—Sluggish—Stiffened—Staggered; staggered is the end state.
Cure 1 save. All effects end 1 hour after cure.

Wings
You grow wings, gaining an extraordinary fly speed of 30 with average maneuverability.

WANT MORE GAMMAFINDER?!
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.

 

Survival in GammaFinder

One of the core concepts of any post-apocalypse RPG is survival. This is definitely true in GammaFinder, as the world is full of poison earth, acid rain, toxic water, deadly environmental effects, baked earth, rusted, twisted metal… it’s harsh. Just traveling beyond a settlement, even if nothing rises to the level of an encounter, is dangerous.

And, as it happens, Starfinder has a Survival skill.

But making Survival rolls daily, and making people think about where their character sleep, find water, hunt, how they avoid heatstroke, dodge poison ivy, and so on gets boring.

So GammaFinder has a Weekly Survival Check.

PA dead carscape

Weekly Survival Check

Each group makes a Survival check each week. The DC is equal to 15 + 1.5 x the average CR of hazards and monsters in the area, +1 per person in the group. (When in double, if there is a titan nearby, the GM can assume the average CR is within the Titans range. Otherwise if the area is not known to be particularly hazardous, assume an average CR of 2. Yes, 2. GammaFinder World is rough).

If multiple people make Survival checks, the highest check result is treated as the primary result, and each character in the group after the first who succeeds adds one to that highest result. The following additional factors modify the roll, as can previous rolls (see results, below).

PA Wasteland

Weekly Survival Check Modifiers
Group begins week out of food and water: -5
Group has no wilderness gear: -2
Group has at least 1 piece of survival gear for each member: bonus equal to the highest item level of such gear every character has. (For example, if 4 people have a piece of 5th level survival gear, but one person only has a 1st-level piece of gear, the bonus is +1. If six people all have a piece of 3rd level gear, the bonus is +3).

Results
You not only need to know if the group succeeded or failed, but by how much.

PA japan Fire

Success by 5 or More: Things went very well! You slept in protected spots, avoided unpleasant allergens and minor hazards, and found plentiful and quality food and water. You do not use up any of your carried food or water resources, and everyone in your group gains a +2 bonus to the next week’s Weekly Survival Check.

Success by 4 or less: You use up resources (such as food and water) normally, but manage to avoid being run down by the constant dangers of the GammaFinder World.

Fail by 5 or less: You didn’t manage ideal conditions, but it’s livable. You might be  sleeping in a cold, cramped space under a large rock, eating grubs, drinking water that’s slimy but not poisonous, or just dealing with gnat bites, rough terrain, sunburn, weariness, and so on.
Everyone in the party takes a -1 penalty to skill checks, including next week’s survival, until you succeed at a weekly survival check or you get a good night’s sleep and food in a settlement. This is cumulative if you fail by this amount in consecutive weeks.

Fail by 6- or more: Why did you ever leave your hovel?

Everyone in the party takes a -2 penalty to skill checks, including next week’s survival, until you succeed at a weekly survival check or you get a good night’s sleep and food in a settlement. This is cumulative if you fail by this amount in consecutive weeks.

Everyone temporarily has their maximum Stamina Points reduced by 1 per character level. This lasts until the group succeeds at a Weekly Survival Check by 5 or more, or get 2 good night’s sleep and food at a settlement.

PA dead trees

Want More GammaFinder?!
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.

Mega-Heroic Moments for GammaFinder

GammaFinder, the simple post-apocalypse rules and micro-setting for Starfinder, isn’t just about adventure in the ruined, glowing remains of a once-proud society. It’s also about those mega-heroic moments that all too often come only once every few campaigns. The wondrous, fist-pumping, yahoo-calling, better-than-a-natural-20 things that we all remember for years.

But given how harsh GammaFinder can be, those moments may be too rare. So we’ll cheat. We’ll add a few. (You can port this rule to any other Starfinder-compatible game as well, of course.)

PA Cyclops Titan

Every character can invoke one mega-heroic moment. If they do so and manage to reach 10th level, they regain the ability to use one mega-heroic moment, but that’s it.

Each mega-heroic moment can be invoked only once per campaign. If you use it, no one else can. Strike it from the list. Otherwise, any character who has a mega-heroic moment still coming to them can use any of the mega-heroic moments.

This is a short initial list of available mega-heroic moments. More may come later.

Do You Want To Live Forever?
When you are about to be knocked unconscious, killed, or made helpless, some unexpected force from your past saves you. Maybe a quantum valkyrie of your lost love deflects the deadly blow. Maybe a witchwarper version of yourself from another reality pushes you out of the way. Maybe ghosts of your fallen allies scream a warning at the last second.
Immediately negate all damage and conditions caused by one attack, trap, hazard, spell, or effect against you. If it is from an ongoing effect, you are immune until the beginning of your next round.

Fly, You Fools!
This is it. The big sacrifice. Everyone lives. You die.
For now.
All your allies in this encounter, living and dead, escape. Those who were dead turn out to be only mostly dead, and are instead unconscious and stable. You stay and hold the line, and die.
But when one of your allies next gains a level? You return, having also gained a level. Maybe you were literally resurrected. maybe it’s a version of your from another reality. Maybe all of reality is a simulation and your return is a glitch in the system. You get to rebuild your character as if you had used a mnemonic editor.

PA redhead faceoof

How’d You Get Up There? – Wasn’t Easy!
Your allies are shocked at where you suddenly pop up. Perhaps you achieved the ultimate stealth route. Maybe you found a split-second wormhole and used it to your advantage. You might even have just run faster and further than anyone expected. The truth is you;re not 100% sure how you made it there yourself, so you are always going to be vague on the details.
Select any location within line of sight and line of effect of any ally. You are at that location.

I Want To Show You A Trick Mother Showed Me When You Weren’t Around.
It’s a secret you have carried with you until this moment, aware you can only do it once. Maybe you have a weapon from the Unburned World with only a single charge left in it. Maybe a sentient spell was been riding along with you, waiting for the one and only moment when it could be cast. Maybe you have a mutant power that takes 100 years to recharge. Whatever it is, it’s a surprise to everyone else, and it’s about to hurt.
Select one target within line of sight and line of effect. It takes an amount of damage equal to 1d6+4 multiplied by your character level. This may be of any damage type, and bypasses any resistance, immunity, or miss chance.

You Are Already Dead.
It seemed like no more than an ordinary attack, but you know better. You hit a secret pressure point, or slipped a grenade into their shorts, or smeared a single self-replicating nanite flesh-eater into the wound. That extra act has gone unnoticed, until now.
Select one foe, trap, or hazard within line of sight that you injured within the past 10 minutes, or that has an unhealed injury you inflicted on it. The foe must have a CR no greater than your level +1. It dies if living, is destroyed if undead, breaks if inanimate.

PA troopers

Want More GammaFinder?!
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.

 

GammaFinder Index

GammaFinder is a post-apocalypse setting for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. I have multiple articles that begin to describe and define GammaFinder, and this is the index to all of them.

PA Street Scene

CORE RULES AND SETTING
The basics.

GammaFinder Rules. Simple rules for post-apocalypse gaming using Starfinder, along with just the hint of a setting *mostly to justify calling it ‘GammaFinder.’)

The Unburned World. A larger article that includes a quick description of the pre-apocalypse Unburned World, and the Chasm of History that separates it from the modern era.

Titans. Halfway between landmarks and gods, no one is sure where these motionless giants come from, or what their purpose is. But they have a real, if subtle, effect on the world around them.

PLAYER OPTIONS
Beyond the core rules, here are the things players can use.

Mega-Heroic Moments
You just get one, but when you use it, it’ll be memorable.

Themes
Alphite. You were raised in the domed city of Apha, before it was destroyed.
Brain-In-A-Jar and Murderous Toy. These stretch what themes are supposed to do to their limits, to give weirder character options.
Mutie. You are a mutant, and your mutations are evolving.

Archetypes
Mutamorph. Exposed to the strange energies of the World of GammaFinder, your body is morphing into… something.

Mutations
Advancing Mutations. In GammaFinder, sometimes YOU get weirder and weirder.
Mutations for Starting Characters. You were just born that way.
Tiered Mutations (teleportation). the rules for tiered mutations that grow in power as you focus on them, with the teleportation tiered mutation as an example.
Weather Control. A tiered mutation.

GM TOOLS
Beyond the core rules, these are things the GM can use to help built the setting and its feel.

Halidoms.
Weird relics of the Unburned World, from before the Chasm of History. Presented conceptually in Part One, and rules for PCs trying to figure them out in Part Two.

Survival.
Survival is a key theme of post-apocalypse rpgs. Starfinder has a “Survival” skill. Making skill checks to survive every day is boring, and no one wants their game to end because everyone starved to death. And tents, even high-tech tents, tend not to actually make a difference to PC’s health and happiness.
These rules fix all those issues and brings them together.

MUTANTIARY
These entries are like a bestiary, but for weird mutant threats!

Hammerderm It’s a dangerous sonic shark-rhino mutant.

BOOMER EXTRAS
The spectacularly creative Clinton Boomer has done some additional material for GammaFinder, and we’re thrilled to link it here for folks who want Moar Weird!

Dhampir of the Gamma Wastes. Yep, post-apocalypse vampires.

Fist of the Gamma Star. Ready for Post-Apocalypse Martial Arts?

Footprints in the Burning Wasteland. Each blasphemous caress of your sorcery is, of course, a unique & terrible thing.

Omegamancy. Even after the world ends, some things are forbidden.

Reek of Corrupted Wasteland. You can smell what the Omegamancers are cooking!

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Thanks, everyone.

 

 

What The Heck is “ShadowFinders?”

So, I happened to mention a “ShadowFinders” campaign on social media a few times in the past few weeks, leading a number of people to ask “What the heck is ShadowFinders, and when does it come out?”

Cyberpunk katana

And now I’ll have a place to point them to, at least for the moment. And the answers are… “A theoretical modern Pathfinder campaign I have been noodling and, as far as I know, never.”

I know, not very satisfying.

The thing it, I already have TWO campaign settings mulling about that I work on when I get what I laughingly refer to as “Space Time.” I’ve been working on-and-off on the Really Wild West (a campaign hack for Starfinder), and more recently Sorcerers & Speakeasies (a campaign setting for 5e). Those are both mix-modern-and-fantasy settings, with Really Wild West having a great deal more material done for it (having begun working on it more than 2 years ago), and Sorcerers & Speakeasies currently having an actual for-sale product currently being designed by a freelancer.

So, clearly, I already have my hands full with modern fantasy pastiche ideas for two game systems that I don;t have time to move forward at full speed as it is. So why would I add another?

To some extend, I can’t help it.

I didn’t become an RPG game designer because that was my life goal. I slid into it sideways, by loving games (especially RPGs), and making up stuff for my own home games (mostly RPGs), and wanting to turn my hobby into a revenue-neutral pastime that paid for itself. (You can read more detailed accounts of my nearly-accidental entry into my 20+ year RPG design career at “From the Freelancing Frontline,” in a series of articles at EN World.)

And, it’s still one of my primary hobbies. Which means, I am still having ideas about things I’d like to run as games, or add to games, or even play in games. Now, a lot of that content ends up in products I write or develop–I find it easiest to work on a game system if I am playing that system. (I know some rpg designers prefer not to be frequently playing the game they are working on, and given how great many of those designers are I have to say that works for them. I don’t think it would work well for me.)

But a lot of it DOESN’T end up in my professional writing. Now, some of that is for legal reasons (yes I have thoughts on Jedi in Starfinder, but unless I create a totally different Owen-as-fan-only space, I’m never going to share them). Some of it is because it’s material I’d only want to use in a context where I knew the people involved and could tailor it to match their preferences and playstyles. But some of it is just because there hasn’t been a good match yet, and/or because I haven’t had the time.

And that last category is the weird limbo where ShadowFinders exists.

Cyberpunk Gun

I have several solid ideas for ShadowFinders, as a modern supplement for Pathfinder 2nd Edition. Essentially a smaller stand-alone hardback book that is a complete RPG and 100% compatible with the Core Rulebook, but focuses on a modern, urban fantasy game. I have ideas on how I’d save space (many fewer ancestries and classes, likely only occult and primal magic), how to link it to existing cosmology (some primal magic comes from Egypt, which once had strange portals to another Egypt-like land in another world, but most magic is occult material that entered the world in through strange events involving Rasputin), and how it would work with the existing rules (as a modern supplement, with material you could use in a 100% fantasy setting, or could add to a fantasy setting that happened to already have alien spaceships and guns in it in limited locations).

But that approach works best if it’s a book Paizo publishes… and that is both unlikely (I have some idea how hard it is for Paizo to manage to both maintain its currently offers AND produce a new core rulebook with a new setting), and if it did happen would  most likely not involve me in any major capacity. I have thoughts on that too, of course (involving Paizo deciding to outsource creation of a SahdowFinders rpg to keep costs and down and experiment with freelance production and development), but that’s not particularly likely either. (Never say never, but be realistic with your planning.)

So, that leaves me with a name and idea I like but that would work best in production circumstances that aren’t going to happen soon if ever, no spare time, two more similar projects already further along… and tons of ideas for a thing I can’t take time to move forward on right now.

So is ShadowFinders dead? No, definitely not. But it is in a holding pattern, neither being given up on nor getting any resources to speak of at the moment. One of the few things I know is that I never know what I’ll be working on in 3 years, and often have no idea what I’ll be working on in 1 year.

It PROBABLY won’t be any version of ShadowFinders…

Cyberpunk Butterfly

Unless, of course, it gets a huge positive response from a Patreon crowd that grows large enough to support even more of my time going to working on such things. 🙂

Technomancer Mind-Affecting Spells VI

Today we wrap up (for now, at least) exploring the design space of technomancer mind-affecting spells.

If we want a mind-affecting spells to feel like a viable concept for a technomancer (which is the only time at which it would make sense to select the robot influence magic hack), we’re going to need at least two different mind-affecting spells at each spell level for 1st and higher, and at least one 0-level spell.

So far we’ve done a 0-level spell, two first, a 2nd-level (to go with their existing 2nd-level mind-affecting spell, daze monster), two 3rd-level, 4th-level, and 5th-level spells. So, let’s do two technomancer-flavored 6th-level mind-affecting spells.

For balance on these we looked at a lot of 6th-level spells, but since there don;t seem to be any 6th-level mind-affecting spells in Starfinder, there aren’t any specific 1-to-1 comparisons.

mysterious woman in futuristic cloak with hood walking with blue light particles, digital art style, illustration painting

Algorithm [Technomancer 6]
School enchantment (compulsion, mind-affecting)
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range medium (100 ft. +10 ft./level)
Targets one creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 feet apart
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Will partial; Spell Resistance yes

You impose an algorithm on the decision-making processes and efforts undertaken by of the spell’s targets. Each round, you can designate one creature to be protected by the algorithm. Any affected target takes a -5 penalty to all skill checks regarding the target, attack rolls against the target, and to the save DC of any ability they use that affects the target. You can change the protected creature each round, ending the protection against any previous creature. Targets that fail their saving throw are unaware their actions are being influenced by a spell.

Targets that succeed at their Will save only take a -2 penalty to skills, attacks, and DCs, and are aware they are under the effects of a spell.

Target Lock [Technomancer 6]
School enchantment (compulsion, mind-affecting)
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range medium (100 ft. +10 ft./level)
Targets one creature
Duration 1 minute/level
Saving Throw Will partial; Spell Resistance yes

You lock the target’s attention onto one foe, and prompt it to attack that foe. The target must attack the foe with the attack most likely to be effective against it with at least one action per round. If the target succeeds at a Will save it can ignore this command, but the mental effort to do so causes it to be fatigued for the duration of the spell. The fatigue ends when the spell ends, or if the creature decided to attack the designated foe.

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Technomancer Mind-Affecting Spells V

We’re still exploring the design space of technomancer mind-affecting spells.

If we want a mind-affecting spells to feel like a viable concept for a technomancer (which is the only time at which it would make sense to select the robot influence magic hack), we’re going to need at least two different mind-affecting spells at each spell level for 1st and higher, and at least one 0-level spell.

So far we’ve done a 0-level spell, two first, a 2nd-level (to go with their existing 2nd-level mind-affecting spell, daze monster), two 3rd-level spells, and two-fourth-level spells. So, let’s do two technomancer-flavored 5th-level mind-affecting spells.

Blockchain looks at the scaling fear spell for determining it’s total power level–it’s not as debilitating, but has a much larger area, targets nonliving creatures, only targets enemies, and at this level lasts long, and has some effect even on targets who make their save, with off-target a pretty good guaranteed effect (and even dazzled causes you to be -1 on all attack rolls, which may not seem like much but isn’t bad if you hit a bunch of foes as the minimum effect they take on top of off-target).

Greater check the comments looks to greater command for how to upgrade 1st-level spells at 5th level.

Technomancer Eye

Blockchain [Technomancer 5]
School enchantment (compulsion, mind-affecting)
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range 60 feet
Targets all foes in a cone-shaped emanation
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Will partial; Spell Resistance yes

You flood the minds of of every foe in the area to a series of interconnected mental checklists they must fulfill while taking any action. Targets are entangled as they constantly start and stop each thing they do, trying to fulfill the checklists demanded for each decision they make. Targets that succeed at their Will save still find their minds filled with checklists, but know they are artificial and can be ignored, though the distraction causes them to still be off-target. Targets already off-target are instead dazzled.

Check the Comments, Greater [Technomancer 5]
School enchantment (compulsion, mind-affecting)
Targets up to one creature/level, no two of which can be more than 30 ft. apart
Save Will negates

This spell functions like check the comments, except you can affect up to one creature per level and creatures make their announcements in one language you know of your choice, even if they do not speak that language (or, indeed, even if they speak no language).

PATREON
Enjoy this Starfinder content? Want to see more? Want to see something else? You can back my Patreon to encourage me to do more of the kind of work you want to see, and you can subscribe to the 52-in-52 program to get entire game supplements, one a week for every week of 20020, that are done in four versions for four game systems, including Starfinder!