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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.

Class Options
Mutant Soldier. Options for soldiers to gain mutations as class features.

Mutations
Gaining Mutant Abilities. All the options for PCs to gain mutant abilities and tiered mutations, all in one post!
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 psychoportation tiered mutation as an example.
Danger Sense. It’s tingling! A tiered mutation.
Elasticity. Yep, it’s stretching powers. A tiered mutation.
Entangle. Slow them down, wrap them up. A tiered mutation.
ESP. Telepathy and psychic projection. A tiered mutation.
Genetic Sorcery. The power to create magic is in your DNA. A tiered mutation.
Healing Factor. A tiered mutation.
Incorporeality. A tiered mutation.
Invisibility. A tiered mutation.
Luck Manipulation. A tiered mutation.
Ranged Attack. A tiered mutation. For attacking things. At range.
Summoning. A tiered mutation.
Super-Strength. A tiered mutation. (Scroll down a bit for the mutation)
Weather Control. A tiered mutation.

Junk Magic
Two spells – junk gizmo and junk HUD.

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

Hazardous Junk
The Starfinder RPG has lots of spells that use junk as an element of the casting. But what if that junk is hazardous materials?

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.

The Halidom City of Rho. It drifts along, some seven & a half miles above the scarred, broken wasteland stretched-out far beneath it, pushing effortlessly against the hellish winds of ash, glass, and the blood-thick dust of Empires.
An awesome setup for a whole campaign, or the most random of random encounters.

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

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

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.

 

 

Writing Basics: Index Page

The “Writing Basics” line of articles is my effort to codify some things that are fairly fundamental to writing in the tabletop RPG industry, but which aren’t generally taught in schools or discussed  much in how-to forums and convention panels. These are things I’ve mostly had to pick up over the years, which I would have loved a short primer on when I was getting started (or, in some cases, even ten years into my RPG writing career).

As this line of articles grows, some folks have asked me if I will cover a topic that… I already covered!

Right. Social media is NOT a steady, reliable, or easily searched information distribution mechanism.

So, to help anyone who might wonder what topics I have already cover, here’s the Writing Basics Index Page, with a short description and link to each article in this series. I’ll update this page as I keep writing these.

From Nothing to a Game Book: What is the process that leads from nothing to a company publishing a finished book? This is my best stab at a high-level, rough overview. It is, at best, a sketch that covers a lot of different ways this happens, but there are companies that add steps, or skip steps, or do things in a totally different order.

Paginations and Wordcounts: In this installment of Writing Basics I take a brief look at two related subjects that freelance writers often don’t need to worry too much about, but that are extremely important to the RPG industry overall—paginations and wordcounts.

Introductions: This covers the topic of “Introductions,” by which I specifically mean the text at the beginning of a product, book, chapter, or section (likely with its own header—these things are often interconnected), that explains what’s actually in that section of text. Ideally, it’s interesting to read, gives the reader some idea of what information is coming and why, and gives some context how that material connects to other books/products/chapters/ or sections of text.

Headers: Headers are the big titles of sections of books that tell you (roughly) what content is in that section. If you want a quick overview of what headers are, how to mark them in a manuscript (which, I should note, is actually “however your publisher tells you to,” though the [H1]- and [H2]-style designations are pretty common if not universal), go check out Rogue Genius Games’ “RGG Writer Guidelines,” which discuss headers and how to let your editor and layout artist know where they should in your manuscript.

Final Checks for RPG Manuscripts: In this entry, I going to talk about the all the work you should be doing after you are done writing, but before you turn over the manuscript. These last checks are often the difference between a polished manuscript that gets people’s attention, and a barely-useful mess that requires significant work from your developer/editor/producer/publisher to bring up to their standards.

Check the Rights to Anything You Use in Publishing: This is SUPER basic, but I see smart people get it wrong all the time.

Impostor Syndrome: A lot of creatives have it. I have it. Here are some of my coping mechanisms, in case any of that is useful to someone else (and, you know, why would it be given that I clearly have no idea what I am talking about).

 

Got a Writing Basic you’d like to see covered? Want to support the time it takes me to write things like this? You can request the first and help with the second by joining my Patreon, for as little as a few bucks a month!

Really Wild West Index

Since it looks like I’m going to be working on Really Wild West campaign and setting hack for Starfinder on and off for the foreseeable future, in order to keep it usable I’m creating (and will maintain as new articles are written) an Index that lists and organizes the existing articles.

RWW Logo(Logo by Perram, pistol art by Jacob Blackmon)

SETTING ARTICLES

These are descriptive of the setting, though they may include rules elements.

Really Wild West
>Read This First. 🙂
The year is 1891. The place is somewhere in North or South America, generally far from established law. In 1890, the War of the Worlds happened. That’s over, but wow has tech taken a leap forward.
This is a Weird West setting hack for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, with theosophy (magic), fantasy and sci-fi races, guns, and strangely advanced technology. Includes tips on how to hack the Starfinder Roleplaying Game rules to better suit the Weird West genre (like how to avoid everyone having to wear armor to be effective), as well as some feats unique to the setting.

Notes
>After my first session actually running this game, I added some worldbuilding notes.

Putting the “Steam” and “Punk” in Really Wild West
>I quite intentionally don’t describe RWW as a “steampunk” setting, but is it one? What is steampunk, anyway? A think piece about a popular genre and this setting’s place in it… or outside of it.
Inspirational Links
>Some examples of what the Really Wild West might be like by other great creatives!

Starfinder Species in Really Wild West
Shirren, lashunta, vesk… where are these new species from in a game about an 1891 Weird West? We start by looking at androids.
Part 2
Kasatha and lashunta.
Part 3
Shirren, vesk, and ysoki.

Badlands City
>A city built by Hell and ruled by devils… and one of the safest places in the West.
Badlands Resident Theme
>A theme for people from Badlands City
Dread Templar Archetype
>Badlands City produces devil-trained officers of the law who focus on punishment and vengeance.

Easterner Theme
>Is your character from back East? Then this is your theme.

Hollow Worlds
>There is more than just a surface world in the Really Wild West. From a literaly Hollow Earth to different planes of reality, there is a lot of terra incognita.

The Mexican Porfiriate and the Technopolitan Theme
>Mexico is a rising technological superpower, governed by war heroes and scientists. Includes the Technopolitan theme.
Science Agents
>Short fiction and an archetype for Mexico’s famed peacekeepers of rationality.

Organizations
>It’s a weird world, and there are groups trying to use that to their advantage one way or another.

Plot Hooks and Inspirational Media
> Want to know what kinds of adventures Really Weird West characters may have? Here’s a list of 20 plot hooks and a list of inspiration media that helped set the tone for the setting.

RULE ARTICLES

These are primarily about rules, though they are designed specifically for Really Weird West.

Playable Species
Notes on new species options in RWW.
>Centaurs — Notes on centaurs in the RWW setting at the end of the article.
>Fenrin — In the world of the Really Wild West, there are talking, telekinetic dogs who are an accepted part of society.

Really Western Class Features
>RWW-specific new class feature options, though obviously they’ll work for other Starfinder-compatible games!
Envoy — New improvisations, such as Put A Price on Their Heads, and expertise talents, such as “Look Harmless.”
OperativeA few new exploits.
A few exploits more.
Soldier— New gear boosts, and the Cavalry and Pugilist fighting styles.

Gunslinger
>Anyone can use a small arm. Gunslingers are legendary with them.
More Gunslinger Abilities
>A companion piece to the Gunslinger.

Sword Saint
>An alternate class for the solarian that is more on-genre for Really Wild West.

Dare Feats
>
For the characters are are at their best, when the situation is at its worst.
Wilderness Feats
>For characters who are more comfortable out in the wilds.

Key Ability Scores and Resolve
>Really Wild West is a cruel setting with pulpy characters. That takes a tweak of some core rules to support properly.

Theosophy and Psychic Powers
>While spells and magic are an established part of the 1891 of the Really Wild West, it’s also possible to gain psychic powers such as clouding minds and psychometry through the Practicing Psychic feat.

Renown and Gear
> Rules for using character renown to buy higher-level gear, allowing money rewards to remain the same regardless of character level.

Keepsakes and Baubles
>In a world where magic, theosophy, alien science, and spiritualism are all real, you take a lucky penny seriously! All PCs start with one, and may collect others.

Combo Weapons
>Sometimes you need a sword that is a rifle. Or a tetsubo that is a shotgun.

Dragon Guns
>Weapons that throw fire onto your foes have their origins in China and are 1,000 years old.

Kanabous
>Big iron clubs, for to smash thins with.

Lassos
>It’s not the west, really weird or otherwise, without lassos.

Lightning Guns
>One of the more common energy weapons available in the Really Wild West.

Shotguns
>Shotguns in Really Wild West work a little different than the big blast weapons of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game.

Whips
>Yep. Just plain-old whips.

Mare’s Leg
>Pistol-cut rifles never really existed in the Old West… but they’re iconic, and we have a LOT of things that never existed in the real Old West, so…g

New Critical Hit Effects
>Some ideas I came up with while workin on RW weapons.

Gizmos
>The setting doesn’t use armor upgrade rules, but all that cool equipment is still available, in the form of gizmos!

Technology and Equipment
>What is there, what’s the background for advanced tech in the 1890s, and some more Wild West themed gear.

Scorchers
>In the real-world 1890s, “scorchers”–bicycle riders (male and female) who sat-forward on the diamond-frame bikes–were considered a social menace.
In the Really Wild West, scorchers hold a different place in society.

Spells
>0 and 1st level

Bar Fights and Beatdowns
>The Brawl rules apply when there’s a lot of fighting, but no one is trying to kill anybody.

Gambling
>Gambling, and being a professional gambler, are important parts of many Western narratives, so they are also an important part of the Really Wild West, with their own rules subsystems.

Intimidation
>Two new tasks, to hold things at bay and dishearten entire towns.

Mounted Combat
>Horses are more common than self-powered vehicles in the Really Wild West.

Running a Train Fight
>Some notes on how I handled running a fight on a train.

Showdown Rules
>Two sides face off in the street, hands twitching near holstered guns…

BESTIARY
A (so far very short) list of Starfinder Roleplaying Game-compatible monsters to popular your Really Wild West adventures!

Grizzly Boar
>Massive alpha predators of North America. This article also gives some guidelines on how to create monsters in general for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game.

Gulchers
>These poor folks died in the harsh conditions of the frontier. They just don’t know it.

Rattle-Cat
>Venomous ambush-predator common to North America, as well as an article discussing how to best utilize the Expert array when creating monsters for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game.

Western Rakshasa
>Long a major threat to South Asian, natural born western rakshasa are now also one of the greatest dangers adventurers may encounter in North America. This is also an article discussing how to best utilize the Spellcaster array when creating monsters for the Stafinder Roleplaying Game.

Whistlers
>Undead who are both immune to, and fear and hate, the damage type that killed them.

BESTIARY RULES
Special rules for foes in Really Wild West.

Rowdies
>A way to have an evil posse, or other band or gang, to pose a significant but easily-put-down threat for your PCs to face in large numbers.

PATREON
If you are enjoying any of these, please consider adding a drop of support through my Patreon campaign!