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New Feat for PF1: Vital Opportunity

Just one feat from me today. At the current level of support of my Patreon, most of my posts each week are *supposed* to be just a single, short idea, with only a few bigger posts like yesterday’s. Given how much catching up to do I have after the past month being lost to flu-then-pneumonia, I’m going to try to stick to that level instead of the massive bonus content I’ve been pouring out. If you’d like to encourage me to go back to more big posts, of course joining my patreon is a great way to do so!

I like giving martials who are able to follow more than one tactical path (often fighters) ways to have them overlap. This is for those who can both manage Combat Reflexes and Vital Strike, which don’t offer much synergy on their own.

Vital Opportunity (Combat)

You can choose to lay significant damage on a single foe who dropped their guard, rather than keep something in reserve for other opportunities.

Prerequisites: Dex 13, Combat Reflexes, Vital Strike, base attack bonus +8.

Benefit(s): The first time each round you make a melee attack as an attack of opportunity, you can apply the additional damage you would gain from Vital Strike, Improved Vital Strike, or Greater Vital Strike to the initial target of your attack. When you do so, you cannot take any other attacks of opportunity or reactions until the beginning of your next turn.

Revised Magister for PF1 (Part 10)

In part 10 of our series looking at a Revised Magister class (for PF1), we’re still working on new magister feats. These are all based off class features of combat classes, conceived and modified to make sense for a well-educated spellcaster.

Mystic Tactician
You’ve learned the ancient battlefield tactics of the Mage Knights.
Prerequisites: Magister 5, 5 ranks Knowledge (History)
Benefit: You gain one of the following teamwork feats for which you meet the prerequisites: Allied Spellcaster, Bonded Mind, Casting Conduit, Choral Support, Collective Recollection, Combat Medic, Conduit Casting, Cooperative Counterspelling, Coordinated Blast, Electric Discharge, Elemental Admixture, Familiar Link, Group Deliver Touch Spells, Group Shared Spells, Improved Spell Sharing, Metamagical Synergy, Mystical Reverberation, Piecing Gambit, Secret Language, Share Spells, Shielded Caster, Special Delivery, Spell Bluff, Spell Chain, Spell Synergy, Take the Hit.

As a standard action, you can grant this feat to all allies within 30 feet who can see and hear you. Allies retain the use of this bonus feat for 3 rounds plus 1 round for every two magister levels you possess. Allies do not need to meet the prerequisites of these bonus feats. You can use this ability once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time per day at 5th level and for every 5 levels thereafter. If you gain one of the teamwork feats listed (which you may do with magister bonus feats, if you wish), you can also grant them to allies by expending one use of this ability.

[As a design note I adore this idea… but I’m not 100% convinced it makes the most sense as a feat. A feat that grants another feat and does something else is weird, at minimum. In a final version, this might become a magister talent or even a mystic bond. But that’s how the writing process goes–get stuff WRITTEN first, develop those concepts later.]

Spellslinger
You have trained extensively in ranged spell combat.
Prerequisites: Magister 3, 5 spells known that require tanged attacks or ranged touch attacks.
Benefit: You gain a pool of grit, which is determined as using your magister level -2 as your gunslinger level, and using your primary spellcasting ability modifier. Rather than regain grit when you make critical blows or kill foes with firearms, you do so when you perform such deeds with spells using ranged attack rolls. You also gain the gunslinger’s dodge deed.

As you gain levels, you gain additional deeds (which can only be used with spells with ranged attacks, rather than firearms). If your magister level is 5 or greater, you also gain the utility shot deed. At 9th you gain startling shot, at 11th targeting, at 13th bleeding wound, at 15th menacing shot, at 17th evasive, and at 19th gunslinger’s luck.

Touch of Corruption
No matter the magic power source you draw from, you have taken a particular focus on the necromantic aspects of it.
Prerequisites: Magister 3, 5 spells known from the necromancy school.
Benefit: You gain the touch of corruption class feature of the antipaladin, using your magister level -1 as your antipaladin level. For every 6 magister levels you have, you also gain one of the antipaladin cruelties available to antipaladins at 3rd level, though you can never add more than one cruelty to a single attack.

(Art by Iuliia KOVALOVA)

Touch of Greater Corruption
Your necromantic powers grow.
Prerequisites: Magister 9, 9 spells known from the necromancy school.
Benefit: For every 6 magister levels you have, you gain one of the antipaladin cruelties available to antipaladins at 6th level, though you can never add more than one cruelty to a single attack.

Want More Professional Pathfinder 1st Edition?!

Hey folks! We’re not done with the Magister just yet — there are new and revised mystic talents and magister feats yet to come… but what do you want to see AFTER that?

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HEY, WHILE I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION!

I’m working with novelist and veteran game design Darrin Drader to bring a new edition of his Reign of Discordia sci-fi setting to 5e and the White Star rpg. As is the standard these days we have a Kickstarter campaign running at the moment, and would really appreciate you taking look, telling your friends, and maybe backing it!

Revised Magister for PF1 (Part 9)

Okay, moving on for now from mystic bonds for our Revised Magister class (for PF1), let’s take a look at some new magister feats. I strongly suspect I’d rework the entire magister feat dynamic in a final revised commercial version of this class, so all of these end up being mystic talents and instead of alternating between mystic talents and magister feat, the magister gets a mystic talent at every odd level (and one of them is “Bonus Feat,” like with so many class talent systems in Pf1), but that’s more of an overhaul than I want to get into for a simple update.

We’ll start with things inspired by the alchemist class. (No, no mutagens. Ever.)

(Art by Salenta)

Alchemical Talent
You have learned to create extracts.
Prerequisites: Brew Potions, magister 3, 5 or more arcane spells known, 3 ranks Craft (alchemy).
Benefit: You can create extracts and identify potions as described in the alchemy class feature of the alchemist (this does not allow you to make bonds — see Explosive Talent, or to make mutagens). Rather than gain a new formula list or separate extracts per day, you can expand a spell slot to create an extract from a spell known of that level or lower that targets one or more creatures or objects and does not have a target of “personal.” You also gain a competence bonus equal to half your magister level on Craft (alchemy) checks to create alchemical items.
Special: Once you have taken this feat, you can take the Extra Discovery feat without meeting its prerequisites, and may do so using magister bonus feats. You cannot take a discovery that grants or modifies an alchemist ability you do not possess (such as bombs or mutagens). Additionally, you can forgo a magister bonus feat to gain the swift alchemy alchemist class features (using your magister level as your alchemist level).

Explosive Talent
You have learned to make things go “booooom.”
Prerequisites: Magister 3, 5 or more arcane spells known, 3 ranks Craft (alchemy)
Benefit: You can make bombs. This functions as the alchemist class feature, except as follows. Your bomb damage and save DC is calculated as if your alchemist level was your magister level -2. You do not have a limited number of bombs per day, but to create a bomb you must expend a magister spell slot. This must be a spell slot with a spell level no less than 1 per 3 dice of damage your bomb does (minimum 1st-level spell slot).
Special: Once you have taken this feat, you can take the Extra Discovery and Throw Anything feats without meeting their prerequisites, and may do so using magister bonus feats. You cannot take a discovery that grants or modifies an alchemist ability you do not possess (such as extracts or mutagens). Additionally, you can forgo a magister bonus feat to gain any one of the following alchemist class features (using your magister level as your alchemist level): poison resistance, poison use, swift alchemy, swift poisoning).

Greater Alchemical Talent
You can make more powerful extracts
Prerequisites: Alchemical Talent, Brew Potions, magister 10, 9 or more arcane spells known, 10 ranks Craft (alchemy).
Benefit: You can now use the extract ability from your Alchemical Talent feat to turn spells known with a target of “personal” into extracts.

Want More Professional Pathfinder 1st Edition?!

Hey folks! We’re not done with the Magister just yet — there are new and revised mystic talents and magister feats yet to come… but what do you want to see AFTER that?

I know there’s less-and-less material being produced for Pathfinder 1st edition by people who worked on the game as Paizo developers. If you want to encourage me to keep creating new options for this rule system, please consider joining my Patreon (or buying a cup work of support at my Ko-Fi) and letting me know!

HEY, WHILE I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION!

I’m working with novelist and veteran game design Darrin Drader to bring a new edition of his Reign of Discordia sci-fi setting to 5e and the White Star rpg. As is the standard these days we have a Kickstarter campaign running at the moment, and would really appreciate you taking look, telling your friends, and maybe backing it!


Guard Dog Feat for d20 Games

Look, guard dogs are a common element of fantasy and feudal adventures, but they can add a lot of hassle for bookkeeping and worrying about their well-being in a ttRPG. So, maybe we just let people take a feat so they can have a dog that barks when assassins creep up in the night, and otherwise don’t worry about it?

This can also be used as a group benefit a GM passes out as a reward for PCs buying a stronghold, or saving an animal, or having an official group name and working together.

This is written to work in a number of d20-baed ttRPGs, so the formatting and language may need to be tweaked to perfectly match the exact game you are playing.

If they don't keep dogs, maybe.
(I *love* The 13th Warrior)

Guard Dog

You have a guard dog. It doesn’t put itself at risk during combat, does not make attacks, and just serves as an early waring system when you are stationary. You cannot use it to send messages, threaten prisoners, carry equipment, or any other task.

As long as you have access to your normal equipment you are expected to have access to your guard dog, unless the GM specifically says otherwise. While the GM can have your guard dog involved in other matters if they wish, doing so is specifically under the purview of the GM’s discretion. This game mechanics of this feat provide for a guard animal’s senses to help protect you out of combat, and in return for expending the resource of the feat and limiting the animal to early warning, you are not required to track its exact location, hit points, food needs, and so on. If the guard dog needs special accommodations to survive in the area you are adventuring, and everyone else in the party has them, you are considered to have managed to cobble together what the guard dog needs.

When you are camping or otherwise staying in one place for a long period of time (such as hanging out in a tavern, sleeping, having a picnic, crafting objects in a shop, and so on), the guard dog can make a Perception check with a bonus equal to half your maximum possible Perception bonus without any spells or equipment augmenting it. The guard dog can see, smell, or hear threats. If the guard dog perceives a threat, it barks loudly, alerting everyone nearby who then may act as if they had successfully made a Perception check to notice the threat.

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Diligence and Patience

For PF1. And Starfinder. Any any other game system you like them for.

DILIGENCE
You can go slowly and carefully, when the situation calls for it.
Benefit: When you Take 10 or Take 20 on a check, you can choose to take twice as much time as normal, and gain an additional +2 bonus to your check total.

PATIENCE
You know some things require time and effort to accomplish.
Benefit: When you attempt an ability check, skill check, or attack roll (without taking 10 or taking 20) and fail, if you next action is to attempt the same check (with the same tools or weapon, against the same challenge or target), you gain a +1 bonus to the result. If this fails and your next action is again to attempt the same check as before, your bonus increases to +2. If this fails you can try third and subsequent times consecutively with a +3 bonus. If you take any other action, your bonuses end until you fail again.

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Fallback Feats for 5e, PF1, PF2, and Starfinder

Tuesday’s Fallback feats were a bit hit. Sadly, circumstances prevented me from posting two new rules-elements worth of content Wednesday.

So, today not only am I giving your four new Fallback feats, they all work in four game systems — 5e, PF1, PF2, and Starfinder. Though these these feats are written using Pathfinder 1e/Starfinder terminology and formatting (I didn’t take the time to write 4 slightly different versions of each), the actual feats and rules themselves work in all 4 game systems.

These feats all fallow the normal Fallback Feat rules.

ELDRITCH BACKLASH [Fallback]
Your magic harms those that ignore it.
Benefit: When you cast a 1st level or higher spell that does not affect any creatures or significant objects you target or that are in the area, one target of your choice with an AC no greater than 15 + your caster level takes damage equal to one weapon in your possession with which you are proficient (without adding any bonus damage from ability scores, feats, or special abilities), or 5 HP per level of the spell, whichever is greater.

LEARN FROM FAILURE [Fallback]
You are constantly analyzing your efforts, and even when you do not succeed, you may learn something useful from your failure.
Benefit: When you fail at an attack roll or an ability check or skill check to identify, recall lore about, disarm, disable, or bypass a creature, trap, or hazard, or survive or get along in the wilderness, you may immediately make an appropriate ability or skill check to learn one new relevant fact about the creature, object, or region involved at the normal skill DC to learn information or recall knowledge. Multiple failed checks can reveal multiple new pieces of information without the DC increasing.

Fallback Entangled
(Art by GrandFailure)

SIMMERING RAGE [Fallback]
Even when a foe incapacitates you, your anger at being sidelined grows.
Benefit: When you are unwillingly bound, charmed, enchanted, entangled, grabbed, grappled, held, paralyzed, petrified, or magically slept by a foe (or foe’s trap or hazard) during a combat encounter in such a way that you cannot take any effective actions, you gain a +1 bonus to saving throws, rolls, or checks to end the situation incapacitating you (if any), which is cumulative if you are incapacitated for multiple rounds.
Additionally when you stop being incapacitating, you gain a +4 bonus to any attack roll or skill check you make in your first full around, and tot he save DC of any spell or ability you use that round.

STREAKBREAKER [Fallback]
Your bad luck doesn’t last forever.
Benefit: When you fail an attack roll or skill check roll (not including taking 10 or taking 20) and your d20 result for the check was 11 or worse, you gain a +1 luck bonus to all attack rolls and skill checks where you make a d20 roll until you succeed at one. If you already have a luck bonus active from this feat when you qualify for it again, you luck bonus increased by 1 until you succeed at a skill check or attack roll.

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Developing to Spec: Part 22d (The Last PF Core Feats)

This is the fourth section of Part 22 of a series of articles looking at creating a set of Starfinder feats under specific constraints.  You can go back and read previous entries where we converted every feat in the PF core rulebook to Starfinder (and  I shared my thoughts on that process, as a developer and writer)— or you can just look at the finished feats here.

This is it. The very last feats from the PF Core Rulebook that did not exist in Starfinder. This has been my longest ongoing blog series ever. I’m almost sad.

Almost.

But, let’s get to them, shall we? We begin with Unseat.

A confession. Having played hundreds (in all honesty, maybe thousands) of sessions of Pf and the games that came before it, I have never seen Unseat be used, or even taken by a character, even once.

It’s a super-specific jousting feat. Yo have to be mounted to use it. And attacking with a lance (and only with a lance). And your target has to be mounted. AND you have to charge to use it. And if you hit, you can TRY a bull rush to unseat the target.

That’s so many rules I’d be inclined to just add them to what a lance can do without needing a feat for it. Plus, does this mean that without this feat, I can’t use trip or bull rush to take a mounted foe out of their saddle? Or only that I can’t do it as part of a charge attack with a lance?

But we HAVE to make a Starfinder version, so:

UNSEAT (Combat)
You can rip foes from the mounts and vehicles.
Benefit: When a foe that is mounted or in a vehicle provokes an attack of opportunity from you, you can make a bull rush or trip combat maneuver instead of a melee attack. If you succeed, you pull the target off their mount or out of their vehicle, and leave them prone in an adjacent space.

I’m still not sure how often that’ll come up, but at least knocking folks off their motorcycle has genre-emulation value.

Next up is Weapon Finesse. Which, like so many PF feats, requires things (like a definition of “light weapons”) that Starfinder doesn’t have to allow something (switching some melee weapons from Strength to Dexterity) Starfinder isn’t designed to allow. In fact Starfinder already essentially decided that light weapons are “operative weapons,” and anyone can use their Dexterity to attack with them, and no other weapons should be allowed to do that under any circumstances.

But there is one thing that Starfinder’s system could allow for — some way for operatives to make trick attacks with different weapons than normal. Not to be more effective (operatives are FINE on the power scale), but to support different character concepts and variable tactical styles.

WEAPON FINESSE (Combat)
You can use bulkier, slower weapons to place attacks with additional effects.
Prerequisites: Trick attack class feature.
Benefit: You can use any weapon to deliver a trick attack. When you do so with a non-operative melee weapon, you may choose to use your Dexterity modifier, rather than Strength modifier to add to your attack bonus. You can only apply the trick attack to a single creature, regardless of how many the attack affects, and must make the appropriate skill check. For that one trick attack, you deal either just your trick attack damage +1 per operative level (with its damage type determined by the weapon), or you do the weapon’s damage without any bonus from your trick attack. In either case, you can apply any other effect your trick attack imposes onto the target you trick attack.

There are things this does, and things it does not do. It won’t increase any character’s single-target damage-per round output, and that’s intentional. It also won’t allow a solarian (for example) to ignore all Strength in favor of Dexterity, and that’s intentional. It is of most use to operatives who want increased flexibility. You may not do any more damage to one target when you deliver a trick attack with a grenade, but you still get the rest of the effect of a grenade. making unarmed attacks as trick attacks won’t bust your damage curve, but it’s a lot better than normal trick attacks if you’ve been disarmed.

Okay, last one.

Whirlwind Attack

Whirlwind Attack is a PF feat that normally comes in at mid- to high-level play that has 7 prerequisites (though a fighter could theoretically meet them all by 4th level), that allows you to make one melee attack against every target within reach. Again, a chunk of that is balanced by the fact that in PF, a good chunk of your Damage Per Round (DPR) is based on making more attacks each round. In Starfinder, your DPR increase is much more strongly tied to each attack doing more damage, so getting to make a single attack against a large number of foes is much more powerful.

We could probably do something with forcing you to take the full attack -4 to your attack rolls, and then maybe another -2 or so… so it’s only useful against lower-level foes, and even then you won’t hit all of them, so if you connect with one or two your DPR is reasonable…

But wow that doesn’t sound like fun or satisfying as a player. Let’s try something else.

WHIRLWIND ATTACK (Combat)
You can surround yourself with lighting-fast, shallow strikes.
Benefit: When you use the full-attack action, you can give up all your other attacks and instead make one melee attack against each opponent within reach. Make a single attack roll, and apply it to the AC of every target in reach. Roll damage once, and apply half the value to every target you hit.

That’s easy to access, it lets you do a little damage to a lot of foes (which is closer to how Whirlwind Attack generally works in Pf anyway), has a much better change of doing SOME damage to multiple targets. If you want to lay about and put a hurt on a lot of people up close this works, even if you won’t be able to pile nearly as much on any one target.

AND THAT’S IT!

What comes next? Who knows! Let me know your thoughts, over at my Patreon, or as a comment here, or at my email, Twitter, or Facebook!

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Developing to Spec: Part 22c (Two-Weapon Feats)

This is the third section of Part 22 of a series of articles looking at creating a set of Starfinder feats under specific constraints.  You can read along as we convert every feat in the PF core rulebook to Starfinder (and  share my thoughts on that process, as a developer and writer)— or you can just look at the finished feats (as they are written, and I have time over the holidays to update the list) here.

We have come to the last couple of two-weapon related feats; Two-Weapon Defense and Two-Weapon Rend. It would have made sense to write these back when we were writing the base Two-Weapon Fighting feat and it’s follow-up feats, but since we were only checking all the prerequisites for Greater Two-Weapon Fighting, and didn’t check to see if there were any more thematically-linked feats (such as Double Slice, or today’s examples), it didn’t come up.

So, Two-Weapon Defense is a combat feat that grants bonuses to AC. We’ve made major changes to every one of those we’ve run into on this project and for Two-Weapon Fighting we need to adjust:

Not a darn thing.

Seriously. With the advent of shield bonuses being defined in COM, Two-Weapon Defense works perfectly as-written. Even the prerequisites are reasonable. We can just add it to the game as-is. (If it makes sense and ain’t broke, don’t adjust it). We could require the two weapons to be melee weapons (although PF didn’t–apparently twin hand crossbows is fine), but the visual of the two-pistol character blazing away to give themselves cover fire is too cool to restrict even if it makes slightly less logical sense.

TWO-WEAPON DEFENSE (Combat)
You are skilled at defending yourself while dual-wielding.
Prerequisites: Dex 15, Two-Weapon Fighting.
Benefit: When wielding a double weapon or two weapons (not including natural weapons or unarmed strikes), you gain a +1 shield bonus to your AC.
When you are fighting defensively or using the total defense action, this shield bonus increases to +2.

And that bring us to Two-Weapon Rend which… does need change. I’ve never been convinced the PF version of Two-Weapon Rend was balanced. At first glance it looks like just a little bonus damage, but later FAQs made it clear that it also benefits from damage bonuses that apply to both attacks that trigger it (such as Power attack and potentially sneak attack) but not things that specifically are weapon damage bonuses (such as weapon enhancement bonuses and spells such as divine favor. Which means it is far, far more powerful for cavaliers, paladins, and rogues than for most other classes.

Any damage bonus is always problematic with Starfinder feats, especially those that won’t really have a drawback for a large portion of characters. While it’s nice for being multi-armed being useful, we don’t want a feat to radically change that usefulness if that calculation wasn’t considered in creating the core rulebook.

Luckily the feat’s name says you “rend,” not “do extra damage” so there are other options.

TWO-WEAPON REND (Combat)
You can make the intersection of damage from different weapons hurt.
Prerequisites: Dex 15, Two-Weapon Fighting.
Benefit: When you hit and damage the same target with attacks from two or more weapons in the same round, it must attempt a Fortitude save (DC 10 +1/2 your base attack bonus +your key ability score modifier). If it fails, it is sickened for 1 round for ever 5 item levels of the lower-level of the weapons (minimum 1 round). This is a pain effect.

Now, why did we say it was a pain effect?

Pain IS one of the descriptors Starfinder lists in the core rulebook. Pain effects note “Creatures that are immune to effects that require a Fortitude save are immune to pain effects.” It doesn’t come up that often, but it also helps explain why rending someone causes a sickened effect, so it’s worth the extra wordage.

Okay, that just leaves three feats, all of which we’ll tackle tomorrow.

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Developing to Spec: Part 22b (Trample Undead)

This is the second section of Part 22 of a series of articles looking at creating a set of Starfinder feats under specific constraints.  You can read along as we convert every feat in the PF core rulebook to Starfinder (and  share my thoughts on that process, as a developer and writer)— or you can just look at the finished feats (as they are written, and I have time over the holidays to update the list) here.

We’re into the T feats now, near the end, with Trample.

In PF Trample applies to the overrun combat option which anyone can access. Starfinder doesn’t have a generic version of overrun, but we did create some overrun options for Improved Overrun and Greater Overrun. While the game mechanics need total revision, conceptually there’s nothing wrong with running down foes in Starfinder. There is a trample rule in the Universal Creature Rules of the Alien Archive books, but it’s a bit too powerful to put into player’s hands. However, it can serve as the basis for a powerful feat we put at the end of the a relatively rare Starfidner feat chain.

TRAMPLE (Combat)
When riding or driving into combat, you are skilled at knocking foes over.
Prerequisites: Greater Overrun, Improved Overrun, Pilot 8 ranks or Survival 8 ranks.
Benefit: When mounted (if you have at least one rank of Survival) or controlling a vehicle (if you have at least one rank of Pilot), as a full action you can move up to your mount/vehicle’s speed and through the space of any creatures that are at least one size smaller than your mount or vehicle. You not need to make an attack roll; each creature whose space it moves through takes half your mount’s unarmed or natural melee damage or half your vehicle’s ram damage. A target of a trample can attempt a Reflex save (DC 10 +1/2 your ranks in the relevant skill + your Dexterity score) to take no damage, or choose to fall prone to automatically take no damage. If it takes either actions, it can’t make an attack of opportunity against you that is provoked by your movement. A creature can deal trample damage to a given target only once per round.

That brings us to Turn Undead. Like all the other PF things based on clerical channel energy, we’ll base this on the mystic’s healing channel and the Turn Undead feat. Of course at this point, you could build a whole new mystic connection just on gaining healing channel feats…

I have seen more players be annoyed by making undead run away (so you have to hunt them down later, and they aren’t tight;y grouped for area attacks) than cheer that affect, so because I can I am going to make the “turn” part of turn undead more conceptual.

TURN UNDEAD
You can use your healing channel to force undead to turn their attention away from you and all their foes, spending much of their effort guarding their eyes from a light only they can see.
Prerequisites: Harm Undead, healing channel connection power, mystic level 1st.
Benefit: When you use your healing channel to Harm Undead, those undead that fail their saving throw are also flat-footed, off-target, and staggered for a number of rounds equal to the level of the spell you expended to use Harm Undead.

That’s still a huge tactical benefit–indeed, smart undead might CHOOSE to run when they are successfully turned–but given that it requires a use of healing channel, and the highest-level spell lost the character has available, and two feats to perform, I think it’s reasonable.

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Developing to Spec: Part 22a (Beginning of the End)

This is the first section of Part 22 of a series of articles looking at creating a set of Starfinder feats under specific constraints.  You can read along as we convert every feat in the PF core rulebook to Starfinder (and  share my thoughts on that process, as a developer and writer)— or you can just look at the finished feats (as they are written, and I have time over the holidays to update the list) here.

We’re in the last week of the feat-conversion part of this project. Next week I’ll likely talk about supplemental material I’d recommend putting in a book that includes these conversions (and which I DO plan on putting in the book I compile at the end of this), but the actual feats will all be done by Friday’s post.

But for now, let’s look at Stunning Fist.

Stunning Fist is a little surprising as a PF to Starfinder conversion subject because… it doesn’t need any changes. I mean, we need to remove language about monks (that’s class-specific stuff, and we shouldn’t port it automatically to any Starfinder class–if someone wants to give a Starfinder class special Stunning Fist powers, they can mention it as a class ability rather than have us preload that into the feat), but otherwise it works fine as-is.

Which is weird. I mean if it works perfectly well in Starfinder, why hasn’t anyone converted it before. (Why the heck didn’t *I* include it when I was doing the first draft of the Starfinder core rulebook feat chapter?) I can only assume it was considered too goofy for a science-fantasy game to include people using a bare fist to stun someone in powered armor. But the feat already requires you to actually damage your foe, and if you are getting damage through the powered armor (maybe using the edge of a shield, now that those exist and some can deliver unarmed strikes) there doesn’t seem to be any reason you couldn’t deliver a nerve-strike type ability to them.

While there’s nothing we *have* to change, there are a few things worth tweaking. First, having a high Dexterity and high Wisdom isn’t really directly tied to stunning things, so in keeping with the lower prerequisites common for Starfinder feats, we’ll cut those. Second, the PF Stunning Fist includes a lot of the rules in the feat (what being stunned means, when someone recovers from an ability with a duration of 1 round), and Starfinder doesn’t normally do that either.

In fact I considered if this feat was under-powered, since it’s a melee option in a game of jetpacks and ray guns. But there are way to do ranged unarmed strikes, and stunning someone is still a pretty good condition to apply. I also considered if this should require Resolve points to use, but since it felt like it might be underpowered, decided to leave it with its own uses per day to compensate.

Interestingly I suspect most PF players consider Stunning Fist to be a low-level ability because they only see it with monks, who get it at first. Minus monks, this becomes a mid-level power without needing to change any crucial elements of the text.

STUNNING FIST(Combat)
You know just where to strike to temporarily stun a foe.
Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Strike, base attack bonus +8.
Benefit: You must declare that you are using this feat before you make your attack roll (thus, a failed attack roll ruins the attempt). Stunning Fist forces a foe damaged by your unarmed attack to make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your key ability score modifier), in addition to dealing damage normally. A defender who fails this saving throw is stunned for 1 round. You may attempt a stunning attack once per day for every four levels you have attained, and no more than once per round. Constructs, oozes, plants, undead, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to critical hits cannot be stunned.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have Tower Shield Proficiency, which is another PF feat that does something that isn’t relevant in Starfinder, because Starfinder doesn’t have “Tower Shields.” But it does have riot shields, so maybe we can do something with that.

TOWER SHIELD PROFICIENCY (Combat)
You can get the most out of the biggest shields.
Prerequisites: Shield Proficiency.
Benefit: You reduce the armor check penalty of any shield you use by one (to a minimum of 0). You can make unarmed strikes with riot shields. These unarmed strikes are not considered archaic.

The biggest part of that is allowing the unarmed strikes with a class of shield that doesn’t normally, but since there are rules for shields that allow unarmed strikes in COM, that should work fine.

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