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The Motiff Feat, for Starfinder

Starfinder themes aren’t quite backgrounds, and they aren’t quite professions, and I know why that is but this isn’t the place for that discussion.

Instead, this is the place where I discuss the fact that themes are, by core rules, locked in forever. Your ace pilot swear off starships forever and turn to sun prophets? Too bad, you’ll never change your theme benefits, or gain ones that might be more appropriate.

But, you know, we could make a rule that let you do so.

Motiff
The theme of your life has evolved since you started adventuring.
Prerequisites: 7 ranks in the skill that is made a class skill by the theme you select with this feat.
Benefit: You gain the 6th-level benefit of a specific theme you do not already have the 6th-level ability for. Once selected, what theme benefit you gain from this feat cannot be changed.
Special: You can select this feat mote than once. Each time, it must grand you a different theme benefit.

Greater Motiff
The theme of your life has developed
Prerequisites: Motiff, 13 ranks in the skill that is made a class skill by the theme you select with this feat.
Benefit: You gain the 12th-level benefit of a specific theme you selected with the Motiff feat, and that you do not already have the 12th-level ability for. Once selected, what theme benefit you gain from this feat cannot be changed.
Special: You can select this feat mote than once. Each time, it must grand you a different theme benefit.

Patreon
I have a Patreon. It helps me carve out the time needed to create these blog posts, and is a great way to let me know what kind of content you enjoy. If you’d like to see more Starfinder content (or more rules for other game systems, fiction, game industry essays, game design articles, worldbuilding tips, whatever!), try joining for just a few bucks and month and letting me know!

Nanocyte ThemeType For Starfinder

I mentioned in the article on the precog, I wanted to make sure I have Multiclass Themetypes for all of the official classes for Starfinder (and likely some other classes too!), so here’s the article on the last missing offficial class the nanocyte (from Starfinder Tech Revolution). You can check out the precog Multiclass ThemeType article for the rules and design logic behind Multiclass ThemeTypes.

(Art by warmtail)

Nanocyte ThemeType

You have been infused with morphic nanites that obey your subconscious commands. These are neither as strong nor as flexible as the nanites of a true nanocyte, but they are still far more advanced than anything available for commercial purchase.

Theme Knowledge (Ex, Theme, 1st Level): You gain a nanite surge, as the nanocyte class feature. You gain a total number of nanosurges per day equal to 1/3 your character level (minimum 1). Select one skill. You can expend a nanosurge as part of making a skill check with that skill. This grants you an insight bonus to the skill check equal to 1/4 your character level (minimum +1). Each time you gain a new character level, you can change what skill your nanosurge can apply to.

Minor Faculity (Ex, Archetype, 2nd Level): You gain the 1st level ability of one nanocyte faculty. If this faculty grants a nanocyte a class feature early, you gain the class feature. You cannot select a faculty that modifies or requires an array you do not have.

Knack (Ex, Archetype, 4th Level): You gain one nanocyte knack, selected from the list of 2nd level nanocyte knacks. You treat your level in the class this archetype is attached to as your nanocyte level for all nanocyte knacks gained from this Multiclass ThemeType.

Minor Array (Ex, Theme, 6th Level): You gain a single form of nanite array (sheath, cloud, or gear). You calculate this array’s effect’s using your character level -4. Additionally, you can expend a Resolve Point to immediately gain and use a nanite surge.

Knack (Ex, Archetype, 6th Level): You gain a second knack, following all the rules of the knack granted by this ThemeType at 4th level.

Lesser Faculty (Ex, Archetype, 9th Level): You gain the 4th level ability of the faculty you selected at 2nd level.

Improved Array. (Ex, Theme, 12th Level): You now calculate the effects of the nanite array you selected at 6th level using your character level -2. You gain a second array option, which you calculate the effects of using your character level -4. You can still only have one array active at a time.

Knack (Ex, Archetype, 12th Level): You gain a third knack, following all the rules of the knack granted by this ThemeType at 4th level except it may be a 2nd- or 6th-level knack.

Greater Array (Ex, Theme, 18th Level): You now calculate the effects of the nanite array you selected at 6th level using your full character level, and the effects of the array you gained at 12th level using your level -2. You gain a third array option, which you calculate the effects of using your character level -4. You can still only have one array active at a time.

Knack (Ex, Archetype, 18th Level): You gain a fourth knack, following all the rules of the knack granted by this ThemeType at 12th level.

Patreon
I have a Patreon. It helps me carve out the time needed to create these blog posts, and is a great way to let me know what kind of content you enjoy. If you’d like to see more adventure sketches, or Pathfinder 1st or 2nd edition, 5e, or Starfinder content (or more rules for other game systems, fiction, game industry essays, game design articles, worldbuilding tips, whatever!), try joining for just a few bucks and month and letting me know!

If you prefer, you can drop a cup of support in my Ko-Fi. It’s like buying me a cup of coffee, but more convenient!

Starfarer’s Codex: More PF1 Metamagic Feats for Starfinder

While I have already converted all the metamagic feats in the PF1 Core Rulebook to Starfinder, there are tons more official PF1 metamagic feats out there we can use to create interesting magic options for spellcasters in Starfinder.

Here are a few converted from the APG.

(Art by Travel Dawn)

Focused Spell
When you cast a spell that normally affects more than one creature, you can focus it on one opponent that finds it more difficult to resist.
Prerequisites: Ability to cast spells.
Benefit: When casting a spell that an area with a 5-foot-radius or larger, or targets more than one creature, you can choose to cast it with a casting time of 1 full action. This focuses the spell on only a single target within the spell effect. The saving throw DC to resist the spell is increased by +2 for that creature. You must choose which target to focus the spell on before casting the spell. Spells that do not require a saving throw to resist or lessen the spell’s effect do not benefit from this feat.

Once you have used this ability, you cannot do so again until after you next recuperate*. If your caster level is 5th or higher, you can instead expend 2 Resolve Points to use this ability again without recuperating.

Intensified Spell
You can cast damaging spells at higher spell level, to increase their damage.
Prerequisites: Ability to cast 2nd level or higher spells.
Benefit: When you cast a damaging spell with a casting time of 1 standard action, that is at least 1 spell level lower than the highest-level spell you can cast, you may cast it with a casting time of 1 full action using a higher-level spell slot than it normally takes. Such spells do 2 additional dice of damage for every level the spell slot you expend is than the spell’s normal level. The extra dice deal the same type of damage and follow all the rules of the original spell. You also calculate the spell’s save DC using the level of spell slot expended, rather than its normal spell slot. If you have other feats or abilities that depend on the spell level of the spell you cast, you treat its spell level as being equal to the level of spell slot you use to cast it.

Lingering Spell
Your spell clings to existence, slowly fading from the world.
Prerequisites: Ability to cast one or more instantaneous spells that affect an area.
Benefit: When you cast an instantaneous spell that affects an area and that is at least 1 level lower than the highest-level spell you can cast, you may cause it to persist until the beginning of your next turn. Those already in the area suffer no additional harm, but other creatures or objects entering the area are subject to its effects. A lingering spell with a visual manifestation obscures vision, providing concealment beyond 5 feet and total concealment beyond 20 feet.

Once you have used this ability, you cannot do so again until after you next recuperate*. If your caster level is 5th or higher, you can instead expend 2 Resolve Points to use this ability again without recuperating.

Merciful Spell
You can make your damaging spells less-than-lethal.
Prerequisites: Ability to cast spells that deal damage.
Benefit: When you cast a spell, you can choose for the damage it does to be nonlethal.

*Recuperate is my proposed term for when a character expends a Resolve Point and rests for 10 minutes, allowing them to regain all their Stamina Points.

Patreon
I have a Patreon. It helps me carve out the time needed to create these blog posts, and is a great way to let me know what kind of content you enjoy. If you’d like to see more adventure sketches, or Pathfinder 1st or 2nd edition, 5e, or Starfinder content (or more rules for other game systems, fiction, game industry essays, game design articles, worldbuilding tips, whatever!), try joining for just a few bucks and month and letting me know!

If you prefer, you can drop a cup of support in my Ko-Fi. It’s like buying me a cup of coffee, but more convenient!

Precog Multiclass ThemeType (for Starfinder)

Character concepts don’t always fit neatly into just one character class. Sometimes you want to play a precognitive who has also studied diplomacy, a spy who has studied just enough entropy manipulation to consider it one more tool in her toolbox, or a soldier with nanites flooding through their system. Starfinder offers three broad tools for adjusting a character to fit such concepts—themes (to represent background training), archetypes (to represent a different path than a typical member of a class), and multiclassing (to represent training in more than one role). Generally exactly the right balance of those options can make nearly any character concept work.

But it can take a lot of effort.

Maybe, if they were all blended into one definitive all-encompassing option, a broad range of new character concepts could be made easier and faster to write up. A way to indicate that a character has been working to add a second career to their primary training for most of their life, and plans to continue to blend the things represented by multiclassing, theme, and archetype. Something that takes some of the advantages of multiclassing, and places them in the slots of additional abilities normally granted by themes and archetypes. In short, a Multiclass ThemeType.

MultiClass ThemeTypes

A Multiclass ThemeType gives you some abilities of a second character class, but counts as both your theme (preventing you from gaining any other theme, and requiring you to select the ThemeType at 1st level) and as an archetype for the first class you take levels in (requiring you to give up some abilities of your primary class, as normal for an archetype). You can pick up the pdf of multiclass ThemeTypes for all the classes from the Core Rulebook at DriveThruRPG, and there are articles on this blog giving ThemeTypes for all the new classes from COM. So, this week, we’ll look at the precog class from Starfinder Galactic Magic.

Multiclass ThemeType abilities marked with (Theme) occur when you reach the listed character level, regardless of what classes you have taken levels in. Those marked (Archetype) are gained only when you reach the listed level in the first character class you take levels in. However, it is also recommended that characters with a Multiclass ThemeType not be allowed to also use normal multiclassing rules (in which case the character’s character level and class level will always match).

A character cannot take class levels in the class that matches their Multiclass ThemeType.

(Art by rolffimages)

Precog ThemeType

Whether from careful study of esoteric arts, exposure to strange 5th-dimensional crystals, being the only survivor of an alternate reality that was culled, or through some other means, you gain glimpses of the future itself and have access to eldritch chronal energies.

Theme Knowledge (Ex, Theme, 1st Level): At first level, select one anchor from the precog class feature of the same name. You gain its focal paradox. You have a single precog paradox per day, which you can use for any of the options available to a 1st level precog.

Minor Precognition (Sp, Archetype, 2nd Level): Select one 1st level precog spell. You can cast this spell once per day. Select two 0-level precog spells. You can cast these spells at will. Your caster level for all precog spells gained from this Multiclass ThemeType is equal to your character level, and you use your key ability score for all calculations that normally draw on the precog’s key ability score.

Basic Precognition (Sp, Archetype, 4th Level): Select two 1st level precog spells. You have two 1st-level precog spell slots per day you can use for any combination of the 1st-level precog spells gained from this Multiclass ThemeType. This replaces the 1st level spell you gained from minor precognition. Also select a third 0-level precog spell. You can cast this spell at will.

Chromatic Defense (Theme, 6th Level): You gain the chromatic defense class feature of a precog, but can only use it on yourself.

Intermediate Precognition (Sp, Archetype, 6th Level): Select one 2nd level precog spell. You can cast this spell once per day.

Advanced Precognition (Sp, Archetype, 9th Level): Select two 2nd level precog spells. You have two 2nd-level precog spell slots per day you can use for any combination of the 2nd-level precog spells gained from this Multiclass ThemeType. This replaces the 2nd level spell you gained from intermediate precognition.

Minor Temporal Anomaly (Theme, 12th Level): You gain a second paradox each day. Select one temporal anomaly from the list available to 2n- level precogs. You gain this temporal anomaly, using your character level as your precog level, and using your key ability score or key ability score modifier in place of any the ability score or ability score modifier listed for any calculations.

Greater Precognition (Sp, Archetype, 12th Level): Select one 3rd level precog spell. You can cast this spell once per day.

Major Temporal Anomaly (Theme, 18th Level): You gain a third paradox each day, and the paradoxical acceleration precog class feature. Select one temporal anomaly from the lists available to 8th-level precogs. You gain this temporal anomaly, using your character level as your precog level, and using your key ability score or key ability score modifier in place of any the ability score or ability score modifier listed for any calculations.

Full Precognition (Sp, Archetype 18th): You replace all your precog spells gained from archetype powers of this Multiclass ThemeType with 4 0-level spells known, 4 1st-level spells known, 3 2nd-level spells known, 2 3rd-level spells known, and one 4th-level spell known. You can cast the 0-level spells at will, and have three 1st-level spell slots, two 2nd-level spell slots, two the connection 3rd-level spell slots, and one 4th-level spell slot.

PATREON!
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Converting PF1 spells to Starfinder: Revealing Emoji and Scrying Emoji

Yep, another emoji spell as part of the run to convert to Starfinder all the Pathfinder 1st edition spells that don’t already exist (or have a clear replacement) in that game. Currently I’m working on doing all the glyphs, runes, and symbols.

You can find an index of the spells that have already been converted on this blog to-date here.

(Art by tigatelu)

Revealing Emoji
Class
 technomancer 5
School divination
Casting Time 10 minutes
Range 0 ft.; see text
Effect one rune
Duration see text
Saving Throw Will partial (see text); Spell Resistance yes

This functions as mirror emoji, except as noted above and as follows. This rune can only be triggered by creatures that have an altered appearance, including those that are polymorphed, shapeshifted, disguised, or have their appearance concealed or changed by magic or technological means. Creatures that are invisible do not trigger it, but if a creature that triggers it becomes invisible, the effect does reveal their location. Each viewer of the rune perceives it slightly differently, with the rune taking the visible form of a simple symbol that is commonly associated with shock, surprise, or understanding. When triggered, affected creatures in the area have a visual and audio illusion of the emoji rune appear above them, gasping in surprise and moving with them wherever they go. If a creature succeeds at their initial save against this effect and leave the area, they are not affected again if they re-enter the area. Creatures that fail their save are affected each time they enter the area.

Creatures who succeed at a saving throw and have both Stamina Points and Hit Points remaining are marked by the emoji rune for a single round.

Both creatures that succeed at a saving throw but do not still have both Stamina Points and Hit Points remaining, and creatures that fail at a saving throw and do have both SP and HP remaining, are affected in the same way while in the rune’s area.

Creatures that fail a saving throw and do not have both SP and HP left are marked as long as they are in the area, and for 10 minutes after they leave it.

Detect magic allows you to identify a revealing emoji with a DC 20 Mysticism check. Of course, if the symbol is set to be triggered by reading it, this will trigger the symbol.

Magic traps such as revealing emoji are hard to detect and disable. While any character can use Perception to find a revealing emoji (which may trigger it), a character must use the lowest of their Engineering or Mysticism skill (based on the skill’s total bonus) to disarm it. The DC in each case is 31.

Scrying Emoji
Class
 technomancer 5
School divination (scrying)
Casting Time 10 minutes
Range 0 ft.; see text
Effect one rune
Duration see text
Saving Throw Will partial (see text); Spell Resistance no

This functions as mirror emoji, except as noted above and as follows. Each viewer of the rune perceives it slightly differently, with the rune taking the visible form of a simple symbol that is commonly associated with eyes, seeing, spying, or visual events. When triggered, it creates a scrying sensor that acts as an arcane eye., but forms at the location of the rune (regardless of how far from you that is, even if it is on another plane or in a different star system), cannot move, and lasts 10 minutes.

Creatures who succeed at a saving throw and have both Stamina Points and Hit Points remaining are difficult to see through the scrying sensor, and you can only determine their position, size, and creature type (but not subtype), and they gain a +10 bonus to Disguise checks to conceal any of those details if they are attempting to do so.

Both creatures that succeed at a saving throw but do not still have both Stamina Points and Hit Points remaining, and creatures that fail at a saving throw and do have both SP and HP remaining, have the same details revealed, but do not gain a bonus to Disguise checks. You can make a Perception check opposed by their Stealth checks (even if they are not attempting Stealth and lack cover or concealment) to gain full visual information about them.

Creatures that fail a saving throw and do not have both SP and HP left are as easy to spot as if you were present, and you gain a +10 bonus on any Perception or Sense Motive checks you make against them through the sensor.

Detect magic allows you to identify a scrying emoji with a DC 20 Mysticism check. Of course, if the symbol is set to be triggered by reading it, this will trigger the symbol.

Magic traps such as scrying emoji are hard to detect and disable. While any character can use Perception to find a scrying emoji (which may trigger it), a character must use the lowest of their Engineering or Mysticism skill (based on the skill’s total bonus) to disarm it. The DC in each case is 31.

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If you enjoy any of my various thoughts, ideas, and posts, please consider adding a drop of support through my Patreon campaign!, or dropping a cup of coffee worth of support at my Ko-Fi (which is also filled with pics of my roommate’s cat).

Converting PF1 spells to Starfinder: Beguiling Emoji and Pain Emoji

Okay, I’m hopping back to the project to convert to Starfinder all the Pathfinder 1st edition spells that don’t already exist (or have a clear replacement) in that game. We’re still working on doing all the glyphs, runes, and symbols.

You can find an index of the spells that have already been converted on this blog to-date here.

(Art by film.design)

Beguiling Emoji
Class
 technomancer 6
School enchantment [charm, compulsion, mind-affecting]
Casting Time 10 minutes
Range 0 ft.; see text
Effect one rune
Duration see text
Saving Throw Will partial (see text); Spell Resistance yes

This functions as mirror emoji, except as noted above and as follows.  Each viewer of the rune perceives it slightly differently, with the rune taking the visible form of a simple symbol that is commonly associated with charm, enchantment, or being starry-eyed. When triggered, affected creatures in the area gain a charm effect toward the caster. The effect lasts as long as they remain within the area, and a limited duration after they leave (see below). If a creature succeeds at their initial save against this effect and leave the area, they are not affected again if they re-enter the area. Creatures that fail their save are affected each time they enter the area.

Creatures who succeed at a saving throw and have both Stamina Points and Hit Points remaining take a -2 penalty to any attack against the caster and skill checks opposed by the caster, and the caster gains a +2 bonus to all saving throws against their effects. This effect lasts for 1 round after an affected creature leaves the rune’s area.

Both creatures that succeed at a saving throw but do not still have both Stamina Points and Hit Points remaining, and creatures that fail at a saving throw and do have both SP and HP remaining, are affected in the same way, but the effect lasts for 10 minutes after they leave the area.

Creatures that fail a saving throw and do not have both SP and HP left are charmed by the caster, as if they had been affected by a charm monster spell. This lasts for 1 hour per caster level.

Detect magic allows you to identify a beguiling emoji with a DC 21 Mysticism check. Of course, if the symbol is set to be triggered by reading it, this will trigger the symbol.

Magic traps such as beguiling emoji are hard to detect and disable. While any character can use Perception to find a beguiling emoji (which may trigger it), a character must use the lowest of their Engineering or Mysticism skill (based on the skill’s total bonus) to disarm it. The DC in each case is 34.

(Art by voinsveta)

Painful Emoji
Class
 technomancer 5
School necromancy (pain)
Casting Time 10 minutes
Range 0 ft.; see text
Effect one rune
Duration see text
Saving Throw Fortitude partial (see text); Spell Resistance yes

This functions as mirror emoji, except as noted above and as follows.  Each viewer of the rune perceives it slightly differently, with the rune taking the visible form of a simple symbol that is commonly associated with agony, suffering, or trauma. When triggered, affected creatures feel pain for as long as they are in the area, and a limited amount of time after they leave (see below).

Creatures who succeed at a saving throw and have both Stamina Points and Hit Points remaining take a -1 penalty to all attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws. If they expend a Resolve Point at the beginning of their turn, they can ignore this penalty for 1d4 rounds. The penalty ends when affected creatures leave the rune’s area, but returns if they re-enter.

Both creatures that succeed at a saving throw but do not still have both Stamina Points and Hit Points remaining, and creatures that fail at a saving throw and do have both SP and HP remaining, take a -2 penalty to all attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws. If they expend a Resolve Point at the beginning of their turn, they can ignore this penalty for 1d4 rounds. The penalty ends 1d4 rounds after an affected creature leaves the rune’s area, but returns if they re-enter.

Creatures that fail a saving throw and do not have both SP and HP take a -4 penalty to to all attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws. Each round such creatures may expend a Resolve Point to reduce this penalty to -2. This penalty is active anytime the affected creature is in the rune’s area, and for 10 minutes after they leave it.

Detect magic allows you to identify a painful emoji with a DC 20 Mysticism check. Of course, if the symbol is set to be triggered by reading it, this will trigger the symbol.

Magic traps such as painful emoji are hard to detect and disable. While any character can use Perception to find a painful emoji (which may trigger it), a character must use the lowest of their Engineering or Mysticism skill (based on the skill’s total bonus) to disarm it. The DC in each case is 32.

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Contemplating 25 PF1 Alchemist-Hybrid Classes

What if there was a hybrid class for every conceivable combination of base, core, and occult classes?

Yes, it’d probably make a LOT more sense to just go with a full set of Talented Character Class write-ups, and let people mix-and-match themselves. For one thing, with 26 originating classes (as I’d treat the magus as a fighter/wizard hybrid class and the shifter as a druid/ranger, rather than either as a new base class), we’re talking about 650 classes. (And you think people complain about PF1 bloat NOW).

But, the idea still sticks with me. Which made me wonder, can I even come up with a core conceit for 650 hybrid classes? (Well, 638, since there are already 12 things I am treating as hybrid classes… )

So, I decided to take a look at one slice, of all potential alchemist hybrid classes. Not to write them at any level, just to see if I had ideas for each combination.

Here’s my initial list, for the alchemist (which already has the investigator as an alchemist/rogue hybrid).

Ragebringer (Alchemist/Barbarian – anger-based mutagens and elixirs) Brewester (Alchemist/Bard – drinks to make you happy, sad, or brave, and to fit any occasion) Glatisant (Alchemist/Cavalier – wide man of the court who rides a strange, ever-changing Questing Beast) Reliquarian (Alchemist/Cleric – priest that carries and empowers holy symbols and icons of the faith) Herbalist (Alchemist/Druid – uses secrets of nature to brew poultices and take on animal aspects) Steiner (Alchemist/Fighter – fights with weapon in one hand, mug of lord-knows-what in the other) Grenadier (Alchemist/Gunslinger – makes and fires strange alchemical grenades from a bombard) Antivenin (Alchemist/Inquisitor – for every divine foe, there is a potential alchemical antithesis) Phlogistor (Alchemist/Kineticist – distills anything down into its core eldritch elements) Lucid Dreamer (Alchemist/Medium – alter reality by projecting energy into your own dreams) Catalyst (Alchemist/Mesmerist – set up elixirs in yourself and others that are triggered by events) Purifier (Alchemist/Monk – use alchemy to purify the self to allow for better and more varied flow of ki) Psychomorph (Alchemist/Occultist – distill the essence of objects true nature into drinkable elixirs) Nectarian (Alchemist/Oracle – affected by the divine drink of the gods, not meant for mortal lips_ Alkahest (Alchemist/Paladin – Imbues substances with holy energy to undo any wicked force or creature) Orgonite (Alchemist/Psychic – Able to distill thought into matter, and matter into pure thought) Beastcrafter (Alchemist/Ranger – turns parts of your enemies into useful materials) Mutate (Alchemist/Shifter – slowly, intentionally becoming different than your beginning species) Uroboros (Alchemist/Sorcerer – create elixirs from your own vital energies and fluids) Ectoplasmic (Alchemist/Spiritualist – conjure spirit fluids with various effects) Metamorph (Alchemist/Summoner – use mutagens to become bizarre creatures with variable evolutions) ThiefFinder (Alchemist/Vigilante – an alchemical criminologist and mastermind) Leach (Alchemist/Witch – create imbalances in foe’s vital fluids to weaken them, or gain their power) Spagyric (Alchemist/Wizard – able to create much more potent elixirs, though not mutagens)

I doubt all of those ideas would survive contact with the design process, and some are pretty similar (do I really have two different ideas for the alkahest and antivenin?), but it’s a good enough starting point I’d feel like the idea had potential. I have no plans to make 24 more hybrid alchemist classes… but sometimes playing with an idea you know isn’t practical can lead to the development of an alternative you do like. It’s the game concept equivalent of doodling, with the goal not to produce a finished picture, but to see what interesting shapes evolve.

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Enlarging Dragons and Charming Outsiders in PF1

I’ve been contemplating how to create a broad set of rules on when you can safely create spells that affect different types of creatures in Pathfinder 1st edition. For example, enlarge person doesn’t work on dragons… would enlarge dragon be a reasonable 1st-level spell? At 1st level we have both charm animal and charm person… would charm outsider make sense too?

There are some tricky side cases that make a universal rule hard to be balanced. For example, if you could easily apply animal growth to any creature, you end up with a spell that can potentially make giants bigger than giant form II can, and at much lower level, and that is just a terror if applied to a summoner’s eidolon.

But if we follow the example of charm person to charm monster, there do seem to be a few ways to make at least a broadly applicable set of metamagic feats that can open up flexibility, just at the cost of both a feat, and a lot of extra spell levels needed.

Monstrous Spell [Metamagic]
You have learned to adapt eldritch energies normally directed at humanoids to affect a much wider range of targets.
Benefit: Monstrous Spell can only be used with spells that limit their targets to only the humanoid creature type. This ability removes the spell’s limitation of only working on humanoids. However, it does not change that some creature types may be immune to the effects of the spell–for example Monstrous Spell applied to enlarge person allows you to use the spell to enlarge a vermin, but Monstrous Spell applied to charm person does not allow you to charm vermin that are mindless and immune to mind-affecting effects.
A monstrous spell uses up a slot three levels higher than the spell’s actual level.

Unexclusive Spell [Metamagic]
You have learned to adapt eldritch energies normally directed at undead to affect a much wider range of targets.
Benefit: Unexclusive Spell can only be used with spells that limit their targets to only the undead creature type. This ability removes the spell’s limitation of only working on undead. For example, Unexclusive Spell applied to halt undead allows you to affect creatures of any type, though most nonundead targets are considered “intelligent” (excepting only those actually lacking an Intelligence score).
This feat only works on spells that specify one or more undead as their targets, not spells that interact with undead in different ways. For example, since create undead targets a corpse, rather than an undead, you cannot apply Unexclusive Spell to it in an effort to have a spell that allows you to create creatures of any type.
An unexclusive spell uses up a slot three levels higher than the spell’s actual level.

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I’m absolutely not immune to the money crunch in the game industry, so if you want to help ensure blog posts like this keep getting produced, please consider supporting my efforts through my Patreon campaign, or dropping a cup of coffee worth of support at my Ko-Fi (which is also filled with pics of my roommate’s cat).

Owen Explains It All — Ghost-Busting Weapons for Starfinder

Before we get to any OGL content, an editorial aside:

You may be wondering why is this tagged as an “Owen Explains It All” post, when that’s very unlike my normal marketing tone? Well, because this links into a show from the BAMF podcast I’m on, titled “Owen Explains It All!“. We do episodes picking new things from the zeitgeek to use as inspiration for game material, specifically the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. This article ties in to the “Owen Explains It All; Ghostbuster’s Afterlife” episode.

The show has a logo and everything!

Adding Weapons to Use Against Ghosts to Starfinder

Really, the two things you need to add the ability to bust ghosts to Starfinder are weapons that can affect and grab ghosts, and traps to hold them. So, here are two OGL options for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, designed to work together: the antiectoplasmic fusion, and the ghostbinder grenade modifications.

(Art by evilratalex)

New Fusion: Antiectoplasmic [Level 1]

Only weapons that deal electricity damage, and no other type of damage, can have the antiectorplasmic fusion.

An antiectoplasmic weapon does full damage to incorporeal creatures, and can score critical hits against incorporeal creatures. If an incorporeal creature is out of Stamina Points (or is at half or less of its HP, for creatures without a Stamina Point score), and has unrecovered damage from an antiectoplasmic weapons on it, then any ectoplasmic weapon can be used to grapple the target (even at range) by hitting its EAC +4 (rather than KAC +8). If an antiecotplasmic weapon has an incorporeal creature grappled, as a standard action you can both maintain the grapple and move the creature a number of squares equal to the weapon’s item level. This counts as an attack, including for purposes of expending charges or ammunition.

Grenade Modification: Ghostbinder

Ghostbinder is a modification that can be applied only to grenades that do electricity damage, and it increases their cost by 100%. A ghostbinder grenade does half damage, and has a trigger connected to it by a cord allowing it to be triggered within 30 feet. A grappled incorporeal creature in the area of a ghostbinder grenade must make a Fortitude save against the grenade’s DC, or be trapped within it. For every foe grappling the incorporeal creature, it takes a -2penalty to this save. An incorporeal creature within a ghostbinder grenade can take no action, cannot affect anything, and is immune to the affects of anything other than the grenade. If the grenade is shut off or destroyed, the incorporeal creature is released.

Unlike most grenades, a ghostbinder grenade is not destroyed when used. If there is no incorporeal creature bound within it, it can be recharged for the cost of a normal grenade of its type.

Expanded Content

In addition to these its, I briefly present rules for long-term ghost storage exclusively at my Patreon. You can join for a monthly cost of less than a cup of coffee!

Hold-Out Grenadier Feat, for Starfinder

Grenades in Starfinder are specifically designed to work in-game. That is, their cost, range, and power is scaled in such a way as to make them useful, but not something that is going to end an encounter with one action or allow minor NPCs to kill all the PCs with one lucky throw. That is, of course, arguably not how grenades work in the real world. That’s the “game” part of a roleplaying game.

But there are other factors as well when scaling grenades compared to reality. They are heavy and expensive per use, compared to other ranged counterparts, and real-world fatigue is more complex than just a bulk or credit system. They can be unpredictable in exact aiming, pose a potential danger to the user or their allies, break or detonate when damaged on your person in combat, and often require you to expose yourself more from cover than using a rifle does. None of these factors are major enough to call for complex rules to model them in Starfinder, but they are a reason it’s not common for individual soldiers to carry 20 grenades with them.

So, is there a way to give players the big-boom-to-save-our-butts experience, without breaking the game so grenades become the go-to solution for every combat? Well, yes, but since we are trying to overcome a gamist issue, it’s going to require a gamist solution with some limitations that have to do with fun gameplay for everyone rather than modeling reality. Not everyone will like that, but for those who do, here’s a feat to become the guy who has one cinematically-impressive grenade on their belt for when the situation calls for a big boom.

(Art by Sarah Hollund)

Hold-Out Grenadier (Combat)
You keep one bad boy ready, in case things go badly south.
Prerequisites: Proficiency with grenades and heavy weapons
Benefit: Once a day, when one of more of your allies is out of Stamina Points (or is down to 25% of their HP, for allies that lack a SP score), and you have access to your normal selection of gear (so not if captures searched and weapons removed, or when you have unable to resupply since last using this ability, and so on), as a full-round action you may throw a hold-out grenade that you keep for emergency situations.

The grenade is a grenade of your choice with an item level no greater than your item level +2, and you add your level to damage dealt by the grenade. If the grenade does dice of damage, it deals one additional die of the same size its damage is calculated in (thus a 4d6 grenade becomes a 5d6 grenade). The grenade cannot be one that does not directly deal damage (such as a smoke grenade, flash grenade, or grenade that summons a creature).

The round after throwing the grenade, you cannot make an attack, attack action, full-attack action, cast any spell unless it is harmless, or use any ability that requires an attack roll or forces opponents to make a saving throw.

Supporting This Blog
I’m absolutely not immune to the money crunch in the game industry, so if you want to help ensure blog posts like this keep getting produced, please consider supporting my efforts through my Patreon campaign, or dropping a cup of coffee worth of support at my Ko-Fi (which is also filled with pics of my roommate’s cat).