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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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 — Simple PA rules for Starfinder

I am a huge fan of Post-Apocalypse games. That may be why I wrote for Sword and Sorcery’s Gamma World line, and d20 Apocalypse.

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Setting

The world ended. A few times. But for living memory, there were two Great Cities — Alpha, a land of ancient technology and highly-educated people living in a gentle, safe, totalitarian Bubble; and Beta — A huge, sprawling rough-and-tumble metroplex of rivers and bridges and canyons where mutants and rogues lived and traded and taught and sometime killed each other, but were free of most outside influences. Both had occasional visitors from a Third Great City — Gamma — but no one knew where ti was or what it was really like.

The Omega Invasion was unlike anything that had been seen in centuries. New horrors, new machines, new creatures, wiped out Alpha and Beta. The OI seemed poised to wipe out all life… until the Gamma Strike, which wrecked their bases and leaders, and left them in a scattered wreck of damaged robots and crazed ex-soldiers and experiments.

But there are Omega Invasion forces left, and they are trying to rebuild their armies. So heroes must seek out Gamma, and see if it can be convinced to once again save the world of the GammaFinders.

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Level

Characters start at 4th level. The GammaFinder World is a harsh place, so we start with more competent characters. And that means you are just one level of a nice ability score bump!

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Not happening, don’t worry about them.

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Emphasis

Every character gets an emphasis. There are three available at the moment.

Mutations: Select one item of your character level -1, or two of your level -3. You gain the abilities of those items as mutations. If they use batteries or ammo, you can use the ability as often each day as one full load of ammo or batteries. As you gain levels, you can change these items. When you gain levels you can improve your mutations to higher-levels of the same thing, or switch to entirely different items your mutations emulate, to represent ongoing mutation.

Relic: Select one item of your character level +1 or less. You have an ancient piece of tech that does what that item does, though you can change its appearance. If it has batteries or ammo, you refill them each time you spend Resolve to regain SP following a 10-minute rest. If your relic is lost or destroyed, you get a replacement when you gain your next level. You can change your relic at each character level, to represent the shifting effects of this ancient technology.

Talent: You get one bonus feat at every odd level. You must meet the prerequisites. Alternatively, at each off level you can gain one additional spell slot of the highest-level spell you can cast at that level. If you select this latter choice, you are likely described as a “psionic” or “witch.”

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Items

You get one item of your level (Major Item), one of your level-1 (Moderate Item), one of your level -2 (Minor Item), and one of your level -3 (Incidental Item). If it’s a consumable item, you can replace it when used at the beginning of each day (you may be able to make a new one, or find a new one, or have something that produces refills for it once per day).

These items don’t go up in level automatically, and if lost are not replaced.

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Level Advancement and Treasure

You gain a level every 12 encounters. Over 6 encounters, you expect (on average) to get one Major, one Moderate, one Minor, and three Incidental items. If you have the ranks in a skill needed to make an item, you can convert an items of the same type into a different item, once. Every time after that you convert and item, it loses one item level.

That’s it! It’s otherwise just Starfinder as a quick-and-easy PA setting!

A Request

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.