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Good Doggo PCs in Really Wild West (for Starfinder)

I am sometimes asked what makes the Really Wild West justify it’s claim to being “Really Wild.” My original through was just that it was a step up from merely “Wild” West. That the addition of Martian invaders, advanced science, magic, devil-run cities, psychic powers, dozens of species, alternate history, energy weapons, and legendary weapons made the setting wild enough, compared to just a Western, to justify the title.

But, maybe I was wrong. More than once, fans have indicated that as long as a certain theme and aesthetic is maintained, they want things in Really Wild West that just don’t show up in most settings.

Lots of folks have also noted that what they want is more Starfinder stuff that works in core Starfinder. That it’s fine if it’s flavored for Really Wild West,  or GammaFinder, as long as it can be used in typical science-fantasy games as well.

So, let’s look at the fenrin, a species with aesthetics and backgrounds designed specifically for Really Wild West, but definitely work in any Starfinder setting.

FENRIN

Fenrin are talking, telekinetic dogs.

Where humans or ysoki are found, fenrin are also there. In most ancient cultures, it was simply accepted that there were dogs, and there were talking dogs, and little thought was given as to why this was. During the First Paderborn Council held in the Holy Roman Empire n 785 AD, the question of whether all dogs were “uberklug” (or “sapients,” a distinction as to what counted as “people”), or just some, determined there was a different between “Fenrin” and other canines. This resulted in considerable scholarship of the question of fenrin, and how they did (or didn’t) relate to common dogs, dire wolves, winter wolves, and hellhounds. As a result, most accepted terminology about fenrin has come to be derived from Germanic roots.

Fenrin are an accepted and understood part of the Really Wild West world. Fenrin have been soldiers, priests, scholars, teachers, merchants, farmers, politicians, and every other role sapient creatures fill. Most have a very strong sense of community, which may focus on their own family, or may include a tight-knit social group that includes friends, colleagues, and often even neighbors the fenrin personally dislike but accept as part of their community unit.

Vital Statistics
Average Height
Graberin: 9-18 inches, 5-20 lbs.
Jager: 19-29 inches, 21-99 lbs.
Arbiter: 30-60 inches, 100-180 lbs
Age of Maturity: 2 years Maximum Age: 50 +1d100 years

RWW Good Doggo

Names: Fenrin have three classic forms of naming. Many take names common from their culture, no different from human or ysoki names. Because of the strong influence of the Paderborn Council, many take Germanic names, or add a Germanic name as a middle name.  Finally, some take names common among domestic canines, while others only do so as nicknames, and others find such names insulting. Fenrin are not a single culture, and both groups and individuals have differing opinions on this point.

Hit Points: 2 (graberin), 4 (jager), or 6 (arbeiter)
Breeds: Like the dogs they so closely resemble, fenrin come in hundreds of different breeds that are all part of the same species. In general fenrin break into three broad categories with some similar traits: graberin (Tiny, fierce, swift), jagers (Small, sturdy, steadfast), and arbeiters (Medium, strong, patient).
Ability Adjustments: Fenrin gain a +2 racial bonus to Charisma, and a -2 penalty to Wisdom. Graberin have a +2 bonus to Dexterity. jagers have a +2 bonus to Constitution. Arbeiters have a +2 bonus to Strength.
Size and Type: Fenrin are monstrous humanoids. Graberin are Tiny, jagers are Small, and arbeiters are Medium.
Doglike (Ex): A fenrin gains a +10 bonus to Disguise checks to appear to be a specific breed of dog of the same size category, and takes no penalties for being of a different creature type.
Additionally, a fenrin can make a special Charisma check (1d20 + level + Charisma) to use Diplomacy on any canine, though not all fenrin can actually speak with other canines.
Fenrin Trait: Different breeds of fenrin often have radically different physiological features that go beyond size, from double coats to particularly strong claws or teeth to spectacularly loud barks. You gain one fenrin trait, from those listed below. You can take a second fenrin trait as your 1st level character feat.
*Best Friend: Sometimes a fenrin IS your best friend. Whenever an ally takes an action that requires one or more Resolve Points, and does not have enough to pay the RP cost,, if you are within 60 feet you may donate your RP to cover the difference.
*Bite: You are always considered armed. You can deal 1d3 lethal piercing damage with unarmed strikes and the attack doesn’t count as archaic. You gain a unique weapon specialization with your natural weapons at 3rd level, allowing you to add 1.5 × your character level to your damage rolls for your natural weapons (instead of just adding your character level, as usual).
*Fierce: Your bark is actually pretty dang impressive. You can make an Intimidate check to demoralize a foe without sharing a language. You can also make Cover Fire and Harrying Fire attacks unarmed, by barking.
*Speak With Canines: You can speak to any canine in a language they instinctively understand, and you can understand communication from any canine of the animal type.
*Sprinter: You can take an additional move your speed action before or after any other action on your turn. Once you have done this, you cannot do so again until after you have expended 1 Resolve Point to regain Stamina Points following a 10-minute rest.
Keen Senses: Fenrin have a +2 racial bonus to Perception checks. Each fenrin also gains two of the following senses, selected at character creation:
*Low-light vision
*Darkvision (30 feet)
*Blindsense (scent) 30 feet and tracking (scent)
*Blindsense (vibration)(30 feet)
*Blindsight (scent) 5 feet
*Sense Through (scent)
Psychic Hands (Su): Fenrin do not have hands the way humans do. They can shove things about with their paws, or grasp items with their mouths, but treat their Strength as 2 lower when they do so. However, their innate telekinetic powers allow them to use and carry and manipulate objects as easily as a Medium creature with 2 limbs. They can use Medium equipment, and “hang” objects off their telekinetic field the same way a Medium creature would hang them on their body. They must have line of effect to any object they manipulate this way, and are limited to what could be reached by a Medium creature in their location. As a result of their psychic hands and the telekinetic field that goes with them, they can choose to have a space and reach of 5 feet (as a Medium creature), or to have the space and reach of a creature their actual size if not Medium (it’s a swift or move action to change between the two states). Functionally, they can do exactly what a Medium, 2-armed creature of the same Strength score can do (even if the fenrin is Small or Tiny).

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Mutations as Alternate Class Features (for Starfinder)

One of the interesting things about designing things in blog-sized pieces is seeing how gamers respond to various concepts as they are being developed. In the case of GammaFinder (and it’s conceptually but not-yet-existent cousin, FreedomFinder) there has been a huge surge of interest in mutant abilities and tiered mutations, and ways characters can get them.

PA Distant Ruins

(art by David Edwards)

I had developed options for gaining mutations with alternate racial traits, a theme, an archetype, a feat, and as alternate class features for a single class (soldier). Given how well all of that has been received, I’m adding rules for alternate class features to gain mutations for all the official Starfinder classes, and compiling all the other options to-date in one post (and adding one new archetype), to make it easy for folks to look at these rules all in one place.

(My Patreon backers also got a post today compiling all the mutant abilities and tiered mutations I have released to-date. There’s no new rules in that post, just all the info in one place, but it that appeals to you, go become a Patron!)

MUTIE THEME (+1 to any)
Yup, you’re a mutie.
Theme Knowledge (1st)
Your brain focuses on something a little differently than other people. Select one skill to gain as a class skill or (if you already have it as a class skill at 1st level) gain a +1 racial bonus to.
In addition, you gain an ability adjustment of +1 to one ability score of your choice at character creation.
Mutation (6th, 12th)
Your mutant abilities grow and evolve. Select a mutation from the Mutant Abilities list, below.
Mutant Heartiness (18th)
Your mutant physiology allows you to recover more easily than those with standard genomes. Twice per day you can recover Stamina Points after a 10-minute rest without expending a Resolve Point to do so. This does reset any abilities that normally reset after you expend a Resolve Point to recover Stamina Points after a rest.

PA Six Arms

(art by warmtail)

ALTERNATE RACIAL TRAITS: MUTANTS
You are a mutated version of your base species. You gain one 
Mutant Ability for which you meet the prerequisites. Your mutation replaces the following racial feature, based on your species, as noted below:
Core Species – Android (upgrade slot), Human (bonus feat), Kasatha (natural grace), Lashunta (lashunta magic), Shirren (communalism), Vesk (armor savant), Ysoki (moxie)
Legacy Species – Dwarf (traditional enemy), Elf (elven magic), Gnome (gnome magic), Half-Elf (adaptability), Half-Orc (orc ferocity), Halfling (sure-footed)
Other Species– Astrazoan (rapid revival), Bantrid (balanced), Borai (resist energy drain), Ghoran (past-life knowledge), Haan (slow fall), Hobgoblin (battle hardened), Kalo (cold resistance), Maraquoi (blindsense), Nuar (maze mind), Orc (fierce survivalist), Pahtra (wary), Skittermander (grappler), Strix (nightborn), Uplfted Bear (limited telepathy).

ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURES

BIOHACKER ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Evolution
Evolution: Whether in an effort to evolve yourself intentionally, or in reaction to exposure to the materials you use to biohack, you gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your biohacker level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of a theorem. You make this decisions each time you gain the theorem class feature.

ENVOY ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Genetic Progress
Genetic Progress: You discover a latent tendency within yourself that can be brought to full expression, allowing you to gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your envoy level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of an envoy improvisation or expertise talent. You make this decision each time you gain one of those class features.

MECHANIC ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Genetic Engineering
Genetic Engineering: You engineer your own gene sequence, perhaps intentionally, perhaps in a bid to prevent some ailment from striking you down, and gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your mechanic level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of a mechanic’s trick. You make this decisions each time you gain the mechanic’s trick class feature.

MYSTIC ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Altered State
Altered State: Your connection to the universe allows you to become something more, and you gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your mystic level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of a connection power gained from your connection. You make this decisions each time you gain a new connection power.

OPERATIVE ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Genetic Quirk
Genetic Quirk: You have always been a little different, so it is no shock to you when you gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your operative level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of an operative exploit. You make this decisions each time you gain the operative exploit class feature.

SOLARIAN ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Cosmic Mutation
Cosmic Mutation: Channeling the power of cosmic radiation, you gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your solarian level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of a theorem. You make this decision each time you gain the theorem class feature.

SOLDIER: Mutant Power, Combat Mutation

New Gear Boost
Mutant Power: You gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your soldier level. You cannot select this gear boost more than once.

Alternate Class Feature; Combat Mutation
Combat Mutation: Maybe you have been exposed to one to many leaky plasma cannons power cores, maybe you have spent too much time in radiation-blasted battlefields, but you gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your soldier level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of combat feat. You make this decision each time you gain the combat feat class feature.

PA Electroflies

(art by grandfailure)

TECHNOMANCER ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Gene-Hack
Gene-Hack: Perhaps you meant to warp your genetic code by turning your eldritch powers inward, perhaps it was an accident, but you gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your technomancer level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of a magic hack. You make this decision each time you gain the magic hack class feature.

VANGUARD ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Genetic Discipline
Genetic Discipline: Entropy controls all things, including the errors in DNA that lead to mutation. Using this knowledge, you gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your vanguard level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of a vanguard discipline. You make this decision each time you gain the vanguard discipline class feature.

WITCHWARPER ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURE: Alternate DNA
Alternate DNA: IN the infinite number of alternate realities, there are infinite variations of you, each with different combinations of DNA. You duplicate one of the variations in an alternate version of yourself, and gain a mutant ability. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your witchwarper level.
You may select this alternate class feature in place of a paradigm shift. You make this decision each time you gain the paradigm shift class feature.

PA Powered Woman

(art by warmtail)

MUTAMORPH (Archetype)
Your body, exposed to the strange energies of the GammaFinder World, has morphed.
Mutation (2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th, 12)
At these levels you may choose a mutant ability (see below) as an archetype ability, or take your class’s normal class feature instead. Each time you take a mutant ability, you may also replace one mutant ability gained at an earlier level from the archetype or the mutie theme with a new mutation (losing the old mutant ability).

POWERED MUTATION (Archetype)
You have a single, growing, focused mutant power.
Mutation (2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th, 12th)
Select on tiered mutation. You gain one tier of this mutation at every even class level. This replaces your normal class features at the levels listed above. You cannot gain tiers in this tiered mutation from any other source.

NEW FEAT: MUTANT
MUTANT
You do not fall within the most common genetic baseline for your species.
Benefit: Select one Mutant Ability for which you meet the prerequisites. You gain this mutant ability.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times, but not more than once per 3 levels. If you use this to increase a tiered mutant ability, it cannot grant a tier higher than half your character level.

ACTIONFinder Species: MechaMorphs

ACTIONFinder is a modern action/adventure campaign for Starfinder, that I do NOT have time for right now. But it’s taking up space in my brain and I have to get it out to get anything else done, so:

ACTIONFinder Species
MechaMorph
6 HP
+2 STR, +2 CON, -2 WIS
30 foot land speed
Size and Type
MechaMorphs are humanoids with the android subtype. Their base form can be Small, Medium, Large, or Huge. Once this decision is made, it cannot be changed.
Constructed
For effects targeting creatures by type, MechaMorphs count as both humanoids and constructs (whichever allows an ability to affect them for abilities that affect only one of those types, and whichever is wore for abiliteis that affect both types)effect is worse). They receive a +2 racial bonus to saving throws against disease, mind-affecting effects, poison, and sleep, unless those effects specifically target constructs. In addition, androids do not breathe or suffer the normal environmental effects of being in a vacuum.

MechaMorph
VEHICLE FORM
A MechaMorph can change into a different physical form (or back again) as a swift action, or as part of a move action to move their speed. This form may be a vehicle (but not starship) of Small, Medium, Large, or Huge size, though it must be within one size category of their base form. the vehcile must be one with an item level no greater than the MechaMorph’s character level, and has the AC and HP/SP of the MechaMorph. this can change at each new character level.
The MechaMorph can pilot itself, or allow someone else to pilot it. Anything it carried in its base form is stowed within it in its vehicle form, and the MechaMorph may opt to allow it to be accessed by riders/passengers.
While in a vehicle form, the MechaMorph gains a +10 bonus to Disguise checks to appear to be that vehicle.
Alternatively, a MechaMorph can have a secondary form that is any object of the same size as the MechaMorph. The MechaMorph gains a +20 to Disguise checks to apepar to be that object, and gains +1 rank/level that must be put into a Profession skill appropriate to that form.
A MechaMorph has all the benefits of a suit of armor it wears in either form, and other creatures must make a Perception check (DC 15 + 1.5x mechamorph level, +Disguise bonus of the MechaMorph, if any) to realize the MechaMorph has armor and to be able to attempt to identify it.
MORPHIC
A MechaMorph can adjust its form to fit in spaces much smaller that normal for a creature it’s size. It can fit into spaces that a creature two sizes smaller could fit into. Its space does not change except as constrained by available space (for example, a Huge MechaMorph in a 5-foot wide corridor takes up a space 5 feet wide and 15 feet long)
DARKVISION
MechaMoprhs have Darkvision with a 60-foot range.

PATREON
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Centaur PC Race for Starfinder… and more.

CENTAURS IN STARFINDER
I have always loved the idea of centaur player characters. I suspect my love started with “Bridge of Sorrows” by Denis Beauvais, which was the cover of Dragon Magazine #92 (TSR, December 1984). Or maybe to goes back a tad earlier, to the Xanth novel Centaur Aisle, which I read in 1982, the same year I first encountered D&D, and RPGs in general.

I definitely want centaur PCs for my Really Wild West setting hack, which means I need rules for playing them as PCs in the Starfinder Roleplaying Game.

Ability Adjustments
Centaurs are powerfully built and in tune with their surroundings, but their hybrid form does come with drawbacks. Some centaurs are slightly awkward, having the brain of a biped, but the body of a quadruped. Others are delicate, their thin ankles and strange doubled internal organs leaving them prone to injury and ailments. A few are impatient and have little taste for complex calculations, preferring direct action and simple solutions whenever possible.
A centaur has +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, and -2 to Dexterity, Constitution, or Intelligence.

Size and Type
Centaurs are monstrous humanoids that vary in size from halfling-scale torsos on pony equine bodies, to mighty human or even ogrelike torsos on mighty warhorse equine bodies. At character creation, a centaur PC decides if they are Medium or Large. They use held equipment as Medium characters in either case, but any armor is calculated using their total size.

Hit Points
6

Darkvision
Centaurs have darkvision with a range of 60 feet.

Humanoidlike
Centaurs are close enough to nonmonstrous humanoids that they can be affected by spells and abilities that affect humanoids, but do not normally affect monstrous humanoids. Centaurs gain a +4 racial bonus to saving throws (if any) against such effects.

Gallop
Centaurs have a land speed of 40 feet, but treat it as a speed of 20 feet when determining their movement using Athletics to climb or swim. A centaur gains a +2 bonus to AC when charging (which normally just offsets the -2 penalty to AC for charging). When a centaur succeeds at a bull rush combat maneuver, they can move their target 5 feet farther than normal.

Natural Weapons
Centaurs are always considered armed. They can deal 1d3 lethal damage with unarmed strikes and the attack doesn’t count as archaic. Centaurs gain a unique weapon specialization with their natural weapons at 3rd level, allowing them to add 1–1/2 × their character level to their damage rolls for their natural weapons (instead of just adding their character level, as usual).

Quadruped
Centaurs are quadrupeds, which gives them some advantages and a few drawbacks. They take -2 penalties to Acrobatics checks to tumble and Athletics checks to climb. When determining their bulk limits, centaurs add half their Constitution score to their Strength. Centaurs gain a +2 racial bonus to their KAC against bull rush and reposition combat maneuvers. A centaur can carry one creature of its own size, or two of at least one size smaller, without counting them against the centaur’s bulk limit.

RWW-Centaurs-background-01

CENTAURS IN THE REALLY WILD WEST
In the pulp-scifi-western-fantasy-world of the Really Wild West, centaurs appear in most ancient civilizations of western Asia, northern Africa, and eastern Europe. They often appear as separate tribes, no less advanced or civilized than the other species around them, and often seen as wiser and more scientifically advanced than the ancient cultures that wrote about them. They are an accepted part of the history of those places, and have become common throughout Africa, Europe and northern Asia.

However, centaurs are not generally huge fans of sea travel. This dislike is not pathological, but practical. Centaurs are excellent overland travelers, but at best mediocre swimmers, and many are large enough to make building ships to accommodate them problematic. In previous centuries, they simply used Roman roads and Asian trade routes to spread their kingdoms far and wide, often as the most feared and effective of cavalry. But the rise of sea travel in empire-building has left most centaur nations shrinking, and often joining larger bipedal nations in mostly-friendly alliances and unifications.

As a consequence, centaurs are not particularly common in the Americas, as their lack of a tradition of sea travel simply has centaur businesses and families less interested in the kinds of roles that have brought people from other nations to American shores. This in turn has caused most major North and South American to develop without taking centaur needs into account. Buildings are not designed to be accessed by hooved people up to seven feet tall, and even centaurs small enough to fit in American buildings find themselves with few places to stand in settings where everyone else sits.

Most centaurs in the Americas find they are just more comfortable in frontier towns or pure wilderness. So while there are not many centaurs on the continents in general, a disproportionate number of those who are present take to Wild West living, where their speed and carrying capacity, and long tradition of dedication and excellence, are seen as more than enough to justify making a few changes to the local saloon, or having on or two of the hotel’s stable stalls be well-appointed rooms, as well.

CENTAURS PF2
So, PF1 already has solid rules for centaur PCs, but what if you wanted to play a centaur PC in PF2, or 5e?

Hit Points
10

Size
Medium

Speed
30 feet

Ability Boosts
Strength
Wisdom
Free

Ability Flaw
Dexterity

Languages
Common
Sylvan
Additional languages equal to your Intelligence modifier (if it’s positive). Choose from Aklo, Elvish, Gnomish, Goblin, Jotun, Orcish, and any other languages to which you have access (such as the languages prevent to your region).

Traits
Centaur
Humanoid

Darkvision
You can see in darkness and dim light just as well as you can see in bright light. though your vision in darkness is black and white.

Centaur Heritages
Centaurs have a vast number of ethnic differences, but also can trace their linneage back to a few early tribes that still often produce very different

Kentoroi
You are Large, rather than medium, and have a thick, sturdy appearance. You may have small tusks, or pointed ears. You gain the orc trait and your bulk limits are increased by +6. You can select orc feats whenever you gain an ancestry feat.

Lapith
Your head, arms and torso are extremely humanlike. You gain the human trait and are trained in one skill of your choice. You can select human feats whenever you gain an ancestry feat.

While for a full suppliment we’d obviously want some cool centaur-specific ancestry feats, doing things this way ensures that as the PF2 game adds new options for humans and orcs, our centaur PCs will automatically gain expanded options as well.

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