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Social Technomancy for Starfinder

While the technomancer spells presented in the Starfinder Core Rulebook focus on mixing magic and specific, physical applications of technology, as residents of the modern world we know that technology is much more than a set of devices. Social technologies exist, from things like first aid techniques to social media to advances in the social sciences and philosophies, as well as data organization and storage techniques, metadata analysis, and so on. Surely in a galaxy that has spellcasters blending arcana with other fields of study, technomancy would leak into every aspect of advanced knowledge.

So, here are some technomancy spells that investigate other paces magic and advanced techniques might overlap. It also introduces some new focus rules—elements that are useful to casting a spell, but not mandatory.

Cram (T2)
School transmutation
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range touch
Target one creature
Duration 1 minute/level (see text)
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)

With this spell, the caster can take the knowledge from any text-based, audio, or video source and implant it into the mind of the target creature. This grants the subject a number of bonus ranks in one skill of the caster’s choice to bring the target’s total ranks (their own ranks + bonus ranks) equal to half the caster’s level (for Int-, Wis-, or Cha-based skills) or 1/4 the caster level (for Str-, Dex-, or Con-based skills). A caster that has access to an infosphere can generally use this to grant ranks in any skill, or a computer can have sufficiently complete versions of the relevant information downloaded into it for the same cost and effort as adding a secure data module.

Focus: If the target has a source of information on the granted skill on their person (such as a book or a datapad with the information downloaded into it) the spell’s duration increases to 10 moinutes.caster level.

Fashion Plate (T1)
School transmutation
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range touch
Target one set of clothing
Duration 1hour/level
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)

This spell transforms the appearance of one set of clothes. The clothes may be transformed into a specific set of normal clothing, or they may be turned into clothes appropriate for a particular group of people. For example, a mage could change his ragged jeans and leather jacket into a business power suit, or skateboarding street gear, or a karate gi. This has no impact on any game mechanical bonuses the clothing offers—a cold weather suit works just as well when it appears to be swimming trunks. This spell ends if the clothing is taken off.

Focus: If the caster has access to fashion information about a specific group (normally available automatically with access to a related infosphere, or compiled with a DC 15 Culture check), this spell can make clothing appear to be perfect for interacting with a specific group or segment of society (such as a specific gang, or a specific social class in a specific city). When wearing clothing perfectly matched for such a group, the clothes grant a +3 circumstance bonus to all Charisma checks and Charisma-based skill checks made with that group. One set of clothing can only be perfect for one group at a time.

Instant Therapy (M2, T2)
School enchantment (language-dependent)
Casting Time 1 minute (see text)
Range close (25 ft. +5 ft/2 levels)
Target one creature
Duration Instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)

This spell removes the confusion condition from the target. It also acts as a dispel magic and remove affliction against all fear and mind-affecting effects on the target, moves the target one step closer to healthy on the mental disease track.

Once a creature has been the target of this spell, it can’t be targeted again until it has undergone a 4-hour traditional therapy session.

Focus: If you have a mental health file for the subject, the casting time for this spell becomes 1 standard action. A target can give you a file they have access to, or one can generally be compiled over 24 hours with a recall knowledge Culture check or liberated from modestly-secured infosphere sources with a Computers check (both DC 15 + 1-1/2 target’s level).

Rap Sheet (T0)
School divination
Casting Time 1 minute
Range close (25 ft. +5 ft/2 levels)
Target one creature
Duration Instantaneous
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes

This spell gives the caster knowledge of one target’s legal record. This acts as a Culture check to gain information about the target as if the caster has ranks in Culture equal to her caster level and has access to a relevant database, but only covers information such as arrests, torts, convictions, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and bankruptcy. Only legal records are revealed, and only for the identity of the target as understood by the caster—disguises are not automatically penetrated and actual guilt or innocence is not revealed.

Speaking of Social Magic!

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Wilderness Spelltweets I

It’s a tad odd to still call these spelltweets, since they aren’t exclusive to twitter and even twitter doesn’t have the same character limit as when I first started these as a design challenge. But the core idea is the same, and it’s a bit more branded for me than just “spell variants.”

The idea is simple–take existing spells and make minor changes that cause them to serve a different purpose. The simplest version of such things is having a fireball do cold damage, but there are lots of other ways you can take rules that are already fully fleshed out, and make them work in new ways.

The base spells for all of these come from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Wilderness. They are organized by base spell, rather than by the variant spell name.

Hive Queen: Bard 4, druid 2, medium 3, mesmerist 2, ranger 3, shaman 2, witch 2.
As alpha instinct, but applies to vermin, gives no bonus to Handle Animal but does allow you to use it with vermin as if they were animals.

Ultramount: Antipaladin 3, druid 4, paladin 3, ranger 4, shaman 4, summoner 3
As aquatic cavalry, but the summoned hippocampi also have land speeds of 60 and fly speeds of 30.

Die For Me: Antipaladin 4, mesmerist 4, witch 4
As bleed for your master, but the target is one creature with an attitude toward you of indifferent or better. If the creature’s attitude changes after the casting, it remains affected.

Hospice: Bard 5, cleric 4, paladin 4, psychic 4, shaman 4, summoner 6
and Greater Hospice: Cleric 7, psychic 7, shaman 7
As callback and greater callback, but target is one willing creature and anytime the target takes damage that would normally trigger the spell it may, if conscious, choose for the spell to not take effect.

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Undead Agent

A short description of a complex spell.

Undead Agent

School Necromancy (shadow); Level cleric/wizard 7

As project image, but targets one undead and lasts one hour per level. The undead is controlled as by control undead (without the need to speak to the undead), and gains the appearance and abilities of the illusion from project image, and you do not need to maintain line of sight to it. The spell ends when its duration is up or the undead is destroyed.

 

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Song of Doom Goom

Inspired by a neural network’s effort to name rpg spells, I present:

Song of Doom Goom
School conjuration, enchantment* (compulsion) [fear, mind-affecting, sonic]; Level bard 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Targets 1 creature/level (no two of which may be more than 30 feet apart)
Duration 1 minute/level
Saving Throw Will negates; Spell Resistance yes

This spell causes foes to form sticky, disgusting “goom” over their ears. All sounds the creature then hears for the duration of the spell are altered to sounds like signs the creature is doomed. Affected creatures are shaken, cannot benefit from competency, insight, or morale bonuses, cannot aid another or benefit from aid another, cannot flank or benefit from another creature’s flanking, and cannot use teamwork feats, or help other creatures benefit from teamwork feats (even if those creatures can benefit when using teamwork feats with a creature that lacks the feat).

If an affected creatures is adjacent to an affected foe of the caster, the adjacent creature must make a will save (at the same DC), or the goom leaps over to affect the new foe as well (for the rest of the spell’s duration).

*This spell counts as a conjuration spell or enchantment spell, whichever is more advantageous to the caster, or less advantageous to the target. In either case, it counts as a (compulsion) [fear, mind-affecting, sonic] spell.

Speaking of Links

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SpellTweet: Entropic Block

(Spelltweets originally got posted only to Twtitter, and the whole point is that they defined a spell in 140 characters or less, generally by modifying an existing spell. Now they’re more likely to appear here and be linked to Twitter, but sometimes I prefer to keep the character limit as a design challenge.)

Entropic Block (cl/inq 1) As entropic shield, but the miss chance is 15% and it only applies to melee attacks.

Astra Arcanis I

Two new Starfinder Roleplaying Game spells! Both based on vehicles.

Polymorph Vehicle (Technomancer 3)
Casting Time 1 full action
Range touch
Target One vehicle with an item level no greater than your caster level
Duration 1 hour/level
Saving Throw Fortitude negates (object)      Spell Resistance yes

You can transmute a vehicle (but not starship) into any other vehicle of a lower item level. The vehicle becomes a typical, “stock” version of the new vehicle, not one that has any special equipment or upgrades. The vehicle must be empty of all passengers and cargo to be affected by this spell. The vehicle retains any damage it had on it before you cast the spell, and if this damage would causes it to be broken or have 0 HP in its new form, the spell fails. At the end of the spells duration, the vehicle is restored of half the damage it took in its transformed form. When the spell ends (even if dispelled), it takes one minute for the vehicle to assume its original form, and any creature or cargo that cannot fit in the new form is ejected harmlessly at the end of this time.

Vehicle Link (Mystic 3)
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range touch
Target One creature and one vehicle
Duration 1 hour/level
Saving Throw Fortitude negates (object)      Spell Resistance yes

You forge an eldritch bond between one creature and a specific vehicle that creature is within. The creature gains an intuitive understanding of the vehicle and its control, allowing the creature to use Acrobatics checks in place of Pilot checks to operate the vehicle, and granting the creature a +2 circumstance bonus to all skill checks made in regards to the vehicle. Additionally, anytime the vehicle takes damage, the creature may opt to reduce the damage the vehicle takes by half, and apply that amount of damage to itself. The creature must make this decision immediately after the amount of damage done to the vehicle is determined.

More Star Magic

I have a Patreon, where I posted the reload spell for mystics and tecnomancers as (at the moment) exclusively-patron bonus content.

Even More Star Options

There are tons of new spells for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game in the Starfarer’s Companion, available at DriveThruRPG, Paizo, and the Open Gaming Store!

Tailorthurgy

I don’t know if I have a lot of tailorthurgy spells in me, but one came to mind.

Bundle Up

School abjuration; Level bard 0, cleric 0, occultist 0, shaman 0, sorcerer/wizard 0, witch 0

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S

Range touch

Target one outfit

Duration 1 hour

Saving Throw Fortitude negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)

You cause one touched outfit to grant to its wearer the benefits of any one other outfit with a base cost of 10 gp or less. It retains any of its normal benefits. An outfit can only have a single bundle up spell on it at a time. If a new bundle up spell is cast on an unattended outfit, it replaces any older bundle up spell. If a new bundle up is cast on an outfit someone is wearing, the wearer knows what outfit benefit the spell grants the outfit, and can choose to allow the new spell to take effect, or not.

Only worn items referred to in their title as outfits benefit from this spell.

Patreon Exclusive Content

Okay, while writing that one MORE came to mind, the repattern spell, which I opted to offer as exclusive content to my patrons.

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Big Magic

For obvious reasons, published spells for the Pathfinder Roleplaying game tend to focus on things that are at least modestly likely to be desired results for spellcasters using them at primary or secondary spell slots. That does mean there’s an entire class of spells – effects that for both balance and cosmology reasons require spell slots so high to create brad but minor results that most spellcasters wouldn’t ever either learning or casting – that haven’t ever been explored. I think of these as “big magic,” things that are obviously powerful but that a typical adventuring spellcaster never needs.

What level spell does it take to do one point of damage to everyone within a mile? Ten miles/ 100 miles?

Yet one of the things I have learned is that there are many ways creative players will find to use spells that as a designer or GM, I wouldn’t have thought of. So, sometimes I play with potential big magic, mostly as a thought experiment.

Here are two examples of big magic, built off iconic low-level spells.

Magic Volley

School evocation (force); Level Wizard 6

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S

Range long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)

Area/Targets every creature within a radius of 100 ft. +10 ft./level

Duration instantaneous

Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes

You fire one magic missile at every creature within the spell’s area.

 

Succor All Wounds

School conjuration (healing); Level Cleric 6

Casting Time 1 standard action

Components V, S

Range long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)

Area/Targets every living creature within a radius of 100 ft. +10 ft./level

Duration instantaneous

Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)

You heal every living creature in the area of 1d8+5 hit points.

Patreon Exclusive

I included one other example, a 6th level bardic spell conference, as exclusive content over at my blog. Check it out!

Spelltweet: Small Adjustment

Small Adjustment (bard 1, bloodrager 1, cleric 1, inquisitor 1, magus 1, occultist 1, paladin 1, psychic 1, ranger 1, shaman 1, sorcerer/wizard 1, witch 1)
As masterwork transformation, except there is no material component and you convert a Medium item into a Small version that is otherwise identical.

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Make Iceball Interesting

Rules and supplements that present alternate spells for GMs and players normally don’t take any space for iceball, the cold-damage dealing version of fireball. That’s because it’s extremely obvious, and doesn’t really add much to a game. For a variant spell to be worth any space, you need to change how it works more than just swapping out the damage type.

But it IS often useful to be able to alter existing spells when trying to build thematic characters. Having iceblade instead of flameblade makes for a great iconic spell for a Druid of Winter. Giving a Siege Sorcerer forcebolt makes for great cinematics when he uses it against the city gate.

So for GMs looking to have quick and easy rules to alter every acid, cold, electricity, fire, force, and sonic spell out there, here is a simple system for making iceball interesting.

Swap dice down by one die size. So the d6s of fireball become d4s, and so on. For the most part, it is assumed the iconic damage types of classic spells are most common because they are most efficient, so people pick fireball over acidball because it does more damage. But you then also add a new effect based on the damage type you switch the spell to deal.

Acid: On failed saves damaged targets get fumes in their eyes and suffer painful corrosion, taking a penalty to all Perception checks, concentration checks, and ranged attack rolls equal to the spell’s level for 1 round.

Cold: On failed saves damaged targets have their movement rates halved for a number of rounds equal to the spell’s level.

Electricity: On failed saves damaged targets jerk and move unevenly, taking a penalty to all Acrobatics, Climb, and Swim checks and melee attack rolls equal to the spell’s level for 1 round.

Fire: On failed saves damaged targets catches on fire and burns for hp equal to the spell’s level each round until extinguished.

Force: On failed saves damaged targets are impacted by a bull rush combat maneuver with a CMB equal to quadruple the spell’s level.

Sonic: On failed saves damaged targets are deafened for a number of rounds equal to the spell’s level.

Of course you can also use this for metamagic feats, magic item special powers, new domains, bloodlines, mysteries and so on, wild magic zones, and so on. Perhaps the Arena of Flames is altered to ALL spells become fire spells, orroc rage-shamans mostly use scream-magic and deal sonic damage, or the cloak of the winter queen makes three spells of the wearer’s choice per day cold spells.

You can apply these effects to things other than spells, of course. Maybe the fire drake is exactly the CR you need, but the encounter takes place in the Storm Tombs? Just swap fire breath for electricity breath and apply the effects above. In such cases, instead of basing effects on spell level, base it on half the level or CR of the source.

Have fun with it. 🙂

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