June is going to be Starfinder Month here on the Postmortem Studios blog. I’ve been thinking of doing a Machinations of the Space Princess conversion and some rules modifications for the game and that’ll be the core of what I do this month. I’ll take some suggestions too though, so if you have a picture of a cool spaceship, alien or some sci-fi gear you’d like to see statted up for MotSP or Starfinder (or both), comment with a link to the image below!
This month’s content is going to be free for everyone, sometimes – however – I paywall what I write other than a preview. If you want to support me you can do so for as little as $1 a month on Patreon or 1 token a month on Minds.com.
Machinations of the Space Princess uses a much looser class system, which probably betrays the fact that I’m not actually a huge fan of class/level systems. I find them rather limiting, but certain systems very much depend on them. In Machinations I made them broader and put more emphasis on the Skill system (the OSR lacking Feats).
The Classes in Machinations are Expert (a catch-all for highly skilled individuals), Killer (for assassins and soldiers), Psion (a psychic rather than magical class – though many abilities mimic spells) and Scholar (a character devoted to deep mental rather than physical learning).
Envoy, Mechanic, Operative and Soldier all work fine thematically to be moved across but none of the magical classes from Starfinder really fit – though Mystics might be usable as an NPC class. What’s missing – if anything – is the Scholar (which can be approximated with a properly designed Operative) and Psion.
In Machinations of the Space Princess I compromised on the magic, since for so many people it’s integral to D&D derived games. If I had my druthers to do it over, I would spend more time getting a psionic system done right.
Class-wise, that would also be the main thing that I would want to tackle in a Starfinder conversion book for Machinations.
Stamina Points 6+Constitution Modifier, 6 HP.
You are marked and changed by some strange twist of genetics or a touch from the universe. The power manifests itself from your will and intelligence and tugs at the undercurrents of the universe and the links between conscious minds. You can extend this power into the minds of others and even into the physical, moving objects, reading minds, projecting thoughts and in rarer cases starting fires with nothing but hostile will.
Key Ability Score
Your Wisdom determines the saving throw DC of your abilities and your baseline number of Psi Points, which is further modified by your Intelligence Bonus. Wisdom is your key Ability score, with Intelligence and Charisma also being useful, especially in the case of Charisma, for those who want to use their powers socially at a distance.
Skill Ranks Per Level 6+ Intelligence Modifier.
Bluff, Culture, Diplomacy, Disguise, Intimidate, Life Science, Medicine, Mysticism, Perception, Physical Science, Profession, Sense Motive.
Armour Proficiency: Light Armour
Weapon Proficiency: Basic Melee Weapons and Small Arms.
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1st Level: Psi Power, Witch Mark, 1st Power Path
Levels 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 – Gain a Power Grade
3rd Level: Weapon Specialisation, 2nd Power Path
11th Level: 3rd Power Path
20th Level: 4th Power Path
You start play with a number of Power Points equal to your Wisdom score, plus your Intelligence modifier. This is the number of times you can use a Grade 1 power, without becoming mentally exhausted. Grade 2 powers use two points, and so on. Your Power Points go up as your Wisdom goes up, or your Intelligence Modifier goes up. You can also sacrifice a Feat, Power Grade or Power Path for 3 additional Power Points.
Psions are marked as unnatural and different in some way, usually through a physical mutation. Some of these are helpful, most are not, most mark you as different from those around you. This can make Psions easy targets of pogroms and, literal, witch hunts. One example mark might be glowing eyes, which penalise your Charisma, reducing it by -1.
Psions would have access to various Power Paths, starting with one and being able to develop others as they level up. A Psion can also choose to sacrifice a Power Path for an additional Power Grade to a path they already have.
Psion powers are measured in grades, as you advance in grade you need to use more Power Points to activate them, but they become more powerful. You can always choose to use a psionic power at a lower grade.
Example Psi Power
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: 25 ft
Target: A single target of up to 10 lbs in weight.
Duration: Concentration (Psychic attacks cannot be sustained in this way)
Damage: Telekinetic punch doing 1d4 damage, or throwing a weapon and doing the damage of that weapon (using your Wisdom bonus as a bonus to damage).
Each Additional Grade
Range: x2 (50/100/200/400/etc).
Target: double affected weight (20/40/80/160/360/etc, grade 6 being enough to levitate or fly)
Damage: Step up the damage one step. D4 becomes D6, D6 becomes D8, D8 becomes D12, D12 becomes 2D6, then 2D8 and so on (your Wisdom bonus is added to damage).
Grade Modifiers (Can be taken in place of an upgrade)
Fine Control: You can do more than crudely lift and push and can use fine motor skills with your power. Typically you gain your Wisdom bonus to any skill you use psychically this way.
Psionic Reflex: You can use this power as a Swift Action or Reaction.
Tanjela Tanstaffle (of the NuTerra Tanstaffles) is a Psion of level 3. She pumps all possible ‘oomph’ into her Telekinesis giving it a Grade III effect. She can now use her power out to 100 feet, can exert a force of 80 lbs and do up to D8 damage per strike.