Starfinder: Neo-Geisha archetype

Neo-Geishas are entertainers, host and hostesses skilled in classical arts such as karaoke music, cultural dance, games, and conversation to entertain high paying customers across the galaxy.

Not everyone likes the idea of a fantasy bard in space. Some of us do want a classic cyberpunk sci-fi future neo-geisha. I’m not sure it would be good for a full class, but what if we crack open an attempt at an archetype inspired by the geisha/celebrity bard archetypes from Ultimate Magic.

Neo-Geisha

Great traditions never truly die, but adapt and evolve to become sacred practices performed by those seen as exotic. Neo-Geishas are entertainers, host and hostesses skilled in classical arts such as karaoke music, cultural dance, games, and conversation to entertain high paying customers across the galaxy. You might be a practitioner capable of swaying tense social situations with laughter, or distracting an elite customer as a crew slips in the back. You could be traveling the Quad to act on behalf of or as a companion to ambassadors, or as part of a cultural learning experience to expand your talents. And as always, to share the perfectly brewed cup of tea.

Alternate Class Features

The neo-geisha grants alternate class features at 2nd, 4th, 6th (optional), 9th, and 12th levels.

Tea Ceremony (Ex) 2nd Level

You gain Profession (neo-geisha) as a class skill and the first thing you learned in your training was the art of making and serving tea to set your customers at ease. By spending 30 minutes preparing and performing an elaborate tea ceremony, you put all participates at ease. You gain a +1 to Culture and Diplomacy skill check rolls for the next hour while interacting with them, so long as you have at least 1 Resolve Point remaining. At 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th level, when you perform a tea ceremony this bonus increases by +1.

For those attendees that have participated in your tea ceremony receive an additional calming benefit. They are relaxed and more ready to face oncoming fears. For the next 24 hours, until they perform a rest or a full 8 hours, a participant may spend a Resolve Point to reroll a failed save against being freighted and fear effect.

Eye Contact (Ex) 4th Level

Neo Geishas must be alluring in order to hold a patron’s attention. Some do this with dance, karaoke, or with just a smile, but the secret is all in the eyes. You choose one opponent capable of seeing you and lock gazes, hypnotizing them with your presence. As a move or standard action, you attempt a diversion roll, using your Bluff skill opposed by a Sense Motive check of the creature. If done as a standard action, you gain a +2 bonus to your Bluff check. If successful, the creature gains the fascinated condition. A fascinated creature stands or sits quietly, taking no actions other than to pay attention to your gaze. So long as you maintain eye contact and in unobstructed view of the creature, they will turn to stay focused on you, even adjusting to see you if someone passes between the two of you.

While fascinated, it takes a –4 penalty to skill checks made passively in response to others’ actions, such as Perception checks. Any potential threat, such as a hostile creature approaching, grants them a Will saving throw (DC 10 + half your class level + your key ability score modifier). Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at them, automatically ends this effect.

You can continue to maintain eye contact as a swift action on following rounds, but the fascinated creature is granted a Will save to resist. If they are successful, you may spend 1 Resolve Point to keep them under the effects of being fascinated by forcing them to reroll. If you become unconscious, dying or dead, or something causes you to break your gaze (such as being tripped), the effect ends immediately.

Gather Crowd (Ex) 6th Level (optional)

A neo-geisha can be skilled at drawing a crowd or an individual’s attention when performing. If you are in a populated area, you can call out, sing or otherwise draw attention to yourself and your actions. To gather a crowd, you make a Profession check that corresponds with your performance. Over the course 1d10 rounds, a crowd will begin to gather. Of course, the size of the crowd depends on the local population, but on average, a number of people equal to 1/2 your class level × the result of your Profession check. So long as you engage with the crowd, they will remain watching you. Should you fail to interact with them or end your performance, it disperses over the next 1d10 rounds.

Soul Focus (Ex) 9th Level

You have learned to be enthralling when maintaining eye contact so thoroughly that even the presence of danger does not distract your target. When fascinated by eye contact, a target making a Will save to break the effect because of a potential threat takes a –4 penalty on that save, and even obvious threats (such as coming directly from you) require a save rather than automatically breaking the effect. A target affected by the eye contact ability ignores the shaken condition.

Charmer (Sp) 12th Level

A neo-geisha of this level of mastery brings forth a feverish allure over multiple patrons as if you had a psychic control. Once per day, you can cast a spell from the following list as a spell-like ability: charm person, charm monster, command and command, greater. At 13th level, you can use this ability twice per day, and at 17th level, you can use this ability three times per day. The save DC of these spells is equal to 10 + the spell level + your key ability score modifier.

 

See! Perfect for your Icon themes. That’s it for me for now. I will probably add this to a Xeno File in the future.

~Tentacle Out!

 

Faction: The Union (starfinder/starjammer)

After a week off, we are back with a brand new faction/organization for your Starfinder or Starjammer campaign setting.

After a week off, we are back with a brand new faction/organization for your Starfinder or Starjammer campaign setting. I want to take a second and say I love Valerian, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, Dark Matter, Killjoys, Space Dandy, Robotech, Cowboy Bebop, even Firefly and Star Wars. What do all of these shows and anime have in common? An interplanetary government. Let’s take a look at a solar system that has such an organization that was inspired by the above list.

The Union

United Star Systems for the Advancement Sentient Species

Leader: Secretary-General Elliot
Headquarters: Terra

When the humanoids known as Terrans first took to the stars in the Sol System, it marked an age of rapid exploration for the world of Terra. They made contact with the advanced sentient species on neighboring planets that watched as the world of Terra overcame internal struggle to reach the stars.

The two worlds of Shgourrub and Edda held a mutual co-existence until this time. In order to hide their appearances from Terrans, for fear of interfering with their development, they used portals to travel between their planets. Using optical illusions with the aid of technology and electrical fields, the two planets masked their activity on the surfaces, by projecting barren wastelands or thick cloud cover. As probes launched from Terra entered the foreign atmospheres, a non-communication stance became increasingly difficult.

Due to an unforeseen circumstance, during the middle of their space development, a starship carrying intoxicated Grey “teenagers” crashed on Terra. The incident caused multi-solar system panic as an advanced race had “accidently” made contact with underdeveloped xenos. Known as the “Rothweil Incident”, Grey technology recovered from the crash accelerated the advancement Terran development. This was followed by failed attempts by Greys to recover the lost technology and erase the minds of Terrans, who have over active imaginations. It was only a matter of time for the sentient minds of Edda and Shgourrub would need to intervene.

The two planets launched a joint effort, diplomatic and one of aggressive defense, to protect Terra from the Greys. During this period, written as the “Rocket Age of Terra”, contact was made between the three planets. After the initial difficulties of breaking down barriers of communication and racial bigotry, Terrans joined their brothers and sisters in the stars. They even established technology to interact with the network of interplanetary portals connecting the previous two planets.

The three planets: muliti-biomes of Terra, the arid planet Shgourrub, and the jungle planet Edda, formed an alliance to advance technology, explore the solar system, establish a trade economy, and vowed protect one another against external threats. The planets of the Sol System would form a council that would be the start of the United Star System.

The United Star System (USS) planets pooled resources and technology to build a space station to be the launching point for joint colonization. The USS began to expand in size and cross-pollinate cultures, grabbing the attention other solar systems with Void traveling technology. It was only a matter of time for these species to interact and join in trade routes. The exchange of histories and data information, exotic fauna and flora developed into an ambassador program of good will. First one planet joined, and then another, soon multiple star systems began interacting on the USS space station. Treaties and terms between all the planets gave way to reform and inclusion of all willing races that would form today’s collective collaboration known as the Union.

Since the inception of the current Union, each member planet seeks peace among the shared worlds by carving out territories around home worlds for each to control. Doing this allows each participant to rule and defend each individual area of the quadrant in its own way, but is regulated by common guidelines set forth by the Union. The Union guidelines and functions include: rules of engagement in foreign diplomacy, laws for settling disputes over trade between Union worlds, standardizes currency, judiciary functions, acts as mediators during confrontations and provides joint defense against common threats.

Each Union planet contributes an equal share of resources to the Union Central Command (UCC) headquarters located on Terra. Any race from the Union worlds can hold positions within the active UCC bureaucracy and space fleet. The Union Space Fleet (USF) is the largest independent joint operation of the organization and is tasked with protecting the shared space of the Void between worlds. It provides maintenance to warp portals and jump gates that connect the Union, along with the patrol and securing of trade routes. The USF also acts as reinforcements to Union planet fleets along the borders of territories on the edge of unknown space. Many ships operate hospitality and humanitarian missions to fledgling colonies outside of the quadrant, along with providing aid and recovery after worldly disasters. One of the top goals of the USF is a science mission set to explore unknown space, documenting new worlds and new life, and make first contact with civilizations on the edge of emerging space technology.

Currently overseen by an appointed android that goes by the name of Elliot, the Union is made up of a 21 member council. Consisting of seven planets from four star systems that partake in the alliance, each planet assigns three representatives to the Union Council through their own methods of selection. One member from each group sits on one of three sub councils that oversee one of the branches of the alliance: USF, UCC, and UST (Union Science and Trade). Through constant communication between organizations, the Union is able to keep the Void safe and open to travel.

 

Next article, we might stat-up the alternate humans from Terra. Until then, see you in space, Cowboy!

~Tentacle Out!

Faction: ACE or “Who taught you how to fly?” (Starjammer/Starfinder)

The tentacle is back for another article. This time we need to talk about who taught you to fly? What academy did you part-take in? Well let’s make an organization/faction that with built-in plot device.

he tentacle is back for another article. This time we need to talk about who taught you to fly? What academy did you part-take in? Well let’s make an organization/faction that with built-in plot device.

I give you ACE, or Accelerated Certifications of Explorers…

Accelerated Certification of Explorers (ACE)

Pilots for Hire

Leader: CEO and board Chairmen Sheyenne Alexxandra
Headquarters: Alpha Zeta, mobile space station

Two score ago, Accelerated Certification of Explorers, also known as ACE, started as a top gun pilot training academy boasting of the best and brightest from the civilized races around the Quad and beyond the Void. The academy offered a variety of classes ranging from weekend seminars teaching kids to pilot simple single man watercrafts to month-long training simulations on tactical heavy freighter combat. It was in a pilots favor and respected if a pilot held an ACE-approved certification pilot license.

As technology advanced and potential pilots sought cheaper training elsewhere, the ACE program expanded beyond the academy portion of the businesses and branched out to planetary expeditions. They serve as aerial surveillance and security for industrial corporations performing planet side surveys for future developments. The Alpha One (A1) Department services its clients with manned craft and aerial drones protecting the ground crew and providing surveillance shielding for clients that wish to keep operations secret. Providing services of radar jamming and scan deflectors are optional for an additional service fee.

Department Alpha Two (A2) handles requests for security of over long distance travel through hyperspace. Elite A2 starfighter pilots take on escort missions for freighter caravans that need defending from space pirates and organic threats traveling in deep space. This department gives guidance astral navigation through safe routes and pilots assigned to the contract will respond defensively to aggressive actions against employers. However, ACE policy dictates a responsive reaction versus initial confrontation. The pilots that join this department must be skilled in negotiation.

Department Alpha Three (A3) is the salvage and rescue fleet of the ACE company. A3 operates under contracts consisting of simple missions of planet-side equipment retrieval for corporations who left items behind, to answering distress beacons that the Union Worlds do not have time or resources in the area to inspect. The makeup of the A3 hosts a number of large freighters, tow ships, and starfighters equipped with the most advanced scanners and towing technology available.

Rumors persist of a division of the company that offers select services to only the most high profile of clients. ACE Public Relations (PRD) will never confirm the existence of the whispered department within the organization that performs these hush services. However, conspiracy theorists say the Delta Nova Zeta (DNZ) is a corporate mercenary division taking contracts of black ops rescue and withdraws, acting as crack pilot dog fighters bombarding slave ships, emergency medical extractions for undercover corporate or government agents, and performs ethical espionage and sabotage. The DNZ operatives fly in on unmarked ships and disappear before targets can register their movement.

Lead by CEO and Board Chairman Sheyenne Alexxandra, ACE Headquarters is located on a mobile space station that wonders the quadrant known as Alpha Zeta. This station houses a large percentage of ACE internal fleet of ships and offers a wide variety of services to ACE Certified Pilots. These services include medical services and resupply, dormitories for rent, refueling capabilities, including ship repairs and upgrades, an array of equipment (personal and otherwise) for rental and purchase, a job board access with access to freelance contracts and a number of essential services provided to members only.

ACE still operates a number of pilot training facilities among several Union planets, offering local licenses and higher quality ACE certifications. Local licenses focus on the society regulations of the planet, local government and Union qualifications for registered operation of the required craft. Then they offer a more intensive course designed with higher standards and lower graduation rate that qualify the individual as an ACE Certified Pilot. They use these higher courses to scout for potential recruits.

There you go. Small article today. But you have a faction of pilots that do cool stuff.

~Tentacle out!

What if: 3rd Party Starfinder Organized Play

How do you qualify and quantify cargo and list what is contraband from so much material that is floating in atmo?

Welcome back to the world of deep space where only the tentacle lives. In no attempt is this space creature attempting to get oxygen chords twisted. Just laying out some examples for race acceptation of organized play of third party material available on StarfinderSRD.com in a logical thought processes.

What if: Starfinder 3-Play open gaming organized play

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away the Admiral of the D20pfsrd.com fleet, John Reyst, put forth the idea of a collective of starship captains to take up arms and guide ships to the unknown quadrants of the universe. Through many talks and deliberations with wonderful ideas, time to explore the opportunity to lead the squad of ships was a restricting factor for many.

How do you qualify and quantify cargo and list what is contraband from so much material that is floating in atmo?

A new Verse, Explore the Void.

Starfinder is still a new toy fresh from the packaging that has a fantastic future to explore. Several companies have set up campaign settings, such as Legendary Planet: Worlds, Starfarer’s Companion, and even Starjammer. There are plenty of worlds to explore and traverse in your starship. The galaxy is open and the best part about these books, is that you can take some or a whole of it and make it your own. Qualifying what worlds should and shouldn’t be in is something we’ll discuss in a further in another article.

Let us talk races.

Races of the Galaxy.

Starting off we should look at what races should be incorporated and “legal” by the material that is available. Let’s nail down a transmission. StarfinderSRD.com. Makes sense, right? Since it’s part of the Opengamingnetwork.com, that should be a primary source. Bring it up on your view screen in a new window.

So we have the set list of Starfinder races from the core book. Make them legal, because they are the start of the system. Standard fantasy races are from the core book, so why not? (Personal opinion, you can use them, but I like to stray from them)

Next up click the “Races by Other Publishers”.

Oh look, the first one is Amora Game, Umvee. Enough detail on the home world, how they interact, and follows a basic standard format presented in the core book. Accepted (based on bias opinion).

Next up is D20PFSRD.com Publishing: abiarazi, manu, pasimachi, & transgenic. Again, the information presented follows the same format as the core, and pretty well balanced. Accepted.

Rogue Genius Games is next up. aasimar, catfolk, grippli, kitsune. As the other two, they come off as balanced with the detail needed on world, alignment, etc to be incorporated into your home game. Accepted

Then last but not least, STROH HAMMER races; given that we have accepted StarfinderSRD.com as the source of our material, we have to reject the asquenti and bethonir races. This is due to the quantifying of the cargo.

We have accepted the fact that the standard format for races should (if not MUST) adhere to the Starfinder core book to help us get the information we need, or at least conform to the set up of the “standard fantasy races” section with enough detail to add to your galaxy. In no way shape or form am I saying you can’t use these races, but for an organized play document, they don’t adhere to the format of a unifying information for all to use. It leaves too much for the GM & PC to come up with the information needed. Of course I always recommend you buy the 3PP PDF at all times for the race you want to play. Not everything on the StarfinderSRD has all the information needed for the race. Like our Umvee, if you want to know more of the goddess Daji, you need to buy the Xeno File issue that it appears in.

But it does raise the question, what data do you need to qualify the cargo? It has the racial stats you need to play the race. It fails to give alignment advice on playing or even a description of the race. With this in mind, let’s forget the sections: Homeworld & Adventures.  Society and Alignment, IMHO, is a required field for the race. Tell us about it. Relations is a grey area. There are a lot of races in the Quad to deal with. Names, it is the small flavor text that help in the growth of a character and makes it a little more personable. Physical Description is a MUST have. What does the race look like, what am I looking for, is it a fish or a bird?

Quantifying Cargo

In my opinion as a GM and Player of Starfinder rules, Races should have at a minimum format for organized play:

  1. Small intro like they do
  2. Ability Adjustments, HP, and Racial Traits
  3. Physical Description
  4. Society and Alignment
  5. Names
  6. Adventures (helps, but not needed)

Bonus: Homeworld, Adventures, Relations.

If I was in charge of a Third Party Organized Play system (for Starfinder), I would require the above.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions?

I would love to hear from you.

-Tentacle out!

Symbiotes and You (Starfinder)

Adding Symbiotes to your Starfinder game.

All Hail the Tentacle!

Let’s talk Starfinder. I’m the owner of Amora Game and our focus for this blog is working on a project for an upcoming Xeno Files issue.  Until Alien Archives is released we are limited to a number of speculations about how to billed races, but more importantly, how to build a monster. Specifically…..Symbiotes. I’m not talking Venom from Spider-Man fame, I speak of little creatures you cram into your ear like the “babble fish” from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  Stick that guy in your ear and BAM!, you can understand all the languages while the goldfish sucks on your brain waves. So let’s make up some rules.

Symbiotes and You

The number of symbiotes that a character’s body can maintain at one time is related directly in portion to the starting racial hit points (HP) a race begins play with. For example, a Human begins play with 4 HP, allowing their body to only host 4 different types of symbiotes at once. An Abiarazi can support up to six different symbiotes, as their starting racial HP is 6. Umvee can host four symbiotes due to only have 4 HP,  and so on and so forth.

Each symbiote comes with a benefit. This benefit also comes with a cost, a price to that will be paid for cohabitation of the same body. A character’s starting racial HP also acts as a number of maximum slots that can be filled to host a symbiote. Each symbiote has a minimum slot cost, as some take more space than others do, due to size or benefit.

A host cannot gain double the benefit from having more than one of the same type of symbiote at a given time. Example: a character with two Cearkif symbiotes, can only gain the benefit as though he had one Cearkif. This also applies to symbiotes that give a numerical bonus, such as a +2 bonus to Fortitude Saves, the character can only benefit from one of these bonuses from the same type of symbiote.

For symboites that give numerical bonuses to the same statistic, but are a different type of symbiote, these bonuses stack together.

Symbiote Description

Name
Description
Level:  
Price: 
Size:  
Bonding: Time it takes to form a relationship and gain the benefit
Life Span: x; breed able; HP: 

Name: The name will state the name of the creature
Underneath the name will describe the creature, the benefits, and where they can be applied.
Level: This level will list the availability of the symbiote
Price: This is the price of the little bugger
Size: F-Fine; D-Diminutive; T-Tiny; S-Small
Bonding:
This section will explain the time it takes to form a perfect symbiosis with the creature and gain it’s benefits.
Life Span: Will list the duration a symbiote can live.
HP: In this section, it will explain the HP slot & “cost”; also how much HP the creature has.

Now that we have that taken care of as a general layout, let’s make a Cearkif. 

Cearkif
The cearkif of Epsilon-7782 is bright silver colored minnow-like creature with the capacity to help it’s host understand languages of a xeno humaniod race. These little brain-wave sucking cearkif must be inserted into the body via a cavity that will allow it to work it’s way to the host’s brain. Such as up a nose or through an ear opening. Cearkif than makes it’s home living in the cerebral brain fluid of sentient beings. It is a common companion for ambassadors and those that possess telepathy. It gives the host the ability to speak, read, and understand all languages.
Level: 1; Price: 125; Size: F
Bonding:
Cearkif bond with their host as soon as it is physically able to enter the host’s brain fluid.
Life Span: Once bonded, cearkif have an accelerated life span. So long as the host is in dialogue with an unknown language it naturally doesn’t speak, the cearkif can live indefinitely. After an hour of inconsistent chatter and inactive speech, it dies causing nausea and vomiting in the host until it is expelled (1d20 minutes).
HP: 1

 

So that’s some of the rules and preview of the Cearkif symbiote  that is being developed for a future Xeno File issue. Something to ponder and enjoy.

Tentacle Out!

Developer’s Journal 5: SW Powers = Techniques

1 Chi Point = 2 Power Points (roughly)

Holy Moly it’s almost the end of June. It’s been a bit crazy on the home front. Working through a lot of projects and this tentacle hasn’t had time to write Monday Manga or a Developer’s Journal.

So let’s do the Developer’s Journal since we just passed a Wednesday.

Expanding upon our last Journal , I have to transfer all the known powers from Savage Worlds to the Chi system. Which is pretty easy to do. 1 Chi Point = 2 Power Points (roughly).  Since SW players know what Trappings are, we look to design them differently. We go with the battle anime’s version of “Lazor Rocket 2000” or “Face Palm of Truth” as fun trappings to help set the mood.

I looked at naming conventions of Powers, which are now call Techniques. This might cause a ruckus in the area of game development of SW of “short and sweet” or “fast and furious”, but I wanted flavor than just generic bolt or burst powers. So we named Techniques after famous or legendary people, or after a “zodiac” animal of the world setting. Such as:

Crane Wing 
 Cost: 1
 Duration: 3 rounds (1/two rounds)
 Trappings: “Bare Palm Defense”, “Monkey Tail Swap”
 Those that push away swords with the palms of their hands, or samurai who practice two weapon style defense emulate a crane’s large wing span. This acts as the deflection power.

OR

Fang’s Draught
 Cost: 1
 Duration: 3 (1/two rounds)
 Range: Spirit
 Trappings: “Ex Remover”, “Poison Sting”, “Withering Touch”
 Alchemist Fang worked for one of the Imperial Families and had access to numerous resources for her studies. She also had an abusive husband who she started experimenting on. Fang’s husband was found days later in a living mummified state. Fang went on to remarry. This power acts as the lower trait power.

 

To keep in line with the Savage Worlds License you can’t reprint powers, but you can make reference to their source. And let’s be honest, I don’t want to reprint every power in the book. That cost time, money, AND page count. Like most third party references, you should always go back to the original source. This isn’t to say we haven’t come up with new powers Techniques, because we have. Like Clone and Fei’s Shout.

The Techniques give Art of War that little anime manga flavor bit to the setting, but also keeps the idea of fantastic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon running across bamboo limbs feel. The trappings are what make your home game personal vs that over there home game.

Developer’s Journal 5: Drejk

Long time freelance writer: Wojciech “Drejk” Gruchała.

Drejk

Today I want to do a brief introduction of my first and long time freelance writer: Wojciech “Drejk” Gruchała.
Drejk, as is his Paizo messageboard name, has a blog over on Blogspot called
Shaper of Worlds. He first started his freelance career for me at Amora Game when I stumbled upon a class he was designing in the “Homebrew” section on the boards. This turned into our third product (that still sells regularly); Commander & Centurion for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

He did the Commander class and Kevin Bond did the Centurion prestige class. Drejk has come a long way in his writing and style of how he writes. I recently gave him a challenge to write a low level adventure scenario for our long dead Prepare for War adventure path. Of all the people to breath a bit of life into it, I think he is the one to do it. I’m excited to see him grow over the years in his development abilities. I can say of all of my freelancers, he receives the least revisions.

Now as a publisher, that doesn’t always do well for freelancing. I’m biased when it comes to his design work that he has done for me. So it is hard for me to see any flaws in design and go back to him with feedback. I commonly hand it off to someone else to review. This is my failure as a publisher and I recognize this, I just really enjoy his work. I will do better to give better feedback directly on this adventure.

So check out some of his work.
Under the name Drejk.
Under his name credits here.
His Patreon is here that helps to fund his free Pathfinder Monster Design Blog here.

Tentacle out!