Razor Knuckles

Razor Knuckles

Just one of those random little things that came to me… a new hand-held weapon for Starfinder.


Razor Knuckles, Slicing




Bleed 1d3


Powered (capacity 10, usage 1), Risky

Razor Knuckles, Shredding 7 6,500 2d6 S Bleed 1d8 L  Powered (capacity 10, usage 1), Risky
Razor Knuckles, Mangling 12 11,000 5d6 S Bleed 2d8  L  Powered (capacity 10, usage 1), Risky

Risky: A weapon with this property has a chance of damaging the wielder. On a roll of a natural ‘1’, the wielder takes damage equal to the weapon’s level.

Razor Knuckles Description

A set of razor knuckles is a metallic band that fits around the wielder’s hand, so that the outer surface is presented when the user makes a fist. The top (enemy-facing) layer is covered with a series of finely-honed blades, driven by a motor that causes them to race rapidly around the band. As the blades reach the edge of the upper surface, they fold flat and pass harmlessly around the other side, re-emerging as the cycle completes. Unfortunately, on occasion, this doesn’t work as well as intended, and the user ends up with a badly lacerated hand. But, come on! These are just so awesome! They turn your fists into chainsaws! Like, dude, what kind of wuss are you that you’re scared of holding a 5000 RPM band of nanodiamond coated hypermetal in your clenched fist? You some kind of space chicken or something? Bkaw!

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Fission Chimps


This isn’t currently part of anything I plan to offer for sale, but it might be in the future, if I can think of a bunch of things to round it out with… I figure 3-4 creatures and some new rules/items/whatever makes a good 0.99 PDF. It began with a conversation, wherein I was postulating dinner option, and I noticed that “fish and chips” sounds a lot like “fission chimps” if you reduce the “and” to a “&”, pronounced ‘-n-‘, and, having discovered a horrible pun, I need to turn it into game mechanics. So here you are. This is a pretty early rough draft, but after a long content drought here, I figure something is better than nothing.

Fission Chimps

Fission Chimps                  CR 5

XP 1600

CN Medium monstrous humanoid (ape)

Init +3; Senses  low-light vision; Perception +11

DEFENSE                                                                                                                       HP 70    

EAC 17; KAC 19

Fort +7; Ref +6; Will +6;


Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

Melee bite +15 (2d6+5 P)

Offensive Abilities fission, snatch and dash


Str +5; Dex +3; Con +2; Int -1; Wis +1; Cha +0

Skills Acrobatics +11, Athletics +11, Sleight Of Hand +16

Languages Common, Ape

Gear Random trinket usually worth 1d4*10 credits.


Environment any temperate or tropical forest or jungle, urban

Organization solitary, atom (2-5), molecule (5-8)


Fission (Su) Whenever a fission chimp is subject to a critical hit, or when it is reduced to half its base hit points, it fissions, producing a copy of itself. That copy has the chimp’s remaining hit points, prior to the damage from the critical being applied, or, half the fission chimp’s base hit points (35, normally), whichever is lower. Then, the damage from the critical is divided among the two copies. If the critical has an effect other than basic damage, that effect applies only to the “original”. The duplicate will appear in the nearest unoccupied square (if there are multiple valid options, the GM can pick one or roll randomly), and acts on the same initiative as the original. The copy has the same duplication power, but it is only triggered by critical hits, not by normal hit point reduction. Each duplicate vanishes in 1d6 minutes, until only one remains – whether it was the original or not is irrelevant; at that point, the lone survivor is “the original” going forward.

Snatch And Dash (Ex) Fission chimps are notorious thieves. As a full round action, they can make a standard move, and, at any point along that move, they can make a sleight of hand check against an opponent’s KAC +8 to steal any small, visible item, including one-handed weapons being wielded.


The origin of fission chimps remains a mystery. They are fairly widespread in the galaxy, and left to their own devices, will form small tribal societies in temperate and tropical rainforests, generally keeping to themselves except for harassing intruders. A fair number have been transported to space stations and planetside starports, where they find any number of abandoned areas in which to lair. Their natural climbing skill allows them easy access to ventilation systems and engineering crawlways, and they have been known to form communities in the tangle of cables, girders, and machinery that can adorn the ceilings of large hanger bays and repair docks.

They can speak in a simplistic version of Common, and have their own dialect of a language shared by numerous sapient ape-like species. They are not particularly cruel or malicious, but enjoy the “game” of swooping down on some unsuspecting group of people, grabbing one or two appealing items, and rushing away. Some unscrupulous individuals have found ways to bargain with them and train them, creating a gang of skilled thieves who will trade their loot to their “friend” for food or worthless, but very shiny, trinkets and tech items.

The precise mechanism by which fission chimps replicate is unknown; theories include shunting mass from other planes, an unknown innate magical ability, or ‘borrowing’ from moments in the past or future. (The ability is tagged as SU, but it is up to the GM if it is truly magical or uses some other mechanism, and what powers or abilities might negate it, if any.)

In appearance, they resemble standard chimpanzees, except perhaps with slightly larger skulls. They do not normally wear clothes, but they do fashion belts, straps, and bags they use to carry simple tools, yummy wrigglegrubs, and shiny trinkets. In the wilderness, these will be formed from leaves, vines, and other natural products, while starport or station fission chimps will use all kinds of scavenged cloth, plastic, and metal.

It is not unknown for some fission chimps to be able to use stolen small arms, and possibly other technical gear, though they do not maintain it and will toss it away once the batteries are dead. Rumors, legends, and tall tales shared among spacers tell of rare mutant fission chimps that have an instinctive grasp of engineering, and can build ingenious traps, deactivate monitors and cameras, and disable advanced electronic locks and safeguards. Less credulous folk attribute such nonsense as the excuses of station workers who do not wish to take the blame for supposedly “secure” areas being looted and ransacked.

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Starfinder Samplings

Starfinder Samples

I am in the process of doing what I usually do — arrive very late to the wrong party — and am trying to get in on the 985th floor of the great RPG PDF boom! Go me!

I’m working on a handful of small Starfinder supplements. Unlike this blog, whose motto is “Free, And Worth It!”, these will have some modicum of attention paid to editing, playtesting, and layout. Only a modicum, of course. Let’s not get ridiculous, here.

Anyway, that’s been occupying my limited free time for the past few weekends, and I haven’t had much chance to post anything. So, here’s a few sample of things that are in progress. This includes a new starship bay, an NPC/Monster, and a new critical effect (that’s part of the backstory for the aforementioned NPC, but could be used for different things.)

(Note: The actual PDFs have appropriate layout, formatting, design, etc. I do not have the time to figure out how to define the CSS here to match what I’m setting up in MS Word. So take this as a preview of content, not of appearance.)

From Honest Grek’s Starship Fittings

Coldsleep Bay

Sometimes, even the most basic accommodations are not suited for the task at hand. A coldsleep bay has 16 cryonic preservation units, each holding one medium size creature. (Each can be swapped for 2 small units, or 2 of the standard units can be swapped for a large unit. This choice is made when the bay is installed.)

The coldsleep bay can’t be used as a cheap way to carry crew; those emerging from cryostasis suffer 1 negative level until they succeed at a DC 20 Fortitude save, which can be attempted once per day after the first.

If a starship with a coldsleep bay is damaged, the “cargo” is placed at risk. Each time either Life Support or Power takes damage (moving from normal to Glitching, or Glitching to Malfunctioning, etc.), an Engineering check must be made.

This check does not consume an action. It represents how well the systems in general have been maintained, as they need to adapt in microsecond time to sudden, random fluctuations in power and have safety overrides and backups kick in before any serious harm can occur. If the check fails, the listed result occurs:

Damage Level DC Result
Glitching 20 2 negative levels on awakening.
Malfunctioning 25 As above, plus 1d2 points of ability drain to all physical abilities.
Wrecked 30 50% chance of above, 50% chance passenger is dead.

Normally, coldsleep bays are programmed to safely revive passengers at a given point in the voyage. This takes one hour. Forcing a particular chamber open can be done with a DC 20 Engineering check. This takes 10 minutes, and imposes severe system shock. The passenger must make a Fortitude save (DC 20) or fall to 0 hit points and begin dying. Medical care (DC 15 Medicine check, trained only) gives a +5 to this roll.

Honest Grek Says: If you see a transit corp offering cheap, ‘No Questions Asked’ passage out to distant worlds, pack some warm undies.


From “Creatures Of The Void: Yuggbound”

Yuggbound, Recruiter      CR 3

XP 800

LE Medium humanoid envoy (fungal)

Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +8

Defense                                            HP 35

EAC 14; KAC 15

Fort +2; Ref +4; Will +6; +2 vs mind-affecting (plantlike), +2 vs. inhaled

Resistances cold 5


Speed 30 ft.

Melee encrusted battle staff +7 (1d4+3 C; knockdown, corrode 1d4)

Ranged azimuth laser pistol +9 (1d4+3 F; burn 1d4)

Offensive Abilities embrace of Yugg


Str +0; Dex +2; Con +0; Int +1; Wis +0; Cha +4

Skills Bluff +13, Diplomacy +8, Intimidate +13, Perception +8, Sense Motive +13

Languages Common

Other Abilities envoy improvisations (dispiriting taunt, inspiring boost), plantlike, vacuum resistance

Gear fungus-infected cult robes, alloy staff, azimuth laser pistol, 2d10 credits


Environment any urban

Organization solitary, brethren (2-3), conference (4-6)


Embrace of Yugg (Ex): The recruiter can release a cloud of intoxicating spores in a 10′ burst as a standard action that does not provoke. All allies who are exposed to these spores either heal 1d6+2 hit points, or can immediately make a saving throw to shake off any ongoing condition imposed by an earlier failed save. All enemies exposed to the spores must make a DC 14 Will save or be affected as if the recruiter had cast charm person with a caster level equal to their CR. This ability does not recharge until after a short rest.

Encrusted Staff (Ex): The recruiter usually carries a two-handed fighting staff which is coated with a highly destructive mold. See “Encrusted”, below.

Vacuum Resistance (Ex) The fungal covering that encrusts the yuggbound stores and releases oxygen as well as providing other protection. A yuggbound can spend up to one hour in vacuum without ill effect, and gains a +2 on saving throws vs. inhaled gasses.


Yuggbound recruiters take the lead in finding likely candidates to serve the glory of Yugg. They are usually accompanied by 2-3 yuggbound watchmen, or sometimes a single watchman of a higher CR.

They usually take up residence in the lower decks of dubious space stations, in the shanty towns around starports on remote worlds, or in the lower levels of massive megacities. They prefer to avoid direct confrontation; if forced into combat, they will use their embrace of Yugg to pacify as many enemies as possible, then have their guards kill those who are unaffected.

Weapon Critical Effect: Encrusted

Encrusted: A weapon with this critical effect will transfer some sort of rapidly-growing parasitic life form to the target, which will rapidly begin to consume their flesh. This inflicts the encrusted condition.

The damage type is considered to be disease, for purposes of potential immunities and saving throw bonuses.

The target takes the listed damage per round (or 1d6 if there is no amount listed). At the end of each round with this condition, a Fortitude Save (DC 10+amount of damage taken from the encrustation this round) may be made, with a +2 for each failed prior save.

A Medicine check may be made, by you or an ally, as a full round action to end the condition. The DC for this check is 10+the damage done this round.

Finally, you, or an adjacent ally, may attempt to kill or scrape off the infection. This is a standard action, and it requires making an attack against AC 10 with a weapon that does slashing, fire, or cold damage. On a hit, the target takes 1d4 damage of the appropriate type, and the encrusted condition ends.

While Yugg weapons inflict a fungal growth, other attacks that inflict this condition might cause the growth of barnacles, creeping vines, or robotic circuitry.


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Jigsaw Fantasy Kickstarter

Jigsaw Fantasy: Kickstarter Review

Disclaimer: I was asked to look at these products and was given two of them for review purposes. No other compensation was involved.

The Kickstarter is here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/703093372/jigsaw-fantasy-oceans-and-deserts-setting-help-for

“Generic” products are a common trend in RPG supplements: With so many systems out there, it only makes sense to try to cover as wide an audience as possible. Jigsaw Fantasy embodies that concept, and focuses heavily on giving advice and tools for integrating their supplements with an existing campaign — hence the name. Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, these bits of setting and lore are intended to lock into the rest of the world.

I looked at two of them: The Floating City and The Sivatag Desert.

Sivatag Desert

Every fantasy world needs a desert. However, a truly generic desert —  “There’s, uh, some sand. And dunes. And I guess some cactuses? Or is it cacti? Whatever, it’s a desert.” — is pretty dull. Even if the defining quality of “desert” is “there’s nothing there”, there needs to be something there for players to interact with.

Sivatag provides the “something”.

There is a mix of relatively basic material — it’s hot in the day, it drops down to near-freezing at night, there are flowers and insects which have a lifecycle dependent on the twice-a-decade rainstorms — and the more exotic.

The latter includes some good examples of generic concepts. I like this approach, as it’s a way to get a GM to think about how to turn the general into the specific. Given the broad concept of “there are places where the bedrock breaks through, forming distinctive landmarks”, we then get a specific example: Skull Valley, which is described in more detail in the supplement. A similar pattern applies to oases: A broad description and a “plug and play” implementation of the idea.

But these are fantasy supplements after all, so there must be material that transcends what you could find by reading “The Big Book Of Deserts”. This is here as well: Mirages that are more than mere heat shimmers, and a variety of plants and animals that are just a step beyond the real, allowing them to fit into a range of fantasy settings. (GMs will need to work out the game mechanics for those which interact with the players in non-trivial ways; that’s the double-edged sword of generic supplements.)

The Floating City

Deserts may be common to most settings, but how about a city resting on pods of giant jellyfish? That’s the Floating City, an original concept that may not fit all worlds, but works with most of the major fantasy systems with only minor adjustments.

Once a small (and land-based) fishing village with an economy based on delicious smoked jellyfish (mmm… bouncy….), it was threatened with destruction when its volcanic home did what volcanoes do. They were saved by their goddess, who caused the jellyfish to form a raft to support the village, which later expanded into a city that exists in careful symbiosis with their goopy allies.

Like any good fantasy city, it has multiple neighborhoods, marketplaces, and regions. It also moves away from the generic to give it a distinct cultural flavor: It is a place where knowledge is transferred via song and story, not books, where buildings are mostly made from scavenged driftwood, shells, and cloth rather than stone or clay, and where the layout changes continuously as the supporting jellyfish drift and move.

This supplement is more focused than the Sivatag Desert. There’s not exactly a generic concept of “city build on jellyfish” that’s widespread in fantasy gaming, so the Floating City provides a more specific framework, laying out the city’s quarters, government, and the names and personalities of some of the leaders. (Again, no game stats.) It also sets up some potential conflicts and mysteries, which the GM is encouraged to find answers to. This fits the purpose of the Jigsaw Fantasy line: To provide something interesting and creative enough to be worth purchasing, while being flexible enough to fit into many milieu.

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Intergalactic Fashion Pirate

Theme: Intergalactic Fashion Pirate

As Inspired By A Throwaway Line On Voltron

Because Why Not?

All Within 30′ Must Save Vs. Awesome

Just so you know the inspiration… it’s that guy, in the picture, who commented that he was an intergalactic fashion pirate in his youth (as shown by the outfit he is wearing, which is marginally flashier than his usual togs… and he looks perfect for a game of Starchildren, now that I think about it.) As soon as I heard that phrase, which was this morning, I knew I had to write it up as a Theme for Starfinder. Here you go.

Intergalactic Fashion Pirate: Cha +1

It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you look good doing it! Regardless of where you are and who you’re with, you know how to dress to impress… or to achieve any other goal. You travel the stars seeking out new looks, styles, and accessories, gleefully incorporating bits and pieces from every race and culture to create your own unique and inimitable style. This habit of borrowing any concept, be it a pattern, a hairstyle, or a unique piece of clothing, regardless of its cultural origin or context, is why some call you a “pirate”. You wear the term — as you wear anything else — with pride and flair.

Theme Knowledge (1st)

You gain a +5 to all Culture checks to determine someone’s position in their society and/or planet/region of origin by their clothes, jewelry, tattoos or other body ornaments, or makeup. You further get a +2 to Perception checks to penetrate a Disguise which relies on correct fashion sense to pull off. (“That’s not the Duke of East Proxima! No East Proximan of noble birth would wear purple gloves to a meal where fish is being served!”). Disguise is a class skill for  you; if it is already a class skill, you gain a +1 bonus instead.

Wardrobe (6th)

You’ve assembled a superbly portable but highly flexible collection of accessories which you can quickly use to modify your current appearance without actually changing your underlying outfit. Given one minute, you can choose to “blend in” or “stand out” by making quick changes to the details of whatever you’re wearing. If you choose “blend in”, you gain a +2 on Gather Information checks, as you look like you belong in the area. If you choose “stand out”, you may make a Bluff (Diversion) check for an ally, as your outlandish garb draws the attention of the crowd. (You can attempt this only once in the same general region per day.) This also acts as an advanced Disguise Kit, granting a +2 bonus to uses of that skill.

Master Accessorizer (12th)

Your ability to mix and match to perfection when it comes to high fashion is not without its practical applications. You can install an armor upgrade up to two levels higher than the armor itself, or, you can gain a +1 bonus to EAC and KAC when wearing armor. You can change which of these abilities applies as you wish, but you must remove any overpowered upgrades if you wish to gain the AC bonus.


The Perfect Look (18th)

There’s no limit to ways in which various types of clothing, jewels, and other bodily decoration can be combined to create exactly the impression desired. Twice a day, if you visit some area with a rich selection of items to look at, try on, or buy (a mall or shopping center on an advanced world, or a bazaar or marketplace on more primitive planets), and spend 10 minutes or more exploring, haggling, and trying things on, you may regain a Resolve point.

Designer’s Notes

I wanted to try to avoid too much overlap with the Envoy class or the Icon theme. This caused me to go through a lot of changes as I worked on this, in particular the 12th level power. I went through many variants on that, until finally having a small epiphany (but I’m seeing a doctor about that on Monday) and coming up with a non-social ability that still fits nicely with the overall theme. For those who care (yeah, like anyone reads this site), here’s what used to be there in an earlier draft.

Trendsetter (12th)

It’s not a matter of you being fashionable… whatever you’re doing is fashionable! This has several benefits. After you’ve been on any vaguely civilized world for a few hours, the urban centers will spawn people imitating your look, which imposes a -4 penalty on Gather Information checks made by people to find you. In addition, you gain a +4 bonus on Diplomacy checks to get into exclusive parties, trendy clubs, and other such gatherings, even if normally you’d have to sneak in. (You will be expected to be visible and active once you get in, so sneaking away from the celebration to download the encryption key to the Baron’s data vault will take some doing. But that’s what your entourage… I mean, the other PCs… are for.)

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Parathan’s Persuasive Paraffin Pachyderm

Parathan’s Persuasive Paraffin Pachyderm

Aura moderate transmutation; CL 6th

Slot none; Price 6,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.


This item resembles a skillfully-carved candle in the shape of an elephant, its trunk raised and head thrown back, as if in mid-bellow. While it may seem, at first, to be a figurine of wondrous power, it does not respond to any command word. When the wick is lit, however, the figure animates, grows to small size, and looks questioningly at the person who ignited the flame. That person must merely state a topic of debate or discussion, and the elephant will begin to speak on it with skill and vigor, making the strongest possible case for its owner’s point of view, answering questions and countering objections with supernatural skill. After a minute of such activity, the owner may make a Diplomacy check with a +20 bonus. All normal modifiers apply, but part of the magic of the elephant is that no one finds it off-putting, strange, or discomforting that it is speaking on behalf of someone else.

Whether the check succeeds or fails, the Persuasive Pachyderm reverts to its normal form thereafter. It can be invoked but once a day.

It is, in other words, a wax elephant that waxes eloquent.

Construction Requirements

Craft Wondrous Item, animate objects, glibness

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RPG A Day 2017 August 30

August Thirtieth

(One Day Late!)

Prompt: What Is An RPG Genre Mashup You’d Like To See?

Cheap answer: One that makes me go “Ohhh, I never thought of combining that! That’s awesome!”

More meaningful answer(s):

  • Wild West/Classic Fantasy (Cowboys on unicorns! Dwarves panning for gold in the Rockies! City-slicker elves coming to town in their fancy duds!)
  • Cyberpunk Dinosaurs: Genetic engineering gone wild has filled the underlayers of the arcologies with all manner of resurrected critters, many of which have been cybernetically enhanced.
  • Steampunk Apocalypse: A war-torn world of Babbage-brained war machines, scavenger towns built from the ruins of crashed giant airships, and steam-powered autoduels!
  • Turn Of The Century Supers: Go read Joss Whedon’s story arc on “Runaways”. Trust me.
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RPG A Day 2017 August 29

August Twenty Ninth

(Three Days Belated — Or, For Me, On Time!)

Prompt: What Has Been The Best-Run RPG Kickstarter You Have Backed?

I am in the fortunate minority in never encountering a truly badly run RPG Kickstarter. Every one I’ve backed has either delivered the goods or is on-schedule to do so. But I have to give props to Green Ronin’s Pathfinder Advanced Bestiary. There were constant updates, sample pages, and progress reports, that made it clear work was being done and progressing smoothly — and, of course, it’s an update of one of my “must have” books for D&D 3.x.

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RPG A Day 2017 August 28

August Twenty Eighth

(Four Days Belated)

Prompt: What Film/Series Is The Biggest Source Of Quotes For Your Group?

Well, nothing shocking here: Monty Python, Mel Brooks, A Game Of Thrones. Now that we’re playing Starfinder, I expect a lot more Star Trek/Wars. I find myself often quoting Order Of The Stick and Knights Of The Dinner Table, because it is far too often the case that our actual play approaches their satirical spin on things.

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RPG A Day 2017 August 27

August Twenty Seventh

(Getting To My Average Level Of Lateness)

Prompt: What Are Your Essential Tools For Good Gaming?

What, you mean aside from Chinese Food?

My laptop. I replaced my GM screen with a laptop sometime around 2002 or 2003, and I have never looked back. (Obviously, the laptop has gone through some upgrades since then…)

A free-form database/organizer. For a while, I used TreePad Plus, but then I discovered ConnectedText, which hits a lot of sweet spots in terms of what features I need to document a world and run a game.

Mapping tool: I’ve been using Campaign Cartographer since it came on 5.25″ floppies and the mapping symbols were actually a custom vector-based font.

Dice. Lots of dice. A whole freakin’ lot of dice. Because when one die starts rolling badly, you have to be able to swap it out for a fresh die. Don’t tell me all about the “laws of probability” and “superstition”. I know how dice work.

Two pounds of carrots, a tub of low-fat ranch dip, and two two-liter bottles of soda. (Portions are for a 5-6 hour game. Adjust as needed.)

Optional (but becoming necessary): A tablet computer, size dependent on your eyesight. I use a 12″ iPad Pro. While I use the laptop for my game notes and other tools, like a spreadsheet to track initiative, I find that a tablet is the perfect companion upon which to read rule PDF files.


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