Star Log.EM: Polymorphic Options (SFRPG)
This Star Log.EM-installment clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
All right, after a brief bit of context of gene reconstruction and body modification in the Xa-Osoro system, we begin with a new soldier fighting style, the shifter. These fellows have natural shapeshifting powers that help them in combat – at 1st level, we have shifter’s strikes, which lets them execute natural attacks with any body part (and that is better than many people give credit for if you’re creative!) and they don’t count as archaic. Better yet, you get to choose whether to deal nonlethal or one of three physical core damage types with each strike and gain improved Unarmed Strike. This is a picture of precision. 3rd level nets the unique weapon specialization of character level + soldier level to damage with them, which makes them mathematically scale in a more viable manner. This also gets interaction with natural weapon-based unique weapon specialization right. 5th level nets at-will 1st-level polymorph into one of 4 forms chosen from either mystic or technomancer class; you can redesign one per class level attained, and 8th level and every 4 levels thereafter, you get an additional form.
At 9th level, we have Polymorph Adept, which may be used with aforementioned ability, and you get to keep benefiting from armor and gear boosts while it’s merged with your form. At 13th level, you can spend 1 Resolve Point when using the shifting ability or Polymorph Adept to use the ability as a standard action or the feat as a move action. At 17th level, action economy improves by a further step. At 17th level, you can spend 1 Resolve Point when using shift shape or Polymorph Adept to merge two polymorph forms or merge a base form with your true one. I love this fighting style. IT#s unique, captivating and precise.
The second class option here would be one for the mechanic – a new artificial intelligence, the nanohive. At 1st level, you may, as a move action, initiate host reconstruction, granting you class level fast healing, which improves by 1 at 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter. This lasts for Intelligence modifier rounds, and at the end, you must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save – or your sleep deprivation DC, if higher. Each time, the DC increases 1 and it resets when regaining Stamina Points from spending Resolve and resting 10 minutes. On a failure, you are fatigued and incur a penalty versus saves that cause the asleep condition. If already fatigued, this gets worse. Here’s the issue – sure, falling asleep and taking a -4 penalty upon being woken is bad – but this is still infinite healing. The nanohive grants +1 to Fort-and Will-saves, which improves at 5th level and every 4 levels thereafter.
5th level provides an improved variant via host reconstruction – one based on 1st-level polymorph (italics missing) as a move action; it’s self-only, and requires a save as per host reconstruction at the end. Here’s the catch – you get to choose whether the nanites incorporate the items worn within you, or if they reassemble them for your new form. You also get 4 polymorph forms chosen from the mystic’s assortment, and may reassign one per class level attained. The spell level of the ability is improved by 1 at 8th level and every 3 levels thereafter. At 7th level, gaining either fast healing or using the polymorph-function both are enhanced (with further steps at 14th and 17th level). At 10th level, you may initiate both simultaneously, but doing so makes you automatically fail the save at the end, unless you spend 1 Resolve Point, in which case, you may make the save as normal – but both are treated as different uses for the purpose of the DC. 15th level further upgrades the effects of both nanohive uses, and 20th level eliminates the duration and makes you auto-succeed the save.
Coordinated assault and control net are both adjusted to offer proper nanohive synergy.
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal level, excellent on a rules-level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf comes with a nice artwork. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
Alexander Augunas’ polymorphic options range among my favorite class expansion trick-pdfs in SFRPG so far b- both are unique, conceptually interesting, put a neat twist on polymorph and also add a whole new character concept to the classes they expand. I could see sample PCs/NPCs in front of my mind’s eye while reading this – rather impressive. 5 stars + seal of approval, very much recommended if you want some bioweapon badassery for your spacefarers!
You can get these cool character options here on OBS!
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