Star Log.EM: Weapon Fusions (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!
After a brief introduction, we begin the new weapon fusions. There are 4 new level 5 weapon fusions included: Boomerang does what it says on the tin, may only be applied to thrown weapons, and makes a thrown weapon return to you your hand one round after it is thrown; this is akin to returning, save that you get a second attack roll at the original value on a missed one. Conductive makes a weapon’s electric energy charge an opponent’s armor. A target thus hit takes a -1 penalty to AC and on Reflex saves and other effects that inflict electricity damage until the start of your next turn. If you miss with an attack, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to make the target takes this penalty, even though you missed. Only shock weapons and those with the shock weapon fusion may benefit from this one.
Lesser dazzling weapons dazzle a targeted creature after the attack is resolved, regardless of whether or not the attack hit. You only dazzle one creature per attack. Compared to that, the level 9 greater dazzling fusion can dazzle all creatures targeted by the attack. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The final level 5 fusion would be pyrotechnic, which may not be added to cryo weapons. 1/day, when you attack a target within 5 ft. of a solid surface, you may activate this fusion as a reaction to create a conflagration that engulfs a 5-foot line from your space to the nearest 5-ft.-square occupied by the attack’s target. This may be activated even if you miss, and creatures and flammable objects in the line take 1d4 fire damage, while creatures moving into or through it take 1d6 fire damage or gain the burning condition. Slightly odd verbiage/damage dice distribution there, but nothing that hampers the fusion.
The pdf contains 3 new level 6 fusions: Grazing (not properly italicized in the text) makes the target take 1 point of damage per weapon damage die, even if you miss. No bonuses apply, and the fusion does account for save-based weapons. However, it does not specify the damage type specifics of multi-damage type weapons. Does the wielder get to choose which damage type to inflict? Half-half? (And yes, I am aware that I am nitpicking here, chalk it up to two fusions below, which are simply GENIUS…you’ll see…) Relentless allows you to spend 1 Resolve Point upon missing a target to make that count as harrying fire, but not if the total result of the attack roll was below 15. This may only be applied to ranged weapons that require an attack roll, and not to weapons with the explode quality. Seeding creates plant-based difficult terrain, and requires kinetic damage-inflicting weaponry. This made me flash back to Grim Fandango so hard…
We also have two level 7 fusions: Ultrasonic may only be applied to sonic weapons, and lets you 1/day affect a target and all within 10 ft. of the target, affecting all with a deafening blast on a failed Fort-save. This does work with line/explode/automatic weapons and comes with proper verbiage for those cases. Slippery may only be applied to cryo weapons with the frost fusion and allows you to go full-blown Mister Freeze, creating icy difficult terrain. Cool!!
The Star Log contains 4 level 8 weapon fusions: Erupting may be used with unwieldy weapons, but requires that the weapon has the blast special quality. When attempting a cone attack, you may expend additional ammo or charges equal to weapon usage to sustain the attack until the start of your next turn. You can’t damage a single target more than once per round, but you CAN sustain the blast and e.g. cover the retreat of your allies/hold targets in check. This is genius and absolutely amazing. Love it. This btw. also applies to the level 11 lingering fusion, which instead makes explosions linger. These two imho warrant getting this pdf all on their own. They are AWESOME.
Thought-seeking can only be applied to damage dealing weaponry, and lets you roll twice miss chance when attacking intelligent targets that have concealment. If you miss, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to have the ammo instead veer towards a critter with at least Intelligence 1 within reach or first range increment, which makes the target take 1 point of damage per weapon damage die on a failed Reflex save, but here the usual bonuses to damage apply. Once more, though, the damage type scenario could be a bit clearer for multi-damage type’d weaponry. Nanite repair lets the weapon repair itself for 1 Hit Point per round, +1 for every 5 item levels.
The final level 8 fusion would be lesser lock-on, which lets you designate a creature within 30 ft. you’re aware of; until the star of your next turn, you get a +1 enhancement bonus to atk vs. the designated target. The fusion is treated as a computer with half the item level’s tier and may be affected by Computers. Greater lock-on (level 10 fusion, btw.) erroneously refers to lesser dazzling instead of lesser lock-on, and maintains the bonus until the end of your next turn instead.
Editing and formatting re very good on a rules-language level, and slightly less impressive than that on a formal level. While the hiccups herein are not game-breakers, they are there. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf has a nice artwork by Jacob Blackmon. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
David N. Ross’ weapon fusions here are complex, precise, make pricing-wise sense, and have two true gems – the erupting and lingering fusions are extremely iconic: Holding back the xenomorphs with flamethrowers, making off while the plasma-cloud hisses in the air – these two fusions are exciting and creative and warrant my seal of approval. (Seriously, consider them to be enough to warrant getting this!) Why? Because these two fusions made me immediately come up with a plethora of cool encounter scenes and adventure angles, and that is awesome. That being said, there are a few minor snafus here, and as such, my final verdict can’t exceed 4.5 stars, though I’ll still round up for the purpose of this platform.
You can get these fusions here on OBS!