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Class Preview: The Technomancer

Friday, July 28, 2017

To understand the technomancer class, it is necessary to remember that Starfinder is set in a universe where magic is a real, known, fundamental force of the universe. Just as some scientists study physics, and some study chemistry, in Starfinder it is possible to apply the scientific method to the understanding and manipulation of magic itself. With that context set, let's see how the Starfinder Core Rulebook defines the class:

To the uninitiated, magic and technology are completely unrelated, but you know there are more correlations between the two than most suspect. Magic and technology are just tools, and when combined into one discipline, called technomancy, they can be far more powerful than one or the other on its own. You utilize tech to empower, harness, and manipulate magic, and you wield magic to augment, control, and modify technology. You are an expert at hacking the underlying structure of the universe itself, bending the laws of science and nature to your will. Your technomancy— which is gained from scientific study and experimentation—manipulates the physical world, weaves illusions, allows you to peer through time and space, and if necessary, can blast a foe into atoms.

The technomancer has Intelligence as its key ability score, as this modifies its spells per day, many of its core skills, and the save DCs of its spells and class features. The class has an average attack bonus, poor Fortitude and Reflex saves, good Will saves, four skill points per level, and eight class skills. The class grants proficiency with light armor and proficiency (and eventually specialization) with basic melee weapons and small arms. Like the mystic, the game's other core spellcasting class, the technomancer is a spontaneous spellcasting class. It gains access to technomancer spells, ranging from 0-level to 6th level, which represent a significant part of their power.

Technomancer spells are more likely to focus on modifying, emulating, or interacting with technologic devices, evoking or manipulating core energy types (especially fire and electricity), and manipulating or altering raw magical forces. How a technomancer operates can be strongly influenced by their choice of spells known—caustic conversion, logic bomb, and microbot assault are all useful 2nd-level offensive technomancer spells, but each comes with its own advantages and limitations.

Technomancers also receive numerous class features to represent their use of technology and scientific principles in the manipulation of magic. Beginning at 1st level, technomancers gain access to a spell cache, which initially allows you to once per day cast any one spell you know without expending a spell slot. In time, you add a cache capacitor, which allows you to store specific spell effects in your spell cache, giving them 24-hour durations. At very high level, technomancers even gain the ability to regain Resolve Points when they cast their most powerful spells, and can fuse lower-level spell slots together to cast higher-level spells (or, if you combine two 6th-level spell slots and spend two Resolve Points, even cast wish).

Technomancers also select from a list of magic hacks, at 2nd level and every 3 levels thereafter, which are special abilities focused on manipulating magic, technology, or both. Magic hacks are often fueled by spell slots, giving technomancers a new (often very flexible) way to use that resource, but can also modify spells as you cast them, channel battery power into a spell a limited number of times per day, expend (in rare cases) Resolve to create impressive effects, or even simply let you use computers to set up magical surveillance or give you additional spells known. Aside from spell selection, magic hacks are the major customizable element of the technomancer class.

Here's a sample magic hack, this one available at 5th level.

Fabricate Arms (Su)
As a full action, you can expend an unused spell slot to temporarily construct a technological weapon or suit of armor out of raw magic. You can create one suit of armor or weapon with a level equal to or less than the level of the expended spell slot × 3, to a maximum of your caster level. The item appears in your hands, on your person, or in an adjacent square. You can use fuse spells with this magic hack. A weapon can't be larger than two-handed, and the size of the item can't exceed 10 bulk. The quality of the item is average for its type. Treat this as a spell of the same level as the expended spell slot. For example, at 10th level, you could expend a 3rd-level spell slot to fabricate a weapon of 9th level or lower, or expend a 4th- level spell slot to fabricate a suit of armor of 10th level or lower. The armor or weapon persists for a number of rounds equal to your technomancer level. At the end of this duration, the item disappears. You are proficient with (but not specialized in) any weapons you create with this ability. You can't create magic items, weapons made from a special material, or weapons that are expended with use (such as arrows, grenades, or missiles) with this magic hack.

Owen KC Stephens
Developer

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Tags: Starfinder Technomancers
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Huh, it sounds like Technomancers can be Iron Man too. That's pretty neat.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The gang's all here.

That ability looks like it's a way to grab some of the really big weapons you wouldn't be properly proficient with. I hope you can make some entertaining things, like a mounted gun emplacement for instance.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well. I now know what class I'll be playing first. This looks awesome! Can't wait to see the possible builds you can do with the technomancer.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Pardon me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard...


Caster with average attack bonus? That's odd isn't it?


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Ooooo! Sounds neat.

Pax Rafkin wrote:
Caster with average attack bonus? That's odd isn't it?

That's pretty standard for a caster class with access to six spell levels, like the mystic or the PFRPG alchemist.


Artificiers in SPAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCEEEEEE!


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Worth the wait.

That said...

AAAHH!! WHERE'S THE BOOK?!?!?


Pax Rafkin wrote:
Caster with average attack bonus? That's odd isn't it?

They're a 6-level caster so... not really?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What race is in this picture?

I don't think it's human, lashunta, or Android because of the face. But it also doesn't have the snout of a vesk, mandibles of shirren, the height of a Ysoki, or the arms of a kasatha(plus the mouth is uncovered).


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, no full casters in Starfinder?


Partizanski wrote:

What race is in this picture?

I don't think it's human, lashunta, or Android because of the face. But it also doesn't have the snout of a vesk, mandibles of shirren, the height of a Ysoki, or the arms of a kasatha(plus the mouth is uncovered).

It's clearly got a reptilian head, but it's also clearly not a vesk. To me it looks more like a lizardfolk or kobold. Since the lizardfolk of akiton have red skin, this might be a kobold.

Don Hastily wrote:
So, no full casters in Starfinder?

6th level casting is full casting in Starfinder.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Don Hastily wrote:
So, no full casters in Starfinder?

The lack of spells 7th level and above is one of my favorite things about Starfinder


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Biztak wrote:
Don Hastily wrote:
So, no full casters in Starfinder?
The lack of spells 7th level and above is one of my favorite things about Starfinder

Though seemingly, you can throw two 6th level spell slots and Resolve points together to get a 9th level spell.

Sovereign Court

Squirtle squirt!


Remy P Gilbeau wrote:
Biztak wrote:
Don Hastily wrote:
So, no full casters in Starfinder?
The lack of spells 7th level and above is one of my favorite things about Starfinder
Though seemingly, you can throw two 6th level spell slots and Resolve points together to get a 9th level spell.

I actually really like this and gives me so many nice homebrew ideas for my TES game. (Yes, I plan to use Starfinder to run a TES game, the level based item progression just fits way too well in my mind.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I hope that the Technomancer doesn't have too many abilities based on using up spell slots, that makes them even more "1 fight and done" than wizards, since the Technomancer won't even have spells and class abilities, just spell slots to burn.


Fabricate Arms...are you proficient in the armour you create as it only specifies weapons?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
it is necessary to remember that Starfinder is set in a universe where magic is a real, known, fundamental force of the universe. Just as some scientists study physics, and some study chemistry, in Starfinder it is possible to apply the scientific method to the understanding and manipulation of magic itself.

I love this sentiment.


IonutRO wrote:
Partizanski wrote:

What race is in this picture?

I don't think it's human, lashunta, or Android because of the face. But it also doesn't have the snout of a vesk, mandibles of shirren, the height of a Ysoki, or the arms of a kasatha(plus the mouth is uncovered).

It's clearly got a reptilian head, but it's also clearly not a vesk. To me it looks more like a lizardfolk or kobold. Since the lizardfolk of akiton have red skin, this might be a kobold.

Don Hastily wrote:
So, no full casters in Starfinder?
6th level casting is full casting in Starfinder.

To big for a kobold. It seems more like a vesk.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

The question I have is "would it be possible to reskin this class as something more ... psionic?"


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lord Fyre wrote:
The question I have is "would it be possible to reskin this class as something more ... psionic?"

Divine, arcane, and psionic are all flavour in Starfinder. Be whichever.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lord Fyre wrote:
The question I have is "would it be possible to reskin this class as something more ... psionic?"

Isn't their a phrenic adept archetype that you can add to any class?

That might do it

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Don Hastily wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
The question I have is "would it be possible to reskin this class as something more ... psionic?"

Isn't their a phrenic adept archetype that you can add to any class?

That might do it

And the Technomancer is especially archetypable, since they don't hurt so much losing spells known due to the ability to pick up spell-slot-using class features.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The class I'm most looking forward to. I hope it has powers to disable devices, so I can play a cyber monk that short-circuits enemy weapons and then runs up to punch them in the face!

Though, the fabricate arms ability doesn't seem good to me. It uses up a spell slot, takes a full-round action to activate, and has a criminally short duration that requires you to cast it in the middle of combat. It's also a 5th level ability and looks like it wouldn't give you a weapon you normally wouldn't have access to.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I was not disappointed. Thank you Paizo!

Side question: is the Envoy the only class that is going to be using Cha? Seems like that's a throw away ability.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

"Don't worry, Admiral. We've confiscated their weapons and armor. There's no way they're gettin' outta the brig."


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am all the hype for this game!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Cyrad wrote:
...Though, the fabricate arms ability doesn't seem good to me. It uses up a spell slot, takes a full-round action to activate, and has a criminally short duration that requires you to cast it in the middle of combat. It's also a 5th level ability and looks like it wouldn't give you a weapon you normally wouldn't have access to.

You're proficient with that weapon. Want a big fat laser cannon? Go. Destroy. When you're done, pick up your little laser pistol and pick through what's left.


It says you cannot create weapons that are expended with us but does that include firearms or laser guns? Or was it meant to only work for things like swords and daggers?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

JRutterbush wrote:
Don Hastily wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
The question I have is "would it be possible to reskin this class as something more ... psionic?"

Isn't their a phrenic adept archetype that you can add to any class?

That might do it

And the Technomancer is especially archetypable, since they don't hurt so much losing spells known due to the ability to pick up spell-slot-using class features.

Spells would become "psionic disciplines." They wouldn't even loose spells per say.


Grave Knight wrote:
It says you cannot create weapons that are expended with us but does that include firearms or laser guns? Or was it meant to only work for things like swords and daggers?

those aren't expended they run out of charges the ability calls out things like arrows grenades and missiles which all either break or have a chance to break on use. It also specifically calls out a technological weapon so I would imagine guns and such are in.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Why is a gun expending bullets/charges different from a bow expending arrows? Or are arrows now a weapon instead of ammo?


4 people marked this as a favorite.

One of the tropes that always annoys me about many science fantasy RPGs is the tendency to penalize spellcasters for using too much technology, forcing players to specialize in either magic or cybernetics and computer skills. Not in Starfinder! Sounds like you figured out a perfect blend. I especially love how modular their spell slots are, really captures the feel of a scientist who studies magic.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Cuttlefist wrote:
One of the tropes that always annoys me about many science fantasy RPGs is the tendency to penalize spellcasters for using too much technology, forcing players to specialize in either magic or cybernetics and computer skills. Not in Starfinder! Sounds like you figured out a perfect blend. I especially love how modular their spell slots are, really captures the feel of a scientist who studies magic.

Yes! I hate that trope, but as soon as technology shows up, magic either disappears or just does not play well with it. And the excuses for it always seem half assed... Glad that's not the case here.


The biggest question I have with the Fabricate Arms is if you use it to create something that doesn't use destructible ammo (like a laser) does it come charged? Or will your options be "Use a round to make a melee weapon" or "Use a round and a half to make and load a ranged weapon"?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dead Phoenix wrote:
Yes! I hate that trope, but as soon as technology shows up, magic either disappears or just does not play well with it. And the excuses for it always seem half assed... Glad that's not the case here.

I have never seen a good explanation, it was always just hand-waving about the two interfering with each other so your electronics short-circuited when you cast spells and your spells were weaker if you had a bunch of cybernetic implants, all because.


Lord Fyre wrote:
The question I have is "would it be possible to reskin this class as something more ... psionic?"

Mystic would be a better option, based simply on spell descriptions.

If you wanted to reskin SF for a non-magic setting the the B5 technomage would work better for this class. Advanced technology used to simulate magical effects.


JetSetRadio wrote:

I was not disappointed. Thank you Paizo!

Side question: is the Envoy the only class that is going to be using Cha? Seems like that's a throw away ability.

Based on my experience, space opera rpgs have a much higher talking to fighting ratio than fantasy rpgs. Conversation skills are really important.

Operative tricks can also trigger of charisma skills.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Madarasq wrote:
"Don't worry, Admiral. We've confiscated their weapons and armor. There's no way they're gettin' outta the brig."

"Um, sir, it would appear that the prisoner has created some sort of flame thrower and he's set most of the lower decks on fire."


Cuttlefist wrote:
Dead Phoenix wrote:
Yes! I hate that trope, but as soon as technology shows up, magic either disappears or just does not play well with it. And the excuses for it always seem half assed... Glad that's not the case here.
I have never seen a good explanation, it was always just hand-waving about the two interfering with each other so your electronics short-circuited when you cast spells and your spells were weaker if you had a bunch of cybernetic implants, all because.

For an interesting take on magic interfering with technology, and the protagonist's efforts to get round the limitation, check out the "Rivers of London" novels by Ben Aaronovich.


So are we expecting spells to be about the same? would we be able to use spells from a pathfinder book in starfinder?


Vidmaster7 wrote:
So are we expecting spells to be about the same? would we be able to use spells from a pathfinder book in starfinder?

Unlikely. Spell scaling and effects have been redone to fit the new math expectations of Starfinder.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cuttlefist wrote:
Dead Phoenix wrote:
Yes! I hate that trope, but as soon as technology shows up, magic either disappears or just does not play well with it. And the excuses for it always seem half assed... Glad that's not the case here.
I have never seen a good explanation, it was always just hand-waving about the two interfering with each other so your electronics short-circuited when you cast spells and your spells were weaker if you had a bunch of cybernetic implants, all because.

Shadowrun tries to explain it with something like, removing body parts for cybernetics lessens your life force...which affects your magic potential.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Any chance you can say what the class skills of the technomancer are?


Vidmaster7 wrote:
So are we expecting spells to be about the same? would we be able to use spells from a pathfinder book in starfinder?

No. Whilst they still get a few traditional spells (magic missile, wish) the effects have been ajusted. Most of the spell list seems to be setting-specific, such as summon nanobots, etc.


I am somewhat bewildered by this saying the Technomancer can use spells to regain Resolve Points.
I was under the impression they can never be regained and I even recall Owen Stephens saying that that was the design intent and that he thinks Paizo will never publish options that let you recover them.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Technomancer hacks the CRB.


IonutRO wrote:
Why is a gun expending bullets/charges different from a bow expending arrows? Or are arrows now a weapon instead of ammo?

If I would hazard a guess it would be because most guns (laser or otherwise) could theoretically could be made as one "piece" that includes a full charge or clip as part of the creation. Arrows on the other hand have always been singular and separate which I know still applies to other types of ammunition as well. That said the ability doesn't actually say the weapon comes loaded or charged so maybe you have to do that yourself which would hamper the utility of the thing somewhat but still stay in line with the idea that it doesn't create things that are expended with use.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
IonutRO wrote:
Or are arrows now a weapon instead of ammo?

Finally, I can play the Yondu character I've always wanted too.

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