COM: New Technomancer magic hacks


General Discussion


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There are a bunch! Some are good! Some are really, really bad.

2ND LEVEL

Calculate Trajectory: As a move action, forgo your spell attack roll to instead have it make a Reflex negates saving throw. The math on this is complex and depends on your target, your character build, and whether your party is helping you debuff AC (flat-footed) or saves (sicken/shaken).

Maybe?

Direct Denial of Shapechanging: Amazingly pointlessly niche! Are you often casting Baleful Polymorph on Reptoids, Oni, Emotivores, Aztrazoans, or some shapechanger subtype published in the back of an AP? (If so, why?) Then this is the hack for you.

I respect the hustle to publish something like this that is theoretically possible to be of use but practically insane to choose.

Magic Trajectories: For tech blast, line, and explode weapons you can as a move action grant your or an adjacent ally's weapon the ability to exclude some targets for 5 rounds. It also supposedly applies to powered melee weapons, but, uh, have you considered just not attacking targets you wish to exclude? (Help me out to think why this would ever be relevant.)

I could see a build using that plasma damage blast longarm or a line weapon to shoot at things from the back row without worrying about my allies or toast groups surrounding my party with an explode weapon. Especially good for a heavy explode weapons build, as you're not going to benefit from the Empower Weapon hack at this same level very much. Just get a 20' radius high level explode weapon, run into crowds or let them swarm the entire party, and shoot it at your feet. Limited one use per 10 minute rest, though.

5TH LEVEL

Adaptable Spell Knowledge: Insanely powerful! Choose three new spells known up to your max level. They aren't on your list of spells known, but you can take a move action to put one on there for 1 minute. Spend 1 RP for subsequent uses. A great way to expand your top level spell flexibility with utility stuff that you don't need to spam every day.

Cache Concentration: Do you realize how powerful Microbot Swarm is, but hate spending your standard actions maintaining it? Spend 1 RP and let your cache capacitor maintain it for you. I'm not sure what other good concentration duration spells there are for the Technomancer, but there may be others. Doesn't work if you took the Cache Augmentation or Hack Capacitor alternate class features that replace cache capacitor, maybe works if you took Cache Hacks and modified cache capacitor, ask your GM.

Not stellar, but I can see some feasible/cool builds around this if you're allowed to use the Hack Capacitor.

Energy Alteration: Full round casting time to alter the damage on the spell you're casting to any kinetic or energy type. Avoid immunity, exploit vulnerability. Note that this works on stuff like Magic Missile and Disintegrate if you stumble across something with an energy vulnerability at that level. Can also spend 1 RP to not increase your casting time.

A must for dedicated blasters who took Harmful Spells at 2nd. You're picking your offensive spells for the range/duration/shape characteristics at this point and not worrying about damage types anymore.

Glitch Step: Whoa! A fantastic mobility enhancer. As part of a withdraw action or a move action to move your speed, expend a spell slot for one of several benefits. (1) Ignore 20-60' of difficult terrain, depending on the level of spell slot. (2) Move 10/20/30' (depending on spell level) that only consumes 5' of your movement speed and doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. (3) Pass through 1/5/10' (spell slot, natch) of doors/walls as part of your movement as if you were incorporeal.

This is stupid good if you can afford the slots to fuel it as your get out of jail (walk away from AoO then dimension door at high levels) or wall hack ability. Combine with X-ray vision to see what's on the other side of the door/wall you're about to step through. Obsoletes the Flash Teleport 8th level hack unless you really prefer those limits in return for RP expenditure rather than spell slots.

Shadow Grenade: Burn a spell slot and a standard action to duplicate a grenade in your possession and throw it. Two drawbacks: (1) The spell level must equal half the grenade's item level, which scaled poorly at higher levels where you're throwing underleveled grenades (a 6th level slot for an item level 12 grenade at character level 16 is no bargain), and (2) a successful save negates all damage/effects.

This is worse than the 8th level hack Fabricate Explosives, except that one requires a full action and can only be used once per 10 minute rest. But if you want a grenademancer, maybe take both. Unlike Fabricate Explosives, Shadow Grenade probably benefits from the two grenade DC increasing feats in COM.

8TH LEVEL

Brain Hacker: Insane in the artificial membrane.

Drone Summoner: Give some weak feats or utility mechanic drone options to a single robot you summon with Summon Creature. No interaction with the junkbot line of spells.

There are way too many great 8th level hacks for me to pick this personally, but it could go with a robot summoning gimmick, especially with the Holographic Artist's Cache for a permanent/refreshable low level summon.

Extend Runtime: Either cast from a higher level slot or spend 1 RP to make 10 min/level spells on yourself last 24 hours. You can have more than one extended at a time. Applicable spells are: Comprehend Languages, Detect Radiation, Disguise Self, Flight 4, See Invisibility, Spider Climb, Resistant Armor (Lesser, Greater), and Tongues.

If you have the slots/RP to spare, I can see having See Invisibility, Tongues, and one of the resistance spells up all day being useful, and Flight 4 saves you the expense of Force Soles Mk2 and the leg speed augmentations if you're willing to forgo full attacks from the air and live a little dangerously for your high speed 3D mobility needs.

Translocational Recall: Create as a standard action a beacon to leave somewhere, as a swift action teleport back to it if you're within levelx10 feet. Better than Flash Teleport on range, not having an RP cost, being able to go through walls to escape, and action economy in combat, but requires preparation and leaving your beacon somewhere an enemy won't interfere with it successfully.

Good for a technomancer NPC villain you want to have an escape route, a solid choice for PC scouts or paranoids who constantly create a beacon to leave behind them in rooms already cleared/secured. Spam it constantly, always have an escape ready to an adjacent or more distant room. I like this one.

11TH LEVEL

Still the best level to dip down and take a good 8th or even 5th level hack you missed. But there is one really solid option.

Diminish Spell Runtime: Touch range make a Mysticism check to try to cut the duration of a spell effect in half. Uh, or I could use the 5th level Magic Negation hack to suppress it for sure, or try to dispel it? No.

Reactive Counter: As a reaction, cast dispel magic or greater dispel magic to counter a spell you're aware of, no ready action required. Quite nice as a defensive option against enemy spellcasters.


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Those really nitche hacks might be made for the Hack Capacitor feature. Helpful, ish, if you are in a situation where you may need them, but not worth burning one of your precious actual hack slots on.


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Perpdepog wrote:
Those really nitche hacks might be made for the Hack Capacitor feature. Helpful, ish, if you are in a situation where you may need them, but not worth burning one of your precious actual hack slots on.

I don't think they deliberately made almost entirely useless hacks because of the Hack Capacitor, but certainly you could afford to take one or two of the bad-but-not-terrible ones as fringe options if you have that feature. The magic hacks were not lacking in bad options before COM, however.


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Xenocrat wrote:


5TH LEVEL

Cache Concentration: Do you realize how powerful Microbot Swarm is, but hate spending your standard actions maintaining it? Spend 1 RP and let your cache capacitor maintain it for you. I'm not sure what other good concentration duration spells there are for the Technomancer, but there may be others. Doesn't work if you took the Cache Augmentation or Hack Capacitor alternate class features that replace cache capacitor, maybe works if you took Cache Hacks and modified cache capacitor, ask your GM.

Not stellar, but I can see some feasible/cool builds around this if you're allowed to use the Hack Capacitor.

I took the time to look up the concentration spells that this works with.

One issue with some of these is that I don't think using this hack allows you to change the parameters of a spell the way your own concentration would - the cache will maintain it, but only with the original specs. "Your spell cache maintains the spell until you interrupt the program loop, which does not require an action." I think this means you can take over concentration and spend the standard action if you want to change things, but you're on your own from that point.

Spell list by level:

Detect Magic 0
Psychokinetic Hand 0
Holographic Image 1+ (very useful with the low level versions, effectively permanent, if static)
Remote Operation 1 (impractical without changing the orders every round)
Scan Environment 1
Microbot Assault 2 (the bread and butter use of this)
Destruction Protocol 4
Wall of Fire 4
Animate Armor 5
Contact Other Plane 5 (LOL)
Control Machines 5 (very strong as long as you want to keep the original orders in effect)
Mislead 5
Telekinesis 5
Veil 6 (effectively useless with hour/level duration after you stop concentration)


I missed the two Technomancer magic hacks in the Esotericist archetype section.

Archaic Upgrade hack, 2nd level wrote:
As a move action during which you can draw a weapon, you can expend an unused spell slot to eliminate the archaic property of one weapon or armor you can touch. You can use this magic hack on your unarmed strikes or those of another creature. An upgraded weapon is also considered to be magical. These benefits persist for a number of minutes equal to your technomancer level.

Do you, a magical technology class, enjoy beating people with clubs or your fists? Then, uh, here you go.

Fusion Integration hack, 5th level wrote:
As a move action during which you can draw a weapon, you can expend an unused spell slot to grant a weapon you touch a weapon fusion. The fusion’s item level must be no higher than double the level of the spell slot you expend, so you’d expend a 5th-level spell slot to gain a 9th-level fusion. Fusions you place this way follow all rules for level and multiple fusions, and they persist for a number of minutes equal to your technomancer level.

This one I like.

Compare to the Enchanted Fusion hack in Armory. Enchanted Fusion has a limited list of fusions available (merciful, ghost killer, and all the elemental shifting ones), requires a standard action instead of a move action, and only lasts rounds per spell level you sacrifice. The only advantages it has is that you can spend a 4th level spell for corrosive/thundering (vs a 5th for Fusion Integration) or a 1st/2nd for an extremely short duration ghost killer/frost/flaming/shocking (vs 3rd for Fusion Integration) and the fusion does NOT count towards level limits if your weapon is already "full" on fusions.

Fusion Integration gives you the full menu of fusions present and future, lasts much longer, and has better action economy. As long as you don't spend a whole lot of money to overfill your weapon(s) with fusions, and why would you, this is a nice option to customize your weapon ahead of important fights for defensible spell cost.

Need to get through aligned DR? Use a 1st level spell slot and you're golden for an entire fight no matter what the DR.

Facing a tight group of weak things, but you have a single target high damaging weapon? Slap on a Blast fusion with a 1st level slot. (Repeat as needed to avoid the 1/day limitation, but note it's two rounds to apply and shoot because of the full round action attack requirement of the fusion.)

Found a mystic or witchwarper spell gem you can't use? 1st level slot for Spellthrower.

Hardness got you down? 1st level slot for Ulrikka Duster.

Honestly the level 3+ fusions are kind of bad by comparison (lots of crit effects), but you have SO many things you can do with a 1st level slot. And if you really need an elemental swap, Ghost Hunter, or Cruel they're a 3rd level spell away.

5th level spells can get you a Malediction (Bestow Curse as a reaction, 2-3 times if you have a high level weapon) or Nullifying (reduce spell resistance on hit) which can certainly have their place in special circumstances.


Xenocrat wrote:


Direct Denial of Shapechanging: Amazingly pointlessly niche! Are you often casting Baleful Polymorph on Reptoids, Oni, Emotivores, Aztrazoans, or some shapechanger subtype published in the back of an AP? (If so, why?) Then this is the hack for you.

I respect the hustle to publish something like this that is theoretically possible to be of use but practically insane to choose.

I'm pretty sure it was printed so that something would have the DDoS acronym.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

The name was an attempt to one up Directed Denial of Strength.


Xenocrat wrote:


8TH LEVEL

Extend Runtime: Either cast from a higher level slot or spend 1 RP to make 10 min/level spells on yourself last 24 hours. You can have more than one extended at a time. Applicable spells are: Comprehend Languages, Detect Radiation, Disguise Self, Flight 4, See Invisibility, Spider Climb, Resistant Armor (Lesser, Greater), and Tongues.

If you have the slots/RP to spare, I can see having See Invisibility, Tongues, and one of the resistance spells up all day being useful, and Flight 4 saves you the expense of Force Soles Mk2 and the leg speed augmentations if you're willing to forgo full attacks from the air and live a little dangerously for your high speed 3D mobility needs.

I forgot to check new COM spells for qualifying durations and self targeting. We also have Instant Upgrade 2 (free cyber upgrade all day) which is great or hideously overpowered for its level, depending on your point of view and/or sanity level.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:

Translocational Recall: Create as a standard action a beacon to leave somewhere, as a swift action teleport back to it if you're within levelx10 feet. Better than Flash Teleport on range, not having an RP cost, being able to go through walls to escape, and action economy in combat, but requires preparation and leaving your beacon somewhere an enemy won't interfere with it successfully.

Good for a technomancer NPC villain you want to have an escape route, a solid choice for PC scouts or paranoids who constantly create a beacon to leave behind them in rooms already cleared/secured. Spam it constantly, always have an escape ready to an adjacent or more distant room. I like this one.

Unfortunately, this *does* have an RP cost to create a beacon. As a result, you can't spam it. OTOH, since this creates an object, I don't see why you couldn't just take it with you and then drop it in locations where you want to potentially teleport back to. Plus, as far as I'm reading it, it doesn't get consumed once you teleport back to it, meaning you can keep using it as long as you take it with you.

Regardless, this one seems very niche to me. I can count the number of times I've wanted to instantly retreat to a previous room with my 6th level technomancer on one finger.


Cellion wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:

Translocational Recall: Create as a standard action a beacon to leave somewhere, as a swift action teleport back to it if you're within levelx10 feet. Better than Flash Teleport on range, not having an RP cost, being able to go through walls to escape, and action economy in combat, but requires preparation and leaving your beacon somewhere an enemy won't interfere with it successfully.

Good for a technomancer NPC villain you want to have an escape route, a solid choice for PC scouts or paranoids who constantly create a beacon to leave behind them in rooms already cleared/secured. Spam it constantly, always have an escape ready to an adjacent or more distant room. I like this one.

Unfortunately, this *does* have an RP cost to create a beacon. As a result, you can't spam it. OTOH, since this creates an object, I don't see why you couldn't just take it with you and then drop it in locations where you want to potentially teleport back to. Plus, as far as I'm reading it, it doesn't get consumed once you teleport back to it, meaning you can keep using it as long as you take it with you.

Regardless, this one seems very niche to me. I can count the number of times I've wanted to instantly retreat to a previous room with my 6th level technomancer on one finger.

Yeah, I somehow missed the RP cost. You can't move the beacon, and if you do it doesn't change where you go (so you can't move the beacon).

Quote:
As a standard action, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to create a translocational beacon that you place anywhere within your reach. As a swift action, you can instantly teleport from your current location to the location where you placed your translocational beacon

I think it's a free standing technomagical crystal that just hangs in the air or rests on a surface you place it on and then disappears when you teleport on top of it.

It's definitely more niche than I originally thought. Useful if you're about to head into a high stakes negotiation that might end in an ambush, or for BBEGs to escape PCs, not so useful in day-to-day playstyles of most PCs.


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breithauptclan wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:


Direct Denial of Shapechanging: Amazingly pointlessly niche! Are you often casting Baleful Polymorph on Reptoids, Oni, Emotivores, Aztrazoans, or some shapechanger subtype published in the back of an AP? (If so, why?) Then this is the hack for you.

I respect the hustle to publish something like this that is theoretically possible to be of use but practically insane to choose.

I'm pretty sure it was printed so that something would have the DDoS acronym.

They could at least not allow a saving throw at all.

Honestly, this just reeks of the design philosophy that annoys me the most about Starfinder: Character choices that are incredible niche that don't even actual solve their niche problem.

I wouldn't mind at all choosing some very niche abilities that actually served as a perfect counter to something, to compensate for its rare uses (most likely will never even be used). But not only picking something so narrow and on top of it having a significant chance of being a waste? Nobody will ever pick it knowing there's options that are cooler, better and apply to broader situations.

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