This week I’m taking on playing Killjoys using Starfinder rules.
Races: We don’t meet any non humans in Killjoys, Hackmod cyborgs and Hullen parasite infected humans, but no aliens. Probably could make templates for Level 6, Hullen and Cleansed. S2 has human looking Androids. S4 has a human that uploaded his consciousness into a computer, but find the computer systems aboard Lucy are beyond his capabilities. The AI at the Spring Hill compound S2 required Johnny and Lucy to break in. So AI and Uploaders could exist as characters in the world. I do not believe adding Aliens to Killjoys would necessarily detract from the themes, the RAC as an impartial law enforcement agency might be more important in a multi-species universe similar to the Peacekeepers in Farscape.
Classes: Not a lot of magic in Killjoys, so you could run just the mundane classes. No Mystics, Technomancers, Solarians and some of the mundane classes lose class abilities. Only the Envoy is unscathed. A drone Mechanic wouldn’t be too outrageous as we’ve seen drones and an Exocortex mechanic would probably be ok, though possibly illegal.
The presence of absence of magic in the setting does not affect the Envoy’s class features.
The presence of absence of magic in the setting does not affect the Mechanic’s class features.
The presence of absence of magic in the setting does not affect most of the Operative’s class features. Mentalist’s Bane might be less useful, but as there are a lot of Interrogation machines and mind control technology and mind affecting drugs and memory altering technology this class feature it isn’t at all out of place for the setting.
The following class features (and lesser abilities under their heading) would not be available to a Soldier in a no-magic campaign.
- Gear Boost: Anchoring Arcana
- Fighting Style: Arcane Assailant
Skills: Without Magic, the skill Mysticism is probably the only one that doesn’t belong. The Green can do pretty msgical stuff, but it’s more of a plot device more than technology.
Feats: Without Magic, the following feats (and their lesser greater versions) serve no purpose; Agile Casting, Combat Casting, Connection Inkling, Harm Undead, Mystic Strike, Psychic Power, Penetrating Spell, Spell Focus, Spell Penetration, Spellbane, Technomantic Dabbler.
Equipment: Killjoys has a lot of guns and gear going on, but it’s not necessarily a twenty item level treadmill.
The guns of Killjoys can be covered by 4 basic semi-auto pistols (Holdout, Hi-Cap, Heavy, Magnum), Heavy and Magnum revolvers, Single Shot Rifle Pistol, Submachine Guns, Silencer/Suppressors, Extended Magazines, Combat Rifles, Sniper rifle, Pump shotguns, Grenade Launcher, Hand Grenades, Flame Thrower, Minigun, Heavy Machine Guns on vehicles and spaceships. With a few exceptions most of the guns in the series are based on real world earth weapons.
- Homing darts
- Stun Boomerang
- Poison Blade Launcher
- EMP grenades,
So if it’s not a big bunch of guns and armor, what do we have? Silver is the only Special Material from the Core Book that exists, Poison and Paralytic weapons are pretty prominent in the setting. Weapon Fusions shouldn’t exist, but you might see special ammo that emulates some of the properties they give you. Durable would just be for hardy weapons, but there are real cases for ammo emulating Flaming, Knockdown, rubber bullets might emulate Merciful, Shock are already in the works in the Ghost Guns book.
The Dreadnought (S2) is a special knife for killing Level 6 agents but it has to be inserted directly into the brain, SO we need called shot rules of some kind to really make this work, OR we need to assume the death save effect of the knife is a Critical effect and only works on a Crit.
Hullen have been found to be vulnerable to certain sound frequencies. Sonic weapons therefore are in evidence in the setting, the Sonic in S4 that beams a disrupting frequency into space, but has to start in an atmosphere is kind of odd. Starfinder doesn’t make any special cases out of using sonic weapons in space or underwater so I guess we shouldn’t either.
Hullen Neural Banger S4 is a grenade that scrambles neurons, D’avin couldn’t form sentences after waking up from this grenade.
Armor, we see a lot of plain clothes characters and then some folks in full assault gear, so we should probably allow 5 item levels of Light and Heavy Armor with an additional bonus equal to character level to EAC and KAC.
Armor Upgrades, what upgrades exist might be their own equipment such as Infrared Sensors doubling as Night Vision goggles. Radiation Buffer or Jet Pack, Automated Loader is probably better described like a belt fed backpack full of ammo. The rest is just too fantastic for our little bounty hunter setting.
Hackmods have all kinds of Cybernetic replacement parts and enhancements over Basics. The mods are differently legal in each different jurisdiction. Rat tolerates them more than some other places and body modifications like Skinners. Is a Smuggler’s Nut a piece f equipment you swallow or a Biotech because it doesn’t dissolve or interfere with the body when you swallow it.
I will have to review the Biotech category because the setting makes more use of it than a lot of the others I’ve looked at recently. In an S4 episode a character 3 different means of speeding up organ regrowth, an early S1 episode involves organ harvesting scavengers, the S4 organ farms are on a debtor’s prison world.
- KJ -6 Soluble Markers for tracking targets if you can get them to drink the tainted beverage.
- S3 Ingested micro-robot drones that cut you apart from the insides.
- S1 Tracker Implants that can do something to the target (explosion) if they leave their zone of control, or S4 give them an electric shock for disobedience or tampering with the device.
- S1? Interrogation nanites that heal and harm based on truth and lies.
- S2 full body nanite (injection) that constantly heals the owner making them functionally immortal.
- S1 Neuro-dampeners that block access to memories.
- S1? Neural link, used to experience events live through another persons senses. May be hacked to track the other person.
- S1? Genetic Bomb that wipes out anyone in the blast area with their DNA loaded into the device before it is triggered.
- S1? Bloodhound tracking device
- Drugs like Jakk (S1), Euphoria (S2)
- S2 Complacency Signal generated by the Containment Fence seems like a Plot Device, but probably is a Technological Item. Pawter changes the signal to make people angry and attack the fence, so its really a mind control or emotion control signal.
- S2 lie detecting micro-leeches
- S2 Aridity Solution is a gas that instantly desiccates/mummifies a person.
- S2 A pathogen carried by a fog causes immediate freezing.
- S2 Cryopods (Technological Items?) students sleeping in them could be taught through neurofeeding (which is illegal) while in cryogenic stasis so the Mnemonic Editor might not be too far fetched for Killjoys.
- S4 clearly has memory recovery and editing software and a weird porcupine headpiece to go with it.
- S4 Stim Packs increased strength and pain resistance users can become drunk on the pain killers part of the drug.
- S4 Kill Chip, placed on the base of the sneck, this chip allows the controller to kill a Hullen that has been captured, its assumed the chip affects the same part of the brain as the Dreadnought knife.
Computers, there are no Spell Chips in the setting. AIs like Lucy exist. There are a lot of different kinds of passwords used in the series which often require some knowledge of the person who set the password in the first place. Songs, Whistles, Genetic Codes, Retinal Scans and more unlock vials of poison antidotes, doors, ships on lockdown, etc, S4 introduces us to a human consciousness uploaded into a computer, so both AI and Uploaders exist in the Killjoys setting.
Technological Item, a Regeneration Table seems only a little more advanced than the tissue regenerating device we see our heroes use. Unlimited comm unit are probably part and parcel with ships and stations sending bounty notices from world to world. The
- PDDs are probably planetary wide with bulletins sent system wide and distributed to the personal units.
- Personal distress beacons,
- San Romwell had a digitizer (a matter storage device) which scans and breaks down objects for storage in his collection.
- A magneto-optical trap used to mimic the properties of a black hole, its as easily a magical plot device as anything we see in the series, but we’ll put it under tech for now.
Magic Items, don’t exist in the setting. Injections that simulate the Commando serum exist.
Hybrid Items, don’t exist in the setting. If your GM wants to let you rework your character, we have seen a lot of memory alteration, mind wipe and mind control tech in the setting as early as S1.
Vehicles, Starfinder vehicles are SO SLOW to keep characters competitive. Killjoys seems to stick to homogenous vehicle/starship combats or people ambushing vehicles.
Starships: We have ubiquitous interplanetary travel but not hyperdrives built into the spaceships themselves. Cloaking devices and teleportation are more common than you’d think.
Magic and spells don’t exist in the setting.
Game Mastery I would copy the bounty rules I wrote for Bounty Boards or Personas and then convert credits to Joy. The initial bounty rules were based on the credits per encounter table from the Core Rules. I’m going to be updating Bounty Boards with some random tables designed to help the GM with the kinds of questions that a Bounty Hunter or Investigator might ask.