Archive for the ‘Omega Box’ Category

Pathfinder Sorcery & Super Science

August 12, 2014

I’ve had an opportunity to look over three of Paizo’s new campaign books that introduce science-fiction concepts to Pathfinder.  The books in question are: 1) The Numeria campaign guide, 2) People of the Stars and 3) the Technology Guide.  For the most part I think these books can be used with the Beginner Box with minimal work, so I’m not planning on doing a PFBB conversion for any of them.

The Numeria campaign setting introduces a new area of Golantha(sp?) where a giant space ship crashed eons ago, depositing advanced technology all over the place.  It’s a solid Sorcery & Super Science setting for those who want to play a science-fantasy flavored version of Pathfinder.  It offers up new sci-fi themed monsters (i.e. robots, cyborgs), rules for radiation, a mutant monster template that could probably be converted into a PC race fairly easily, and some interesting settings.  However, it lacks information on actual technological items and the adventure locations, while evocative, are not ready made for running adventures (I assume the Iron Gods adventure path will fill in the blanks).

People of the Stars is more suitable for running a Spelljammer version of Pathfinder, though it does provide rules for an Android player-character race.  It’s more fantasy-in-space than science-fantasy.

PFTechGuideThe most interesting book, to me at least, is the Technology Guide.  It provides the missing technological items for the Numeria setting, and provides additional rules for cybernetics, artificial intelligences and new feats, skill uses, archetypes and the Technomancer prestige class.  It’s also a great resource for running a straight-up post apocalyptic Gamma World-esque flavor of Pathfinder (in other words, the Omega Box project I’ve been working on since, well, forever), or even a Pathfinder flavored version of Shadow Run.  One thing I really like is that technology, while superficially similar to magic in many respects, still has its own niche.  Paizo didn’t take the easy path and just model all the tech off of existing spells or magic items.


Most of the tech weapons are fairly inline with standard weapons, though they have additional concerns, such as requiring power to operate (also, timeworn items can glitch, though this is additional complexity I’d rather not deal with).  For example, a laser pistol does 1d8 fire damage.  It also has a few other twists to make it unique, but overall a laser pistol isn’t too much more powerful than a revolver or standard magic weapon.

Heavy weapons have more punch, and the Death Ray is just nasty, but for the most part you don’t have to worry too much about tech weapons outshining normal weapons.


As with weapons, armor is not significantly more protective than standard armor.  The main difference comes with special functions: Chameleon armor, for example, provides a Stealth bonus; HEV armor protects against radiation and toxins; Space Suits protect against vacuum; etc.  But you won’t find a suit of super-duper battle armor that grants a +12 AC bonus but only counts as light armor.  Again, everything fairly balanced inline with magical armor, but still with its own niche.


You might think pharmaceuticals would just be a high tech version of a potion, but again Paizo avoided just a copy-and-paste of potions.  Pharmaceuticals have unique roles, different from potions.  For example, you’ll find a drug that grants a Fast Healing effect, but you won’t find one that acts just like a potion of healing.


Reading this section gave me flashbacks to Shadow Run, and with a bit of work you could create a workable fantasy-cyberpunk flavor of Pathfinder, if you’re so inclined.  Each implant takes up a specific body location and has an Implant value.  The total value of all implants cannot exceed the character’s Constitution score or their Intelligence score (reflecting both physical and mental limitations of the body’s ability to control cybernetics).  Also, implanting cybernetics is a fairly risky and arduous process that causes Constitution ability damage, so it’s not for the faint-hearted.

I think this section could be used to add an interesting Cyborg class/race option to a post-apoc version of the game, but it felt a bit too much like chrome-and-polish cyberpunk for my tastes.  But, YMMV.


So, for my purposes, there’s a lot of interesting information here for the Omega Box project.    The android race is an excellent addition, and I can use the cybernetic rules to work up a workable cyborg ‘race’ option.  I’m also thinking of ditching the random mutations and using the rather elegant Mutant monster template as the basis for mutant characters.  And there are plenty of useful technological artifacts that can be thrown into the game.

However, I think I’d like to stick with the ridiculously high-powered tech weapons from Omega World (Jonathan Tweet) rather than Pathfinder’s scaled-down, balanced weapons.  It just seems more appropriate for the beer-and-pretzel style game I want.  Also, the radiation rules seem more fiddly than I want to deal with, and the rules for timeworn technology need a lot of streamlining as well, IMO.


The Consolidated Omega Box Document

April 25, 2012

Here is the Consolidated Omega Box document, including the never released mutations!  Omega Box is my post-apoclayptic take on Pathfinder’s Beginner Box, inspired by Johnathan Tweet’s Omega World article from issue 153 of Polyhedron Magazine (PDF available here for about $5, if you’re interested).

The mutations could be used in a standard Beginner Box game, but are not really balanced for such and thus could prove problematic if you let your PCs have them.  However, they could be used to good effect to spice up some of the BB monsters–imagine an Orc with psychic mutations, or an Ogre with big-ass pincher-hands!

I’ll continue to gradually expand the Omega Box, adding new relics, tweaking the skills, adding killer robots, etc.  But this is probably enough material to get you started on mutant-blasting goodness.  Note:  Many of the standard BB monsters make good stand-ins for monstrous mutants, with a little reimagining.

Edit:  Forgot to mention, since Omega World isn’t OGC, I had to tweak things a bit.  In particular, I changed the Explorer class, removing the bonus feats at levels 1, 3 and 5 and adding in the Survivalist ability, granting Survival points that you can use to reroll attack rolls, saving throws, ability and skill checks.

Have fun stormin’ the wastelands!

PFBB Omega Box – Mutant Stocks

April 9, 2012

As part of my ongoing Omega Box project, I’ve done up the Omega World mutant stocks in Pathfinder Beginner Box format (I’ve also included the Omega World version of the pure strain human).  While intended for a Gamma World-esque game, these could be used in any Beginner Box campaign.  The actual mutations should (hopefully) be ready by tomorrow.

While I am BB-ifying the mutations, I’m not toning down their power.  So if someone gets really lucky on their mutation rolls they could end up with an extremely powerful character, relative to the standard BB character options…just something to consider if you’re wondering whether to include mutations in a standard BB campaign.

So, until tomorrow…

Omega Box: Action Points

February 4, 2012

Omega Box is my (slow) conversion of Omega World to using the Pathfinder Beginner Box system.  Anyone familiar with Pathfinder knows that each turn a character gets a standard action, a move action, a swift action and basically any number of free actions.  The BB reduces this down to just standard, move and free actions.  Some actions take a standard and a move action as well, called a Full Round action.

I was thinking for Omega Box, instead of all that mumbo-jumbo, just give every character 2 Action Points each round.  An Action Point (AP) can be spent to make an attack, use a relic or mutation, retrieve an item or move up to your speed in feet.  A ‘full round’ action would simply be denoted as a 2 AP action instead.  The main difference would be that a character could effectively get two standard actions a round (instead of just one in Pathfinder), which means two attacks a round, or use two mutations a round.  I’m envisioning Omega Box to be a wild-n-wooly gonzo post-apocalypse game filled with death and mayhem, so I don’t have a problem with the PCs blasting everything in sight (and everything in sight blasting them back!).

I’m just thinking it would be a bit easier to remember 2 AP than to remember “Hey, is that a standard action or a move action?  Is that considered a full-round action?”  Also a bit easier to note that a power or relic gives you +1 AP than giving you another standard or move action.  And it has a bit of an old school Fallout vibe to it. 🙂

Omega Box: Explorer Class

February 2, 2012

Here’s the Explorer class for the Omega Box project, based on the Omega World explorer class.  It’s done up Beginner Box style, so I suppose you could use it in a BB campaign (give it Fighter’s starting gold to purchase equipment), but it would probably be pretty bland for a Pathfinder style game, and maybe a bit too powerful, too.  It’s really meant to mimic the classless style of original Gamma World.

I know I’d said that I’d do the mutations next, but I really wasn’t feeling up to doing them right now.


Pew! Pew! Got Lasers for your Beginner Box? Now you do!

January 27, 2012

A while back I had the idea of using the Pathfinder Beginner Box to do a conversion of Omega World.  Here’s the first part of that effort, relic weapons, done up in the Beginner Box format, like so:

These are based off the relic weapons in Omega World, with some tweaks:  I consolidated some of the weapons, changed some of the names, and added one or two new ones.

As these are done in BB format you could use them if you wanted to add a little old-school science-fantasy goodness to your BB or PF core game.

I used the following dingbats obtained from dafont for the weapon images:

I’ll gradually expand on the Omega Box concept and rules over time.  Next in the series will probably be mutants and mutations, because mutations are always fun, and you could use them in a PF game to boot!

Omega Box Hit Points

November 9, 2011

Omega World has a mechanic called ‘reserve points’, which is sort of a proto-version of 4E second wind.  Reserve points effectively double a PC’s hit points, but they don’t get them all at once.  Instead, lost hit points are gradually replenished over time from the character’s reserve points.  It’s an interesting method for improving a character’s survivability.  However, it seems like an awful lot of book keeping to me.

I’m tempted to just double a character’s hit points and leave it at that, but there are two potential problems that I can see: 1) Doubling a 1st-level character’s hit points probably doesn’t help quite enough, especially not in the face of relic weapons that do anything from 3d6 to 6d6 damage and 2) at higher levels doulbing hit points might be too much.

As an alternative I think I’ll just let do away with ‘reserve points’ and just have characters add their Consitution scores to their starting hit points (sort of what Microlite20 does).  It gives starting characters a good boost, but has reduced impact over time as the character advances.

Omega Box

November 8, 2011

Got to thinking about Johathan Tweet’s Omega World, published in issue 153 of Polyhedron magazine (available here for anyone who’s interested) and how well it would work using the new Pathfinder Beginner Box rules.

For those who may not know, Omega World is a quick-and-dirty conversion of Gamma World for 3E.  Omega World is intended to be a beer-and-pretzels sort of game, with random character generation so players can get into (or back into) the action as quickly as possible.  Little effort is made at balancing everything, which works fine for a Gamma World style game, imo.  A Deathbot will ruin your day no matter how bad-ass your mutant is.

Converting to BB style rules should be fairly straight forward.  OW has only one class (Explorer) and a couple of races (pure humans and mutants of various types).  It also adds a few skills, which I’ll have to think about (it would be nice if Omega Box could be played using the BB character sheet).  Most of the monsters can be used “as-is”…a dire rat becomes a giant mutant rat, serpentfolk become mutant snakemen, goblins are mutant humanoids, etc.

However, an Omega Box game should be wild-and-wooly, so I think a few more rule trimmings are in order.  For one, I’ll dispose of the critical hit confirmation roll.  In core PF it exists to balance against the
increased chance of scoring a critical hit, but in Omega Box increased lethality is a design feature. 🙂  Besides, inflicting more critical hits tends to benefit PCs more than it does NPCs.

Another rule I’d get rid of is the d% cover roll for invisible targets or those in cover.  It’s just another die roll slowing things down.  I’d convert it to a straight penalty to the attack roll, probably -1 to-hit per 5% cover.

More to come.  Any suggestions or thoughts?

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