Back after a brief break! One adventure idea I’ve been shuffling around in the back of my head for awhile is a scifi classic. From Fantastic Voyage to Inner Space to Honey I Shrunk the Kids the idea of having an adventure that hinges on a shift in scale is one of the greats. However, there isn’t a built in way to do that in Starfinder. Here’s why that’s a good thing.
Attaching stat shifts to changes in size is something that has largely been avoided in Starfinder. Back in the Titans and Kaiju post I went over the size chart and how moving up and down it really only mechanically changes reach and suggested weight. That’s a significant departure from first edition Pathfinder, which inherited the 3.5 mechanic of stat bonuses and penalties due to size. And any min-maxer could tell you about several character builds in those systems that used the size chart to cheese their way into some pretty crazy stuff. Not an option in Starfinder.
With that in mind, its also worth thinking about how size change is going to work in your game. Does mass decrease with size or stay the same. How is physical strength effected? We aren’t bound by real world physics in a sci-fantasy setting, so there isn’t a wrong answer, but it’s not a bad idea to have the answers planned out before you get into this adventure. You can see one take on it in Owen K. C. Stevens recent blog post about Ant-man/Yellowjacket’s powerset.
But let’s get back to our shrinking adventure. The basic setup I have in mind is the heroes are visiting a lab, and happen to be in the room when the shrink ray is activated due to usual adventure shenanigans. They suddenly go from their normal size to being smaller than a flea. They know if they can alert the scientists they can get the effect reversed, but to do that they must cross an open courtyard. What was little more than a bit of grass and trees in a 30 ft area on their way in is now an epic journey across hostile wilderness where they will have to fight off ants now the relative size of houses to them, and possibly other threats!
Of course, we need those stats for giant ants, so I’ll work those up real quick. Nice thing about these guys is that they are a pretty archetypal monster, good for pulp scifi stuff, post-apocalyptic Fallout or Gamma World style games, or this. You can even come up with variants that fly, or latch on with their pincers and sting, or a variety of other things that real world ants actually do. So, without further ado..
N Large vermin
Init +0; Senses blindsense (scent) 100 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16
EAC 17; KAC 19
Fort +9; Ref +7; Will +4
Speed 40 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee bite +14 (1d6+10 P/A)
Ranged acid spray (1d6+5 A line)
Space 10ft.; Reach 10ft.
Str +5; Dex +2; Con +3; Int –; Wis +1; Cha +0
Skills Athletics +11, Survival +11
Other Abilities death pheromone, mindless
Environment virtually everywhere
Organization wherever there is one ant, others are not far away
Acid Spray (Ex) As a standard action, a giant ant can spew a stream of formic acid. This attack has the line weapon special property and a range increment of 40 feet.
Death Pheromone (Ex) when a giant ant is killed its body begins to break down, releasing a pheromone that quickly carries. Within 1d8 rounds all other giant ants in a 300 foot radius are alerted and converge on the corpse, immediately attacking any non-ant they find there.
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