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Starfinder – Spell Strike

Even in a Sci-Fi or Sci-Fantasy setting, the image of the melee warrior of some kind of semi-mystical tradition channeling a power through their attacks is an iconic one. Call it the Force, Psionics, Ki, or any number of other names, the idea of the spell slinging swordsman is one we come back to again and again.

Spell Strike across genres

On a whim, I was looking through the number of touch attack spells in Starfinder since the release of Galatic Magic. There are, by my count, at least eleven of them across all the caster classes, with the largest number going to the Technomancer, but a few available to each of the four (Mystic, Precog, Technomancer, and Witchwarper). There are also some mechanics for the various classes to exchange spell slots for damage as part of an attack – Mystic’s Wrecking Fists or Witchwarper’s Infinity Lash for instance. And there are the Holding Gloves from Armory that allow the wearer to deliver a single stored spell as part of a melee attack. What there is not is a way to deliver touch spells via melee attacks ala the Magus from PF1 and PF2 (Starfarer’s Codex non-withstanding).

I’m more interested in making the ability a class neutral option, so any of the caster classes (or future caster classes) can make us of the ability. After all, there is an inherent risk to a caster when getting into melee combat, and even the Precog who can become one of the most resilient of the casters, can’t fully do that until later levels. It is, however, a very strong ability that potentially stacks damage and status effects on top of existing melee weapon damage, to say nothing of the devastation a crit would cause, so probably best to build in some limitations. The good news is, we’ve got Resolve Points baked into the game from day one, so that’s a mechanic we can build on.

SPELL STRIKE (COMBAT)

Like the magi of old you can channel the power of touch spells through your melee attacks.

Prerequisites: Mystic Strike, ability to cast 2nd-level spells.

Benefit: as part of a standard action to make an attack with a melee weapon, or full attack with a melee weapon, you may spend a number of Resolve Points equal to the level of the spell to channel a spell with a range of touch and a casting time of 1 standard action or less through the attack. This expends the spell as though you had cast it, but does not provoke an attack of opportunity. On a successful hit both the normal damage of the melee weapon and the effect of the spell are applied to the target, and on a critical hit both are doubled. On a miss the spell remains charged either until it is expended in a hit, another spell is cast, or combat ends, whichever comes first.


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Categories: Article Writing

Jeremy Corff

Artist and Writer