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Starfinder – Let’s Get Incorporeal

Have you longed to slip the bounds of physical reality, enter a cheat code, and no clip through the battlefield? Maybe you are a long time Kitty Pryde fan, or more recently, a fan of Ghost (MCU or comics version)? Maybe you’ve always wanted an oscillation overthruster of your own? I’m talking about phasing of course, or in Starfinder terms, incorporeality.

Ghost from the MCU

Starfinder actually has a fair number of ways to get a phasing ability. The vehicle upgrade Blip-Drive is effectively the oscillation overthruster from Buckaroo Banzai, while the Personal Phase Shifter is a single person version. The Operative Ghost Specialization offers a limited version at high levels, the Nanocyte Discorporation Faculty has a very nanocyte version, Technomancer has a line of Phase Magical Hacks that give you some of the benefits, Witchwarper has the Projected alt class line, Mystic has the Glitchghost connection, and Evolutionist has the Sepulchral Niche that grants some ghost-like powers.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, 1984

All of these options give you some taste of phasing, but generally as part of a package that includes a lot of other elements, and shy away from full incorporeality. But here’s a secret – incorporeality isn’t as powerful in Starfinder as in a traditional fantasy setting. Looking at the Incorporeal ability, it offers a host of resistances to damage as well as immunity to crits, and you can phase through objects, but conversely cannot physically effect anything (which also makes movement complicated). That’s definitely powerful, but an incorporeal creature still takes half damage from energy attacks and magical kinetic attacks, as well as full from anything with the force weapon special property or force effects (and ghost killer stuff). Every character should have a way to deal energy damage, most will have a weapon fusion of some kind on a weapon (making their attacks magical), and the force special property is not uncommon. That leaves the ability to get full cover by hiding within solid objects, which is undeniably pretty powerful, so long as the incorporeal creature has a way to sense the world outside of the object they are hiding in and the ability to move about effectively while incorporeal (so a supernatural flight speed or similar). If they lose incorporeality while inside an object they are immediately shunted out to the closest legal space. So with all that in mind, what does a character option focused purely on incorporeality look like?

The Twins from Matrix Reloaded


Soldiers have access to the following style.


Either through technology, magic, or some mixture of the two you have made a connection to the Ethereal Plane. As this connection grows stronger you become able to move between the material plane and the ethereal, eventually straddling the line between the two with ease. This path is not without inherent dangers, as all too many Ethereal Cavaliers become ghosts or other spectral undead, doomed to wonder the ethereal forever.

Ghost Touched (Su) – 1st Level

You can imbue a weapon, or unarmed attack, with ethereal essence, granting it the Ghost Killer fusion (in addition to whatever other fusions it might possess). This process takes 10 minutes, and you can only imbue a single weapon at a time. If you imbue a new weapon any previously imbued weapon loses this benefit. You can speed up the process of imbuing a different weapon by spending a Resolve Point, allowing you to imbue the new weapon as a full round action.

Flicker Between Planes (Su) – 5th Level

You can briefly move back and forth between the material and ethereal plane. As a move action, you can flicker in and out of existence, granting you a 20% miss chance against attacks and reducing the damage you take from area effects by an amount equal to your soldier level. The miss chance increases to 25% at 9th level and to 30% at 15th level. Unlike the miss chance granted by concealment, the flicker effect’s miss chance isn’t overcome by special senses such as blindsight. You can flicker only for a number of rounds per day equal to your soldier level, though these rounds need not be consecutive.

Ghost Step (Su) – 9th Level

As your connection to the Ethereal grows stronger, you can move through solid matter by stepping through the Ethereal for just a moment. As a full action, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to phase through up to 5 feet of solid matter. If you attempt to phase through something that is too thick, you spend the Resolve Point and take the action but the attempt fails. You cannot phase through force effects such as force fields or the barrier created by wall of force.

As an additional benefit, attacks with your Ghost Touched weapon ignore cover for incorporeal creatures within solid matter, and you can attack such creatures as though you have clear line of sight on them.

Ethereal Form (Su) – 13th Level

Walking between worlds becomes easier. You can spend 2 Resolve Points as a swift action to become incorporeal and gain a fly speed of 30 feet with perfect maneuverability until the beginning of your next turn. When this effect would end, you can extend the duration by 1 round by spending an additional 2 Resolve Points.

Pierce the Veil (Su) – 17th Level

Once per day as a move action you can travel from the material plane to the Ethereal Plane (or visa versa). While on the Ethereal Plane you gain a fly speed of 60 feet with perfect maneuverability. Alternatively, once per day as a move action you can become incorporeal, gaining a fly speed of 60 feet with perfect maneuverability. You may fly 15 feet as part of this move action. You remain incorporeal for a number of rounds equal to your soldier level, or can dismiss the effect as a swift action.

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Categories: Article Writing

Jeremy Corff

Artist and Writer