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Chapter 8: Tactical Rules / Defining Effects


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 272
Some effects have a target or targets. You use these effects on creatures or objects, as defined by the effect itself. You must have line of effect (see page 271) to the target or targets of an effect you wish to use, and you must specifically choose the target or targets. If the effect takes a certain amount of time to activate (such as the casting time of a spell), you do not have to select your target or targets until you finish activating the effect.

For example, if you decide to cast a spell that would affect multiple creatures, you need not choose exactly which creatures it affects until you are done casting it and the spell is about to go into effect. This allows you to avoid casting spells or imposing effects on creatures that might have been taken out of a fight or otherwise incapacitated in the interim between your decision to cast a spell and when you’ve finished casting it and it’s ready to take effect.

Some effects restrict which targets can be selected. If an effect targets living creatures, it affects all creatures other than constructs and undead—in other words, biological or technobiological creatures that are alive. (Artificially created beings that are not undead or constructs are considered living for this purpose.) If an effect targets willing or unconscious targets, it affects only those creatures who wish to be affected by it. A creature can declare itself a willing target at any time (even if it’s flat-footed or it isn’t that creature’s turn); this does not use up an action and simply requires, for example, a player to inform another player that his character is a willing target. Other effects allow you to target other categories of creatures or items, such as effects that can specifically target a construct, corpse, or object.

Some effects allow you to redirect the effect to new targets or areas after you activate it. Redirecting an effect is a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Effects With Attack Rolls

Some targeted effects require an attack roll to hit their target. These effects can score critical hits just as weapons can, and when they do, they deal double damage on a critical hit.

If a targeted effect that requires an attack roll lists a duration, it refers to how long the effect lasts on the target (if the attack roll is successful), not how long you have to make an attack.