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Chapter 13: Pathfinder Legacy / Character Conversion

Class Features

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 504
The most important thing to remember about converting class features is that those granting a bonus to attack rolls or AC should be replaced. Look to abilities of a similar level from the envoy, operative, and soldier classes for options to replace those abilities.

Certain class features of Pathfinder RPG classes are only effective when the character isn’t carrying a medium or heavy load. These concepts aren’t found in Starfinder, though how much a character can carry is still relevant. When converting a class, these features should be lost if the character has the encumbered or overburdened condition (in addition to any other factors listed in the class feature).

Some Pathfinder RPG classes grant specific bonus feats as part of their class features. If possible, a converted class should grant a Starfinder feat with the same name. If no such feat exists, choose a Starfinder feat that is as similar to the granted bonus feat as you can find. Failing that, you should convert the feat as best as you can; see the Diehard feat for an example of how to convert a Pathfinder RPG feat to Starfinder.

Guidelines on how to convert specific class features that might present the most trouble are presented below.

Animal Companions, Eidolons, And Mounts

While it is possible to simply use animal companions, eidolons, or mounts from Pathfinder as written, they might not function as effectively in battle at higher levels as their Starfinder analogue: the mechanic’s drone.

As such, you might want to allow a character playing a druid, a ranger, a summoner, or any other class or archetype that receives an animal companion or eidolon to construct such a class feature using the drone rules found starting on page 74, altering one of the base chassis as needed to make sense (most likely replacing all of its weapon mounts with melee weapon arms). For example, if a druid player wants to use the stealth drone chassis to emulate a small dinosaur, you should remove its climb speed (by not giving it the climbing claws mod) and increase its land speed to 60 feet. For a Large animal companion or eidolon, you can use the combat drone chassis and simply state that it is Large or build your own starting Large chassis.

A class that grants a mount as a class feature can work in a similar fashion, but the drone must have some way for the character to ride it, and it should probably be Large (for Medium characters, of course). To simulate this, you can take the combat drone chassis, make it Large, and replace one weapon mount with the riding saddle mod.

Either way, treat the character’s class level in the appropriate class as an effective mechanic level to determine when the “drone” receives and qualifies for new upgrades. For classes that grant companions at later levels (such as the ranger), use the same formula for determining that character’s effective mechanic level.

If you use these drone conversion rules, you should also make sure that the converted class uses the same kind of actions to control the new companion as the mechanic uses to control his drone.

Finally, once the converted “drone” has been built, you can change its type from construct to a creature type appropriate to the class feature (animal, magical beast, outsider, etc.). Of course, you can always skip this part of a conversion if you are comfortable with rangers befriending cyberapes and paladins riding robosteeds. In such a case, it makes sense for these companions to have guns instead of claws!

Bardic Performance

Most of a bard’s bardic performance abilities can be used as written, with appropriate Profession skill checks substituting for Perform skill checks. For instance, Profession (musician) replaces any Perform skill that requires a musical instrument, and Profession (actor) replaces Perform (act).

As written, starting a bardic performance is a standard action, but maintaining a bardic performance each round after that should require a swift action. At 7th and 13th levels, a bard must spend 1 Resolve Point to start a bardic performance as a move action or swift action, respectively.

Any competence bonuses or dodge bonuses granted by a bardic performance should be insight bonuses. In addition, once a bard stops maintaining a bardic performance with the word “inspire” in its name, an ally that gained the benefits from that inspiring bardic performance can’t do so again until she takes a 10-minute rest to recover Stamina Points.

While all of the bard’s allies should receive the morale bonus to saving throws against charm and fear effects from inspire courage, the bonus to attack and damage rolls should apply only to one ally (or the bard himself) at 1st level. At 5th level, and every 6 levels thereafter, the bard can inspire an additional ally. The bonus to attack rolls doesn’t increase as the bard gains levels, but at 5th level, the bonus to damage rolls should change to equal half of the inspired ally’s bonus from weapon specialization.

An ally affected by the inspire greatness bardic performance should regain a number of Stamina Points equal to twice the bard’s class level + the bard’s Charisma modifier, instead of gaining bonus Hit Dice.


While it might seem possible to create a familiar that a character (such as a wizard) receives from a Pathfinder RPG class using the same guidelines as an animal companion above, the realities are a bit more complicated, as familiars don’t usually have same combat capabilities as a drone. However, modifying the Tiny hover drone chassis is a good place to begin.

First, alter the drone’s speed as appropriate for the converted familiar. For example, a lizard familiar should have a climb speed instead of a fly speed. Next, increase the drone’s AC by the amount listed under natural armor adjustment in the table on page 83 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, depending on the level of the wizard. Then, give the drone a good Fortitude saving throw bonus (instead of a poor one). Remember that the familiar’s Intelligence score increases as the wizard gains more levels, also as noted in the table mentioned above. Finally, ignore the drone’s bonus skill unit and starting mods, and make sure that the converted familiar receives the special abilities listed in the table mentioned above.

The converted familiar should follow all the normal rules for familiars (number of Hit Points, attacks, etc.), though the ability it grants its master may need to be altered to match the Starfinder list of skills.

Monk Unarmed Damage And Flurry Of Blows

A Pathfinder RPG monk is going to have trouble matching the damage output of other classes at higher levels.

One way to convert such a character is to have the converted monk’s unarmed strikes deal an amount of damage equal to that dealt by a one-handed operative melee weapon with an item level no greater than the monk’s level. In addition, the unarmed strikes deal an extra amount of damage equal to that dealt by the trick attack class feature (see page 93) of an operative of a level equal to the monk’s level. Unlike an operative, the monk doesn’t need to succeed at a skill check to deal this extra damage, but he can deal it only with his unarmed strikes. The monk is proficient with his unarmed strikes and thus receives the Weapon Specialization feat with them at 3rd level.