Monstrous Physique — Samus Aran

Happy new year! Things are really changing for me in 2018. While I have to deal with my yearly struggle of writing the wrong year on my dates for a few weeks, there is one thing of particular note I want to mention: As of next week, I will be officially working with Paizo as a developer! Exciting!

Unfortunately, I can’t leak any big super juicy Paizo secrets™, but I do get to keep writing for the Know Direction network. I’m expecting to be able to keep up with my weekly articles, but I’ll let you know if anything changes. For now, my plan is to alternate between Pathfinder and Starfinder articles, so as to better cover both games. As last week was a Pathfinder creature, this week we head to the stars!

For this week’s article, I figured I would stat up the star of one of my favorite game series, Samus from Metroid!

Samus Aran                                CR 10
XP 9,600
N Medium humanoid (human)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 120 ft.; Perception +19
DEFENSE
HP 165
EAC 23; KAC 25
Fort +12, Ref +12, Will +11
Defensive Abilities varia suit; DR 5/—; Immunities vacuum; SR 21
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Ranged power beam +22 (2d10+10) or
missile +22 (4d6+10)
Offensive Abilities charge shot, morph bomb
STATISTICS
Str +5, Dex +8, Con +3, Int +3, Wis +2, Cha +0
Skills Athletics +24, Computers +19, Culture +19, Piloting +19, Perception +19
Languages Common
Other Abilities morph ball
ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Charge Shot (Ex) As a move action, Samus can charge her power beam to create a more powerful shot. Each time she charges her power beam, its damage increases by 2d10. Samus can charge her beam up to 2 times, to a total of 6d10+10 damage for the beam. The power beam remains charged until the next time which she fires the power beam. A creature targeted by a charge shot can avoid the attack with a successful DC 17 Reflex save.
Missile (Ex) A missile has a range increment of 60 feet. Samus can only fire 1 missile every round.
Morph Ball (Ex) As a standard action, Samus can transform into an armored ball. While in this form, Samus’s speed increases to 60 feet, her size changes to Small, and she loses access to all attacks other than her morph bomb. She can return to her normal form as a standard action.
Morph Bomb (Ex) As a swift action, Samus can lay a small bomb which detonates at the start of her next turn. She can place a bomb while moving without interrupting her movement. The bomb deals 4d6 bludgeoning damage in a 10-foot radius. Creatures in the radius can halve this damage with a successful DC 17 Reflex save. If Samus is in this radius, it propels her vertically 10 feet, allowing her to reach higher ground with ease. Samus is immune to her bomb’s damage.
Power Beam (Ex) The power beam has a range increment of 60 feet. Power beam attacks are considered magical for the purposes of damage reduction.
Varia Suit (Ex) Samus wears a powered armorsuit created by an ancient race. This suit allows her to survive in a vacuum indefinitely, grants her darkvision out to 120 feet, and makes her immune to the effects of extreme cold and heat. Samus can remove or recall her suit by concentrating for 1 minute. She can call her suit to her so long as she is within 5 miles of the suit.

Samus Aran is an intergalactic bounty hunter. Orphaned as a young child, she was taken in by an ancient alien race known as the Chozo. The Chozo trained the young Samus to be a warrior. Partially infused with Chozo DNA, Samus soon grew into an extreme athlete. The Chozo’s greatest gift to Samus, other than her training, is her power armor. The armor’s ancient technology is directly tied to Samus’s DNA, allowing her precise control and even the ability to regenerate lost pieces of armor. As an adult, Samus joined the Federation Police. She left the police after some time to become a bounty hunter, traveling the stars to complete missions and track down targets. Samus’s reputation throughout the galaxy is unparalleled. Her great skill earns her the most dangerous and lucrative jobs, including some from the Galactic Federation itself. Samus’s various missions have led her to encounter a multitude of different alien planets and species. Most notable among these are the deadly space pirates and dreaded metroids.

Monstrous Origins

Samus is a tough nut to crack, not because her abilities are particularly difficult to translate into game mechanics, but because she has so darn many! Across ten games, Samus has had close to ten different suits, over thirty types of weapons,and countless additional accessories and abilities. It’s kind of hard to decide what “correct” version of Samus to use. Thus, I turned to her incarnation in the Super Smash Bros. series which already had the hard job of distilling her most iconic abilities to just a handful. With that version as a template, I decided upon her charge beam, missiles, morph ball, and bombs as absolutely necessary. Additionally, Samus’s most iconic appearance is that of her Varia Suit. I didn’t need to make any extra features for the suit, but I felt it would be fun to add in the extra little perks from the upgraded suit,

That’s it for this week! If you end up introducing Samus into your game or you have any request for a future Monstrous Physique, please drop me a line at KnowDirection@hotmail.com.

Luis Loza

Luis Loza is a developer at Paizo, working on the Pathfinder Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines. He's done freelance for Paizo Inc, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius Games, and more third-party publishers. His hobbies include gaming both tabletop and video, making jokes, obsessing over time travel, taking naps with Nova the cat, and walks with Heather the wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos.

1 Comment

  1. Oh hey, this is a pretty good Samus build! Thanks for the entry.

    I’ve thought about how to build her myself, mostly as a PC, but her wide range of abilities makes it difficult. My first idea was a ranged Solarion, using its stellar powers to roughly mimic her ingame abilities. The Solar Armor even creates a fun powersuit/zero suit dynamic!

    But Soldier actually gives you missiles, and it ain’t Samus without those.

    What are your thoughts on creating her as a PC?

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