Data manipulations #Starfinder

Technomancers master a combination of magic and technology to become the foremost data scientists, computer engineers and shadowy computer operatives in the Pact Worlds and beyond. Rules as written in the core book, they have few spells that allow them to manipulate the data on a computer or other device via magical means (e.g. Implant Data). This blog post adds a few new tricks to their spellbook.

Logfile Reconstruction Technomancer 1

School illusion
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range touch
Target one computer system or module
Duration 1 minute/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
You target a nearby computer system or module and magically reconstruct any logfiles that have been deleted, altered or fabricated relating to the system’s or module’s operations. The spell homes in on such manipulations and shows you a replay of the logs before, during and after their change, in your mind’s eye. It is an illusion only perceptable to you and does not actually restore or alter the logfiles on the target system. The extent of manipulations shown is limited by the duration of the spell, you can guide the spell to concentrate on specific sub-systems, data storage types or suspected manipulations, or alternatively allow the spell to hunt for changes working backwards in time from the present. System access is required to cast this spell. Note that the spell only shows the details contained in the logfiles: it does not reveal any related data in files, system command histories or other information about the targetted system.

Data Clone Technomancer 2

School transmutation
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range touch.
Target one target and one destination file system
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
Copying data is fast on Pact World computer systems, but not instantaneous. This lesser known spell formula permits you to instantaneously copy up to one data module’s worth of data from one target file system to another. The spell instantly clones all data and meta-data relating to one set of files and folders without the physical need to connect the two systems – the your magic is the conduit for the transfer. The starting location of the copy is chosen by you, as is the destination starting point. The spell then recursively copies all files and folders, recreation the file structure at the destination point. At the time of casting you choose to overwrite, ignore, or retain copies of any files or folders with conflicting names with those already in the destination file system. Access to both file systems is needed at the time of casting, otherwise the spell will fail.

Data Excision Technomancer 3

School illusion
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range touch.
Target one computer system or module
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
Erasing data on a computer system is as easy as triggering a single command for a skilled operator. Usually there is the option to undo the delete command, or are backups in place. You have learned a rare formula for a spell that causes all related data to a single key datum – a concept, keyword or record – to vanish permanently from the affected system. Access to the system is required for this spell to function. The data must be related for it to be affected, for example choosing the ID of crew member on a spaceship would wipe all their records and accounts from the ship’s computer. This spell also affects backup files and media if they are connected to the system at the time of casting. So called “offline” backups (e.g. disconnected modules) are not affected. If the relationship between some data and the chosen datum is magically or cryptographically obscured (e.g.. through anonymisation of data) then the obscured data will not be erased. Meta-files and data are likewise not affected – so related files would be deleted, but the logfiles that show the prior existence of the erased files would not be altered. Likewise, the logfiles or other system functions will have no record of the erasure due to this same lack of meta-interaction.

This post is based on entries in the Starfinder Core rulebook, please see this source for more details on specific rules or aspects of the Starfinder setting. Please feel free to use this content in your own campaign or discuss or expand on these ideas in the comments.

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