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Massive StarCraft Balance Update 7/16/20

Finally, the massive update we've all been waiting for is here! This update contains the big overhaul to the infested terran doctrines, and countless other balance updates across all documents! Let's take a look at the full update notes!

*Notes in Red are changed that have been added since these patch notes were originally posted on 7/15/2020

Core Rulebook

  • Combat Rules:

    • You cannot gain a morale on an action you spent a morale on.

    • Dropping to 0 instinct makes you unconscious and comatose

    • Clarified that dual-wielding attacks are made simultaneously, so dodging one is not proof against the other.

    • Attacking a cloaked character gives a -5 penalty, reduced to -0 if they are detected. Furthermore, cloaked characters can be heard if they move near enemies. Detection also now lasts until the cloaked character moves. Some dedicated detectors (such as missile turrets, overlords, and probes) now also constantly auto-detect all nearby creatures instead of requiring an action

    • Draw or holster now allows you to draw one small item into each hand with the same action if both hands were free.

    • Rending now may only reduce the target’s damage threshold by up to 20, any rending over 20 directly turns into damage.

    • Every kind of free action is limited to 1/round on the characters turn

    • Drop something in hand has been moved to be a free action

    • Opportunity attacks, Evading, and other actions performed not on a character’s turns, are now all reactions. A character may make one reaction per turn, with combat reflexes adding more reactions. Evading may still only be done once per turn.

    • Clarified how multiple energy shield interact (other than guardian shield, see supplement 3)

    • Regeneration now heals crippling wound points after a long rest. This applies to infested terrans, primal zerg, and purifiers. Lost limbs regrow after 10 days. Purifiers need work done in a science facility to replace lost limbs.

    • Regeneration and death have more details. Now, they must make a number of stabilization checks equal to the surgery checks required. If they fail 3 auto-stabilization checks, they fail to stabilize themselves.

    • Specified under Death and Dying- Unconscious, that effects that occur upon killing an enemy happen when the enemy is reduced to 0 hit points.


  • Battle Acrobat has been reworked

  • Now when attacking with a non-unarmed melee weapon and bobbing and weaving you gain cleaving.

  • Master gymnast no longer gives advantage on evasion attempts. Due to reaction rework, now requires the combat reflexes talent to evade twice per turn.

  • Gentleman marksman: when combined with smart shot no longer gives aiming bonus to damage but instead gives ½ int to ranged damage and penetration

  • Icon of Mankind has been reworked.

    • Inspirational rally: now gives a flat +2 morale to other allies under leadership

    • Never give up (redesigned) now gives a flat +4 to toughness and resolve to other allies under your leadership, and allows other allies that spend a morale point on an attack to spend another morale point to reroll the attack roll.

    • Corrected that the Sniper specialization ability, Terror on the Range, functions when used beyond medium range, not medium range or beyond.


  • Leadership (Strategic Interrupt) has been replaced by Leadership (Responsive Strategy) which allows a melee or ranged reaction attack after being struck at the cost of the character’s reaction and 3 morale. Additional overages on the leadership check gives bonus accuracy to the attack.

  • Leadership (Defensive Formation) now requires you to have an adjacent ally, and the bonuses have been reduced. You also cannot be flat-footed and must be aware of the attack.

  • Lore (predictable attacks) removed

  • New Lore option (Armor Vulnerability) Character gains +1 penetration to all attacks against the target.

  • Lore (weak point) now gives half the old benefit


  • Two-Handed Expertise: Now gives +1/2 str accuracy and MAO. No longer gives a follow-up attack

  • Mighty blow charge bonus damage is reduced to +2 per rank

  • Brutality no longer causes bleeding.

  • Defensive Motion: reworked – now you can choose at the start of the movement to move at half speed to ignore opportunity attacks from that movement.

  • Dodge 2 applies a -5 penalty to evade non-area attacks

  • Duck and Cover reduces the evasion bonus to +2

  • Defensive Fighting now gives +1 defense per rank in no/light/heavy armor and +2 dr per rank in power armor – while piloting vehicle, gain the bonus of the vehicle’s armor

  • Grand Leader and Master Tactician no longer remove the cap for those combat augmentations, but instead set the cap to DC 35 instead of 25.


  • Rage is clarified to give 3x potency temporary hit points per turn.

  • Marauder and Firebat armor no longer apply dual-weapon skill to attacks other than the built-in arm weapons

  • The planted explosives rule was clarified that the planting character still applies damage bonuses to the attack as if they made it themselves.

  • Binoculars clarified that the goggles variant still requires a full-round action to gain the perception bonus.

  • Medical Delivery Systems clarified that the arm with the MDS may be used as normal except for carrying weapons, shields, or helping with a heavy weapon.

Psionic Powers

  • If a psionic power or other ability would cause you to gain enough energy fatigue to bring your manifestation bonus negative, then the power or ability fails to go off and the action is wasted.

  • Stop Organ has been redesigned – it now has a large amount of psionic damage to deal random wounds, then the damage is never actually applied to the target’s hit points. At higher psi levels the wound location for the wounds can be decided by the caster.

  • Feedback no longer has a PL12 power upgrade

  • Manipulate now generates 5 energy fatigue when used to jam or interact with a weapon or item carried on someone’s person

  • Telekinetic Push no longer deals extra damage for every five overages vs their toughness

  • Acute Senses: Clarified that the bonus does not stack with equipment bonuses.

  • Muscular Enhancement now gives +PL to skills instead of +2xPL

  • Regeneration: pl 8 bonus now increases duration to pl minutes instead of curing crippling wounds

  • Breathless: Has been reworked, now called Psionic Adaptation

  • Enhanced Attributes: No longer has a PL12 Power upgrade, and the bonuses no longer stack with other ability score modifiers, such as those from equipment.

  • Eternal Form: Now lasts until the end of the character’s next turn, and the character is stunned for the duration. Clarified that the character is immune to everything, and also clarified how movement works while under the effect.

  • Vehicle Rules

  • The extreme turn maneuver causes the vehicle to lose its agility to defense for 1 round.

Supplement 1

  • All of the Infested Terran Directives have been redesigned

    • Each directive gives 2 skill foci instead of 1

    • Infested Agents of Swarm gained abilities from the old version of the infested commanded advanced directive, as well as the Directed Strikes ability, a scaling aura enhancing your allies attacks

    • Infested Evolutionists lost their biomass regeneration, but gained scaling bonuses to attack with evolution powers, the ability to spend extra biomass to add extra targets to their powers, and even gain the ability to gain a master evolution discipline at level 15!

    • Infested Metamorphs lost their combat forms, and their extra mutations stop at level 20. Instead they now gain substantial scaling bonuses to their natural weapon and armor.

    • Infested Psionic Node now begins at Psi Level 3 and does not need to be combined with Agent of the Swarm to gain the maximum PL. Furthermore they gain a scaling bonus to psionic manifestation and accuracy, and may specialize in one of the available psionic disciplines.

    • Specified that if you replace a mutation in a body slot with another (for infested terran), then you discarded mutation refunds its slot, but remains in the same tier of mutation

  • o Psionic Powers

    • Surge of Activity: add requirement: non-infested, non-primal zerg

  • o Evolution Powers

    • Spawn Broodling: Now spawns broodlings directly next to the target instead of the implant mechanic

Supplement 2

  • Talents:

    • Double Whirlwind: reworked to work while bobbing and weaving and dual-wielding non-unarmed weapons

    • Brain Lock: Redesigned to make offensive telepathy powers have a chance to stagger opponents.

    • Comforting Presence: Bonus reduced to +2

    • Drilling Volley: Now is no longer a separate attack mode, but now gives the option for a focused burst to lose a hailfire and gain penetration

    • Focused Attack: now requires a move action to activate

    • Hypnotic Suggestions: Clarified that a manifestation check is still required

    • Ultra-Specialization (Guardian-Protector) reworked, now when you shield ally you and the ally gain +5 DR vs the attack

    • Ultra-Specialization (Sniper-Sharpshooter) reworked, now removes range limitations on terror of the range and causes extra morale damage

    • Undying Defiance now also gives 5 temporary hit points when you are hit by one of your hated enemies

    • Untapped potential clarified that it cannot be taken by latent psychics

  • Specializations:

    • Master of Arms (pistols) based on free action changes, now the free reload is 1/round

    • Calm Bringer’s aura effects have been toned down

    • Sympathic Naturalist’s Fortitude bonus has been reduced to ½ PL

      • Gear

    • The tactical mask now requires a full-round action to gain its perception bonus

    • Many Spectre benefits and drawbacks have been adjusted

    • infinite energy now clears 2 energy fatigue per round

    • Bloodlust has been replaced with burnout, which causes damage when they would gain energy fatigue

    • broken mind now causes cynic or emotionless characters to gain ½ temporary hit points from all sources

    • odd behavior now also prevents the spectre from benefiting from tactics combat augmentations

    • raging psychic has been reworked and the spectre overcharges their powers on a natural 1-4 regardless of morale or any other abilities they possess

  • Pyromancy

    • Conflagration’s blaze effect has been reworked

    • Rain of fire has been reworked

    • Brimstone form now also makes you immune to pyromancy powers

Supplement 3

  • Classes

    • Psychic Warrior (Centurion) Art of avoidance no longer increases the evasion shift distance.

    • Psychic Master (High Templar) Rapid channeling now increases the energy fatigue by +5, cannot work on powers that take longer than a standard action, and rapid channeling powers cannot be sustained.

    • Elite Psychic Master (Master Templar) Master Templar Mastery changed to increase manifestation bonus instead of reduce energy fatigue cost.

    • Artificer (Technician) The void specter’s manipulate at will works on non-carried objects

  • Gear

    • Implements have changed. Now, the implement trait has a number attached to it, which is the DC to recharge the implement with a standard action psionics check. Your energy fatigue applies to this check. If you succeed, your implement is fully recharged, regardless of what level it was at.

    • Uraj Fragment (Dominance Socket) – no longer may activate when it is not your turn

    • Argus (wisdom socket) – no longer ignores through blocking, gives +5 accuracy to telepathy powers

    • Ilhan (wisdom socket) – radius reduced to ½ willpower

    • Khaydarin (dominance socket) – bonus to attacks vs toughness reduced to +5

    • Plasma Shielding (normal socket) – now gives 12xPL shield pool

    • Uraj (wisdom socket) – instead of current bonuses gives +2 accuracy with psionic powers

  • Psionic powers

    • Guardian shield now prevents you from manifesting if inside another guardian shield, and clarified that the attack gets to choose which of the available guardian shields to attack if multiple overlap

  • Vehicle Gear and Weapons

    • Phase Cannon – damage reduced to be in line with similar weapons

  • Psionic Entities

    • Archon creatures (type of Psionic Entity, described in supplements 3 and 5) now have 3 times intelligence shield armor. Also, archons larger than medium size have an even greater multiplier of hit points. This is to make true archons less easily destroyed and more equivalent to their threat level.

Supplement 4

  • Infested Directive and Advanced Directives have been redesigned

    • Infested Bio-engineers now can act as a living digital uplink for their zerg allies as a buff aura and may augment their allies with cyber-zerg augmentations

    • Infested Commandos gain a number of special, scaling bonuses when wearing terran gear, especially power armor

    • Infested pilots gain more scaling bonuses from vehicle symbiosis, and gain the ability to quickly repair infested vehicles using biomass

    • Infested Bio-Mages may now reduce the cost of many evolution powers in place of enhance biomass regeneration, may cast multiple powers at the same time, and gain boosts from manifesting powers from different disciplines

    • Infested Commanders now may gain a powerful hydralisk guardian, and give bonus actions to zerg under their command while they act themselves

    • The infested hypermorph continue the mutations given to metamorphs and gain a multi-attack option in place of their old ability to temporarily gain mutations

    • Infested Praetorians gain additional protection to allies within their melee reach while bobbing and weaving, and gain the ability to fly with grip points for passenger(s).

    • Infested Psionic Paragons gain defensive bonuses from manifesting psionic powers, and choose a discipline to gain bonuses in.

    • Infested Symbiont alters the way they take damage along with their attached vehicle, as well as gaining bonus damage resistance in heavy terran armors and gaining a symbiotic hive of sensory creatures that aid in combat, piloted and otherwise.

    • Infested Mutations:

    • Added the Creep Cysts and Creep Bloom mutations to give a pathway to biomass regeneration

    • Removed the Unstable Metamorph mutation, due to the removal of the combat form ability

    • Harmonic Chameleon gained extra requirements and a second rank.

    • Barbed Wings II adds psi level to fly speed.

  • Primal Zerg

  • The intelligence genetic quirk now requires an intelligence check to successfully recall a memory

  • There is a new section next to the birther archetype regarding some specific balance rules for using birthers in game.

  • Now lists how long consuming a corpse requires, based on relative size

  • Primal zerg now gain a sixth archetype at level 30+

  • Psionic Powers

  • Disintegration field: increased damage and reduced energy fatigue cost

Supplement 5

  • Purifiers have received major changes in order to curb their power level. Purifiers have inherently more advantages than other races, so updates were made to reduce their overall effectiveness.

    • When a purifier dies, their equipment is destroyed. They must requisition new gear upon being reformed. They also take a permanent -20% loss to total honor upon being recreated.

    • Purifies have received the following changes to their base classes:

    • Psychic Warrior: Overlapping shields now gives 25 shield pool, instead of shields based on level

    • Psychic Master: Magnetic power does not give bonus pen, only gains ½ bonus accuracy, and only reduces cost by 1

    • Psychic Master: Magnetic Storm Costs 4 energy fatigue, accuracy bonus reduced by 5

    • Psychic Master: Purifier Templar Mastery III does not give +2 power accuracy.

    • Elite Psychic Master: Pure Force does not give bonus penetration, and only gives bonus accuracy equal to ½ willpower

    • Elite Commander: Shielding Network gives +1 shield armor per protoss, instead of +2

    • Fateweaver: Efficiency has been clarified, and Efficiency II now requires 2 move actions to effect two allies.

    • Elite Fateweaver: Hyper Efficiency no longer gives advantage on the target’s check, just the fatweaver’s influence check

    • Artificer: Rapid Recharge now recharges an implement as a move action.

    • Artificer: Weaponized servitor no longer mounts 1 handed implement, now it has its own attack profile listed below it.

    • Elite Artificer: Specifies that Coordinated Data Link does not effect purifiers, just robots

    • Elite Artificer: Dual Servitors: Now gives weaponized servitor weapon hailfire 1

    • Pilot: Attuned Mastery gives half as much defense per rank

    • Pilot: Extension of Will only gives a bonus to vehicle damage threshold

    • Pilot: The Jet Pack does not have the ability to hover, you fall at the end of your turn if you do not end your turn on solid ground.

    • Elite Pilot: Rapid Jet Pack maintains speed of 10, loses rapid flight, but allows you to hover as part of flying, instead of falling at the end of your turn.

    • Elite Pilot: Improved Extension of Will gives you +20 acceleration rating instead of x4 acceleration at combat speed

  • Gear

    • Regenerator Field

  • Tier 3 no longer cures crippling wounds, as per the previous regeneration change.

  • Renown Classes

    • Blade Dancer has been reworked, see below

  • Variant Classes

    • Telekinetic Fury: Natural manipulation still generates energy fatigue

  • Vehicle Upgrades

    • Advanced Sensors

      • Upgraded to a detector, like similar abilities on other vehicles and creatures, as per cloaking changes

Dominion Intel Briefing

  • Blade Dancer has been reworked. The class is still a defensive melee specialist, now based on bobbing and weaving and opportunity attacks.

Explorer’s Guide to the Galaxy

  • Terran Talents

    • Targeted Volley: fully-automatic weapons no longer get double the bonus

  • Psionic Powers

    • Meditation: changed pl4 bonus to allowing non-sight perception with a bonus

Starcraft Heroes Guide

  • Fateweaver talents: Fearsome reputation now requires having completed the fateweaver class, and clarifies that the minimum honor cost for a good is 1

The DOOM Tabletop RPG

  • Example NPC entries updated for the changes to Defensive Fighting and Mighty Blow talents

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