Starfinder Pact Worlds: Per Aspera ad Astra

Friday, March 2, 2018

By now, you've had a look at the rules governing the Starfinder universe in the Starfinder Core Rulebook. Perhaps you've created a character or two and played in a few sessions of the Dead Suns Adventure Path! You've also gotten a glimpse of many of the weird and wonderful beings found in the Starfinder Alien Archive. But, in my opinion, an RPG really begins to blossom with an exciting and vibrant campaign setting. Luckily, Starfinder Pact Worlds is right around the corner!

The Pact Worlds is a unified coalition of worlds within the same star system who have banded together for mutual protection against larger threats. These 14 worlds and celestial bodies are the heart of the Starfinder campaign setting, providing a home base (or several home bases) for starship crews and other groups to blast off for adventures among the distant stars. But that doesn't mean the Pact Worlds are safe and boring. Far from it! Intrigue and danger abound in the varied environments and settlements. In fact, the planets of the Pact Worlds boast everything from sun-blasted deserts to frozen mountaintops and from massive space stations to untamed jungles.

Chapter One of Pact Worlds details these planets and celestial bodies, providing descriptions of the geography, residents, society, and political landscape, as well as an extensive list of notable locations. In addition, each entry is accompanied by a full-page map of the entire world—or, in some cases, a map of the most important area. Finally, a new theme inspired by that world rounds out the section.

Let's take a look at a few highlights of the book.

The chapter begins with a description of what is arguably the most important celestial body in the system: the Sun. Though it may seem to be just a burning mass of incandescent plasma that provides heat and light to all other worlds, it is so much more. A strange settlement actually exists floating inside this churning furnace. Discovered by worshipers of the sun goddess Sarenrae over a century ago, this collection of force bubbles of various sizes—dubbed the Burning Archipelago by its first pioneers—now houses a sizeable population. Corporations harnessing the ambient radiation, Xenowardens tending a series of lush gardens, solarian monasteries, a marketplace staffed by efreet and other denizens of the Elemental Plane of Fire, and a huge metal cathedral to the Dawnflower all exist in close proximity in this diverse metropolis.

From the heat of the sun, we turn to the wandering planet of Triaxus, which is currently in the throes of one of its centuries-long winters. The planet's eccentric orbit around the sun stretches out its more extreme seasons, but life has adapted to these climates, with some flora and fauna hibernating until their time to thrive draws close once again. Triaxus's two largest landmasses are home to the planet's main species: dragons, dragonkin, and ryphorians. These ancient cultures warred in the time before the Gap, clashing mainly on the bridge of land between the two continents, but are now in a state of peace. Some individual realms within these areas—the Allied Territories and the Drakelands—still look outward with expansionistic eyes. One such domain is Dretchnyl, run by the powerful green dragon Dretchnyliax, who recently emerged from hiding after being attacked by a contingent of good-aligned metallic dragons. She is now more machine than flesh-and-bone dragon, bristling with cybernetic augmentations and gun-bearing prosthetics.

While dragons and ryphorians have existed in the Pact Worlds system since before the system garnered that name, some denizens are slightly more recent emigrates. The kasathas of the generation ship the Idari are such a civilization, having fled their dying home planet on a slow migration centuries ago. The kasathas bring facets of their own culture to the melting pot of the Pact Worlds, as represented by the tempered pilgrim theme. In their adolescence, kasathas undertake a yearlong walkabout known as the Tempering, in which they are encouraged to experience as much as possible. Some members of other races have adopted this practice as well, and they are represented with the tempered pilgrim theme. They have extended the philosophy to their everyday lives, and learn about new cultures very easily and can draw on the diverse array of experiences they have already had. They consider themselves students of the universe, always ready to learn more.

Like any other spacefarer, these tempered pilgrims need a way to get from planet to planet or from star system to star system. Pact Worlds includes a handful of new starship options and example starships, focusing on groups such as the Hellknights and the Xenowardens. The most impressive of these vessels is the Iomedaean Cathedralship, a gargantuan carrier designed to look a soaring marble edifice. The Cathedralships come complete with soaring buttresses and artificial stained glass windows. The sight of such a ship usually evokes pride in the faithful and fear in the hearts of their enemies.

And that's just a taste of what can be found in Pact Worlds! Stay tuned for more preview blogs in the coming weeks!

Jason Keeley
Developer

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Tags: Starfinder
Grand Lodge

This will be quite the book and the artwork will be amazing

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

I cannot wait to see what will make it into Starfinder Society.


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Very interesting, only thing which bothers me right now is that the cathedral ship art looks really kit-bashed...


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Tryn wrote:
Very interesting, only thing which bothers me right now is that the cathedral ship art looks really kit-bashed...

I dunno, devout Iomedeans strike me as the type to be all about 'glorious' over 'pragmatic' or 'elegant' when it comes to their sense of aesthetics.


I am so excited for this book to come out, also isn't that the Vagabond in the first picture? The ship you get with the first Adventure Path.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lucas VerBeek wrote:
I am so excited for this book to come out, also isn't that the Vagabond in the first picture? The ship you get with the first Adventure Path.

it certainly looks like that.

Paizo Employee Developer

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It 100% is the Sunrise Maiden! That's our "iconic" starship now. You might be seeing it in a lot of places!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I AM READY TO SERVE ABOARD A CATHEDRAL SHIP!


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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Will the necessary rules for having a Medium size Cathedral ship be in the book? I must have a party flying around in a church.


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That surely looks like something a red dragon from the future would do... Imposing! intimidating! With all those ironic gold scaled underlings.

And I loved the suits the dragonkind and the ryphorians are wearing. Are there actual rules for them in the book? =)


Starfinder Superscriber
The White W0rg wrote:
Will the necessary rules for having a Medium size Cathedral ship be in the book? I must have a party flying around in a church.

"Medium Sized" is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think "Cathedral Ship". :)


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Tryn wrote:
Very interesting, only thing which bothers me right now is that the cathedral ship art looks really kit-bashed...

One of my PCs is a fanatical follower of Iomedae and he about started hyperventilating at this image. He is intent on stealing one. Whether he will be able to remains to be seen. Haha


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The White W0rg wrote:
Will the necessary rules for having a Medium size Cathedral ship be in the book? I must have a party flying around in a church.

I imagine that if it's a sample starship, you can look at the kinds of rooms they have, and build ones that you can afford and fit into medium starship, and make it just a mini-church. I doubt you'll be able to have that tower on top of your ship, but you can probably have those stained glass windows.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Can't wait! This looks amazing and will really help to bring the Pact Worlds to life more than it already is.


New Tempered Student theme... very interesting indeed.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When does the book ship! I must know! I must!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
pirateprincess23 wrote:
Tryn wrote:
Very interesting, only thing which bothers me right now is that the cathedral ship art looks really kit-bashed...
One of my PCs is a fanatical follower of Iomedae and he about started hyperventilating at this image. He is intent on stealing one. Whether he will be able to remains to be seen. Haha

I think it would be more than fair for a party to trade the ship they have in for a church ship of the same BP total, assuming everyone agrees, that is.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
pithica42 wrote:
The White W0rg wrote:
Will the necessary rules for having a Medium size Cathedral ship be in the book? I must have a party flying around in a church.
"Medium Sized" is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think "Cathedral Ship". :)

I still want one.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
pithica42 wrote:
The White W0rg wrote:
Will the necessary rules for having a Medium size Cathedral ship be in the book? I must have a party flying around in a church.
"Medium Sized" is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think "Cathedral Ship". :)

What about a "Medium Sized" Chapel Ship


Starfinder Superscriber

That makes at least three of us (You, Me, and the Space Pope).


That ship is amazing! D:


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

this looks fantastic! I eagerly await all the lore goodness that will be contained inside.

Paizo Employee Developer

There are no hard-and-fast rules about making your starship look like a cathedral. You can just do it! But keep in mind that if you go around broadcasting your devotion to Iomedae like that, you might attract some unwanted attention...


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Stained glass windows in a starship. Hope nobody throws a rock through 'em. :-)


Starfinder Superscriber

Or a tactical nuclear missile.


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I like how the cathedral ship looks like what you might get if you scrubbed the grime and grimdark off of something from Warhammer 40k. I think the Iomedaeans are now going to be a pastiche of the Cult of the Emperor with a healthy dose of sunday school in my games.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The cathedral ship reminds me of A Canticle for Leibowitz. Our version in school had a church style spaceship on the cover.

However the dragon riding a hoverlift is now one of my favorite pictures in Starfinder. Might need to find a cop of the artwork now.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Man the wait for this book is killing me, really hoping my copy is one of the earlier ones to ship so I can get my hands on some pact worlds goodness!!


I'm excited for this, in no small part because it will also determine if I keep my Starfinder subscriptions.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
I'm excited for this, in no small part because it will also determine if I keep my Starfinder subscriptions.

Ok my curiosity got the better of me and I have to ask, if your willing to share. What is it your looking to see in this book that would determine you ditching your subscriptions or not? Not happy with the content so far?


Vexies wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
I'm excited for this, in no small part because it will also determine if I keep my Starfinder subscriptions.
Ok my curiosity got the better of me and I have to ask, if your willing to share. What is it your looking to see in this book that would determine you ditching your subscriptions or not? Not happy with the content so far?

1) Lots of pretty art.

2) Something to make me like the setting.

3) See if they make Archetypes appealing.


I may buy this for the art alone. The piece above with the red dragon and its army is spectacular. Who is the artist?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Rysky, I predict that you will love this book! It’s fantastic.

Hmm


I've been enjoying Starfinder so far. I'm going to enjoy this book.


Hmm wrote:

Rysky, I predict that you will love this book! It’s fantastic.

Hmm

Thankies Hmm, I hope so ^w^


There are going to be new Archetypes.


Starfinder Superscriber

Didn't it also mention one new theme per pact world? If so, that's a lot of extra themes. I wonder if you have to be from that world to take that theme or not? It seems the answer is no from the description of the Idari theme above, but that has me curious if any of them are exclusive or not.

Paizo Employee Developer

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We tried to make all the themes as inclusive as possible. If you want to take the tempered pilgrim theme, it makes the most sense for you to be a kasatha from the Idari, but it isn't necessary. The same basically goes for all the other themes in this book.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
And I loved the suits the dragonkind and the ryphorians are wearing. Are there actual rules for them in the book? =)

It might be Skyfire Armor.


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pithica42 wrote:
Didn't it also mention one new theme per pact world? If so, that's a lot of extra themes. I wonder if you have to be from that world to take that theme or not? It seems the answer is no from the description of the Idari theme above, but that has me curious if any of them are exclusive or not.

Missed that gem of information (cheers pithica)... just presumed Tempered Student was our only new theme...

14 new themes... end of the month can't come quick enough! :)


Starfinder Superscriber

It's in the advert at the back of Dead Suns AP04...

Quote:
Experience the wonders of the Pact Worlds in this definitive, 216-page hardcover campaign setting for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game! The book contains detailed gazetteers for all worlds of the Absalom Pact, as well as new character themes for each Pact World. Travel the galaxy with the starships of Aballon, Verces, the Hellknights, the Iomedaeans, and the Xenowardens, or play as a member of one of six new alien races: shapechanging astrazoans, rolling bantrids, undead borais, plantlike khizars, robotic SROs, or winged strix. With tons of new archetypes, feats, spells, equipment, and NPC stat blocks, Starfinder Pact Worlds reveals the secrets and mysteries of the solar system and its inhabitants in all their science fantasy glory!

And yes, this is the book I've been most excited about so far. I just finished reading AP04 last night and I keep having to stop myself from checking my My Downloads page every 30 seconds in antici...


Are those Gold dragonkin? They don't look very metallic.


Cathedral ships are making me think of the templeships of Marvel's Church of the Universe Truth. Not necessarily a bad thing, although I'm gonna hard a hard time thinking of any massive religious spaceship as anything but evil.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
pithica42 wrote:

And yes, this is the book I've been most excited about so far. I just finished reading AP04 last night and I keep having to stop myself from checking my My Downloads page every 30 seconds in antici...

SAY IT!


Starfinder Superscriber

...pation.


Thank you Doctor Frank n Furter, Glad to see that starfinder is indeed popular on other planets.
-beta


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I need to know, do bantrids have... hands? Are they just organic bells with trackballs? How do they USE anything? The illustration doesn't show limbs of any form, but there isn't any restriction on equipment inherent to the race or any form of limited telekinesis.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Erich Williams wrote:
I need to know, do bantrids have... hands? Are they just organic bells with trackballs? How do they USE anything? The illustration doesn't show limbs of any form, but there isn't any restriction on equipment inherent to the race or any form of limited telekinesis.

Those long protrusions on either side of the torso are supposed to be its hands. it doesn't have arms and I agree the art makes it difficult to believe it could manipulate much but thats what its supposed to use to fire guns and what not.


Starfinder Superscriber

Yeah, they basically have prehensile tentacle ears as hands.

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