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Faction Overview: Exo-Guardians

Thursday, July 12, 2017

Illustration by Josef Kucera

The creed of the Exo-Guardians is to protect the Pact Worlds from external threats. In the context of their membership within the Starfinder Society, this most often relates to participating in missions to acquire relics or technology of a defensive nature. Exo-Guardians excel in missions that lead to such discoveries, but they also serve an important secondary role within the Society of "sending a message" to threats that interfere in Society business. Be it a derelict starship overrun with mindless alien vermin, or a supposedly impenetrable fortress operated by forces opposed to the Society, it's often the Exo-Guardians who come in to handle the situation.

One thing was clear when developing factions for the Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild: some players just want to shoot bug-like aliens. The Exo-Guardians were one of the earliest factions we developed because we wanted players to have a faction with a clear goal that fit into a science fantasy universe. In the case of the Exo-Guardians, that goal is "make sure bad aliens don't punch us in the face, possibly by punching those aliens in the face (or other appropriate body part, in the case of aliens without faces) first." This is the faction that you can regularly expect to see going on a "bug hunt."

The Exo-Guardians have some recognizable elements of the highly successful Silver Crusade faction from Pathfinder Society, but there are several key differences. The Exo-Guardians are also a faction with a long history within the in-game Starfinder Society organization, but recent events have not been kind to them. In a setting without paladins as a core class, the Exo-Guardians are somewhat more flexible in terms of what they are willing to do to protect the Pact Worlds from external threats. The Exo-Guardians let us explore some tough questions, like how far would you go to protect your home from external threats?


Illustration by Sebastian Rodriguez

Luckily, if you're worried about this faction quickly becoming a faction of bloodthirsty evil characters, the Exo-Guardians faction leader has your back. Zigvigix (LG host shirren soldier) is a shirren with a plan—specifically a plan that aims to have the Exo-Guardians restored to their pre-Scoured Stars incident grandeur. I am already excited at how Zigvigix has turned out in print, and pretty soon you'll be able to meet them in Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Scenario #1-01: The Commencement. (And if you're worried about pronouncing Zigvigix's name all the time, don't fret. The Commencement's author, Eleanor Ferron, already coined a nickname I think will catch on...)

Before I go, here's a look at one of the faction-specific boons that members of the Exo-Guardians can purchase with their Fame. If you haven't already checked, I highly recommend giving that a read over last week's blog on Starfinder Society Boons.

Collector and Examiner (Ally Boon)

The Exo-Guardians host a variety of professionals interested in researching alien life from the Vast. You've become associated with one such researcher.

Prerequisites: Exo-Guardians: Tier 1

Cost: 2 Fame

Benefit: This ally boon represents a growing relationship between you and a researcher among the Exo-Guardians. At the end of a scenario in which you've slotted this boon, you can return one, and only one, "mostly intact" cadaver of a defeated significant enemy (Starfinder Core Rulebook 242) that your ally can study. Mark the creature type (such as aberration, fey, or ooze) of the collected cadaver on your Chronicle sheet. While this boon is slotted, you gain an insight bonus to Engineering, Life Science and Mysticism skill checks to identify creatures of the same creature type as previously collected corpses. The bonus is equal to the number of corpses of that creature type collected, up to a maximum of 3. The bonus represents your access to correspondences between you and your examiner ally; it does not mean the examiner is physically present during the adventure.

I'm really excited to see exactly what sort of wacky concepts players come up with for their "Examiner" allies!

That's all for this week. Stay tuned for next week's blog, where we provide an overview and some details for our next faction: the Second Seekers!

Thurston Hillman
Starfinder Society Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Josef Kucera Organized Play Sebastian Rodriguez Starfinder Society
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Grand Lodge *

"Mostly intact." I assume that means things killed by rocket launcher and/or fireball don't count.

Sovereign Court ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I like that boon!

Every face-puncher needs a friend to tell them all about how dangerous the enemy is.

*** Contributor aka Alexander Augunas

1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, is there anything stopping me from bringing Ziggy cadavers of humans, halflings, and the like?

Shadow Lodge *****

"Bring me his head... FOR SCIENCE! "

"... and you're SURE all of the body parts came off of the SAME creature? *"

*to be fair,m thats what they said when they saw the platypus

Grand Lodge *

My guess is the valid creature types will be listed on the boon.

Silver Crusade ** Venture-Captain, South Africa—Durban aka The Stubbs

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Is that Seelah's helmet as a faction symbol?

Liberty's Edge **

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Colonial Marines, here we come!

(Sidebar: "significant enemy" has a rulebook definition? CR = to at least half your level, possibly? Hm....)

Grand Lodge *****

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

There's a callout to the Core rulebook for 'defeated significant enemy' in the blog, so I am thinking there is a formal definition of what that term means in the rules. Which is useful if they are going to reference that expression often.


Thursday, July 12, 2017? :P


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

Interesting faction. I can see many of my players favoring this one.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh s#%@!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ziggy crafty, Ziggy mean,
Goblins run and shoot and scream!
Keep on running, set the trap,
Send ol' Ziggy to a dirt nap!

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Online aka Hmm

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Heh. That's going to be a popular faction. I also like that they are not only there to shoot things up, but also to protect. This is the Guardians of the Galaxy faction.

Thumbs up!

Hmm


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Do the Exo-Guardians organize themselves into Exo-Squads? Do they wear Exo-Suits on formal occasions?

I like the faction, but if/when I play one, I'll be mighty tempted to put exo- in front of all his nouns, and maybe some of the verbs.

"I shoot the bug with my exo-plasma rifle using my exo-laser sight!"

Edit: "Or possibly my laser exo-sight!"

Silver Crusade **** Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Korolan

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Thurston Hillman wrote:
In the case of the Exo-Guardians, that goal is "make sure bad aliens don't punch us in the face, possibly by punching those aliens in the face (or other appropriate body part, in the case of aliens without faces) first."

This is quite possibly the Best Sentence in Organized Play.

So far.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Online aka Hmm

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Distant Scholar wrote:

Do the Exo-Guardians organize themselves into Exo-Squads? Do they wear Exo-Suits on formal occasions?

I like the faction, but if/when I play one, I'll be mighty tempted to put exo- in front of all his nouns, and maybe some of the verbs.

"I shoot the bug with my exo-plasma rifle using my exo-laser sight!"

Edit: "Or possibly my laser exo-sight!"

I'll have to refer that question to my X.O.

***

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Interesting ally boon. Makes me eager to see what the other factions have to offer.

Sovereign Court ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Hmm wrote:
Heh. That's going to be a popular faction. I also like that they are not only there to shoot things up, but also to protect. This is the Guardians of the Galaxy faction.

Dibs on Starfinder-Lord

Liberty's Edge **

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
KingOfAnything wrote:
Hmm wrote:
Heh. That's going to be a popular faction. I also like that they are not only there to shoot things up, but also to protect. This is the Guardians of the Galaxy faction.
Dibs on Starfinder-Lord

Who?

Grand Lodge **

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I. Am. Exo. Groot.

***** Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston

Oddly these guys also sound like the Dark Archive given their boon is "Learning by dissection" hopefully we will not have the sentient critter trophy heads that show up in the Pathfinder Tales.

***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Korolan wrote:
Thurston Hillman wrote:
In the case of the Exo-Guardians, that goal is "make sure bad aliens don't punch us in the face, possibly by punching those aliens in the face (or other appropriate body part, in the case of aliens without faces) first."

This is quite possibly the Best Sentence in Organized Play.

So far.

I see. so we need to beat them to the punch.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Hmm wrote:
Distant Scholar wrote:

Do the Exo-Guardians organize themselves into Exo-Squads? Do they wear Exo-Suits on formal occasions?

I like the faction, but if/when I play one, I'll be mighty tempted to put exo- in front of all his nouns, and maybe some of the verbs.

"I shoot the bug with my exo-plasma rifle using my exo-laser sight!"

Edit: "Or possibly my laser exo-sight!"

I'll have to refer that question to my X.O.

If you die on a mission do they just need to bring back your exoskeleton in order to get you raised?

*

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

So this a faction of Alien Bug Killers who go around killing alien bugs...led by an alien bug who kills alien bugs. Paladins are gone but paladin hypocrisy has remained, I see.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

-_-

Not really seeing the hypocrisy (or Paladin hypocrisy for that matter).


The Stubbs wrote:
Is that Seelah's helmet as a faction symbol?

It sure looks like it!


thecursor wrote:
So this a faction of Alien Bug Killers who go around killing alien bugs...led by an alien bug who kills alien bugs. Paladins are gone but paladin hypocrisy has remained, I see.

The defend from external threats to the Pact Worlds, which is a multi-species coalition that includes "aliens" from other solar systems. They don't kill "alien bugs" as a general policy.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Shisumo wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Hmm wrote:
Heh. That's going to be a popular faction. I also like that they are not only there to shoot things up, but also to protect. This is the Guardians of the Galaxy faction.
Dibs on Starfinder-Lord
Who?

Come on, man. Starfinder-Lord? The legendary outlaw?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ziggy Stardust IS the Spider from Mars!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Voss wrote:
Ziggy Stardust IS the Spider from Mars!

I guess that's better than Driders from Akiton.

Dark Archive

This reminds me of XCom. Need to return the body before you vivisect it :D


Voss wrote:
Ziggy Stardust IS the Spider from Mars!

Y'know that part of the new Thor: Ragnarok trailer where Chris Hemsworth sees the Hulk and gleefully screams "YYYEEESSS!!!" ?

That's me. That's where I'm at right now.

Scarab Sages ****

Yay beatstick faction!

***** Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston

I am also imagining some saying "Bug Hunt" and getting some odd looks from the faction head. In any case this is Starfinder, so really the truly worrying things have tentacles not chitin.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Germany—Aschaffenburg-Würzburg

Looks promising.

*

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
thecursor wrote:
So this a faction of Alien Bug Killers who go around killing alien bugs...led by an alien bug who kills alien bugs. Paladins are gone but paladin hypocrisy has remained, I see.
The defend from external threats to the Pact Worlds, which is a multi-species coalition that includes "aliens" from other solar systems. They don't kill "alien bugs" as a general policy.

Humor isn't a big thing on your planet, is it?


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
In a setting without paladins as a core class, the Exo-Guardians are somewhat more flexible in terms of what they are willing to do to protect the Pact Worlds from external threats. The Exo-Guardians let us explore some tough questions, like how far would you go to protect your home from external threats?

That's why you came to me, isn't it captain? Because you knew that I could do those things that you weren't capable of. Well it worked. And you'll get what you want. A war between the Vesk and the Swarm. And if your conscience bothers you, you should soothe it with the knowledge that you may have just saved the entire Pact system! And all it cost, was the life of one Vesk Senator, one criminal,and the self respect of one Exo-Guardian officer. I don't know about you, but I'd call that, a bargain.

*

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey, don't bring me into this. I was just looking for a light snack between meals.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thecursor wrote:
Plausible Pseudonym wrote:
thecursor wrote:
So this a faction of Alien Bug Killers who go around killing alien bugs...led by an alien bug who kills alien bugs. Paladins are gone but paladin hypocrisy has remained, I see.
The defend from external threats to the Pact Worlds, which is a multi-species coalition that includes "aliens" from other solar systems. They don't kill "alien bugs" as a general policy.
Humor isn't a big thing on your planet, is it?

It is, but our humor technology is so much more advanced than yours that your techniques only come down to us from historians who study school yard taunts and what the scholars call "I know you are" techniques.

* Starfinder Society Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Eviljames wrote:


That's why you came to me, isn't it captain? Because you knew that I could do those things that you weren't capable of. Well it worked. And you'll get what you want. A war between the Vesk and the Swarm. And if your conscience bothers you, you should soothe it with the knowledge that you may have just saved the entire Pact system! And all it cost, was the life of one Vesk Senator, one criminal,and the self respect of one Exo-Guardian officer. I don't know about you, but I'd call that, a bargain.

Easily my favorite episode of Star Trek.

Not QUITE what I intended for the Exo-Guardians... but now I'm tempted.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

... just... is Zigvigix's personal starfighter the Zig, the Move Zig or even the Zero Wing? i dont know what that would do to my immersion but i want there to be a reference in the game now.

Dude... You could easily have the ace pilots of the Exo-Guardians all a part of Zero Wing Squadron and their fighters are called Zigs after being designed by Zigvigix.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Indiana—Bloomington aka CanisDirus

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Eviljames wrote:


That's why you came to me, isn't it captain? Because you knew that I could do those things that you weren't capable of. Well it worked. And you'll get what you want. A war between the Vesk and the Swarm. And if your conscience bothers you, you should soothe it with the knowledge that you may have just saved the entire Pact system! And all it cost, was the life of one Vesk Senator, one criminal,and the self respect of one Exo-Guardian officer. I don't know about you, but I'd call that, a bargain.

Easily my favorite episode of Star Trek.

Not QUITE what I intended for the Exo-Guardians... but now I'm tempted.

"So... I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Eviljames was right about one thing: a guilty conscience is a small price to pay for the safety of the Pact Worlds. So I will learn to live with it... Because I can live with it... I can live with it... Computer - erase that entire personal log."

(my favorite too!)

Scarab Sages

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

IT'S A FAKE!!!!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Elim Garak is my personal role model. <3

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thurston Hillman wrote:
In the case of the Exo-Guardians, that goal is "make sure bad aliens don't punch us in the face, possibly by punching those aliens in the face (or other appropriate body part, in the case of aliens without faces) first."

We are you first, last and only line of defense against the worst scum of the Universe

I'm gonna shoot you where it don't grow back.

Scarab Sages *****

Alexander Augunas wrote:
So, is there anything stopping me from bringing Ziggy cadavers of humans, halflings, and the like?

So if there is a future adventure where Ziggy might die in a horrible starship battle... would he then be known, affectionately of course, as Ziggy Stardust?

EDIT: Bah! ninja'd with the name!

* Starfinder Society Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Tallow wrote:

So if there is a future adventure where Ziggy might die in a horrible starship battle... would he then be known, affectionately of course, as Ziggy Stardust?

EDIT: Bah! ninja'd with the name!

"... would THEY then be known..."

Let me just fix that for ya :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Diggin' the new staff avatar, Thursty.


Thurston Hillman wrote:
Eviljames wrote:


That's why you came to me, isn't it captain? Because you knew that I could do those things that you weren't capable of. Well it worked. And you'll get what you want. A war between the Vesk and the Swarm. And if your conscience bothers you, you should soothe it with the knowledge that you may have just saved the entire Pact system! And all it cost, was the life of one Vesk Senator, one criminal,and the self respect of one Exo-Guardian officer. I don't know about you, but I'd call that, a bargain.

Easily my favorite episode of Star Trek.

Not QUITE what I intended for the Exo-Guardians... but now I'm tempted.

Well I assumed that that line wouldn't be standard practice, but it is what comes to mind for me when "tough decisions" and "how far would you go" get mentioned. I could see the possibility of scenario happening at least.

Also, easily one of the best episodes ever.

*

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Eviljames wrote:


That's why you came to me, isn't it captain? Because you knew that I could do those things that you weren't capable of. Well it worked. And you'll get what you want. A war between the Vesk and the Swarm. And if your conscience bothers you, you should soothe it with the knowledge that you may have just saved the entire Pact system! And all it cost, was the life of one Vesk Senator, one criminal,and the self respect of one Exo-Guardian officer. I don't know about you, but I'd call that, a bargain.

Easily my favorite episode of Star Trek.

Not QUITE what I intended for the Exo-Guardians... but now I'm tempted.

Honestly Thursty, it might not be what you intended for them and yes, sure, we're not supposed to have a "bad faction" but if a group of bad ass bug hunting space marines can't see the gray side of life, then who else will do it? Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, Exo-Gs gotta walk that big bad bug huntin' line.

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