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Just My Luck, I Get Stuck with a Race that Speaks Only in Macros

Friday, October 13, 2017

The first hardback sourcebook for Starfinder is Alien Archive, a book with scores of npcs and monsters drawn from numerous species and rules for creating brand new creatures. That obviously makes it a book GMs are going to get a lot of use out of. But there's a great deal more to it than just a bestiary of space monsters. Alien Archive has lots of additional material that's useful to players, from new player character races to new equipment options and even a whole set of summoning spell rules.

While there are stat blocks appropriate for GM use with every species, 22 of them also give the traits that allow the creation of player characters of that race. The races that receive the racial traits to allow them to be used as player characters (along with their size when it is different from Medium, and their type and subtype if any) are: barathu (aberration), contemplative (monstrous humanoid), draelik (humanoid, draelik), dragonkin (Large dragon), drow (humanoid, elf), formian (monstrous humanoid), space goblin (small humanoid, goblin), gray (small humanoid, gray), haan (Large monstrous humanoid), ikeshti (small humanoid, ikeshti), kalo (monstrous humanoid, aquatic), maraquoi (humanoid, maraquoi), nuar (monstrous humanoid), reptoid (humanoid, reptoid, shapechanger), ryphorian (humanoid, rhyphorian), sarcesian (Large humanoid, sarcesian), shobhad (Large monstrous humanoid), skittermander (Small humanoid, skittermander), urog (Large magical beast), veranthi (humanoid, veranthi), witchwyrd (monstrous humanoid), and wrikreechee (monstrous humanoid, aquatic). While some of those races are familiar to players from Pathfinder or earlier Starfinder products, others appear here for the first time.

As a sample of the new kinds of creatures available to players, here are the racial traits for wrikreechees, chitinous natives of the watery planet of Akchios.

Wrikreechee Racial Traits

Ability Adjustments: +2 Con, +2 Int, -2 Dex

Hit Points: 4

Size and Type: Wrikreechees are Medium monstrous humanoids with the aquatic subtype.

Amphibious: Wreikreechees are able to breath both water and air normally.

Cooperative (Ex): Wrikreechees spend much of their lives in close contact with one another, learning to predict their neighbors' reactions and coordinate their actions.
A wrikreechee gains a +2 bonus to skill checks for the aid another action and to attack rolls to provide harrying fire. A creature using the aid another action to assist a wrikreechee's skill check gains a +2 bonus to her check.

Darkvision: Wrikreechees have darkvision with a range of 60 feet.

Sheltering (Ex): A wrikreechee instinctively knows how to exploit sources of cover. When a wrikreechee is benefiting from partial cover, cover, or improved cover, the granted bonus to its AC and Reflex saves increases by 1. Snag (Ex): Thanks to the feathery material lining its forelimbs, a wrikreechee is adept at grabbing small prey. A wrikreechee gains a +4 bonus to attack rolls when attempting to grapple a creature smaller than itself. As a full action, a wrikreechee can make two attempts to grapple a creature with a -4 penalty to the attack rolls.

Wrikreechee Movement: A wrikreechee has a base speed of 20 feet and a swim speed of 30 feet.

Beyond the expansion of 22 new players races, many of the creature entries also include equipment that can potentially be made from a slain monster (such as the bones cestuses that can be crafted from a crest-eater), or that is an advanced item most often found in the possession of members of a specific race (such as the grays' memory expunger) or even a whole new kind of technology (such as the nuar's multifunction maze-core technology). Each piece of new equipment is tied to a new race in some specific way, allowing players to know what kinds of gear is preferred by members of various races, or to allow them to benefit from overcoming foes that can be usefully turned into equipment that may not otherwise be available.

Finally, Alien Archive includes the summon creature variable-level spell, which is available to both mystics and technomancers. This spells allows spellcasters to select four types of planar creatures that can be summoned, ranging from angels, devils, and other outsiders to elementals, shadow creatures, or even beasts from the First World (only for mystics) or robots drawn from pieces scattered through the Astral Plane (only for technomancers). Where appropriate, specific creatures from the Alien Archive are available as choices to be summoned by the spell, but a series of simple templates ensures a wide range of generic outsiders can also be called upon. If a mystic wants to focus on summoning good outsiders, it's possible to have an agathion, angel, archon, and azata at every spell level the mystic can cast summon creature.

While not every player may wish to use equipment from distant cultures, and GMs may not make all the new potential player character races available in every campaign, the ability to have new life forms and new civilizations impact player options is an important part of the information presented in Alien Archive.

Owen KC Stephens
Starfinder Design Lead

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Alien Archive Starfinder
Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

19 people marked this as a favorite.

My wrikreechees! In the wild!

Some of the wrikreechee origin story:

When we were planning out Alien Archive, one of the brainstorming exercises involved naming weird alien physiology. Terms like "mouth tubules" and "external stomaches" flew about the room, but apparently my suggestion of "arm baleen" was what caught James Sutter by surprise. Creating a creature with arm baleen sorta became a dare during that meeting, and as we closed up the session, I accepted the challenge and began devising a world in which they might arise.

I find the final result quite charming. We need more classy invertebrate filter feeder PC races.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Ooo, neat. Although my brain keeps trying to twist wrikreechees into weekiwatchee (wrikeewatchee?).

Waiting until the PDF releases on the 18th is getting harder.


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

its a great book love the races, though i had though that eox was going to get some kind of playable race :(
other then that i love the playable races

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

The Wrikreechee has a symbol that looks very similar to the Starfinder Society's emblem. Confirmed Wrikreechees are SFS legal or do they just like compasses too?

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
jimthegray wrote:

its a great book love the races, though i had though that eox was going to get some kind of playable race :(

other then that i love the playable races

Eox is getting playable races in the AP (for living natives) and the Pact Worlds hardcover (for undead ones), I believe.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Velisruna wrote:
The Wrikreechee has a symbol that looks very similar to the Starfinder Society's emblem. Confirmed Wrikreechees are SFS legal or do they just like compasses too?

Since the Starfinder Society is an in-world organization it's only appropriate that we use their ideology to illustrate some of the RPG material.

That should never been seen as a hint that it's Org Play legal.
Only declarations to that effect from members of the Starfinder Org Play team should ever be seen as tea leaves of being SFS legal. :)

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Velisruna wrote:
The Wrikreechee has a symbol that looks very similar to the Starfinder Society's emblem. Confirmed Wrikreechees are SFS legal or do they just like compasses too?

As for whether—and as it applies, how—the wrikreechees feature in Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild is news that's coming soon, so keep an eye out for upcoming blogs.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's possible I just missed the explaination for this somewhere, but why is it that some, if not most, of the PC aliens have abilities in their stat blocks that the PC versions don't get? For example, the dragonkin has a bite attack in its statblock, but the racial traits don't appear to give it one.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I only have one question. How the heck do they wield tools or even guns when their hands end in what appear to be prickly blades?

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Berselius wrote:
I only have one question. How the heck do they wield tools or even guns when their hands end in what appear to be prickly blades?

Regardless of the art, they have some method of grasping, ranging from featherlike filaments on their forearms to articulated claws that can be folded into multiple shapes.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ah, I see, cool. :D


2 people marked this as a favorite.

there's a formatting error in the text - the snag ability should be on it's own line

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Big Lemon wrote:
It's possible I just missed the explaination for this somewhere, but why is it that some, if not most, of the PC aliens have abilities in their stat blocks that the PC versions don't get? For example, the dragonkin has a bite attack in its statblock, but the racial traits don't appear to give it one.

I guess balancing reasons might be a good explanation. That said natural attacks not supported by racial features like the Vesk's natural weapons ability do have a really weird scaling in this system.

Also quoting from the book:

Alien Archive page 4 wrote:

Part of the fun of any science fantasy game is playing bizarre

alien races, and in Starfinder, we want groups to have as many
playable creature options as possible. As a result, many of the
creature entries in this book include racial traits—rules that
players can use to build characters of these races. In many
cases, these racial abilities are scaled-back versions of the full
monster abilities; this is because opponents run by the GM
(both monsters and nonplayer characters) are created using a
different rules system than player characters, but also because
it allows us to present a wide array of potential playable races
that might otherwise be too powerful.

Lantern Lodge

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

If there are differences between a creature's stats and the traits of a PC race, I'd encourage players to pick those up as feats or similarly themed character options that might become available as a character levels up, if appropriate for their character.

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Wrikreechee also have a powerful sonic weapon that you might have overlooked! Cursed wriks!


"dragonkin (Large dragon)"

This is something that kinda.. bugs me little, mostly due to this passage:

Starfinder Core Rulebook, p. 453 wrote:
Many starfaring dragonkin families have resorted to genetic engineering to reduce their size to better fit in the narrow corridors of space stations and starships, and thanks to their near-telepathic bond with their partners, no humanoid of the legion would dream of flying a starfighter without her dragonkin copilot.

I get that going from 15-20 feet tall/long to 10 feet is a size reduction, but... the wording for this made it sounds like dragonkins would have become Medium.

I also kept hearing/reading that Large PC races were scarce due to being a little... impractical.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

8 people marked this as a favorite.

FYI, the sheer quantity of Babylon 5 quotes for Paizo Blog posts over the years has always tickled me. :D


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
FYI, the sheer quantity of Babylon 5 quotes for Paizo Blog posts over the years has always tickled me. :D

And as I woke up and turned to see her next to me in bed, the sun shinning on her face, I decided, that I'd rather CHEW MY ARM OFF than WAKE HER UP. ;) :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.
JiCi wrote:

"dragonkin (Large dragon)"

This is something that kinda.. bugs me little, mostly due to this passage:

Starfinder Core Rulebook, p. 453 wrote:
Many starfaring dragonkin families have resorted to genetic engineering to reduce their size to better fit in the narrow corridors of space stations and starships, and thanks to their near-telepathic bond with their partners, no humanoid of the legion would dream of flying a starfighter without her dragonkin copilot.

I get that going from 15-20 feet tall/long to 10 feet is a size reduction, but... the wording for this made it sounds like dragonkins would have become Medium.

I also kept hearing/reading that Large PC races were scarce due to being a little... impractical.

Wow, medium dragonkin that can be starfighter copilots who have telepathic links with their pilots. That's so awesome! :D


2 people marked this as a favorite.

{smiles} What do wrikreechees want?


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Mr. Morden wrote:
{smiles} What do wrikreechees want?

Wrikreechee: I would like to live just long enough so I can be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike...as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I would look up at your lifeless eyes and wave like this...(twiddles fingers).

;) ;) :D


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Question.. have we an undead player race?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gayel Nord wrote:
Question.. have we an undead player race?

It's coming in the Pact Worlds harcover in March.


Berselius wrote:
JiCi wrote:

"dragonkin (Large dragon)"

This is something that kinda.. bugs me little, mostly due to this passage:

Starfinder Core Rulebook, p. 453 wrote:
Many starfaring dragonkin families have resorted to genetic engineering to reduce their size to better fit in the narrow corridors of space stations and starships, and thanks to their near-telepathic bond with their partners, no humanoid of the legion would dream of flying a starfighter without her dragonkin copilot.

I get that going from 15-20 feet tall/long to 10 feet is a size reduction, but... the wording for this made it sounds like dragonkins would have become Medium.

I also kept hearing/reading that Large PC races were scarce due to being a little... impractical.

Wow, medium dragonkin that can be starfighter copilots who have telepathic links with their pilots. That's so awesome! :D

Huh, I think you misread: the dragonkin isn't a Medium creature...

Shadow Lodge

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

Just waiting to see all the people RPing as Stitch at upcoming events. Please make the Skitters society legal!

Second Seekers

2 people marked this as a favorite.

So, now I am imagining running an Starfinder Society game and I’ll have 6 Drow at the table named Dr$$it or something like that. <GM cringe>


5 people marked this as a favorite.
AetherealFlux wrote:
So, now I am imagining running an Starfinder Society game and I’ll have 6 Drow at the table named Dr$$it or something like that. <GM cringe>

I'll have you know that my character's name is Space Drizz't, good sir, of Space House Space Do'Urden.

Spoiler:
He's from space.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Jokey the Unfunny Comedian wrote:
I'll have you know that my character's name is Space Drizz't, good sir, of Space House Space Do'Urden.

WE GET IT! HE'S FROM SPACE!


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Jokey the Unfunny Comedian wrote:
AetherealFlux wrote:
So, now I am imagining running an Starfinder Society game and I’ll have 6 Drow at the table named Dr$$it or something like that. <GM cringe>
I'll have you know that my character's name is Space Drizz't, good sir, of Space House Space Do'Urden.

He likes Moon Pie and Mars Bars..


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Berselius wrote:
I only have one question. How the heck do they wield tools or even guns when their hands end in what appear to be prickly blades?
Regardless of the art, they have some method of grasping, ranging from featherlike filaments on their forearms to articulated claws that can be folded into multiple shapes.

I wonder if this applies to all PC races; Urog (Large Magical Beast) seems an obvious example of the weird fact they can somehow manipulate items with little issue. Got to wonder how that works out.

Given that the door is now open to other Magical Beast creatures being PC races, my main question becomes how this is going to work out when eventually we wind up with Magical Beast Alien PC races that amount to large intelligent cats, wolves, and horses/unicorn/Pegasus (or rather, alien creatures that look like them) and we have to ask ourselves how they're holding the weapons and items.

Granted, I suppose something similar to the Contemplative's drawback on weapon handedness is probably a likely case for creatures with genuinely only maybe a tail and a mouth to use their items with.

This is all stuff I say knowing full well I would play as essentially a blink dog in space, of basically any class. Because that would be fun.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Owen KC Stephens wrote:
Jokey the Unfunny Comedian wrote:
AetherealFlux wrote:
So, now I am imagining running an Starfinder Society game and I’ll have 6 Drow at the table named Dr$$it or something like that. <GM cringe>
I'll have you know that my character's name is Space Drizz't, good sir, of Space House Space Do'Urden.
He likes Moon Pie and Mars Bars..

And like Moon Bars and Mars Bars, Space Drizz'ts are very tasty when deep fried. Even tastier when you're at least a bit inebriated.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Berselius wrote:
Jokey the Unfunny Comedian wrote:
I'll have you know that my character's name is Space Drizz't, good sir, of Space House Space Do'Urden.
WE GET IT! HE'S FROM SPACE!

No, actually, he's from Iowa -- he only works in outer space.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
jimthegray wrote:

its a great book love the races, though i had though that eox was going to get some kind of playable race :(

other then that i love the playable races

THe Eoxians will be playable but they won't be released til the book in March unfortunately.


worldwriter4 wrote:
jimthegray wrote:

its a great book love the races, though i had though that eox was going to get some kind of playable race :(

other then that i love the playable races
THe Eoxians will be playable but they won't be released til the book in March unfortunately.

Additionally, I heard that living eoxians will be profiled in the next chapter of the AP in December.


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Jokey the Unfunny Comedian wrote:
I'll have you know that my character's name is Space Drizz't, good sir, of Space House Space Do'Urden.
WE GET IT! HE'S FROM SPACE!

No, actually, he's from Iowa -- he only works in outer space.

Space Iowa? ;) :D


{lurks ominously}


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Luna Protege wrote:
Given that the door is now open to other Magical Beast creatures being PC races, my main question becomes how this is going to work out when eventually we wind up with Magical Beast Alien PC races that amount to large intelligent cats, wolves, and horses/unicorn/Pegasus (or rather, alien creatures that look like them) and we have to ask ourselves how they're holding the weapons and items.

Handwave it away. It worked for My Little Pony, no reason it won't in Starfinder either !


AetherealFlux wrote:
So, now I am imagining running an Starfinder Society game and I’ll have 6 Drow at the table named Dr$$it or something like that. <GM cringe>

Don't remind me of the 90's D&D drow trend *shudder*.

So many players digging out the most unbalanced rules variants to play Drizzt clones. It is part of the reason why I dislike Drow. (the other is judging an elf as evil by skin color).

Unnecessary Drow in a RPG always feel to me like a random Wolverine appearance in a Marvel comic. A quick cash grab that trades quality for popularity.


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

I know monster stats differ from player stats, but shouldn't grays have telepathy? And barathus dark vision? These seem like errors of omission rather than design decisions to me.


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

Contemplatives don't have telepathy either. How odd.

Surely this is a mistake? Some of these race entries even state that they communicate almost exclusively through that ability.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

Contemplatives don't have telepathy either. How odd.

Surely this is a mistake? Some of these race entries even state that they communicate almost exclusively through that ability.

Their telepathy isnt racial, its social; all members of the species are given nano injections at birth that function as a built in comms device. Its just not included in the write up as cyberware isnt lootable. :P

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Luna Protege wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:


Regardless of the art, they have some method of grasping, ranging from featherlike filaments on their forearms to articulated claws that can be folded into multiple shapes.
I wonder if this applies to all PC races; Urog (Large Magical Beast) seems an obvious example of the weird fact they can somehow manipulate items with little issue. Got to wonder how that works out.

Paragraph two, sentence one.

"Urog anatomy can be deceptive."


Ravingdork wrote:

Contemplatives don't have telepathy either. How odd.

Surely this is a mistake? Some of these race entries even state that they communicate almost exclusively through that ability.

I found that a bit odd too but it is easy enough to add to them via feats or class or archetype. They did say specifically the player options give up some stuff so they can be balanced as playable so it is a reasonable trade off and easy enough to pick back up if a player really wants it.

One of the bigger changes for contemplatives though is their flight. They go from perfect flight as NPC to average as a PC which as mechanics with hover drones can attest can be a bit problematic given the current flying/hovering rules. Its not to big of a deal for a caster contemplative but it would be hard for them to do full attacks unless they land and move at the speed of slow.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Regardless of the art, they have some method of grasping, ranging from featherlike filaments on their forearms to articulated claws that can be folded into multiple shapes.
I wonder if this applies to all PC races; Urog (Large Magical Beast) seems an obvious example of the weird fact they can somehow manipulate items with little issue. Got to wonder how that works out.

Paragraph two, sentence one.

"Urog anatomy can be deceptive."

Considering the way I phrased that train of thought, I shouldn't be surprised that your answer amounts to "basically yes".

Of course, the answer you give also seems to suggest (by way of the answer being from the Alien Archive itself) that not even people watching an Urog in-universe can figure out how they hold objects.

... I'm not sure if the logical extension of that would be once the Urog actually picks up an item, but the two possibilities that come to mind are these:
1) An Urog picks up a gun, and the observer says "oh, so that's how you hold those!"
2) An Urog picks up a gun, and the observer says "Wait... How are you holding that?"

Meanwhile, I should note that when I first saw the Urog's image, I thought their electro-bubble was supposed to be something resembling an insect's crystalline wings folded in such a way to create a shield... Actually they still might be. So yeah, I can get the weird biology thing.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I just love the irony that Pathfinder (Society) has a really long and detailed list of the different item slots that each type of animal companion/familiar/mount can use depending on their anatomy, while Starfinder is more like "no limbs, no problem!" I don't know if it's good or bad, but it's definitely different.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Torbyne wrote:
Its just not included in the write up as cyberware isnt lootable. :P

Not with that attitude...

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