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Amaltopek's page

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Rocket considers Starlord HIS sidekick.

One question that comes to mind is how to account for a race that is dependent upon its technology for its very survival. One iconic example is the Daleks of [i]Doctor Who]/i], who have been engineered by be utterly dependent on their "shells" and don't usually live very long outside them, to the point that the shell is viewed by a lot of people as the Dalek's actual body.


Childeric, The Shatterer wrote:
AnimatedPaper wrote:
I think worst case scenario would be whatever is going on with the PRD, which is coming up on two years worth of books that have not been added.

This.

The PRD hasn't been updated in almost 2 years, So I wouldn't hold my breath on them making the Starfinder version a very high priority. I'm sure it's on "the list of things to do", I just wonder how high on that list it is.

Given that it only makes money for people who aren't them....


CurleyWhirly wrote:
It might be a little expensive for a first level character, but there is always the 500 credit Holoskin. You could be wearing the heaviest armor, but it look like you're in the skimpiest of fashionwear, at least until someone goes to try and touch you. But at slightly higher levels, it could be a very cost effective way to easily blend into any crowd, considering it can even change what race you look like, again, until someone touches you in some way.

You would still have to deal with wearing hot, sweaty, and heavy armor -- even if nobody else can see it. Safety and fashion must sometimes give way to comfort. Especially since I imagine the lower quarters in Absalom Station (where all the proles live) are hot, steamy, dirty, and only moderately sanitary. You can get sticky and gross in a great hurry down there. Hopefully someone in the party knows some magic to give them the equivalent of a good shower whenever they need one, even with no hot water available....


A few examples of partial-conversion and full-conversion cyborgs would be very helpful. It'll be interesting to see these concepts liberated from the cyberpunk cliches. Perhaps there is a place in the Drif where a large crew and their passengers got stranded and going full-on cyborg was the only way they could survive. They could be grateful for rescue, or it could have driven them mad....


What would someone think if you walked around the station wearing Second Skin and nothing else?

If it's an opaque color, there would probably be no problem (though the lack of pockets might be a practical issue, it can be gotten around). But if it's transparent, there are decks where there would be issues.

Although there might be a deck or two where walking around semi-naked is perfectly acceptable....


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Lavawight wrote:

So how would you guys deal with a player who decides that they're going to wear a Second Skin underneath Thinplate which is underneath other armor and that the ACs of all of them should stack.

Other than telling them not to do that of course.

"You didn't read any of the book, did you?"


Can you have forelimbs that work just as well at carrying things and fine manipulation as they do at locomotion?


jack ferencz wrote:
i imagine that the fashions are constantly changing on absalom station! in my game black turtlenecks are all the rage among the hoi polloi right now thanks to those grim but fashionable eoxians.

Who don't care in the least about the trends they are setting? Or do Exoians off-world play the goth act to the hilt to try and maintain the perception of being undead as cool and even desirable?


kaid wrote:
CeeJay wrote:
I don't know how much bulk transport trade there would really be. Technology would seem able to provide for the basic needs of most worlds, so interplanetary / interstellar trade is probably focused more on some mixture of UPB's and of rarities and luxuries that can't be synthesised. Cargo holds probably should scale with the ship's size but cargo is likely not necessary to the basic infrastructure, so big-volume haulers might be relatively rare.

That was sort of my thought as well. With UPB most manufacturing stuff is not getting shipped around. You ship around the UPB if anything so easier to contain and pretty lightweight and less bulky than finished products.

Other stuff you would be transporting would basically be stuff you can't make with UPB for some reason or rare art's and resources.

The only real major bulk thing to transport may be food/air/water for space stations but this is unlikely to be a trade player adventurers do much with.

Billantrix (the Silver Dragon), like many other extraordinarily wealthy beings, has "exotic" tastes in food. And since she's a dragon, when she wants to have something specific to eat she'll want a lot of it. And since she's being hunted off-and-on by the Chromatics, she has to be discreet about how she gets it. She will sometimes hire a freighter crew to bring her whatever large herbivore whose flesh she wants to have and bring them to her Lair. The crew usually won't know they were hired by a dragon.

This topic also reminds me to ask this question -- a lot of significant places in the Pact Worlds have large populations with no explicit means of feeding them. How much of Absalom Station would need to be devoted to hydroponic farming to keep its millions of inhabitants alive?


When I picture Absalom Station in its enormity, I think of its role as crossroads of the galaxy meaning a lot of different people walking the corridors in all sorts of local garb from where they arrived. So I started to think -- when player-characters from the core races are walking around Absalom Station going about their business, what do they wear?

They obviously wouldn't be in battle gear all the time. Practically, armor and environment suits are probably uncomfortable enough that you don't want to wear it all the time unless you have to. Socially, if you're walking around in full gear ready to fight at a moment's notice and you're not affiliated with law enforcement, people will naturally assume you're looking for trouble -- and the station police will be happy to oblige. Is there some sort of magic which would make that unnecessary, as it enables you to "summon" your combat gear whenever you need it?

In any case, if you want to blend into the crowd, your clothes will say a lot about whether you can. Likewise, if you want to stand out as someone to pay attention to without looking like an immediate threat, there are other ways you can dress (and any Icon worth their credits will know exactly how!). So what do people (and PCs) wear?


I don't know about a ship in a human-like form; it seems woefully inefficient. But personal "fighting vehicles" is another matter. I can see them as ground combat weapon systems (though, again, there are usually more efficient ways to do that job).

Billantrix (the Silver Dragon) finds the whole idea rather silly. She'll hire a mecha pilot for a specific job, but usually finds the idea of a tank or fighter in humanoid form in poor taste. If you want to impress her with your sense of cool, you might want to build one in the "far superior" shape of a dragon....


What occurs to me is that physical distance being irrelevant to Drift travel, your map may represent something different.

Am I correct in thinking that a trip in the Drift between two "points" (say the Pact Worlds system and the Vesk capital) might require a different "route" and take different lengths of "real time" to complete based on factors outside the navigator's control? Wouldn't that make interstellar trade even more difficult than it already is?


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David knott 242 wrote:

The physics of Drift travel seems to favor the defender in an interstellar war, as you have no way to guarantee that the ships in an invading fleet arrive together. Of course, the fact that Absalom Station has such a strong Drift beacon gives the Pact Worlds a slight disadvantage in that regard, as the spread in arrival times is greatly reduced -- but the invaders are also forced to arrive near Absalom Station, which should be the best defended point in the entire Pact Worlds system for that reason.

So I am thinking that the Pact Worlds are able to hold off invaders because, while they are vastly outnumbered by any potential invaders, they are not outnumbered by a big enough factor to make a defense impossible. Of course, that does mean that the idea of the Pact Worlds trying to invade the Veskarium or any other similarly advanced and highly populated solar system would be absurd.

The Pact invading ANYBODY is a bit absurd. That's not what the loose alliance is built for. Even "taking the war to the enemy" is something there is no way to get the entire system to agree to. It is the sort of risk to which many of the governments of the Pact Worlds are fundamentally averse.

And it's not the Pact World defending themselves. Absalom Station, if it know a threat was coming, would be able to call in enough favors that it is suddenly one of the most heavily defended points in the Universe. No matter what differences it may have with other members of the Pact, all recognize its significance and will rush to its aid with very significant firepower. Even the Veskarium, now that they and the Pact Worlds are at peace, know that it is in their best interest that Absalom Station not fall, and they will act accordingly -- and they, unlike the Pact Worlds, have no disagreements with invading an enemy's territory if they threaten a friend.


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Torbyne wrote:
That ship sounds... excessive. 20 miles by 4 miles? that would dwarf Absalom station. We are getting close to Death Star sized with this thing. If it was built pre-artificial gravity than is it subject to normal inertia and such? by the time the populated planet is aware of it, it is probably too late to slow it down or significantly alter its course. time to evacuate the planet! :P or more likely, park that thing in orbit and become a new regional super power by slowly chipping off bits to build the largest fleet in the known galaxy and leave the last quarter or so to still be the largest station in known space. I like the idea of a runaway ecosystem on board and setting an adventure on a ship like that but clearing through literal miles of shipboard fighting? That could be a very long campaign.

Funnily enough, I am under the impression that to fulfill its function in the campaign, Absalom Station would have to be significantly larger than its cited dimensions. (And that the Death Star needs to be a little bit smaller than it appears to be on screen for what happens on screen to work, per your example. but that's neither here nor there). Absalom Station isn't just the Crossroads of the Cosmos -- it's the de facto homeworld for two significant species in the setting (well, one species you encounter everywhere and one that always seems to be underfoot where they are least wanted -- which is which, of course, depends on who you ask). There are always similar size constancy issues with places like this such as DS9 and Babylon 5: they always seem to be just as big as the plot needs them to be at any given time, which can be a problem if you want to make your plot adhere to any sort of specific rules.


Billantrix' spin on on Skittermanders is that their company is agreeable in small doses. She has four or five who are regular parts of the staff of her spacefaring lair (technically they're "on loan" from a Vesk diplomat she consults from time to time, but for some reason he's never bothered to ask for them back)), including a couple who have become quite proficient at preparing the large beasts that feature at her feasts.


captain yesterday wrote:
I'm still working on getting the party onboard with a Vesk "in charge of" a group of Skittermanders.

I imagine each of them have their own "talents" to aid in the task at hand. Whatever each member of your crew tries to do during your voyage, there's a Skittermander offering a few hands to help, wanted or not. Whether it's holding the engineer's tools for her, assisting the cook with seasonings for meals (because nothing goes better in oatmeal than curry powder!), or finding this great shortcut to Absalom Station, they will have no idea how you ever got along without them.


Metaphysician wrote:
Xuldarinar wrote:

The gods, every single god, have agreed to swear to secrecy the fate of the Cage, only that it is safe. Long lived races had their memories wiped. Of the cage.. of X number of years around that time.. ect.

Note, this only applies to memories of the events *during* the Gap. A sufficiently old dragon could have pre-Gap memories just fine, and it wouldn't break anything. Though the Gap is supposed to be several thousand years long, so I don't think any normal dragons live that long.

Will a dragon EVER die from natural causes? Are there even natural causes for a dragon? Does a dragon ever even get sick?

(And now I'm imagining Billantrix with a cold sneezing cones of ice everywhere, leaving the crew of her ship with problems (and needing to severely bundle up to avoid catching colds themselves).


Vidmaster7 wrote:
I just really want to see a dragon ship I think.

I haven't quite wrapped my mind around shipbuilding in SF yet, but I'm easily thinking that the Silver Dragon in question (she even has a name now -- Billantrix) would have a Drift-capable ship. She keeps her main residence in the Disp because she's an exile from the Chromatics on Triaxus, but owns shipyards and other enterprises scattered across the Pact Worlds and in a few other systems as well.

Billantrix is a CR17 Silver Dragon, which should be enough to prepare her stat block. You wouldn't want to fight her anyway. She is cultured, polite, witty, and even somewhat friendly -- or at least as friendly as a 125-foot-long dragon can be. She does, however, have an overarching goal -- to return in triumph to Triaxus and settle her unfinished business with the Chromatics. By her calculations, in two or three millennia those plans should be ready to come to fruition. It's a shame nobody else around her is that patient....

Oh, and don't ship Billantrix. The one pairing she was in ended up badly, her son never visits, and she's sworn off mating. Her typical response to the onset of mating season is to hide in a cave for four weeks and not see anyone.... WHAT?


Ravingdork wrote:
I imagine it was the dragons who started the first banks, and probably still run them today.

You know, that was my thought exactly long before Starfinder. Why just sit on a big pile of gold doing nothing when you have such a powerful intellect? The appeal of playing chess with thousands of human pawns must be enormous. I imagine it might start as a few dragons starting a competition to see who can grow their hoards the fastest in investments, while playing to specific rules (you can't openly raid your opponent's properties, but financing armies is OK). They could well be the force behind the equivalent of the Renaissance, with dragon money supporting the building of great nations, patronizing the arts, etc.

Of course, since the dragons would be rivals it would be a time full of skulduggery that leaves plenty of opportunities for enterprising PCs to get in on the action and -- once they find out what's really going on -- a chance to really upset the apple cart.


One possibly relevant and possibly not question: how does one get around the seeming paradox of a powerful Metallic being quite old by humanoid standards, yet not having pre-Gap memories that would break campaign secrets like the fate of Golarion? Of course, for many if not most campaigns this simply won't matter -- the PCs will have better things to do with their time and energy than chase down rumors like that, and their draconic patrons will most likely have more pressing concerns. But if it does occur to players to think "Say, the dragon's really old -- maybe she'll know!", how does a GM respond, especially in a way that doesn't especially annoy the dragon (you don't want to annoy dragons -- trust me on this).


baggageboy wrote:
Gold plated starships, just cause

Gold is too soft to work well as starship plating. It'll look incredibly pockmarked after just a couple of days in normal space, and who knows what it'll look like after a week in the Drift.

Infusing gold in space-grade paint is much better-looking and more practical.


Ouachitonian wrote:

I have a feeling that a lot of modern dragon hoards are tied up in stocks and bonds generating interest. Possibly quite a lot of interest, if the dragon himself is doing the investing. Millenia of experience playing the stock market probably comes in handy. Of course, they’d have some tied up in precious metals too; hedge against inflation and all that.

Nitpick: there’s a difference between “hoard” and “horde”, y’all. Adventurers might want to find a dragon’s hoard. Adventurers would probably run in terror from a dragon horde.

The horde/hoard thing has been bothering me all thread long. I didn't know quite how to respond, but I associate horde more with orcs than with dragons.

A Starfinder dragon's hoard may have started out in precious metals -- a very, very long time ago. And she still might have quite a large stockpile of them at home. But the Pact Worlds and other systems at this level simply don't view gold and silver as money in themselves. Having hundreds of thousands of gold coins actually makes them less valuable than in you had only a few hundred, because their value is to a collector and depends on their scarcity. To fight over gold would be unthinkable to a Pact Worlder. So if all a dragon is doing is hiding out in a cave sitting on a bunch of no-longer-precious metals, he's not very interesting and there's no reason for an adventuring party to bother him.

If, on the other hand, the Dragon had taken an interest in the outside world and got in at the right time to turn her hoard into wealth that translates into the real world's needs, then she becomes powerful indeed. Now combine that wealth with powerful intellect, near-immortality, and a capricious mind-set that is alien to that of humanoids. If you attract the interest of such a being, you'd better hope it's on her good side. And that's the advantage of dealing with a Metallic -- they actually have one.


Rahod wrote:
Wait...Adult dragons who have Spaceships? I wonder what they would look like, and how big they would be?

Big enough that unless the dragon in question knew enough magic to shapeshift into a humanoid-sized form (and probably roughly human-shaped, if only for convenience in dealing with humanoids), it would require special facilities simply to embark and disembark. Getting a dragon into space is not for the timid or the cheapskate. Not only do you have to carry around a whopping great dragon, but you also need her food, the attendants needed to prepare it, sanitary facilities (dragons probably value cleanliness, after all their ancestors spent a lot of time in quarters that were very cramped for creatures their size, but still a creature that eats four or five cows at a sitting and washes it down with three barrels of beer or the equivalent is going to have waste to deal with), a crew to fly the ship (unless the ship is a REAL custom job and the Dragon can fly it herself, in which case it would be utterly unmanageable by anyone else), and so forth. The dragon will also be traveling with whatever entourage it sees fit. I'd say a Large ship would be ideal if dragon and dragon-tenders are going to be at all comfortable.

There are places like Absalom Station where dragons simply cannot go -- at least not in their natural forms -- which means they have to rely on agents to work on their behalf there. Since space itself is one of the places where a dragon is at her most vulnerable, it's a significant event when a dragon's ship shows up in orbit. Like in the ancient days of lost Golarion, the day a dragon comes to your world is a day you will never forget as long as you live. Even if that turns out to only be about a quarter of an hour or so....


Shinigami02 wrote:

I think the only reason the Metallics weren't written up is they only had so much space, and of the two the Chromatics are more likely to be enemies (being Evil after all). With how NPC-gen works in Starfinder you don't really need in-depth write-ups for both sides so much.

That said, I can totally see both sides being actually involved in society now-days, like at the higher tiers of corporations and such. Possibly even frequently direct competitors in corporations. After all, if there's anywhere that's going to have the economic power required for a successful startup it's going to be a Dragon Horde. Heck, having a successful company might even be the new thing in Hordes, a Horde that's not only massive but actively grows itself rather than just sitting in a cave.

It just occurred to me that the metallic I'm thinking of might have gotten into the shipbuilding business, perhaps because of family history of having to finance custom ships to get as many of themselves and their clan as they could off-planet as the Chromatics gained greater sway. Their wealth, while still extravagant by human standards, is not great compared to their chief Chromatic rival, and they are required to rely on both putting out a superior product and engaging in a constant war with their chief chromatic competitor to remain profitable. In this feud the gloves are off, the claws are out and sharp, and even assassination is on the table. The difference is that our Metallic mistress pays the party fairly and treats them well in her own, utterly alien way. Her rivals use as their chief incentive "Serve us well and we might wait until tomorrow to eat you alive. Serve us poorly and we won't."


I've been thinking about the Metallic dragons since I saw the Dragon writeup in AA. They're easy enough to build at the age required now, and even easier if you want them not to be fight-able by the PCs. Since most of the dragons listed were chromatic, and evidently there are not a lot of dragons around period, I wonder where the more benevolent ones can be found.

Notice that "benevolent" does not necessarily mean "nice"! I can easily imagine a Metallic that becomes a PCs patron having a bit of fun with the phrase "Have you for dinner" just to see the look on their faces when they realize she's going to chow down on roasted whole cows and she merely wants them for company. And if you give them reason to, a Metallic can make your life just as hellish as any other dragon can -- as much with their economic power as with their physical prowess.


It strikes me that making the Mild Meld a race feature that any Vulcan can do is quite powerful. It's a formidable ability even with its significant downsides. I wonder if it would be feasible to make it an ability you need to devote serious effort to learning how to do.

Mind you, I'm not quite sure how you would accomplish this. Still,. it shouldn't be an assumption that every Vulcan you meet knows how to Mind Meld. In fact, IIRC they find the intimacy distasteful (a reflection of their cold demeanor), especially when done without consent of the second party (Spock, from a reasonable Vulcan perspective, does this far too often.). Why it isn't presented as an assault, like any other form of unwanted intimacy, is something I'm wondering about,.


When trying to create a PC, I'm a little confuzzled about tracking Ability Score points. The points start at 0 instead of 10. Probably a minor thing, but it is somewhat less intuitive when it comes to how many points you have to spend.

It's an Alpha, of course, so working out kinks is the point of the exercise.


A massive ship is detected on the fringes of the Pact system, and it is either unwilling or unable to respond to any efforts to communicate with it. Although it is on a course straight for Absalom Station, it appears to be significantly older than it. The best guess of anyone looking into the matter is that the thing is headed to where Golarion theoretically used to. If there is sapience controlling it, they would not be happy to see it gone. If there isn't, there's potential that it will crash into the station and utterly destroy it -- and with it the Pact, leaving the rest of the system in bloody chaos.

Numerous expeditions are competing to get into the anomalous object, discover its secrets, and possibly get rich doing it. It's a lure no explorer worth anything can resist. Before you're done, though, you may wish you had.


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Lord Fyre wrote:
Ltfngr wrote:
Just Vargr, K'Kree, etc more to go :D

I'm not sure if the K'kree would work as a Starfinder race? They may be too strong.

As it is, I am kind of worried that the Aslan I've written are a bit too powerful, but they seem in line with the Vesk. (And the Dex penalty is brutal in this game.)

K'kree would also have the practical problem that they're big, and thus don't readily do well in the tight (for them) quarters of a Human ship. They are also, IIRC, xenophobic to sometimes alarming degrees.

They'd make poor player-characters but would be nice "aliens". Or, rather, nasty ones.


Is there some sort of template available to fill in the details of a spell, a monster, or an NPC for the benefit of writers like myself?

Sounds like it would be easy to make one, but I'd like to know what needs to be included in all such Pathfinder-compatible elements.


I have a friend's copy for a while and have been going through it. Big doesn't begin to describe it. You know how they say Hero 5th Edition Revised could stop some gunfire? Well, the Pathfinder book gives that one a run for its money in terms of size and, hopefully, sturdiness.

I don't forsee any trouble running D&D 3.5e characters, classes, monsters, etc. in Pathfinder with a little rudimentary work. Not that I ran 3.5 on a regular basis, mind you. But I like to see Pathfinder as a fresh start that happens to be compatible with a lot of previous source material.

I'm also looking forward to whatever you'll call the creatures book now. The vignettes indicated some interesting things....


(the following concerned Synnibar)

Chris Mortika wrote:


For people who aren't familiar, imagine a cross between RIFTS and METAMORPHOSIS: ALPHA. Written by someone on speed.

One of the lower points of my professional life is the time Raven declared himself my biggest fan. Talk about guilt by association....

But in the 90s I recall getting some truly awful efforts to review as a magazine editor. And I remember trying ever so hard to be polite about how bad they were.


I was riding home from GameStorm in Portland with a game designer friend of mine, and he commented on something very interesting: that 3.5 and previous versions of D&D/D20 didn't really have a systematic way for players or GMs to create original spells in a rational, balanced way.

Of course, the alpha release to date didn't have anything in the Player's book at least similar to that (at least on a cursory reading). So I'm wondering whether this is something that could be pursued in future development of Pathfinder.


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