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AmbassadoroftheDominion wrote:

nice Calvin and Hobbes reference, Opsylum.

and I do hope it's related to Neh-Thalggus, but it has two mouths. Do Neh-Thalggus have two mouths?
Dominion needs a whole Alien Archives to itself in my book.

In my headcanon, Spaceman Spiff was a celebrated Steward who crash-landed on Aucturn and has been waging a half-hallucinated guerrilla war with Dominion invaders for years, almost - but never quite - managing to keep a starship in one piece long enough to get back home.

Yeah, there are a lot of anatomical similarities (bubble/pustule-like protrusions, green hide, oozy, crab-like body, etc), but some definite differences too - no vice-grip claws, for one. The upper mouth looks vaguely similar to a Neh-Thalggu's ordinary mouth, so it's feasible Thalggu's have had a mouth on their underbelly all this time we've never known about. It's probably not a Neh-Thalggu, but it looks close enough to elicit a raised eyebrow. If Paizo releases a Dominion of the Black faction guide/alien archive, I would buy it in a second. I love nightmarish brain collectors!


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It looks vaguely similar to a Neh-Thalggu. That, or it's yet another grotesque alien monstrosity whose only chance of defeat lies with the swashbuckling heroics of one Spaceman Spiff!

Speaking of Neh-Thalggu, Dominion of the Black anytime soon, maaaybe? Nudge-nudge. Nudge-nudge.


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Is there any new information on factions, gods, or threats? Or details on any Pact Worlds beyond the Golarion system? Thanks!


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Will each alien still get a full two page spread?


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Ravingdork, are starship ramming rules introduced in this AP? From what you described in the encounter, it sounds like there are.


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spoiler:
Do the Azlanti appear in this AP? It looked like one of their starships make an appearance in the adventure. Also, does the Drift gazetteer explain how starships can arrive out of drift in formation if ships leaving at the same time aren't guaranteed to arrive in the same place or time?


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Arutema wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
emmens wrote:

definitely into the idea of more character backgrounds, and would love more pathfinder legacy races

If you don't mind my asking, which legacy races are you most interested in seeing, and why?
For me, the races associated with Tian Xia; Kitsune, Nagaji, Wayangs, and Tengu. I'd be nice to see how they're doing in the future, as we know the Ysoki Ratfolk are outright thriving.

EDIT: Don't forget Samsarans!

Dhampirs! Dhampirs all the way!

Also, I don't think anyone will complain about more Aasimar and Tiefling stuff.


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I'd like to see a summonable, sentient A.I. that can haunt technological devices, providing assistance for computer-based skill checks, or causing hostile technology to malfunction. It could even potentially take control of cybernetic implants. Defeating it would involve a scenario of computer or engineering checks like a technological exorcism, destroying the device it is operating, or a successful charisma check to talk it out of its logic process. It could also make a fun familiar (whenever we get those rules).


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So excited for this! Fingers crossed for space vampires! :D


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Anyone see Merge Station yet? They've got some really awesome rules additions I'm itching to try out, including mechs, cyberspace, an A.I. race, mutations, character building options, and more. Plus more cool things like additional monsters, starships, and encounter tables. Hadn't seen anything posted about them here yet, so thought I'd share in case anyone missed them.

Merge Station


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Oh, sweet, a Tetrad Caravel. Its artwork never showed up in the Alien Archive. Glad we finally get to see what it looks like. Also, anyone know if we'll get a Sunrise Maiden pawn anytime soon?


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James Sutter wrote:

First off: I'm extremely honored to see so many people asking about the ilee! I had no idea people were so attached to them. So thank you. :)

As for what happened to them: Well, as we can all see, there aren't any on Apostae anymore. Clearly that must mean they were wiped out, right? But recall the central conceit of the ilee as a race: the fact that their physical forms were all very different, thanks to their unique creation process. Now ask yourself, what if they could control that process? What if, instead of fighting, you could change shape and walk among your invaders?

All I'm saying is, keep an eye on the Pact Worlds hardcover.


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James Sutter wrote:
Since some folks were asking: this book will be 216 pages long!

If the Pact Worlds follows the trends of AP gazetteers, we'll probably get 8-10 page spreads of planetary lore, with concise descriptions of various geographical regions and a little more detailed look on major locations. Looking back at Distant Worlds, the book seemed more about giving a feel for the atmosphere and character of each planet, spending much time on description of architecture, environmental features, culture, and the planet's major denizens - while significantly lacking in detail about anywhere on the planet that's not a major settlement or geographic novelty. Castrovel's fourth continent, Ukulam, was not even named in this book. DW is good for short, planet-hopping visits, which seems to be the flavor it was going for - but bad for extended stays - which is important for Starfinder.

Assuming Pact Worlds' gazetteers are about filling out each planet, aiming for the forest instead of the trees (as was DW's luxury), I think Distant Worlds will still have a lot of use as a supplement both for its historical relevance, and for its greater amount of detail on the locations it does cover (DW's section on Qabarat was twice as long as Dead Suns AP's). At least until we get "Guide to Qabarat" or "Capitol Cities of the Pact Worlds" type books.

Features (not already confirmed) I'm hoping will be in Starfinder Pact Worlds:
1. Encounter tables for each planet (or list of native inhabitants and monsters)
2. Brief planetary timelines citing major developments since the Gap
3. Adventure Hooks (these were a nice feature in DW)
4. Full planetary statistics (like Absalom Station had)
5. Planet's relationships with other Pact Worlds, and system-wide reputation


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


According to my redtext above this item, I purchased this product on September 28th, so as long as I can get it before it hits the stores as a subscriber I'd be happy, but I also understand if situations transpire like Paizo trying to make good for a manufacturing defect in another product, or me adding another item to my Sidecart while it is still 'Pending'.

The Customer Service team has been dealing with a crudtonne of stuff if the microcosm that is the Forums is any indication and mad props that we haven't gotten a half-dozen CS table-flipping avatars or more.

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
You can actually read the full entries for the Drow (and Contemplatives) in Game Trade Magazine's Alien Archive preview.

https://www.gametrademagazine.com/downloads/StarfinderAlienArchivesExcerpt. pdf


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David knott 242 wrote:

The Verthani (from Verces) has a racial ability that is virtually unusable. Their camouflage ability requires that no more than 25% of their body be covered in order for it to work. In a setting where everybody wears full armor, that ability is unlikely to be usable very often.

Can you wear custom clothing, like one could do for the climbing suckers augmentation, to make this feature work with light armor?


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Will this book explore the Pact Worlds system's general history any more, such as Triune's ascension, the signing of the Absalom Pact, the Stardust Plague, the Android abolition movement, and the war with the Veskarium? Considering the consequences of the Gap, every nugget of history is gold!


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Any avian/bird-like aliens in here? Chozo-esque?

Oh, and, um, how 'bout a sklitter?


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Timbo8705 wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Timbo8705 wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Timbo8705 wrote:
Why am I paying for a service if it's a coin toss that it's even providing what I'm paying for?

As the others on this thread have stated, you are not paying to get it early. In fact, you're not paying anything extra for a subscription at all, you're paying for the Hardcover, same price as everyone else, and you're getting the PDF for free.

It's really disheartening to see all these "If I don't get it early no one should" mindsets.

What's really disheartening is that you don't seem to get that it's pretty messed that you and I are paying the same price for the same product and yet you already have the product (in this case the digital download PDF) and I (as well as quite a few others it seems) do not. If you truly believe the only thing you get with your subscription is the hardcover copy of the book and the free pdf you should have no issue with not having it early since that's not part of what you're paying for.
I do not have the product yet, in any form, and you are right, I have no problem not getting it early. I'm perfectly fine with others getting it before me.

My mistake, having read one of your previous posts it made it seem like you had the pdf already, I misread. I understand you're not upset by not getting the same product that everyone is paying for at the same time. Great, more power to you. That is your opinion and you are entitled to it, that doesn't make it fair, and that doesn't make it right. People are paying the same price and some of us are getting preferential treatment by getting a boon of having the product earlier when they aren't paying more than anyone else.

If no one else were getting it early I can understand people brushing this sentiment off as some petulant child tantrum screaming "It's mine and I want it now". This isn't, however. This is an irate 30 year old saying "I paid the same price as everyone...

That's the thing though, it's not preferential. Shipping orders are randomized each month. You are paying for the same service - to be on a random list in a shipping queue. It's like paying to attend a banquet, and you realize there's a line for the food. Why are there people in line before me even though we are paying the same price? Alternatively, you could have Paizo confirm everyone's orders and then release the pdfs, but that would just mean everyone waits longer, and people would just start complaining they have already paid money, Paizo already has the pdfs - why can't they just have access to it already? I think we've already got the best situation possible here.


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Starfinder Roleplaying Game Ongoing Subscription wrote:
The world of Starfinder puts you and your friends in the role of a rag tag starship crew exploring the mysteries of a weird, science-fantasy universe! The Starfinder Roleplaying Game line of products gives you the tools to personalize your own campaign, including rulebooks, volumes of aliens, and strange worlds to keep your game fresh. Paizo plans to release rulebooks on a roughly quarterly basis.

So we've got four major rulebook releases every year, plus six adventure paths, accessories, and possibly more (any word on modules, anyone?). That's 10+ major annual releases. 5e keeps up a schedule of about 3-4 major releases every year. Yeah, the wait until March is gonna be a long wait, but if Paizo sticks by the schedule they've alluded to, pretty soon we're gonna be hit with releases left and right, almost every month. That's assuming Starfinder's awesome success hasn't convinced Paizo to pool even more resources to bolster its Starfinder release schedule. I think we're fine. All things considering, the waiting times we've had between the major releases so far haven't even been that substantial. 5e didn't get its campaign setting sourcebook until more than a year after the system's debut.

On another related note, an earlier post by Erik Mona.

Erik Mona wrote:

Size and frequency of the Starfinder Adventure Path is a realistic pace given the staff resources we have available for this project and the desire to get it right out of the gate. If the audience is there and people want larger volumes and the sales are there, we'll possibly adjust things. We're shaking up orthodoxies a bit with Starfinder in a way that we can't with Pathfinder. That means exploring different product configurations, etc.

One way that the pre-release interest in Starfinder has already influenced things is a significantly larger Core Rulebook than originally conceived, as well as plans for more accessories like Flip-Mats and for more frequent releases of product in the main rulebook line (albeit smaller books than those in the Pathfinder line, generally speaking). This latter development somewhat offsets the need of the non-adventure part of the Adventure Path to do heavy lifting on setting development and presentation of character options and stuff.

If you want to call bi-monthly 64-page volumes "tentative," I can't disagree with you. If the audience is there, we'll expand the line accordingly.

Absalom was not built in a single day. :)


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What's the deal with the Draelik and Wrikreechee? I don't think those have ever been mentioned before Starfinder, so they're the biggest unknowns of the new PC races. We saw a Wrikreechee on Ninja Division's Kickstarter, although I don't think a Draelik has been shown anywhere.


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David knott 242 wrote:
PC races in this book: Barathu, Contemplative, Draelik, Dragonkin, Drow, Formian, Goblin (Space), Gray, Haan, Ikeshti, Kalo, Maraquoi, Nuar, Reptoid, Ryphorian, Sarcesian, Shobhad, Skittermander, Urog, Verthani, Witchwyrd, and Wrikreechee.

Wow, so many! This awesome! A little surprised Anacites didn't make the list though. Pact Worlds sourcebook, maybe. Are there any fey in the book? Also, anything from the Dominion of the Black, like shipminds, or Neh-Thalggu?


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Will this book contain any more details on the Pact Worlds' factions? Heirarchy, lore, important members, etc? Or will they mainly be represented in the form of archetypes? I'm hopeful we'll get some material on the Golden League at some point. The Xun sound like they'd be really fun antagonists.


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Hey Jason, now that the Core Rulebook is out, I'd love to hear what rules you were using for ramming with Game Trade Media vs the goblin ships. I think I recall you mentioning larger ships would be less affected by smaller ships, so base frame seems to be a factor here - is armor involved at all? Anyone come up with any cool homebrew rules of their own?


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Anyone know when the Tome of Aliens is going to be released? I preordered the book on Frog God's website, but I can't find the Tome of Aliens product page anymore to look for a release date.


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zergtitan wrote:

So I got an email saying that my order will not be shipped until the 18th. however it also said my PDF was available and I am downloading it now.

So thank you Paizo team for making sure the subscribers get their PDFs at least before Gen-con. I was worried that I would end up getting my PDF after everyone else. :)

Any possibility other subscribers will be seeing their PDFs show up before the ship date? Or is this just for orders that won't be shipping until the 18th?


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Michael7123 wrote:
Mashallah wrote:

Looking more thoroughly at classes:

The "top 5" classes as per my list in the OP can each stand on their own, not being directly superceded by anyone. They are pretty well designed and work well.
I don't see any compelling reason to play as a Solarian. For most intents and purposes, you're better off refluffing either a Soldier or an Operative to implement the concepts you're looking for.
I don't see any compelling reason to play as an Envoy. For most intents and purposes, you're better off refluffing either a Mystic or an Operative to implement the concepts you're looking for.

Well, I was kind of worried about this. While I could change this depending on how things turn out in actual gameplay/ once I actually have the pdf, I will probably be implementing two house rules.

--------------------------

For Envoys

You gain spellcasting as a bard. Replace versions of spells that exist in pathfinder to their nearest starfinder equivalent if one exists. Otherwise, defer to the rule of "ask your DM about it" before selecting new spells at level ups.

Use the 6th level spellcasting progression of the mystic and technomancer, not the bard, as it changed slightly from pathfinder.

(Honestly I'm not sure why they just didn't do this to begin with).

For Solarions

You gain spellcasting as a bloodrager- choose spells from the bloodrager, paladin, or antipaladin spell lists, convirting pathfinder spells to their nearest starfinder equivalent if one exists. Otherwise, defer to the rule of "ask your DM about it" before selecting new spells at level ups.

---------------------

Again, this might change after I actually get my hand on the book. But this is the way the wind is blowing.

I'm still transitioning from 5e to Pathfinder rules, so the nuances of balance escape me, but I was thinking about giving the Envoy access to bonus feats, a good BAB, and an extra weapon proficiency of their choice, along with tweaking any improvisations or skill talents where I see fit. Probably extra augmentation capacity too to give them a skill edge over the Operative. In essence, they'd get to be a connoisseur class for Starfinder's range of non-class feature customization options. This is all assuming I'm dissatisfied with the Envoy class as it is.

As for the Solarian, I'd have read it more. I suspect it'll probably involve just optimizing their casting abilities.


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Mashallah wrote:
IonutRO wrote:
Would you say that the Envoy could be fixed by getting new, more powerful Improvisation options after level 8? Like technomacer hacks and solarian revelations?

The lack of class features outside improvisations stands out like a sore thumb and severely hurts the class.

Most classes have both other cool class features and talents on top.
Envoy has really only talents, and those talents are typically worse than Operative talents doing the same thing. Technically, Envoy also has some skill unlocks as a pretend class feature, but they're just BAD. VERY BAD.
The playing field simply isn't remotely fair.

Mashallah, thanks for sharing your impressions. I'm a little disappointed with these early impressions for Envoy, as this class, apart from Mechanic, is one I was most looking forward to. Could you clarify what Expertise Talents do? The Envoy class preview only mentions it, and you seem to imply the Operative gets a similar feature. Are they similar in effect to Pathfinder Rogue's Talents, only without the Sneak Attack?


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Is Red Mantis still around? Also, how many Vast planets are described in the CRB, roughly? An earlier interview mentioned a prison planet.


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Oi! How lucky you are, Distant Scholar! Many thanks!

How many vehicles are there? War walkers, hovercars, hoverbikes, and tanks have been implied at one point or another, if I remember accurately, so I imagine two pages at least.

Does the setting section give much description of other stellar civilizations, such as the Azlanti Empire or the Veskarium? How much galactic history is written up, and is there a timeline?

Do spells seem more powerful, less, or about unchanged from their Pathfinder counterparts? (damage output, save defenses, etc)


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Ex Machina. You guys. I love you. So much.


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Dunno what it is, but every time I look at this dude in the art above, I think Jaime Lannister with a laserspear. He is sooo showing up in my campaign. Wicked fashionable cape too.


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Hmm, it occurs to me. Since the Azlanti are still around, do they still worship the old pantheon, or have they adopted new gods, or have they cast off gods entirely in favor of something else? It would be interesting to see a sophisticated, little-changed surviving sect of Shelyn's ancient faith thriving in an empire that's a known enemy of the Pact Worlds.


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Seisho wrote:
Yakman wrote:

i kinda like that Shelyn is gone.

makes Zon Kuthon just a tad more interesting.

Why is Zon Kuthon more interesting if his sister/counterpart is removed?

Perhaps he gets a new spin rather than the tragic, fallen brother of Shelyn whose efforts to redeem him will forever be in vain? Not that there's anything wrong with that. Honestly, the dynamic between those two might be one of my favorite things about Pathfinder's pantheon. Such a great story. Here's hoping Zon-Kuthon can make up for his sister's decline with an awesome, maddened reaver legion haunting the dark tapestry!

It's weird Shelyn's no longer Core, considering there's not too much in the way of an art or culture god anymore (I think Desna's going to fill those boots in my head canon by being a muse goddess of inspiration, expression and dreams), but it does potentially give her an interesting spin, trying to restore a sense of beauty and individuality in a world that seems to be in a pretty wrecked state. Her congregation will likely be smaller, secluded away in privileged or counter-cultural pockets of society, where her faithful's art spurs and gives voice to larger social movements, with little recognition. I get the feeling Shelyn will get along famously with Weydan and Hylax.


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Question: Will the Starfinder Core Rulebook introduce new minor gods, in addition to the new core 20 and previously known gods? I can't help but hope somewhere out there in the cosmos is an ascended god of all nerds, granting their favor to champion speedrunners and people who know what "nerfherder" means, and showing their displeasure through sudden rick rolled pranks and failed, high stakes eBay bids. :p


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I believe Brethedans are highly skilled bioengineers who adapt their own bodies to create tools or survive in the vacuum of space. They commonly fuse together to create greater, hive mind organisms capable of effectively operating as a self-sustaining corporation or blimplike starships, and through such ingenuity have colonized many of much of Bretheda and its neighboring planet Liavara.

I figure the Xenowardens will probably have something of their own. Drift-free drives, to protect the cosmological environment!


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TheGoofyGE3K wrote:
Hell knights too

The Hellknights, along with the Free Captains, appear to be joinable factions in the game, as per Paizocon's Core Rulebook preview, so I didn't think they necessarily counted as threats.


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Wow, this story did not go the way I expected at all! Grays! Yay! So does the philosophy of the Cycle exist as a religious system separate from the various deific religions of the Pact Worlds, or is it common for Solarians to adopt patron deities like Desna, Pharasma or Ibra alongside their practice of the Cycle? Considering this is a class, I assume so. I wonder what a Solarian devotee to the Devourer would look like...

On another note, Starfinder's threats are starting to mount up. The Aspis Consortium, the Azlanti Star Empire, the Swarm, the Great Old Ones (along with the Dominion, I assume), and now the Grays. I wonder what else is out there? I'm totally calling a fanatic Reaver horde dedicated to Zon-Kuthon. That would be so sweet.


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I like these rules a lot. Anything you can tell us about infospheres, and how computer skills interact with them? Are there any matrix-esque systems?


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So, needless to say, I'm super excited about all of Starfinder's races that have been introduced so far. Being introduced to a sci-fi re-imagining of the D20 fantasy genre has proven to be every bit as exhilarating as I'd hoped. That said, if the Shirren racial spread in the Core Rulebook is any indication, we're still going to have a lot of space to interpret these various species and their cultures and make them our own. How do you plan to play out Humans, Androids, Lashuntas, Ysoki, Kasathas, Vesk and Shirrens? I'll give this a go.

HUMAN

Given that humans come from a variety of places in Starfinder's cosmos, apart from Golarion (Akiton, Azlanti Star Empire, and Androffa, to name a few), humans can't really be depicted as the last gasp of a wounded race struggling to survive, Titan A.E. style. Instead, I view the non-Akitonian humans of the Pact World system to be the remnants of Golarion's lost culture. People of various ethnic descents who may have been former rivals before the Gap (such as an Andoran and a Chellaxian), are now brothers and sisters in a shared, personal journey either to restore their lost culture, or create a new identity. I tend to view this as a central divide between humans, a conservative faction that wants things to go back to the way they were, and a more liberal faction that wants to spread throughout the stars and create a new civilition, respecting their Golarion roots as inspiration for a new human empire, rather than being defined by it. Both conservative and liberal factions tend to see Iomedae as representing their own highest ideals, the former faction often emphasizing her role as a protector, while the latter worship her qualities of ambition, sacrifice, and glory.

ANDROID

The Androids of the Pact Worlds come from a heritage of slavery, and as such tend to be cautious of others' motivations (especially humans), and are attentively self-sufficient. This is often excacurbated by being the only commonly occuring synthetic life form in the Pact Worlds system, and having to deal with many harmful stereotypes, such as "not having any emotions," "not having a soul," and even contradicting prejudices about them having a "primitive, artificial mind" while also being "cold and calculating" and "too smart for their own good." In truth, while synthetic life is functionally different from organic life, it is no less complex, capable, and spiritual. Despite having an inherent suspicion of organics, Androids also possess an innate curiosity and craving for knowledge, and are a deeply sensitive and impressionable race. Having a greater connection to technology than other races, many Androids sate their curiosity by learning about the world abstractly through infospheres and literature, never leaving Android-dominated communities for long; yet others are filled with dreams of discovery and assimilation, desiring to integrate with the greater galactic community, whether by blending in with other species, or by elevating their kin through peaceful social movements, or through forceful protests, such as those performed by the Android Abolition Front. Most Androids see Triune as their patron god, and many idealists view their gift of Drift technology to the mortal world as a sign that they are intended to travel and connect with the world at large themselves, earning others' respect through their contributions and ingenuity.

LASHUNTA

One of the most respected and prodigious races within the Pact World system, the Lashuntas are often viewed as detached and luminary beyond ability to approach - and yet there are nearly unanimously respected. Indeed, their culture is ancient, and the aptitude of the common Pact World citizen tends to pale next to the average Lashunta, thanks to a sophisticated social system that is simultaneously decentralized, yet harmonic, and endlessly beaurocratic, yet strangely efficient. Lashunta society is often viewed as idyllic by outsiders, despite sharing its own problems, such as a lingering, internal social inequality between sexes and castes. Although despite a certain reliance on tradition, Lashunta society is also quick to evolve, placing great emphasis on self-sufficiency, and valuing perfection of mind, body, and spirit over all else. Because of this, Lashuntas have become the one of the most scientifically advanced and magically fluent races across the Pact Worlds, and their natural talents for diplomacy and characteristic wanderlust make them natural politicians and diplomats. Perhaps more than is healthy, many Lashuntas perceive the wealth and respect reserved for their people as a mandate that they guide the Pact World's spiritual path into the future. Because of this, Lashuntas gravitate toward pursuits of power - not necessarily because they are powerhungry (as others suspect) - but to fulfill what is, in their minds, their grave responsibility to the world: to bring order and perfection. Viewing Yaraesa as the manifestation and proof of the perfection they venerate, this goddess is revered in Lashunta culture above all others.

I'll write the rest out later. I'm very curious to learn about everyone else's impressions and personal visions for Starfinder's races, and how you intend to interpret them in your own campaign settings - please share!


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I'm interested to see how elves are portrayed in Temple of the Twelve, as it appears we will be running into Starfinder elves in this chapter. My hopes tend to align more with Mashallah and Benjamin's here in wanting to see some depth or variety beyond the "reclusive xenophobes" to them. It does kind of bother me that elves are prone to having a negative reputation; I've always been rather enchanted by elves myself, and would like to see them remembered by some of their better attributes again. Less Mirkwood, more Rivendell and Lothlorien. I'm hopeful we'll see a lot of this especially in the Forlorn.


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Strange - I didn't observe any reference to anatomical differences between Shirren sexes. I kind of figured this would be the place to clarify. Maybe some developer will spill the beans for the right peace offering/blood sacrifice/wad of cash I have lying around?


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Captain Hawley Cromwell, "The Mad Barnacle" wrote:
Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:

I'm down with the new continuity. It's basically just a nice blank slate for GM's to fill in space (hehehe) where they please and how they think the world might have changed from between Pathfinder and The Gap and the results of Starfinder.

** spoiler omitted **

It means previous writers don't have to stress out about what happens in the future, or stuff in the past influencing Starfinder too much, short of a planet wide extinction event, which is something most AP's only hint though don't really deliver on. And that's good enough to me, because that same stress isn't on any GM to have their lore or information match up with stuff in Pathfinder or consider how exactly the starsystem has changed in the spanning time. Again, it's a nice blank slate and one that I think the system needed for it's stories to work alongside Pathfinder's, while maintain some similar content or expanding upon information already present in Pathfinder that wouldn't have been touched on in Pathfinder (like some of the other planets in the Core star system).

I do wish the elves had a bigger presence given that they were the first colonisers of various planets, and would have loved to see what their opinions on galactic expansion would be like. I suppose it's down to what Forlorn are like in the new world.

Also, since there are half-orcs, and definitely goblins, that can only mean that there are orcs as well.

And that means....

SPACE ORCS! YAAAAAAY!

(I hope there are hobgoblins and gnolls as well! space gnolls!)

It's the opposite of a blank slate. Amnesia on that scale would radically change all societies everywhere basically forever. Imagine if tomorrow everyone in the world woke up without any memories of their life up until that point. That's not going to pass over a couple days. A lot of people will die (as doctors don't remember they should help patients, firefighters don't fight fires, mothers forget to feed their babies, and so on), there would be widespread rioting...

This depiction of the Gap's effects isn't the entire picture. From a previous interview, Sutter describes the Gap's effects like this:

James Sutter wrote:
Imagine if you woke up one day, and you still have all your knowledge, and you still have roughly a sense of who you are, but you have no real memory of your past. After The Gap, whole nations knew that they are at war with other nations, but they didn't really remember why. People might have recognised their wives or their children, but they didn't have any specific memories of how or when they got together. That event is far in the past of Starfinder, but it’s nonetheless played havoc on the setting. Society has just sort of reshaped itself and that, to me, is a very interesting question.

Society's moved on from the events of the Gap by the time Starfinder's era has rolled around, and most people don't really care about lost Golarion, as it's not something they've ever known or had anything to do with, and are more interested in advancing newly reformed civilization and rekindling a sense of cultural identity. Some particularly long-lived races want to restore old Golarion, as well as knowledge seekers like the Starfinder Society. The Gap certainly doesn't function as a blank slate, and has very unique effects on society, as you mentioned. But it does offer a permeable filter that permits GMs to make their campaigns more or less connected to Pathfinder's world as they see fit.

As for why Golarion's part of it ... why not? Apart from being a really cool sci-fi story in general, I think much of Starfinder's draw, for me, is that I can also explore D20 fantasy in the context of sci-fi. God-run corporations. Haunted starships. Undead starfaring militaries. Ancient alien temples. Rune enhanced armor, cursed laser swords, and criminal empires puppeteered by hedonistic dragon overlords. Cathedral ships of Iomedae and Hellknight battlecruisers. Space Goblins! I can do so much more with Pathfinder's mythos than I can do without.

I know I mentioned this before, but just because Pathfinder's timeline is in Starfinder's continuity does not mean that Starfinder is part of Pathfinder's continuity. There is no need to limit either franchise based on the assumptions of one setting. I think the Gap is ingenius for the very reason that it allows the player direct control over how much fantasy they want in their setting. After all, the Gap isn't about all the history that it's hidden - it's about the devastation it's wreaked on the world, and the defining mark where civilization began to rebuild. I would extend this logic to the decision to keep Pathfinder's fantasy races familiar as well, as it offers GMs maximum opportunity to repurpose these races however they want, whether they want to give Elves and Dwarves and Halflings more prominence, or less prominence, in their own setting. By keeping familiar elements, and putting the emphasis on introducing and fleshing out new races, we have maximum potential to shape Starfinder's setting to our own tastes without compromising the world already written in ink. If we want to focus on new races and sci-fi, that is very well developed for us. If we want to focus on enduring Pathfinder elements - they will be very familiar, and their less defined role in Starfinder's world gives much potential for interpretation. I honestly can't think of a more balanced approach here.

Physics and limitations of spells as carryover is an interesting question, and I suspect we'll get more detail on that as the sourcebooks are released. Remember that classes can convert over to some extent, and monsters fairly easily, so I don't foresee too much discrepency between the natural and magical laws of either world - just that certain skills and practices have become less common overtime, while other skills and practices have become commonplace.


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EDI was my very first thought reading this thread. I think Amanda mentioned in a recent interview that all players starships would come with their own AI personality, further cementing the idea of the starship as another member of the party. I've suddenly got visions of attaching walker legs to my starship and having it follow the party around on land, nicking people's wallets and telling passerbys to "bite my shiny metal aft!"


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Yup! Found my class! Exocortex all the way! I'm really excited about the rig ability's potential.

...And then I read Drone Meld, and realized I could be freaking Tony Stark with a drone. So many decisions...


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Space pirates??? Insta-buy!


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Mashallah wrote:
I don't have a convenient opportunity for quote-digging at hand right now. I do, however, clearly remember them saying that the main benefit of the Gap is that they don't have to canonically answer questions like "what happened to the whispering tyrant or to the worldwound?". So take that as you wish.

From the first press release when Starfinder was announced, Paizo introduced Starfinder as "set in Golarion's solar system, but far in a possible future." You can verify that in the very first Starfinder blog, "Announcing the Starfinder Roleplaying Game!" As they have yet to contradict this statement (that I have observed), I assume it's still the case. The way I see it, that the Gap was used to make Pathfinder's future uncertain is all the more reason that Paizo's not interested in having Pathfinder's future written in the stars, no matter how far in the future it may be.

Mashallah wrote:

Well, let me name a few, then. The overall issue is that it tries to combine "this is totally the same universe with continuity between the two" with "the continuity is absolutely pointless as it's divided by an information-annihilating buffer rigidly separating the two", which is plainly absurd.

As a specific example, elves come to mind. Elves of Pathfinder were one of my favourite varieties of elves overall and one of my favourite things about Pathfinder. They were explicitly big on space, with their not-webways spanning multiple worlds, with them colonising Golarion from another planet rather than being locals, and with one published Pathfinder module (Doom comes to Dustpawn) even featuring an elven spaceship the players can visit and explore, explicitly meaning elves even had spaceships.
Except, in Starfinder, a game about space, they're suddenly irrelevant, apparently because the Gap...

Hmm, let me put this another way. Pathfinder exists in Starfinder's continuity only for the purpose of benefiting Starfinder. While Pathfinder exists in Starfinder's continuity, this does not mean that Starfinder exists in Pathfinder's continuity. The perk of incorporating Pathfinder is that it takes a classic D20 world and places it inside a sci-fi setting. I don't think Pathfinder is strictly intended to be "Pathfinder in space" as it's often touted to be, but instead "Pathfinder's world in space opera." The shift clearly puts an emphasis on the sci-fi genre over enduring elements of Pathfinder, such as elves, but benefits from all the aspects of Pathfinder's universe that make it the classic D20 fantasy that it is: gods, dragons, magic, etc - and making those elements fit inside the context of a sci-fi world.

As an analogy, take Smallville. This is a re-imagining of the story of Superman. Yes, it takes place in DC's classic setting. Smallville is connected to many of the events and characters of this setting, and mercilessly changes many elements that made the Superman story what it was. So why both using Superman? Why not just make an original hero and tell the story that way, if Smallville is not interested in connecting to the big Superman mythos in any meaningful way? Probably because it would be a lot less interesting. Smallville, for me, was fun because it took something I knew and made something different and unique out of it, and used the source material for its own benefit, instead of for the benefit of the comic book and movie series. It did what was right for its own universe, using and changing elements of Superman's story regardless of what real Superman was doing elsewhere, and made something new - and it worked. I feel that's similar to what's happening with Starfinder.

Regarding elves, I don't think it would necessarily benefit Starfinder to have elves as major players inside Starfinder's civilization, because that starts to give Pathfinder's legacy a certain dominance over what's supposed to be, at its core, a (more or less) sci-fi setting. Elves are primarily fantasy genre people - giving them a large role will certainly make Starfinder look more like Spelljammer or Pathfinder in space rather than the Guardians of the Galaxy or Star Wars it wants to be. Having elves retain a familiarity about them as a reclusive race - changing while staying the same - I think is the right touch. Should the player choose, they can play with the classic elvish storylines and tropes as they would in any other fantasy setting, but in a very new context. I like this.

As for the Lashunta, I spoke about them elsewhere, but I really like this new interpretation of them. I had read studiously into their background before the Castrovel blog was introduced, and found them interesting, if not necessarily something I'd ever find the time to introduce into my own campaigns. Apart from sexual dimorphism, I liked the warrior-intellect flavor about them, that the pursuit of knowledge and perfection of mind was Lashunta society's primary aim, reflected in their new goddess Yaraesa. That sexual dimorphism has been re-introduced as environmental dimorphism adapting to the heritage of a strictly gender-roled society - actually makes them much more interesting to me than they were previously. Before, Lashunta had no agency over their station in society, or the kind of person they would grow up to be. Either you were female, and born to lead and influence, or you were male, and you were bound to a life of war. That each Lashunta adolescent chooses their caste growing up adds a layer of depth to me that I find delightful and a solid improvement, much more befitting a player race.

Lastly, pertaining to the gods' intervention, I find it no more intrusive than the Aboleths intervening to raise the Azlanti from mundane creatures. In fact, as Owen himself has iterated on another thread:

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

Pathfinder presents everything as is the standard around the Inner Sea.

Starfinderpresents everything as it is understood by multiple starring cultures thousands of years later.

That cosmological understandings between these two is different, or that even the nature of the universe might have shifted in a cosmology where gods can be created or be killed, is not surprising. Indeed, it'd be shocking if there was no change in how the universe is viewed

Gods can be created and killed? And by mere mortals such as Aballonians? This seems to me to be far more agency than any mortal race ever had in Pathfinder's mythos, and the triumph of technology over magic (and its subsequent decline in sophistication and practice) threatens the strangehold the divine has held over the mortal world in many other ways. If anything, I feel much more agency in Starfinder's universe than in any Pathfinder or D&D campaign I've participated in before.


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I guess I just don't understand how it's nonsensical. Since it appears Pathfinder and Starfinder don't appear to be significantly affecting each other either way (I believe Starfinder was expressly stated as a possible future), Starfinder seems only to benefit from having Pathfinder's rich legacy to draw from, while keeping it's own history fresh, tidy, and concise. Unlike WHFB/WH40k, I won't have to spend hours reading about the setting to become familiar with it - I'm witnessing this world's genesis. Or exodus, really. Golarian's past is only as important as I want it to be, and Starfinder's own galactic history can be as complex or simple as meets the campaign's needs.


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Reading through these posts, I guess I can understand why some people are uncomfortable with Starfinder's setting. When something you like and have been living with for years changes, it's like losing an old friend. I generally think that, given that Starfinder's supposed to be its own franchise, independent from Pathfinder, its priorities should be about what works best for it, not what works best for being a sibling to Pathfinder. Not to say anyone is wrong for feeling one way or another - I wasn't too keen myself on DC's New 52 when that was released, and stopped reading DC comics for a while because the comics they were releasing were so different from the comics I had enjoyed before (I was particularly disappointed by Cassandra Cain ditching the Batgirl cowl).

I'd wanted to offer a counter opinion here, however, if it helps. I only very recently got into roleplaying games, beginning with D&D 4E in 2014, and predominently 5E after that. Pathfinder interested me, but I didn't feel like investing the time to learn a complicated ruleset to play the same type of game I was already playing, and I figured Golarian wasn't that different than any other D20 setting. It wasn't until Starfinder was announced last August that I actually started picking up Pathfinder books at my local bookstores, and discovered how very much I've been missing out on. I'm actually at the point of phasing 5E out for Pathfinder, and certainly for the campaign setting. Freaking Hellknights.

That said, my knowledge of Golarion's history is still fairly limited, not to mention D&D-style RPG mythos in general, as it's a fairly recent discovery for me. When I first considered running a Starfinder game, one of my big worries was having to spend dozens of hours studying through Golarion's lore so that I'd know how to effectively run an AP campaign. When the Gap was introduced, I breathed a sigh of relief. Not only could I draw from some of my favorite elements of Pathfinder freely, but, more importantly, I wasn't limited by my lack of familiarity with Golarion. Paizo was introducing a new world in relative infancy, that would allow me to connect my campaign to Pathfinder at my own pace. The Gap is the perfect tool to distance Pathfinder just enough from Starfinder that it isn't absolutely essential to the campaign setting, but it's also just closely enough connected that I can draw inspiration from it in future. In effect, the Gap, for this newcomer, has given me freedom to make Starfinder my own, despite being new at all this.

As for the Drift, I mostly agree with Stone Dog - in fact I seem to recall in an interview the other gods distrust Triune's intentions with the Drift as well. I'm not convinced the Drift is supposed to be a completely benevolent thing, and I think the mystery surrounding its purpose, and the question of how galactic civilization decides to approach this ethical dilemma, is what makes it intriguing for me. Who would have thought FTL travel would play such a significant role in an over-arching sci-fi plot? My plan? Wait until the game comes out, play it, then decide whether I like it.


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So the First Contact book only lists eight different weapon damage types: bludgeoning, slashing, piercing, fire, cold, acid, electricity, and sonic. Is force damage no longer a thing? (I swear I've seen it in context of a Starfinder demo somewhere...)


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Jason Keeley wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
Jason Keeley wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
THERE'S A CITY AT THE CENTER OF THE DRIFT?!?!
Triune has to live somewhere, right?
Well sure, but I kinda thought it would be somewhere less accessible than, "Hey, let's turn on the Drift engine and go see what Triune is up to tonight!"
Who said it was accessible?

Totally getting Black City from Dragon Age vibes here. Congratulations Jason! I had almost convinced myself that a month and a half was a bearable wait, and then you had to post this awesome tease that's got my mind spinning abouts again. You cruel, amazing person, you. Can't wait to read what you're cooking up here!

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