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Starfinder Alien Archive

***½( ) (based on 15 ratings)
Starfinder Alien Archive

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Strange aliens both friendly and fearsome fill this tome of creatures designed for use with the Starfinder Roleplaying Game! From the gravity-manipulating frujais and planet-killing novaspawn to space goblins and security robots, the creatures in this codex will challenge adventurers no matter what strange worlds they're exploring. What's more, player rules for a host of creatures let players not just fight aliens, but be them!

Inside Starfinder Alien Archive, you'll find the following:

  • Over 80 bizarre life-forms both classic and new, from the reptilian ikeshtis and energy-bodied hallajins to robotic anacites and supernatural entities from beyond the realms of mortals.
  • Over 20 races with full player rules, letting you play everything from a winged dragonkin to a hyperevolved floating brain.
  • New alien technology to help give your character an edge, including weapons, armor, magic items, and more.
  • A robust NPC-creation system to let Game Masters build any aliens or creatures they can imagine.
  • New rules for magical monster summoning, quick templates to modify creatures on the fly, and more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-975-2

Note: This product is part of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscription.

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Product Discussion (683)
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Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vexies wrote:
yeah its a interesting take on summoning. Over all I like it but I dislike having to generate custom summoned creatures for any PC or NPC that uses them but I suppose its just a bit of added work. Would of been nice to just of had a summoned creature section of per-genreated stat blocks

Well, you have to generate them anyways for summon monster in Pathfinder, since you have to take the time to apply the celestial or fiendish template, which also wasn't already done in the first Bestiary, as I recall...


Luthorne wrote:
Vexies wrote:
yeah its a interesting take on summoning. Over all I like it but I dislike having to generate custom summoned creatures for any PC or NPC that uses them but I suppose its just a bit of added work. Would of been nice to just of had a summoned creature section of per-genreated stat blocks
Well, you have to generate them anyways for summon monster in Pathfinder, since you have to take the time to apply the celestial or fiendish template, which also wasn't already done in the first Bestiary, as I recall...

*nods*


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Luke Spencer wrote:
I personally really like the monster creation rules, in PF I felt overwhelmed trying to create monsters because I felt like there were so many moving parts involved. Now with SF rules I can follow a step by step process and have the monster I imagined without having to worry whether or not it's balanced. Whilst I do agree that streamlining the classes for npcs can be a bit confusing and sometimes irritating, I don't mind too much because it does make creating encounters faster (once you're familiar with the mechanisms that is) since you don't have to build full PC statblocks. This is all my personal opinion though and I do see why people might not like it.

I'm a huge fan. I found PF was so customisable that I got lost (or perhaps it was just that I didn't have the equivalent table to follow and see how it all hangs together). The starfinder approach I find much more empowering, personally - it seems to me that I can make my own monster without feeling like I'm going to screw the balance up completely.

I'm really looking forward to an enterprising fan or 3PP putting out an electronic version (whether app or excel). It seems to me to be crying out for implementation via a digital tool.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

It does sound like the monsters are just a coat of paint over a set of numbers though.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Milo v3 wrote:
It does sound like the monsters are just a coat of paint over a set of numbers though.

The way I read it that's the bare bones of a monster, yes. I think the way to differentiate them mechanically is via special abilities (added on after you've chosen CR and appropriate grafts).

There's also a very clear "Everything is optional" note, so that if you preferred building in a more Pathfinder style, I think you could do so (using the tables as a guideline for what a "basic" creature should be roughly comparable to given any given CR). I've never got familiar with how monsters are built in Pathfinder though since it was all just bewildering to me - I just use opponents straight from modules/APs.

Liberty's Edge

Milo v3 wrote:
It does sound like the monsters are just a coat of paint over a set of numbers though.

Eh. Only in the sense that two members of the same Class are. Probably less.

Type, Subtype, and Class Grafts are all quite meaningful modifications, as are what skills they have. Even their Abilities are relevant for untrained skills and initiative. And special abilities, including things like flight, immunities, and sense types are also potentially very meaningful indeed.

The only things that've really been standardized are HP and Spell Save DCs (others vary somewhat). Everything else can still vary significantly.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Milo v3 wrote:
It does sound like the monsters are just a coat of paint over a set of numbers though.

Maybe if you constrain yourself to painting by numbers.

If you already have the vision of what you are building, the system lets you realize that vision with a strong sense of what level of challenge it will provide to players.

Grand Lodge

Milo v3 wrote:
It does sound like the monsters are just a coat of paint over a set of numbers though.

It is essentially a "Form Follows Function" concept. It the players can't tell the difference between the two in play, and the game master can put something together quickly, that puts more time in their hands for other creative endeavors. Back story, side plot and the like.


Herald wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
It does sound like the monsters are just a coat of paint over a set of numbers though.
It is essentially a "Form Follows Function" concept. It the players can't tell the difference between the two in play, and the game master can put something together quickly, that puts more time in their hands for other creative endeavors. Back story, side plot and the like.

If the players were able to notice a difference then this would be an even greater concern. My umbrage at the rules have been from a GM's point of view. For something quick this is useful, but so are the out of the box monsters, so making monster creation quicker doesn't really help me there.

I make crib notes on monsters but I have the full statblock I can refer to if need to, I don't want the actual rules to be crib notes that go "It has a +1 to attack and I guess 10 hp and... stuff, not important".


4 people marked this as a favorite.

The fact that NPCs made with core playable races are built completely different than PCs is also rather irksome. And class grafts making them act as a class but having access to special abilities that PCs will never have access to rather obnoxious.

If a player sees a dragon flying around breathing fire they aren't gonna say "Hey, at what level can I do that?" unless they're playing a dragon or a spellcaster.

But if you have a Human Solarion go up against a Human Solarion and the NPC starts pulling stunts that make the PC go "Wow! When can I do that?"
"You can't"
"Oh, it's not a feat or class ability or...?"
"Nope, NPC only thing."
"... but "

That's one thing when it's a creature you're not playing, it's another when they are the same class you're playing.

Also just noticed the assigning special ability section which basically amounts to "pick one from anything published and apply it"... what?, okay, aside from picking feats (which NPCs don't normally have, what?) it's from the Universal Monster Rules that you pick from, not anything published, but that's still a lot (Regeneration, Summon Allies, Gaze).

There's no guidelines (Breath Attack has at least at least recommendations, Gaze and Regeneration not so much) rules on how these abilities might affect a creature more than another and just, ugh...

These rules aren't streamlined, they're half-hearted.

Grand Lodge

Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Herald wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
It does sound like the monsters are just a coat of paint over a set of numbers though.
It is essentially a "Form Follows Function" concept. It the players can't tell the difference between the two in play, and the game master can put something together quickly, that puts more time in their hands for other creative endeavors. Back story, side plot and the like.

If the players were able to notice a difference then this would be an even greater concern. My umbrage at the rules have been from a GM's point of view. For something quick this is useful, but so are the out of the box monsters, so making monster creation quicker doesn't really help me there.

I make crib notes on monsters but I have the full statblock I can refer to if need to, I don't want the actual rules to be crib notes that go "It has a +1 to attack and I guess 10 hp and... stuff, not important".

I think your point is spot on and there will always be a place for monster books. It will always be easier to pull something right out of the book, and there is nothing wrong with that. To be honest, the more books the merrier. It often sparks more creativity and more rule concepts for homebrew.

What I like about the concept is when I have an idea banging around in my head and I want to conceptionalize it, I know have a tool set that I can play with that allows me to kitbash something quickly and have something ready quickly. From there I can test and play with it till I like it.

It also gives the community a common framework to have a discussion about design.

I imagine that not everyone will use the creature creation rules and prefer to use just the stock statblocks, and there is nothing wrong with that. I also have suspicions that you won't see the creation rules in the back of many more Alien Archives unless it's to supplement the existing rules, and that will make for more pages available for creatures.

It will be interesting though to see how peoples creations might cross pollinate into other's games...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Herald wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Herald wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
It does sound like the monsters are just a coat of paint over a set of numbers though.
It is essentially a "Form Follows Function" concept. It the players can't tell the difference between the two in play, and the game master can put something together quickly, that puts more time in their hands for other creative endeavors. Back story, side plot and the like.

If the players were able to notice a difference then this would be an even greater concern. My umbrage at the rules have been from a GM's point of view. For something quick this is useful, but so are the out of the box monsters, so making monster creation quicker doesn't really help me there.

I make crib notes on monsters but I have the full statblock I can refer to if need to, I don't want the actual rules to be crib notes that go "It has a +1 to attack and I guess 10 hp and... stuff, not important".

I think your point is spot on and there will always be a place for monster books. It will always be easier to pull something right out of the book, and there is nothing wrong with that. To be honest, the more books the merrier. It often sparks more creativity and more rule concepts for homebrew.

What I like about the concept is when I have an idea banging around in my head and I want to conceptionalize it, I know have a tool set that I can play with that allows me to kitbash something quickly and have something ready quickly. From there I can test and play with it till I like it.

It also gives the community a common framework to have a discussion about design.

I imagine that not everyone will use the creature creation rules and prefer to use just the stock statblocks, and there is nothing wrong with that. I also have suspicions that you won't see the creation rules in the back of many more Alien Archives unless it's to supplement the existing rules, and that will make for more pages available for creatures.

It will be interesting though to see how peoples creations might cross pollinate into other's games...

Um, all that was enabled by Pathfinder’s Monster Creation system as well. Tweaking, talking about it, cross pollinating. The only thing this ruleset has over Parhfinder’s is speed, at the expense of other things.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

The fact that NPCs made with core playable races are built completely different than PCs is also rather irksome. And class grafts making them act as a class but having access to special abilities that PCs will never have access to rather obnoxious.

If a player sees a dragon flying around breathing fire they aren't gonna say "Hey, at what level can I do that?" unless they're playing a dragon or a spellcaster.

But if you have a Human Solarion go up against a Human Solarion and the NPC starts pulling stunts that make the PC go "Wow! When can I do that?"
"You can't"
"Oh, it's not a feat or class ability or...?"
"Nope, NPC only thing."
"... but "

That's one thing when it's a creature you're not playing, it's another when they are the same class you're playing.

If your NPC soldier breathes fire, and your PCs ask when they can do that, you tell them that a dragon gland is available from level 1.

Why would you give an NPC something totally out of line for what a PC can do?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
KingOfAnything wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

The fact that NPCs made with core playable races are built completely different than PCs is also rather irksome. And class grafts making them act as a class but having access to special abilities that PCs will never have access to rather obnoxious.

If a player sees a dragon flying around breathing fire they aren't gonna say "Hey, at what level can I do that?" unless they're playing a dragon or a spellcaster.

But if you have a Human Solarion go up against a Human Solarion and the NPC starts pulling stunts that make the PC go "Wow! When can I do that?"
"You can't"
"Oh, it's not a feat or class ability or...?"
"Nope, NPC only thing."
"... but "

That's one thing when it's a creature you're not playing, it's another when they are the same class you're playing.

If your NPC soldier breathes fire, and your PCs ask when they can do that, you tell them that a dragon gland is available from level 1.

Why would you give an NPC something totally out of line for what a PC can do?

Point for that one, but the NPC can naturally do it and multiple times a day.

And I wouldn’t try to, my thing was that it’s more there’s no guidelines to it. But then there’s things like Clara from Dead Suns Precise Shot ability.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
KingOfAnything wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

The fact that NPCs made with core playable races are built completely different than PCs is also rather irksome. And class grafts making them act as a class but having access to special abilities that PCs will never have access to rather obnoxious.

If a player sees a dragon flying around breathing fire they aren't gonna say "Hey, at what level can I do that?" unless they're playing a dragon or a spellcaster.

But if you have a Human Solarion go up against a Human Solarion and the NPC starts pulling stunts that make the PC go "Wow! When can I do that?"
"You can't"
"Oh, it's not a feat or class ability or...?"
"Nope, NPC only thing."
"... but "

That's one thing when it's a creature you're not playing, it's another when they are the same class you're playing.

If your NPC soldier breathes fire, and your PCs ask when they can do that, you tell them that a dragon gland is available from level 1.

Why would you give an NPC something totally out of line for what a PC can do?

I have to echo this as well. The rules as written place the responsibility of making a NPC that makes sense on the GM without constraining possibility. If you want to make something off the wall that makes your players go what? well you can but there is nothing telling you to make classed NPCs with abilities players themselves cant have or use.

In my case I make use of class lvls a lot on NPCs. If its a race shared by players then it should be built as expected and the tools are there to let you do that and assumes your going to do so. But hey you want to give that Dark Elf flying and a breath weapon knock yourself out you can do that too..but there is nothing saying you have to either way right? it gives you the tools to make what you need or what you want to make for giggles sake.

personally I find it very flexible.

That said It does irk me that its not as recognizable right now how and why a NPC has what it has by looking at its stat block in a adventure but assuming they used there own rules ( i havent gone and checked the adventure path) then over time once the creation rules, basic stat blocks and graphs become familiar it will be easy to see.


It’s not telling, more like encouraging since the class grafts tell you the NPCs gain special abitlies at certain levels, and while you could spend that on a Feat you could spend it on a Universal Montser Ability, which don’t have very many guidelines.

“That said It does irk me that its not as recognizable right now how and why a NPC has what it has by looking at its stat block in a adventure assuming they used there own rules”

Yeah this is really troubling, and one of the main reasons I liked having the whole stat block, everything was on display.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
It’s not telling, more like encouraging since the class grafts tell you the NPCs gain special abitlies at certain levels, and while you could spend that on a Feat you could spend it on a Universal Montser Ability, which don’t have very many guidelines.

Are you planning to just munchkin out NPCs without a thought? You should still have at least the vaguest reason why an NPC has the special ability it does. Be that augmentations, specialized gear, or divine intervention.

And if you aren't comfortable outside the guidelines, stay within them.

I find it incredibly silly to complain that a system is too flexible. It is way more fun and interesting than a system that is too rigid.


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KingOfAnything wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
It’s not telling, more like encouraging since the class grafts tell you the NPCs gain special abitlies at certain levels, and while you could spend that on a Feat you could spend it on a Universal Montser Ability, which don’t have very many guidelines.

Are you planning to just munchkin out NPCs without a thought? You should still have at least the vaguest reason why an NPC has the special ability it does. Be that augmentations, specialized gear, or divine intervention.

And if you aren't comfortable outside the guidelines, stay within them.

I find it incredibly silly to complain that a system is too flexible. It is way more fun and interesting than a system that is too rigid.

There’s not any guidelines, that’s what I’ve been saying. Almost none of the UMA have CR suggestions or ranges so you can give a CR 1 Operative Regeneration for example. Should you? Probably not. If you do how much should you give? 1? 5? 10?

Am I planning on intentionally munchkininh enemies? No. But I or someone else might unintentionally do so cause we see Ability we think would be thematic but ends up being problematic.

It’s not the flexibility I have a problem with, it’s the lack of actual rules.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

There’s not any guidelines, that’s what I’ve been saying. Almost none of the UMA have CR suggestions or ranges so you can give a CR 1 Operative Regeneration for example. Should you? Probably not. If you do how much should you give? 1? 5? 10?

Am I planning on intentionally munchkininh enemies? No. But I or someone else might unintentionally do so cause we see Ability we think would be thematic but ends up being problematic.

It’s not the flexibility I have a problem with, it’s the lack of actual rules.

This is completely valid and my one issue with the rules as presented. I feel they should have given us tables of monster abilities grouped by appropriate CR ranges. They went to the trouble of doing that for just about everything else so why not this? it feels like a oversight. That said there are PLENTY of things they just decided not to bother to make rules about with no real discernible reason why in various other sections of the core rules. Usually it can be explained by not wanting to make it complex or whatever but I dont see any reason not to have given some guidelines on the abilities front. For a seasoned GM who is very familiar with Pathfinder and the range of usual abilities and when they are found in what CR range this is not a huge problem but annoying. However for a new player this could be a issue.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey Rysky, did you ever GM a mid-to-high level Pathfinder game?

And did you ever try to build, without the help of Hero Lab, a bunch of classed mid-to-high level NPCs? How much time did it take you?

Bonus question: are you still in school/college?


Gorbacz wrote:

Hey Rysky, did you ever GM a mid-to-high level Pathfinder game?

And did you ever try to build, without the help of Hero Lab, a bunch of classed mid-to-high level NPCs? How much time did it take you?

Bonus question: are you still in school/college?

Yes.

Yes, never owned Herolab. Dunno, probably 10 minutes at the fastest depending on the NPC or creature to a couple creatures depedning on how much tweaking I was doing to something's stats.

Nope.

Yes, the rules allow for a much quicker monster/npc creation, that's a point in its favor, about the only one.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

There’s not any guidelines, that’s what I’ve been saying. Almost none of the UMA have CR suggestions or ranges so you can give a CR 1 Operative Regeneration for example. Should you? Probably not. If you do how much should you give? 1? 5? 10?

Am I planning on intentionally munchkininh enemies? No. But I or someone else might unintentionally do so cause we see Ability we think would be thematic but ends up being problematic.

It’s not the flexibility I have a problem with, it’s the lack of actual rules.

Half the creature's CR.

If it is a problem, fix it. The GM is not held captive by the statblocks he or she created.

Yes, I would like more guidance entries. That doesn't make the rules we have unworkable or difficult. If you are worried, stick to the stuff you are confident about.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

See, I did, I own Hero Lab, I have a family, and I'm honestly fed up with how rigid and mind-numbingly time-wasting 3.5/PF NPC/monster creation is. And having played numerous RPGs where a PC Ranger =/= NPC Ranger, I've discovered that I don't really care about the fact that they're built from different Lego bricks.

5E went this way, it's a great system, far superior to Pathfinder in several aspects (and far inferior in others), I dig the fact that Owen and Co. decided to go this way as well. I sincerely hope PF 2.0 streamlines monsters/NPCs as well, that would go great length towards making prep shorter and running the game faster.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The stinkiest part of the new monster creation rules as far as I'm concerned is that sometimes they will cause you to need to generate a character twice. Here's the situation to imagine:

I'm creating an NPC. The party may fight them, the party may ally with them for a brief time, or they may join the party for the length of the campaign. (My usual group has only two players, so I often have a full party member NPC; I just hold back a little so that the PCs shine). By these rules, I need to generate them once as a monster, using the monster creation rules, and once using the PC rules. If they are brief allies, I could use them either way. The results will be different enough for the two that I can't really just do it once and use it for any of the three situations.


KingOfAnything wrote:

Half the creature's CR.

If it is a problem, fix it. The GM is not held captive by the statblocks he or she created.

Yes, I would like more guidance entries. That doesn't make the rules we have unworkable or difficult. If you are worried, stick to the stuff you are confident about.

(Honest question, is that a suggestion in the book or something you just posted? Sounds good either way)

Yes, and they are not. In Pathfinder adding special abilities tended to happen (from my experience) after I got comfortable/confident to do so, whereas with these it encourages from the beginning ("Hey, you can do this"), rather than something you deciding to do because you are more comfortable with it.

I never said they were unworkable or difficult, that's probably the opposite of what they are. How everything works is just annoying.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Redelia wrote:

The stinkiest part of the new monster creation rules as far as I'm concerned is that sometimes they will cause you to need to generate a character twice. Here's the situation to imagine:

I'm creating an NPC. The party may fight them, the party may ally with them for a brief time, or they may join the party for the length of the campaign. (My usual group has only two players, so I often have a full party member NPC; I just hold back a little so that the PCs shine). By these rules, I need to generate them once as a monster, using the monster creation rules, and once using the PC rules. If they are brief allies, I could use them either way. The results will be different enough for the two that I can't really just do it once and use it for any of the three situations.

Find more players, then. The game is designed around the "1 GM and 4-6 players" paradigm, you can't fault the designers for not working towards extremes on both ends of the spectrum.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
Redelia wrote:

The stinkiest part of the new monster creation rules as far as I'm concerned is that sometimes they will cause you to need to generate a character twice. Here's the situation to imagine:

I'm creating an NPC. The party may fight them, the party may ally with them for a brief time, or they may join the party for the length of the campaign. (My usual group has only two players, so I often have a full party member NPC; I just hold back a little so that the PCs shine). By these rules, I need to generate them once as a monster, using the monster creation rules, and once using the PC rules. If they are brief allies, I could use them either way. The results will be different enough for the two that I can't really just do it once and use it for any of the three situations.

Find more players, then. The game is designed around the "1 GM and 4-6 players" paradigm, you can't fault the designers for not working towards extremes on both ends of the spectrum.

That's not always an option.

And I can feel the frustration in that an PC Vesk Soldier and NPC Vesk Solider are built using completely different rules. It's one of my main complaints and something I feel was completely unnecessary.


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

So, play Pathfinder then.

With the technology guide and at least one sci-fi 3pp setting for pathfinder you don't have to adopt all or even any of the Starfinder rules. :-)


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Redelia wrote:

The stinkiest part of the new monster creation rules as far as I'm concerned is that sometimes they will cause you to need to generate a character twice. Here's the situation to imagine:

I'm creating an NPC. The party may fight them, the party may ally with them for a brief time, or they may join the party for the length of the campaign. (My usual group has only two players, so I often have a full party member NPC; I just hold back a little so that the PCs shine). By these rules, I need to generate them once as a monster, using the monster creation rules, and once using the PC rules. If they are brief allies, I could use them either way. The results will be different enough for the two that I can't really just do it once and use it for any of the three situations.

Honestly in this situation I just plan to generate them as a PC if its a PC race and hold back. If its not something that you could generate as a PC race then obviously it gets more complicated but ive decided my rule of thumb is that if its a NPC that will be interacting with or adventuring with the PCs in a significant way to just generate them with the PC rules.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:

Half the creature's CR.

If it is a problem, fix it. The GM is not held captive by the statblocks he or she created.

Yes, I would like more guidance entries. That doesn't make the rules we have unworkable or difficult. If you are worried, stick to the stuff you are confident about.

(Honest question, is that a suggestion in the book or something you just posted? Sounds good either way)

Yes, and they are not. In Pathfinder adding special abilities tended to happen (from my experience) after I got comfortable/confident to do so, whereas with these it encourages from the beginning ("Hey, you can do this"), rather than something you deciding to do because you are more comfortable with it.

I never said they were unworkable or difficult, that's probably the opposite of what they are. How everything works is just annoying.

Regeneration shows up twice in the book: the Inevitable summon creature graft and on the CR 10 Inevitable. The graft says to use half CR and that lines up with the stat block. Not everything has guidance, but there are examples to work from.

I don't imagine the team is going to rework the whole system, so there are a few things that you and others would like to see.
1. More detailed guidance on special abilities.
2. A set of NPC ally stat charts that lines up better with PC expectations

Is there anything else?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:

So, play Pathfinder then.

With the technology guide and at least one sci-fi 3pp setting for pathfinder you don't have to adopt all or even any of the Starfinder rules. :-)

I do. I'm also playing Starfinder and enjoying it. But there's things in both systems that I don't like it.

Aethera is an awesome setting, not gonna deny that ^w^


KingOfAnything wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:

Half the creature's CR.

If it is a problem, fix it. The GM is not held captive by the statblocks he or she created.

Yes, I would like more guidance entries. That doesn't make the rules we have unworkable or difficult. If you are worried, stick to the stuff you are confident about.

(Honest question, is that a suggestion in the book or something you just posted? Sounds good either way)

Yes, and they are not. In Pathfinder adding special abilities tended to happen (from my experience) after I got comfortable/confident to do so, whereas with these it encourages from the beginning ("Hey, you can do this"), rather than something you deciding to do because you are more comfortable with it.

I never said they were unworkable or difficult, that's probably the opposite of what they are. How everything works is just annoying.

Regeneration shows up twice in the book: the Inevitable summon creature graft and on the CR 10 Inevitable. The graft says to use half CR and that lines up with the stat block. Not everything has guidance, but there are examples to work from.

I don't imagine the team is going to rework the whole system, so there are a few things that you and others would like to see.
1. More detailed guidance on special abilities.
2. A set of NPC ally stat charts that lines up better with PC expectations

Is there anything else?

Cool! Thankies!

Yes and Yes.

Nothing else I can think of, that seems to adress a bunch of my complaints thus far (While I know there is next to nil chance of them changing the Monster creation system hopefully they'll at least tweak the Archetype system....).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:

So, play Pathfinder then.

With the technology guide and at least one sci-fi 3pp setting for pathfinder you don't have to adopt all or even any of the Starfinder rules. :-)

I do. I'm also playing Starfinder and enjoying it. But there's things in both systems that I don't like it.

Aethera is an awesome setting, not gonna deny that ^w^

That's fair, I just thought I'd throw it out there.

I know it's probably going to be impossible for me to keep Skittermanders out of pathfinder once they see Alien Archives. :-)


captain yesterday wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:

So, play Pathfinder then.

With the technology guide and at least one sci-fi 3pp setting for pathfinder you don't have to adopt all or even any of the Starfinder rules. :-)

I do. I'm also playing Starfinder and enjoying it. But there's things in both systems that I don't like it.

Aethera is an awesome setting, not gonna deny that ^w^

That's fair, I just thought I'd throw it out there.

I know it's probably going to be impossible for me to keep Skittermanders out of pathfinder once they see Alien Archives. :-)

Hehehe, I'm trying to think of the best way to backport the little adorable fluffies.


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

Backporting races is easy, just ignore the racial hit points, and tweak the skill bonus stuff as needed, and voila! Pathfinder Skittermander mobs. :-)

Grand Lodge

You know Rysky, You could probably use the build rules from Pathfinder and your players would never really know the difference. It would be a system you like in the setting you like.

Just a suggestion, I'd be interested to see a compare and contrast in another thread if you were up to it. Seeing an analysis has my curiosity piqued.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder

Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

The fact that NPCs made with core playable races are built completely different than PCs is also rather irksome. And class grafts making them act as a class but having access to special abilities that PCs will never have access to rather obnoxious.

If a player sees a dragon flying around breathing fire they aren't gonna say "Hey, at what level can I do that?" unless they're playing a dragon or a spellcaster.

But if you have a Human Solarion go up against a Human Solarion and the NPC starts pulling stunts that make the PC go "Wow! When can I do that?"
"You can't"
"Oh, it's not a feat or class ability or...?"
"Nope, NPC only thing."
"... but "

That's one thing when it's a creature you're not playing, it's another when they are the same class you're playing.

If your NPC soldier breathes fire, and your PCs ask when they can do that, you tell them that a dragon gland is available from level 1.

Why would you give an NPC something totally out of line for what a PC can do?

Point for that one, but the NPC can naturally do it and multiple times a day.

And I wouldn’t try to, my thing was that it’s more there’s no guidelines to it. But then there’s things like Clara from Dead Suns Precise Shot ability.

Spoiler:
How do your players know Clara is an operative? How do they know she has a special precise shot ability? As the GM, you can just ignore the AC bonuses from her opponents' cover. You don't have to tell them that. I don't think most GMs give their players copies of monster stat blocks before they fight them. I certainly don't.

But if it's a problem for you or your players, change it. "Everything is optional." It says so on page 127. It's your game, do whatever makes it fun for you!


Robert G. McCreary wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

The fact that NPCs made with core playable races are built completely different than PCs is also rather irksome. And class grafts making them act as a class but having access to special abilities that PCs will never have access to rather obnoxious.

If a player sees a dragon flying around breathing fire they aren't gonna say "Hey, at what level can I do that?" unless they're playing a dragon or a spellcaster.

But if you have a Human Solarion go up against a Human Solarion and the NPC starts pulling stunts that make the PC go "Wow! When can I do that?"
"You can't"
"Oh, it's not a feat or class ability or...?"
"Nope, NPC only thing."
"... but "

That's one thing when it's a creature you're not playing, it's another when they are the same class you're playing.

If your NPC soldier breathes fire, and your PCs ask when they can do that, you tell them that a dragon gland is available from level 1.

Why would you give an NPC something totally out of line for what a PC can do?

Point for that one, but the NPC can naturally do it and multiple times a day.

And I wouldn’t try to, my thing was that it’s more there’s no guidelines to it. But then there’s things like Clara from Dead Suns Precise Shot ability.

** spoiler omitted **

But if it's a problem for you or your players, change it. "Everything is optional." It says so on page 127. It's your game, do whatever makes it fun for you!

I was just using Clara as en example because that ability stood out. And while a player probably wouldn’t see it before hand that’s no guarantee they’ll never see it.

So while they can’t see without looking at the statblock what if a hypothetical Solarion NPC is introduced that can throw their Solar Weapon at opponents? That’d definitely be an Ability a lot of Solarion PCs would want.

Solarion NPCs can already use Zenith Revelations every 1d3 rounds instead of having to wait for 3 full rounds for attunement.


Herald wrote:

You know Rysky, You could probably use the build rules from Pathfinder and your players would never really know the difference. It would be a system you like in the setting you like.

Just a suggestion, I'd be interested to see a compare and contrast in another thread if you were up to it. Seeing an analysis has my curiosity piqued.

Going off what I saw in the legacy conversion (form the back of the Core book) threads it lead creatures to have lower to hit but higher AC if I’m remembering correctly, so that’s what would happen here I would assume. With the way the PCs are built with their bonuses to hit and AC I don’t know what all the ramifications would be.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

I was just using Clara as en example because that ability stood out. And while a player probably wouldn’t see it before hand that’s no guarantee they’ll never see it.

So while they can’t see without looking at the statblock what if a hypothetical Solarion NPC is introduced that can throw their Solar Weapon at opponents? That’d definitely be an Ability a lot of Solarion PCs would want.

Yeah, NPCs get a little more. That helps make them a challenge. Your operative player can get the PC version of Clara's ability by taking one level in soldier.

Why would anyone make that ability? Don't do things that don't make sense.

Liberty's Edge

Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Herald wrote:

You know Rysky, You could probably use the build rules from Pathfinder and your players would never really know the difference. It would be a system you like in the setting you like.

Just a suggestion, I'd be interested to see a compare and contrast in another thread if you were up to it. Seeing an analysis has my curiosity piqued.

Going off what I saw in the legacy conversion (form the back of the Core book) threads it lead creatures to have lower to hit but higher AC if I’m remembering correctly, so that’s what would happen here I would assume. With the way the PCs are built with their bonuses to hit and AC I don’t know what all the ramifications would be.

Couldn't you build them using PF rules and then use the tables in this for fine-tuning?


KingOfAnything wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

I was just using Clara as en example because that ability stood out. And while a player probably wouldn’t see it before hand that’s no guarantee they’ll never see it.

So while they can’t see without looking at the statblock what if a hypothetical Solarion NPC is introduced that can throw their Solar Weapon at opponents? That’d definitely be an Ability a lot of Solarion PCs would want.

Yeah, NPCs get a little more. That helps make them a challenge. Your operative player can get the PC version of Clara's ability by taking one level in soldier.

Why would anyone make that ability? Don't do things that don't make sense.

Having to multiclass to achieve what a “single classed” character is doing isn’t really a good bandaid. It’s not that they have a little more/stronger, it’s that their class has options that the PC version isn’t allowed.

And what? Cause it’s cool. I wanna throw my black hole sword at people.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paladinosaur wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Herald wrote:

You know Rysky, You could probably use the build rules from Pathfinder and your players would never really know the difference. It would be a system you like in the setting you like.

Just a suggestion, I'd be interested to see a compare and contrast in another thread if you were up to it. Seeing an analysis has my curiosity piqued.

Going off what I saw in the legacy conversion (form the back of the Core book) threads it lead creatures to have lower to hit but higher AC if I’m remembering correctly, so that’s what would happen here I would assume. With the way the PCs are built with their bonuses to hit and AC I don’t know what all the ramifications would be.
Couldn't you build them using PF rules and then use the tables in this for fine-tuning?

That’s probably what I’ll end to doing if I ever start statting something up.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

Having to multiclass to achieve what a “single classed” character is doing isn’t really a good bandaid. It’s not that they have a little more/stronger, it’s that their class has options that the PC version isn’t allowed.

And what? Cause it’s cool. I wanna throw my black hole sword at people.

Clara is not "single classed" in any meaningful sense.

That's... not a good reason. Don't be a munchkin GM.

If you think it is cool, make a PC version! Give it some context, like a particular monastery or deity. Then go have fun with your NPC version.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
KingOfAnything wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

Having to multiclass to achieve what a “single classed” character is doing isn’t really a good bandaid. It’s not that they have a little more/stronger, it’s that their class has options that the PC version isn’t allowed.

And what? Cause it’s cool. I wanna throw my black hole sword at people.

Clara is not "single classed" in any meaningful sense.

That's... not a good reason. Don't be a munchkin GM.

If you think it is cool, make a PC version! Give it some context, like a particular monastery or deity. Then go have fun with your NPC version.

... I’m doing the exact opposite of being a munchkin GM I’m pretty sure. I think if an NPC gets a cool ability from its class graft it shouldn’t prohibit the actual class from taking it. Clara is an Operative as her stat block says.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

Having to multiclass to achieve what a “single classed” character is doing isn’t really a good bandaid. It’s not that they have a little more/stronger, it’s that their class has options that the PC version isn’t allowed.

And what? Cause it’s cool. I wanna throw my black hole sword at people.

Clara is not "single classed" in any meaningful sense.

That's... not a good reason. Don't be a munchkin GM.

If you think it is cool, make a PC version! Give it some context, like a particular monastery or deity. Then go have fun with your NPC version.

... I’m doing the exact opposite of being a munchkin GM I’m pretty sure. I think if an NPC gets a cool ability from its class graft it shouldn’t prohibit the actual class from taking it. Clara is an Operative as her stat block says.

... Just because there are class grafts, it doesn't mean that all NPCs are "single classed". NPCs can pick up abilities from other classes just like PCs can. They just don't bother with level splits.

Having a power for the sake of power is power gaming. That's what you went for with the solarion wepaon. You can avoid that kind of munchicanery by basing your NPC powers on extant PC powers or in-universe justification.


KingOfAnything wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

Having to multiclass to achieve what a “single classed” character is doing isn’t really a good bandaid. It’s not that they have a little more/stronger, it’s that their class has options that the PC version isn’t allowed.

And what? Cause it’s cool. I wanna throw my black hole sword at people.

Clara is not "single classed" in any meaningful sense.

That's... not a good reason. Don't be a munchkin GM.

If you think it is cool, make a PC version! Give it some context, like a particular monastery or deity. Then go have fun with your NPC version.

... I’m doing the exact opposite of being a munchkin GM I’m pretty sure. I think if an NPC gets a cool ability from its class graft it shouldn’t prohibit the actual class from taking it. Clara is an Operative as her stat block says.

... Just because there are class grafts, it doesn't mean that all NPCs are "single classed". NPCs can pick up abilities from other classes just like PCs can. They just don't bother with level splits.

Having a power for the sake of power is power gaming. That's what you went for with the solarion wepaon. You can avoid that kind of munchicanery by basing your NPC powers on extant PC powers or in-universe justification.

Uh, it better. Otherwise what is the point of them having Class names in their descriptor? I didn’t see anything about them by the rules being able to take multiple class gifts either or being able to take abitlies from other classes.

And no? I don’t want power just for power. The hypothetical weapon throw for the Solarion I just made up cause I think it would be cool. I didn’t even mention actual specifics of how the ability would even work.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

NPCs are not PCs. They don't have class levels. A Clara PC would be something like an Operative 5/ Soldier 1. At minimum. But, levels are meaningless on an NPC, so it is simplified as an Operative graft and a soldier ability. That's how you represent multi-classed NPCs.

It is a feature that you don't need to build intricately multi-classed NPCs to give them interesting power sets. You can scale that level 6 character down to CR 2 with a subset of the abilities.


If they are built like you say they are what is the point of having them have a [class] next to their name if it means nothing? I’m questioning having grafts at all if you can just pick and choose powers from wherever, but I’m not seeing anything in the rules that suggests that’s how they’re supposed to be built.

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