Meet the Iconics: Navasi

Monday, May 1, 2017

The countdown to Starfinder has officially begun, and to kick us off, we're highlighting the iconic characters and core classes that appear throughout the pages and covers the Starfinder line. Today we meet Navasi, the iconic envoy!

Illustration by Remko Troost

Born into a prominent family on Absalom Station, the envoy who calls herself Navasi spent much of her childhood avoiding her parents in their "sky-villa," as they called their sprawling, six-story home in the Nyori Palisades. Navasi's mother had designs on her canny-but-headstrong daughter inheriting the family's business. Her father had visions of a queenly young woman sitting in silk among the station's most prominent socialites.

Navasi wanted neither. A quip on her lips, she eschewed glitzy playdates and family soirees in favor of zipping through Absalom Station's streets with her best friends, the children of the household employees. She'd take the rush of riding a screaming hovercycle over the pompous sniggering of the wealthy any day of the week.

As she befriended more and more stationers from less-privileged walks of life, Navasi's irritation with her parents and their deliberate aloofness from the rest of society turned into outright disgust. The inequities of Absalom Station, where the rich lived in fortified enclaves and the poor lived in little more than metal boxes, pained her. Simply giving away her pocket money didn't seem like enough. She began to dream of a fairy-tale life in which she could steal the affluent's unearned wealth and give it to those truly in need, and idolized the Free Captains of the Diaspora—pirates living by their own rules. Navasi could only imagine the fun she'd have with such freedom—and the good she'd do, of course.

On the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Navasi sat in her plush quarters, staring at the gold-fibered holo-gown that was to be her debut dress. Two choices stood before her. She could don that false uniform, attend the gala, and accept her mother's gift of an executive position in the family company. Or she could leave.

It took less than an hour for Navasi to slip out of the manor and stow away onto a ship bound for the Diaspora.

Navasi arrived on Broken Rock with a pocketful of stolen credsticks and a gleam in her eye. She quickly signed up as a "procurement specialist" with a contracting firm called the Sixth Finger—little more than a starfaring thieves' guild—ready to use her new position to steal from exploitative corporations and make herself a hero to those in need.

The reality of life in a pirate enclave hit her like a meteorite. Having quickly blown through her money, and too stubborn to return home in shame, Navasi found she no longer had a choice in which jobs she took. Under the guildrunners' threats, she roughed up innocents, stole from the less fortunate, and worse. Though she never completely lost her egalitarian beliefs, she hardly recognized the naïve idealist she'd once been. A few years in the streets showed her how much of her former life she'd taken for granted, and taught her that if she wanted to take care of others, she first needed to take care of herself. That, at least, she was good at, and she quickly gained a reputation in the gang as the best fast-talker and facewoman around, spinning bold plans and quick wits into fat paydays.

Now a jaded young woman, Navasi found that the wealth from her scores brought little joy without friends to share it with, and she took comfort in the hardscrabble survivalists and secretly softhearted rogues she recruited to her crews. Yet it was in one particular woman that Navasi truly found herself again. Purple-haired and tattooed, with eyes like blue supergiants, the newcomer was outspoken against those in power. She bucked the pirates' authority and operated alone, pulling the sorts of righteous jobs Navasi had once dreamed of. She was the bravest, most exciting woman Navasi had ever met, and despite Navasi's continuing allegiance to the Sixth Finger, the two quickly became inseparable.

That all came crashing down the day the Sixth Finger arranged to knock over a medship full of supplies bound for Absalom Station. To the gang's leaders, the ship's mission—aiding refugees of a wartorn star system—was inconsequential compared to the valuable drugs in its cargo bays. Navasi's objections were overruled.

It was the final straw. Together, Navasi and her partner formulated a plan, alerting the medship to the imminent heist and carefully sabotaging the fighters the gang had designated for the assault. It all might have gone unnoticed, had the gang's resident technomancer not decided to check the security cams one final time. In the ensuing ambush, Navasi and her partner were pinned down, their backs to the sole spaceworthy ship—a single-seat fighter with only enough life support for one of them. Unwilling to leave her companion, Navasi prepared for them to go out in a blaze of glory—only to have her partner shove her into the cockpit and slam the canopy. As Navasi scrabbled with the latch, the other woman winked, pulled the pins on her grenades, and sprinted straight at their ambushers.

The wealthy scion of Absalom Station died that day, as did the pirate she'd become. As she made her way back to Absalom Station with the medship, knowing that neither the Sixth Finger nor her spurned family would ever stop looking for her, she forsook both of her previous incarnations. Abandoning her old identity, she took the name of her fallen love—Navasi—and swore that henceforth she'd carry on the fight they'd started together, only stealing from those who deserved it, putting her finger in the eye of anyone who thrived on exploitation, regardless of which side of the law they were on. Knowing she'd need a new appearance as well, she continued borrowing from her partner, dyeing her jet-black hair purple and adding a single blue contact. Yet when she considered mimicking the original Navasi's tattoos, she was shocked to learn that they were symbols of Weydan, the god of discovery and equality, famous for taking mortal form. Though her partner had never spoken of religion, Navasi took it as a sign, and even holds out some hope that perhaps her companion might have been more than she seemed, though she recognizes that such thoughts are probably just a manifestation of her grief.

Today, Navasi has built a reputation—perhaps more than is truly wise for a woman with a price on her head—as a talented freelance captain, putting together crews for adventures ranging from planetary scouting and private security to her old talent for "procurement," though she's careful about what sorts of jobs she and her friends take on. Navasi still believes in freedom for all, spreading the wealth, and taking plutocrats down a peg—but she also knows the value of earning credits, and takes pride in the ability to take care of herself and her crew (though she still has a sometimes inconvenient tendency to empty her pockets for those in need). As a scoundrel, a fast-talker, and a brilliant negotiator, Navasi is happiest when the chips are down and lives hang in the balance, as that's when you truly know who your friends are. Above all, she knows to always look beneath the surface, for like Navasi herself, nothing is ever quite what it seems.

Amanda Hamon Kunz
Developer

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Tags: Envoys Iconics Meet the Iconics Navasi Remko Troost Starfinder
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Silver Crusade

51 people marked this as a favorite.

I, for one, support our gay space communist


:( I was going to nab first post but I had to log in and... and... I lost it snif snif

Sovereign Court

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Welp. I now have a new favorite iconic.

Silver Crusade

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;_;

Silver Crusade

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Found her song.


I like!

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
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I'm in love <3


Wow I absolutely love her backstory.


Glorious.

Dark Archive

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Not really sure how I feel. Spoiled rich kid rebels, gets in over head, see how good she really had it. Not really new there. Best friends tragic death leads her to become a better person. Not really all that new either. I kind feel like I've seen this character already. I guess thats why we play our own characters. Not a bad origin just doesnt feel like anything new either.

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Hrothdane wrote:
I, for one, support our gay space communist

Can we please see a Kingmaker sequel with rules for Anarcho-Communist settlements? Given how many times they show up in Space Operas, I envision that Starfinder will have at least one.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I love her.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Not really sure how I feel. Spoiled rich kid rebels, gets in over head, see how good she really had it. Not really new there. Best friends tragic death leads her to become a better person. Not really all that new either. I kind feel like I've seen this character already. I guess thats why we play our own characters. Not a bad origin just doesnt feel like anything new either.

Luke warm myself mainly for the same reasons you mentioned.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

"I aim to misbehave." - Navasi


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Yay... a new god, Weydan, god of equality and discovery... sure to be a popular one! I can't wait to learn more about her and the names, portfolios, and other information of the other new gods.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Ashanderai wrote:
Yay... a new god, Weydan, god of equality and discovery... sure to be a popular one! I can't wait to learn more about her and the names, portfolios, and other information of the other new gods.

Desna?

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Whenever I'm introducing the Starfinder iconics at a table, I'm introducing her as "Lesbian Space Robin Hood."


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Wow, this really is fantastic. Up until now, our impressions of the Starfinder universe were pretty abstract, with general hints and samplings leaving a lot of gaps for the imagination to fill. I think this was the first, great plunge into the bread and butter of Starfinder storytelling, and it's nearly moved me to unsightly tears! Navasi's a relatable, familiar character that really opens up Starfinder's strange, cosmic world and gives even its most alien qualities a grounded feel. I get the sense that's what Amanda and the rest of the team was going for. I really liked the bit about Weydan and proto-Navasi's religious tattoos. I'm a sucker for tragic romance, especially when it's in space. Can't wait to be introduced to the rest of the iconics!

Also, the Free Captains of the Diaspora! My dreams of space piracy finally come true! I'll see all you seadogs in Lady Pharasma's Locker!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Ashanderai wrote:
Yay... a new god, Weydan, god of equality and discovery... sure to be a popular one! I can't wait to learn more about her and the names, portfolios, and other information of the other new gods.

Same! I love learning about new gods and goddesses!


..and we are off to a good start! Looking forward to all the other ones to follow. :)

Scarab Sages Developer, Starfinder Team

30 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm going to take off my Developer hat for a moment, and put on my Fanboy hat, and speak briefly about why I love this story Amanda wrote (which, in this case, I didn't get to read until today and had nothing to do with, so this is my fresh take)
First, it helps flesh out the world. Sky-villas in a space station? The poor poor living in little more than metal boxes? A rich scion having to spend time with the children of the household employees to find friends she valued? Holy symbol tattoos and the hint of divine intervention?
That al helps flesh out a world.
Second, a name change and new identity for a character hunted by two radically different factions? The "Sixth Finger" group that is a "contracting firm"? Story seeds in 20 words or less. heck, just the term "contracting firm" for what turns out to be a thieves guild is awesome. It sets a stage, introduced some terminology, and explains why thrives might have a public name and email address, through a legitimate, if mistrusted, front.
The flavor is also great. Gold-fibered holo-gown? The ideas that conjure up are awesome, but leave plenty of room for me to adjust to fit a GM's or other player's needs. A midship bound for refugees on Absalom Station? That's the potential plot of an entire adventure. Even the end result of a freelance captain, putting together crews for adventures ranging from planetary scouting and private security to "procurement" goes farther than a lot of "roguish space captain" ideas. Navasi doesn't just run a rag-tag band, she's a fixer and organizer who collects the experts she needs for each mission. That's a lot less common, and a lot more interesting, than just being an ex-space-military-smuggler-with-iffy-friends.
I consider the bar set quite high... which actually makes me kinda nervous. ;)

Scarab Sages

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Shisumo wrote:
"I aim to misbehave." - Navasi

I was also reminded of Firefly; robbing the medship sounded similar to the Train Job.

Also there are hovercycles? I want one!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
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Lord Fyre wrote:
Ashanderai wrote:
Yay... a new god, Weydan, god of equality and discovery... sure to be a popular one! I can't wait to learn more about her and the names, portfolios, and other information of the other new gods.
Desna?

I get the sense that Weydan represents more of the socially conscious, cultural aspects of discovery, in contrast with Desna's more natural world oriented domains. Seems an important niche to fill, as any self-respecting Commander Shepard or Captain Kirk know. I expect Weydan to be the first god people pay respects to when taking up affairs of diplomacy, or making first contact with alien species. Weydan will likely be at the forefront of exciting revolutionary movements in politics, seeking libertarian or social utopias. Also, Weydan especially loves those pioneers brave enough to sample the squirmy gross worm cuisine that friendly alien handed you as a peace offering. Social, intercultural, interspecies fun is where Weydan's at. Given that the Lashunta seem the most inclined for charismatic diplomats of all the races so far, I wonder if Weydan is a native Lashunta god(dess)?

Paizo Employee Developer

22 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm so glad you folks like the story. I had SUCH fun writing up our resident fast-talking, sticky-fingered, kind-hearted space-farer. :D

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
I'm going to take off my Developer hat for a moment, and put on my Fanboy hat, and speak briefly about why I love this story Amanda wrote (which, in this case, I didn't get to read until today and had nothing to do with, so this is my fresh take)

Daww, thank you so much for the kind words, Owen!

(Psst. Folks! THE Owen K.C. Stephens likes it! Squee!)

Paizo Employee Designer

18 people marked this as a favorite.

I agree with Owen (and like Owen, I only saw this when it went up today, so just wearing a fan hat): the classic stories and story elements are classic for a reason. A great iconic backstory should have a sense of the familiar to help draw you into the iconic and the new world quickly and easily (especially when summarized for a new player as a pregen) as well as a taste of the exotic and unknown to get you more excited to learn more. I personally find Amanda's backstory for Navasi to be pretty darn awesome because it hits sweet spots in both of those respects.


13 people marked this as a favorite.
SquirmWyrm wrote:
Glorious.

Why, thank you for noticing! My cloak does billow quite gloriously, doesn't it?

Opsylum wrote:
My dreams of space piracy finally come true! I'll see all you seadogs in Lady Pharasma's Locker!

Speaking of the Lady of Graves and space lockers, I just might have a job for you. Bit of a warning, though: it involves lasers. And security robots. And vesk. Oh, sweet Weydan, so many vesk...

Hrothdane wrote:
I, for one, support our gay space communist

*smirks and salutes cheekily*

Dark Archive

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Okay I know I'm going to catch hell for this too but.... Does every group of characters need to have a gay character? Do we really need to know? It's starting to seem forced. And before everyone jumps on me, I don't care what your orientation is its your business, not mine. Do what makes you happy.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Okay I know I'm going to catch he'll for this too but.... Does every group of characters need to have a gay characters? Do we really need to know? It's starting to seem forced. And before everyone jumps on me, I don't care what your orientation is its your business, not mine. Do what makes you happy.

Yes, why should anyone other than straight white dudes be allowed to exist?

People, remember: you're okay as long as you don't exist in any sort of media or in the public space. If you get assaulted or murdered, well, it was your fault in the first place for existing!

I'm kind of done with this whole line of thought, in case it was hard to tell.

Sovereign Court

20 people marked this as a favorite.
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Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Okay I know I'm going to catch hell for this too but.... Does every group of characters need to have a gay character? Do we really need to know? It's starting to seem forced. And before everyone jumps on me, I don't care what your orientation is its your business, not mine. Do what makes you happy.

Yes, because they're all gay. We're claiming all your favorite characters and we're making them gay. Welcome to the future. It's gay here.

Dark Archive

10 people marked this as a favorite.

Not what I said but a random sampling of people,does not bear out the number of alternate lifestyle presented in paizo iconics. Is orientation important to play? As others have suggested in the above post making the characters sort of generic is good than why nail down sexual orientations? I had read the above as the two women being friends without having to read in gay. Let people choose.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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Navasi, Iconic Envoy wrote:
SquirmWyrm wrote:
Glorious.

Why, thank you for noticing! My cloak does billow quite gloriously, doesn't it?

Opsylum wrote:
My dreams of space piracy finally come true! I'll see all you seadogs in Lady Pharasma's Locker!

Speaking of the Lady of Graves and space lockers, I just might have a job for you. Bit of a warning, though: it involves lasers. And security robots. And vesk. Oh, sweet Weydan, so many vesk...

Hrothdane wrote:
I, for one, support our gay space communist
*smirks and salutes cheekily*

Navasi, as long as there's an icy cold space-rum waiting in a neon-lit bar at the end of the day, I'll fly with you into the depths of the nine hells! Hell, I'd probably fly with you there anyway! Incidentally, in my experience, space-rum is a handy remedy in a pinch for Vesk problems.

Hold up - speaking up the Lady of Graves? We aren't actually going to that big boneyard in the sky, are we? Because, if so, I'm soooo in. I don't even want to know what sweet drift drives you newfangled iconics are packing these days to make cross-planar jumps like that!


16 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kalindlara wrote:
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Okay I know I'm going to catch he'll for this too but.... Does every group of characters need to have a gay characters? Do we really need to know? It's starting to seem forced. And before everyone jumps on me, I don't care what your orientation is its your business, not mine. Do what makes you happy.

Yes, why should anyone other than straight white dudes be allowed to exist?

People, remember: you're okay as long as you don't exist in any sort of media or in the public space. If you get assaulted or murdered, well, it was your fault in the first place for existing!

I'm kind of done with this whole line of thought, in case it was hard to tell.

Furthermore, representation is important. It helps marginalized people know that they belong, especially in something like the fantasy RPG community, which has catered predominantly to a straight white male audience exclusively for a long time.

I'd love to see this same line of dialogue on Estra's backstory. "Does every group of iconics have to have a straight white woman? It's starting to seem forced."

Liberty's Edge Developer

18 people marked this as a favorite.

Adequate levels of gay.

Liberty's Edge Developer

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Crystal Frasier wrote:
Adequate levels of gay.

Or pan. Adequate levels of pan. Or bi.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Is orientation important to play?

Yup. Had I not played a PFS scenario with a pair of gay ex-lovers in it early in my PFS career, I might not have felt more comfortable playing with gender roles through Pathfinder - and PFS was a huge step for me in coming to terms with myself. That's not a thing that I could've done if Paizo didn't embrace LGBTQ people in their writing, and I'm super thankful for it.

Silver Crusade System Administrator

18 people marked this as a favorite.
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Not what I said but a random sampling of people,does not bear out the number of alternate lifestyle presented in paizo iconics. Is orientation important to play? As others have suggested in the above post making the characters sort of generic is good than why nail down sexual orientations? I had read the above as the two women being friends without having to read in gay. Let people choose.

Because representation matters. It says, "You are welcome here. We accept you at our table. And we want you to be a part of our universe. Thank you for buying our book." I didn't have that when I was young. It's so wonderful to see that now.

Edit: Also relationships are a big part of most peoples life story. Leaving out large swaths of the characters lives makes for kind of a boring story. If we mention that some guy has a wife, we don't get up and arms about heterosexual representation and leaving peoples orientation out of it. We just accept that it's part of his backstory and we go on. Same LGBT characters.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

18 people marked this as a favorite.
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Not what I said but a random sampling of people,does not bear out the number of alternate lifestyle presented in paizo iconics. Is orientation important to play? As others have suggested in the above post making the characters sort of generic is good than why nail down sexual orientations? I had read the above as the two women being friends without having to read in gay. Let people choose.

Representation is important, and it's hard to understate what it means to see oneself represented as a welcome part of the community through characters and stories. What's most important to someone in how they identify is going to vary—could be by ethnicity, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, fandom, religion, hobby, something else entirely, or some combination of these in any order of priority.

It might not seem important to you that a character is (for example) gay, has dark skin, or survived a terrible experience earlier in life yet persevered to be a hero. To those that do identify with whichever parts of that background, though, it can be deeply important.

Project Manager

34 people marked this as a favorite.

It would be nice if this thread about the blog post didn't devolve, like threads about characters who aren't straight white men are wont to do, into an argument about whether representation is necessary.

I think it's fairly clear that the creative staff believes it is necessary, and that's not going to change. Allowing the thread to become solely about whether it's okay that Navasi's in a romantic relationship with a woman is, whether intentionally or not, ensuring that same-sex relationships continue to be treated as abnormal, and characters in them aren't allowed to be about anything but their sexuality.

So I suggest moving on and ignoring further attempts at such derailment.

Paizo Employee Developer

42 people marked this as a favorite.
Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Okay I know I'm going to catch hell for this too but.... Does every group of characters need to have a gay character? Do we really need to know? It's starting to seem forced. And before everyone jumps on me, I don't care what your orientation is its your business, not mine. Do what makes you happy.

Navasi's sexuality is a core part of her being, as falling in love with -- and losing -- her best friend has shaped her into the person she is today. Sexuality is present in every fiber of storytelling, from references to husbands, wives, girlfriends, and boyfriends to more relationship-oriented details. Saying that a character's queerness is "forced" is like saying that a reference to a husband and wife is a "forced" example of heterosexuality. It's an ugly double standard.

Like Pathfinder, Starfinder is a place where people of all backgrounds and perspectives exist and thrive, and I strive as a writer to create stories in which all readers can see parts of themselves reflected in our heroes' backgrounds. I understand how deeply meaningful representation can be to folks who are used to never having any, and so I do what I can to move the needle.

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