Your World To Create!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Two weeks ago, we shared some of the different world concepts members of the Paizo staff came up with for the same array of cards from the Deck of Many Worlds. Now it’s your turn! Using the rules reference cards from the deck (a free download available here) design your concept for the world shown below and propose it in the comments. The submissions that are marked as a favorite the most times will be included in the running to have an official writeup by a member of the Starfinder team in a forthcoming blog entry into the Codex of Worlds!

Deck of Many Worlds Card Array

I can’t wait to see what world concepts you all come up with, and I’m excited to see one of your ideas reflected here in a few weeks’ time. Best of luck, Finders!

Mark Moreland
Franchise Manager

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Tags: Starfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Neidr Nine: A swampy blue pearl on the outskirts of the Lesser Belkzen imperial alliance. A star system colonized by Orcs, they have established a brutal hold on the entire system... Save for one certain planet.

7th planet orbiting the sun, Neidr Nine has been judged to be completely worthless for subjugation- Naturally due to the lack of easily harvest-able resources: To imply the War-like Orcs are simply incapable of establishing dominance is mere hearsay, and a legally admissible expression of low treason.

The Primary problem Orcs face is the overwhelming abundance of Proteans ... Proteans that guns can't handle. Addressed by researches as "Pelagastr's", tales are told of the first orcs who sailed down to the surface: Brave explorers who met a watery grave when the very seaweed itself rose beyond the waves- Possessed by Pelagastrs as temporary hosts until new bodies could be found. All the Orcs on that expedition soon became possessed, and consequently drowned. Or electrocuted. Or accidentally shot as their Pelagastr hosts remembered the joy of possessing bodies of their own- Albeit for a short time.

Consequently, military ventures to establish a stronghold always end the same way: Pelegastr Proteans rise en-mass to slip through the ships hull and possess the soldiers. Or Proteans get into the wiring and short-circuit key components. Or Proteans warp the very material of the ship into something less aerodynamic- Such as Basalt or Cotton candy. The military annals of the Lesser Belkzen Imperial alliance mark countless failures until the reigning Orcs simply decided "It's conquered!" and "Let's move on to the next planet!"

Unbeknownst to the reigning government of the galaxy... Material life has, somehow, managed to find root on a planet dictated by the tides in both the material sense, and the spiritual sense:

Miniscule Astrozans the size of a pebble work diligently on the Northern pole. Their capitol- Reefworks- Is nothing more than a bottle adrift in the seas. A bottle that happens to be warded against immaterial possession, and completely self sustained. They hold knowledge on how to craft "Ghost-proof materials" of all sorts, and may be willing to share their secrets should an adventurer discover the lone bottle: The hardest needle in a haystack the galaxy has to offer.

The Equator also bears the fruit of civilization: A network of tradeships, all run by Skittermanders. This community- charmingly named "Floatsbarely", lives and dies on the seas... Untouched by the countless Protean horde living beneath the waves. Certain research institutes keep this civilization a top-level secret as a case study on Pelagastr Possession... Or rather, the lack of it among Skittermanders. Curious scholars and scientists have a number of theories on this seeming immunity: Some say that Skittermanders are inherently Chaotic enough to avoid the Protean's attention. Others claim the reason must be divine- Perhaps these Sea-faring Skittermanders offer sacrifice or tribute for Protection. The most outlandish theory claims that Skittermanders where born as mortal heralds and children of the illusive Speakers of the Depths- Of course, this is a laughable claim made by a single brilliant, if slightly off-kilter scientist and linguist.

Regardless, there is only so much these researchers can learn from safe orbit, and they would be delighted to pay a group of adventurers handsomely to make the trip down to "Floatsbarely" and gather some scientific data and samples. The only challenge is to make it out alive, when the very sea churns with the mysteries of the deep.


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The world of Bolla was once a thriving Earth-like planet, with an advanced ysoki race creating a near utopia. However, a druidic botanist created a species of giant, sentient trees, called the greenspear, with an unknown byproduct of supernatural powers to influence sapients. The greatest of the greenspears, the Blade, orchestrated an intricate plot to destroy the ysoki so that a new plant-based order could take over. A great magical battle flung Bolla into a planar scism that indeed destroyed all the ysoki, but also left the planet underwater. The greenspears eventually adapted, creating the scattered continents of kelp-like plants. Since then, an aquatic variation of skittermanders have called the planet their home, creating underwater civilizations, sometimes on the ruins of the exstinct ysoki civilization. Ghostly ysoki, confused and hostile, attack the world’s new inhabitants, as do rifti left over from the mass planar fractures of long ago. In addition, the skittermanders worship a great underwater tree they call the Grove of One. Little do they know that this is the Blade, which continues to plot for a plant-based world that it controls. Luckily, an astrazoan group of scientists who study interstellar threats has arrived disguised as skittermanders. They hope to study the cause of Bolla’s downfall and prevent any such occurrence from happening again, on Bolla or otherwise.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Some time ago, an Oras-worshipping cult of shapeshifting Astrazoans and their Skittermander assistants landed their science vessel on the planet Isbosha. A powerful protean was trapped within Isbosha’s core, controlling the local flora and fauna with its mind and trapping the souls of everything who dies on the planet. By borrowing the power of the trapped protean, the Astrazoans hoped to unlock a way for them to change into smaller – or perhaps larger – forms than their physiology would normally allow. The protean twisted the magic the Astrazoans were using, and the crew was left shrunken to only a few centimenters tall – all except for one amusing Skittermander named Skuna. Now small enough that the tiny fish outside could devour them in one gulp, the remaining crew had no choice but to serve Skuna’s whims – and the protean’s by extension. The crew can operate only the smallest of technological devices on their science vessel. They certainly cannot operate its proportionately enormous controls. Magic is no help, either, since the protean could simply twist it to serve its own whims. Not even death is an escape, since the ghosts of the crew are simply unable to leave Isbosha at all. Skuna is a temperamental overlord, just as likely to create tiny confections for her crewmates as she is to throw a tantrum and trample them underfoot. But she’s just as trapped as everyone else, the protean-controlled aquatic life forms actively preventing her and the rest of the crew from leaving the science vessel. Nobody knows if she would cooperate with a rescue team dispatched to the planet – or try to trap them on Isbosha like everyone else.

Dark Archive

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Morph-WW-NTD-4's oceans are uncharted, but it has been determined that planet used to have thriving advanced terrestrial civilization who drowned their world in horrible portal accident. By time they managed to shut down the experiment, majority of their world was covered in shallow ocean and survivors couldn't recover anymore. Making the matter worse is that souls of the dead didn't move to the beyond, instead they possessed all the animal and plant life on the planet. Haunted plantlife has formed multiple collectives on the planet, including massive continental mass of kelp which haunted beings of the planet believe to be the afterlife.

Complicating the matters further is the zealous protean cult to the Speakers of the Depths on the planet. Proteans are largest group of non haunted life on the planet, which has made researches speculate on whether they were behind the accident that killed Morph-WW-NTD-4's civilization or if the portal connected to the Maelstrom. Either way, proteans consider planet holy to their faith and as usual haven't been cooperative with researchers.

On curious side note, researches lately discovered that one of the islands on the planet is home to colossal Skittermander calling themselves "Home". "Home"'s body is hive to thousands of microscopic to tiny sized shapeshifting organism. These organism are sapient and smallest of them behave as "Home"'s cells. "Home"'s doesn't know how they ended up on the planet, how their grow to their size or how they came to host entire tiny civilization inside them, but they are really happy about it. Researchers eventually gave up on figuring this out and concluded "It has to be the proteans' fault somehow".

...Yeah, I don't have experience in writing up my ideas so I felt super nervous to post this in the "I shouldn't post it, its gonna sound dumb since I can't write it well" but did it anyway to get dat practice :'D


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This turned out far longer than I had intended, but since there doesn't appear to be any restrictions on length:

It all started, like many situations involving skittermanders, with someone who needed help. In this case, it was the Children of the Ilee, a sect of Oras-worshiping astrazoans, who sought to bring themselves closer to their hypothetical ancestors by shaping their bodies into unique forms through genetic manipulation and physical modification. They also searched for sites of genetic volatility across the galaxy in the hopes of finding some clue to the ilee’s history or whereabouts. One such site was Fros-Nartrok VI, a shallow ocean planet far out in the Vast. The Children yearned to send a scientific expedition to this planet but lacked any starships that could make such an extensive journey and the funds to hire someone to take them just as far.

By happenstance, a skittermander by the name of Thrush caught word of the astrazoans’ dilemma. As the owner and head of Thrush’s Stellar Courier Service, he had the ships and crew to transport the Children to Fros-Nartrok VI, and being more concerned with helping people than making a profit, he offered the services of his ships and crew at a steep discount. The grateful Children accepted the offer, and an expedition set out within days. Unfortunately, their trip was not easy and by the time they exited the Drift, every ship’s Drift engine had been critically damaged, cutting them off from Absalom Station.

While they had not intended to stay on Fros-Nartrok VI permanently, the Children of the Ilee fell back on their patron deity’s teachings and adapted to their situation. With the help of Thrush and his skittermanders, they converted their starships into floating homes and labs and began studying their new home world.

The astrazoans made incredible discoveries within days. Much of the planet’s biomass was incredibly receptive to genetic manipulation and integration, almost as if it had been tailormade to be so. Some of the most noteworthy discoveries included strains of zoo- and phytoplankton which could boost a host’s charm and speaking skills to incredible levels and a strand of DNA within a species of kelp that could grow or shrink a host by several degrees.
The Children of the Ilee determined that the trials they had faced had been set by Oras, and that Fros-Nartrok VI was their god’s reward to them. The skittermanders continued to help where they could with zeal, often volunteering for many of the astrazoans’ experiments. The future appeared bright for the impromptu colony. What they couldn’t have accounted for were the proteans.

Unbeknownst to anyone, a planar tear to the Maelstrom opened beneath the waters of Fros-Nartrok VI centuries ago. In that time, an entire chorus of proteans had streamed through, turning the planet into their playground as they infused the flora and fauna with the chaotic strangeness of their home plane. These capillary-sized links to the Maelstrom allowed the astrazoans to easily integrate themselves with the planet’s biomass, but it also gave the proteans new toys to play with.

Without warning, many of the astrazoans and skittermanders who had integrated DNA from the planet into their bodies began mutating, courtesy of the proteans own genetic manipulation. Naturally, there was no rhyme or reasons to the mutations. One astrazoan’s limbs grew several meters in length before their entire body shrunk to the size of a golf ball. Gray, stringy moss sprouted out of a skittermander’s head while his eyes shone like spotlights and he began exhale bubbles of pink gas.

Many of those affected by these mutations perished, yet even this wasn’t the end of their troubles. Either due to the chaotic energy of the Maelstrom, their soul’s frustration at having their life cut short by the very practice they admired, or some combination of the two, several of those mutated rose again as ghosts. Nicknamed “gene-geists” by the survivors, these lost souls skim across the surface of Fros-Nartrok VI, seeking out their still living kin or wandering aimlessly. Astrazoan gene-geists vent their frustrations on those they find, while skittermander gene-geists attempt to help those they once knew in life, inevitably doing more harm than good in the process.

The survivors attempted to fight back, but as they were stocked for an extensive scientific expedition, they lacked the combat material and expertise to put up a strong front against the proteans. Worse yet, by some fluke the Children and their skittermander allies arrived on the planet with no technomancers, mystics, or other magical resources, preventing them from locating or closing the planar rift via magic.

Now the remaining Children of the Ilee are at an impasse. Some wish to salvage their onetime starships and try to rebuild at least one Drift engine and escape. Some want to find some technological solution to locating and closing the planar rift while banishing the proteans in the process. Others feel that this is the ultimate task set by Oras and they must further adapt their bodies to handle the primal chaos of the Maelstrom itself. While the Children are at no risk of fracturing, they are deadlocked until someone or something can sway them in one direction or another. No matter what happens, Thrush and his skittermanders remain nearby, ready to help when they’re needed most.


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A watery jewel in a system of four planets, Demlos teems with life, but its two sentient species are recent immigrants. More than two hundred years ago a colony of Oras-worshipping astrazoans arrived on Demlos, fleeing the ravages of the Stardust Plague and following visions revealed to their prophet and leader, Taglozan. They settled on one of the planet's largest continents, a marshy expanse similar to the lowland jungles of Castrovel from which they'd originally traveled. Taglozan and his followers believed themselves to be the chosen vessels for one of Oras' greatest miracles of evolution—the awakening of an entire planet as a single, living organism.

Over the next hundred and fifty years the astrazoan colonists erected temples and shrines across the planet according to the plans revealed by Taglozan and his chosen successor, Ressog. The planet's structure, ecosystems and natural dynamics made it an ideal location for their work. Without any magic beyond that of their faith and well-established bioengineering principles and technology, the astrazoans manipulated and managed the planet's latent energy in order to jumpstart a chain reaction. The work proceed steadily but its scope rapidly grew beyond their ability to effectively manage.

Taglozan refused suggestions to invite androids or anacites from Aballon to assist them in the creation of more extensive and intricate technological infrastructure. He emphasized the importance of the inherently biological nature of their work and the need to reduce possible corruption of these forces and processes. Eventually, one of the colony's leading priests, Ressog, suggested inviting a colony of skittermanders to immigrate to Demlos. The Silent War with the Veskarium was well over a hundred years old by then, and knowledge of the good-natured, inherently helpful administrators of the vesk empire's bureaucracy had become well-known throughout the Pact Worlds. The story of the liberation of many skittermanders from under the noses of their vesk overseers remains a popular legend among Demlos' astrazoans—for their part, the skittermanders tell the story differently, but they enjoy helping the astrazoans to feel a sense of patriotic pride in duping the vesk.

Shortly after the skittermanders had settled on Demlos and been introduced to "the work", as most inhabitants of the planet referred to their divine mandate, Taglozan set in motion the events that would create the "spark"—the start of the chain reaction that would someday culminate in the planet itself becoming a sentient organism. Beginning with Taglozan himself, thousands of astrazoans sacrificed themselves in carefully orchestrated rituals by melding their unique physiology with the planet's native flora and fauna. The spiritual energy released by these rituals infused the carefully nurtured kelp forests that covered most of the planet, sparking in them a rudimentary intelligence, functioning like a neural network on a planetary scale. The spirits of these faithful Orasians remain linked to the temple sites and shrines scattered across the planet, serving as eternal guardians over these spiritual "nodes" in the planet's evolving neural network.

In the wake of the project's initial—and to some, unexpected—success, leadership of the sect passed to Ressog. Although a believer and capable administrator, Ressog lacked his predecessor's depth of faith and vision. After two hundred years, generations of astrazoans had been born on Demlos and not all of these shared the religion's devotion to the work. Some still labor toward fulfillment of the work set in motion by Taglozan, but most inhabitants have succumb to a more libertarian love of free-wheeling freedom, partly inspired by the cultural influence of the planet's rapidly expanding skittermander population. Recently, slipshod attention to the orthodox traditions laid down by Taglozan by a team of researchers more interested in their own gain and fame than the fulfillment of Taglozan's vision caused a near catastrophe. They accidentally created a pulsating planar portal on the site of an Orasian shrine that serves as a node in the planet's neural network. The amplification of energy infused by the planet's semi-consciousness into the portal released a muddle of proteans the size of large animals. The proteans have infested the site and, as one group disappears, another takes its place. Authorities are worried that, unless something is done to repair the damage to the node, the corruption could spread to additional nodes in the planet's neural network.


I don't exactly see where to post anything about my world aside from here, but here's an idea I've had for a world for quite a long time.

Meon Apxia could be widely considered to be a medieval world populated by various fantasy creatures, it is a densely forested planet with vast oceans and seven distinct races. Elves rule the central empire on the main continent and have the highest influence on the rest of the world, orcs native here focus on proving their might through various means and tend to be slightly more intelligent and less barbaric than the most widely accepted species of orcs. The drow live in the caverns and at the base of mountains, while the dwarfs live in volcanos, using the magma to forge unparalleled materials while also building mechanized steam powered vehicles for deep earth mining. Humans and Vesk are not native to this world, but they can be found in small communities in the Elven capitol and in small developing colonies. Dragons aren't considered a social race or even one of the dominant races, but are respected and treated as such during the planet's most dire time of need.

The Elves came to be the dominant race on this world through a treaty with the dwarfs, the drow, the orcs, and dragons to all ally together under a single banner under threat of an invading force. A renegade faction of Vesk seeking a foothold on a world sought to invade this weaker planet that was lacking in technology. Before invading they abducted several locals and soldiers to perform experiments on them and test their strength in combat, it is in the prisons of this flagship where a small human population was being kept. These humans staged a breakout and riots and panic ensued allowing for a large portion of abductees and prisoners to escape in the escape pods along with a small faction of the renegade Vesk who wanted to escape the tyranny of their leader. Those that escaped managed to warn the elven emperor of the dangers that were to come, and the humans that landed played a part by modifying the pods to have flight capabilities and the Vesk proved themselves to the locals by helping make weapons to fight.

The elves hurried to gather everyone they could ally with and made a plan, a small faction of soldiers would be loaded into the pods and fly up while a ground army would fight the Vesk and hold them off. The fight itself was a magnificent one, dragons taking down Vesk fighter ships and Vesk shooting down dragons, waves of militia getting blasted at by the enemy fighters while magic and steel was all that could protect them. While the main force of Vesk were distracted the strike team took the pods up to the flagship and invaded, managing to slay the Vesk leader and use the master control switch in the flagship to deactivate the fighter ships. (This is normally to prevent fighters from going renegade but provides a fatal weakness should it be implemented. Forced into submission the remaining Vesk were forced to sign a treaty as victory had been had that day.

Using designs from the flagship the Elven Empire began to rapidly advance beyond modernization, the infrastructure remaining mostly the same and new buildings taking on a more futuristic look. The capitol became the most advanced and culturally diverse area in the world and houses the only spaceport for ships seeking to land. The rest of the world is in a rush to catch up but the Elves have the technology to out power the rest of their world.

Now Orcs and Vesk compete for power and dominance in the southeastern marshes and there's a small population of humans who have integrated into drow, elven and dwarvish societies. Neither human nor vesk has their own foothold on the planet, but both have managed to make small colonies in various areas. Rumors circulate of Vesk insurrection and another fleet rumored to be summoned but those might possibly be rumors alone. This planet remains neutral to the rest of the universe's affairs, having only one route to trade with other worlds to a small trading post that connects to much larger ones elsewhere. This leads to a reputation of being a very unknown world in the larger universe, but while also consequentially making the locals very ignorant to the rest of the universe.

(Just a little note here, just assume most flora and fauna are of a typical fantasy setting.)

As for the species little has been spoken on until this point such as the Drow, very little is known about them on this world, but upon the rise of technology they began practicing special blood magics to improve their weapons and armors to help better stand a chance against these new threats. The Dwarves are isolationists that used to be the most modern society on the planet, until the elves took that spot, now they seek to compete with the elves and race to uncover the secrets of space-faring, having opened themselves up to humans and foreigners from the stars hoping to uncover their secrets. The Orcs care very little for the affairs of others, but seek honor through combat, their laws dictate if one wants to step foot in their land they must do unarmed and unarmored combat against their chief or someone the chief selects in his place, the orcs have modernized the least but hold a larger portion of territory than the other races due to rapid expansion. Dragons are thought to have been the ones who brought these species to this world during the time of "The Gap" they are a mysterious kind who act intelligently, but it is unclear what their motivations are, they all live on a small singular continent north of the main land, but the emperor of the elves can communicate to their leader through the crown he wears on his head.

To leave or enter the planet legally there must be special permission granted by the Elven Empire, but should the chief of the orcs, the queen of the drow, and the council of dwarfs all agree to grant one permission or request someone to enter then the Elevn Emporer would have to grant that individual or individuals special permissions as per an agreement signed known as the Void Seeker agreement. If one is to crash then their best hope is that they aren't near an Elven settlement as they would be detained for illegal entry into their world, but if they land far enough away then they would have a chance to appeal to each of the main legal bodies mentioned in the agreement for permissions to travel to and from the planet itself. The Elves are very territorial and became rather secretive and possessive of advanced technology after claiming the spoils of battle from the Vesk. This has resulted in the humans and vesk being stuck on the planet after fending off the invasion with no way off, totally disarmed of technology and the few that do know some things work for the Elven empire as that was the nation who claimed them first upon their arrival. However a few of the orcish soldiers from the pod strike force did pick up some schematics for various combat technologies such as guns, and advanced armors allowing for the race to have a small amount of advanced weaponry. This makes the orcs the only race on the planet aside from the elves that guns and ammo can be bought from, despite being a lower quality and lower supply.

As for religion there is a common belief that the dragons are actually angels sent to save and protect them, but there is no evidence to substantiate this claim. The god who is thought to have sent them is named Eilger. Nothing is known about this diety or if he or she even exists but small churches to the diety can be found across the globe praising the one who was thought to have spared them and protects them in their times of need.

Dark Archive

Xenoture wrote:

I don't exactly see where to post anything about my world aside from here, but here's an idea I've had for a world for quite a long time.

Meon Apxia could be widely considered to be a medieval world populated by various fantasy creatures, it is a densely forested planet with vast oceans and seven distinct races. Elves rule the central empire on the main continent and have the highest influence on the rest of the world, orcs native here focus on proving their might through various means and tend to be slightly more intelligent and less barbaric than the most widely accepted species of orcs. The drow live in the caverns and at the base of mountains, while the dwarfs live in volcanos, using the magma to forge unparalleled materials while also building mechanized steam powered vehicles for deep earth mining. Humans and Vesk are not native to this world, but they can be found in small communities in the Elven capitol and in small developing colonies. Dragons aren't considered a social race or even one of the dominant races, but are respected and treated as such during the planet's most dire time of need.

The Elves came to be the dominant race on this world through a treaty with the dwarfs, the drow, the orcs, and dragons to all ally together under a single banner under threat of an invading force. A renegade faction of Vesk seeking a foothold on a world sought to invade this weaker planet that was lacking in technology. Before invading they abducted several locals and soldiers to perform experiments on them and test their strength in combat, it is in the prisons of this flagship where a small human population was being kept. These humans staged a breakout and riots and panic ensued allowing for a large portion of abductees and prisoners to escape in the escape pods along with a small faction of the renegade Vesk who wanted to escape the tyranny of their leader. Those that escaped managed to warn the elven emperor of the dangers that were to come, and the humans that landed played a part by modifying the pods...

I think its okay to just make your own thread in homebrew section for it since I don't think there is specific thread for setting ideas in any of sections.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Quelvai is the result of proteans—likely of surpassing power—dragging small fragments of the Plane of Water and the Boneyard into the Material Plane, playing with them for a few millennia...and then, as the fickle proteans will, abruptly getting bored and abandoning their toy.

Still further millennia later, an Ilee exploration ship crash-landed. The survivors, in an attempt to adapt and preserve resources, shaped themselves into malleable semiaquatic forms the approximate size of house cats. Their descendants have never either directly confirmed nor denied that they were "nudged" in that direction by the glowing kelp-like seaweeds among which they make their homes. One way or another: it's known that the seaweeds resist any attempt to study them too deeply unless "permission" is asked—be that directly, or via the kelp-dwellers.

The origin of the other sapient inhabitants of Quelvai is more of a mystery. When a ship landed a hemisphere away from the kelp-dwellers, reports given of multilegged swimming creatures—human-sized or larger—were originally dismissed until a group of them approached a research platform.

They clambered out of the ocean on four pairs of webbed claws, rising onto the hindmost set to heights of over seven feet, their sleek, mottled blue pelts shedding water. The word "strovion!" is said to have been muttered by a vesk security officer as she reached for her sidearm.

Upon seeing this, the foremost of the newcomers raised his hands—all six wrists decorated with seashell bracers—in a conciliatory gesture, and addressed the researchers in heavily-accented Vesk:

"Greetings, nufriends! How can we help you?"

The strangely-altered skittermanders seemed to be unwilling or unable to explain how, exactly, it was that their forebears had gotten there. A few cryptic statements regarding how Quelvai must have somehow needed them were all that was forthcoming.

On a darker note: both groups of sapients have warned off-worlders that people who die with unfinished business "tend not to stay dead" unless the proper rituals have been performed. This has since proven to be more than mere superstition, and is attributed to the shattered and warped shards of the Boneyard which still rest at the core of the world.

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