A Galaxy Of Character Options

Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Starfinder Galaxy Exploration Manual has released, opening up not just brave new frontiers of exploration, but also unleashing a wealth of new character options to enable your PCs’ space-traveling hijinks! Each character class receives two pages of fresh possibilities. While creating these new operative exploits, mystic connections, and more, our authors and development team considered what challenges PCs often face when investigating an unfamiliar site, culture, or environment, as well as the ways wilderness-focused adventures open up new opportunities for dynamic encounters and novel PC tactics. Let’s take a look!

Surviving the Great, Itchy Outdoors

Your armor’s environmental protections might shield you from the worst temperature fluctuations and breathability issues, yet wilderness adventures are rife with other threats and nuisances. This rain is messing up my ranged attacks. Is that plant poisonous, venomous, carnivorous, or all of the above? How are we supposed to survive on this planet with high gravity and constant lightning strikes? Also, gah, how did swamp water get into my powered armor?!

Fortunately, we have a wealth of tools for identifying, surviving, and even exploiting environmental hazards. The mechanic packs a new trick called sample scanner, which lets you plug small material samples into your exocortex and have it analyze the material to tell you everything you want to know about that weird rock formation or unfamiliar flora you’re investigating. Ever had your armor’s environmental protections run dry while you’re halfway across a trackless continent? Maybe you want the technomancer’s magic hack extend protections, which can recharge your armor’s batteries using leftover spell slots. As a witchwarper, why not borrow environmental resistances from an alternate version of yourself with the paradigm shift shifting adaptation? Or laugh off any hazard with the soldier’s rover fighting style, which helps you shrug off discomfort while clambering over just about anything the galaxy throws at you.

Does that sound too rugged and confident? Would you rather play the shaky character who’s entirely unhappy about being cold, wet, unconnected to the infosphere, and convinced that everything is out to eat you? To my delight, the envoy boasts some delightful new improvisations that turn your shouts of “Aah, what’s that? AAAAH, what’s THAT?!” into powerful tools. Convince animals and vermin to leave, thank you very much, with the shoo! improvisation. Or signal that something is strange and very wrong with early warning. You can even redirect your companions’ readied action triggers, changing these to react to a strange new threat with changing circumstances.

An armored ysoki soldier wielding a machete

Art by Mirco Paganess

Getting From Here to There

Alright, we’re alive. Fantastic! Now we just need to get to that exploring part. So how exactly are we going to navigate this alien wilderness again?

Look no further than a host of new options dedicated to finding paths through difficult conditions. How about your mystic, whose trailblazer connection allows you to bond with environments, helping you sense the safest trails through deadly areas? Stuck in mud, pinned by a hungry ksarik, spinning helplessly in zero-g, or gazing forlornly at a ravine you can’t jump? That sounds like the perfect time for your witchwarper to teleport to safety with the dimensional extraction paradigm shift. If piloting a vehicle for hours on end sounds tedious, maybe it’s time you snagged that artificial pilot mechanic trick, which turns your drone into a capable driver. Or when the GM throws hazards in your way, just shout no…by activating new vanguard disciplines like blaze a trail (which lets you disintegrate difficult terrain as you move through it) or Blast Through (which lets you break huge obstacles with remarkable ease).


A human vanguard bursting through vines with her shield

Art by Tuan Duaong Chu

We Jump Together!

One of my favorite components of wilderness encounters is varying elevation, and the Galaxy Exploration Manual provides tons of ways for you to navigate, exploit, and just outright enjoy altitude differences.

Need a boost? The biohacker can learn locomotive adaptation and its advanced version as theorems, granting allies climb or swim speeds to navigate difficult obstacles. Once you’re up high, your operative might want the high-ground sniper exploit, which gives your sniper weapons an extra punch when you strike from above—and let’s not forget that wildernesses often involve longer encounter distances, which can make snipers really shine!

But perhaps my favorite abilities are the ones that embrace the inevitable: that PCs eventually need to descend quickly to escape trouble or join a melee. Why not do it in style? That biohacker can also learn the theorem cushion the blow, which lets you buffer a companion against falling damage (or even against incoming bludgeoning attacks). Or just embrace the falling damage with the solarian revelation heavy landing, which transfers that falling damage into your weapon, allowing you to strike someone with impossible force! It’s abilities like these that excite me as I imagine bold character’s shouting “Check this out” before pulling some absurd-yet-effective acrobatics.

A phentomite free runner leaping over a wall

Art by Alex Stone

A Bonus for Every Biome

And that’s just a taste of the class-specific options—each biome article includes even more! In alaxy Exploration Manual you’ll also find:

  • Aerobatic feats for aerial biomes
  • Underwater weapons for aquatic biomes
  • Rugged armor for arctic biomes
  • Tough vehicles for traveling desert biomes
  • New creature companions for forest and weird biomes
  • Feats for blending into marsh biomes
  • Earth spells for mastering mountain biomes
  • Sniper rifles to show off in plains biomes
  • Biotech augmentations to navigate space biomes
  • Weapon fusions to defend yourself in subterranean biomes
  • New feats to navigate and make friends in urban biomes
  • Plus a ton of new gear for all occasions

So check out the Galaxy Exploration Manual, and open up infinite possibilities for your characters!

John Compton
Starfinder Senior Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Galaxy Exploration Manual Starfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Not to be that guy, but...

Blog wrote:
The Starfinder Galaxy Operations Manual has released...

should read

Quote:
The Starfinder Galaxy Exploration Manual has released...

hides back under his rock

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Gotta take a look at this at some point, but I have to say that a lot of the examples in this blog feel -very- niche.
(How often you get to shoot stuff from a high vantage point, or how often you fall down in combat to a position where you can still take part in the fight, to justify spending resources on making you better at those things?)

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

avagdu wrote:

Not to be that guy, but...

Blog wrote:
The Starfinder Galaxy Operations Manual has released...

should read

Quote:
The Starfinder Galaxy Exploration Manual has released...
hides back under his rock

Thanks. Fixing.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

I'm honestly excited the biohacker finally got options to morph enemies and allies. It felt weird that a science fiction bioengineer mad scientist type of class did not have options for changing appearance and genetic mutations.


GM Tomppa wrote:

Gotta take a look at this at some point, but I have to say that a lot of the examples in this blog feel -very- niche.

(How often you get to shoot stuff from a high vantage point, or how often you fall down in combat to a position where you can still take part in the fight, to justify spending resources on making you better at those things?)

The fall in combat one for Solarion is actually very feasible with defy gravity. Fly up as part of your movement, then allow yourself to fall, standard action strike.

Liberty's Edge

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

I've really been enjoying this book, and the character options are cool AF :D

Now I just have to hope they become Society legal so I can get even *more* piloting/vehicle things on my Operative!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Senior Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
avagdu wrote:

Not to be that guy, but...

Blog wrote:
The Starfinder Galaxy Operations Manual has released...

should read

Quote:
The Starfinder Galaxy Exploration Manual has released...
hides back under his rock

After hundreds of times writing that title and telling myself I was eventually going to flub the name into an Operations Manual…it happens on a blog! :-p

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