Starfinder Society Faction Preview: The Cognates

Thursday, March 31, 2022

A quartet of Starfinders travel to the distant horizon on an unknown planet. Starships streak across the sky.

Illustration by Michele Giorgi


Hello Starfinders!
Earlier this month, we announced Starfinder Society Year 5: Year of Redemption’s Rise. While the previous blog post is packed full of information on the year itself, today we’re focusing on one of the new factions you can expect to see in the Year of Redemption’s Rise: the Cognates! For more information on the Advocates, check out Starfinder Society Faction Preview: The Advocates.

The Cognates

In the aftermath of the Data Scourge, a growing number of Starfinders lost their faith in technology and Guidance, sparking an anti-technological movement that swept through the Starfinder ranks. Led by Royo, and joined by the countless agents whose lives have been altered for the worse by technology, the movement caused heated debate between agents. After First Seeker Ehu Hadif opened a dialogue with Royo and his fellows, the movement solidified into a new minor faction, the Cognates. While some Cognates still aim to eschew technology completely, the faction now focuses on a multi-disciplinary methodology.

Royo, Illustration by Bruno Cesar
Artist Bruno Cesar: The ysoki Starfinder Royo stands dressed in an old-fashioned tweed suit, clutching old books under one arm and examining a pocket watch.

Faction Leader: Royo (LN male ysoki). A well-respected member of the Forum, the elected ruling body of the Starfinder Society, Royo is a scholar who believes information and a thorough education should be accessible to everyone, regardless of status, wealth, or connections. Denouncing the impermanence and mutability of digital data, he maintains a massive archive of physical manuscripts and tomes spread across facilities in countless star systems. Royo’s beliefs often lead him into disagreements with the Dataphiles.

Motto: Diversity in knowledge, unity in purpose.

Objectives: Cognates believe technology is but a single tool in a well-stocked toolkit, and that over-reliance on any one discipline, such as the Starfinder Society’s current over-reliance on technology, is close-minded, dangerous, and ineffective. Instead, Cognates focus on a multi-disciplinary approach to innovation, operations, and problem-solving, including natural, magical, and low-tech analog methodologies, to form a balanced and secure foundation for the Society.

Year 5 Goal: The Cognates aim to reduce the Starfinder Society’s dangerous over-reliance on technology, including Guidance, and refocus instead on magical and natural innovations, along with analog and other low-tech solutions.


Four colored lines form a pair of interlocking elongated hexagons.

Illustration by Luis Fernando Mesquita


Boons: Like all our factions, the Cognates have a slate of unique boons available for purchase with Achievement Points by members of the Cognates faction with the appropriate amount of Reputation. Today we’re revealing three of these boons! Note that these boons are not yet final and may change slightly before release.

Multidisciplinary Approach (Social Boon):
The Cognates believe that a multidisciplinary approach to knowledge is fundamental to the future stability of the Starfinder Society, and you have cultivated contacts in a variety of fields of study. When slotting this boon, select either Life Science, Mysticism, or Physical Science. You gain a circumstance bonus to that skill check equal to half your current Cognates Reputation Tier (rounding up).
Other Notes: 5+ Reputation with Cognates
AcP Cost: 4

Prudent Technophobe (Slotless Boon):
You know well the dangers of technology and have trained to protect yourself from technological foes. You gain a +1 insight bonus to AC against attacks from a creature with the technological subtype.
Other Notes: 15+ Reputation with Cognates
AcP Cost: 4

Portable Archive (Slotless Boon):
You maintain a detailed, well-indexed physical archive, such as a book or collection of essays, which you always keep with you and can reference on the fly. During an adventure, when you attempt a skill check to recall knowledge, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to reference your portable archive. If you do so, you roll the skill check twice and keep the higher result. Referencing your portable archive takes 10 minutes.
Other Notes: 25+ Reputation with Cognates
AcP Cost: 4

I hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak peek at the upcoming Cognates faction! Come back mid-April when we discuss the Starfinder Society’s third minor faction, the Manifold Host!

Wishing you all the best, Starfinders!

Jessica Catalan
Starfinder Society Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Factions Organized Play Starfinder Society Starfinder Society Scenarios
Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsebo) 5/5 5/55/55/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ahhh.. I love datapads for convenience but there's nothing like the smell of old books.

Acquisitives 1/5 5/5

"Back home,after the dragons came back to do their corporate takeover shenanigans the best way to defeat them was to keep everything off the datanets and in hard-copy. Of course, that hard-copy had to be dragon-proofed with many decoys created, but the older ways helped us."

Second Seekers (Jadnura) 1/5 5/55/5

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yeeeeesssssss, finally, my wanton trash-talking of healthy skepticism towards Guidance has paid off! Looking forwards to this new faction!


So uh, not sure if serious, considering the date.

Grand Lodge 3/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's a faction that's been talked about in blog posts for over a month now and was posted March 31st Paizo time. If it's an April Fool's joke it's not a very good one.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Organized Play Coordinator

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Kishmo wrote:
Yeeeeesssssss, finally, my wanton trash-talking of healthy skepticism towards Guidance has paid off! Looking forwards to this new faction!

You and me both, buddy. I ain't trust that AI for a nanosecond.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Organized Play Coordinator

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dubious Scholar wrote:
So uh, not sure if serious, considering the date.

It's legit, we don't do pranks for April Fool's, just nonsense :)

Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Agent, Finland—Tampere

This does kind of work for my pro magic character sort of, but need to finish gathering Edu Hadif reputation for that one ;P


The Cognates have a point: Paper doesn't crash . . . .

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

My characters mostly hit people with manifested or physical weapons... maybe that's a good fit as far as the factions are concerned.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

1 person marked this as a favorite.
UnArcaneElection wrote:

The Cognates have a point: Paper doesn't crash . . . .

But it will burn, get eaten, fade in the sun, it is easy to rip apart.

Wayfinders 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ** Contributor

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Now I find myself wanting to make an SRO mechanic and put it in this faction! The multidisciplinary approach is wonderful though, as is the motto! And I simply love this art for Royo!

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsebo) 5/5 5/55/55/5

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"I do feel i have to note that the goals of analog media and accessibility seem almost mutually exclusive. There are many laudable advantages to analog media but accessibility isn't one of them. A book in a library is only available to one person at a time, and only to those people geographically close to the library.. forget about planetary distances. A digital book is available to everyone in the pact worlds or veskarium in 6 days at most and is infinitely expandable to meet demand. A lecture hall can hold 100 students, but millions can tune into a podcast on Quabarat Universities "The Great Courses of Celestial bodies.. "


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gary Bush wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

The Cognates have a point: Paper doesn't crash . . . .

But it will burn, get eaten, fade in the sun, it is easy to rip apart.

Electronics and their media also burn, can be caused to deteriorate by a variety of processes including biological, are susceptible to damage by adverse electromagnetic conditions including solar flares, and are easily crushed.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Fortunately, technology in the Pact Worlds has long since plateaued, so you avoid the problem of "Oh, yeah, all that data we recorded 20 years ago? None of our current computers can read it."

Dataphiles

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Alex Speidel wrote:
Kishmo wrote:
Yeeeeesssssss, finally, my wanton trash-talking of healthy skepticism towards Guidance has paid off! Looking forwards to this new faction!
You and me both, buddy. I ain't trust that AI for a nanosecond.

Awww, poor Guidey! What'd they ever to to anyone to deserve that?

Aside from, y'know... the things...
I think my first duty as First Seeker will be to rename this faction to 'Evil Luddite Agitators'! Who will vote for me? :D

Nah seriously, love the idea for this faction, can't wait to see how they mesh with the others!

Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Agent, Finland—Tampere

I do sense pattern of robo discrimination here ;D

But yeah, best form of analog media if you want something to last forever?

Stone slabs :P

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsebo) 5/5 5/55/55/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:

I do sense pattern of robo discrimination here ;D

But yeah, best form of analog media if you want something to last forever?

Stone slabs :P

"Tell that to those guys who don't know there's supposed to be 15 commandments"

Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Agent, Finland—Tampere

Justin Norveg wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

I do sense pattern of robo discrimination here ;D

But yeah, best form of analog media if you want something to last forever?

Stone slabs :P

"Tell that to those guys who don't know there's supposed to be 15 commandments"

Never seen stone break that easily :D

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsebo) 5/5 5/55/55/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:


Never seen stone break that easily :D

"It's because laws are so easy to break.

ow ow ow.. oh come on you walked into that one ow ow ow a paper medium would be great right now now ow ow ow..."

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

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Don't miss the EN World interview, "The Starfinder Society and the Future of the Starfinder Galaxy", in which Linda Zayas-Palmer, Organized Play Managing Developer, and Jessica Catalan, Starfinder Society Season Developer, talk about the Starfinder Society, the state of the Starfinder galaxy, and what’s to come!

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Learn more about The Advocates! Watch: "A New Faction! Starfinder Society Special Report 2022 - Know Direction: Beyond"


John Mangrum wrote:
Fortunately, technology in the Pact Worlds has long since plateaued, so you avoid the problem of "Oh, yeah, all that data we recorded 20 years ago? None of our current computers can read it."

It hasn't plateaued, it has asceneded.

"Oh, yeah, all of that data on an alien computer system in an unknown language that we discovered 20 seconds algo? We can easily hack it."

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