There’s my favorite customer in the world! I’ve been looking all over the Grand Bazaar for you. I’m so glad you agreed to meet me after dark. It’s much more comfortable without that burning sun and fewer prying eyes. I don’t share my secrets with just anyone and I know you’ve been looking forward to my upcoming shipments. A night market is the best market, I’ve always said so. Except, have you ever been shopping in Shadow Absalom? No? Well next time dearie, let’s meet there!
Ichor slinger from Pathfinder Book of the Dead by Carl Springer.
Now, take a good sip of my Tomb Juice™ and let’s get started. I’ve smuggled, er, procured some tantalizing tidbits from my upcoming subscription releases. You’ll find a piece of art and a bit of introductory text to get a feel for what’s coming soon. They are not complete introductions, mind you, because I obtained these under less than legal, er, less than ideal conditions. Still, I think you’ll be pleased and intrigued, dearie. You know how much I like to give free samples.
“Welcome to the Dark Archive
My future and fellow Archivists,
The Dark Archive is no more, except for me. When the Pathfinder Society announced that our faction was to be dissolved, absorbed into its other departments, I grabbed the files I could and left before they could stop me. These pages are all that remain of our faction’s records, and I am all that remains of our membership.
This world of ours is strange, isn’t it? I muse on this idea more often than I care to admit, vital though it may be to our work. The most common description of the Dark Archive is that we “investigate the paranormal” and that’s... true, but it’s a description by negation. If we are to turn our gaze to the “paranormal”, first we must ask: what is normal?
We know a staggering number of things about our world. We know of its general size and diversity of terrain, as well as a vast majority of the peoples and creatures that inhabit it. We know of the void that hangs above it, and that other worlds, some with peoples and creatures of their own, lie across that void, or even on other planes of existence. Beyond even this, consider all the endeavors that have expanded the normal even further. Consider the fields of alchemy and the burgeoning craft of clockwork engineering. Consider the magic that we have split into schools, the meticulous cataloging of its sources that we have uncovered and explored. This is all within the boundaries of the normal.
I apologize for being long-winded; I wanted to provide enough description to, hopefully, plant in you the same question that drives each of us, that defines our work, that first brought me, far too many years ago, to the Dark Archive’s doorstep: what could there possibly be left to find?
This is what we mean by “paranormal.” Though some might recoil in fear from such unknowns, my hope is that they excite you. In these casefiles, I’ve done my best to compile every lead we collected in the course of our efforts to part the strands of the unknown that keep us from uncovering the truth as we gaze into the darkness.”
“Welcome to our latest guidebook, Golarion’s Finest Guide to the Inner Sea!
Are you a world-spanning traveler from Arcadia or Tian Xia, planning the trek of a lifetime across the numerous and varied lands of the Inner Sea? Are you a lifelong dweller in one region of the Inner Sea who now craves a different view? Or are you simply an avid armchair tourist, looking to discover more about this diverse and exciting region from the comfort of your own home? If any of these apply to you, then this is the guide you’re looking for!
The Inner Sea region is truly enticing and sensational, full of culture, stories, and traditions across its stunning range of nations and peoples, not to mention its rugged landscapes and enduring mysteries. In this comprehensive guide, you will be delighted to learn all about this fabulous region! We explore aspects from history to religion to cuisine to fashion—and that’s just the beginning! In addition to a broad overview with all kinds of fascinating and unexpected details, we’ve also included wondrous illustrations, maps, and diagrams throughout!
Within these thrilling pages, you’ll find everything you need to know to enrich your travels, no matter their scope or purpose. We present you with the most up-to-date information to help you orchestrate your wanderings or delight your dinner guests with your newfound knowledge. We help you determine precisely where to go and what to see. Even the seasoned traveler who’s spent considerable time already in any of the nations of the Inner Sea will be amazed at the depth and breadth of our guide. Which Varisian or Taldan festivals should be on your schedule? Which games should you try in Oppara or Nantambu? What should you wear to the opera in Westcrown or the theater in Almas? Is there ever a good reason to head into the Eye of Dread? We answer these questions—and thousands more!”
“Only the Desperate and the Brave.” So reads the proud motto of the town of Falcon’s Hollow, for here on the fringes of Andoran, in the shadow of the looming volcano known as Droskar’s Crag, the dim, mist-laden forests are prowled by feral beasts, ravenous monsters, and the restless souls of the dead. Once, a great dwarven kingdom brought safety and stability to the region, but that all ended with the wakening of Droskar’s Crag during the apocalypse known today as the Rending. For too long did sibilant whispers ride the vale winds after nightfall in the aftermath of this disaster, and during those desperate years, evil took root in the hidden places deep below. Today, the land has recovered from the volcanic eruption, and as is humanity’s wont, settlers have returned to the region. “Only the Desperate and the Brave” came to build Falcon’s Hollow, and time has appeared to reward that desperation and bravery, for now their home feels relatively safe and secure.
This is all a lie, for what awaits the people of Falcon’s Hollow deep below might well be doom adorned with a bloodstained crown.”
“The undead-populated nation of Geb is the principal food exporter to many nations throughout the Inner Sea. Few foreigners hold the undead nation or its melancholic ghost king with anything other than distaste, but they’ve come to rely on Geb’s cheap, zombie-raised food. That reliance puts these nations at a significant risk when the ghost king’s scheming right-hand vampire looks to sacrifice thousands for his personal power.
Geb, the infamous necromancer, founded the nation millennia ago. After his earth-scorching war with the archmage Nex ground to a halt, Geb found no passion for ruling and no meaning without his rivalry, so he ended his life, but arose as a ghost. No more interested in rulership as a ghost than he had as a living man, Geb mostly retreated from public view and entrusted control of the country to his 60 apprentices, the Blood Lords.
The Blood Lords swiftly secured an iron grip on the nation. They leveraged Geb’s rival economic factions to cement this control, playing the factions off each other and maneuvering Geb’s people and assets like pawns in a great game. Fearing old age and refusing to share power, many Blood Lords transformed themselves into undead. Some of today’s Blood Lords are the same scheming necromancers who originally served Geb while he lived.”
Starfinder has more than 100 unique species available for you to choose from when creating a player character. These species have appeared across hardcovers, Adventure Paths, Starfinder Society scenarios, and even the Alien Character Deck. With such a wide breadth of options already, this book provides more depth on 25 of those playable species—many of which were selected to appear in this book thanks to a public poll of Starfinder fans asking what species they’d like to learn more about.
A NOTE ON TERMS
This book uses the word “species” in place of “race” and “racial” for the purposes of building a character, playable species traits, bonus types, and similar rules elements—this change doesn’t otherwise affect the mechanics of these elements, and it applies across all Starfinder products.
The classes chapter kicks things off with a new class: the evolutionist, a class all about transformation and augmentation, starting on page 10. The chapter continues with a bevy of new class options for the biohacker, envoy, mechanic, nanocyte, operative, precog, and soldier.
The second chapter begins with a table of the 100+ playable species in Starfinder, complete with headshot, short description, and reference. Whether you’re making a new player character, throwing together an NPC on the spot, or just curious about what Starfinder has to offer, this reference will inspire.
If you’ve scoured the stars for the perfect species but nothing is quite the right fit for your ideal Starfinder character, why not make your own? Using a series of simple, nonlinear steps, you can create your own playable species for Starfinder, complete with mechanics, physiology, and backstory. Whether you want to recreate a species from your favorite fiction or invent something entirely new, this system has you covered!
Along with the rules needed to play them, each of the 25 species profiles in this book contains new art, a physical description, details about that species’ home world and society, and a deep dive on something that makes them unique. You’ll even learn naming conventions and sample names for that species! Each species profile also offers a selection of player options—everything from feats to spells to equipment—that are thematically tied to that species, but generally not mechanically tied, so they’re available to a wide array of characters.
One hundred NPCs of expansive variety await you in chapter 3, ranging from CR 1/2 to CR 20, and each with its own niche. You can drop these into your games from whole cloth or make a few simple adjustments to better fit your campaign; advice is included for how to do just that in the chapter introduction on page 150.
If you want to jump straight to the player options for your character, check out the index on page 188, which includes categories of the various player character options that appear throughout this book.
The following two sections of this introduction provide information for applying an archetype to an evolutionist player character or applying an evolutionist class graft to an NPC.“
Do I have more Tomb Juice™? Well of course, dearie, there is always more for my best customer!
A Midsummner Night’s Market Meeting
Wednesday, July 6, 2022