Reading the description for daze, it sounds like it does automatic damage:
"You cloud the target's mind and daze it with a mental jolt. The jolt deals mental damage equal to your spellcasting ability modifier; the target must attempt a basic WIll save. If the target critically fails the save, it is also stunned 1."
No attack roll, no save to reduce damage. Just a save for being stunned. Wow! This is going to be my go-to attack cantrip. The first level the damage is very consistent, which is appreciated at first level, and then it increases by 1d6 per level!
Am I missing something rule as written? Should I use it like it's going to be errataed? Or just lean into my enchanter being Mentok the Mind Taker?
I play off much of the powerful outsiders and deities as if they were an elder civilization or some kind of multi-dimensional beings (which canonically they are) rather than just a god in the fantasy sense. In a way it’s more a matter of tone, more cosmic being from a marvel comic than the Lord of Light from Game of Thrones. Star finder actually details out some places where you can interact with deities directly; Triune’s city, The Avatar of Hylax, Carsai the King’s citadel.
In my current campaign the party is dealing with the relics of a solar that a mi-go had removed from its body and placed the blood and brain into its jars and the heart into a ophidian creature as part of a wide ranging plot from the dominion of the black. They aren’t dealing with this in a religious sense, more of a mysterious plot from elder civilizations to destroy the Pact Worlds and the drift, and it is paced and presented more like a Guardians of the Galaxy story rather than Lord of the Rings.
I really hope they finish fleshing out the pact worlders, instead of necessarily adding more pact worlders. I want the two Arkanen races to have stats, and maybe the arthropods of Nchak. Not that I don't want far-flung alien species. I totally want that. It's just my campaign is about to hit Arkanen and I'm winging it. *crosses fingers*
Here are other hopes that may be dashed in a matter of days.
I would love to get some living programs (to supplement the living holograms) or other technological possession type creatures.
I'd also like a non-humanoid empire that wasn't the dominion of the black. Don't get me wrong, I love those things. But they mean to extinguish the stars, let the universe grow cold, and either stretch it until atoms break, or compress it back into a primordial soup or otherwise make things weird. And those are good goals. Just not mortal goals. I want something more akin to Marvel's Brood race. Alien and not humanoid, but an expansionist mortal empire.
Based on this thread I added in a more lore appropriate festival, the Dawnflower celebration, that I presented to my player over the Infosphere (our gaming slack).
Absalom Station is a colorful festival with mostly Golarion races who have thrown colored electro-luminescent dust at each other. The parade through the streets has large groups glowing in mostly yellow, orange and white dust over their already brightly colored clothing. Everything is a bright celebration, with the hallways painted with colorful murals.
The Burning Archipelago has pictures of festival goers wearing heat-resistant hazard suits, that were then modified and colored to be works of art. They march in parades with giant puppets made out of the same materials throughout the streets of the enclosed habitat that exists within the star. The shielding that protects them all is reduced slightly so there is a spotlight effect that follows them. Festival participants run out of the burning spotlight and parade watchers attach very thin colorful paper which ignites as they step back into the intense sun.
On Castrovel it's a much different tone for the festival. Still held during the day, the lashunta participants paint their faces like skulls or other spooky figures using reflective paint, or walk around on stilts wrapped in green and brown vines. Fire plays a big part in this festival as well, for at the end of it, a giant straw effigy is burned during an all-day party. This version of the celebration has become the most famous one due to the amount of nudity and intoxicants involved.
Their smell would be the picking up of particles on some receptor that are either floating or settled on a surface. The akata most likely have smell receptors not attached to respiratory organs. Maybe it’s on their feet? Maybe that is what their tentacle mane is for?
And in a vacuum there would still be particles to smell with floating around. The akata would be able to pick up on those particles that the players disturb as they flail about, bumping into walls and deck plates. Even if there was gravity, but no atmosphere you could see how dust and similarly sized particles could be bounced and jostled about to let them use scent when they can’t see their prey.
Like many of my campaigns, I tend to feast and famine based on the story and the player's actions. I try to follow WBL as a guideline, but when the players do well in their decisions and rolls, I feel compelled to reward the players more. And when they mess up, they struggle for a level or two. Like most things for a homebrew, I appreciate the structure of the rules of WBL but I break it to suit the fun and story.
I always feel that the answer to this question is "the amount of treasure your PCs were going to be rewarded for that encounter". I'm not saying it has to be wealth by level, but as you design the encounters for the adventure you have some metric that you are going to award rewards to the players based on how you play. Just treat the salvage or the selling of the ship based on that metric and that just comes out of the other way you were going to reward them.
There are many ways for the PCs to profit off of the taking of the ship depending on how they are acquiring it, from pirates to salvagers. Just use the economy guidelines provided, or if you have made your own just use that and treat the ship/salvage as a large chunk of the reward.
Maybe we should be discussing what are good reasons that corporations WOULD be manufacturing androids, now that they are treated as citizens?
Here are some of mine:
1 - Aballon corps that want to make more citizens that can interface well with the humanoid population of the Pact Worlds.
2 - A colony that needs a quick influx of skilled people.
3 - A corporation that specializes in creating "children" of biologically incompatible races. Your dwarf/elf love child.
4 - Android groups to increase the visibility and numbers of their species.
5 - Deep space exploration ships to keep the crew numbers constant.
I believe that is why most corps outside of Aballon have stopped the legal manufacture of androids. Also why there is so much illegal manufacture of androids. And why there is the AAF who advocate all the reasons that enslaving a sentient life form is in no way fair or an acceptable life form. They may blow up your corporate headquarters if you fail to see reason.
I would take all this as multiple points for injecting drama and good conflict story points into your campaign.
I expect that every corporation with an android forge goes through that exact same logic as it spins up a few thousand more androids, thinking they are just making a fair contract. And then the AAF blows up their headquarters if the Stewards don't actually arrest them. Though the Pact Worlds seem rife with corporate crime, so maybe not.
I want to see the dirindi and the sazarons from Arkanen. Also more aberrations from gas giants.
More Dominion of the Black creatures would be good, they're good antagonists.
More of the Spaceship monsters with duel stats. I like something that you can fight in both style of combat. Also living spaceships are interesting.
I've enjoyed how Starfinder has presented aliens classes an themes that have drawn from beloved sci-fi novels and tropes but are legally distinct. Spice worms that mutate humans into aberrations that can enter the drift with their psychic power. Face hugging aberrations that spawn demons in the stomach of humanoids. Parasitic creatures that make their victims susceptible to suggestion.
More weird and wacky species along the line of bantrids.
I'd love to get the races of the Veskarium. The races that were mentioned in the Core Rulebooks. Get stats for all the species that were mentioned in passing.
So I really like the Pact Worlds book. Lots of great stuff both lore-wise, adventure hooks and character options. My main regret was not that much information about the Liavrin moon Arkanen. When I first read about it back in Distant Worlds there wasn't that much information about it then. Humans and centaur-like creatures who focus on arcane magic. Sounds ok, I can work with that, though I'd like to know more. A planet where mages are common and run things, but not necessarily tyrannical, with humans and centaurs.
Now the Pact Worlds book is out and it doesn't say much about this moon, which has full Pact status, and while the barathu have taken control over the dreamers and the gas giant wilderness of Liavra, the dirindi and sazorons seem to have much more control over the moons. They have warded off Hallas, colonized Osoro and have a reputation of being the amoung the best mages around. The book mentions the centaur-like sazorons as having "humanoid torsos and four-legged saurian bodies" and that's it. Further the dirindi are described as "three-eyed, electrically attuned humanoid" and that's it.
I guess what I'm saying is that I'm desperate for more lore beyond the two small entries for this seemingly important moon. They lose their atmosphere and replenish by passing through Liavara in a way that defies physics, they deal with the lightning storms that come with that, and both species are good with magic. I want more. I'll probably home-brew the NPCs when my group encounters them, but I would love to know the politics, the threats on the moon, an official race listing, an illustration of these two species, a lightning adept theme (or whatever). Just a shout out that I, for one, want more info on these alien wizards.
Pax Rafkin wrote:
I though get there was a mention of one in the core rule book as well, but I couldn’t find it. I did find reference to another in the Pact Worlds book on the sun, also operated by Aballon. “Fireside Foundries” is run by Aballon to create fire resistant anacites and androids, and presumably SROs. It feels like the foundries are too small to warrant a mention in the planetary write ups. That makes sense if there are these secret Corp foundries all over the place that the AAF are liberating that it can be something small and not a major planetary feature.
It also gives me something for bad guys to smuggle.
It was mentioned that Aballon has a few android foundries, and I would imagine that there are a few android colonies that have them. The legal, scrupulous foundaries would be places that need to increase their population and work force, but give the created being rights upon creation. So it sounds like the laws of the Pact Worlds is more along the lines of a birthing chamber; while it would be technically possible for corporations to make a birthing chamber/cloning machine, you wouldn’t be allowed to own the beings that came out of it, so no corporation has one (that they would admit to).
They also introduced SROs in the Pact Worlds book, and those confuse me a bit as how they are presented. The world as presented has robots/droids/SROs everywhere throughout society, but they society on paper gives rights to anything that is sentient, but the line as to what is sentient and what isn’t really isn’t clear.
It’s not Star Wars where droids are clearly intelligent, but they are property and have no rights. It’s more like Futurama where sentient robots fall along all roles in society. Bender is owned by the Professor who gets arrested for voiding the EULA when bender overclocked his processor, but Bender is legally responsible for himself when he gets arrested for pimping. In their society you have some sentient robots who were build to function as drink machines and toasters who are property, and then you have robots who are priests, judges, heads of corporations, famous actors, and royalty who are citizens.
The Android Abolitionist Front has to liberate someone, and for them to be a major faction means that there is some line that the starfinder society has drawn that means that there are sentient being who are owned. If the line was clear and absolute then rogue corps were the only ones enslaving androids/SROs then it would be a matter for the Stewards. But since the AAF is a non-state actor, then I am assuming they sometime board your ship and liberate your computer because it gained sentience, which would really piss people off.
I think it will depend on your campaign and what you and your players want out of the setting. From the way the android player in my campaign has played it, and from what I’ve heard on the real play podcasts the most common backstory from androids is how they were built and owned by some terrible group doing something they hated, and so they escaped to join up with the party. That’s a strong backstory, so I’m playing it in my campaign that sentients can be owned, though society likes to think that they don’t do that. Which means that my campaign falls on the Futurama side of it, though not as intentionally ridiculous. Some sentients are owned like AI and robots, some are free citizens like Androids and Robots but are often indentured or are economically enslaved, and some are clearly citizens with strong rights like the machines from Aballon. But in each case there is a lot of grey areas, and that is where the conflict in your stories come from.
(Sorry for the long post, we had to cancel the last session and I guess I’m jonesing to play or talk about all this kind of stuff.)
I think that the hive mind role is already taken by the Swarm and in a more friendly way, the Formians, unless you are a Lashuntan vet. So narratively I don't think we need another hive mind. The ad hoc idea is interesting, but since the main achievement of the culture of Those Who Become is the creation of a god through science and engineering, I'm going to go with the big-brained ships that are essentially flying demigods. Both because I liked the Culture series and it's a narrative role that exists to be filled in the system.
The Those Who Become philosophy is also one that seems to push them towards ascension, to follow in the footsteps of the First Ones. To send out vastly powerful versions of themselves, that leave self-replicating machine life on worlds and then move on. So at least in my campaign, until its contradicted, and maybe even then, I'm going with my blatant rip off of the Culture series.
The ad-hoc might work well for the Those Who Wait. Their philosophy seems more around having a caste and a function, even if they don't know what their function is. They aren't supposed to push themselves to a higher level, they're not gods, they're waiting for their gods to return. So they should be staying in their place, but the anacites can take on roles as needed since they are machines. Downloading the expertise necessary to complete a task would be trivial. They would compete with their ambitious cousins by being more flexible. That would also give the two factions an interesting difference between them.
What do you all think the Anacite ships are like? Do they draw from an Iain M Banks Culture novels where the ship itself is an entity unto itself? Are they Borg-like with the ship being just an engine shell and the collection of anacites assuming the role of the computer and crew, with multiple redundancies. Are they swarms of smaller ships that connect together to form larger ships or split apart as necessary? So many possibilities and each has its own intriguing implications. What do you think the AI culture is more like or is there some other possibility?
So, I know the real answer is "Wait until the Pact Worlds book is released!" but my homebrew campaign is on its own schedule. I have no problem forging forward and just doing the one that I like that works best for the story that I'm telling in the campaign (go rule 0!) but would love not to contradict what the lore is actually going to be.
Personally, I'm going for the Culture option. They have big General Systems Vehicles that contain near demigod brains, and then have smaller entities who exist around it (fighters, shuttles) and each smaller ship is its own entity, then further there would be troops, researchers, and other robots and androids. The smaller ships and entities on board would be much closer to "mortal" in intelligence and abilities. But there wouldn't be much of a crew. Each ship just pilots itself.
What are your thoughts?
I've been listening to The Side Quest Inn and they have been doing a very entertaining RP focused run of Dead Suns.
I really liked Hype Space but they haven't updated since early December. I hope they continue. They're doing a homebrew that started out from the first society module but have since gone off on their own.
Except that it mentions specifically in the core rule book that the Azlanti Star Empire seeks to bring all inhabited worlds under its hegemony. So if you are trying to rule the galaxy as an empire in this setting, you probably have the star stone listed high on your to-do list.
Now if you are DMing it's your campaign, and you can play them however you want, and should do whatever best fits your story. But this is how I'm playing it. The goal is to invade the old star system, get some human slaves that smell better than these bothersome aliens, and bring back that magic stone to shift the center of inter-stellar travel to New Thespera where it belongs.
Agreed. But from the core rulebook, which power would be the threat that keeps the Primex up at night with worry? The Veskarium was yesterday's threat, and might someday be subsumed into the pact world due to their proximity. The Corpse Fleet is a danger to colonies and navigation, but they failed to take the station in its prime. But an enemy with the resources of a Star Empire, who have not been bested in war, who has powerful magic and technology, and who have a claim upon/grudge against the mystic stone that powers the station and makes it the economic center of the galaxy? That's who I would tap for a military threat to Absalom.
But you are right, they probably wouldn't just drop out of the drift and start shooting, at first. They'd weaken the station's alliances, turn old enemies against them, disrupt their economy, assassinate those in positions of power. Only then would they appear out of the Drift, and unleash the might of the Empire.
That is unless some plucky band of heroes was there to foil their plans.
I feel that the Azlanti would be the fiercest opponents against the aboleths. Their homeland was destroyed because they tried to break free of the tentacled beasts, and they have that "we are the greatest race" pride that makes them want to be beholden to no one. That said, while I think they would be an enemy of the monsters of all the creatures of the dark, they are definitely evil, brutal, arrogant, slave owning, despots.
If you are on a crusade against the aboleths, you might be able to deal with them in an "enemy of my enemy" sort of way. But don't expect them to not enslave your party when you are done. Don't be surprised when they destroy the Pact World colonies. And it definitely won't be out of character when that feet of dreadnaughts show up at Absalom Station when they slice that ancient life raft in two and take the Starstone back to its rightful place in the palace of the twin (newly ascended) god emperors of the empire.
Vesk Prime is the closest to their sun. The CRB also mentions "stone-faced squidfolk of Vesk-2" and "Antlike beings of Vesk-5" as well as "pacifist frost behemoths" of Vesk-7 and Vesk-8.
I've made a team of Veskarium adventurers to be rivals to my players both on the infosphere and on missions and so I kinda punted on how this was represented. The Vesk captain and the Vesk soldier were easy, as was the skittermander solarian. I punted on the stone-faced squid and made an amphibious squid-merfolk that wouldn't show emotions (rather than one with a face of literal stone, which it could be), and then made a formian-like character for the antlike being, but without the group consciousness. Then I just made a catgirl envoy since the group is very active on the Absalom infosphere with videos on why the Veskarium is better than the pact worlds and would need an idol to host it.
As a GM I very much like my little crew of the "Manivesk Destiny". My players want to track them down and punch them in the face, which is how I want them to feel.
But I agree that I'm looking forward to more info on the Veskarium.
I viewed them a bit like bears. Lumbering around on two feet when they need to, but loping around on all fours by default. To me, it looks like they stand up when they need to manipulate tools, and then get down on all fours when they need to. Like dragons, I see them as a late adopter of technology, not because they weren't capable of it, but that they didn't need it before. So they aren't really built for a tool using civilization but are easily able to adapt to it.
Though I suspect that any of them living in the human-sized station of Absalom feel that they are constantly cramped.