If you had a computer, and a spell chip with an instance of summon creature, and you were a spell caster, you could indeed do exactly this. I have been experimenting with calling on Aeons (more traditionally ritualistically.. Z is a mystic..) as skill monkeys/historians of the akashic record, and as long as I keep it interesting as a player the GM has been using the instance to give up interesting information.
A single source? No. But as someone who has studied folklore and magical traditions extensively this reads true to me. In certain older magic traditions 'Turks' and 'devils' and 'place spirits' interact interchangably. Often the 'demon' is the ancestral spirit of an indigenous other displaced by the ancestors of the tale teller. Another reason the concept of alignment is garbage if we are trying to accurately explore a recreation of historical and/or speculative mentalities, but thats neither here nor there.
If you were really looking for a good source about this kind of thing though what immediately springs to mind is the work of Carlo Ginzburg; "The Night Battles" or "The Cheese and the Worms".
If Paizo can adapt & borrow so much from Lovecraft's work without leaning hard into that man's well documented racism, I think they can thread this needle.
If Reptoids are a undeniable signifier of a certain variety of antisemetism then surely Cthulhu and Nyarlathotep (in fact ALL eldritch horror... bye bye Garthulu...) signify frantic anglo-centric xenophobia. I can't follow that logic.
How would you roleplay a gray character in a party? The problem with grays as PCs is that I don't think we really know anything about them for certain. We don't know their culture, their social lives, what they do in their spare time, what they eat, their sex and gender structure... one of my acquaintances considered playing a (non-evil) gray almost as a sort of benevolent gremlin, that the crew doesn't really know about at first. The ship is running at peak performance, as are the party's weapons, and the crew reports small items going missing and no one can find them.
There is actually one significant thing we know about Greys vis a vis the setting.They speak Aklo.
There seems to be a conspiracy among the speakers of this language as among the four armed.
I'll be hitting 7th level Mystic soon, Mindbreaker connection changing to a homebrew Conjurer archetype.
I've always been a fan of haste like effects in RPG spells but people on this forum seem to really talk up Slow.
Look, I think we can all agree that what needs to happen is playable stats for the dirindi & sazarons.
As someone playing a Lashunta who grew up on Roselight and Arkanen and truly dislikes being in Castrovel (huge insects, intelligent fungi, psychic crowding), I know very little about my homeworld except that I speak its language. Is Bethedan a psychic only language as the Barathu mother tongue? How does that work for non psychics?
Well, ysoki get everywhere. And they've been migrating across the universe since before the Gap. It's not just power or controlling a single planet that qualifies you as a core race. It might even be a hindrance, races that are content to stay home make for poor core adventurer races.
This whole issue was made even more confusing when it was confirmed last wednesday that a vast proportion of the human population in the Pact Worlds is actually being warehoused on Aballon. I am really waiting for the hows and whys there.
1) Since Aballon is the prime example can we talk about the wonky populations numbers in the Pact Worlds book? 13 million humans on Aballon vastly outnumbering their compatriots on any other planet hived in some bleak robotic warehouse? Really?
2) Are Anticite taboos about some of the areas where the First Ones ruins lie a 'belief' or an aspect of their 'programming'? When playing Anticite or SRO characters how much should the idea of programming affect their motivations? Are charm and enchantment effects on these characters to be interpreted in this light?
It makes a lot more sense in the post video game age, where the idea of new areas opening up as the game progresses provides the ongoing narrative thrust. But while there is the implied emphasis there that you are in a game, I think the way level and wealth scales in SF preserves both the 'game' and the ability to lose oneself in the narrative. For me at least.
*SMH* (ignores thread)
It's clear to me that how many people have guns, carry guns, and how publicly violence is wielded in Starfinder is a function of what subgenre of science fantasy you are trying to make. Is your campaign a segment of Heavy Metal or a subplot in the God Emperor of Dune? The flexibility of the setting to accomplish both is a feature not a flaw.
Playing a male Damaya Lashunta character who prefers male gendered humanoids has brought this whole topic up since I started playing SF. Since the Damaya were clearly correlated with gender in Castrovel's past, one can only imagine there was some kind of society-wide 'transition' on this topic. It is explicitly stated that one determines which subtype you enter at puberty, assumably regardless of biological sex or sexual preference.
It also affects my background in that the reason for his Outlaw status is that as an impressionable teenager he was seduced by an older (male human) mentor, and convinced to participate in an act of piracy. Taking off on the run with said person, who eventually ditched him in the Diaspora, taking the Thuamaugen they had hijacked from his mothers' technomagical gas mining station orbiting Liavara. So I'm screwed, meet this goblin, and do some debt collection work on a few stations before I find my way back to Absolom just in time to start Dead Suns.
I later barter with the Bone Sage to find out exactly how wanted I am and if my image from the news has managed to trigger a manhunt for me. He reveals that my mentor was in fact killed, on Eox, and is likely reanimated. So I'm going to have to encounter my manipulative ex in zombi (?) form at some point.
This is all just part of making characters that breathe, but being queer is kind of a central detail in the storyline as it unfolds. Also the relationship of the older man with much younger boy/man, where a young gifted person is groomed by a skilled but socially awkward adult and has to heal from the damage that causes is a story I know is part of many peoples lives, particularly gay ones. So I was inspired to tell it. I don't think I'd ever be interested in rping sexual situations or joining a group where that was a place it went, but I do think fleshing characters out as sexual beings gives them a depth which would be unavailable otherwise.
As for whether your sexual identity matters or should be a aspect of game is of course a matter of preference for how you want your games played. But as a gay man playing a character with a sexual trajectory similar to my own, I can say that rendering that detail has given a level of personal connection with the character which resulted in a lot more depth to my background story. Similar, I imagine, to the black men I game with whose human/nearhuman characters often have dark skin/hair, sometimes dreadlocks. Seems logical to me.
It also seems logical that any person of any gender would be well challenged to play a character without a conventional gender such as a Barathu, one of the handful of mollusk-like beings, or something that occasionally sprouts a bud or a seed. It brings all kinds of interesting questions about how we imagine ourselves in relation to others and the places we are in.
Sorry/not sorry for the necromancy.
I can think of a few reasons for this. Firstly the general content has to be appropriate for kids in order to still have the broad appeal that allows Starfinder to be such a success. Second the mechanic had to be balanced, and they chose to impose distinct mechanical advantages and disadvantages to the effects of individual drugs. It seems to adhere to the typical story arcs of typical drug users, in the typical ways stories are told about drug users. Does this allow you to accurately recreate the experience of several tech startups and take group bonuses to higher and higher Computer rolls towards the completion of a complex task as various physical and social side effects begin to creep up? No. Do we really need that? Not so much. Although it's fun to think about.
I would definitely read an 'adults only' Pact Worlds edition where all of the mutogenic hallucinogens of Aucturn and the Eyes Wide Shut Vampire parties on Eox are laid out in more detail. I suppose the Vestracs are already legitimately psychedelically horrifying. Like borgs that strap themselves into cenobite suits and scream in unison so they can boot up the Shadow Drive. They've got some heady gear.
But to be honest the space the setting leaves for the GM and players to co-create flavor to your groups individual taste is one thing that's so great about it. Want to make something that acts more like the drugs you know personally? Work it out.
Well its like having Ghost Killer as well, I suppose. But I am beginning to regret taking it. While I get into plenty of longarms combat with my fusioned plasma fork, I have never benefited in a way I otherwise could not, now that I know the mechanic.
My character was considering a side hustle injecting incorporeal undead with drugs they enjoyed in life in a safe environment and charging handsomely to become the Eoxian Dr. Feelgood. But there are so many variables to consider in that kind of scenario..
The real issue with drugs in Starfinder is how brutal the addiction/disease rules are. Any attempt to play a Hunter S. Thompson would quickly turn into a William S Burroughs. I'm trying to play a character who has a professional interest in the analysis, creation, and sales of black magic thaumaseuticals and we're coming up with fun homebrew drugs. Which I am terrified to actually take in game. I guess it's not so much an issue just an attitude.
Plus my GM LOVES the disease rules. Nothing inspires hatred for every new planet and space creature knowing you're just one fortitude save away from having to stop everything so one party member can avoid slow death.
This is just a thread about a character I'm playing. I started in a starfinder game recently and it is the first time I have played in an RPG since I was a teenager in the 90's. The setting is so well developed. Very inspiring for coming up with rich sets of backgrounds and motivations.
Zel is Damaya Lashunta, born in Roselight. His mother is a distinguished manager within the Ereus matriline, an influential Technomagical corporation (described in Armory) largely run through an extended family network. His childhood bedroom looked out on Hallas and the shifting mass of Liavara below, seeping into his dreams. He later spent time in corporate housing several places in Arkanen. The reason for the Ereus operation was a result of the presence and ongoing negotiations surrounding the mining of Thaumagen, a magical gas described in the CRB and then left unexplained in PW, which we have decided can be made both into a drug which can both increase your magical abilities at a cost, and also is the primary "plotanium" for the industrial creation of magical items. It can be taken in small (and then increasingly larger) doses by Technomancers to enhance their perceptions (think Navigators in Dune), and in larger more possibly deadly doses by various Mystics and lunatics which can cause release of the astral body into some other plane or similarly intense effects (think of the way the Bene Gesserit use the spice to create their Revered Mothers).
His only experience of Castrovel was as a teenager when he was sent to a series of boarding schools out in the wilds of Asana intended to keep the wild-eyed youngster in touch with his family heritage. Learning to ride the native beasts, eat the native food etc. Zel hated Castrovel. For a sensitive telepath who grew up in a stark space station environment bombarded from birth by strange radiations, entering a lush environment filled with all manner of beings (from houseplants onward) highly adapted to interact with the 'psychic plane' was alienating and overpowering. Not to mention being an offworlder in boarding school was totally weak. He couldn't wait to get back to Roselight, despite feeling depressed and disconnected from his life with his family.
When he returned, a youngling barely past puberty (I guess for Lashunta shortly after the age of deciding what subtype they will be) his mother had a new associate in her research team. An intriguing human with a dashingly handsome face and equally strikingly bizarre ideas.. regarding for instance the use of spirits in the research and development of hybrid tech. Not to mention, privately, an indulgence in the use of Thaumaugen. This was in fact his personal reason for employment in Ereus, although they were of the impression they had hired him due his precise skills in the purity analysis of several other magically reactive elements. When they met, although Zel was still a young one, there was undeniable chemical spark between them.. although the better man would simply smile to himself and disregard the interest of a teenager, Fredrick Bahchktin Ramakrshna was never very good at being the better man.
A lurid tryst developed. Freddy taking Zel under his wing and teaching him about some of the things he knows. Spirits were summoned in private occasions to share and participate in their pleasure. He gave him experience of many varieties of mind-altering substances. Leading, of course, to a larger then advertised dose of uncut Thaumagen. More then Freddy had ever had the nerve to take himself. This was Zel's Initiation.
Astral body tossed into the Maelstrum, the now-nameless consciousness which was Azelator Ereus floated adrift for an indeterminate eternity. At one point a memory emerged of a story. About an ancient spirit of the sea who became a great lady, honored by many. She sailed in a boat, which was then a spaceship, which was then later a world within its hull, which was also a constellation in the night sky. With the Thaumaugen still raging in his system his still-living soul appeared as a bright beacon in the seas of the maelstrum, and the Starwraith closed in, Besmara's crew curiously fished him out of the waves and hauled his sorry soul aboard. He remembers very little afterward, but as returned to his body he was marked by Lady Besmara and his fate was bound.