The Fifth Archdaemon

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Azelator Ereus wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:
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.

They included deep one hybrids without making them explicitly or implicitly a play on fears regarding interracial mixing, would be the more specific comparison.

I'm not saying that the problematic issues surrounding the reptoids aren't worth some discussion - honestly I've found this thread somewhat educational as while I've known that certain antisemitic groups have latched onto the conspiracy theory as code, I'd always heard that Icke himself was less an antisemite himself and more a lunatic who genuinely, literally believed in extra-dimensional lizard people and just gave talks to white supremacist groups because he was desperate to get the word out that he'd talk to whoever listened to him and was genuinely confused that they thought he was talking about the Jews.

But, no, this thread and how strongly people feel about it did get me looking into it a bit more.

But, my genuine point is this; you have an idea that has problematic origins, or even if not origins, was hijacked by a problematic element and carries those connotations, but despite that it has genuine potential to tell an interesting narrative if those connotations are removed from the equation. Should writers be allowed to take that chance or should any material that's tainted with that be written off as poisoned?

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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.

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Personally I'm kind of split on the uplifted animal issue because on the one hand, I want to see more in the way of alien races in the vein of anassanoi, damai, kasatha, kish, lashunta, phentomites, and ryphorians. I find these kind of aliens - "humanoid, but..." more interesting than uplifted animals, and I wouldn't want Paizo to just fall on uplifted animals as a crutch given how easy that would be, as you have an endless list of creatures that you can just go "that, but science made it smart".

On the other hand, I'm curious to see a couple of things. Uplifted animals that aren't based on real world animals in the setting; an uplifted mountain eel or uplifted renkroda.

And I'd be interested in seeing uplifted animals that overlap with existing races that just coincidentally happen to look like animals. Like wo would an uplifted big cat(tiger, lion, leopard, whatever) get along with a pathra? How would an uplifted wolf get along with a vlaka? How would an uplifted bull get along with a nuar? Functionally what would be the differences between them? A lot of people would probably, justifiably, see that as redundant and that if you wanted to play an uplifted big cat/wolf/bovine, you can just play one of those races and reflavor it, but I think if you're gonna try and have it both ways you need to explore that concept a little.

Also, personally, I really want to see uplifted gorillas, chimps, and orangutans along with possibly uplifted gigantopithecus & megaprimatus to go full on Planet of the Apes meets Kong. But that's just me.

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I'm in favor of there being a playable troll or troll-kin/troll-like race, myself.

Questionmarks. Three questionmarks.

I might have gone with a hylki/akitonian human as a compromise position.

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I for one am interested in seeing the Wild Hunt... IN SPACE!.

Also vilderavn.

David knott 242 wrote:
Kadasbrass Loreweaver wrote:
So... the only news from Paizocon for Starfinder is Otterfolk? I do wonder if these otters have a highly sophisticated lottery system to determine their planetary leadership as most space fairing otters have been shown to lean towards in other galaxies far, far, away.

They did announce the next adventure path -- something about a threefold conspiracy involving Grays, Reptoids, and ?

I'd guess the brain parasite aliens since those are the other ones that get mentioned whenever the Unseen come up.

Pogiforce wrote:
Starfinder devs are furries confirmed?

I mean you say that as if the maraquoi, nuar, pathra, winterborn ryphorians, uplifted bears, vlaka, and ysoki, along with a dozen or so others, give or take, hadn't already confirmed it.

Which personally I'm not down with but so long as the otterfolk are more otter and less folk to fill that Rocket Racoon, funny in it's absurdity, talking space animal nice, I'm okay with.

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EltonJ wrote:

Platyparians can lick my skin.

Why you gotta hate?

In the First World.

What about the platypus people?

David knott 242 wrote:
Nerdy Canuck wrote:
I mean, you could do something like having racial "templates" for being half-something; such that you put two templates together to determine the racial traits of, say, a half-strix half-pahtra.

In theory, PF1 covered that with the Racial Heritage and Planar Heritage feats. While the folks at Paizo repeatedly denied the existence of half-dwarves, for example, you could easily make one by creating a human character with the Racial Heritage (Dwarf) feat as his bonus feat.


Isn't there something about a massive gash on Apostae that wasn't there pre-gap and can be dated, best as anyone can figure out, to being 800-1200 years old? I may or may not be pulling those numbers out of thin air.

It's explicitly mentioned in regards to certain races that were primarily concentrated on golarion have had their populations drastically cut due to the planet's disappearance, so if they were teleported off - of which there is no indication whatsoever - it wasn't to other planets in the pact worlds system at least.

The line from the gods that have been communed with about Golarion is that it's safe, intact, unreachable, but it's population is continuing to live there in relative peace.

The only question is whether or not one believes that.

Voyd211 wrote:
The talk about romance makes me wonder what races are biologically-compatible enough to have children. It's pretty much a given that humans can have kids with elves, orcs, half-elves, half-orcs, planar scions of their own or the mentioned races, and hags/changelings; I also know that some half-elves are half-ryphorian instead of half-human. But what about lashuntas, astrazoans, borais strix, reptoids, verthani, damais, and other very humanlike (or shapechanging into such) races? Can they have kids with each other?

I know that Paizo's offical philosophy on the subject is keeping crossbreed races to a bare minimum; it's effectively just half-elves & half-orcs &, more disturbingly, ogrekin, with others mixings being more magical in nature, either with supernatural creatures such as hags, lycanthropes, vampires, and deep ones, or full on outsiders, and with the latter, Paizo tries to downplay the notion of any actual sex taking place and it being more the result of magical influence. Same goes for dragons.

Oh, and samsaran's can reproduce with humans but again it's one of those, either it's a samsaran or a human, not a mix of the two, things.

James Jacobs, at least, has claimed that it's because they want to keep the main half-breed races special. I imagine that at least part of it is so that every time they come up with a new race they don't have to come up with two new races to cover the halfbreed aspect.

Now, Jacobs isn't heavily involved in the starfinder side of things which may be why they expanded the elven crossbreeding to ryphorians, but I still don't see it being something they massively shift gears on, arbitrary as a lot of it is gonna be.

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In regards to grays, and reptoids for that matter, I wouldn't allow a player to bring one to the table and have it be just another character that's treated remotely normally; these races aren't integrated members of society, they're basically cryptids. They're outside infiltrators that few people know about and fewer people believe are real.

If a player were to say to me they wanted to play one, or if I were to come to a dm wanting to play one, we'd need to work together to work out what their deal was. Are the grays actually working towards some larger goal or are they just f'ing with people for their own amusement? Is there a single overarching faction that the reptoids answer to or are there several independent groups of them that may be working at cross purposes? Is the gray player a rogue agent or a double agent?

I'd need to answer these questions & more, and work from there. Do the other players know what a gray is? Do they believe they exist? Is their new crew member just a weird looking unidentified alien? If they know what he is, do they think he's gone rogue or are they okay working with him towards some potentially terrible goal?

In regards to Achaekek; ancient Azlant did worship him as a god of monsters & natural disasters, not assassins, which would suggest that if his worship continues under the Star Empire, it's through that lens, which would mean that they probably don't have their own red mantis death squads. Having said that, "god of monsters & natural disasters" does make the whole, "was ancient Golarion visited by the Swam" angle sound half-way plausible.

In regards to Solarions; Dead Suns also mentions that elves on Castrovel have ancient solarion traditions predating Kasatha arrival to the system, so there's elves & half-elves. I believe there's artwork of skittermander solarions that's been printed, and if skittermanders can do it, anyone can.

In regards to interspecies romance; given the existance of astrazoans, endiffians, and reptoids, more frequently than people probably realize.

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Kyokors hate everything. Cities are a thing. What's more, cities are a thing in which other things are very densely packed.

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Akiton, Verces, Triaxus would be my top three picks.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:

No, if you're basing any animal-based alien race on Benedict Cumberbatch, it has to be penguins.

Nah, they'd be called pinglings. Or pingwings.

Neuromancer wrote:
Claxon wrote:

I encourage this.

But I also encourage that the Platyparians and Otterfolk be at war to determine who is the supreme space water mammalian entity in the galaxy!

Can we also have the "Heck Knights"

And who ever does the iconic for otterfolk has to base them on Benedict Cumberbatch.

No, if you're basing any animal-based alien race on Benedict Cumberbatch, it has to be penguins.

thecursor wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:
So let me get this straight; the otterfolk would be regular otters that have been uplifted by science, ala uplifted bear, and the platyparians would bean alien race that happens to resemble platapi, ala pahtra& vlaka?

That's sort of what some of us gleaned from their conversation, yes.


Honestly I've kinda been curious as to how uplifted animals and coincidentally animal like aliens view each other, and if one's ever mistaken for the other by other aliens. So I wouldn't mind that seeing that dynamic played into a rivalry/epic space war between the otterfolk & the platyparians.

So let me get this straight; the otterfolk would be regular otters that have been uplifted by science, ala uplifted bear, and the platyparians would bean alien race that happens to resemble platapi, ala pahtra& vlaka?

Still, strip all the skin & flesh off their skulls and any layman would recognize the skulls as belonging to the same species & only particularly trained individuals would be able to tell them apart.

Same wouldn't be true for the Alien Archive shobhad vs the one in Fugitive on the Red Planet, given the vastly different jaw structure.

Nyerkh wrote:

I think you explained it yourself : it's to make them more alien-looking.

There are scores of very human-like or outright palette-swapped humans in SF, I expect Paizo is trying to make some more different.
Color aside, this also makes them much more barsoomian-esque, as you said.

As for them being the most "changed" in appearance... Don't hobgoblins have that ?

More seriously, consistency will probably noy be a thing for a while still. It took a bit for PF's core races, and those more are much more classical looking.
A lot has been said about the Ysoki's apperance, for example, and they're core in SF. We're actually getting there I feel, but still.
The more of a race we see, the closer we'll get to their "true" looks : Shobhad aren't big enough to get there that quick.

Well, again, the question isn't "why was the change made", because I can infer and guess on that.

The question is, in regards to the particular inconsistency between the Starfinder pieces of art specifically, is this just an inconsistency due to a lack of clear vision or communication with the artist, or is it fully intentional to show that shohbad have that amount of variation in them.

As for hobgoblins, those would be the other real drastic appearance change but that's also more of a PF 2e directive that just ended up getting officially implemented in SF first.

And on the subject of 'pallet swap humans', really there aren't that many in Starfinder, not counting the fantasy races that get carried over from PF. If you want to just count "aliens", then it's really just androids, damais, lashunta, and summerborn ryphorians, with brakims, elebrians, and verthani being borderline cases.

So of all the alien races that made the jump from Pathfinder to Starfinder, shobhad have probably had the most drastic appearance change; in pathfinder they were very human in appearance aside from their four arms, pointed ears, green/blue skin, and being 11ft tall. Males appeared to have some small tusks, but proportionately these were less prominent than the typical half-orc.



Starfinder happens & the Alien Archive has shobhad with misshapen skulls, rounded ears, gaping mouths, and a pair of massive tusks framing a row of very sharp teeth, solid yellow eyes with no visible iris or pupil, and more spread out arms, and duller, grey/charcoal skin.



Which, fine. Makes them more alien, more distinct from orcs & half-orcs. One could even argue the unusual skull shape, while not identical to kasatha or witchwyrds, shows something of a connection. And is a bit more reminiscent of tharks, their inspiration from the John Carter of Mars novels, sans the lack of green skin.

But then, friend of mine shows me a picture of a shobhad female from a Starfinder society module. Can't find that image online but the module was Fugitive on the Red Planet. And this particular shobhad woman closer to the old pathfinder style; human shaped skull, pointed ears, white sclera with prominent blue irises, human shaped mouth with little tusks that would look small on a half-orc - which, actually the PF shobhad female didn't have but that image was less detailed than the others.

Actually thought the image was of a half-orc at first, partly because as a portrait shot it only shows her shoulders so you can't see that she has two pairs of arms. And her skin tone is a kind of a pale purplish grey which doesn't really match with what we've been shown of shobhads so far from either setting.

Anyway, point I'm getting to, is I'm wondering whether or not this was a mistake by the artist who came up with this depiction of a shobhad character based on how they looked in Pathfinder, or is this meant to show that shobhads are sexually dimorphic to the point of males looking like snarly tusk monsters while females look more human?

And I don't want to suggest there's anything wrong with that approach, that is not a hill I intend to die on. I just want some clarity on the subject.

I don't think they need to split it up, but I also wouldn't be opposed to an Advanced Race Guide/Inner Sea Races equivalent style book that goes into more detail and caters more specifically to the playable aliens.

138. A Dance of Dragonkin: Triaxus' #1 Dance Competition

Personally I hope aeons & inevitables get a little more love in Starfinder. I know 2e is downplaying inevitables because they aren't original Paizo IP and don't have a real world counterpart, but they're one of my favorite outsider groups and, and both aeons & inevitables, just from a visual perspective, fit into Starfinder very well.

I know some people don't think that Paizo will keep alien archives as an annual thing forever going forward; after all, PF1e only had annual bestiaries for the first three years before doing them every other year with a bestiary like book in between(NPC Codex, Monster Codex, etc). I wonder if Paizo follows the same pattern with Starfinder, if one of the "in between" books may be an alien archive that focuses entirely on outsiders, given how few of them in general we've gotten.

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119) Orcatus: Blood & Stone. Taking place on ancient, pre-gap Golarion, this wildly historically inaccurate(not that anyone can prove that) action-drama depicts one brave orc gladiator leading a rebellion against their evil drow slave-masters. Bloody, gory, action-packed, hot, sexy, and absolutely illegal on Apostae, punishable by death.

111: What Are They Hiding Under There? Follow one man on his desperate journey to find out what kasatha look like under their face masks.

Regardless I imagine that, were Paizo to make the iconics for the new classes races other than the ones in the CRB, the choice would be made based on which race best fits the theme of the class well before which races are more prominent in the setting or need more representation.

And all this debate aside I don't actually believe they're going to use new races or AA races for the iconics for this book. The Playtest Launch page includes art of an android, a ysoki, and a kasatha that I immediately assumed was the artwork for the three new iconics.

Granted even if that was true it's possible they could or have already changed their minds, but from what I'm given to understand about the development cycles for these projects, that's probably set in stone already.

Dire Mosasaur wrote:

Adding an entry because I'm excited for Concordance of Rivals. I hope that either AA3 or AA4 has more outsider subtypes/subtype grafts. Psychopomps are a major group that we don't have stats for yet, and they're especially important neutral outsiders if your group takes into account the updated lore for Pathfinder 2e where

** spoiler omitted **

I also hope that summon grafts for the Summon Monster spell are added for any new outsider subtypes.

You know, now that you bring it up here, it makes it even odder that they'd do that given that Starfinder's already statted up an aeon & made it neutral.

Ixal wrote:
captain yesterday wrote:
I would argue that Verces and the Verthani represent a larger population then Triaxus and the ryphoran.

It would be the obvious contender. But it has the disadvantage of being tidally locked, so the habitable area is only about 1/3 compared to a similar sized rotating planet.

Triaxus has its weird seasons, but the natives seem to have adapted to that quite well biologically, so it doesn't really restrict them from settling everywhere.

With the current conditions Triaxus has at least a much higher potential population than Verces or Castrovel. But if the actual population matches that we don't know. Sadly the Pact Worlds book did not tell us that much about the individual worlds.

At the population density of New York city the entire human population of earth could fit within the borders of Texas; standing shoulder to shoulder, we could all fit within the boundaries of the city of Los Angeles.

Verthani have less room to spread out but you can fit a lot of people into not a lot of space, and the Ring of Nations is specifically called out as one of the most densely populated locations in the system.

And looking at a map of Verces, the Ring would still be a few hundred to couple thousand miles wide, wrapped around the planet that makes for quiet a bit of room. Could be the map I'm looking at isn't to scale, who knows.

Anyway, I'd personally imagine either Verthani or Lashunta as being the most populous humanoid races, though I don't imagine that Ryphorians are that far behind. All three probably dwarf the populations of kasatha, vesk, & golarion-descendant humans in the system.

But I don't think that Starfinder's core races were chosen based on the demographics of the setting so much as they were chosen for what sci-fi fantasy they fulfill and fit into. Because certainly akitonian humans/hylki far out-populate golarion-descendents yet, as I pointed out earlier in this thread, there's only been one depiction of an akitonian human in Starfinder art that I'm aware of.

85) Ancient Golarions(Widely inaccurate conspiracy theories about pre-gap Golarion's influence on the rest of the System & Beyond)
86) When Worlds Collide: The Truth Behind the Diaspora
87) Two & a Half-Elf
88) Aaaaah! Real Monsters!(A documentary series)
89) Devil Advocates(a pro-Hell courtroom drama)

So would the Undertaker be a borai & Kane be a tiefling?

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Ventnor wrote:

I’m hoping we’ll get an Akitonian human as one of the new iconic characters.

Every time there is an overview of Akiton, one thing that is mentioned about it is that one of the native species there are humans and that these humans have red skin. But do we ever see these red-skinned Akitonian humans in any artwork? No!

Also technically, there aren’t any Korasha lashunta iconics either.

There has been, to my knowledge, precisely one depiction of an Akitonian human in artwork in Pact Worlds.

Given that by all indication, hylki, as they're called, make up the majority of the human population in the Pact Worlds system, I think that this is an injustice.

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I physically couldn't approve of this more without collapsing into a black hole of approval.

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I'm curious if this will include Vital Statistics for some of the adventure path races that weren't covered in AA2.

Alright, so, suli-jann are described as follows; "Sulis are difficult to recognize by sight, since they resemble ordinary humanoids with, perhaps, an occasional flash of elemental light in their eyes."

All well and good, matches up with Pathfinder sulis, except one thing; the accompanying artwork is very distinctly non-human, with grey skin & black sclera & orange irises. I guess it could be a suli damai being that they're the one humanoid race with naturally grey skin that I can think of off the top of my head, though they still don't really match up.

Now, granted, I'm not really complaining because the art depicting the suli is actually one of my favorite pieces of character art from Starfinder thus far, but I feel like this was a situation where the artist and the writer were not communicating.

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The whole bit about a moon being terreformed by shaitan makes me think it'll be oreads. But who knows.

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Opsylum wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:

Humans and Shirren have Navasi and Bug Dad, er, Keskodai already, though.

I don't see what is wrong with drawing from the Legacy races for the new Iconics. I get that people want the cantina feel, but iconics should be more about accessibility. You get the Legacy races from the core book, and they're easy to wrap your head around.

And yes, gnomes are a part of the cantina. I have to put my drink down somewhere, and they're just the right height.

There's nothing at all wrong with that. I'd love to see a Gnome iconic in Starfinder. I'd just personally prefer other unexplored aliens make the jump to iconic first. Partly because they give us a peak into the personality of major Pact Worlds cultures that a short few paragraphs in an Alien Archive can't - but also partly because I think aliens play a much more important role to Starfinder's design than alternate races did in Pathfinder. In Pathfinder, players were expected to purchase a separate book if they wanted to play someone with an ancestry other than the big seven's. In Starfinder, those new races come for free with each Alien Archive - a book whose product page advertises more features for players than even for GMs. It's hard to play a Starfinder session without an Alien Archive, and even if you only use the APs, new playable races are flooding in through that outlet almost every issue. Extra playable races are almost assumed to be a built-in feature for Starfinder, especially considering there are so fewer books to keep up with. This makes non-core alien races a lot more accessible for Starfinder than for Pathfinder, which is appropriate for a space opera setting. It makes sense for the iconics to similarly advertise this very nearly indispensable branch of the Starfinder game.

Also, I really just want to learn more about these races. They play such a huge role in the setting, and yet relatively little time's been devoted to them so far. Legacy races, on the other hand, have been explored for years and years...

Not to go too far off topic but this is largely why I'm hoping for an Advanced Race Guide/Inner Sea Races esque book for Starfinder; there are so many races for which we have so little information on that I would like to see expanded.

Especially with the Biohacker incoming, we need more options to explore the wonderful world of mad science & self-experimentation.

EltonJ wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:

I want more biotech augmentations. Specifically, I want disgusting, body-horror-esque biotech augmentations. Kinda stuff that the PF 1e alchemist could do to themselves; tentacles, removing & preserving organs, parasitic twins, tumor familiars.

Pact worlds has a picture of a (half?)elf who's biotech'd his arm into a tentacle as the picture for the Biotechnitian theme; so far as I'm aware, something like that isn't actually possible under the current rules, although it would be easy enough to home brew.

Necrographs & some velstrac gear are a good start but I don't feel that we're there yet.

Can I say that this sounds sickening?

That would be the idea.

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I also want an archetype that's based off the same idea as the Magical Child vigilante archetype because a Pact World equivalent of Sailor Moon would be equal parts hilarious and horrifying.

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39. The complete series of the Pact Worlds equivalent of Sailor Moon, which gets really weird after Sailor Aucturn shows up.

Most of these gods aren't new, they're just new to us. Presumably they've had planar realms all along, just what with the planes all being functionally infinite, there's room.

36. An audio file of an unknown individual repeatedly muttering variations of a single question in increasing unhinged tones; "What/Where is Rovagug?"

Offering no opinion on the state of the Envoy but rather addressing the question as to why people defend it and are even proud of it;

There will always be some segment of a fan/player base that believes the way things are at launch is the intended state of things, and that intended state needs to be preserved.

Some people will disagree with the assessment on the Envoy and say it's fine. Others will say it fulfills it's role and that it's bonuses in one area compensate for it's weaknesses in another. Some will agree with the assessment that the Envoy is subpar but believe that it's supposed to be. Some will be fine with tweaks to the envoy so long as the other classes are also tweaked to keep the relative power balance the same.

General through-line here is preservation of the status quo. Some people look at it as a good thing. Some people look at change as a bad thing. On the Pathfinder forums I've seen people decry the rogue, the fighter, the warpriest, and the monk as terrible classes in one breath and then rebuke any suggestions on improving them in the next, at once suggesting that the classes are rubbish and that they deserve to be rubbish and that it is to the benefit of the game for them to be rubbish. All while proponents of said classes argued that they were fine and didn't need any fixing.

There will always be people who thinks things should stay the way they are because that's the way they are. They believe changing things will cause unforeseeable ripple effects that could ruin the game, or simply think that changing things violates the spirit of the game.

thecursor wrote:
FormerFiend wrote:
I'd like to see an Advanced Race Guide/Inner Sea Races type book that offers alternate racial traits, along with spells, feats, equipment, and class features with appropriate themes.
I like this if only because it would mean we finally get Hylki and Azlanti Human subspecies stats.

I know this kinda works against my point but for hylki I think the solution is to play a human and be sure to describe them as having red skin.

And for Azlanti, that's just a human except instead of a +2 to any ability score, it's a +2 to every ability score, if we go by what Pathfinder had established.

Of course humans always got the short end of the stick when it came to alternate racial traits, presumably because the point of their base kit was it's versatility.

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