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Starfinder Lead Designer. Organized Play Member. 113 posts (205 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 4 Organized Play characters. 1 alias.


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Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Payton Smith wrote:
The time is soon upon us! Do you have any questions for Joe Pasini about the creature companions?
Does the squox still reign supreme as the cuddliest companion, or is there a new cute champ in town (my creds are on the empathnid!)?

Its seems like Cuddliest in Show would at least be by broken up creature type—then they're both winners!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Payton Smith wrote:
That's Starfinder LEAD DESIGNER for Joe Pasini. Sorry Joe!

<3

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Charli Poshkettle wrote:

Since it is now October, does that mean there is a Starfinder Wednesday this week?

You bet! Payton and I will be diving into Alien Archive 3's creature companions tomorrow, with some new art and a chance for the stream to make our own custom companion!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

Sorry, Hilary. Hope you catch a break sometime =C

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Ron Lundeen wrote:
What's one science fiction/science fantasy sub-genre or trope you think "Boy, I wish Starfinder could handle this better than it does right now"?

Open-ended, planet-of-the-week, scrappy-starship-crew-takes-on-the-galaxy adventures!

(Which is a big part of why I created the Deck of Many Worlds. ...And I've now made this seem like a planted question. Oh well!)

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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I still say her show should've been called "Barsala Lasatha the Science Kasatha!"

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Lord Fyre wrote:

In other news ...

Would Starfinder benefit from a Game Mastery Guide?

Absolutely—in fact, I think it benefits from any solid guide for game masters.

The Pathfinder First Edition Game Mastery Guide was the first Paizo product I ever picked up (for a game I was running in a different system), and I'm really liking what I'm seeing go into the Second Edition book.
(Watch Leo and Logan talk about it here!)

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Lord Fyre wrote:

The way equipment (especially armor) is carefully stat-ed out for each level results in an equipment list that is needlessly long and essentially redundant.

I would have the armor and weapon tiers go up less frequently.

Ascalaphus wrote:
Joe Pasini wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
(Disclosure: I HATE the way equipment (particularly Armor and Weapons) is handled in Starfinder.)
Genuinely curious: Why? And what would you change?

I'm not entirely fond of it myself, although I've come around to it a bit. I have a couple of gripes:

[thoughtful list of concerns]

Thank you both for your feedback! I'd love to take some time and discuss your points further; hopefully things'll calm down enough here in a month or two that I'll be able to do that.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Paizoxmi wrote:
Are the Swarm inspired by starship troopers bugs (Insectiod alien race) and starcraft zerg (evolving organic technology race with hive mind)?

Heck yeah! Both of those appear on the Inspirational Media page in the Core Rulebook, and around the office, we sometimes lovingly refer to the Attack of the Swarm! Adventure Path as "the Starship Troopers AP."

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Ascalaphus wrote:
Joe Pasini wrote:
• The "Speed and Movement" section does not apply to drones. Instead, a creature mounted on a drone that uses an action that includes movement (including using abilities that allow the creature to move its speed) uses one of the drone's available move actions for the turn. In addtion, however it's controlled, each turn a drone can at most take a standard, move, and swift action, or take a full action.

Please tell me if I understand this right -

If a multiclass operative/drone mechanic rides a drone and performs a trick attack, the drone gets to move because the rider used an action that allows movement. However, that does not count as spending a move action on Master Control, so unless you have another ability that gives your drone more actions (say, Expert AI), moving is all it does that turn.

That's correct.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

Sparrowhawk_92 wrote:
Joe Pasini wrote:
The "Speed and Movement" section does not apply to drones. Instead, a creature mounted on a drone that uses an action that includes movement (including using abilities that allow the creature to move its speed) uses one of the drone's available move actions for the turn. In addtion, however it's controlled, each turn a drone can at most take a standard, move, and swift action, or take a full action.
Just to make sure we're 100%. Does this mean that you use your own movement speed when using a drone as a mount, or does this mean that you' use the drone's movement speed when using it as a mount?

Yes! Thank you for asking; I've clarified the clarification.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

Thanks for marking as FAQ; clarification is up.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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The rules published in Alien Archive 3 for creature companion mounts present some clarifications to the Ride a Creature task of Survival and mounted combat in general.

This has raised the question of whether drones use these rules, so let's clarify!

A mechanic's drone with the riding saddle mod follows the rules printed in Alien Archive 3 under the "Creature Companion Mounts" heading (pages 140-141), with the following exceptions.
• A drone is not considered a creature companion.
• The size requirements of the riding saddle mod override the size requirement for creature companions.
• The "Speed and Movement" section does not apply to drones. Instead, a drone-mounted creature replaces their own speeds with the drone's speeds. In addition, a creature mounted on a drone that uses an action that includes movement (including using abilities that allow the creature to move its speed) uses one of the drone's available move actions for the turn. In addtion, however it's controlled, each turn a drone can at most take a standard, move, and swift action, or take a full action.

In addition, the final sentence of the riding saddle mod (Starfinder Core Rulebook 77–78) should read:
"You no longer need to attempt the fight from a combat trained mount task of Survival when directing your drone mount in battle."

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Ascalaphus wrote:
One other game system that blends very well with Starfinder is Stars Without Number. It's got a lot of good bits to it that are quite system-neutral but that can easily be dropped into Starfinder. It has a different take on FTL that puts more topology into the galaxy, and it's got a big toolbox for running sandbox settings and adventures.

Yes! I love its planet-generation stuff in particular; I drew inspiration from it (and from a few dozen other things) for the Deck of Many Worlds, which should definitely help folks have more sandbox-style adventuring/storytelling in Starfinder (and other games).

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Lord Fyre wrote:
(Disclosure: I HATE the way equipment (particularly Armor and Weapons) is handled in Starfinder.)

Genuinely curious: Why? And what would you change?

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Paizoxmi wrote:
Are undead good at fighting the swarm?

As good as anyone! They're sSlightly better versus the mind-affecting flavors of swarm, but just as chewable and dissolvable in acid as any other creature type that takes on the swarm.

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Lord Fyre wrote:

how portable to you see the Starfinder ruleset is from the Starfinder default setting?

The way equipment was set up and named is a small obstacle here.

I see it as eminently portable (no bias here =p)!

For me, it's just a matter of renaming a few setting-specific things (like doshkos and the Drift), and taking or leaving certain rules elements, buffet-style, to turn the system in a certain direction (excising magic and hybrid items for a less fantasy sci fi, for instance).

Are there other elements that make that more difficult in your view?

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Tacticsalien wrote:

So: space dryads when? XD

(Also: is there any particular design considerations or ideas when generating Starfinder fey, compared to other monsters?)

Space dryads now! But not in any print products I know about. ;)

Starfinder fey haven't necessarily kept all of the design signposts that they had in Pathfinder, but they still have a creature type graft (Alien Archive 133) to keep in mind, and of course a strong First World connection (and all that that implies).

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
How do I deal with the growing sense of FOMO I've been getting when I find out the updates to the canon that come from SFS play in later published stuff or updates to the Starfinder Wiki, and the increasing resentment that builds because I don't have time for Organized Play?

Handling FOMO is something I know very little about. If you figure it out, let me know!

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Nefreet wrote:
Thanks again, Joe!

My pleasure! Also: nice direct-address comma.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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[I'm answering this again, because I can.]

Adrian Ng wrote:
What upcoming Switch game are you looking forward to the most?

Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening! I played the Game Boy version as a kid and loved it (was my first Zelda game), and the reskin looks so beautiful.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Indeed, you can't use Cleave with an unwieldy weapon.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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AshenShade wrote:
p.273 CRB says, for both Bleeding and Burning, that "you take the listed amount of damage" at the beginning/start of your turn (emphasis mine). I would interpret the listed amount to be the value in the effect's text (from your example, 1d6) and thus roll every round.

I interpret it the same way!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

Damanta wrote:

I read it as:

Pick between biting (ring) with x2 level damage, or racial with 1.5x level tusk.
Same as the nuar could pick between the biting (ring) or the racial horns.

I read the question the same way.

A morlamaw wearing a ring of fangs has two options for their unarmed strike. Whichever they use, their natural attack trait's removal of archaic applies.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Lord Fyre wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
(And here I thought you couldn’t top the dancing one.)

He still hasn't.

How is the cost & level armor calculated?

i.e., for home brewing new armors, how does the KAC, EAC, Movement Penalty, Skill Check, Bulk, Slots and category (Light/Heavy) impact the cost of the armor and the assessed level of the armor?

Appropriate that you are asking this question, as the answer is a bit of an interpretive dance! Like most design, it's a mix of science and art.

For the science: Cost, level, and AC are the most tightly tied together; I'd look at existing armor and use those as a baseline.

The art: Consider how impactful/restrictive/easy-to-get-around various penalties and bonuses might be to characters of different classes and builds—here's where you also make sure that the armor isn't strictly better or worse than existing armor.

Good luck!

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Thanks for all the thanks! I promise to try to address issues as they come up, and I ask for your understanding when it takes a bit of time, as I'm constantly working on about a dozen different things at once.

Here're some more answers.

Brightwater Glimmer wrote:

additional question - I am a morlamaw, and I have a natural attack of some sort. It is listed as a Tusk attack in the stat block, but not explicitly listed as a "tusk" attack in the Stat block. How would this attack and the ring of fangs interact? Would I gain both a tusk and a bite attack?

If they are the same attack, do the effects stack, a d how do they stack?

They're separate attacks from separate sources; you'd decide which you want to use.

jon30041 wrote:
Does the ring require having a mouth? If a race is mouthless, can the fangs go elsewhere (ie, spiky hands on an SRO)?

For this and the other physiology-related questions, please apply the philosophy laid out in Starfinder Armory:

Starfinder Armory page 4 wrote:
While Starfinder has a preponderance of nonhumanoid aliens with strange morphology, any playable alien race can purchase and use the equipment in this book. A betentacled barathu (Starfinder Alien Archive 20) soldier can wield a hydra cannon and make use of hoverskates just as easily as a kasathan soldier.

Finally, for questions like the below, I'd like to wait until the Character Operations Manual is out in November, with the final rules. Feel free to ping then!

Brightwater Glimmer wrote:

Another question:

Would it work with the vanguard's Entropic Strike?
"pithica42 wrote:
How does the ring of fangs interact with shields?

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Ascalaphus wrote:

Great to have answers!

If I can follow up with a few more questions -

Q1: If the Rune of the Eldritch Knight works, does that mean that Gloom Weapons work as well?

Yep!

Ascalaphus wrote:
Q2: Is the archaic trait negated even by natural weapons that are clearly not a bite? Vesk natural weapons are a bit vague, but nuar have a gore attack. Does that still remove the archaic trait?

Yep! Guess once you're able to super tail-slap or gore someone, even when they're in armor, you can apply that learned knowledge to biting them real good.

Ascalaphus wrote:
Q3: You list being able to bite as a requirement for actually using the Ring of Fangs. How does that work with armor? Can you generally make bite attacks in armor? What about if environmental protections are enabled? Some armors mention that they use force fields, but others seem to be solid matter, which might get in the way of bite attacks.

You can generally make bite attacks in armor. There are infinite cans of rabbit-hole-worms down the path of explaining every physical reality or physiological specialty of the 100+ playable species in Starfinder.

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Dracomicron wrote:
Thanks, Joe. And congrats on the new position. Who did you annoy to get this punishment? (kidding!)

SO MANY people. But joke's on them—turns out I enjoy working with my colleagues and y'all to find solutions and play fun games ^_^

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Hello again, all!

I've posted some clarifications about the ring of fangs (in a separate thread to help those looking for similar answers in the future).

Thank you again to those of you who marked this as FAQ!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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There have been a number of questions about the ring of fangs, a magic item from The Cult of the Devourer article in Starfinder Adventure Path #2: Temple of the Twelve.

In this thread, we'll answer those questions in order to help GMs adjudicate its use.
Please note that questions broader than the scope of the ring of fangs warrant their own rules-questions threads and FAQ requests.

First, let's clarify the text of the item itself (changing it from page 53 of the Adventure Path):
When you wear this ring, your teeth become long and sharp, giving you a powerful bite attack. This grants you a special unarmed strike that deals lethal piercing damage and threatens squares within your reach. You must be able to use your mouth to bite to use this unarmed strike, but it does not require a hand to wield. If you are 3rd level or higher, you gain a special version of the Weapon Specialization feat that adds double your level to the damage of this unarmed strike (rather than adding your level).

Second, answers to questions related to the original text (and interactions with other player options):

Does the unarmed strike granted by ring of fangs have the archaic weapon special property?
Yes.

Does the ring of fangs allow the wearer to threaten squares (and therefore make attacks of opportunity)?
Yes, as long as the wearer has the ability to use their mouth to bite.

Does the unarmed strike granted by ring of fangs require a free limb?
No. However, effects that impede your ability to bite also cause you to lose the ability to make the attack granted by ring of fangs for the duration of the effect.

How does the ring of fangs interact with the feat Improved Unarmed Strike?
The Improved Unarmed Strike feat increases the damage of the unarmed strike granted by the ring of fangs as noted in the feat.

How does the ring of fangs interact with the natural weapons racial trait of playable species, such as vesk?
The natural weapons trait removes the archaic special property from a character's unarmed strikes, and this includes the special unarmed strike granted by the ring of fangs. However, the natural weapons trait does not increase the level-based damage a PC deals with the unarmed strike granted by the ring of fangs.

How does the ring of fangs interact with specific player options?
Damage to attacks granted by powered armor: This does not increase the damage of an unarmed strike granted by the ring of fangs.
Hammer First: This does not apply to the unarmed strike granted by the ring of fangs.
Melee Striker: This applies to the unarmed strike granted by the ring of fangs.
Raw Lethality: This applies to the unarmed strike granted by the ring of fangs (unless something has removed the archaic trait, such as a natural weapons racial trait).
Rune of the Eldritch Knight: A soldier with this style technique can grant fusions to the unarmed strike granted by the ring of fangs.

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Will Nocticula ever make a Post-Gap appearance in Starfinder?

No immediate plans that I know of, though it's been interesting seeing what my friends on Lost Golarion have been doing with her story.

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Hi there! As the recently minted Starfinder Lead Designer, I'm looking at this closely.

I appreciate the many of you who have marked this as a FAQ. I've had some discussion with the team about the questions raised in the first and twelfth posts of this thread (the ones prominently marked for FAQ).

I'll get back to you here as soon as I have some answers for you.

Thanks!

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pithica42 wrote:

So it's basically just a way to use a Zenith early? As (at least currently) all the others grant extra abilities if you're attuned or fully attuned.

That sounds like what you're saying, just trying to confirm.

Correct!

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We do generally try to print options that do things, which can be taken into account when running games with your friends!

That said, the first sentence of Periastra Training's benefit line should read "When you have 1 or 2 attunement points, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to use a stellar revelation as if you were fully attuned to your current mode."

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Tacticslion wrote:
What is the best in life?

To crush your enmity—see it driven before you—and to hear the affirmation of your wisdom.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Lord Fyre wrote:
Can you answer this question in Interpretive Dance?

...

-- o -- \ o / -- o
- /|\ --- | --- /|\
- / \ --- / \ --- / \

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
What would be the aspects of both Pathfinder and Starfinder lore that you'd say you're most knowledgeable about, for the purposes of asking questions in this thread?

I'm way into the Drift! Its locations, quirks, and outsiders—especially the spectra.

I also now know a fair amount about Liavara (after preparing for yesterday's Starfinder Wednesday stream). Otherwise, though, I'm a setting butterfly, fluttering around all the interesting and colorful pieces!

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Tacticslion wrote:
If you could edit something from Adrian Ng, what would it be?

If he ever writes a Starfinder module, I'd love to edit it.

Tacticslion wrote:
If you could manage the development of of something by Adam Daigle, what would it be?

His rad idea for an RPG that uses [redacted].

Tacticslion wrote:
If you could contribute something to Andrew Mullen, what would it be?

Continued confidence in his abilities as a writer.

Tacticslion wrote:
If you could hide something in that one guy's closet, what would it be?

A life-size cardboard cutout of Joe Pesci.

Tacticslion wrote:
If you could question that other guy, what would it be?

How did they gain the rank of Captain?

Tacticslion wrote:
If you could use tactics or a lion on that one guy, what tactic would it be?

A lion.

Tacticslion wrote:
Do you like Polygon's Unraveled (with Brian David Gilbert) show? Do you have a favorite? And if so, which?

I didn't know I did, but it looks right up my alley! Ask me again in a few weeks.

Tacticslion wrote:
What's the name of the bird on your head in your twitter picture?

Button

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Andrew Mullen wrote:
What's your favorite Appalachian Trail memory?

This one!

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HammerJack wrote:
While we're talking about debated mount rules, does AA3 also still not address the question of bulk of the rider and if/how it applies?

Page 140: "Bulk: You can mount your creature companion as long as the total amount of bulk you’re carrying doesn’t exceed your carrying capacity. If you have the encumbered condition (or gain the overburdened condition) while mounted, your creature companion gains the same condition while you are riding it."

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Thanks, all!
Please mark the first post as a FAQ candidate, if you would, and know that I'm keeping an eye on this with the intent of clarifying things soon™.

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Kingbrendarr wrote:
Joe Pasini wrote:


Kingbrendarr wrote:
will the new animal companion add more robust rules for drones as well like more ways to use the saddle perhaps ?
The rules for creature companions don't include additional rules for drones; it was important to us to keep the two systems distinct.

let me rephrase the question because that is super valid and very important.

The drone saddle allows for treating a drone as a combat trained mount. Will there be greater clarity on what that means and what we can do ?

Thank you for helping me understand your question!

While the mount rules in AA3 clarify some of what's in the Starfinder Core Rulebook, they are directed toward creature companions. As a GM, I would personally use these rules to help guide my treatment of drones as combat-trained mounts, but I will be working with Thurston Hillman and Organized Play to help officially codify things for our OP programs, at the very least.

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HTD wrote:
Are there any new members of major outsider races (name, size, CR)?

Does an entire new major outsider species count? This establishes the Drift's major outsiders, spectra, with two different members!

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Sc8rpi8n_mjd wrote:

An example: A character has resistance 5 to acid and 10 temporary hitpoints. An attack hits the character, dealing 15 acid damage. How do you apply damage correctly?

a) The character resists 5 points of damage due to its resistance, and the remaining damage (10) is applied to the temp. hitpoints, reducing them to 0.

Sc8rpi8n_mjd wrote:

I think the correct answer is a), but I haven't found anything specific in the rules.

You are correct!

Apply any resistance or damage reduction, then deduct from temporary Hit Points, Stamina Points, and/or Hit Points (in that order).

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Troodos wrote:

I LOVE the Dirindi.

Are the Jinsuls playable?

The jinsuls aren't a playable species—but every other creature featured here is!

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Anorak wrote:
So it will work similar to PF2 animal companion system?

We certainly looked to PF2 (and several other places) to inform our design on this, but it's its own system.

Troodos wrote:
Will it be possible to get multiple companions?

While you can purchase as many appropriate creatures as you like, you can have only creature companion (relationships take work!).

Cyrad wrote:
The science nerd in me squees at the idea of a ferrofluid ooze.

Sam Phelan did a great job incorporating the science into this weird, "only in Starfinder" creature!

Kingbrendarr wrote:
will the new animal companion add more robust rules for drones as well like more ways to use the saddle perhaps ?

The rules for creature companions don't include additional rules for drones; it was important to us to keep the two systems distinct.

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ulgulanoth wrote:
I hope that Alien Archive 3 has 1) Kaijus and 2) Giant Robots, because my Starfinder games need Kaiju vs Giant Robot fights

You sound like Amanda (Hamon, our managing developer); she wrote a why-not-both kaiju mech for this book (which you can always pit against the kyokor from Alien Archive 1).

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The Gold Sovereign wrote:
By the way, those are true dragons right?

The truest! We knew early on that we wanted to have a Starfinder-specific "family" of dragons, so I'm excited too.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

Leo: Ergerberger avvvzzzhh.. jlkshbcvx @lyz

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The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
Starmetal Dragons!?!

Yep! They use the basic statistics of dragons (as presented in Alien Archive and Alien Archive 2), along with different template grafts (which add special abilities and other adjustments) for each of five starmetals: abysium, adamantine, horacalcum, noqual, and siccatite.

The_Minstrel_Wyrm wrote:
And a PF player of mine wants to know, will there be rules for kitsune in Starfinder, in the Alien Archive 3?

Nope. If you're interested in what else is in the book, I'll be talking all about Alien Archive 3 next week on the return of Starfinder Wednesday, with host Payton Smith! Join us at 1pm Pacific on August 14th.

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