Starfinder First Contact

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GameMastery Module D0: Hollow's Last Hope (OGL)
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Creatures from Another World

The Starfinder Roleplaying Game arrives in August 2017, but the first aliens are landing right now! Within this top-secret dossier, you'll find a dozen otherworldly foes both bizarre and familiar, from the asteroid-dwelling sarcesians who ride solar winds on wings of light to technomagical undead horrors capable of ruling forever as the sinister Bone Sages of Eox. While all the creatures in this book are designed for use with Starfinder, all can be easily converted for use with Pathfinder, so there's no need to wait until August to start battling invaders from space!

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • A dozen alien creatures from throughout Golarion's solar system.
  • Player-race information to let you be the alien, from the atrophied psychic creatures called contemplatives to the bug-like haan who float across gas giants on balloons of spun webbing.
  • Instructions for easily converting Starfinder creatures into Pathfinder foes.
  • Sneak previews of some of the new abilities and rules systems featured in Starfinder.

Take your Pathfinder campaign to the stars with this official manual of Starfinder aliens!

Note: Starfinder First Contact was created for Free RPG Day on June 17, 2017. The $5.00 print edition and a free download version will become available on paizo.com beginning July 1, 2017.

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Are there errors or omissions in this product information? Got corrections? Let us know at store@paizo.com.

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Space Goblins!

5/5

Space Goblins: say no more, that is worth 5 stars.

More seriously, a nice starter for Starfinder.


An RPG Resource Review

4/5

Interestingly, rather than the usual short adventure to introduce a new game this taster work presents a mini-bestiary of new alien races that can be encountered in local space. Given the similarity of the new system to the Pathfinder one on which it is based, these creatures can be used in a Pathfinder game.

However, there are some differences between the two systems and a couple of pages are devoted to explaining them. Most of the changes are relatively trivial and should only trouble those who obsess point-by-point. How to tweak them is also explained. Naturally there are some new abilities due to the science-fantasy setting, and these are also explained here.

Then it's on to the creatures themselves, eleven of them. Needless to say, a Space Goblin is included. Legend has it they are descended from some regular Golarion ones who stowed away on an early spaceship, and indeed they haven't changed from their ancestors... and are mostly found on Absalom Station although they do travel the spacelanes as well. Being space-FANTASY many of them sound pretty much like any other monster just with a few space-faring tweaks, and things like undead are included.

One of the pleasures of playing any futuristic game is having the chance to play an alien. Some of these creatures have the potential to be used as player-characters, and these are provided with a section of information called Racial Traits designed to facilitate generating characters of that species. It's not quite as straightforward as deciding to play an elf or a dwarf, but it can be done.

It's clear that you are still in the same universe as you have been playing Pathfinder, certainly if your game runs on Golarion, the core setting world. These beasties all settle in to the same style and you can imagine a biologist from Golarion not being too surprised at meeting any of them. It's all nicely illustrated, with a single page per creature bestiary-style. Give them a whirl...


Not Perfect, but Worth the Price!

4/5

First Contact was Paizo's giveaway for "Free RPG Day" in June of 2017. The book is a fifteen-page "bestiary" of sorts, with several new creatures a Starfinder GM can throw at players. But players should be interested too, as the book contains four new playable races that expand the options given in the Core Rulebook. The book is available for a free PDF download here, or a print copy can be purchased for just $ 5. I wouldn't normally go through every entry in a rulebook, but since it's only fifteen pages, it shouldn't take long.

First, a fantastic cover by Caio Maciel Monteiro of Navasi (the Envoy Iconic) and Quig (the Mechanic Iconic) blasting away at some space goblins. I especially like Quig's flamethrower. The artwork is reproduced sans logo as the inside back-cover. The inside front cover is a chart showing the planets in the solar system where Golarion used to exist, along with indications as to where the various creatures in the book hail from. It's a nice shorthand representation. Oddly, it's titled "Starfinder Monsters in Pathfinder" which I think would be confusing to many readers since Starfinder is a new game (even though some of it could be easily converted to Pathfinder).

The first page is a table of contents, indicating that the book will cover 11 new alien species. There are new "Monster Reference Symbols", which are icons that are prominently featured in each monster entry, indicating whether it is a "Combatant" (strong physical fighter), "Expert" (skill-based creature), or "Spellcaster" (self-explanatory). I like this system of symbols better than the more comprehensive but harder to decipher system used in the Pathfinder bestiaries.

The book starts with a three-page Introduction. The first section is "What's Different", which briefly summarizes how Starfinder works differently than Pathfinder. For monster creation, one of the big changes is that they're not built with the same rules that PCs are built like in Pathfinder: instead, there are separate, much faster monster creation rules similar to the optional system introduced in Pathfinder Unchained. I have to withhold judgment on whether this is a good move or not, but I know there's a lot of controversy about it in the forums. The section goes on to talk about how ability scores are no longer listed (just modifiers), there are two types of armor class (Energy Armor Class for energy attacks and Kinetic Armor Class for physical attacks), feats are listed only if they can be actively used instead of just providing static modifiers (a great idea), weapons and attacks are now listed with the type of damage they do and there are no confirmation rolls required for crits (which will make sessions faster-paced and potentially more lethal), various types of senses are streamlined, CMB and CMD is no longer a thing, and disease and radiation use the alternative rules introduced in Pathfinder Unchained. You can see that the designers of Starfinder have worked hard to simplify, streamline, and modernize the rules.

Interestingly, the Introduction goes on to provide a preview of some class abilities from the Operative and Soldier classes: much of this information will become redundant (and could be tinkered with) once the Starfinder Core Rulebook is widely available, but for now it's a fun away to see what sort of style of abilities the classes have. Operatives (at certain levels) can get a cool "Cloaking Field" ability that essentially allow them to hide in plain sight, a "Debilitating Trick" ability to make an opponent flat-footed or off-target, a "Trick Attack" ability to catch an opponent flat-footed and do extra damage, and an "Uncanny Mobility" ability to avoid attacks of opportunity from a particular enemy. The Soldier can get a "Grenade Expert" ability to increase the range increment of grenades and manufacture them without paying for them. On the whole, I really like what I see: they're new and different, but still clear and easy to follow for people familiar with how Pathfinder works.

Finally, the Introduction talks about two new Universal Monster Rules ("Limited Telepathy" and "Unliving") and three new weapon abilities. This latter category will be great fun for players and GMs alike, as every weapon has a special ability that activates on a critical hit. The ones discussed here are Arc (the energy blast hits a second enemy), Burn (the target is set on fire), and Explode (boom!).

Now, on to the new creatures.

1. Bloodbrother. Look at the artwork closely and you see why this creature is so cool (and creepy). Basically, it can grab people and place them within its ribcage to start draining their blood (Con damage). It's a really cool concept, though there's not a lot of information about ways a character escapes once within the rib cage prison.

2. Contemplative. First introduced in Distant Worlds, the Contemplatives of Ashok are essentially enormous telepathically/telekinetically empowered brains with vestigial bodies attached. They're definitely very "alien," but the best part is that they're a playable PC race. My only critique is that there's very little background on them (three short sentences).

3. Ellicoth. These are enormous (Gargantuan) creatures that live on the planet Eox and devour undead while giving off a radioactive aura. They have a fun ecological niche.

4. Space Goblins. Perhaps my favourite entry in the book, as the artwork is just a perfect encapsulation of goblins (I especially like the band-aids holding together the cracked space helmet!). I actually really like the special abilities space goblins receive, as their well-known fondness for scrounging, tinkering, and using homemade weapons comes to the forefront.

5. Haan. These are weird, giant bug creatures that fly by means of crafting personal balloons out of webbing and inflating them with jets of gas they can emit. Hey, it's science-fantasy so you may as well think outside the box!. They're also a playable race, and are large-size creatures which is definitely a shift from the Pathfinder norm. They don't do a lot for me, and it's hard to picture what their culture and personalities would be like, but hopefully that'll be expanded on later.

6. Ksarik. Mobile quadrupeds that are supposed to be plant monsters, but neither the artwork nor the write-up really makes the creature feel that way. These are definitely "monsters for monsters-sake" creatures that PCs won't feel the need to try to negotiate with or befriend. They have an interesting but somewhat complicated ability to adapt their bodies to that of creatures they're fighting--I'm not sure how this would play out in a game, but it definitely allows them to be unpredictable opponents.

7. Necrovites. "Space liches" comes to mind, as these residents of the undead planet Eox have mastered both magic and technology. We see hints to a lot of cool tech (like an "Eoxian wrackstaff" and a "d-suit IV with gray force field") and a variety of special abilities, but there's only 26 words of background/description.

8. Orocoran. An excellent write-up of a creepy aberration from Aucturn. Orocorans can spew vomit that causes targets to hallucinate and then, while targets are disabled, the monster stabs them with a blood-sucking proboscis.

9. Security robots. Although security robots may not seem particular exciting, including them here was an excellent choice as I imagine they'll get a *lot* of use by GMs in a variety of adventure scenarios. The write-up is quite detailed and provides some instant insight into Absalom Station, and even includes a little adventure hook at the end. The shoulder-monster turret is a fun touch.

10. Sarcesian. Last of the playable races, and another large-size creature. Interesting to see how that shakes out in gameplay, as having 10' reach is a big advantage. Sarcesians are spindly humanoids specially adapted to survive short periods in vacuum, and can even grow energy wings to move through space. The idea is interesting, but it's hard to picture what they're like in terms of personality. There's a notorious (and humorous) typo here, as the creature's rifle is listed as doing "1d810+5" points of damage!

11. Space pirates. Another smart addition, as space pirates are a natural anytime a random encounter to shake things up is needed. The artwork is a bit bland here, but we are treated to two stat blocks (a CR 1 "Space Pirate Crew Member" and a CR 4 "Space Pirate Captain").

Overall, the artwork is quite strong and definitely up to what we expect from Paizo: in addition to the aforementioned cover, there's several other stand-out pieces. I know layout and space constraints make detailing new creatures quite challenging, but I'm not sure if the right balance was struck in some of the entries: a two-page spread would have been better for some of the creatures, even if it meant fewer overall. As a "Free RPG Day" product I think Paizo could have made a better choice than a mini-bestiary, as there wasn't anything readers could do with the book other than wait several weeks for Starfinder to come out. Still, once the Core Rulebook is out, this free little book will be almost essential in giving GMs some adversaries for the PCs. And hey, it is a free download, so one can't really complain!


Hopefully a sign of things to come...

5/5

The insight to mechanics is interesting, the creatures are unique, and the playable races are far more ambitious than one would expect from a preview of a game yet to be released. Oh, and the art is straight-up top-notch. I really hope this quality is continued in the upcoming Starfinder products!


Looks good so far

5/5

The aliens look great and the bits for classes are interesting. Wish there has been some info on ships. If the hardcover lives up to the promise of the sneak peek it will be a staple with my gaming group.


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Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Zahariel wrote:

So excited for this!

... Except there aren't any brick-and-mortar FLGS in my country so no FRPG for us.
Will the PDF download be available soon after or will we have to wait until August to play?

Shortly after Free RPG Day - definetly in june 2017. ;-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dragon78 wrote:
Were do you see 4 playable races?

space goblins and sarcesians from the Q&A, Haan and Contemplatives from the product description.


Mad props to the artist who somehow has figured out how to make me want this more then I already do.


Reminds of the book they did with the 12 monsters that were not used in B1 but would end up in B3.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Zahariel wrote:

So excited for this!

... Except there aren't any brick-and-mortar FLGS in my country so no FRPG for us.
Will the PDF download be available soon after or will we have to wait until August to play?
Shortly after Free RPG Day - definetly in june 2017. ;-)

Actually, I believe there is a one-month window for Free RPG Day products to be available only at game stores. So more like July 2017. (That's when I added We B4 Goblins! to my downloads last year, and I'm pretty sure I snapped it up as soon as it became available.)


Torbyne wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
Torbyne wrote:


Disappointed that both of Navasi's guns are making the same blue burst kind of shot there, i was hoping they operated on different technologies and we'd have a physical and a laser or magic based weapon.

There's some artistic license going on here. Her guns are definitely NOT exactly the same!
Yay! ... so now maybe hint at what they are?! :D

Looking at it again, her pistol on the cover of Incident at Absalom Station looks like its based on a wood handled revolver with a heat shield over the barrel, maybe a long red dot on the top and an under barrel adapter of some kind. But on First Contact it looks like an almost completely different weapon based off a semi-automatic that is firing from the top most barrel protrusion, what looks like a possible sight on the other artwork. The heat shield aesthetic of the middle barrel portion is gone and the bottom piece looks like it belongs as a factory part instead of a hodge-podged home build.

I know its all sci-fantasy and character gear changes all the time and there is no real world thing to use as a reference and all of that but it was still surprising when i saw the two and realized how different they are from each other. one looks much more fitting for the rust-punk vibes on the cover of Incident while the more purpose built look on First Contact better fits the functioning future look of that one.

was it an honest goof or a purposeful decision to have iconics better represent the gear and looks of different modules?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Joana wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Zahariel wrote:

So excited for this!

... Except there aren't any brick-and-mortar FLGS in my country so no FRPG for us.
Will the PDF download be available soon after or will we have to wait until August to play?
Shortly after Free RPG Day - definetly in june 2017. ;-)
Actually, I believe there is a one-month window for Free RPG Day products to be available only at game stores. So more like July 2017. (That's when I added We B4 Goblins! to my downloads last year, and I'm pretty sure I snapped it up as soon as it became available.)

The Free RPG Day publisher's agreement stipulates that print and PDF versions cannot be disseminated anywhere else until July 1. (So I can guarantee you it won't be June.) However, for a reason that I cannot yet share, there's a high probability that we may wait until August 17, when the Starfinder Core Rulebook (and the rest of the August releases) go on sale.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:
for a reason that I cannot yet share, there's a high probability that we may wait until August 17, when the Starfinder Core Rulebook (and the rest of the August releases) go on sale.

:(


Garrett Guillotte wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
for a reason that I cannot yet share, there's a high probability that we may wait until August 17, when the Starfinder Core Rulebook (and the rest of the August releases) go on sale.
:(

Will there be a digital version of First Contact's content in August? Will we be able to cite or reference First Contact content under the CUP for use at our table?


I will put in for my pto now, lol.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Garrett Guillotte wrote:
Will there be a digital version of First Contact's content in August? Will we be able to cite or reference First Contact content under the CUP for use at our table?

As the product listing above says, the print edition will be available for sale and a free download will be available on paizo.com Summer 2017. It will be listed in Section 1 of the Community Use Approved Product List.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
However, for a reason that I cannot yet share, there's a high probability that we may wait until August 17, when the Starfinder Core Rulebook (and the rest of the August releases) go on sale.

Tease!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So -- If we are impatient sorts who really want to get a chance to peruse this product befor Gencon, we had darned well better find a game store that is supporting Free RPG Day, right?


David knott 242 wrote:

So -- If we are impatient sorts who really want to get a chance to peruse this product befor Gencon, we had darned well better find a game store that is supporting Free RPG Day, right?

*Googles free RPG day*

... and I live two hours away from the nearest store....

Welp, I'm gonna have to stop checking Starfinder threads just to survive the tease of new info for so many months :P


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

And I am about an hour away -- so I will have a real decision to make that day.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Five minutes.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
However, for a reason that I cannot yet share, there's a high probability that we may wait until August 17, when the Starfinder Core Rulebook (and the rest of the August releases) go on sale.

Could be linking the marketing to the solar eclipse somehow... though that is four days later on August 21.

Scarab Sages

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
tchrman35 wrote:

Flame thrower in a limited-oxygen environment? Maybe not the best idea...

But i can't wait to play!

The flames are falling down. Maybe a napalm thrower?


*Locates nearest gameshop that does Free RPG day*

Can't wait.


Man, my group is already planning characters. Personally I want to see the Haan, though I would like to play the mechanic


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Looks like I have to wait till august since the closest free rpg day store to me is 3 hours away


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Is it still possible for local game stores to sign up for Free RPG Day? A friend of mine mentioned checking on whether a store that is not currently listed for that event might end up supporting it.

Paizo Employee Developer

David knott 242 wrote:

Is it still possible for local game stores to sign up for Free RPG Day? A friend of mine mentioned checking on whether a store that is not currently listed for that event might end up supporting it.

Looking at the the Free RPG site it looks like the deadline is February 17th for publishers, but I'm not sure about retailers.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

http://freerpgday.com/retailers.htm?v=2016b currently says "Retailer Sign-ups Coming Soon! Once we get all our publishers signed up, we'll open up our retailer sign-ups."

(Note that the retail locator has the heading "Here are the retailers taking part in Free RPG Day 2016", so those are the stores who participated last year.)


Chris Lambertz wrote:
Announced for Free RPG Day 2017! Image and description are final.

But free rpg day is feb 17th...not june 17th

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
alaiziadarkstar wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Announced for Free RPG Day 2017! Image and description are final.
But free rpg day is feb 17th...not june 17th
freerpgday.com wrote:
Deadline for publisher commitments for Free RPG Day 2017 is February 17th.

FreeRPG Day is June 17.


alaiziadarkstar wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Announced for Free RPG Day 2017! Image and description are final.
But free rpg day is feb 17th...not june 17th

That's the deadline for publisher commitments, not the actual day.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Sadly I can't benefit from Free RPG Day in my country. :(

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Usually the Free RPG Day materials are available online as free PDFs too so you can always download those and print them out if you don't want to read stuff on screen.


Milo v3 wrote:
I don't really understand why "space goblins" would have different rules to "goblins"...

Might have different skill sets and mutations relating to space.


Among goblins i bet they see a big difference. i am curious to see how many of their old superstitions followed them into space... i feel they are going to end up just a bit like 40K's greenskins who can slap together mostly functional weapons out of junk.


IonutRO wrote:
Sadly I can't benefit from Free RPG Day in my country. :(

I could pick up one and mail it to you, if you want. Just PM me your shipping info, and I'll get it out to you.


Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
She is not being very diplomatic.

Or they just didn't listen when she said "out of our way or we will shout! First and only warning."?

Tamec wrote:

To make anything Sci-fi you add Laser or Space to it.

a "Laser" sword (do not use the trademarked name)

and Space Beer

Laser baked Space Doughnuts and Space Cookies.


Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
She is not being very diplomatic.

You call this a diplomatic solution?


Axial wrote:
Steven "Troll" O'Neal wrote:
She is not being very diplomatic.
You call this a diplomatic solution?

Precisely.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Looks like I have a great reason to attend Free RPG day again. I have wanted to see the Haan ever since I read through Distant Worlds.
Also, you have no Idea how difficult it is not to make jokes about the Borg when the product is called First Contact.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Did you guys fit an adventure at all into this we can run on Free RPG day.

Our store just asked me to run this but I did not see anything to run in the description.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:

Did you guys fit an adventure at all into this we can run on Free RPG day.

Our store just asked me to run this but I did not see anything to run in the description.

I believe this product is more like the Bonus Bestiary than the adventures Paizo habitually releases for Free RPG Day. Probably because, as with PfRPG back in the day, the Free RPG Day product had to be ready before the actual rules were finalized. Even Crypt of the Everflame, which released with PfRPG, had some discrepancies.

I'm guessing your store is just assuming this is another adventure.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Nope—no adventure here. Just what's listed in the bullet points above.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Ah, interesting.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Guys... We were hoping to get our gamestore to participate in free RPG Day, but how can we do that if we have no game to entice players with? I was really hoping for a space-themed adventure that we could preview.

Hmm

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

As much as we would love to have done an intro adventure, the logistics rendered that impossible. To have a product in time for Free RPG Day, it had to go to the printer about two months ahead of the rules actually being finalized.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

OHO! SEIZE THE FLAMETHROWER, ME HEARTIES!

AND THEN TAKE THE SHIP!

THE IMPERIAL GOBLIN SPACE NAVY SHALL PREVAAAAAAAAAIL!


Amazing cover art.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Here's to Free RPG day!

Sovereign Court

Ok, can someone explain to me what this is? It's kind of confusing to me because I don't know much about Starfinder. Is this like the APG for Starfinder? Or is it something else?
I know that Alien Archive is basically Bestiary. Thanks for your help.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think it's a little bit of everything perhaps?

Paizo Employee Senior Developer, Starfinder Team

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Toloriel wrote:

Ok, can someone explain to me what this is? It's kind of confusing to me because I don't know much about Starfinder. Is this like the APG for Starfinder? Or is it something else?

I know that Alien Archive is basically Bestiary. Thanks for your help.

First Contact is basically a book of about 12 alien monsters. They are designed to give you a preview of what some of the Starfinder rules look like, but they can be used as monsters in either the Starfinder RPG or the Pathfinder RPG. Some of these alien also incorporate rules to be used as player races in Starfinder.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Basically, it's Starfinder's Bonus Bestiary.

Sovereign Court

Thanks, I appreciate it. Really looking forward to this game!

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