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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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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1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

After helping unpack the free RPG day stuff at a local game store, I just want to know one thing: where are the space goblin miniatures? I love the art for the space goblin. And they seem to retain their potential for causing chaos in combat.

Community & Digital Content Director

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed a handful of posts. This product's initial release is June 17 for Free RPG Day. If you've managed to receive a copy in advance of this event or know of a retailer that is releasing it early, this goes against the spirit of that event. Information about early releases like this should be sent to our Sales team at distributor.orders@paizo.com.

Lantern Lodge

I want to demo this for my local store for RPG day but am running into an issue of a small adventure path for them to run on. I was thinking just running we be goblins characters stumble upon a portal into a derelect space ship with dinosaurs on it. Yes Dinosaurs on a space ship...

Are there any official one-off adventure path's to demo on that day or is the only option we have is home brew?


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My FLGS is a stickler for the Free RPG Day materials. They work really hard to get people in running and playing games. We were talking about what could be run for Starfinder. Does anyone have any ideas?


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

Since it is basically a monster book, the only thing I can think of would be for somebody to throw together a short Pathfinder adventure where you fight a few of the monsters in the book. I am not sure whether the contents of that book provide sufficient conversion information or whether anyone will have the book long enough in advance to do that conversion work, though.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Nim Folkor wrote:
My FLGS is a stickler for the Free RPG Day materials. They work really hard to get people in running and playing games. We were talking about what could be run for Starfinder. Does anyone have any ideas?

You're definitely going to have to write or heavily adapt whatever you do. Pathfinder characters exploring a crashed spaceship or something like that might be a good way to handle it, and David's idea of using monsters from the First Contact book is a good one, if you can make the time for it.


You could probably look at adapting a piece of the Iron Gods AP. Seems to fit about right I would think. :)


Maybe the iconics level 1 sheets will all be publicly available by then? Then you can run some combat. You kind of can with what's been shown, but not really.

Dark Archive

Here is a preview of four of the twelve creatures inside:

Free RPG Day—Awesomely Alien

There you´ll find:

-Security Robot
-Space Goblin
-Necrovite aka Bone Sage of Eox
-Ksarik

All great creatures with very cool artwork.

It is possible to cobble together a Starfinder adventure with this book imo, but it will be a very limited one.

I recommend getting Starship Chambers and Starship Corridors and you´re halfway ready. ;-)

Dark Archive

You could also use People of the Stars and extrapolite.

Community & Digital Content Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Updated to clarify the release date on paizo.com. :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Updated to clarify the release date on paizo.com. :)

With the nearest free rpg day participating store being one country over, I'm happy to see that I can get my hands on the pdf before the game actually releases :D


When will this book be available today?


Hannibull Rektor wrote:
When will this book be available today?

You have to physically go to a retailer participating in the event during their business hours. Otherwise you can download the free pdf July 1st.


So umm. I dunno if we can talk about it yet, so please delete if we can't, but can Haans wield weapons? It doesn't say they can't, but I'm looking at that picture and it doesn't look like it?


If we're allowed to ask questions now, do player character contemplatives retain telepathy?


FLGS ran out in less than three minutes. I didn't get one in spite of showing up half an hour before the stores posted opening time. The process was fair, but it failed me.


Archmage Variel wrote:
If we're allowed to ask questions now, do player character contemplatives retain telepathy?

It's uhh, not technically listed on there. Just like it doesn't say Haans can't use weapons. Contemplatives don't have mouths and Haans don't have hands tho?


Lanitril wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
If we're allowed to ask questions now, do player character contemplatives retain telepathy?
It's uhh, not technically listed on there. Just like it doesn't say Haans can't use weapons. Contemplatives don't have mouths and Haans don't have hands tho?

It does say they eat, and they have other non telepathic languages, which would imply some sort of mouth. I was just hoping that they retain their telepathy, as it seems like a fun ability roleplay wise.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Actually, the entry for Contemplatives' languages does not include (can't speak), so they probably can. Also, they're monstrous humanoids and thus need to eat, breathe, sleep- they probably have mouths.

I'd say they probably don't retain the telepathy, as it's not listed, and neither are their spell-like abilities. Their flight speed has been reduced and their blindsight downgraded to blindsense. Likely their minds haven't been honed in the same manner as the "Monster" Contemplatives.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The Haan's picture has several simple tools strapped to it's lower body, so presumably, despite taboos, they have some way of manipulating tools.


Any way we can get a ruling on racial languages?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So, The ability scores of Starfinder Monsters are described solely in terms of their modifiers now. EAC is Energy Armor Class and KAC was Kinetic Armor Class. That's sort of interesting as a Design choice.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Also, things that provide a static bonus (such as Improved Initiative) are incorporated into the stat blocks and not listed. No Hit Dice. All in all, the Stat Blocks are very condensed.

EDIT:Given the change in Attributes, the change of poisons/diseases to line up with the Pathfinder Unchained's condition tracks makes a lot of sense. (I do wonder how things like the Bloodbrother's Rib Cage Prison ability's Constitution Damage interact with the truncated Attributes.)

Grand Lodge

Any store in Holland where I can get this?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Archmage Variel wrote:
Any way we can get a ruling on racial languages?

I have a copy. What exactly is the question about racial languages?


David knott 242 wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
Any way we can get a ruling on racial languages?

I have a copy. What exactly is the question about racial languages?

I've got one too. I haven't seen any information that says what languages the different player races get (i.e. does the contemplative get telepathy), so I'm not sure the book has the answer.


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

The Contemplative speaks Akitonian, Common, and Ysoki and also has telepathy. The Space Goblin speaks Common and Goblin. A few of the planets seem to have their own languages.


David knott 242 wrote:

The Contemplative speaks Akitonian, Common, and Ysoki and also has telepathy. The Space Goblin speaks Common and Goblin. A few of the planets seem to have their own languages.

I mean the player race contemplatives. Like when you play an elf, you get elven and common.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Archmage Variel wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

The Contemplative speaks Akitonian, Common, and Ysoki and also has telepathy. The Space Goblin speaks Common and Goblin. A few of the planets seem to have their own languages.

I mean the player race contemplatives. Like when you play an elf, you get elven and common.

Unless I miss my guess, I would presume that anything not changed in the PC race version uses the same information as the base version.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Archmage Variel wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

The Contemplative speaks Akitonian, Common, and Ysoki and also has telepathy. The Space Goblin speaks Common and Goblin. A few of the planets seem to have their own languages.

I mean the player race contemplatives. Like when you play an elf, you get elven and common.

Ah, I see. As you may have noticed, the racial traits sidebar does not mention languages or telepathy, so we have no idea whether we read them in from the monster entry or follow some sort of default rule in the Core Rulebook. I would assume that we should not need a race specific language entry in some other place to answer that question.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

What are the mechanics of rolling a d810?

Silver Crusade

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

1d810 ⇒ 743

Shadow Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

With Starfinder being technologically advanced, you will need to bring an electronic die roller for some rules.


Archmage Variel wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

The Contemplative speaks Akitonian, Common, and Ysoki and also has telepathy. The Space Goblin speaks Common and Goblin. A few of the planets seem to have their own languages.

I mean the player race contemplatives. Like when you play an elf, you get elven and common.

Maybe PC races don't get extra free languages in Starfinder. Or do we know otherwise?


Sorry if this has been answered, but I just saw a review, perhaps from Free RPG release. If physical copies are out, why is the PDF not released until July 1?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

This is why.

Free RPG Day Sponsorship Form pg2 wrote:
Print and/or PDF versions of the product will NOT be disseminated anywhere else until SATURDAY, JULY 1, 2017.


Hmm. Ok, I get it. REASONS. Thx TOZ.

Shadow Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Legal REASONS.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Free RPG Day is an event aimed at promotiong brick and mortar stores. They ain't too happy about PDFs in the first place and would be even less if the free products which are supposed to attract people would be made available in electronic format on day one.


Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Sorry if this has been answered, but I just saw a review, perhaps from Free RPG release. If physical copies are out, why is the PDF not released until July 1?

Wait A minute, I wrote that review!

Honestly, I'm surprised there aren't more reviews.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Vapid Captain Yesterday wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Sorry if this has been answered, but I just saw a review, perhaps from Free RPG release. If physical copies are out, why is the PDF not released until July 1?

Wait A minute, I wrote that review!

Honestly, I'm surprised there aren't more reviews.

I'd have written one, but since it's a free product, the need isn't great, people can just grab it and see for themselves. There's no risk in buying.

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