Starfinder Alien Archive

****( ) (based on 22 ratings)
Starfinder Alien Archive
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Close Encounters

Strange aliens both friendly and fearsome fill this tome of creatures designed for use with the Starfinder Roleplaying Game! From the gravity-manipulating frujais and planet-killing novaspawn to space goblins and security robots, the creatures in this codex will challenge adventurers no matter what strange worlds they're exploring. What's more, player rules for a host of creatures let players not just fight aliens, but be them!

Inside Starfinder Alien Archive, you'll find the following:

  • Over 80 bizarre life-forms both classic and new, from the reptilian ikeshtis and energy-bodied hallajins to robotic anacites and supernatural entities from beyond the realms of mortals.
  • Over 20 races with full player rules, letting you play everything from a winged dragonkin to a hyperevolved floating brain.
  • New alien technology to help give your character an edge, including weapons, armor, magic items, and more.
  • A robust NPC-creation system to let Game Masters build any aliens or creatures they can imagine.
  • New rules for magical monster summoning, quick templates to modify creatures on the fly, and more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-975-2

Note: This product is part of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscription.

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This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

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

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****( ) (based on 22 ratings)

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Great Product, But Mine is Missing Pages

***( )( )

As the title, from what I can tell by just looking at the monsters in this book it will be a joy to dive in fully. However, my copy of the book is missing pages 41-56. I am very disappointed with this. Otherwise, I would've given this product a full five stars, and might still do so if this is corrected sometime in the near future.


A truly treat addition to the Starfinder rules

****( )

If you buy the Alien Archive expecting it to be just like the Bestiary 1 was for Pathfinder, you're going to disappoint yourself.

The AA has monsters to fight, yes. But, also new races to play. New equipment is here for PCs and NPCs alike. The monster building rules are stream-lined and easy to grasp. I'm a huge fan of the way the Monster Summoning rules are future proofed to allow expansion in later releases without making the spells over-powered. I love the expanded monster entries and really enjoyed the artwork.

With AA, Paizo has been true to their word about wanting to give players the option to play as most of the aliens they would normally fight.

Do I want this book to be longer? Of course! But, I see this as a great first step in expanding the Starfinder universe and eagerly look forward to the Pact Worlds book.


Everything I hoped and more

*****

A lot of people have been complaining that this book is akin to IKEA furniture. However I have found that the stat blocks presented are complete and ready to use.

I find that there is a large variety of creatures that are littered with adventure hooks. The descriptions and fluff that follows each and every creature entry are superbly written and expand the lore in an incredible way.

I have decided that my favorite creature is is the Crest Eater and I want a pet one.

Perhaps my only issue with the book is that I felt there might be a few too many swarm based creatures. In terms of having a singular host creature that has things it spawns. There are three that I can remember.
However they do all have significantly different flavor beyond that.

The art is absolutely gorgeous. I was literally taking pictures to send to me friend to show him all the amazingly awesome creatures.

There are a host of new player races. Every race that I was reading fluff for and though, "hell it would be awesome to play on of these", guess what, they gave us stats to play that race.
To be fair there is 1 creature this is not the case for, the Hesper. They are radioactive fey that can literally morph with starship cores and cause mutations in people.

The grafts system is quick and easy to use to create whatever it is you want to make.
The monster creation rules as a whole are robust and easy to use.

I absolutely love the addition of items tied to different creatures.

TLDR:
The book is the first time I have honostly been this excited about the fluff and flavor of a setting. The writing is superb on top of amazing creature design. The art is gorgeous.

Basically, the book is incredible.


One Small Step for Starfinder

****( )

Like the core book, this is a fairly well executed book even if it isn't perfect. Unfortunately, unlike the core book, this is absolutely required material to play Starfinder. I can't really take off points for the book coming two months after the release of the game (though I will point out Starfinder is the only system to my knowledge to do that), but it's still not good planning for potential players. That point is moot at this point though.

The book itself has a good amount of imaginative monsters, ranging from gelatinous cubes made of devouring nanobot swarms to starship-sized Devils (who can also turn into starships), and a shockingly large amount of monsters in the book are also statted as possible PC races, which is a nice surprise for any potential player who wants to be something really weird and out there, like a giant floating psychic brain. The book also has a number of quick building rules for monsters and encounters, which with a bit of practice should speed up on-the-fly adjustments for groups who need a bit more of a challenge.

Unfortunately, the book is also very, very short. It clocks in at just over 160 pages total, under half of a normal Pathfinder bestiary. And, unlike Pathfinder, Starfinder doesn't have an expansive previous system it's based on to use for encounters. I have to assume that the book is short mostly due to an unfamiliarity with the Starfinder rules on the part of the writers, but given the extra two months between the book's release date and the core rulebook's release, the book shouldn't have been anywhere near this small, especially as the only real source of encounters currently available for the game. The small size of the book may not be an issue to everyone, but it IS an issue to be aware of, especially if buying the hardcover copy.


Not Half bad

***( )( )

Overall, it's a good book, the entries are creative and interesting. I like that there is a lot of new equipment, and also like that some setting information is included in the descriptions. But a few things knock it down from 5 stars to 3 stars.

For my tastes:

1. Book is too short for the price. $40 for 160 pages? Compare to PF Bestiaries at nearly same price and almost double pagecount. I got a subscriber discount so it made it slightly cheaper, but if AA2 is same pagecount, i'll probably skip the hardcover and just get pdf.

2. Too many races, not enough monsters. The core rulebook already has 7 races, plus all old PF races, I would prefer more monsters, and then slowly add in races as the game evolves. (Perhaps a larger page count could have kept the same # of races and added more monsters too).

3. Artwork is of slightly lower quality than PF products. Just my personal tastes here. I know Skittermanders are the new hotness, but to me the artwork is ridiculous and can't take them seriously at all.

4. Lack of statblocks for dragons, elementals etc. Having to create these means a decent amount of work. I'm sure it will get easier as I build more and more but if they add in another 16 pages and then you could save the customers the work of having to generate these.

So, I give it 3/5.


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Community & Digital Content Director

4 people marked this as a favorite.

We will not list the creatures in the book in the product description, but you can expect some previews on the blog as we get closer to release.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I like the little Stitch aliens.

Chris, are you gonna save one for an avatar for yourself?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
Et cetera et cetera wrote:

Perhaps different phrasing may be better.

What was the design philosophy that lead Alien Archive to be smaller than a Bestiary?

My Personal Theory: With fewer people working on Starfinder there are less resources to work on a Bestiary sized book. Said people are focusing resources on developing the Core Rulebook. In addition monsters from Pathfinder can be imported into Starfinder, therefore the need for new monsters is lessened.

This is definitely part of it. There was no way we were going to be able to put out a 300+ page creature book a month or two after a 528-page Core Rulebook. That said, there are some other factors as well: As you noted, a lot of Pathfinder monsters are still around in the Starfinder universe, but we didn't want to just update a ton of old creatures, so we leaned toward doing new stuff. And to be completely honest, there's also a big element of risk to doing a new game like this, and it's safer for us to put out slimmer books that reflect less of a resource investment than a massive all-hands-on-deck hardcover—we *know* roughly how many copies a Pathfinder Bestiary will sell, but until we've got some numbers on Starfinder, we need to be cautious!

I'm assuming that the decimation of Starfinder supplies at GenCon is a positive sign on that front.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This will be an early birthday present to myself.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Very glad to see more books but Paizo sort of screwed the pooch on the Starfinder roll out. Really needed to be more books at launch.


Doug Bailey wrote:
Very glad to see more books but Paizo sort of screwed the pooch on the Starfinder roll out. Really needed to be more books at launch.

You can use several Pathfinder books for Starfinder with a few minutes of convertion.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Chris Lambertz wrote:
We will not list the creatures in the book in the product description, but you can expect some previews on the blog as we get closer to release.

Since the Alien Archive book will come out before the pawns do, wouldn't I have a pretty good idea what is going to be in the pawn set as soon as I get my hands on the Alien Archive book?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
David knott 242 wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
We will not list the creatures in the book in the product description, but you can expect some previews on the blog as we get closer to release.

Since the Alien Archive book will come out before the pawns do, wouldn't I have a pretty good idea what is going to be in the pawn set as soon as I get my hands on the Alien Archive book?

yes, but Marco was asking for a list of the creatures in this book before you get a hand on it (basically the TOC since it's a monster book)


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Oops -- I thought I was in the pawns product description when I posted that.

Sorry -- never mind!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

"Over 20 races with full player rules, letting you play everything from a winged dragonkin to a hyperevolved floating brain."

Thank you ^_^ People have been requesting a dragon race for a while now.

I'm curious about how they got changed in Starfinder, because according to the lore, the dragonkin DNA-engineered themselves to make themselves... smaller, or Medium.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
JiCi wrote:

"Over 20 races with full player rules, letting you play everything from a winged dragonkin to a hyperevolved floating brain."

Thank you ^_^ People have been requesting a dragon race for a while now.

I'm curious about how they got changed in Starfinder, because according to the lore, the dragonkin DNA-engineered themselves to make themselves... smaller, or Medium.

I think well have both sizes, but players will only have acess to the smaller one.


Will any of these races be available for Starfinder Society?


Paladinosaur wrote:
JiCi wrote:

"Over 20 races with full player rules, letting you play everything from a winged dragonkin to a hyperevolved floating brain."

Thank you ^_^ People have been requesting a dragon race for a while now.

I'm curious about how they got changed in Starfinder, because according to the lore, the dragonkin DNA-engineered themselves to make themselves... smaller, or Medium.

I think well have both sizes, but players will only have acess to the smaller one.

Well, the Large one is a 10HD Large creature... not very practical...


Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
Will any of these races be available for Starfinder Society?

I think out of >20 we can safely say that at least some will be SFS allowed


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
dharkus wrote:
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
Will any of these races be available for Starfinder Society?
I think out of >20 we can safely say that at least some will be SFS allowed

If PFS is any precedent, there will probably be some sort of boon required to play members of these races.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
Will any of these races be available for Starfinder Society?

Thurston Hillman and I have been reading over these species for some time now. While we're yet to lock in which ones will see play first and through what means (e.g convention boon, scenario boon, Fame-purchasable boon, Always Available, etc.), we'll no doubt see many of the species in the organized play campaign.


"New rules for magical monster summoning, quick templates to modify creatures on the fly, and more!"

OK, really hope for these: [planet]-evolved creature, have a template that corresponds to the planet's ecosystem... so you can transform any animal, vermin, plant, magical beast, dragon and such with one quick set of rules.

Hey, it beats waiting for 3 bestiaries per planet until you get a reasonable fauna to pit against your players :P

For instance, Castrovel has a nature-heavy ecosystem, compared to Eox, which is... dead. Castrovel could have healthly, more powerful animals, while Eox could have grunt, scavenger-like vermins.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
John Compton wrote:
Terevalis Unctio of House Mysti wrote:
Will any of these races be available for Starfinder Society?
Thurston Hillman and I have been reading over these species for some time now. While we're yet to lock in which ones will see play first and through what means (e.g convention boon, scenario boon, Fame-purchasable boon, Always Available, etc.), we'll no doubt see many of the species in the organized play campaign.

I'm really just hoping for PFS rulings for the People of the Stars races like Red Skinned Akitonian Humans or Triaxians (like are they Summer born or Winter born in PFS?)


Who did the cover art for this? Is there any way to get a print of it?

Community & Digital Content Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Remko Troost is the cover artist. Though, it doesn't appear that he sells prints online.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Remko Troost is the cover artist. Though, it doesn't appear that he sells prints online.

Out of curiosity, I always thought Paizo owned the rights to art you commissioned for covers and so forth. Did I imagine that?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Remko Troost is the cover artist. Though, it doesn't appear that he sells prints online.
Out of curiosity, I always thought Paizo owned the rights to art you commissioned for covers and so forth. Did I imagine that?

Artist owns the rights to sell the work in medium X, Paizo owns the right to use it in any way except for selling it in medium X. Typical IP law clause.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Yeah, I'd heard that in general but I seem to remember a conversation (with Vic, probably) that Paizo pay more to own the copyright and exclusive distribution rights (for the covers anyhow). It could well be confusion on my part though.

The context was not needing to pay fresh royalties when reusing art or reprinting books.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Doug Bailey wrote:
Very glad to see more books but Paizo sort of screwed the pooch on the Starfinder roll out. Really needed to be more books at launch.

There's only so much pooch to screw, alas, and we left the poor critter in pretty bad condition as it is.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

10 people marked this as a favorite.

Which is to say, we do not have the resources to release more than the 8+ products we released this month. We're putting stuff out as rapidly and responsibly as we can, and October is the earliest we can get a good monster book out for this game.

I can understand if you may have wanted it sooner, but we simply cannot make it any faster than we already have.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

There also six bestiaries all itching to be converted to rampage across the cosmos.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Remko Troost is the cover artist. Though, it doesn't appear that he sells prints online.
Out of curiosity, I always thought Paizo owned the rights to art you commissioned for covers and so forth. Did I imagine that?

We do generally own all the rights to the art we commission, though our contracts permit the artists to sell prints. (We have experimented with our own prints a few times, but in general it's just not worthwhile for us.)


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Steve Geddes wrote:
Chris Lambertz wrote:
Remko Troost is the cover artist. Though, it doesn't appear that he sells prints online.
Out of curiosity, I always thought Paizo owned the rights to art you commissioned for covers and so forth. Did I imagine that?
We do generally own all the rights to the art we commission, though our contracts permit the artists to sell prints. (We have experimented with our own prints a few times, but in general it's just not worthwhile for us.)

Ah, I see. So I half remembered. :)

Cheers, Vic.

Dark Archive

Erik Mona wrote:

Which is to say, we do not have the resources to release more than the 8+ products we released this month. We're putting stuff out as rapidly and responsibly as we can, and October is the earliest we can get a good monster book out for this game.

I can understand if you may have wanted it sooner, but we simply cannot make it any faster than we already have.

Totally understood.

Pathfinder had the Bestiary and Gamemastery Guide released in the months following the CRB too, if i remember correctly.

Erik, how are the chances for Alien Archive miniatures? ;-)

Shadow Lodge

Since the monster conversion rules are in the SFCRB I'm looking forward to running a survival horror version of the game where the party is investigating and fighting nothing but mimics and doppelganger (or the SF kind of that feel like "They Live" style aliens).


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Pathfinder had the Bestiary and Gamemastery Guide released in the months following the CRB too, if i remember correctly.

Not quite true:

Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook released August 2009.
Pathfinder RPG Bestiary released October 2009.
Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide released June 2010.

Dark Archive

So the two-months gap between the CRB & the "monster book" is the same with Starfinder as with Pathfinder.

Maybe june 2018 will bring a Starfinder GM Guide too. ;-)


Danubus wrote:
This will be an early birthday present to myself.

I have to agree, it's going to be a birthday present to myself as well. I wonder if I can download it on my birthday?


Marco Massoudi wrote:

So the two-months gap between the CRB & the "monster book" is the same with Starfinder as with Pathfinder.

Maybe june 2018 will bring a Starfinder GM Guide too. ;-)

Buy GURPS Space in order to whet your appetite for one. GURPS Space has all you need to create your own Starfinder universe.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I hope you like math...


Will this have rules for hirelings, purchasable robots, and pets?


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

Okay so I saw the final cover online and...um, is anyone else concerned that the cute, colorful little furballs are...shooting at us?


No moreso than goblins with Molotov cocktails.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

I like the little Stitch aliens.

Chris, are you gonna save one for an avatar for yourself?

They're called Skittermanders!

SKITTERMANDER SOLARION! I WILL MAKE ONE.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Having read thru most of the "setting" chapter in the SF core rulebook, I am SO excited to see what this book has in store for us! SO. EXCITED.


Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

I like the little Stitch aliens.

Chris, are you gonna save one for an avatar for yourself?

They're called Skittermanders!

SKITTERMANDER SOLARION! I WILL MAKE ONE.

Are they going to include PC rules for them? I was so hiping that was the case. *-*


1 person marked this as a favorite.
The Gold Sovereign wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:
Rysky the Dark Solarion wrote:

I like the little Stitch aliens.

Chris, are you gonna save one for an avatar for yourself?

They're called Skittermanders!

SKITTERMANDER SOLARION! I WILL MAKE ONE.

Are they going to include PC rules for them? I was so hiping that was the case. *-*

Yes!

They're adorable little ones who keep their babies in pouches like Space kangaroos and they mesh well with Solarions!


Also, summoning rules.


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

I can do without those.

I really hoped Starfinder would do away with that b%&@@*!!, but whatevs, they can't use everything they siphoned off my brain, I suppose. :-)


I have no clue how the summoning rules work, just that they're in there (quick glance).

Maybe they're more like rituals?


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

Like I said, whatever.

I'm exceptionally happy with Starfinder, so it's no big deal, and certainly doesn't hamper my excitement in any way. :-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thecursor wrote:
Okay so I saw the final cover online and...um, is anyone else concerned that the cute, colorful little furballs are...shooting at us?

But what are they shooting? Maybe they're firing the equivalent of the Starfinder Care Bear Stare, and they're spreading beams of joy and happiness throughout the cosmos!! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧


Also, underwater bat people.


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

Rysky where do you get your information from?


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I got to read the books at the Paizo Dragoncon Panels :3

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