Starfinder Alien Archive 2

****½ (based on 7 ratings)
Starfinder Alien Archive 2

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Alien Invasion

Outer space is full of alien species both benign and malevolent. Starfinder Alien Archive 2 presents a host of new creatures designed for use with the Starfinder Roleplaying Game! From the laser-breathing tashtaris and starship-eating stellar protozoans to dust mantas and undead bone troopers, the creatures in this codex will challenge adventurers no matter where in the galaxy they may travel. What's more, player rules for a variety of species let players not just fight aliens, but be them! Inside this book, you'll find the following:

  • Over 100 bizarre life-forms both classic and new, from the voracious akatas and silicon-based quorlus to radioactive pluprex demons and void-dwelling vermin.
  • More than a dozen races with full player rules, letting you play everything from an uplifted bear to a sentient slug.
  • New alien technology to help give your character an edge, including armor, weapons, magic items, and spells.
  • New rules for magical polymorphing, environmental template grafts to modify creatures to fit any world on the fly, and more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-64078-075-0

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

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****½ (based on 7 ratings)

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*****


A must have for the GM Toolbox

*****

I'm still absorbing it, but beyond lots of cool creatures it adds quite a few "base" creatures and template grafts. Alien Archive 1's charts are great if you have time, but if you need some quick stats mid session for, say, a void dragon t-rex, you have one in a minute or less. I really like the improvements to the appendix and wish that Alien Archive's was that good - for example, it is nice to have a list of playable races and what pages they are found on. Starship-scale foes are few, but it's nice to be able to kill the giant space worm and then make a ship out of it's corpse.


So this has what I want:

*****

Cool new races, cool Pathfinder monsters returning, new creatures for several outsider categories and cool new creatures.

It also helps that things introduced in this are type of variety that is really helpful when running homebrew games, like having several "templates" for different alien animal types is great. It also has good balance of fantasy, scifi and both mixed in.


A must have for any GM and most players.

*****

One of the genius things about Starfinder is that it offers systems that make it easy and fun for Game Masters to create customized creatures. Alien Archive gave us the graft system similar (but infinitely simpler) to Pathfinder's template system that allowed the GM to create unique creatures by attaching simple flavorful bundles of abilities to generic stat blocks. Alien Archive 2 continues this by giving us much needed ways to create any animal creature we need using the Herd Animal and Predator Animal creatures and the environment grafts.

Alien Archive 2 also gives many awesome creatures to build stories around, including a Motherbrain-like ooze that controls starships, powerful guardian fey born from a dying planet, the adorable squox (with a feat to have one as a companion) and old favorites such as metallic dragons and Colors out of Space. We also got races, including aasimar and tieflings (now combined into a single race with different statistics). While we don't have catfolk, we do get new races, including bear people, cat people, and a really neat race of space wolf people that can give Resolve Points to allies. I did wish we got kitsune, especially when this book also (finally) introduces polymorph rules.

Speaking of polymorph rules, they were the reason I picked up the volume as shapeshifting is one of my favorite tropes in fantasy and science fiction. The volume did not disappoint. At a glance, the polymorph rules seem complicated, but they're quite easy to understand and remember. The rules are well thought out and give both GMs and players a sense of customization and agency that Pathfinder, 5th Edition D&D, and even the current iteration of Pathfinder Playtest failed to capture. While some may get turned off by the rules, I really appreciate the amount of work that went into them. Especially polymorphing could have easily been glossed over.

Polymorphing gives you a set of rules to create a form, allowing you to select a creature type and abilities. When you learn the polymorph spell (level 1-6 for both mystics and technomancers), you create four forms with limitations based on the spell level. When casting, you select one of the forms to transform your target into.

Baleful polymorph (also a 1-6 spell) works completely different from Pathfinder and instead gives the target cosmetic features, a penalty to many statistics, and possibly changes their size. If cast as a level 2 spell or higher, the penalty gets worse unless they succeed at an additional saving throw each round as the transformation progresses. At 3rd level, the spell becomes permanent if the penalty progresses too far. At 5th level, the spell can transform the target into a helpless critter when the penalty progresses too far. At 6th level, the spell can permanently transform the target into a helpless creature. Overall, I like this. While no longer the classic save-or-die spell, it makes the spell more cinematic. Though, it is a shame you can't change a creature into a new race, such as teaching that ysoki a lesson by turning him into a barathu.

As much as I love the polymorph rules, there are a few issues that hinder the fun. The biggest issue is that a form's natural weapons use a pre-determined attack bonus based on your level that completely ignores your base attack bonus, ability scores, and any buffs. This bonus equals to 1.5 times your level with a maximum equal to 3 times the spell level. While the weapon does scale in damage, the math means that the natural weapon's attack bonus will always be significantly lower than your normal attack bonus, making the natural weapon essentially useless. However, there seems to be an intentional loophole around this. The polymorph spell allows you to select a limited number of racial traits, which can be any trait from a player race that doesn't involve equipment. You can select one of the many natural weapon racial traits (such as the Vesk's). The best part is that you don't necessarily have to make the form look the race to gain their trait. Go nuts turning yourself into the ultimate chimera!

However, I still wish that there was a way to make polymorph last longer. There's currently no way polymorph someone into a form for more than 1 minute per level. You don't even have the option to cast polymorph with a higher duration at the cost of a lower level effect.

Overall, Alien Archive 2 is a great addition to Starfinder. It gives us plenty of fun creatures and the much needed way to create wildlife without having a seperate statblock for every animal in the universe. It introduces or brings back races that will easily attract players. A lot of effort went into the polymorph rules, something needed in a game with magic, science, and gods dedicated to evolution. While the rules feel a tad bloated and a little rough around the edges, it does a great job giving players and GMs a level of agency and creativity not seen in other games. A must have for any GM and most players.


Very fun book!

*****

The second Alien Archive is a fun book! There is a variety of playable races, and also many different kinds of monsters, suitable for very different campaigns. The "general" stat blocks for herd creatures and predators also make GMing alien adventures more comfortable, I'd say.
The twists on "known" creatures like Orcs are creative. I have not seen a huge amount of reprints from the Adventure Paths (though there are several), and some of the monsters from Pathfinder are ones I'd say would be on the harder side to rebuild/convert properly.
The artwork is very good throughout the book.


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Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Superscriber

Yay! More critters!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nice! Rules for playing as the thralls of Hell from Embroi!

This is oddly one of the races I was most curious to play. Go figure.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Do we know the pagecount yet?


More races?! I hope!


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Steve Geddes wrote:
Do we know the pagecount yet?

Seeing as its the same price as the last one I imagine page count would be similar sadly. Im all for more races and critters. Pack em in there!!


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

Will each alien still get a full two page spread?

Paizo Employee Developer

15 people marked this as a favorite.

Each alien does receive two full pages, but like before, many of those spreads will have two (sometimes more) stat blocks for various CRs. And because we don't need to re-explain NPC creation, we had room for more total aliens in this one!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yay :D I like the two full pages format since it means creatures are actually detailed and its clearer what their place in the world is.

Will this bestiary have any CR 21-25 creatures?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

!!! And ship sized creatures?

Quote:
robust selection of template grafts

Love this ditty.

Also, will we see a large section of flora and flora generation rules some time? My players are real scavengers and DIYers.


McBugman, the description says "massive spacefaring organisms capable of battling starships"

sorry for not formatting correctly, I seem to have an issue with the "How to format your text" section. it isn't opening when I click it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Thanks, my excited reading seems to impede it's only purpose of reading.

Formatting:
That button isn't working for me either so you're not alone, but the formatting is as follows with the asterisks removed:
[Quote*]quote in here[/quote*]
[B*]this is bolded [/b*]
[Ooc*]this is blue[/ooc*]
[I*]this is in italics [/i*]
[Spoiler*]this is hidden in a button [/spoiler*]

The cover looks like a Vracinea, will AP aliens be reprinted in this archive?


Thanks, I always did like Divs. Although they are not as alien as Proteans, they are preferred over Devils (bunch of Lawful ninnies if you ask me).

Spoiler:
here's hoping they put smurfs in the book


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I guess they might reprint a few from Pathfinder, and maybe a few from the Adventure Path, but I hope they'll stick with mostly original creatures, at least until the third Archive.

If they do reprint a few Pathfinder Aliens, I would hope it was Dominion Creatures (Chyzaedu, Neh-Thalggu, Rhu-Chalik, Lunarma, Neshmaal, Yangethe, Yah-Thelgaad, Shipmind, Intellect Devourer/Egophage, Vespergaunt and Ugothokra) although there are several other Alien races which could be brought forth into Starfinder (all the creatures associated with the Old Cults, Several creatures From Bestiary 1-6, Distant Worlds, People of the Stars, Numeria, Land of the Fallen, and Iron Gods)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Let's start wondering about the description, shall we?

Quote:
Want to play an intelligent, multi-legged centipede? An emotionless, mask-wearing mollusk? and Uplifted Bear?

Not gonna lie, I want to take that "uplifted bear" and make a character called "Yogi" or run around yelling "only you can prevent forest fires". Can't wait to see them.

the centipede seems like an odd choice, but I'll roll with it, as long as it isn't tiny.
and the mollusk just sounds awesome.

Just in time for me to have birthday money to buy it with, although that means I have to wait 6 months (not including this month) and come back every weeks looking for possible questions that Jason or Owen might answer excitedly at 3 in the morning when the coffee pot has run out.

On that note, here's hoping for Mattresses! those of you familiar with towel wielding earthmen and editors from Betelgeuse might know what I mean.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Quote:
An uplifted bear

Paizo knows what I like.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
AmbassadoroftheDominion wrote:

I guess they might reprint a few from Pathfinder, and maybe a few from the Adventure Path, but I hope they'll stick with mostly original creatures, at least until the third Archive.

If they do reprint a few Pathfinder Aliens, I would hope it was Dominion Creatures (Chyzaedu, Neh-Thalggu, Rhu-Chalik, Lunarma, Neshmaal, Yangethe, Yah-Thelgaad, Shipmind, Intellect Devourer/Egophage, Vespergaunt and Ugothokra) although there are several other Alien races which could be brought forth into Starfinder (all the creatures associated with the Old Cults, Several creatures From Bestiary 1-6, Distant Worlds, People of the Stars, Numeria, Land of the Fallen, and Iron Gods)

Please, Paizo, reprint mi-go for Starfinder! I want to be able to canonically make by players relive that terror!


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

I think we need to see Xenomorph or something similar.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Soooo............ Space Linnorms?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
AmbassadoroftheDominion wrote:
Soooo............ Space Linnorms?

Spinnorms?

Also, polymorphing rules? What is that about?


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

Ah not going to lie pretty excited for this, i do hope where going to have more low cr monsters tho


maybe we'll get some (insert favorite movie alien that needs a stand-in)

Paizo Employee Customer Service Representative

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed a post and several replies to it. This is a discussion thread for Alien Archive 2, discussion of Pathfinder 2 does not belong in this thread.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

To: the Office of Expectation Management

Will there be Ewoks?


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

The template grafts seem neat


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just thought of something. J, Q, X, and Z have a noticeable lack of Aberrations (alphabetically speaking... using both Pathfinder and Starfinder as reference).


wonders if the Mollusks in the description are the Embri. must dig through the rest of the Core rulebook for further speculations. after I hibernate. I've used up three of my brains already by staying awake this late.


AmbassadoroftheDominion wrote:
Soooo............ Space Linnorms?

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssss


2 people marked this as a favorite.
AmbassadoroftheDominion wrote:
Just thought of something. J, Q, X, and Z have a noticeable lack of Aberrations (alphabetically speaking... using both Pathfinder and Starfinder as reference).

Scrabble discrimination against my people!


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Please let there be a cat race in this one.... you have them in the lore of being in the veskarium. I really wanna see the cat race.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Speculation on possibilities taken from the pages of the Core Rulebook (take this with a grain of salt):

Edit: Sorry for the Length

The Sun:
Whale-like fire elementals
plasma oozes
Jungle box sentient plant monsters
the "deep cultures" of the sun

Aballon:
other Aballonian constructs

Castrovel:
Lashunta
other varieties of Formian
Sky Fishers (already in AP)

Akiton:
trash-eating Kheftaks (similar to Otyughs?)
tusk-winged Noraska
Ysoki
ghostly creatures called Khulan
winged creatures from Qidel

Diaspora:
"Diaspora Wyrms"
Twisted figures in yellow rags (from the House of the Void)

Eox:
Glass Serpents
Semi-intelligent grub-swarms
variety of undead
Elebrians (already in AP)

Triaxus:
(note to self, look at Pathfinder sources for ideas)

Liavara (and Moons):
Air Plants
Giant Bacteria
Keji Swarms
Tarenake
Predators (vampiric tentacles, magical fields, acid-coated web-nets. suggested to be separate beings)
Dreamers (variation of Barathu)
sentient arthropods
Philosopher worms
mortal incarnation of Hylax
Lights of Hallas (already in Alien Archives 1)

Bretheda (and moons):
Barathu (Alien Archives 1, although variations would be appreciated)
living tools/tailored viruses/semi-intelligent servitor races (created by Barathu)
Confluence
Kalo, Maraquoi, and Urogs (all in Alien Archives)

Apostae:
Ilee (survivals from a past age?)
Drow (Alien Archives)
Fleshwarps (augmentation sold by Drow)

Aucturn:
Great Old Ones (possibly itself, at some point)
Elder Mythos/Old Cults (Great Old Ones, Outer Gods, any number of spawned races, and races dedicated to the worship of the Great Old Ones)
Dominion of the Black
Nyarlathotep, incarnate as the Black Pharaoh
Carsai the King
inhabitants of the pre-gap warships/madness-inducing hulks in the atmosphere
Orocorans (Alien Archives 1/First Contact)
the Midwives
Aucturn's child, Great Old One

Arquand:
long-necked, six-legged antelopes
four-winged birds

Azlanti Star Empire:
inhabitants of Thenekral
17 officially designated "sentient alien species"
Neskinti
Vilderaro

Daegox 4:
the Daegox (possible name for the humanoid race that rules the Daegox Corporation and Daegox 4)

Daimalko:
Daimalkans
Empyreal Lord, Duellona
Colossi
Kaiju
Volkarians
Ykarthans
skinless, eyeless creatures

Embroi:
mask-faced Embri
Levaloch devils
Occhiorasoi (Malebranche)

Jedarat:
microbial mats

Lothun:
(Inhabitants not described in Core Rulebook)

Orikolai:
Hashukayaks
Hub Geese

Orry:
Orrians

Preluria:
Psychic Gas Oozes
Vorlath
Xystrian Brotherhood

Riven Shroud:
Aatevak
Qotraua
Xixinnt

Shadari Confederacy:
numerous races including:
Draeliks (Alien Archives 1)
Sceaduinar
Skrell
Balrodds
Aeon, The Unmaker

Tabori Cluster:
Unmentioned

Veskarium:
the Vesk
cave-dwelling snake-people
jackal-faced arthropods
stranger creatures
squid folk of Vesk-2
ant like beings of Vesk-5
feline humanoid barbarians of Vesk-6
pacifist Frost Behemoths of Vesk-7 and Vesk-8

Cult of the Devourer:
Atrocites (AP)

Dominion of the Black:
Infinity-Ceases-Now
The-Five-Who-Speak-As-One
The-Whispers-of-the-Void-Have-Eyes
Dominion Starships
Shipminds
dozens of races

Swarm:
Swarm
Shirren

The Unseen:
formless, ethereal refugees
shape-shifting drones of inter dimensional brood-mothers
manipulators of interstellar commerce clad in convincing skin suits
Reptoid
fungal parasites
Grays (Alien Archives 1)
(potentially aligned with Shadari,as reptoid opened a weapons vault to Shadari Pirates)

other races:
Androids
Kasathas

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Uplifted bear? UPLIFTED BEAR?!?

Paizo, please take all of my money. Just, like, all of it. Right now.


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

One thing i hope they do that the first alieb archive did not is i hope they sepreat the player races and the monster races into sepreat chapters so there all together


ratcatbo, that would stifle the main purpose of the book, though. namely that DM/GM's are the intended users of the book, with players as a secondary market. if the races are separated from the other creatures, it would pose a significant problem in layout design, particularly in placement of redundant pages explaining why they changed the layout of their book series. besides, if the players use their knowledge of rules text in-game to kill a monster/NPC their character doesn't know about, you can just drop 6 great old ones on the party as "Divine Punishment for use of Metadata"


after flipping through Pact Worlds and some Pathfinder stuff. they've got about 4 or 5 Alien Archives worth of Aliens to choose from, not including AP Aliens. Congrats, Paizo, you are the masters of fluff books

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Dearest dev staff, please can you clarify:

Are these uplifted bears bipedal humanoid aliens (a la how rats are to ysoki) or are these more just literally genetically modified super-intelligent bears (basically how morlamaws are just super-intelligent technicolor walruses)?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Micheal Smith wrote:
I think we need to see Xenomorph or something similar.

They already exist as the Hive in Horror Adventures. Port 'em over and off you go.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Uplifted Bears? From like Golarion? I honestly don't care I've been wanting to play a bear like race for forever now.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Lucas VerBeek wrote:
Uplifted Bears? From like Golarion? I honestly don't care I've been wanting to play a bear like race for forever now.

Like Dickson's Dilbians. Let's hope they're on the upper end of Medium (if not actually Large) and have kind of a boisterous bruiser vibe.

And, seriously: I'm looking forward to the dirindi, sazarons, and various Veskarium and Azlanti Star Empire subject species to the same degree that I was looking forward to the maraquoi. Or, to switch away from playables: more Castrovel critters and everything outside of the Pact system.


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

I would like more demons and devels can never have enouhg cyber demons


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm excited for this, but I'm MOST excited for the Armory book. Why can it not just be July already?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

You had me at uplifted bear.

Also, with D&D re-introducing the Giff, I feel Starfinder could use some interplanetary pachyderms. Could be rhinos (like the Judoon) or could be elephants, or hey maybe it could be hippos. Please consider.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

We know that Starfinder and PF2 share a fair bit of design overlap. In light of some of the info coming out of this thread, do we think Starfinder polymorphing might be similar?

Dark Archive

Will this reprint the Alien Archive sections from Dead Suns 1-6 (like the Pathfinder Bestiaries reprinted creatures from older AP volumes)?

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