Starfinder Interstellar Species

3.80/5 (based on 10 ratings)
Starfinder Interstellar Species

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Bring an array of aliens—both weird and familiar—to your science fantasy adventures with Interstellar Species, the newest rulebook for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game!

This gorgeously illustrated reference provides deep dives on 25 playable Starfinder species, each with thematic player options usable by any character, plus new options for 7 Starfinder character classes. There's also a system for easily creating your own playable species, and a catalog of around 100 thematic nonplayer characters ready to slot into any adventure! A new class, the evolutionist, allows you to transform yourself over time into an eldritch being, mechanized construct, sepulchral undead, or riot of biological potential, each with unique abilities—and drawbacks, should you allow your transformation to grow out of control.

Written by: Rigby Bendele, Jessica Catalan, John Compton, John Curtin, Dana Ebert, Eleanor Ferron, Ivis K. Flanagan, Nicole Heits, Joan Hong, Mikko Kallio, Jason Keeley, Aaron Lascano, Hilary Moon Murphy, Emily Parks, Joe Pasini, Erin Roberts, Chris S. Sims, Kendra Leigh Speedling, Owen K.C. Stephens, Jason Tondro, Isis Wozniakowska, Linda Zayas-Palmer

ISBN-13: 978-1-64078-473-4

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

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Species, Species, everywhere, but not a drop to drink

4/5

This book is a good book to get if you're interested in learning more about some of the species that populate Starfinder. It includes things like some naming conventions, history, culture, and so on.

The Evolutionist looks like a fun class to play. If you're familiar with Solarians and Vanguards, then you won't be that overwhelmed keeping track of Mutation Points and how to use them.

The Species Builder is more broad guidelines than hard rules. I think this is the right direction compared to something like PF1e's Advanced Race Guide, which tried to imply that their point system was balanced when it wasn't. A little thought and self-control does more than assigning point values will.

There's interesting class options, feats, and equipment. The only flaw I saw was a new Soldier Gear Boost that allowed them to do more damage with thrown weapons when they had higher Strength than Dexterity. However, to get this extra damage you have to throw with Dexterity, which I think only an Operative can currently do. So I think someone forgot what system they were writing for.


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Then I guess you 2 are running more homebrew stuff I just bet then!! LOL

Tom :)


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

I almost exclusively GM published adventures, but I always like more "lore" to flesh out the setting, create hooks for PC backstories, NPCs, or side stories, and just generally to help give my players a solid foundation.

Wayfinders Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I cannot wait to see how this turned out! Squee!


John Mangrum wrote:
I almost exclusively GM published adventures, but I always like more "lore" to flesh out the setting, create hooks for PC backstories, NPCs, or side stories, and just generally to help give my players a solid foundation.

Thanks for the reply John

I hear ya but I don't know it just does'nt thrill me as a GM for some reason honestly still. Could change my mind next month but we will see.

LOL, guess I need to have a players perspective more at times than just the GM's :)

Tom

Paizo Employee Director of Marketing

7 people marked this as a favorite.
TRDG wrote:
John Mangrum wrote:
I almost exclusively GM published adventures, but I always like more "lore" to flesh out the setting, create hooks for PC backstories, NPCs, or side stories, and just generally to help give my players a solid foundation.

Thanks for the reply John

I hear ya but I don't know it just does'nt thrill me as a GM for some reason honestly still. Could change my mind next month but we will see.

LOL, guess I need to have a players perspective more at times than just the GM's :)

Tom

I suppose it is not clear from the solicitation, but I just wrote a preview blog and there is a whole NPC chapter.

Back cover text:

"TENDRIL, WING, AND SCALE
Starfinder isn’t just a game about hackers, telepathy, and laser pistols—it’s an intersection of the many delightfully unique aliens that you can play! Interstellar Species presents an eclectic array of strange creatures, from extradimensional kobolds and tiny raxilite plant people to mighty dragonkin and crystalline, silicon-based urogs. Be prepared not only to uncover all-new cultures, histories, and character options, but also to learn how you don’t need a spine to pilot a starship! In this book, you’ll find:

• The new evolutionist character class, able to transform their body to overcome any challenge!

• An in-depth look at 25 fan-favorite playable species, all with exciting character options like feats, spells, and gear innovated by those species.

• Tools for creating your own playable species, including their appearance, culture, and abilities!

• A vast gallery full of versatile NPCs like assassins, explorers, investigators and sports stars—each ready to be included in any campaign. "


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

I actually forgot about the NPC gallery.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just got my shipping Email, Can't wait for the PDF to be available! There's a lot to be excited about, but finally PC's can achieve undeath if the playtest is still accurate. Also always a fan of more options for classes even as a forever GM.

Dark Archive

Is npc gallery like statblocks of npc codex sort? :D That would be really nice since starfinder really been missing that


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

Presumably yes.


Aaron Shanks wrote:


Extradimensional kobolds

I'm sorry, what Kobolds? What happened to them in the Gap??? XD


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

They're around.


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

I would love to hear how adaptive strike has changed, if anyone who gets their pdf early feels like answering any questions.


Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Got my copy, and since I'm playing a playtest evolutionist in a campaign, took a look at what all is going to change as I update to the final version, and immediately noticed what appears to be some conflicting information...

Interstellar Species says that the evolutionist now has 8 + Intelligence skill ranks per level, rather than starting with 4 + Intelligence skill ranks per level, but Flexible Skill still says that at 9th level it increases to 5 + Intelligence skill ranks per level, and 6 + Intelligence skill ranks per level at 17th...

I'm guessing that it's supposed to just be an additional class skill at 1st, 9th, and 17th now, and the skill ranks per level don't change? Or was Flexible Skill supposed to be removed as a class feature altogether?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gaulin wrote:
I would love to hear how adaptive strike has changed, if anyone who gets their pdf early feels like answering any questions.

The short answer is: it hasn't. There have been no changes to adaptive strike beyond a few grammar tweaks.

Overall, the most impactful changes the new evolutionist has undergone is just having full BAB, as well as (I assume?) more skill points. It also gets a free augmentation of the type appropriate for their niche when it gets Augmented Form at 2nd-level, and they added grenade proficiency.

Additionally, given that species grafts can potentially be any type of augmentation, this is now reflected, rather than claiming that only Vital niches can get the discount for them, all niches can so long as they are the appropriate type, which naturally includes the free augmentation. Probably useful for the Sepulchral niches, given the limited number of necrografts around.

For specific options that were buffed, the augmentation Evolutionary Focus also offers another free augmentation in addition to its usual effects, the eldritch niche's instinct had a little added, the eldritch niche's drawback now specifies it only applies to non-magical kinetic damage.

Additionally, the Enhanced Mobility, Extraordinary Sense, and Ocular Advantage adaptations now offer constant benefits more in line with other class options while still gaining an additional effect upon spending points, providing a small amount of still welcome utility, and Fission Form was modified to be usable in a very limited way outside of combat.

It was also clarified that you lose all of your points at the end of combat, and that you need to use evolution drain on a significant enemy instead of, say, a sack full of space kittens, you monster.

Hopefully not too much detail there, but I'll understand if the post needs to be deleted.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also, the 25 playable Starfinder races mentioned in the product description are: astrazoans, astriapis, cephalumes, contemplatives, dragonkin, formians, hadrogaans, hanakans, kalos, kobolds, maraquoi, nuars, pahtras, psacynoids, quorlus, raxilites, ryphorians, scyphozoans, shimreens, SROs, trox, uplifted bears, urgos, vlakas, and worlanisi.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thank you very much for your posts!! A lot of good stuff in there


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

Not gonna spoil what the lore is, but the new kobold lore has entirely changed my theory about the gap and the disappearance of Golarion


Aaron Shanks wrote:
TRDG wrote:
John Mangrum wrote:
I almost exclusively GM published adventures, but I always like more "lore" to flesh out the setting, create hooks for PC backstories, NPCs, or side stories, and just generally to help give my players a solid foundation.

Thanks for the reply John

I hear ya but I don't know it just does'nt thrill me as a GM for some reason honestly still. Could change my mind next month but we will see.

LOL, guess I need to have a players perspective more at times than just the GM's :)

Tom

I suppose it is not clear from the solicitation, but I just wrote a preview blog and there is a whole NPC chapter.

Back cover text:

"TENDRIL, WING, AND SCALE
Starfinder isn’t just a game about hackers, telepathy, and laser pistols—it’s an intersection of the many delightfully unique aliens that you can play! Interstellar Species presents an eclectic array of strange creatures, from extradimensional kobolds and tiny raxilite plant people to mighty dragonkin and crystalline, silicon-based urogs. Be prepared not only to uncover all-new cultures, histories, and character options, but also to learn how you don’t need a spine to pilot a starship! In this book, you’ll find:

• The new evolutionist character class, able to transform their body to overcome any challenge!

• An in-depth look at 25 fan-favorite playable species, all with exciting character options like feats, spells, and gear innovated by those species.

• Tools for creating your own playable species, including their appearance, culture, and abilities!

• A vast gallery full of versatile NPCs like assassins, explorers, investigators and sports stars—each ready to be included in any campaign. "

Thanks Aaron for reminding me, that helps a bit :)

Tom


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Luthorne wrote:
Also, the 25 playable Starfinder races mentioned in the product description are: astrazoans, astriapis, cephalumes, contemplatives, dragonkin, formians, hadrogaans, hanakans, kalos, kobolds, maraquoi, nuars, pahtras, psacynoids, quorlus, raxilites, ryphorians, scyphozoans, shimreens, SROs, trox, uplifted bears, urgos, vlakas, and worlanisi.

Aww. Was kinda hoping we'd get PC Ixtli in this. (Come on Paizo you know you have to give us the bunnies sooner or later!)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Luthorne wrote:


The short answer is: it hasn't. There have been no changes to adaptive strike beyond a few grammar tweaks.

Overall, the most impactful changes the new evolutionist has undergone is just having full BAB, as well as (I assume?) more skill points. It also gets a free augmentation of the type appropriate for their niche when it gets Augmented Form at 2nd-level, and they added grenade proficiency.

.

What stuck out to us when we playtested it was that passive benefits to the Evolutionists's resource-point were more advantageous than spending it in all circumstances.

Dark Archive

MVulpius wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
Also, the 25 playable Starfinder races mentioned in the product description are: astrazoans, astriapis, cephalumes, contemplatives, dragonkin, formians, hadrogaans, hanakans, kalos, kobolds, maraquoi, nuars, pahtras, psacynoids, quorlus, raxilites, ryphorians, scyphozoans, shimreens, SROs, trox, uplifted bears, urgos, vlakas, and worlanisi.
Aww. Was kinda hoping we'd get PC Ixtli in this. (Come on Paizo you know you have to give us the bunnies sooner or later!)

I'm personally mostly sad that I guessed right that adventure path book species won't get featured here due to being too obscure for larger player base x'D You had to manually type them in survey after all


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

But the list includes two species that originated in adventure paths!

Dark Archive

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Wait it did? *looks again* :O Scyphozoans right?

(shimreen doesn't count because it already got to alien archive xD So they got already showcased to greater audience)


9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I will say that seeing all the portraits for the 124 playable races in Starfinder makes me imagine a Starfinder edition of Guess Who? for Starfinder races.

"Are they green?"

"Are they reptilian?"

"Are they insect-like?"

"Do they have more than two eyes?"

"Do they have noses?"


Luthorne wrote:
Also, the 25 playable Starfinder races mentioned in the product description are: astrazoans, astriapis, cephalumes, contemplatives, dragonkin, formians, hadrogaans, hanakans, kalos, kobolds, maraquoi, nuars, pahtras, psacynoids, quorlus, raxilites, ryphorians, scyphozoans, shimreens, SROs, trox, uplifted bears, urgos, vlakas, and worlanisi.

I'm glad to see my favorite (and only!) tiny space radish folk made the list. I'm most curious to hear what options they get!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Here's hoping the Nuar love here and the hints at their history give us some hope for Medium Minotaurs over in PF2 Land.


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*No, Largetaurs or bust!* If you can play Tiny, you can play large!

*Plants Flag of the Big Bois into the Ground* If Starfinder can have Giants I can have a Minotaur of 10 feet!

Paizo Employee Director of Marketing

3 people marked this as a favorite.

FAQ for Starfinder Interstellar Species.


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

This book is so amazing. I was hoping for deeper dives on Starfinder's major alien ancestries, but this closer look on the less front-and-center denizens of the galaxy is really fun! Especially happy to have more Astrazoan material. That art is gorgeous! So nice to have the Evolutionist in play as well, finally. Just one complaint: still no Brutaris rules! If not now, Paizo, when!?!

Absolutely beautiful stuff all around. I've only just started digging into this book, but I'm so elated with what I'm reading, I just had to make a visit real quick to rave on this one. Starfinder's getting better and better every book!


What a joyous day. More stuff for Contemplatives, which is easily my favorite species. Dr. Curio lives again!
.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Does anyone else feel that the Evolutionist Playtest was pretty pointless? Countless post in the forums and Reddit on improvements, exciting additions, and genuine concerns. A year later and all that amounted to was full BAB, a new resource name, and an error on skills? What happened to getting multiple adaptive strikes as you level, more utility outside of combat, seeing the players' frustration with High Risk vs Minimal Reward mechanics and typing change happening way to late to be meaningful?

Compare this to the recent Kineticist Playtest which saw sweeping quality of life changes, and transparent communication. Even the Nanocyte was an excellent class that exemplified flexibility, enjoyable complexity, strength, and most importantly fun. Being able to change the way you play on the fly feels more in line with what the Evolutionist adaptability should have been. As it stands right now, the Evolutionist is only as interesting as the augments you slap on it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

What do you dislike about the Evolutionist?


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

The only thing that was a miscommunication was multiple adaptive strikes. Out of combat utility was addressed by giving more skills over time, constant senses, movement, free scaling augment, and a few other small changes. It can be hard to go on the forums and see posters being upset the class isn't to their liking and then those people aren't being catered to - but I trust that paizo looked at actual playtest data and read through those posts when making changes.

Also the nanocyte playtest to full release changed very very little. Less than evolutionist. And the kineticist playtest hasn't been all that transparent, it had one blog and the final product hasn't been released.

You're welcome to your opinion of course, but other than one slip up no false promises were made and the class playtest is pretty in line with others.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Aaron Shanks wrote:
FAQ for Starfinder Interstellar Species.

That FAQ needs some additional changes, as the skill ranks granted to the evolutionist at certain levels assume that the skill ranks per level go up by +1 (pre-errata) as opposed to +2 (post-errata).


Huh I got my copy and I noticed that Gathols and Tromlins are missing from the playable species list.


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

Too recent to include, most likely, along with ganzis and varratanas.

Paizo Employee Director of Marketing

10 people marked this as a favorite.
John Mangrum wrote:
Too recent to include, most likely, along with ganzis and varratanas.

I'll take a note for an annual PDF update of the Starfinder Playable Species pages. I would not be surprised if Thirsty already has it on his list. In fact, I'll suggest it for Pathfinder Ancestries too. I'd pay for that out of the Marketing budget if needed. :)

Wayfinders Contributor

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Aaron, have I told you how awesome you are? You're awesome!

Dark Archive

oh nice it IS npc codex/bestiary :3

Dark Archive

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Kingvegeta9001 wrote:
Not gonna spoil what the lore is, but the new kobold lore has entirely changed my theory about the gap and the disappearance of Golarion

Okay, I love how their backstory is pretty much in universe bafflement at witnessing what retcon looks like :'D


3 people marked this as a favorite.

So something stood out to me about the Nuar entry, well two things really.

It states that they have no ancestral gods/mythic figures, yet in Galactic Magic there is a Nuar Goddess named Isvith, who may have ascended through the Starstone, and her portfolio is central to the Nuar way of life. So...I imagine that got missed by accident?

Also are Minotaurs still around? They get mentioned a lot in the entry and I am not certain if that means they are still kicking somewhere or are the Nuar is all that remains of that ancestry.


I saw Dragonkin being mentioned... does it include alternate breath weapons, natural weapons, smaller size, gliding wings and whatnot?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
JiCi wrote:
I saw Dragonkin being mentioned... does it include alternate breath weapons, natural weapons, smaller size, gliding wings and whatnot?

Some of those, yes.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
VerBeeker wrote:


Also are Minotaurs still around? They get mentioned a lot in the entry and I am not certain if that means they are still kicking somewhere or are the Nuar is all that remains of that ancestry.

My interpretation is Nuar are Minotaurs but much like a Frenchman does not identify as a Gaul despite likely being partially descended from the same, neither do Nuar identify as Minotaurs.


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Overall I have quite enjoyed this book, and honestly I would be down for another that delves into other ancestries, it would be interesting to see a bit more on where the more "common" Golarion races land in the setting.


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Profoundly disappointed in the shifter, a class I was really looking forward to.

A fair number of abilities also seem to just not function mechanically (Devastating throw, Read the room) or be of very limited use (the operative abilities that key off of tumbling through someone don't work very well because an operative tumbling around has to give up their trick attack or stunt)


d'oh evolutionist


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Profoundly disappointed in the shifter, a class I was really looking forward to.

A fair number of abilities also seem to just not function mechanically (Devastating throw, Read the room) or be of very limited use (the operative abilities that key off of tumbling through someone don't work very well because an operative tumbling around has to give up their trick attack or stunt)

1 star, really? How histrionic. I don't think anyone could claim I'm anything but critical of both Pathfinder and Starfinder at the best of times and I have yet to rate anything 1 star.

It sounds exhausting being so highly negative of something you ostensibly enjoy.


TRDG wrote:

Still on the fence with this one

...

Tom

I'm in the same boat. We need more reviews from people who've purchased the book!

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