Categorisation of Starfinder Creatures


General Discussion


Animal, aberration or magical beast?

What's the difference?

The Crest-Eater could easily just be an animal, since animal can now include alien wildlife. The same is true of the Caypin.


The Crest-Eater's saliva is magical I believe, which is what makes it a Magical Beast.


The Sharpwing has eyes everywhere and a psychic link to legged, many-eyed eggs. It's just an animal.


*taps chin*

*shrugs*

Lashunta and Shirren have psychic links and Drow have SLA and they're Humanoids, not Monstrous Humanoids. I think it's to the degree that something is so far on the supernatural side of things, whereas Psychic seems to be more in-between.


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In space you're either food or you're not food.

Which category you are depends entirely on your survivability. :-)


Animal: An animal is a living, nonhuman creature, usually a vertebrate with no magical abilities and no innate capacity for language or culture. Animals usually have additional information on how they can serve as companions.

Aberration: An aberration has a bizarre anatomy, strange abilities, an alien mindset, or any combination of the three.

Magical Beast: Magical beasts are similar to animals but can have Intelligence scores higher than 2 (in which case the magical beast knows at least one language, but can’t necessarily speak). Magical beasts usually have supernatural or extraordinary abilities, but are sometimes merely bizarre in appearance or habits.

There are exceptions like jellyfish and other invertebrates (also most animals are smarter than we give credit), giant insects, or normal looking aberrations. But those are the typical guidelines. This is how I roll.

Animal: Any creature that can easily identified in real life. Normal animals, dinosaurs, mega fauna or what creatures native to which planet.

Aberration: Any creature meant to drive humanoid creatures insane, either by sight or other methodology. There's a long list, basically anything that would be in the evolution tree of HP Lovecraft's universe.

Magical Beasts: Any creature that can use or evolved with magic. Subdivided into these categories.
Modified animals: Animals either born with or modified by magic. Unicorns, giant insects, winter wolves are this category.
Extraplanar: Animals native to other planes. Shapes are recognizable but evolved differently because of the magic of their native environment. Phase spiders, blink dogs, displacers are this category.


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Aberration is always going to be a tough one, but yes, "Evolved from HP Lovecraft" is about right. Aberrations should always have an origin with the insane forces and incomprehensible beings of the Outer Dark.

Also, IIRC, the threshold for "animal intelligence" used to be 4, with anything higher being a non-animal ( or a Magical Animal ). It really needs to be, since you need at least that much room to account for three classes of animal: basically non-intelligent ( Int N/A ), normal animal ( int modifier -4 ), and really smart animal ( int modifier -3 ). Anything tighter forces you to lump everything from geckos to great apes in one group, which is laughable.


Granted not all aberrations will drive you insane. But it was the best way I can describe it because most aberrations are meant to be indescribable.

That depends on the animal too. Mammalian animals would vary greatly in the intelligence department. I roll with what I know.


Metaphysician wrote:

Aberration is always going to be a tough one, but yes, "Evolved from HP Lovecraft" is about right. Aberrations should always have an origin with the insane forces and incomprehensible beings of the Outer Dark.

Also, IIRC, the threshold for "animal intelligence" used to be 4, with anything higher being a non-animal ( or a Magical Animal ). It really needs to be, since you need at least that much room to account for three classes of animal: basically non-intelligent ( Int N/A ), normal animal ( int modifier -4 ), and really smart animal ( int modifier -3 ). Anything tighter forces you to lump everything from geckos to great apes in one group, which is laughable.

I especially agree with you on animal intelligence scale. I mean, plenty of animals understand language. That would preclude an intelligence of at least 3. But let us not forget the other 2 mental ability scores.

Shadow Lodge

Slimes and oozes also fall under aberrations.

What throws me is the division of Monstrous Humanoids and Humanoids. There are plenty of Humanoids who seem monstrous and some Monstrous who don't seem to be.


Humanoid: A humanoid usually has two arms, two legs, and one head, or a human-like torso, arms, and a head. Humanoids have few or no supernatural or extraordinary abilities, but most can speak and usually have well-developed societies. They are usually Small or Medium (with the exception of giants). Every humanoid creature also has a specific subtype to match its race, such as human, giant, goblinoid, reptilian, or tengu.

Monstrous Humanoid: Monstrous humanoids are similar to humanoids, but with monstrous or animalistic features. They often have magical abilities as well.

This is where it gets weird because the lack of distinction between humanoid and monstrous humanoid. Some humanoids look more monstrous humanoid and vice versa. If I were to separate them further.

Humanoid: Any people that is recognizable human-like. Human, elf, dwarf, extra-planar, and others would be classify as humanoid.

Hybrid Humanoid: Any people that structurally is human-like, though species isn't the same as human. Hybrids are divided into two subcategories.
Animalstic: These hybrids have an ancestral species based off of a known animal or species specific tree. Catfolk, Vesk, Shirren, Ysoki are animalistic hybrids.
Monstrous: These hybrids have a more monster inclined lineage. Orcoid, goblinoid, reptilian, and others are monstrous hybrids.

Monstrous Humanoid: Any people that from either ancient augmentation, experimentation, or created to show the Gods 'haha I can create people too!'. Gnolls, Ogres, certain Aberrations are Monstrous humanoids.


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I can see a case for eliminating the Monstrous Humanoid category entirely. I think the only reason it still exists is to keep Charm Person from working on as many critters as it otherwise would.


With the exception of Gnolls, Monstrous Humanoids are suppose to be stronger and tougher than your average human/humanoid. Because of this divergence or mockery of life that your charm person theory has some credit, but if I may counter.

Charm person still affects Monstrous Humanoids. But the spell works easier on tradition humanoids because of brain development and chemistry. Certain Monstrous humanoids like gnolls would be more susceptible to the spell, while Ogres are more thick headed or their undeveloped brains isn't as susceptible.


PaladinDemo wrote:

With the exception of Gnolls, Monstrous Humanoids are suppose to be stronger and tougher than your average human/humanoid. Because of this divergence or mockery of life that your charm person theory has some credit, but if I may counter.

Charm person still affects Monstrous Humanoids. But the spell works easier on tradition humanoids because of brain development and chemistry. Certain Monstrous humanoids like gnolls would be more susceptible to the spell, while Ogres are more thick headed or their undeveloped brains isn't as susceptible.

Ogres are humanoid (giant), not monstrous humanoids.


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For that matter, Gnolls also are not monstrous humanoids.


The monstrous humanoid type is sort of superfluous in this system.

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PaladinDemo wrote:
Charm person still affects Monstrous Humanoids. But the spell works easier on tradition humanoids because of brain development and chemistry. Certain Monstrous humanoids like gnolls would be more susceptible to the spell, while Ogres are more thick headed or their undeveloped brains isn't as susceptible.

Out of curiosity, what leads you to these conclusions?

Shadow Lodge

Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
PaladinDemo wrote:
Charm person still affects Monstrous Humanoids. But the spell works easier on tradition humanoids because of brain development and chemistry. Certain Monstrous humanoids like gnolls would be more susceptible to the spell, while Ogres are more thick headed or their undeveloped brains isn't as susceptible.
Out of curiosity, what leads you to these conclusions?

Probably the sidebar in Alien Archive that says a GM may allow it on a case-by-case basis. It's near the front.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
PaladinDemo wrote:
Charm person still affects Monstrous Humanoids. But the spell works easier on tradition humanoids because of brain development and chemistry. Certain Monstrous humanoids like gnolls would be more susceptible to the spell, while Ogres are more thick headed or their undeveloped brains isn't as susceptible.
Out of curiosity, what leads you to these conclusions?

Thistledown said it best. I've read through plenty of conflicting lore that I tend to use what feels correct to me. Plus me and my friends mix and match certain monster types because biologically it doesn't make sense.

For example.
Giant insects while in prehistory makes sense because of O2 levels, but not during medieval/modern/future times unless either unexplored prehistoric planets discovered or Hollow Earth where O2 was concentrated. They would be on the low end of magical beasts because either druid preservation, magical evolution, or wizard experimentation. The magic keeps the insects giant sized because of specially enchanted organs to increase or concentrate oxygen, the magic also reinforces the exoskeleton to withstand metal weaponry to a degree.

Gnolls are an oddball of a humanoid race. Structurally human-like but too monstrous to be considered acceptable at least within humanoid norms. Theories range from divergent evolution or primeval genetic experimentation. Their brain chemistry is developed enough to be susceptible to charms, but most who seek help from gnolls has better chance of gaining them as allies through intimidation thanks to their species progenitor hyenas.

Ogres from an uneducated observer looks vaguely humanoid. But it is quite possible that a throw back of giant evolution. One theory goes ogres are a similar variant akin to neanderthal in giant evolution. But unlike human evolution and socialization, ogres were left alone to evolve their distinct branch of the giant family tree. Their brain development barely changed over the course of evolution, just barely into tool usage. However thick skin, bone density, and high endurance has made ogres physically resilient.


Maybe the wizard that originally invented 'charm person' used arcane principles that tied it to their personal perception of what constitutes a 'humanoid'. Magic is as often based on perception, intent and identity as it is on physical properties.


PaladinDemo wrote:
Ogres from an uneducated observer looks vaguely humanoid. But it is quite possible that a throw back of giant evolution. One theory goes ogres are a similar variant akin to neanderthal in giant evolution. But unlike human evolution and socialization, ogres were left alone to evolve their distinct branch of the giant family tree. Their brain development barely changed over the course of...

Ogres being akin to giants doesn't make them more monstrous humanoids, as giants themselves are humanoids, not monstrous humanoids.

A good example of monstrous humanoid is a gargoyle. Its flesh is made of stone, has wings, claws and horns, and can supernaturally freeze for long periods of time becoming a statue. That's way more distinct from being, say, an elf, than ogres are.


It's not perfect. I adjust where I can.

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