Assist in alien archives PCs for society play?


Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild

Exo-Guardians

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Good day all. From my searchings I don't think there will be a positive answer for this. I am a TTRPGer with decades of play but always homebrew. When I found out about starfinder last year, I loved the setting and concept that I finally decided to join up with official starfinder society. I do a fairbit of GMing now and picked up the books in part for running a campaign. However I was informed that absolutely no additional races have been allows.

Confirming with additional resources, it doesnt say anything race wise in the books are permitted for the pact worlds or alien archives 1&2.

I looked into boons, it appears the only one was a boon that ended last summer with the six games for one species, 12 for choice of others. Outside of that, it sounds like only rare official convention awards?

That seems pretty harsh unless I am missing something if only for the inaccessability of what conventions I know of, effectively knocking me out of ever being able to use these in play since society is my only as player and not GM starfinder.

Suggestion? I wonder why isnt a promo boon so owners/buyers of the book get a least one time boon to make use of, at minimum from a list, one of the species from said book? As it is those books seem to have a limited if any value for society play. Ideally, that boon could be only applied to one character at any time of playable races, so would need to retire or expire to make a new from that book. Just to prevent having it burned from a bad situation?

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

First off, welcome to Starfinder Society :)

To answer your question, you've missed a couple of things that make the situation look better.

1) Alien Archive not only has playable races in it, it also has equipment in it, much of which is legal for play. Diasporan rifles for example are popular with operatives because they can fire multiple shots before having to reload, which is handy because you're already spening a move action to aim and a standard action to shoot. So that rifle allows you to shoot and aim every round, instead of only every other round.

2) You need Alien Archive to use Summon Monster spells.

3) There are in fact a couple of scenarios that allow you to play nonstandard races, including at least one from the Alien Archive 1. So if you keep playing, you'll bump into it eventually. (It's considered unsportsmanlike to spoil what's on the chronicle sheets of scenarios to people who haven't played them yet, so I can't tell you which one.)

Finally, the "rare official convention awards" - they're not quite that rare. An event that seats at least 15 tables of people playing Starfinder Society, Pathfinder Society and Adventure Card Game can qualify as an official convention, so it's not really that rare or exclusive. And anyone who GMs at least one game at them earns a race boon. There are also online gaming conventions, so there should be some opportunity to earn them even if traveling is not practical for you.

GMing at a convention is a bit more work than doing it at your own kitchen table (have to prepare and drag all your stuff there, GM for strangers, long hours). So it helps to have something to incentivize people to do it; that's why most races from Alien Archive have been reserved.

Exo-Guardians

Oh, so even small events can organize it? Should chat with the co-ordinators more. Example was last year I ran one of the tables for 1-99 and we had more than 15 show for starfinder.

I did note there were the additional addendum stuff. It is an unusual opinion though. For pathfinder I have a preference for keeping thing simple core and traditional fantasy style. For Starfinder, the thought of a diverse group of aliens I considered one of the very attractive parts of the universe but almost locked out of it.


For what it's worth, the people on both the Starfinder and Starfinder Society design teams have said multiple times that they also have this as a goal, to offer a diverse array of playable options. You can read Thurston's comments on it from this old blog post: That Cantina Feel. Whether they're living up to that goal to your satisfaction is up to you to decide, but at least they have expressed that they also value that aspect of the Starfinder universe.

Personally, I've been playing SFS for about a year and I already have more race options available to me than time to play them all. In my opinion they've been quite liberal in opening races for play, though admittedly it is still mostly the core races that I see in actual games. I believe that over time it will start to feel much more like the cantina feel they're going for.

Exo-Guardians

GM Elinnea wrote:

For what it's worth, the people on both the Starfinder and Starfinder Society design teams have said multiple times that they also have this as a goal, to offer a diverse array of playable options. You can read Thurston's comments on it from this old blog post: That Cantina Feel. Whether they're living up to that goal to your satisfaction is up to you to decide, but at least they have expressed that they also value that aspect of the Starfinder universe.

Personally, I've been playing SFS for about a year and I already have more race options available to me than time to play them all. In my opinion they've been quite liberal in opening races for play, though admittedly it is still mostly the core races that I see in actual games. I believe that over time it will start to feel much more like the cantina feel they're going for.

That is what I was sort of commenting on.

1. Regional Convention support. At least here it doesn't seem to be any. However there are semi annual gaming events, but we don't have the population to get hundreds of people else the closest large convention is probably 800km away. Too much for my wallet of a trip. But from the earlier post, it sounds like smaller gaming events can still arrange if enough people? Though I guess that is on the onus of the ventures.

2. Player focused boon: This is the one that I missed out on and seems to have only been the one over a year ago. Since I find myself gming lots, I also would have difficulty getting the games played.

Since that article was over a year old, it is why I came here asking. There was also that skittermander stuff, but I wasn't able to be part of that since the ones who were doing it again ran it all in another city versus the city we play.

Hence why was asking. From my information searching, there is absolutely nothing out there to get access to it. Is why I brought up at least gaining access to some from purchasing the game books or having more options available to those who cannot spend the money to make long trips and expensive admissions to conventions.

If they are liberal in opening races to play, then how are they opened? I have only found a couple options, and those are all expired?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's true that there's no need to have a convention with hundreds of people. Smaller venues will qualify for the race boons, though I don't know the details of how that works either. The online region also has regular conventions so you should be able to access boons that way if you're willing to GM in either VTT or play by post format.

About the races becoming available, I'll be a little less vague about what I was thinking...

1) At launch the legacy races were not freely available, but they were all opened to play within two years. Ok, maybe that was a one-time thing that won't apply to other books.

2) The Skittermander and alien archive access boons have both provided ways to gradually earn access to new races. It's true that one is expired, and hasn't been followed up with something similar. Thurston recently teased that news about new boons would be coming soon, and I'm hoping there's something race-related, but that's not certain. At least the skittermander scenario doesn't have an expiration, so you could still run that if you manage to find people who haven't played it yet.

3) They opened the option of starting a ghibrani as a capstone boon after you raise a Wayfinder to tier 4 reputation. There are also a number of races that have been unlocked by playing certain scenarios. I'm not being deliberately coy, but as Lau said, it's frowned upon to give specifics lest people start playing certain scenarios just fishing for boons.

I play much more than I GM, so I'm speaking from that perspective. It has felt like there have constantly been new ways popping up to gain access to new races, especially compared to Pathfinder. The Starfinder books and APs have just been ridiculously fast at releasing new playable races, that the organized play options haven't kept up with that.

I could see why this would be frustrating to someone just coming in now. It has been more of a gradual approach, rather than a release-the-floodgates style. Some races will probably always be deliberately restricted, to provide incentives to GMs. I'd recommend you at least talk to your local venture officers about how you could earn race boons from GMing in your area.

For the record, I do like your idea of having a one-time option to play a species from a book you buy. I don't know if they'd consider something like that but it doesn't seem like a bad suggestion to me. My hope is that, given that they've said they want to go for a cantina feel, that they'll continue working on creative solutions like that one.

Sorry for my rather long-winded reply! I too like the Starfinder setting a great deal, and I like what they've done with its organized play, so I hope you're able to find enjoyment in it as well.

***** ⦵⦵

A fair number of races open up during play. If you deal with an unusual race its not that rare to see them opening up as a boon at the end of the scenario.

For running starfinder online

The starfinder nexus
Cosmic Crittermanders

How to play online

How to make a table to run online

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

To give you an impression of how common it is for a scenario to open up race access; within the first 29 scenarios of Starfinder Society I've gotten access to 4 new races as well as "access" to 3 legacy races. The latter is in double quotes because those were originally boons to gain access, but now legacy races are open to everyone but you can still use these boons to gain a bonus to a <=14 ability score by applying it to an existing character of that legacy race.

So taking for a moment those legacy race access boons as full access boons, because that's what they were at the time of issuing; about 1/4 scenarios opened up access to a new race.

---

"regional convention support" - that's mixing two concepts. There are conventions, and there is the regional support program (RSP). Conventions receive convention support, RSP is a way to support venues that don't get convention support. If your local haunts aren't getting either, you should get in touch with your local venture officers. (I have no idea where you're located.)

Conventions don't need hundreds of people. The bare minimum for a convention is 15 tables over three days. Assume you do 3 slots a day, you'd need 1.66 tables per slot to make the cut. Let's say 2 tables per slot. Each table needs at minimum 3 players, a pregen, and a GM. So a minimum viable convention needs 8 people, not hundreds.

(I would not recommend quite this bare-bones a convention. Conventions are great fun. It's really sweet to spend a long weekend totally immersed in geekery with people who came from all over. But I wanted to show the mathematical point.)

Exo-Guardians

Huh. Interesting. So the scenarios have access to new races? Thanks. Perhaps it was just luck of the draw for the scenarios we have chosen. Myself and the other who regularily GMs chooses based on what seems most fun. So if there are just scenario ones, that answers the concern in the origins of the post.

Thanks for that bit of info, will keep an eye out for them as we run more scenarios.

We are revamping how we are going to be running the local events with better schedule planning and making more use of social media for the provincial online organization.

As for online, it is just personal taste, but found I just didn't enjoy the online experience for tabletop. I just like being at the table with others. We have the players and at our bi weekly (every two week) game, we get from 6 to 14 regular peeps show up depending.

Grand Lodge ***** ⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Remember that there are two types of online play, and they have really different feels to them. It sounds like you didn't enjoy virtual tabletop (VTT). But if you like storytelling, you might really enjoy Play-by-post (PBP), which is gaming in slow mode on a message board forum. The difference between gaming real time and gaming in PBP is akin to the difference between a movie and a book. One is a bit slower, but can get more in-depth.

There are several excellent scenarios that open up new races. I do hope you enjoy discovering which ones!

Hmm

Sczarni ***** ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Diasporan rifles for example are popular with operatives

How many large-sized Operatives do you have in your local venues?

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Nefreet wrote:
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Diasporan rifles for example are popular with operatives
How many large-sized Operatives do you have in your local venues?

As I understand it you can get them refitted for a S/M-sized character?

Sczarni ***** ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Sure, at twice the price.

I initially purchased one not realizing they were large (because Archivesofnethys does not tell you they are), and sold it immediately when a GM told me.

Since then everyone I've encountered using a Diasporan weapon hasn't paid the double price. I think their popularity is due to the misunderstanding.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm not sure they necessarily are large. Although the original designers (sarcesians) are large, Alien Archive doesn't actually say the rifle has to be large. If you took the rifle from the rapidly cooling corpse of a sarcesian, that'd probably be a large one. But if you just bought it off the shelf in Absalom Station then there's no reason why it would be large.

Additional Resources only mentions dragonglaives as having a size restriction.

The Core Rulebook says the following about odd-sized weapons:

CRB, p.168 wrote:

Weapon Sizes

Weapons are built to be easily held and used by both Small and Medium creatures. Weapons can be built for use by smaller creatures but generally cost twice as much (since they require special miniaturization technology). Weapons can also be built for use by larger creatures with no increase in price. A Small or Medium creature trying to use a weapon built for a creature that is Tiny or Large suffers a –4 penalty to attack rolls. Weapons designed for creatures Diminutive or smaller, or Huge or larger, generally cannot be effectively used by Small or Medium creatures.

So unless there's something special said, a weapon is sized for S/M. You can get a bigger version for no extra price. Only weapons sized for Tiny and smaller cost extra.

There's nothing on the item description in Alien Archive or in the Additional Resources to indicate otherwise. I think your GM was being overzealous.

Sczarni ***** ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

My GM was a VO.

But I can see your point.

It's just that the Sarcesian weapons are all better than their Level equivalent counterparts (which is the real reason they're popular). If you double their price, they're more in line with others.

I think this would require a "Campaign Clarification".

Starfinder Society Developer

12 people marked this as a favorite.

Official Clarification: All equipment available for purchase that is listed in any printed product is always assumed to be Medium in size unless otherwise stated.

***** ⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.

May people who were told otherwise get a refund on the equipment they were told to sell?

A, uhhh, Tengu friend of mine wants to know...

***** ⦵⦵

Unless we have Tiny starfinders the weapon size is going to be pretty irrelevant

Weapon Sizes

Weapons are built to be easily held and used by both Small and Medium creatures. Weapons can be built for use by smaller creatures but generally cost twice as much (since they require special miniaturization technology). Weapons can also be built for use by larger creatures with no increase in price. A Small or Medium creature trying to use a weapon built for a creature that is Tiny or Large suffers a –4 penalty to attack rolls. Weapons designed for creatures Diminutive or smaller, or Huge or larger, generally cannot be effectively used by Small or Medium creatures.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Nefreet wrote:
My GM was a VO.

We make mistakes too, we're almost like real people :)

Totally *NOT* a Tengu wrote:

May people who were told otherwise get a refund on the equipment they were told to sell?

A, uhhh, Tengu friend of mine wants to know...

I'd say say so, people should never be punished for honest mistakes. Fix it and move on.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Much like a Ysoki can use a Vesk artillery laser, I suspect this could be the same. Compact for designer.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Markus Reese wrote:
Much like a Ysoki can use a Vesk artillery laser, I suspect this could be the same. Compact for designer.

The CRB explicitly states weapons sized for small and medium creatures are the same.

Starfinder cut waaaaay down on how big a deal size is.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Too bad they didn't do that for the Efficient Bandoleer.

Description
This bandolier fits over any Medium creature and contains five compartments, each corresponding to a specific type of weapon: melee weapons, small arms, longarms, heavy weapons, and explosives.

***** ⦵⦵

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Bill Baldwin wrote:

Too bad they didn't do that for the Efficient Bandoleer.

Description
This bandolier fits over any Medium creature and contains five compartments, each corresponding to a specific type of weapon: melee weapons, small arms, longarms, heavy weapons, and explosives.

Take a rank in profession freelance sayance performer ?

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

Nefreet wrote:

My GM was a VO.

But I can see your point.

It's just that the Sarcesian weapons are all better than their Level equivalent counterparts (which is the real reason they're popular). If you double their price, they're more in line with others.

I think this would require a "Campaign Clarification".

Or maybe they were just making up for the fact that Core sniper weapons were underpowered.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Bill Baldwin wrote:

Too bad they didn't do that for the Efficient Bandoleer.

Description
This bandolier fits over any Medium creature and contains five compartments, each corresponding to a specific type of weapon: melee weapons, small arms, longarms, heavy weapons, and explosives.

Take a rank in profession freelance sayance performer ?

I was seriously flummoxed that my Ysoki Soldier could not use one of these. His cheek pouches are already full of grenades.

Sczarni ***** ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Unless we have Tiny starfinders the weapon size is going to be pretty irrelevant

Well the initial issue was Large => Small, which costs double, but I happen to have a game tonight under one of our VOs so I'll get their initials on it ^_^

***** ⦵⦵

Nefreet wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Unless we have Tiny starfinders the weapon size is going to be pretty irrelevant
Well the initial issue was Large => Small, which costs double, but I happen to have a game tonight under one of our VOs so I'll get their initials on it ^_^

Eh?

Small size: standard price
Medium size standard price
Bigger than medium size, standard price

So as far as chronicle sheet loot is concerned the price on the sheet size is irrelevant for creatures bigger than tiny.

Sczarni ***** ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The section you're probably missing is: "Weapons can be built for use by smaller creatures but generally cost twice as much (since they require special miniaturization technology)".

Backtracking a bit, before Thurston's clarification, since Sarcesians are large-sized, the thought was that their gear was similarly large-sized, because why would they not be? It's only found in the Alien Archive, not the Core Rulebook, so it's reasonable to assume medium creatures would need to pay double.

Now we know for sure that is not the case.

***** ⦵⦵

*backfoot headscratch*

Weapons are built to be easily held and used by both Small and Medium creatures. Weapons can be built for use by smaller (bnw than small) creatures but generally cost twice as much

Smaller refers to smaller than small. Not smaller than the creature usually using it.

I don't know if it's intentional but i'm reading thursty's post as large creatures can't get any benefit from chronicle sheet loot because the equipment there isn't sized for them. Which.. breaks something for large characters to fix something that wasn't broken.

Sovereign Court **** ⦵⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka The Masked Ferret

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Larger weapons don't cost extra.

***** ⦵⦵

Glen Parnell wrote:
Larger weapons don't cost extra.

I know, but am i supposed to read thursty's post as "all pricing assumes a medium creature" ? Otherwise the exclusion of large creatures kicks in because the chronicle sheet only has a medium weapon they can't use.

Starfinder Society Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Glen Parnell wrote:
Larger weapons don't cost extra.
I know, but am i supposed to read thursty's post as "all pricing assumes a medium creature" ? Otherwise the exclusion of large creatures kicks in because the chronicle sheet only has a medium weapon they can't use.

You can upgrade to larger sizes without cost issues.

This should not impact anything but Tiny/Diminutive characters or cases where we maybe call out size of items (though I doubt we'll be doing that.)

***** ⦵⦵

Thank you! Sorry to make you clarify the clarification but if i was reading it that way I know a fair bit of PFS has a higher persnicket meter than I do....

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

We can talk about upsize things using "bigger weapons" to avoid keyword-tripping over Larger weapons. How should we call smaller-than-something weapons though, without risking confusion with the keyword Small?

Sczarni ***** ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It's probably best for consistency to use the size categories as is.

The Designers already knew they needed to make sure sizes were understood well, coming from Pathfinder, and I think they did a reasonable job thus far.

Community / Forums / Organized Play / Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild / Assist in alien archives PCs for society play? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild