Stellifera and Gill Sheathes


Starfinder Society


The text for the Stellifera says that they can’t breathe air unless they have artificial life support. What constitutes artificial life support?

The Gill Sheath says that it allows the user to breathe underwater or in the air. Now, normally of course, when I take this augmentation, I'm applying it to an air-breathing character to give them the ability to breathe water. By text as written, this would seem to also apply the other way around. But is it rules as intended? When the core rulebook came out, there weren't any aquatic-only races, and the first one - the Kalo - have their own equipment that allow them to breathe outside the water, and the Morlamaw specifically have the amphibious ability. Stellifera have no such equivalent as far as I can tell.

As for why I'm posting it here, well, for the obvious reasons, mostly - I'm thinking of a Stellifera Mechanic for Society.

2/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Keldin wrote:
But is it rules as intended?

No. They coat your lungs per the description. If you have gills, you don't have lungs. Now, there's a whole discussion of how the augmentations aren't supposed to be limited by alien anatomy (but they are because my khizar has no eyes and can't see... giving him nightvision augment doesn't make him see).

However, 1. the stellifera has the water body feature so should *always* be in water and 2. you're going to wear armor, aren't you? Ergo, artificial life support.

You lose so much from not having a water body, I don't know why you'd ever want to be in water.

Dark Archive 5/5

I wasn’t aware there were Stellifera boons floating around (pun intended). They look pretty interesting.

1/5

DrParty06 wrote:
I wasn’t aware there were Stellifera boons floating around (pun intended). They look pretty interesting.

They're on a chronicle sheet. Three guesses as to which one.

1/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵

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Starfinder Superscriber
Brian Adams wrote:
DrParty06 wrote:
I wasn’t aware there were Stellifera boons floating around (pun intended). They look pretty interesting.
They're on a chronicle sheet. Three guesses as to which one.

"Three guesses" - cute, since you need to play 3 specific adventures to unlock them. Stellifera come from the Azlanti star empire and the chronicle sheets are in a separate free download on the product page.

Many Starfinder players who play the series in home games still don't know chronicle sheets are available for APs even when not played with society characters. We regularly get new SFS players who played through APs and are unaware that they qualify for chronicle sheets.

Dark Archive 5/5

Arc Riley wrote:
Brian Adams wrote:
DrParty06 wrote:
I wasn’t aware there were Stellifera boons floating around (pun intended). They look pretty interesting.
They're on a chronicle sheet. Three guesses as to which one.

"Three guesses" - cute, since you need to play 3 specific adventures to unlock them. Stellifera come from the Azlanti star empire and the chronicle sheets are in a separate free download on the product page.

Many Starfinder players who play the series in home games still don't know chronicle sheets are available for APs even when not played with society characters. We regularly get new SFS players who played through APs and are unaware that they qualify for chronicle sheets.

I’m low on amount of Starfinder played/run still. Working on it, but haven’t even really read the basic AP plots.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Blake's Tiger wrote:
Keldin wrote:
But is it rules as intended?

No. They coat your lungs per the description. If you have gills, you don't have lungs. Now, there's a whole discussion of how the augmentations aren't supposed to be limited by alien anatomy (but they are because my khizar has no eyes and can't see... giving him nightvision augment doesn't make him see).

I don't think the alien anatomy is a good argument here. You can put a better ball on a bantrid even though they have a ball and not legs. Unless there's a mechanical "doesn't have lungs slot" description on the mechanical aspects of the striefella they can get lung augmentations

"This lets you breathe underwater or in the air" seems to assume you could already breathe air. But either it directly says they can breathe both or a gills to lungs augmentation would occupy the same slot and cost exactly the same, so it should work.

2/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Blake's Tiger wrote:
Keldin wrote:
But is it rules as intended?

No. They coat your lungs per the description. If you have gills, you don't have lungs. Now, there's a whole discussion of how the augmentations aren't supposed to be limited by alien anatomy (but they are because my khizar has no eyes and can't see... giving him nightvision augment doesn't make him see).

I don't think the alien anatomy is a good argument here. You can put a better ball on a bantrid even though they have a ball and not legs. Unless there's a mechanical "doesn't have lungs slot" description on the mechanical aspects of the striefella they can get lung augmentations

You're actually making the argument that I said can be made (my grumbling about khizars aside).

The fact that stellifera don't actually need gill sheathes also aside, out of academic curiosity, would you change your assessment on stellifera specifically if I pointed out that they are immune to gasses and inhaled poisons specifically because they don't have lungs and enjoy the exact benefits of the pressurized lung augmentation?

And this isn't a set up to try to undermine the rule that alien anatomy doesn't limit what augmentations you can apply, even though it's getting tougher with weirder and weirder aliens being optioned as PCs. I actually like that that rule exists.

1/5 ⦵⦵⦵⦵

Starfinder Superscriber
DrParty06 wrote:
I’m low on amount of Starfinder played/run still. Working on it, but haven’t even really read the basic AP plots.

Good news - there's only 4 AP series out (the 5th just started) so you don't have much to read. All the AP synopsis are available from https://paizo.com/store/starfinder/adventurePath

Grand Lodge 1/5 ⦵⦵

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

This sort of question comes up often enough that I think it'd be helpful to have an official ruling that addresses it. Like "gain the sense of sight/hearing/smell/taste/tactile touch, as a standard human: 100 credits" or "gain an non-limb organ that out-of-the-box humans possess: 150 credits."

Then again, I can appreciate that defining what senses/organs a "standard" human possesses can very easily become a delicate conversation: we must make sure to be respectful of actual players, and acknowledge that there's no such thing as a "standard" human.

...ok, I'm beginning to get a sense as to why this ruling doesn't exist already.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

Blake's Tiger wrote:
Keldin wrote:
But is it rules as intended?

No. They coat your lungs per the description. If you have gills, you don't have lungs. Now, there's a whole discussion of how the augmentations aren't supposed to be limited by alien anatomy (but they are because my khizar has no eyes and can't see... giving him nightvision augment doesn't make him see).

However, 1. the stellifera has the water body feature so should *always* be in water and 2. you're going to wear armor, aren't you? Ergo, artificial life support.

You lose so much from not having a water body, I don't know why you'd ever want to be in water.

Actually, my fine feline, when one is a drone mechanic who intends to ride one's Tiny Hover Drone, it pays to be Diminutive! Utilizing the Water Body feature typical of my race, I would be too large and heavy to properly maneuver on my fine craft, The Splendid.

If you watch my show, Professor Quid the Science Squid, you can see how the hover engines of the craft can only lift a certain weight while still being able to gain altitude. I go over it in detail, while still being understandable even to your little kitten cubs.

Thus, with a need for the ability to breathe outside of water, there is absolutely no reason that I should not be able to have access to modified gills that allow me to breathe air with the rest of you fine non-aquatic individuals. That's why Veylon Enterprises provides a line of gill sheathes specifically for races such as my own, or our good Kalo friends.

There is no dang reason AT ALL to punish aquatic races by changing the rules text on Gill Sheath to specifically preclude water-to-air in addition to air-to-water. They don't lose their lung slot for augmentations, and who's to say that their alien physiology can't maintain such an augmentation. You're only punishing creative builds like Professor Quid here.

Dark Archive 1/5

As a GM, I would feel that, while using such a modified breathing system, you would be sacrificing the racial immunities that are caused by having the water barrier if it is down. Unless, of course, you can find a way around the limits on number of modifications to a single system.


World of Dim Light wrote:
As a GM, I would feel that, while using such a modified breathing system, you would be sacrificing the racial immunities that are caused by having the water barrier if it is down. Unless, of course, you can find a way around the limits on number of modifications to a single system.

Water Body isn't mandatory. Stellifera didn't use it in their oceans when they first attained sentience. If a PC is comfortable not gaining the various bonuses that Water Body provides (including +4 Str and +2 racial HP), they shouldn't be forced to do so based on the simple need to breathe.

Professor Quid there is already paying double for Diminutive versions of weapons; why are we contemplating further punishing her?

Dark Archive 1/5

One of those bonuses provided by hydrobody is the immunity to gasses and inhaled poisons, per the racial text. Therefore, no hydrobody, no immunity. Since the gill sheath takes up the 'lung' slot, this would mean that the modification that regular air breathers can use to gain that ability would not be available without something that would allow you to put a second modification in the lung slot.

I'm not adding punishments, I'm just pointing out the rules that restrict using that particular trick to do something most characters cannot do.

2/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Dracomicron wrote:
Professor Quid there is already paying double for Diminutive versions of weapons

I hope not. Stellifera cannot wield weapons or wear armor without being in a hydrobody as detailed in the hydrobody ability, which is why a hydrobody-less stellifera would need artificial life support because otherwise, wearing armor provides you with:

CRB wrote:
All armor can facilitate self-contained breathing

Sovereign Court 5/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Blake's Tiger wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:
Professor Quid there is already paying double for Diminutive versions of weapons
I hope not. Stellifera cannot wield weapons or wear armor without being in a hydrobody as detailed in the hydrobody ability, which is why a hydrobody-less stellifera would need artificial life support.

The ability states that:

Hydrobody wrote:
While within a hydrobody, a stellifera has a Strength score 4 higher, 2 additional Hit Points, a land speed of 30 feet, a swim speed of 30 feet, and the ability to wield weapons and wear clothing and armor as a Medium creature.

So, it needs to be in a hydrobody in order to use weapons and armor sized for a medium creature.

That is *not* the same thing as saying that they can't use weapons and armor without being in a hydrobody.

That said, without a hydrobody, they can pretty much only use equipment specially crafted for them; all of the stuff found whilst adventuring will be (essentially) useless to them...


Blake's Tiger wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:
Professor Quid there is already paying double for Diminutive versions of weapons

I hope not. Stellifera cannot wield weapons or wear armor without being in a hydrobody as detailed in the hydrobody ability, which is why a hydrobody-less stellifera would need artificial life support because otherwise, wearing armor provides you with:

CRB wrote:
All armor can facilitate self-contained breathing

Incorrect. Stelliferas need Hydrobody to use MEDIUM weapons and armor.

Nothing is stopping them from using Diminutive weapons and armor outside of the Hydrobody. Diminutive weapons cost double. Armor just needs to be modified to be Diminutive. A smart Stellifera would get the Trailblazer fusion on their little bitty weapons so they can fire them without penalty from inside their Hydrobody, if they use it.

Also, "artificial life support" includes Gill Sheath, in my estimation.

2/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I see that you both are correct.

Dataphiles 4/5 ⦵⦵

"Punishing" seems a little disingenuous to me. If you choose to play a species, you get everything that comes with being that species. It's like playing a khizar and not having to work to get sight, it doesn't make sense. That is part of the khizar.

I love my khizar and look forward to being able to get the computer aeon stone, so that I can get the telepathy mod to interact with it. Then get a camera or something so that it can finally "see".

I look forward to making a stellifera so that I can play with an only water breathing character.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo) 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

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Keldin wrote:

When the core rulebook came out, there weren't any aquatic-only races, and the first one - the Kalo - have their own equipment that allow them to breathe outside the water.

Couldn't you use the Kalo equipment on your steliferra?


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"Dr." Cupi wrote:
"Punishing" seems a little disingenuous to me. If you choose to play a species, you get everything that comes with being that species. It's like playing a khizar and not having to work to get sight, it doesn't make sense. That is part of the khizar.

You do have to work to get air breathing on a stellifera. You need to spend 95 credits and use your lung augmentation slot. It isn't free.

You are welcome to play your water-breathing-only stellifera. Your reward is being able to use your lung slot for a different augmentation... like Pressurized Lungs or a Respiration Compounder, so you can hold your breath longer, or a Black Heart, which acts as environmental protections (which allow you to breathe). Actually... there's not a lot of options for lungs except letting you breathe more easily.

Khizar are different than stellifera in that they don't have eyes at all. Stellifera have "lungs" (or at least a lung slot) and can breathe; a gill sheath just lets them breathe something other than water. Who's to say that the gill sheath doesn't coat the outside of the traditional gills and allows them to act like a land creature's lungs? It's just oxygen transference... no big deal for Starfinder tech.

I wonder why this is a sticking point for people. Following your logic, if I play a human I shouldn't be able to buy a gill sheath either, because humans do not normally breathe under water. Not breathing water is what I accepted when I decided to play a human. I shouldn't take something like "rules text" to mean that I can transcend that limitation, right?

2/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

All of the logic (or not, depending on your perspective) aside, what I can't figure out is why anyone wants a gill sheath: air breather or water breather. Speaking of someone who has a character that wasted money on gill sheathes for my human, wearing armor accomplishes the same thing unless you're planning on being stuck underwater without a chance to recharge your environmental protections for more than 24 hours.

1/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Blake's Tiger wrote:
All of the logic (or not, depending on your perspective) aside, what I can't figure out is why anyone wants a gill sheath: air breather or water breather. Speaking of someone who has a character that wasted money on gill sheathes for my human, wearing armor accomplishes the same thing unless you're planning on being stuck underwater without a chance to recharge your environmental protections for more than 24 hours.

Two words? *Insurance*. *Paranoia*.

Having been in a couple of modules in other campaigns where the GMs did everything in their power through the Plot to get people *out of their environmental outfits* being prepared for it is better than not.

Also, if one is ready for it, and bad things happen (suit gets destroyed, religious ceremony requires being mostly unclad, whatnot) then it's less than some convoluted hour plus kludge to avoid the issue.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Blake's Tiger wrote:
All of the logic (or not, depending on your perspective) aside, what I can't figure out is why anyone wants a gill sheath: air breather or water breather.
Two words? *Insurance*. *Paranoia*.

Exactly.

Starfinder Society writers have caught on to the fact that environmental protections have painted them into a corner with regards to potential environmental threats, and numerous scenarios have included situations where the protections don't work properly.

...also I kinda think it's hilarious to have these little cuttlefish dragging themselves around in open air, talking and such like it ain't no thing.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo) 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

yeah all armor having environmental protections really has rendered environment either pointless or GM Fiat.

Sovereign Court 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Dracomicron wrote:
...also I kinda think it's hilarious to have these little cuttlefish dragging themselves around in open air, talking and such like it ain't no thing.

That is, of course, with the caveat that they can't actually vocalise, or communicate telepathically - the 'background fluff' for the race notes that their language is one of bodily color changes, and they were only able to communicate with the Azlanti via the use of the Telepathic Message cantrip...

...so a Mk I Mindlink Circuit is probably a good early purchase, or you will spend most of the game session being *really* quiet (since it otherwise takes a standard action to 'say' something).


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Luke_Parry wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:
...also I kinda think it's hilarious to have these little cuttlefish dragging themselves around in open air, talking and such like it ain't no thing.

That is, of course, with the caveat that they can't actually vocalise, or communicate telepathically - the 'background fluff' for the race notes that their language is one of bodily color changes, and they were only able to communicate with the Azlanti via the use of the Telepathic Message cantrip...

...so a Mk I Mindlink Circuit is probably a good early purchase, or you will spend most of the game session being *really* quiet (since it otherwise takes a standard action to 'say' something).

"No talking" isn't listed in their stat block; therefore such a concern is not such a problem that it can't be overcome with basic PC measures.

Sovereign Court 5/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

*shrugs* I respect that that is RAW, since 'fluff' doesn't matter in SFS, but my Stellifera ('Deep Blue') is mute, since I like the racial fluff ;-)

Liberty's Edge 2/5

Wait, unless it says in the stat block that they cannot speak, they can speak? I thought fluff... wait I am confused?


Luke_Parry wrote:
*shrugs* I respect that that is RAW, since 'fluff' doesn't matter in SFS, but my Stellifera ('Deep Blue') is mute, since I like the racial fluff ;-)

I respect your dedication to character development. :)

2/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Noven wrote:
Wait, unless it says in the stat block that they cannot speak, they can speak? I thought fluff... wait I am confused?

It's what happens when your character options come out of Bestiary/Bestiary-like publications.

There are racial options whose "monster" versions can do things that PC versions can't do. The ruling being that you only get what's listed in the PC version mechanics block. However, once I earn my Stellifera, it will not be speaking except by Telepathic Message and color shifting.

Dataphiles 4/5 ⦵⦵

Continuity matters to some and not to others. The good news is that people can play how they want. Though, be aware that some GMs will be more strict that others.


"Dr." Cupi wrote:
Continuity matters to some and not to others. The good news is that people can play how they want. Though, be aware that some GMs will be more strict that others.

I figure that there are minimum implants that Stellifera who join the galactic civilization get that allow them to communicate freely with other races easily.

Hmm, I suppose I could get a Vocal Modulator to represent that implant.

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