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I'm going to be GMing a Dawn of Flame campaign soon, and terribly missed the character creation section from past APs' Players' Guides. So, I wrote one for my own players! I figured I'd share it with the forums, in the hopes it is of use to other players or GMs.
My writing style is informal, written from a GM to a player, so don't expect this to be up to par with the official stuff. Also, it's possible I make fun of phrenic adepts, lol. Sorry not sorry. I have definitely shamelessly ripped some verbiage from official Paizo players' guides in the intro. As far as I know, rules for all of the character options I mention should be available on the Archives of Nethys. Not everything is Organised Play legal, though.
Please note: I've written this having only skimmed chapters 1 and 2, so things predominantly coming up after that aren't taken into consideration. For others who've read/GM'd/played farther into the AP than that, please feel free to comment your thoughts, edits, or additions below!
Kishmo's Unofficial Players' Guide to Dawn of Flame
Required reading on Mataras, the Pact Worlds' Sun:
Required Reading on the Burning Archipelago, the primary settlement on the sun:
What sort of characters work best for Dawn of Flame? A brilliant researcher delving for secrets? A devout Sarenite seeking to get closer to their Goddess? A plane-touched character, searching for clues to their own past or origins? An honest spacer just looking to make a space-buck or two? A military grunt with a sturdy plasma-sword? The answer: any of these ideas and more. While Dawn of Flame contains a fair amount of social intrigue and scientific or academic research, it still has its fair share of monsters to slay, dungeons to delve, and spaceships to pilot. Whatever a character’s motivation is for diving into the sun, there should be opportunities aplenty.
My suggestions are presented as potential choices for fitting the flavor and tone of the Adventure Path, but are by no means prescriptive. There are no "bad choices" for character creation. As always, the most important thing is to make a character you want to play, and will have fun playing :)
All of the always-available Organised Play races bring something to the table, but races with telepathy - shirrens and lashunta - will have plenty of moments to shine, especially in the first chapter. By demographics, humans are by far the most populous race on the sun, followed by efreet (not a playable race), androids, ysoki, and then assorted others. Lashunta control Asanatown, one of the main bubble cities in the Burning Archipelago, and have a stable population.
For other races: races comfortable with heat and fire are, of course, going to have an easier time on the sun than usual - see the Resistance note, below. Races resistant to radiation (like Ferrans) would also be more comfortable than most in or on a big ol' burning ball of nuclear plasma. Beyond that, there is a sizable Efreet population on the sun, and while Efreet are not a playable race, Ifrits (the result of liaisons between an efreeti and a mortal, or a humanoid born under a strong influences of elemental fire) are common on the Burning Archipelago. (It's worth pointing out that Ifrits need not be half-human; although the mechanical stats are the same, if you wanted to be an ifrit born of a shirren, or a dwarf, or a vesk, or whatever - go for it!) Sulis, while more rare, also bring an Elemental flair to the campaign. Finally, there's a small but significant number of anacites who believe that the Burning Archipelago was built by the First Ones, the same mysterious creatures who built the anacites - making SROs a race with reason to be on the sun, as well.
Races that don't do particularly well in bright light - like drow or orcs - are possible, but are advised to pack their shades.
Of note, the Anassanoi race is NOT appropriate, for reasons that will become clearer over the course of the AP. If you don't know what that race is, great - I strongly advise you not to read up on them.
The Solar Disciple theme is, obviously, very fitting. Other great options include Tempered Pilgrim, Xenoseeker or Xenoarcheologist, or Scholar, if your interest in the sun is more academic. There's also lots of commerce in the Burning Archipelago, so corporate agent is also very viable. Lastly, priest is fitting if you're thinking of having a religious connection to the sun. Which brings us to...
Although religion can be an afterthought or ignored for many characters, there are some fun or thematic tie-ins to Mataras. Sarenrae, as goddess of the sun, is an obvious choice, and her adherents will have loads of scenery to chew. Desna or Ibra, as deities of stars and/or celestial bodies in general (if not Mataras in particular) are also thematically fine choices. Followers of Iomedae will have ample opportunity to smite evil, and Abadarans will have a vested interest in preserving civilization. For those of a more scholarly bent, scientific understanding of the sun and stellar phenomena come up throughout the adventure, so Yaraesa, the Lady of Wisdom, or Eloritu, master of secrets, are fine choices. What mysteries away inside the sun itself is a recurring theme, so followers of Hylax may have need of their diplomatic prowess.
Beyond the Core deities, there are interesting roleplay opportunities, but it risks spoiling some stuff.
There's really no bad choices! Solarians have a strong connection to the cycle of stars and black holes and such, of course. Gloom Gunner soldiers or Shadow connection Mystics may find shade hard to come by, though - but they could always make their own!
The most obviously appropriate archetype for a character to take is the Deep Cultures Specialist; this Archetype doesn't start changing class features until level 9, though, so you won't get a lot of use out of the mechanics, since this AP only goes to level 12 or 13. Before level 9, though, you still have a strong reason to be interested in the sun!
Beyond that, the Phrenic Adept archetype grants limited telepathy, which, as noted above, can have an impact on some parts of the adventure (although this archetype is generally viewed as weak: you lose a lot from your base class, compared to the limited benefits gained.)
Lastly, it's an outlier, but it could be fun to choose the Star Knight archetype: playing a crusader of Iomedae or Sarenrae, or even a Hellknight, could open up some interesting roleplay!
A Note on Fire Resistance
You're in or around the freaking Sun. It's not a spoiler to say Fire damage is, ah, likely to come up, shall we say? So, while absolutely not required (and also not a "campaign easy mode" button that's going to make the fights trivial), it might be worth considering some way to get Fire Resistance. Here are some options, although I'm sure there's more out there (especially purchasable items.)
Classes: Solarians who choose solar armour at level 1 will get Fire Resistance starting at lvl 5
Feats: Once you get a Base Attack Bonus of 4+, anyone can get Fire Resistance via the Enhanced Resistance feat
Themes: Dragonblood can grant limited energy resistance at lvl 12
Races: Ryphorian (summerborn or transitional,) Quorlu, Tieflings, Bolidas, Barathu (Early Stage,) Gosclaws, Ifrit, and Suli all have or can get fire resistance.
Spells: Lesser Resistant Armour and its subsequent improved versions become available to both Mystics and Technomancers as lvl 3 spells, but is a short-term solution. Spell amps or spell lattices (aka space potions and space scrolls) can be a decent investment!
Items: Thermal Capacitor armour upgrade costs 3600, so won't be purchasable out of the gate, but won't break the bank later on in your adventuring careers. For 2500 credits, you can also incorporate Siccatite, a fancy star metal, into your armour, granting a small amount of Fire Resistance.
Hot Environments: finally, even before you get to flat out fire damage, you're likely to be, well, hot. For the low, low, cost of 10 credits, it never hurts to buy some hot climate clothing, granting a +2 circumstance bonus to Fortitude saves against environmental heat dangers. A Thermal Regulator armour upgrade costs 150, and will provide even more protection.
|Jason Tondro Starfinder Developer|
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|John Godek III|
|Lord Fyre RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32|
It's worth noting that while pilot characters will have things to do in this AP, it's not really geared towards starship combat. There are moments where you'll shine, but you won't get the best bang for your buck compared to the first three APs.
Has Paizo realized that starship combat was not what they'd hoped?