Interstellar Species; can you leave a review, or at least let me know what you think?


General Discussion


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Hello Paizo forums,

I'm trying to hear opinions on Interstellar Species before I decide to buy it or not, but there aren't really enough reviews for me to parse —so please go leave a review.

I've already heard everything I need to about the Evolutionist, but how's the rest of the book?

Is there enough mechanical content to make the PDF worth it for a GM who doesn't really use the lore, and is already comfortable homebrewing species and NPCs?
Is it full of enough unique, varied, full-body pictures to make tokens?

Thanks!


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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm still making my way through it myself.

The mechanical content will eventually all be on aonsrd, so I wouldn't judge it on that basis (though I've already noticed that the book is very spotty on its mechanical aspects, with things that don't really work at all, right next to extremely powerful options).

There is an excellent amount of very varied art between the species entries themselves and the NPC gallery in the last section of the book. Each species entry generally has two full-body pieces of art for each species, plus some of the species have extra pieces elsewhere. Big fan of the new art for many of the species - my favorites, the quorlu, have three great new arts I spotted.

The species creation rules feel a bit loose - more like the book is guiding you through some brainstorming exercises than giving you some strong rails with which to build new aliens. There are a few tables that offer mechanical abilities to randomly select, but its mostly stuff we've seen before on other creatures. I actually quite like this approach to species creation as a way of sparking your creativity, but it's not going to bring you much more if you're already comfy with homebrewing new species.


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

If you're looking for a gauge of mechanical content, you get:

* The evolutionist class
* 7 classes each get 2 pages of new options
* 25 species, who each get 1 page of various options (and species traits for each, if you don't have all the original sources)
* Stat blocks for 72 generic NPCs


Thanks for the replies.

Overall it doesn't look like it's a product meant for me, hopefully others will get a lot out of it.

Acquisitives

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Derision wrote:

Thanks for the replies.

Overall it doesn't look like it's a product meant for me, hopefully others will get a lot out of it.

it's really a lore book, and skewed towards players. the couple of articles on the species I've read are really good.

for a DM, the NPCs in the back are pretty great though.

Wayfinders Contributor

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As one of the writers for this book, I would love to see more reviews of the book by more people. I am happy to see the love for the NPC index!

I really liked the options that were written by my other fellow authors. There was good lore and a few fun mechanical options!

Grand Lodge

I'm curious what people think about the SRO/Android mechanic ability to install drone mods in themselves in place of a drone or exocortex. Which are good or interesting drone mods to pick with this ability?

Wayfinders Contributor

Drone Mods

The Armor Upgrade slot alone is worth it. There are so many great Armor Upgrades!

Grand Lodge

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Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

Drone Mods

The Armor Upgrade slot alone is worth it. There are so many great Armor Upgrades!

Reinforced chassis from Tech Revolution also looks interesting. Permanent extra HP. (You cannot take drone mods that would give temporary HP. These aren't temporary.)


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Biohacker:

Resonating biohack: Seems like a straight upgrade. I don't see what someone would lose or why a biohacker wouldn't take it.It very much solves the problem of a biohacker needing an EAC weapon that doesn't shut off the damage when you deliver a medicinal.

Fields of study are pretty interesting and different. About on par with other theorems which... well I've already done that thread

Theorems

Electrostatic sense is incredibly niche, and short range, and short duration. Yes, most beings have a chemical potential difference for a nervous system, but I don't think it shows up on this. *

Energized assault wouldn't be bad as a feat but I can't figure out why a biohacker would use it. Maybe for delivering to acid resistant critters? Really niche.

Instant recalibration is awesome. You failed. GIBBS SLAP TO THE HEAD. YOu succeed. Theres no reason you can't attune yourself..

Thickened bones would be meh as a level 2 theorem. Increasing carrying capacity can be done with a backpack.

Envoy: In general. I really like that a lot of these aren't more stuff being stuffed into the already full envoy action economy tube.

A few more steps is really good. being a reaction it doesn't clog the envoys action economy (which are currenly like NJ traffic), and the amount healed really doesn't matter that much, its going to be one hit anyway. : Hidden bonus. If you are lying on the ground you die from a hit = to half your HP. If you are standing up you need to wipe out your HP down to - your HP. I've seen it done but its pretty rare without a crit.

Got your back is thematic. But starfinder npcs have so much hit they'll connect anyway. this only works in mook fights, and being flanked isn't as bad as it is in pathfinder where it lets the rogue stab stab stab.

On my mark: seems a little clunky. If it would work with aiding an ally then it seems a strict impovement on the expert advice expertise talent

Take the hit: REALLY situational. You're unconcious and stay that way? Someone dun messed up.

Bad idea seems pretty good, but won't work against a lot of things, since unlike regular intimidate its called out as mind affecting.

Empathic tracker seems like a hard check for most envoys. (although adorable fluffy forest puppies are slightly better at it)

One of us: good at lower levels but its going to get a lot worse at higher levels as you pick up those skills for all situations without the resolve effect.

You don't say : Meh. gather info doesn't really have a strict mechanical besis for an extra piece of information, and when it does, its by 5's. So your expertise die averaging 3.5 becomes effectively a +5, and the bonus shrinks by level. This is very close to not working at lower levels and possibly a penalty at higher levels.

read the room: Just doesn't work. Your expertise die will probably already be included in the roll. Adding it again is the same type and won't work.

Scent of danger is a good init boost, but i'd rather burn a feat. It probably also takes a blindsense booster to gain much use, since most things try to eat you from further out.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Mechanics-wise, it's fine. A fun new option for Biohacker, a Strength-based option for Operative, and a few new spells, among other things.

Settings-wise? AMAZING. Some of the information isn't new, but we've never had it all in one place, and all 25 of the reprinted species are expanded upon greatly. If you liked any of them, you have a lot more material now!

Shadow Lodge

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Needs more Ramiyels.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Biohacker:

Resonating biohack: Seems like a straight upgrade. I don't see what someone would lose or why a biohacker wouldn't take it.It very much solves the problem of a biohacker needing an EAC weapon that doesn't shut off the damage when you deliver a medicinal.

It lets you deliver biohacks without any action loss via sonic beams, but it doesn't seem to allow the same for poisons/serums/medicinals (except the medicinals via theorem, which are delivered as if they were biohacks).

You don't have a magazine of projectiles to preload and use your traded away injection expert to select and fire from the magazine as you attack. Presumably if you want to inject anything but a biohack you have to use a move action to draw and/or "load" it plus your standard action to fire it. So unlike projectile weapons with a magazine full of poison, you can't full attack.


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Kinda mixed on it myself.

As a lore book I think it's amazing and getting some updated art is really nice (I'd actually love to play a Quorlu now).

Mechanics wise I was a bit disappointeted.

The Evolutionist's base I actually like a lot, but the niches and the adaptations, imo, leave a lot to be desired which kinda sucks when that's the big thing of the evolutionist--being weird and morphing in alien ways. The Eldritch niche specifically strikes me as one that was an interesting idea but executed poorly as it is entirely dependent on having a caster in the party.

A lot of the new class options felt kinda meh to me. A lot of them felt less like they fit the book and more like "well these ideas are finished so we'll put them in here" with some exceptions like the new Mechanic options.

The race builder is quick and easy to use and I think works well, but giving a lot of stuff tables felt like an odd take.

The race options I'm mixed on because on one hand, most of them are really cool and interesting, but on the other hand I was hoping for more alternate racial traits since that's always a nice way to make a species feel like your own.

I haven't taken much of a look at the added npcs. I like the art, but the npcs weren't what I grabbed the book for.

Hope this helps.


Hilary Moon Murphy wrote:

As one of the writers for this book, I would love to see more reviews of the book by more people. I am happy to see the love for the NPC index!

I really liked the options that were written by my other fellow authors. There was good lore and a few fun mechanical options!

Mrs. Murphy,

I am sorry to bother you, but since you were one of the writers for this book, I had a question or two... namely, were you one of those who worked on the Evolutionist Class? If not, are you able to contact the one, or ones, who did? I posted a couple of questions in the Rules Questions section about the Lvl 5 ability that I was hoping to get cleared up (it is a case where they are kind of vague-ish, which might be due to space limits or mistakes). If you could either answer those, or get someone who can answer them to do so, that would be so very much appreciated.

As for the book, the artwork, lore and species and class additions are amazingly well done. I like the Evolutionist concept (feels kind of like a mixing of Kineticist and Shifter), but there are a few things that I'm not a huge fan of (the short range being one, but the confusion over the lvl 5 ability being the main one).

Anyways, thank you for the work you and the others did for the book, overall I really enjoy it!

Wayfinders Contributor

Nice to meet you, Janos. No, I was not the author of the evolutionist. That honor belongs to the amazing John Compton.

Rules questions are usually not clarified by authors, but by developers in official FAQs and errata. I do hope your questions get answered, though!


Hello again Ma'am,

It is very nice to meet you as well! Thank you for taking the time to come in and reply, it is very much appreciated. I kind of suspected that your answer was indeed the case, but I felt it couldn't hurt to ask. Anyways, I want to say it again, I loved the artwork, loree and bonus stuff (Including NPCs), and I think the Evolutionist Class is an interesting one, just a little bit here and there confusing is all.

Ok, of to the Crypt for me! I hope you have a great Night/Morning/Afternoon!


Xenocrat wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:

Biohacker:

Resonating biohack: Seems like a straight upgrade. I don't see what someone would lose or why a biohacker wouldn't take it.It very much solves the problem of a biohacker needing an EAC weapon that doesn't shut off the damage when you deliver a medicinal.
It lets you deliver biohacks without any action loss via sonic beams, but it doesn't seem to allow the same for poisons/serums/medicinals (except the medicinals via theorem, which are delivered as if they were biohacks).

You can deliver injectable substances like poisons, serums, drugs, medicinals, and biohacks using sonic weapons as though they have the injection weapon special property and deal slashing damage

Quote:
You don't have a magazine of projectiles to preload and use your traded away injection expert to select and fire from the magazine as you attack. Presumably if you want to inject anything but a biohack you have to use a move action to draw and/or "load" it plus your standard action to fire it. So unlike projectile weapons with a magazine full of poison, you can't full attack.

I don't see where you're concluding that. It alters the biohacks feature, not replaces it. The parts of biohack that let you do that don't seem to be mentioned, so they wouldn't be altered.

It seems to just be lose a theorem, lose the ability to mix up injection weapon types, and gain the ability to use sonic weapons as injection weapons.


"Without any action loss" was the key take away from my point that you're objecting to. And only with respect to serums/medicinals/poisons, not biohacks.

Injection Expert, COM wrote:
When you fire a weapon with the injection special property and you have multiple types of ammunition loaded into the weapon, you choose which type of ammunition you fire when you attempt the attack.
Biohacks, COM wrote:
You can deliver any biohack you create with any attack from an injection weapon. You must declare prior to the attack roll that you are using a biohack and specify which effect you are using, but you select and apply the biohack as part of the action used to make the attack. You do not need to preload your weapon with biohacks.

With resonating biohacks you can DELIVER poisons and serums (not talking about biohacks or medicinal mastery theorem medicinals, which have their own easy delivery rules). It doesn’t say you don’t have to LOAD them (again, not biohacks, those don’t have to be preloaded before shooting).

An injection rifle can full attack poisons, or standard action fire one while preserving your move action (whether or not you're a biohacker!), because you preloaded those poisons into individual darts in your gun. Standard injection expert lets a normal biohacker choose on the fly which dart to fire, but the darts have to actually exist and be loaded in advance; that’s an aspect of the weapon, not the class. Nothing in resonating biohacks lets you load one or more poisons into a battery (or load at all without the normal move action) or grants a physical change to the weapon.

The issue isn’t differences between the two types of biohackers, it’s differences between the weapons used. Resonating biohacks does not give a sonic weapon every capability of an injection weapon. The important missing capability here is a capacity that hold darts. Preloading darts is the only way to avoid loading (nonbiohack) injectable substances with a move action in combat.

It's the same for the Caustoject/Caustolance. You can use them shoot a (no damage) poison or serum, but only one at a time at the cost of a move action to load the syringe each time. They allow you to load a syringe, but nothing allows you to load more than one; they still have a battery, not a magazine.

Caustoject, COM wrote:

Syringes can be loaded into these weapons, allowing other materials to be quickly injected instead of an acidic discharge (in which case only the injection effect occurs—no acid damage

is dealt).

I might personally be generous and let you load a single poison/serum/medicinal into a sonic weapon with Resonating Biohacks, but I think many GMs properly uderstanding the rules will not - maybe you have to draw and hold it up at the same time you fire to integrate the substance into the sonic beam, who knows. Again, nothing here is changing the physical properties of your sonic weapon, just how you interact with it.


From top to bottom you seem to be reading implications that aren't there

Drawing upon the same design and inspirations as the caustoject,.... but it can also handle and discharge other substances (plural) that are poured into a special tank that is attached to the weapon's barrel.

So yes, the caustolance/jects can explicitly be pre loaded.

The caustoject is even more explicit

Syringes (*BNW note. Plural) can be loaded into these weapons, allowing other materials (plural) to be quickly injected (the opposite of loaded in one at a time) instead of an acidic discharge (in which case only the injection effect occurs—no acid damage is dealt).

I do not know how you are going from you can load syringes into it, you can do it quickly to you can only have one dart loaded in it at a time. That is far from a "proper" understanding of the rules and bordering on a house rule. It's an injection gun that targets eac and doesn't deal damage when you use if for a poison/serum/drug. Otherwise it works the same way.

I don't think they wrote a class with people supposed to be picking up the tea leaves of implication for its hidden weakness.


I think they wrote a class assuming most people could reason the fairly clear implications. But obviously the player base has a wide degree of capabilities and not all will, even with help

Bullets, plural, can be loaded into a single shot Derringer, just not more than one at a time. Serums, plural, can be loaded into a vial, just not more than one at a time.

Any case there is no way to load a poison, serum, or medicinal into a sonic weapon that you picked up off the shelf, and nothing in Resonant Biohacks lets you modify the weapon to do so. It just lets you deliver it via your shot. As with all other biohackers doing so with an injectable substance that isn't a biohack or a medicinal from medicinal mastery theorem, it has to be loaded first. That requires an action and a receptacle, whether a poorly explained text in the equipment description or a dart, both of which all existing sonic weapons lacks.


Xenocrat wrote:
I think they wrote a class assuming most people could reason the fairly clear implications. But obviously the player base has a wide degree of capabilities and not all will, even with help.

Syringes can be loaded into this gun ----> something happens----> you can only load one thing at a time into this gun.

I've seen this level of persnickity "help" with the rules before and it rarely turns out to be correct. Especially when someone ignores presenting argument or evidence in favor of derision. Half of the weapons description is dedicated to saying the exact opposite of your conclusion.

I have played with dozens of biohackers in organized play. Mine is level 8. I have never seen one say "oh here let me stop and load this one thing in to shoot it" except the new guy, and I think he had a regular injection pistol anyway. So.. no. Your idea of fairly clear implications seems to be off.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


I have played with dozens of biohackers in organized play. Mine is level 8. I have never seen one say "oh here let me stop and load this one thing in to shoot it" except the new guy, and I think he had a regular injection pistol anyway. So.. no. Your idea of fairly clear implications seems to be off.

No one would ever need to do that, because you preload your magazine with some darts containing your serum/poison options and then use injection expert to shoot the ones you want when you want (preserving the ones you don't). If you're saying you and the people who play with haven't grasped how this works or done the minor necessary bookkeeping, I believe you.

Wayfinders

Janos1 wrote:

Hello again Ma'am,

It is very nice to meet you as well! Thank you for taking the time to come in and reply, it is very much appreciated. I kind of suspected that your answer was indeed the case, but I felt it couldn't hurt to ask. Anyways, I want to say it again, I loved the artwork, loree and bonus stuff (Including NPCs), and I think the Evolutionist Class is an interesting one, just a little bit here and there confusing is all.

Ok, of to the Crypt for me! I hope you have a great Night/Morning/Afternoon!

There's a sub-forum for rule questions, which might be a better place to have it seen by the right people. Even if the game designer doesn't answer, there may be experienced players that know the answer or at least have suggestions on how to interpret the rule, if they know what your question is.


Xenocrat wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


I have played with dozens of biohackers in organized play. Mine is level 8. I have never seen one say "oh here let me stop and load this one thing in to shoot it" except the new guy, and I think he had a regular injection pistol anyway. So.. no. Your idea of fairly clear implications seems to be off.

No one would ever need to do that, because you preload your magazine with some darts containing your serum/poison options and then use injection expert to shoot the ones you want when you want (preserving the ones you don't). If you're saying you and the people who play with haven't grasped how this works or done the minor necessary bookkeeping, I believe you.

In any case, the following should be incontrovertable:

1. No one, including a biohacker, can launch a serum/poison/medicinal with an injection weapon unless (a) it is firing a dart loaded with that substance and with that dart loaded into the weapon, both of which require actions, or (b) it has special rules like the caustoject/caustolance, which would still require an action to load the substance into the tank or syringe-holding capacity they have (of undefined size - I say one, you apparently say infinity, as there's no justification for anything between these).

2. Resonating Biohacks allows delivery of poisons/serums/medicinals with a sonic weapon, but doesn't grant those weapons any capacity to actually hold them in advance.

A regular biohacker can't shoot vials of poison/serums off his belt with no action to load them into his weapon or ammunition (again, poisons/serums, obviously he can do this with biohacks), and there's no reason to believe a resonating biohacker can, either.


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Xenocrat wrote:
If you're saying you and the people who play with haven't grasped how this works or done the minor necessary bookkeeping, I believe you.

I am saying that I run Over 150 games with random mixed nuts, and have played at least that many. In no small number of those games there is a biohacker.

I have never seen your interpretation of how a caustoject/lance work.

That is not one group "not grasping" (I'll get to that in a minute) how you think the rules work. That is a LOT of people reaching the opposite conclusion from the one you have. Now that isn't the best argument against what you're saying being the rules, but its a pretty big sample size to pull from to conclude that people in general are not reaching the same same "clear implications" you are.

Quote:
1. (of undefined size - I say one, you apparently say infinity, as there's no justification for anything between these).

It's not infinity. Its the number of darts/shots you have in the gun. You missing that is not the best argument that I'm the one missing something.

If you have a dart gun it holds x syringes, you wake up, fill the syringes, load the syringes in to the magazines capacity. Shot 1 is now the healing serum, shot 2 is now the anti toxin, shot 3 is the anti plague etc. The caustos are some magictech acid force field but they work the exact same way. You put the syringes into the tank instead of firing a metal dart.

What a biohacker can do, and what spells out further you can do that,

When you fire a weapon with the injection special property and you have multiple types of ammunition loaded into the weapon, you choose which type of ammunition you fire when you attempt the attack.

So where a normal person would fire the bullets in order , a biohacker has some way of selecting their fire. Mine uses a steam punk revolver rifle with transparent aluminium cylinder, but I've also seem it described as judge Dreads Selecto bullet gun. So a biohacker can have a dart or causto gun half filled with healing serums half filled with regular ammo and freely select which one they fire. (Ziezer long clips are REALLY handy for biohackers for this reason. As is a spare gun for friends)

For medication mastery , which breaks all of your rules here, its specifically added to the attack on the fly.

You can add one of these medicinals to any attack you make with an injection weapon as part of the action to make the attack or attacks, but you can’t add a biohack of any kind to the same attack.

The constant derision and backhanded insults are seriously not cool, insulting, completely unwarranted and worse than unevidenced.


You can deliver injectable substances like poisons, serums, drugs,
medicinals, and biohacks using sonic weapons as though they
have the injection weapon special property and deal slashing
damage

Injection

This weapon or its ammunition can be filled with a drug, an injury poison, or a medicinal compound. On a successful attack with the weapon (either the first attack if it’s a melee weapon or an attack with the relevant piece of ammunition if it’s a ranged weapon), the weapon automatically injects the target with the substance.

Effectively giving the sonic weapons the injection property also grants them the ability to be filled with drugs and medicinals


BigNorseWolf wrote:

You can deliver injectable substances like poisons, serums, drugs,

medicinals, and biohacks using sonic weapons as though they
have the injection weapon special property and deal slashing
damage

Injection

This weapon or its ammunition can be filled with a drug, an injury poison, or a medicinal compound. On a successful attack with the weapon (either the first attack if it’s a melee weapon or an attack with the relevant piece of ammunition if it’s a ranged weapon), the weapon automatically injects the target with the substance.

Effectively giving the sonic weapons the injection property also grants them the ability to be filled with drugs and medicinals

It's clear you're unable to grasp the difference between delivery as an action and the limitations of the underlying weapon. As is always the case when we run up against your limits, I'm only writing at this point for the benefit of others.

You can deliver then as if they have the injection property. The delivery component of the injection weapon property starts wtih "on a successful attack."

If you give me a car I can deliver packages. If you give me a bicycle I can also deliver packages. But it doesn't add a trunk to the bicycle. You have to do it the hard way.

Acquisitives

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

used the mahoi ray companions for a water battle last night. people had fun.

Liberty's Edge

Kobolds are the best part of the book =).

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