Podcasts and Blogs

Welcome back to Card Catalog’s look at Starfinder.  As previously mentioned, the resulting characters are getting advanced all the way to Seventh Level and if you have not checked out the overview for this series the link is right here! Also, a reminder that I ignored the suggested wealth table to have more fun with the characters.  This week, we are taking a look at Clausweld-7 or C-7, the Android Scholar Mechanic and all of Clausweld’s little friends that is the science officer and general out-of-the-box problem solver of the Troublemaker Beta.

 

Design Notes

Starfinder fulfills it’s science fiction and space opera promise by including playable Androids as a regular race. These are androids derived from a previous Pathfinder book, like the Lashunta, but are a welcome component of the Starfinder system. Clausweld-7 is going to add to the intellectual throweight of the team and will in conjunction with Chitter and to a lesser extent Hiriko fill knowledge gaps, act as a medic, and a general force multiplier.  Starfinder provides quick start Ability Score options where instead of rolling for your Ability Scores, you can start with a preset list of rolls to assign as you wish. If you recall from the overview, no Ability Score can start over 18, but we will get well past them later. With a spread of 14, 14, 14, 11,10, and 10, I am starting our leader character with STR 10, DEX 14, CON 14, INT 14, WIS 11, and CHA 10. Clausweld-7 is an Android Scholar Mechanic, so we will start by unpacking those choices.

Species – Android.  Androids in Starfinder are an interesting take because they are partially biologic and are recognized as having souls.  Each Android frame can have a different amount of metal or plastic mixed into the biological components, but they often have glowing circuit board like patterns visible on their skin.  They are a former slave race that was used, and in corners are still used, for labor but have been freed in the Pact Worlds. For their Ability Score modifiers, C-7 takes the +2 DEX, a +2 INT but a -2 CHA.  Additionally, Androids are the Android subtype and count as either humanoids or constructs on targeted effects taking the worse result. They do get a +2 bonus against disease, mind-affecting effects and the like unless designed to target constructs.  Similarly, they don’t breath and don’t suffer the negative effects of the vacuum. Their Android bodies come equipped with lowlight and darkvision and have an armor upgrade slot that can fit any upgrade for light armor. Finally, while they have a -2 penalty on making Sense Motive checks because they don’t fully understand emotions, the difficulty of Sense Motive checks against them is also increased by 2.  

Theme – Scholar. I knew there would be at least one studious and scholarly character in the Troubelmaker Beta’s crew, and it’s the indefatigable studious Android. I see C-7 as on a literally quest for knowledge and studying something that doesn’t make sense so I decided to push that route for development.  As a Scholar, C-7 has specialized in Life Science studying Xenobiology reducing the difficulty of the checks and gaining a bonus on those rolls. Finally, a Scholar Theme provides a +1 INT.

Class – Mechanic. The Mechanic has some of the broadest application and can be a very interesting cross between an Operative and a Soldier.  There are two specific paths that make a significant difference for a Mechanic – Exocortex or Drone. All Mechanics have an AI they cobbled together but whether it is a dual processing implant or an external bot shapes how they progress.  For C-7, I am going with Pet class and giving him a Drone that we will call Balor. C-7 also gets a bonus to Computer and Engineering checks making him a good team up with Chitter. Finally, C-7 has a customized rig or toolkit that allows C-7 to always have the appropriate tools for computers, engineering, or drone modifications.  Also, it will allow C-7 to communicate or control with Balor over 2500’ and is a Mk. I comm unit. I am going to install it as an armor upgrade slot into C-7’s arm! SInce Androids get a free upgrade slot and the Rig has to go somewhere, why not always have it? And why not enjoy the mental image of the forearm splitting open and little tools coming out and C-7 muttering about non-Androids insufficient respect for the mechanical.  

For C-7’s starting Feat, I go with Medical Expert since C-7’s role is science officer and organic science officer and bonuses to saving the lives of the rest of the crew will probably be needed. Mechanics actually have limited skills selections with a 4 + INT modifier since they get so many other abilities and access to utility.  Computers, Engineering, Life Science, Physical Science, and Perception are definite starts. Medicine and Culture will round it out even if C-7 doesn’t always like to use those skills. Aside from the light armor and small arms, Mechanics do get Weapon Proficiency: Grenades, so I do believe C-7 will be lobbing grenades left and right. With saves and moderate BAB, we look to the Hit Points from Species and Class (10 and the Stamina Points from Class plus CON (8). Finally, Resolve Points start as half your level, rounded up plus your class chief ability score modifier, INT for C-7 (4). For alignment, I settled on Neutral Good for Clausweld.  While I understand the idea of making an Android Lawful, these are Androids with emotions and biological components … think more Replicant or Westworld Host. I think Clausweld is generally good, in that the betterment of al the races is something to seek and liberation of the Android species certainly can give hope and Neutral because Clausweld isn’t sure whether the rules of the Pact World and the species that exist are just – see the aforementioned enslavement of the Android species.

Balor gets its own section because it is a fantastic combat drone that will often play fetch with Clausweld-7. A Mechanic with the Drone AI gets to build an entirely separate pet and level it up as you go! The combat drone I have in mind is a four legged attack beast with wheels at the bottom of those legs.  While Balor starts with reductive plating, weapon proficiency and a weapon mount, I am adding a second weapon mount as the starting Drone mode so that I can mount a rifle on it for better ranged attack options. Unsprisingly, this means that Balor has Weapon Proficiency Long Arms to start!

Advancement

Clausweld-7 shows a pretty stable progression as a Mechanic without the pace of the Operative’s skill heavy build or the sheer flexibility and choices of a soldier.  Just as a reminder, check the link below for the character sheet since we won’t discuss all of the advancements.

First, on the Ability Score increases, I will push INT as the prime requisite but also DEX, WIS, and CHA. The WIS and CHA are certainly part of learning more about non-Androids and about what these other species truly are. The DEX increase provides additional needed Armor Class, Initiative, and ranged ability.  I only doled out a Mark I personal upgrade, but the Trinary Defragmentation Subroutine firmware for the INT bonus helps out a lot especially when we add the High Density Datajack augmentations. Sitting at a 20 INT is a pretty good place for our Android Mechanic.

With the INT upgrades, the retroactive skill ranks come into play so while Computers, Engineering, Life Science, Medicine, Perception, and Physical Science are all kept at full ranks, moderate ranks of Culture, Profession, and Sense Motive are picked up. A small smattering fo ranks in Stealth, Piloting, Athletics, and Acrobatics come from various misadventures that C-7 has had.  Finally, I wanted to put a few ranks in Mysticism for C-7’s personal journey and to reflect that. As a Scholar, Clausweld now has a rereoll to recall information once per day on his specialty.

Next we look at the Mechanic Tricks and bonuses from the Mechanic class as we progress to 7th Level. We have three Mechanic Tricks, an increase in the Bypass ability, and then the Overload, Remote Hack, Miracle Worker, and Expert Rig improvements! For the Mechanic Tricks, Clausweld-7 has focused on fixing things as the Troublemaker’s crew tends to break things.  Specifically, Quick Repair, Quick Patch, and Portable Power to speed up repairs, make patching during starship combat faster (probably by literally plugging into the computer), and providing power by plugging a computer or starship into C-7’s arm. Overload allows C-7 to force a fault in an electronic device, which is most of them in Starfinder, to remporary render it inoperative  while Remote Hack means that C-7’s hacking can happen at range and usually in competition with Chitter. Finally, Miracle Worker goes a long way to being *that* mechanic who can literally pull a ship together with duct tape – check the Core Rule Book at Page 70 for more details. We’ll talk a little more about that improved Expert Rig momentarily.

For general Feats, Clausweld added Skill SYnergy for LIfe Science and Medicine to keep up as the medic, even when Vaelayo is somewhat occupied, Master Crafter, and Weapon Focus – Grenades because Stoli encouraged C-7 to develop the love of explosives

As with other d20 based systems, the Base Attack Bonus and Saving throws also increased.  Check out the character sheet linked below for the full write up. The gear and armour have also been upgraded to reflect the character advancement.  

Balor has gotten to improve as well! In addition to the Aphelion Laser rifle, Balor has also gotten a new weapon mount for an Arc Pistol when those pesky pirates would swarm in close which also means we picked up Weapon Proficiency Small Arms, but put extra ammo on the Aphelion rifle and hardened Balor’s AI.  He has gotten a bit more stubborn as Clausweld and Balor have waded through more combats and the upgraded Expert AI system shows the further development there! For Feats, I added Far Shot, Versatile Focus, and Weapon Focus – Longarms so Balor can keep raining down ranged attacks on Clausweld-7’s enemies!

Bast is our newer addition.  The Expert Rig upgrade for Clausweld-7 means that the Rig is now a Tier 3 Computer and I gave it the Artificial Personality upgrade! If you remember, the Rig is in Clausweld’s arm so C-7 is often seen talking to the drone and the arm at the same time.  It’s quite funny. Part of the reason for only a Mark I upgrade was to spend the credits on extra Computer Hardening for Bast. Unlike Balor’s eagerness, Bast has a more laconic outlook on things and often will just “lounge” about in the technosphere around C-7.  Her personality is best described as acerbic and lazy … but when she has to actually act she gets a mean streak a mile wide!

 

Character Notes

Clausweld-7 is the latest Clausweld, the 7th in fact as the name suggests.  Clausweld-6 underwent Renewal 30 years ago, finally feeling the work of began in the Thyst Rebellion has run its course.  Clausweld-7, or C-7, still have not been told just what C-6 had done during that Android uprising. The only remnant of C-6 left when C-7 began this journey as a sentient lifeform is Balor.  C-7 has had Balor as a constant companion since the time of awakening where Balor has looked after and protected C-7 the entire time. C-7 has fixed, debugged, and upgraded Balor many times over the decades, but there is still something about Balor’s code that holds a few secrets.  

On Absalom Station, C-7 was thrust into a cosmopolitan and pluralistic world which has left many questions.  The Androids are a constructed race, but it is agreed and known that Androids have souls, or attract souls to stay with these bodies for some time;  C-6 had at least 250 years before choosing Renewal. What was it that makes a soul-filled person a soul-filled person? C-7 has been consumed by this question for the entirety of C-7’s life.

As an Android, even with a modicum of biological parts, Clausweld was easily drawn to tinkering with machines and so C-7 quickly established a life as a Mechanic on Absalom Station. While earning a living taking apart drones, computers, and the like, C-7 delved deeply into the study of taking apart biological constructs as well.  Oh, don’t fret like that – there were no vivisections in the process. A normal curiosity compelling C-7 to try to understand how an Android could be so similar to a Lashunta and yet so different. Clausweld’s strength lay in the practical side and so the dissections and repair work continued.

That’s where it stood.  Clausweld-7 with Balor at the side, playing “fetch” in the bowels of Absalom Station to study the Human, Android, Kasathan, Elven, and Vesk condition. That is, until a little case of stolen datachips went a bit astray.  Balor heard them first, and was the first to greet this strange trio of Vaelayo, Besu, and Chitter who were poking around for some missing datachips. Clausweld was about to shrug and write off this chance encounter with troublemaking newcomers to Absalom station when Balor knelt down and snuggled up to Besu.  The Kasathan had no way of knowing this was in any way out of the ordinary, but Clausweld knew. Clausweld knew Balor had never treated anyone else like that.

One pesky turn of events later and Clausweld had signed on as the science officer and mechanic for the Troublemaker as they made their way to the Diaspora to hunt for pirates.  Vaelayo had a definite take on what it meant to be alive and channeling the power of the universe, but it was Hiroko that attracted C-7’s attention the most. The Technomancer Philosopher had been making a name for herself on the Absalom positing on the connection between souls and therefore between the species in the Pact Worlds.  Her work came at C-7’s question from the metaphysical direction, and there was no reason to stay on Absalom Station when so much could be learned from these companions.

Rooting out the source of the pirates that were harrowing the Ulrikka Clanholding shipments wasn’t the interesting part, though it had its excitement – the Android pirate mate that asked why Clausweld would stand against her was the interesting part.  It took this Android sometime to realize C-7 wasn’t C-6, and she tried over and over to get C-7 to see how the dwarves treated their own like Androids. She tried to convince C-7 the only Androids were above enslavement …. And to be honest Clausweld can’t say she is wrong yet.  

Clausweld’s focused existence has been somewhat disrupted by Stoli’s arrival and he just encourages and eggs on Chitter while the two of them swap stories and insults.  It has certainly gotten in the way of the talks with Hiriko and Vaelayo, though the Bone Sage’s unsouled undead certainly took their share of the attention. It was curious to Clausweld that while the Elves in league with the Eoxian wouldn’t approve of slavery, they had no qualms with the undead servitude of the Bone Sage’s might. Curious indeed.

And now, as Balor plays with Stoli and Bast counsels to stay away from these overly emotional creatures, Clausweld-7 thinks back to try to find why Clausweld-6 finally chose Renewal and whether any work was left behind unfinished.  

 

C-7 Android Scholar Mechanic

Starfinder & Troublemaker Beta Crew Overview

 

Starfinder is © Paizo Inc.  This website uses trademarks and/or copyrights owned by Paizo Inc., which are used under Paizo’s Community Use Policy. We are expressly prohibited from charging you to use or access this content. This website is not published, endorsed, or specifically approved by Paizo Inc. For more information about Paizo’s Community Use Policy, please visit paizo.com/communityuse. For more information about Paizo Inc. and Paizo products, please visit paizo.com.

Welcome back to Card Catalog’s look at Starfinder.  As previously mentioned, the resulting characters are getting advanced all the way to Seventh Level and if you have not checked out the overview for this series the link is right here! Also, a reminder that I ignored the suggested wealth table to have more fun with the characters.  This week, we are taking a look at Besu Pratili Vin Atrides of Clan Hadard, House Locklin, of the line of Zye, the Kasathas Spacefaring Soldier that is the muscle of the Troublemaker Beta.

Design Notes

The Kasathas, along with the Vesk, are the two most striking unique species in Starfinder. The four armed and veiled Kasathas appealed to me and their cultural setup where they are making new traditions to follow later in life was really intriguing.  I realized that we still needed some muscle in the Troublemaker Beta crew so I went with a Soldier and Besu’s concept started to form in my head. The curious but reserved fighter who appears stoic but is absorbing all of the reactions of her friends and crewmates with the battle staff or pike became my target. Starfinder provides quick start Ability Score options where instead of rolling for your Ability Scores, you can start with a preset list of rolls to assign as you wish.  If you recall from the overview, no Ability Score can start over 18, but we will get well past them later. With a spread of 16, 16, 11, 10,10, and 10, I am starting our leader character with STR 16, DEX 16, CON 11, INT 10, WIS 10, and CHA 10. Besu is a Kasathas Spacefaring Soldier, so we will start by unpacking those choices.

Species – Kasathas.  The Kasathas are a new addition to the Pact Worlds having arrived by generation ship The Idari fleeing a dying star and carry with them a tradition bound culture but with traditions that are constantly being created.  They came from a desert world and cover their mouth at all times having four arms. This means that for Ability Score modifiers, Besu takes the +2 STR, a +2 WIS but a -2 INT. Additionally, the Kasathas are evolved from a desert race allowing unencumbered movement in difficult desert, hill, or mountain terrain. The four arms mean that the Jasathas can hold four arms of equipment, which we will make use of later.  Finally, they receive a +2 bonus on Culture, Acrobatics, and Athletics checks.

Theme – Spacefarer. Besus is a Kasathas who is seeking out her truth and her reality.  To do so means leaving the Idari behind and so she is constantly looking over the horizon and looking for new experiences so that she can find her own traditions to marry with her family traditions.  Besu has a bonus on Physical Science rolls to recall information or deduce information about the new and strange places she goes. and has Physical Science as a class skill. Finally, a Spacefarer Theme provides a +1 CON

Class – Soldier. The Soldier is the future form of the Fighter, but Starfinder has certainly made the Soldier a deep and engaging class. Each Soldier selects a Primary Fighting Style that provides techniques that fit that overall theme of the character.  The CRB has 7 different Fighting Styles and for Besu’s preference for melee combat I selected the Blitz Style. This style allows for quickly getting into melee combat and begins with a +10’ Speed increase and a +4 Initiative bonus.

For her starting Feat, I am going with Cleave so that Besu can attack two different melee opponents even if it means an AC penalty.  Besu does not start with a lot of skills, in fact the 4 per level is reduced to three per level because she is not particularly bright.  I started with her having Acrobatics, Athletics, and Survival with the Spacefarer theme providing a rank in Physical Science. Soldiers unsurprisingly have proficiency with nearly every weapon but otherwise start out fairly straightforward with the good saves and BAB we are used to from a long time gaming.  

Hit Points are a set amount based on your species and class (11), while Stamina points are a set amount from your class plus your CON modifier(7+1).  Finally, Resolve Points start as half your level, rounded up plus your class chief ability score modifier, STR for Besu(5). Finally, thinking about Besu and her unsettled nature unsure of what or who she will be, I settle on a Chaotic Neutral alignment. This isn’t a selfish or random alignment choice, but more reflective of Besu not yet knowing where her traditions will take her.   

Advancement

While the Operative shows you a lot of the potential at first level, the Soldier explodes as they advance in levels.  Just as a reminder, check the link below for the character sheet since we won’t discuss all of the advancements.

First, on the Ability Score increases, I don’t go after the STR but focus on the DEX, CON, INT, and WIS increases for Besu. This increases her AC and Initiative, Hit Points, removes the skill penalty, and I like to think shows how she grows a little less impetuous by 7th level. On the personal upgrades, though, I went straight for her main requirement of STR and provided a Mk. II upgrade in the form of a Fast Twitch Biochemical Enhancement Gland that changes the Kasathan blood composition to increase the efficiency of their fast twitch muscle fibers leaving ehr with a STR of 22.  .

On skills, I add Culture and Intimidate at moderate levels, but that does mean stepping off a perfect limit on the original three.  That’s okay because a Soldier isn’t going to be made or broken by their skill selection. As a Spacefarer, Besu now can make any untrained skill roll as an Eager Dabbler with a +2 bonus.  

For augmentations, since Besu keeps getting into the thick of melee combat, I added some Dermal Plating to provide a Damage Resistance 1/- on all attacks that is going to stack with the Golem Forged Plate Armor and the Deflective Reinforcement (5/-). Besu also has a magical ring of Resistance, Mk. II which provides a bonus to her weakest Saving Throw, which as a Soldier is Reflex.  

Soldiers come stacked, though with abilities and bonus feats.  We have three Feas, three Bonus Feats, two Gear Boosts, and a Fighting Style ability that have shown up! Enhancing the general theme of the Blitz style, the Feats and Combat Feats from the class support it with choices like Step Up, Step Up and Strike, Stand Still, Improved Stand Still, Mobility, and Great Cleave.  These work well with the Blitz Ability of Charge Attack that allows Besu to make a charge without the penalties as well as put a bull rush on the end of the charge for board control purposes. The selection of Feats is about allowing movement without provoking attacks and keeping Besu able to keep attacking her opponents in Melee. Check the Starfinder CRB for full details on those feats.   

One aspect of the Soldier Class I also like is the Gear Boost abilities where the soldiers are able to make better use of certain types of gear further allowing for variation in what has evolved from the most basic of classes.  The obvious first one is Melee Striker that adds additional damage on Melee Weapons but the second is Sonic Resonance enhancing the ability to make foes flat footed when hit. Since Besu has four arms and can carry and use both the Pike and a Sonic Rifle at the same time, this is a truly significant combination.

As with other d20 based systems, the Base Attack Bonus and Saving throws also increased.  Check out the character sheet linked below for the full write up. The gear and armour have also been upgraded to reflect the character advancement which Besu kept pretty slim instead going big for the upgraded Pike and the Golem Forged Armor.  

 

Character Notes

Besu Pratili Vin Atrides of Clan Hadard, House Locklin, of the line of Zye is a woman in search of herself.  For all that the honor bound and traditionalist Kasathas are viewed in public as such, their culture is coming from the new rituals and traditions each generation and indeed each Kasathan finds on their own.  The Idari’s generation ship travel may have slowed that process, but in the Pact Worlds it has resumed.

According to family legend, Zye was an ancient Kasathan who struck out on his own across the windswept desert landscape to forge a new path forward.  His line has grown over the centuries to include many Houses such as House Locklin. Besu Pratili Vin Atrides came into the world after the Idari had come to rest in the Pact Worlds, abandoning the desire to settle on the actually occupied Akiton. House Locklin had followed Zye’s lead of being outward facing and outward looking as much as could be done on board the Idari and Clan Hadard took the opportunity to push out of the Idari into the Pact Worlds.  This meant a chance to see and a chance to learn. This was a chance to bring back the exploration to the Kasathan and continue to legend of Zye’s contributions to the Sholar Adat, great world bank of memories still held aboard, though the spectre of being recalled as the Doyen of Exploration to governmental service may slow the footsteps on a few members of Clan Hadard.

Besu stepped into the role of ordained by tradition for her easily.  She was unsettled and anxious as a child. Easily distracted and always wanting to run through the different sectors of the Idari. Often board studying the traditions of the past, but grudgingly accepting the stories of her heroes, Besu could do little but wait for her Tempering where she could strike out on her own with the chains of tradition.  And it did come to pass.

With a blessing from her parents, her family, and her clan, Besu’s Tempering would take her first to Akiton where the Kasathas had originally intended to settle. There she ahd her first experience that may set her path through the Temepring to be a traditional Kasathan.  The impertinent and chaotic way these being lived on a planet so choked with debris was shocking. The beautiful desert that Akiton could be was wasted on these profane and short sighted inhabitants. When Besu saw a gang of street toughs trying to take the last few credits of an old woman, it was too much.  Even they should venerate their elders and know not to steal from the past that gave them their present.

In making short work of them, a Ysoki showed up and just started … talking.  This “Chitter” seemed friendly enough and truth be told a guide through whatever traditions these strange Pact Worlders have would be helpful. She begrudgingly joined Chitter on the way to Absalom Station, perhaps there to find something more …. Understandable.  Besu was already beginning to miss home. Valaeyo’s sharing of the cabin with them was interesting, but the Lashunta Mystic was only the first of many redeeming events of the Tempering. There was a sense of honor and tradition in Valaeyo’s ways that convinced Besu to stick around.  Even when Vaelayo volunteered her to help them investigate a bit of a theft on the Station. While Chitter seemed intrigued by this Hiroko Benandetti, Besu was more interested in Clausweld-7’s own traditions. Androids were creating their own traditions but in ways that didn’t always follow the Kasathan ways and watching C-7 became a hobby for Besu.  

Boarding pirate ships and hitting them with her pike was much more to Besu’s liking once the Ulrikka Clanholding contract got underway.  Investigations and mysteries were all well and good, but the best truth in life was found on the battlefield against an opponent. While the Troublemaker was lost in that battle with the pirates, teh Troublemaker Beta came with a new clanmate … err … crewmember.  The dwarf Stoli Kilaim may have a dishonorable tendency to shoot grenades first and rifles later, but he did provide cover to her friends. To be honest, some of the dwarven traditions now that Stoli found the Quest for the Sky complete strike Besu as similar to her own place.  How to find a new way that still respects the old.

Renegade elves and undead minions have left Besu more firmly convicned of the Kasathan way to let the elders die and retain their knowledge.  Long lived elves and undying Bone Sages have lost though with the traditions themselves and instead see themselves as tradition. This is a dangerous thing in the eyes of the scion of the line of Zye.  

Besu Kasathan Spacefarer Soldier

Starfinder & Troublemaker Beta Crew Overview

 

Starfinder is © Paizo Inc.  This website uses trademarks and/or copyrights owned by Paizo Inc., which are used under Paizo’s Community Use Policy. We are expressly prohibited from charging you to use or access this content. This website is not published, endorsed, or specifically approved by Paizo Inc. For more information about Paizo’s Community Use Policy, please visit paizo.com/communityuse. For more information about Paizo Inc. and Paizo products, please visit paizo.com.

Welcome back to Card Catalog’s look at Starfinder.  As previously mentioned, the resulting characters are getting advanced all the way to Seventh Level and if you have not checked out the overview for this series the link is right here! Also, a reminder that I ignored the suggested wealth table to have more fun with the characters.  This week, we are taking a look at Grik “Chitter” Krowlestic, the Ysoki Bounty Hunter Operative who acts as the Pilot for the Troublemaker Beta.

 

Design Notes

I knew I was going to make acute and spunky mouse creature somehow, and honestly the idea of the Pilot popped into my head.  In all fairness, Guardians of the Galaxy has made the furry pilot a little bit of a thing lately. A little abrasive and a little friendly balancing those two concepts while also being a dedicated techie was something I thought would be fun to make. Starfinder provides quick start Ability Score options where instead of rolling for your Ability Scores, you can start with a preset list of rolls to assign as you wish.  If you recall from the overview, no Ability Score can start over 18, but we will get well past them later. With a spread of 16, 16, 11, 10,10, and 10, I am starting our leader character with STR 10, DEX 16, CON 11, INT 16, WIS 10, and CHA 10. Grik is a Ysoki Bounty Hunter Operative, so we will start by unpacking those choices.

Species – Ysoki.  The fun, and rather cute looking, Ysoki were also high on my list.  They provide a nice niche in populating the Pact Worlds and the standard player species with a nod to the Sci-Fi trope of the underclass race that is a scrounger.  This means that for Ability Score modifiers, Grik takes the -2 STR but a +2 INT and +2 DEX. The additional benefits of being Ysoki are the sheek pouches where you can store 1 cubic foot of items, Darkvision, and bonuses to various flat footed and prone actions.  Finally, all Ysoki receive a +2 racial bonus to Engineering, Stealth, and Survival checks.

Theme – Bounty Hunter. I envisioned this scittering and busy hustling Ysoki as someone who would find someone or something for a price and make themselves an invaluable part of the local economy as a go-between.  The Bounty Hunter theme fit perfectly. If Chitter has a specific “mark”, all checks to recall information about that mark are reduced. Also, survival is a class skill for all Bounty Hunter Themed characters. Finally, a Bounty Hunter Theme provides a +1 CON

Class – Operative. The Operative may be my favorite class.  It is a version of the old Rogue or Thief class but broadened significantly as you may recall from the version of it we saw in the Babylon 5 Card Catalog Series with Mia Correy as an “Agent”[LINK].   The Operative is the most skill heavy class and definitely more “finesse” based. Operatives receive an Insight bonus to all skill checks and initiative called “Operatives Edge” that increases in levels and also pick a specialization, like a subclass, for their type of Operative with Grik going for Hacker to round out the technical needs of the Troublemaker Crew.

As a Hacker Operative, Grik gets a free rank of Computers and Engineering at each level as well as the Skill Focus Feat for each of those skills.  That is one way the Specialization sets itself apart providing both Skills and Feats before the additional special abilities and Exploits. Operatives have the Trick Attack ability to increase their damage, and each type of Operative can set a foe up for it with different abilities as well. At first level, I am starting Grik off with Mobility to make sure that she can later do the running around and popping of shots even if she isn’t sniping.  Oh, Operatives have Weapon Proficiency in Sniper Rifles. If you’ve followed along with my love of Archers, you know I perked up at that point. Additionally, they have the Trick attack bonus damage that comes into play! It starts as an additional 1D4 damage, but goes up from there!

After we get the Computers and Engineering Skills, I am going to spread out the long list with Acrobatics, Athletics, Bluff, Culture, Diplomacy, Perception, Piloting, Profession (Bounty Hunter), Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, and Survival.  This is a broad range and Skills and the Operatives Edge gives them all a bonus!

Hit Points are a set amount based on your species and class (10), while Stamina points are a set amount from your class plus your CON modifier(4).  Finally, Resolve Points start as half your level, rounded up plus your class chief ability score modifier, WIS for Vaelayo(4). Finally, thinking about Vaelayo and his desire to for power, even if it is just soft power, a Lawful Neutral Alignment seems good.  He certainly respects traditions and structures, but has no inclination to use them for the general betterment of the Pact Worlds.


Advancement

Taking these Starfinder characters out to 7th level really let’s the Operative shine! Just as a reminder, check the link below for the character sheet since we won’t discuss all of the advancements.

First, I’m a big fan of plugging the weaknesses of characters so the initial Ability Score improvements at level 5 took STR to 10 to remove the penalty and CON to 14 for extra hit points.  INT and DEX are both taken to 19 to push the specialties out even further. Finally, for personal upgrade, I gave Chitter a Mk. II DEX Upgrade – Wired Reflexes! Why keep your original nervous system when we can make it faster and better with the wonders of tech bringin Chitter’s DEXT to 23(!!)! .

On skills, since Computers and Engineering will keep pace thanks to Operative abilities, I’ll peel a rank each off of Athletics, Bluff, and Diplomacy to put a handful of ranks in Medicine because somebody has to heal the healer is Vaelayo ever goes down. When you factor in the Operative’s Edge bonus of +3 at 7th Level, Chitter is throwing +17 or better in all of her core competencies which are legion.  

For augmentations, I switched over to the technological options for Chitter.  I started with a High Density Datajack to let her plug directly into a computer and gain a circumstance bonus.  Next, I wanted to give her a prosthetic arm and hid a tactical knife in it with an extra modifications to breath underwater and enhance her hearing even more. I kept the magic limited with only a Glove of Storing, where a nice sized medkit can be kept without the Bulk, and a Trailblazer fusion on the Sniper Rifle.  Because what sniper won’t want to ignore environmental modifiers to sniping shots. I also spent some credits on a highly customized and enhanced datapad with increased security and firewalls because I like the idea of Chitter madly typing away on this thing trying to outhack an enemy hacker.

I already mentioned how the Operative’s Edge has increased to a +3, which means that the bonus now equals the Skill Focus that Chitter has in Computers and Engineering.  This is balanced by the Specialization Skill Mastery feature allowing her to take 10 on those skills even in stressful situations like combat! For Exploits, which are the special powers or tricks to round out the character, I looked at Elusive Hacker and Speed Hacker to make Chitter better at her professed Specialization but also Uncanny Pilot as the main pilot of the Troublemaker Beta.  

For additional Feats,Evasion and Shot on the Run go hand in hand with the Operative powers like Quick Movement, Dive for Cover, and Uncanny Agility.  Easy choices for this light on her feet and rather hyperactive character. Finally, the trick attack damage bonus is now an additional +4D8 and you can make the victims flat footed as a result!

As with other d20 based systems, the Base Attack Bonus and Saving throws also increased.  Check out the character sheet linked below for the full write up. The gear and armour have also been upgraded to reflect the character advancement.  Including jump jets on her armor.

 

Character Notes

Grik Krowlestic grew up in what is an almost sterotypical ysoki neighborhood! The half finished projects and tinkering across the whole block combined with the absolute plethora of young Ysoki rummaging around and making trouble was an invitation to disaster … or adventure! Periodic bouts of laughter and arguments broke out between the families as Grik would play and explore in the rusted remains of the space barges that once took Akiton’s precious ore to the stars.

Grik knew, as much as he loved his parents and siblings that he couldn’t stay.  As much because his parents couldn’t afford to feed the whole family on the declining thasteron mining wages the Company offered.  LIfe was dirty and dusty and hard, but Grik also knew it would be better for his family if he took his life on the road … and great thing about being a ysoki is that on Akiton, the traveling hover caravans are always glad to have another body! In the Hivemarket, Grik became known as chitter as she took it upon herself to explore every nook and cranny of the vast bazaar.  She made a name for herself tinkering with the delicate electronics in ways even the Mechanics didn’t quite fathom but that made complete sense to her. The first time she was paid bringing back information on someone’s hideout, Chitter found her calling as a Bounty Hunter.

Being a Bounty Hunter on Akiton means you are bound to make enemies, and Chitter was no exception.  A bad habit of throwing beer glasses across rooms, with the beer still in them, made even fewer friends than the organized smuggling rings she ran up against.  Walking down a neon lit alley, wondering where the next attack would come from, Chitter saw a glorious and wonderful Kasathas rip a pipe from its moorings and proceed to absolutely school a pair of young punks. Even better than a hiding place, a friend with a strong arm, right?

Chitter made friends with Besu Pratili Vin Atrides of Clan Hadard, House Locklin, of the line of Zye, or “Besu” for short because she was also looking for something.  She was finding herself and her traditions away from the Kasathas and the Idari, and Chitter thought now was as good a time as any to let the heat subside.

On the way to Absalom Station, a strange forward Lashunta approached them and get them deep into a running debate about culture and history all the way to Absalom Station.  For whatever reason, that Lashunta volunteered them to help find a missing datacard and Chitter was about to tell him to take a long walk out a short airlock when the victim was Hiroko Benandetti.  She may be a bit of an up and comer, but anybody getting published like that is worth knowing. For whatever reason, they stayed together even then Clausweld-7 and his drone just started coming along.  If one friend with a strong arm is good, maybe another one with a drone mounted assault rifle is better?

It was a little bit of a flashback for Chitter working for Ulrikka Clanholdings.  Mining is always dangerous, and the dwarves in charge of Ulrikka were no better as a corp than those in charge on Akiton.  It was hard sometimes to help them maintain “profitability” because Chitter knew that meant some miners would lose their lives.  The pirates made it a little easier since they didn’t even pretend to care for the miners, the company men and women, or anybody else in their way. Chitter is still not sure that is more annoying from that job – losing the Troublemaker or gaining Stoli Kilaim.  Despite the similarity in size and demeanor, the dwarf and the ysoki don’t see eye to eye.

By now, Chitter had settled comfortably into a role as pilot, and sometimes jester, for the Troublemaker Beta.  When the crew was up against renegade elves and crazed undead Bone Sage minions, it helped to have a laugh once in a while. Maybe Stoli wasn’t so bad, or maybe that is just his grenade launcher Chitter admires so, but she is starting to not mind the dwarf even as she is starting to wonder where Vaelayo has all their best interests at heart as they stare into the Vast.   

Chitter Ysoki Bounty Hunter Operative

Starfinder & Troublemaker Beta Crew Overview

 

Starfinder is © Paizo Inc.  This website uses trademarks and/or copyrights owned by Paizo Inc., which are used under Paizo’s Community Use Policy. We are expressly prohibited from charging you to use or access this content. This website is not published, endorsed, or specifically approved by Paizo Inc. For more information about Paizo’s Community Use Policy, please visit paizo.com/communityuse. For more information about Paizo Inc. and Paizo products, please visit paizo.com.

Sheet by http://paizo.com/people/Gilfalas

 

As I started having fun with the Starfinder system designing these character, I realized that I wanted to advance them quite a bit.  I took this crew to the highest level I’ve done for a Card Catalog all the way out to 7th level. This means that I got to make use of a lot of the options provided in the advancement and start to show off how a character comes together over levels.  There is also a suggested wealth table in the book … that I promptly ignored. I wanted to give the crew a full load of weapons as well as cybernetic, magical, and other augmentations to show off the system so I may have been a bit generous there. Without further ado, let’s take a look at Valaeyo, the Lashunta Xenoseeking Mystic Captain of the Troublemaker Beta.

 

Design Notes

The first character from the Troublemaker Beta is it’s putative Captain, Valaeyo. For an overall concept, I have in mind a charming but somewhat arrogant leader who has no qualms about proving their superiority in the stars. Starfinder provides quick start Ability Score options where instead of rolling for your Ability Scores, you can start with a preset list of rolls to assign as you wish.  If you recall from the overview, no Ability Score can start over 18, but we will get well past them later. With a spread of 18, 14, 11, 10,10, and 10, I am starting our leader character with STR 10, DEX 10, CON 10, INT 11, WIS 18, and CHA 14. Valaeyo is a Lashunta Xenoseeking Mystic, so we will start by unpacking those choices.

Species – Lashunta.  I knew that I was going to use a lot of the new races the Starfinder book and the Lashunta, with their dimorphism definitely attracted me. This is one of the new species in the Starfinder book which is dimorphic, not along sex but along role in the species.  The Korasha is a warrior style character while the Damaya is a more diplomatic suited character. This means that for Ability Score modifiers, Vaelayo takes the Damaya Lashunta modifiers of -2 CON but a +2 CHA and +2 INT. Also, the Lashunta are a psionic race that have a handful of psionic powers such as Daze which are the same as the spells of the same name, can communicate telepathically, and gain a +2 Racial Bonus to two skills of the player’s choice!   

Theme – Xenoseeker. One of the things I am most excited about in Starfinder is the use of Themes as a third descriptor and part of a character.  The Xenoseeker is a chatacyer who is intrigued and obsessed with meeting and finding new life forms in the Pact Worlds and the Vast. They are the seekers and greeters all in one with knowledge based around cultures and life forms as well as advancing to being able to create quick pidgin languanges.  Finally, a Xenoseeker Theme provides a +1 CHA

Class – Mystic. Finally, for Vaelayo’s class, I went with Mystic.  The Mystic is one of two spellcasting types and is superficially similar to Clerics.  They have a similar overarching connection to the magic, called a Connection, and their spell list holds a lot of the healing spells. The earlier concept about the somewhat arrogant and domineering character type lends itself well to the Overlord Connection from a mystic, so we will work with that.  The variety provided from each Connection, like the nature of the deity worshipped in Clerics, allows for significant variance in Mystic builds!

As part of the Overlord Connection, Vaelayo will always seek to be the dominant force in social interactions and when he uses Charm spells, the target will think that the ideas were the targets own. Diplomacy and Intimidate both receive bonuses from the Connection and as he increases in level, further special powers will manifest. At first level, the best Feat I could think of for Vaelayo is Spell Penetration where he gets bonuses to overcome opponents spell resistance.  Looking at spell lists, I specifically load up on spells that are controlling or mentally manipulative to further the Overlord theme.

Obviously, the skills like Sense Motive, Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate are highly sought after for a Mystic Diplomat or leader character.  I am looking at wanting to have a lot of Medicine, Perception, and Mysticism as well. Finally, Culture is one of my favorite skills because it functions not only to help you understand the worlds and people you encounter but also provides additional languages per rank and I am a sucker for languages.  Since that is coming out to more skills that I want to take than skill ranks per level available, Vaelayo will start without the extra rank of Culture and see when he can grow into it.

Hit Points are a set amount based on your species and class (10), while Stamina points are a set amount from your class plus your CON modifier(4).  Finally, Resolve Points start as half your level, rounded up plus your class chief ability score modifier, WIS for Vaelayo(4). Finally, thinking about Vaelayo and his desire to for power, even if it is just soft power, a Lawful Neutral Alignment seems good.  He certainly respects traditions and structures, but has no inclination to use them for the general betterment of the Pact Worlds.

Advancement

Like I said earlier, I took these characters all the way to 7th level, so we are going to cover a lot of choices in the advancement section, but not every single choice that ended up on the character sheet. First, the initial Ability Score improvements at level 5 took DEX to 12, CON to 10, WIS to 19, and CHA to 18.  Also, I am going to provide a personal upgrade Mark I to him. For his Wisdom, I have listed the “Holy Markings of Communion” which are magical tattoos aligned to the higher understanding of Abadar providing the Wisdom boost of +2 to a WIS of 21.

On skills, I spread them out so most of them are at 6 ranks, while Culture is at 5 ranks and Life Science at 2 ranks to back up the Medicine skill.  With the other bonuses, such as the Connection bonuses, Vaelayo has some pretty strong +12 to +16 in his main skills.

For augmentations I kept with magic items instead of cybernetic augmentations. I decided that he got Fusions on his Battle Staff, which function like enchantments, for it to be a Called & Holy Battle Staff so he can’t leave it behind and it is … well … Holy.  Also, a Staff of Mystic Healing for your healer in the party is something everybody would chip in to acquire and I gave some Aeon Stones to orbit his head negating the need to breath, eat or drink. It is important to note that the stones don’t count to your maximum number of magical items.  

The additional spells learned continued in the same basic theme of mind control with healing secondary.  The overlord Connection continued to provide spells and powers to further that theme you can see on the sheet.

For additional Feats, I added the Spell Focus and Antagonize feats to round out some of his utility in combat and to fit his Overlord theme to respectively increase the spell Difficulty Check and to anger an opponent to penalize their skill checks.  Finally, he picks up Greater Spell Penetration to further his ability to overcome Spell Resistance with spells like Daze Monster.

As with other d20 based systems, the Base Attack Bonus and Saving throws also increased.  Check out the character sheet linked below for the full write up. The gear and armour have also been upgraded to reflect the character advancement.  

 

Character Notes

On the world of Castrovel, Vaelayo was out of place.  Born to the Lashunta, and expressing as a Damaya Lashunta, Vaelayo was certainly well suited to be a part of the meritocratic ruling of his city-state.  Castrovel was full of predators and jungles, and while the Lashunta worked well together, it was a constant dance with the corporations who want to take more and more of Castrovel for their own purposes, the insectoid formorians that share the world and wars, and the elves who settled on Castrovel after the Gap. The Damaya led the City States and the Lashunta with the words and insight, while the Korasha were the forefront in the battles against predators and rivals.

While the Damaya and Korasha are no longer strictly expressed along gender lines, it was Vaelayo’s misfortune to be born to a city-state where the ruling Matriarchy still held institutional power.  He was clearly a gifted leader and scholar following in the Lashunta traditions, but it was obvious that his advancement would eventually plateau. His deep Connection that blossomed with his Mystic calling was incompatible with being sidelined like that, and so he began to search for ways out.  His parents loved him dearly and recommended the Corporate life, enmeshed in the games of money and power across the Pact Worlds. There were, after all, no shortage of them on Castrovel. He looked to other City-States where the meritocracy was not as traditionally repressive, or the Threefold House of Lady Morana Kesh who spoke for the largest spaceport on Castrovel but they too didn’t call to him.  He sought the new.

It was a drift ship that carried him to Akiton.  He needed to see over the horizon. A chance meeting with elves in his youth showed him that there was much more to the worlds than he knew.  The corporations brought many new species to Castrovel, but he couldn’t be locked into their path. He set out to claim his path forward and to claim it in his own way.

Travelling between Akiton and Absalom Station, he struck up a conversation with Besu and “Chitter”.  He had his first deep conversation with a Kasathas and Ysoki there and he found them intriguing. It was on Absalom Station that Vaelayo simply took command and volunteered himself, Besu, and Chitter to assist in solving the mystery of a stolen data card.  Hiroko Benandetti ended up being not only the victim, but another person that came along for the following adventure and Clausweld-7 rounded out a mercenary crew that could find ways deep into the Vast. Or so Vaelayo hoped.

A quick job or two on Absalom Station earned them a reputation good enough to be hired by Ulrikka Clanholdings.  They were to bring the profitability of their Diaspora mining operation back to acceptable levels as several pirate bands had taken a particular liking to Clanholdings products.  On board the Troublemaker, the newly formed crew set out for adventure. It may have taken a few years to finally put an end to the Pirate’s predations, but it was well worth it. The Troublemaker was valiantly lost in the process, but the crew gained a Dwarven power armor wearing Soldier named Stoli Kilaim who lightened up the Troublemaker Beta as it was being retrofitted by Ulrikka Clanholdings as a bonus for a job well done.

Vaelayo couldn’t let one thing go from that job.  The Pirates had other clients as well and one of them was very clearly a Castrovelian corporation that had no real business in Diaspora pirate operations.  It was a textile oriented company after all. Vaelayo needed to know and the crew came along to help find out why. It turns out a faction of Elves had taken fully to their xenophobic trends and had infiltrated the company as a cover for working with an Eoxian Bone Sage.  The Pirates were going to become new additions to the Corpse Fleet that was in fact still receiving aid from certain Bone Sages if the Pirates would further clear the formorians and Lashunta away from the Elven continent on Castrovel… killing untold numbers of them in the process.

Thankfully, The Troublemaker Beta stopped this, even if it was only seen as a poorly hidden corporate takeover instead of a plotted undead genocidal attack.  The latter being kept secret came with Vaelayo receiving something he always wanted – recognition on Castrovel and the beginning of the fame that comes from it.

 

Vaelayo Lashunta Xenoseeker Mystic

Starfinder & Troublemaker Beta Crew Overview Here.

Starfinder is © Paizo Inc.  This website uses trademarks and/or copyrights owned by Paizo Inc., which are used under Paizo’s Community Use Policy. We are expressly prohibited from charging you to use or access this content. This website is not published, endorsed, or specifically approved by Paizo Inc. For more information about Paizo’s Community Use Policy, please visit paizo.com/communityuse. For more information about Paizo Inc. and Paizo products, please visit paizo.com.

Sheet by http://paizo.com/people/Gilfalas

One shameful acknowledgement to begin with – I have never played Pathfinder, much less Starfinder.  It came out in the lull of my gaming and I never was swept up as part of a group that enjoyed the game.  While I had some extensive experience with it’s progenitor, D&D 3 & 3.5, this is going to be my first deep dive into a Core Rule Book for the Paizo developed system.  Honestly, I’ve been really impressed with Starfinder. I’ll talk about more in the system and setting notes, but the chance to grab the CRB now has me jonesing to play a rolicking space advenure. It didn’t help that I played a few hours of Starfinder welcome adventures at Origins 2018.

Starfinder is the latest iteration and refinement of the Pathfinder D20 system, and like both Babylon 5 and Mutants & Masterminds has the Open Gaming License from 2000 incorporated into its work.  Pathfinder began as a supplement series for Dungeons & Dragons 3e and 2.5, but it took off as it’s own creature or game when Wizards of the Coast (inheriting TSR’s legacy) moved to Dungeons & Dragons 4e. Many players felt that D&D 4e was not enough like D&D and had a backlash against the company for making changes to the underlying mechanics and “feel” of the game.  In this roilling period, Paizo launched Pathfinder as the continuation of the mechanics of 3.5 but with constant refinements. Now, a decade in, Paizo has taken the leap to the stars by releasing Starfinder, a Space Opera, Science Fiction, and Science Fantasy version of Pathfinder set in the far future of the Pathfinder world. Since the release in 2017, Paizo has produced several adventures as well as the Alien Archive and System Worlds books but for this set we will focus solely on the CRB.

System Notes

The system in Starfinder, like Pathfinder, is built on the skeleton of D&D 3.5 like we discussed in the Babylon 5 intro.  This means that you have 6 Ability Scores, a list of Skills, and class abilities to draw from. You have Hit Points, Armor Class, Saving Throws, and Attacks that are all derived from your Ability Score Bonuses and Class Descriptions.  Finally, you have Feats that, along with your special class abilities, provide you with your unique character’s abilities. This is a system that is fairly well known in the gaming sphere, so I want to focus on some of the innovations and pieces that struck me compared to the early d20 system works. Starfinder represents Paizo’s big leap forward, though, with innovations and changes that set Starfinder apart from other d20 derived systems while retaining the core mechanics and appearance.

First, I really like the three part character generation.  Instead of just a species and class, Starfinder adds a Theme so that you massively increase the number of concepts that have mechanical support in the game.  A Human Soldier is one thing, but a Starfarer Themed Human Soldier is very different from a Priest Themed Human Soldier. Each theme provides bonus skills to be in class as well as an attribute bump and other abilities at higher levels.  

Second, attribute enhancements are handled well and really do provide a science fantasy or pulp feel to the improvements.  While you are not allowed to start with an Ability Score over 18 at character creation, there is ample opportunity to exceed that limit as you advance. Every 4 levels, you can increase four of your six Ability Scores by 2 if they are at 16 or below or by 1 if they are at 17 or above.  In addition to that, the game provides that each character may get Attribute Enhancements – one at +2, one at +4, and one at +6. The exact nature are left up to the player and GM, but nanocarbonfiber muscle replacements could be a STR enhancement, or a magical tattoo to channel the powers of a god could be a WIS enhancement.  Additionally, Starfinder makes it clear that when you increase your ability score, you also get retroactive bonus. If you increase your CON score at Level 10 from 12 (+1 bonus) to 14(+2 bonus), you get the retroactive +10 Hit Points. Combining these with the quick start Attribute rules and you can make a character who fits that space opera, science fantasy, pulp like larger than life heroism quite well over the course of their career.

Third, Blending magic and technology without batting an eye.  If you are going to include both in a game, there are significant design choices that go into the relationship between magic and technology.  For Starfinder, the world shrugs and has both equally viable and equally available. The characters are limited to how many magical items they can have on them or how many augmentations they can have on a body part, but that is simple bookkeeping. This simplifies things for players and GMs but they have a nod to it all in the fluff and setting story which makes it integrated into the world well.

Fourth, the subclasses available in each class.  Increasing the number of types of characters available even more, every single class has significant “subclasses” where there are multiple ways it can be developed.  Each class has a plethora of special abilities beyond feats making them each be desirable, but then the further specialization available is like icing on top of the cake. Take the Mechanic which has an AI of some kind – either an exocortex that the Mechanic wears or in a Drone.  This means that your mechanic could take on aspects of a “pet” class with the drone that increases in abilities with you or double down on using direct enhancement with the exocortex. Each provides a different flavor on top of the Theme, Species, and Class decisions already made. There are four different example builds with each character class in the book that showcase the diversity, and I will try not to use any of them in the builds here.

Fifth, the revision of the skills system streamlines things greatly.  The Original D20 systems provided that you could have skills at a rank up to your level +3, but you had to pay double for skills that were not in class, and your first level used a x4 multiplier for the number of ranks to start.  Starfinder provides a set number of skills per level. If you have a skill as a class skill, you receive a +3 bonus effectively mimicking the old start with 4 ranks in your class skills methods, but in a simpler mechanic.

Sixth, the addition of Stamina Points makes the game feel more modern.  The dual health track systems that represent the different between the “aw shucks just a flesh wound” and the more serious wounds makes the game feel more epic and also extends the heroism.  We’ll go into how they are calculated in the character design posts.

Seventh, the use of Resolve Points also creates a more narrative and modern feel to the game without sacrificing the underlying crunch of the d20 system being spent to activate high level and more impressive powers and being used to heal between encounters.

Eighth, while the game is built around the new races and classes in the setting, the traditional Pathfinder and fantasy races and classes are easily convertible.  Moreover, the back of the book has a great chapter on how to convert the two as well as putting the traditional races in the spacefaring setting. The last character was going to be one of the other new and shiny races and classes, but the picture from the book made me want to make the Dwarf who is now in the mix.

Ninth, there is a strong hand dealt to the GM and expectations.  GMs are expressly told that the party is expected to have access to a spaceship in someway so that the adventures can go on either as a perk from their employer or having it outright.  Additionally, GMs are advised to allow wealth by means of a regular paycheck or reward system rather than by looting the bodies of fallen foes. Making setting expectations clear for the GM, and by extension the players serves as a Session Zero.1 for the entire setting and not just a campaign.

Setting Notes

Starfinder plunges the players into the space fantasy setting of the Pact Worlds in the far flung future from the Pathfinder RPG! In fact, the planet that Pathfinder explores, Golarion, has gone missing and is one of the great mysteries of the settings.  The Pact World System had over a dozen planets, but Golarion is missing, replaced with Absalom Station, and two were destroyed forming the Diaspora asteroid belt. The Pact World System is in a precarious balance of peace as it looks to the future.

Nobody knows what happened in The Gap, just that system wide everyone came to 300 years ago to know they were missing some amount of time.  Scrubbed from memories, history, and even the deities own words nobody knew how long had passed or what had transpired. Absalom Station was quickly swollen with the people who no longer had a planet to call their own, and 3 years later a new Deity, Triune, showed the system Drift travel.  Absalom Station’s Starstone was a beacon in the drift and it became a hub for the expanding planetary and corporate interests in the system. For 40 years, things were slowly returning to normal until the Vesk began a conquest and the remaining planets formed the Pact World alliance … even the Bone Sages of Eox came to the table and the Elves still grieving their own lost memories.  The Veskarium were the Pact World’s closest neighbors and these neighbors were not friendly.

For two hundred and fifty years, this was the state of things, until the Swarm forced even the mighty Veskarium to the Pact World table and they joined in a shaky agreement even as some of the Swarm rejected its collectivism to become the Shirren who now are part of the Pact Worlds’ population.  The Pact World System is full of adventure and intrigue, with monsters in the deep of space and mysteries still underneath the planets’ surface.

 

Troublemaker Beta

It’s taken a while, but the crew of the Troublemaker Beta are making a distinct name for themselves especially now that they have a good ship to their name. Coming together on Absalom Station, as many crews are want to do, the crew of the Troublemaker Beta started off by foiling pirates.  Besu and Chitter had already become fast friends, or at least Chitter was already hiding behind Besu’s strong arms when Valaeyo spoke up to have them hired by the Ulrikka Clanholding company.

While Drift will get you there, you have to spend some time out of the Drift and piracy was eating into profits for the Ulrikka Clanholdings. Their Diaspora mining operation was being harried before the ore could be refined, and taken from the profit side of the ledger in th Star Citadel. They were hired to get to the bottom of it and make sure that the profits still flowed.  In the course of this, they found Stoli, but also uncovered a deeper conspiracy.

It took another year to defeat, but not quite expose, the plans between errant Elves on Castrovel and a Bone Sage intent on expanding his unliving touch.  It took a year, and many derring deeds were undertaken, but the System still does not know the full extent of what the Troublemaker Beta averted. Now, they are looking for their next job and looking to the system for the next mystery in their retrofitted Shirren transport ship.

 

Valaeyo
Xenoseeking Lashunta Mystic
August 7, 2018

The Lashunta have been transformed over generations and Valaeyo feels the next great step is to stretch beyond the Pact Worlds.  Valaeyo channels the power of the universe through his Mystic being and seeks to manipulate the worlds around him. It was not long after Besu and Chitter were leaving for Absalom Station that Valaeyo’s own path crossed theirs. As the putative Captain of the SHIP,  he is looked to as a leader which suits him just fine as his Mystic powers are built around Leading, or as some call it Overlording.

 

Grik “Chitter” Krowlestic
Bounty Hunting Ysoki Operative
August 14, 2018

Akiton is still a mess.  It’s no surprise that people go there to hide and people go there to get lost. Chitter, as she is known to her friends, specialized in finding those people and running them to ground.  For a fee, of course. When Besu stepped off the Idari and visited Akiton, she ran into Chitter …. Or more accurately, Chitter saw her take apart a gang of thugs. Tall, strong, and violent friends are helpful in her line of work.  Primarily the pilot of the Troublemaker, Chitter is also more than capable Engineer who works with C-7 though the biological components of the Shirren tech can be a little offputting for her.

 

Besu
Spacefaring Kasathas Soldier
August 21, 2018

Tradition is the watchword of the Kasathas.  Besu knows this and has attempted to embrace it.  Restless and wishing to see the rest of the universe, Besu is taking a walkabout from Idari to see more of the universe and to find her own traditions to follow. Her intense desire to see the universe around her led her to start at Akiton where this chatty and somewhat obnoxious Ysoki “adopted” her as family.  Kasathas are known to take care of their family, so Chitter’s plea was soon followed by Valaeyo forging them into a crew with the rest. She is beginning to feel comfortable now, and perhaps it is time to return to the Idari and share her traditions.

 

Clausweld-7
Scholar Android Mechanic
August 28, 2018

C-7 is fascinated by the mechanical interacting with the biological.  The nature of an Android’s soul is something lost on him, but he is still intent on studying how to put a human together, a questioner of how everyone came to be.  In the course of this new obsession, C-7 has sought out knowledge of biologics and Androids to learn how each of them can be pieced together. Recently, C-7 has come to see the hole is its knowledge – and Valaeyo is being peppered with questions about souls in every down moment there is.

 

Hiroko Benandetti
Icon Human Technomancer
September 4, 2018

Some people just think deep thoughts.  Hiroko Benandetti is one of those deep thinkers and philosophers.  In fact, you may well have heard of her before as she is a rather well known Philosopher exploring the interplay between technology and spirituality.  A Philosopher who uses her Technomancer trainings to summon, create, and cajole technological beings, Hiriko is at the forefront of what it means to truly be alive in the Pact Worlds and what the Drift may yet bring. She is often found in deep conversations with C-7 about what it means to be alive, and many of these conversations have just added to her fame when recorded and shared across the Pact Worlds.  

 

Stoli Kilaim
Mercenary Dwarf Soldier
September 11, 2018

A big mug of food, a rowdy and bawdy song, and an automatic grenade launcher attached to a suit of powered armor.  It is almost the stuff of stereotypes, but it is also how Stoli appears. Stoli joined up with the crew of the Troublemaker as they were finishing up the adventures of the pirates who had been eating into the mining profits of the Ulrikka Clanholdings.  It was just in time, too, because a strapping dwarf with power armor and a grenade launch was exactly what they needed when the sneaky elves tried to undermine a new Vast exploration? It didn’t take long for Stoli to fall into a routine, getting in Chitter’s way and poking at C-7’s biologic conclusions all while asking where the next port is when the Troublemaker itself came into their possession.  

 

Starfinder is © Paizo Inc.  This website uses trademarks and/or copyrights owned by Paizo Inc., which are used under Paizo’s Community Use Policy. We are expressly prohibited from charging you to use or access this content. This website is not published, endorsed, or specifically approved by Paizo Inc. For more information about Paizo’s Community Use Policy, please visit paizo.com/communityuse. For more information about Paizo Inc. and Paizo products, please visit paizo.com.

“Drazi know Centauri lie.  Not fooled by smiling hair.  Drazi price not changed.”

System Notes

This is another one of the characters that tweaks expectations and isn’t a min-maxed build.  The Drazi are best described as the scrappy and pugnacious scaly ones in the League of Non-Aligned Worlds.  Statistically, they have a knock on their Intelligence but a good Charisma can make up for that. At the same time, the breadth the character will have as a trade off may prove to be useful in a long term campaign and in a setting like Babylon 5. Looking at our Ability rolls, there is no reason to use the 16 on Intelligence when it will be knocked down to 14 when a 15 knocked down to 13 will give the same level of bonus.  Since Charisma is the other main Ability for Telepaths, I’ll focus there. After our Species boost for Strength and penalty for Intelligence, Tenilla’s Ability Scores are: Strength 14; Dexterity 12; Constitution 15; Intelligence 13; Wisdom 10; and Charisma 16.

The Drazi have a host of special abilities, like all species in the Babylon 5 game – They have tough scales so receive Damage Resistance 1 that will stack with any armor they have.  The Drazi are all aggressive fighters honed through years of conflict based culture and receive the Brawler feat allowing them to do lethal damage and not just nonlethal damage with hand to hand combat. The flip side of that coin is that they have a penalty to any saves to avoid charging into combat.  Scrappy and Pugnacious.

Like Stephen, Tenilla has a limited number of skill points even with a 15 Intelligence. As a Drazi, I think Intimidate is a useful skill to have maxed out and I will also add Telepathy and Concentration to that list to bolster Tenilla’s Telepathic abilities.  The remainder of the skills are spread between Notice and a few Knowledge skills of other League cultures – to better understand how to bully them.

For feats, as a Telepath, there is only choice – Telepathy.  To set the initial P-Rating, the Telepathy feat ahs you roll 2D4-2, and we got 4.  The P Rating is important because the difference between your P-Rating and the Power of any Telepathic ability determines how much nonlethal damage you take pushing yourself to achieve it.  At first level, Telepaths receive a bonus Telepathy feat, or you can use that to get an enhanced P-Rating, which I chose so the Tenilla can use certain pain inflicting Telepathic powers without any strain.  She starts with a P Rating of 10!

For Influence, Tenilla has only 1D6 to start, and it is in League of Non-Aligned Worlds Political. A 3 is pretty much right where you would expect an ambassadorial attache to be at the start of her assignment.   

Equipment isn’t that necessary as a Telepath, but a PPG, a little armor, and a somewhat hostile attitude all go together as part of the Drazi way.   

Advancement Notes

Advancement in the d20/OGL system is a straightforward affair where saving throws, base attack bonuses, and skills all have improvements as the character levels.  I kept Concentration, Intimidate, and Telepathy at their maximum ranks while providing a little enhancement to those Knowledge skills and Notice. The Telepathic class abilities is where it starts getting fun because Tenilla picks up Discipline Focus: Biokinetics reducing the strain for any of those Telepathic abilities used.  At third level, Tenilla  adds the Telepathic Feat: Adaptive Mind to remove the penalties for using Telepathy on alien races, like humans, and Combat Telepathy to maintain concentration in the middle of a fight. The Influence isn’t all that much of an increase, moving League Political to 5 and adding League Social of 2.

Character Notes

Tenilla was born to clutchmates who treated her in the usual Drazi fashion, that is with conflict and violence.  She survived, though, and thrived, for which her clutchmates now benefit from the Drazi Freehold tax break for not killing their Telepathic sibling.  The Drazi needed her, so many Telepaths had perished in the Dilgar war in 2230 that she had no choice in pursuing her future. While most female Drazi prefer a home life, ambition was cultivated in Tenilla by her parents, her school, and the Freehold itself so she would take her place to replenish the lost Telepaths.

This was not hard to do.  Tenilla had the quintessential aggression of the Drazi coupled with a Telepath’s insight into motivations.  The stories of the legendary Drazi, Shok of the Sky, seemed to come up around her more than other Drazi. She became quite interested in serving the Freehold.  Hearing the thoughts and the acclaim that others would provide when she said this reinforced her loyalty and her ambition. The Drazi know that sometimes praise is all that is needed to sway a Telepath.    

Her time in the military did not lead to being a soldier, but instead was quickly diverted to Military Intelligence and trained to recognize other League cultures.  She never knew that there was anything else. She was Drazi and Drazi serve the Freehold. Loyalty is part of the Drazi like shiftlessness is in Humans or arrogance in the Minbari. A talent in Biokinetics is not unknown among the Drazi, and indeed is often preferred, but Tenilla also showed signs of possible Telekinetic gifts. Tenilla doesn’t know that she is being cultivated for this, to see whether it will manifest and to put her in a difficult position, a new assignment was given.

Ambassador Vizak was being sent to Babylon 5 to be part of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds assembly to sit with the other great powers of the galaxy.  There is no better place to expose a Drazi Telepath to stress than between hundreds of other cultures and in a diplomatic role where the natural Drazi power is not always respected.  Tenilla became a Diplomatic Attache. A listener and a speaker.

Tenilla is a Drazi rough around the edges, but is learning how to slide between the different species on Babylon 5.  Her ability to scan the different aliens there has only increased as everyday she has an opportunity to overwhelm some other poor saps mental defenses.  In Nakir’s, she has made connections with other residents of Babylon 5, equally out of place. While Durvoon and Stephen talk of war and conflict as if it is something thrust upon them, Tenilla knows only the Drazi way of conflict.  In watching Vr’korl slide almost unnoticed across the station, Tenilla begins to understand how many will choose to avert their eyes, so at odds with the Drazi customs of honesty. In Nakir’s, she has her Bor’kaan, misses feeling the wind across her scales, and watches these other races fool themselves.

Tenilla was also a Green Drazi this cycle and doesn’t know how she feels about Commander Ivanova’s involvement, even though the rule against non-Drazi has not yet left committee after 800 years.

The future is bittersweet for Tenilla.  The Freehold’s attempt to awaken Telekinetic power in her will succeed through her involvement in the coming War of Shadows.  She does what Drazi do – barrel forward without fear and without reservation. She survives and awakens her Telekinetic power, but is put at odds with the rest of the Station as the Drazi Freehold struggles to improve its place in the galaxy and becomes more and more aggressive.  It is her blood, her DNA and her children’s DNA that the Freehold will use as a template to try to create the Shokash, but that is a story for the future.

 

Nakir’s Zocalo Bar Happy Hour Drinking Society Here

Tenilla Drazi Telepath Sheet

BABYLON 5 and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Copyright © 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.  The Babylon 5 2d Edition game is subject to the OGL and was published by Mongoose Publishing.

Episode 57: WorldBuilding Primer
Regular Shows

 
 
00:00 / 1:05:50
 
1X
 

Main Topic – Worldbuilding 101

Goals

How to make sure that the campaign setting is immersive, rich, and engaging.  Creating a place where the story can happen that reflects not only the campaign theme but also the stories of the characters. The fine line between sufficient detail to engage the players while leaving room for their own contributions is the greatest challenge to any worldbuilder.

 

Main Styles

Top Down – You start from the 3000’ view and design the larger picture focusing on the overarching themes and continental level actions in a story.

Pros- Overall Understanding, Big Picture Sight, Allows the most flexibility on individual game sessions. Uses a wide-angle lens on your story.

Cons- Lots of time to do it. Can leave you unprepared for microlevel actions by PCs. Requires a wide-angle lens on your story.

Bottom Up – You design the immediate surroundings of the Player Characters and their environs to create the most immersive and engaging starting “block” from a locality level.

Pros- Make what you need or want, key it to Player Character needs specifically. Can be incredibly detailed and rich environs.

Cons- The big Picture may not be visible for awhile. The bigger picture may not always make sense with what you started doing. Harder to keep together.

Mix it up – Our preferred method of using both of the previous styles to create a campaign setting that includes both the overarching theme and deity level actors filtered down to the immediacy of the starting character world.

Pros- You get some of the best of both. Bigger pic ideas And a bit let time spent on the whole thing at once.

Cons- It can feel a bit like things are not coming together. It’s the most work for a GM between planning and keeping the improvisational parts in the air. The hardest one to balance needs of the GM and needs of the PCs as a way to move the story forward

 

Things to include or think about when designing the world:

 

Terrain – What is the physical area like?

Weather – How does the weather shape the people and their attire?

Population – Who, and What, Lives there?

Economics – How does the population exchange goods and services?

Politics – How does the population resolve collective disputes?

Malleability – How firm is the push back from the world to changes?

 

Stat Blocks

Zendead- I suck today.

 

Joules- The Waltzing Matilda

The Royal Fortune, The Black Pearl, The Revenge, The Red Flag Fleet.  The stories and legends of these pirate ships are ubiquitous and never fail to captivate an audience.  However, no story delights and confuses an audience quite like the legend of the Waltzing Matilda.

 

The Waltzing Matilda is the only pirate ship that can’t (or won’t) float on water.  (kind of) She can make use of most ports and harbors normally, as long as she sticks to the shallows.  If she turns out to sea and water gets deeper, she begins to be pulled under.

 

However, on dry land, she is a terror.  A monster. A machine from the bowels of hell itself.  The Waltzing Matilda can levitate to about 60 to 70 feet.  (No one knows the exact height though, since she never sticks around long enough to get an accurate measurement) She can turn nearly instantaneously and broadside before her target has time to realize their predicament.  She can rise above the tree line, out of range of a town’s tower defenses, and rain chaos from above.

Her silent aerial attacks always seem to nab the best booty.  Everyone is looking for thieves and marauders and invading forces to attack from the ground.  So attacking from the air catches the town with their pants metaphorically (and sometimes literally) down.  It’s an effective pillaging tactic that has a very low loss of life for both sides.

 

So what happened to the Waltzing Matilda to confine her to the land?  It involves her previous captain, a sea hag, insults (both perceived and actual), and a failure to understand the magical equivalent of fine print.

Long story short, the Waltzing Matilda’s previous captain grew greedy and wanted use the Waltzing Matilda on dry land.  He sought out a sea hag of incredible power and demanded that his mighty vessel be able to rise above the land. The sea hag saw the partial rejection of the sea as an insult and the arrogance of his demand infuriating.  So she did what he wanted. Just not exactly how he wanted it. The ship may indeed fly a specific height above the ground, but no higher. And the ground she was referring to wasn’t just the dry land. She also included the sea floor in her enchantment.  Meaning that if the seafloor’s depth was greater than the height specified, the ship goes under.

 

Unsurprisingly, the crew revolted and fired that foolish captain.  Out of one of the 18lb aft cannons. The first mate assumed command and to mollify the sea hag, the crew decided to accept her gift.  Since then, the Waltzing Matilda has become a legendary pirate ship in her own right. Leaving behind a trail of sacked mountain towns, the smell of gunpowder and rum, and a lot of confused civilians.

 

Nulloperations-

 

Guard-a-Manger – Astrolabe of Carlooth

Artifacts are supposed to be old, dusty, and left in some unused mausoleum … I mean museum, but the Astrolabe has never been consigned to such ignominious fate. It still works, as an astrolabe should never lose all its utility.  There is a legend of luck and fortune behind it. After all, it was on the ship that found Blackbeard’s treasure. It was there when the lost city of Cynidicia was found, far from the shore. A golden astrolabe, though far too resilient to be gold, that seems to draw you to making the right calculations.  What could go wrong?

It was also there when the boat sank, shortly after the pirate’s treasure was confiscated.  It was also there when the caravan was lost to the sandstorm but strangely unharmed. It was there at the greatest success and the most abject failure of explorers of land and sea.  It spelled their fame and their ignominy.

Why will it treat you any differently amongst the stars?    

 

Lexicon

Demesne    noun de·mesne  \ di-ˈmān , -ˈmēn \

 

Definition of demesne
1 : legal possession of land as one’s own
2 : manorial land actually possessed by the lord and not held by tenants
3 a : the land attached to a mansion
  b : landed property : estate
  c : region 2, territory
4 : realm 2, domain

 

Origin and Etymology of demesne
Middle English, from Anglo-French demesne, demeine

 

First Known Use: 14th century

 

Popularity: Bottom 40% of words

 

Closing remarks

Zendead-  Fantasy Map Maker Jump Start: 61 Easy Tips for Fantasy World Building with Real Earth Science By D.N. Frost

 

Joules-Armageddonquest

 

nulloperations- Warframe: Fortuna Hype

 

Guard-a-Manger- Avatar the Last Airbender.  When you talk about worldbuilding, it’s hard not to look at the world of Avatar and its sequels.  The creators are also working on a new fantasy series for Netflix, The Dragon Prince, so look forward to that.

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

Find us

Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Joules- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Nulloperations-Email, Twitter, Facebook

Guard-a-manger- Email, Twitter

 

And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment

Find us on Patreon

“Hey you! Yes, you ya Scaly Faced Drazi layabout! Get back here.  I have some questions for ya!”

System Notes

Every role playing group needs a heavy, even when you are in a diplomacy and social oriented game like Babylon 5.  Enter Stephen Biggs with the Soldier Class to straight up handle the primary combat requirements. The Soldier Class is what you expect – immediate combat focus with high Attack Bonus, high Hit Point progression (for Babylon 5), and limited skills. It may be a bit stereotypical an Ability Score load out, but Stephen’s Ability Scores are: Strength 15; Dexterity 16; Constitution 15; Intelligence 12; Wisdom 12; and Charisma 10. As a human, Stephen has an extra feat and extra skill points but few other benefits compared to the other species.    

In the world of Babylon 5, most combat will be ranged and with guns like PPGs rather than melee, so Dexterity got the 16 over Strength which got a 15.  A somewhat gruff and lower Charisma fighting type is almost a required trope at this point, so we will roll with that. With a limited number of skills available, I only maxed out Intimidate and Athletics before stretching a few skills into skills like Computer Use, Operations, and Technical skills to simulate his required work on the scanners as Security on board Bab5.

For feats, Point Blank Shot is nearly a no-brainer providing a bonus in short range firefights that are likely to break out on a space station. As far as the bonus feat for being human, I picked Improved Initiative because with the lower Hit Points, going first becomes even more important.  For his Combat Training Class Ability, I went with Weapon Focus – PPG keeping the short range firefight potential at the forefront.

For Influence, Stephen starts out with only 1D4 in Earthforce, the Earth Alliance Military Influence and he rolls a 2.  He’s not so hot in the chain of command.

Stephen is our first, and looks like only character who will have an apartment in Blue Sector where the Earthforce personnel is housed and also will definitely have access to some armor and an Earthforce Issue PPG.  

Advancement Notes

Advancement in the d20/OGL system is a straightforward affair where saving throws, base attack bonuses, and skills all have improvements as the character levels.  With only 2 skills maxed out, those are easy to keep at the top of the pack. The other abilities are spread around in a similar fashion to make sure that Stephen can back up or aid other people in non combat situations. For Class abilities, Stephen also received Coordinate Unit which provides bonuses to Soldiers if they are in a combat with other soldiers acting as a unit.  Additionally, at Third Level, for a Combat Training Feat I chose Alertness while the normal Third Level feat is Lightning Reload so Stephen is never out of shots for long. Advancing Influence isn’t much with Earthforce at a 3 and Babylon 5 Local at a 1. There is a price to pay for being a combat character in a social game.

Character Notes

Stephen Biggs was always one of the bigger kids in class.  He matured early and hit a good 6 feet tall by the time he was 14.  While he was growing, Earth played a role in the Dilgar War. It was one of Earth Alliance’s first major forays into Interstellar power.  Answering the call for help from the League of NonAligned Worlds, Earth committed forces to repel the Dilgar from their expansionist and atrocity laden path of conquest.  It was the Earthforce that turned the tide and bolstered the League so they could push the Dilgar back to their home system of Omelos which was destroyed by a supernova in 2237.  Stephen had grown big and strong while seeing ISN report on the valiant efforts of the Earthforce fleet and GROPOS. Stephen signed up for Earthforce.

Things didn’t turn out so well for Stephen once he finishes basic training.  Despite being fully trained as a Ground Pounder, Stephen wasn’t immediately assigned to a squad that was going out of the solar system. He ended up in the Military Police, an MP who was doing security detail on Mars base … but that ended up suiting him just fine once the Earth-Minbari war broke out.  He never had a hate for the boneheads (literally, have you seen them? They have these bony crests all around their head), but he was sure as sure terrified they were going to wipe humanity off the map as they rolled through battle after battle with the Earthforce Fleet. Stephen was sweating bullets as the most powerful military force in the galaxy was shredding Earthforce and getting closer and closer to Earth.  Then the Battle of the Line take place in 2248 and the Minbari surrender.

Not wanting to get too caught up in the Free Mars crackdowns that were starting, Stephen transferred off Mars. He was terrified of the Minbari so he understood why Mars didn’t want to be part of that war and he couldn’t hold it against them.  For the next 7 years, Stephen bounced from post to post and never did much to distinguish himself. When he heard that Babylon 5 was finally coming online, after the last four all vanished or were sabotaged, he laughed … until he heard about the Chief of Security.  Michael Garibaldi was a lost cause that deserved a second chance. For all that he had his problems and failings, Garibaldi looked after his own on Europa, on Mars, on every place he was stationed. Maybe Babylon 5 would be the place Stephen finally put all those doubts behind him.  

For all the high profile diplomatic visitors, Babylon 5 Security Duty is a lot like any other security duty.  Stephen finds himself working the “border crossing” scanning and watching the new arrivals for any known wanted criminals or contraband.  Sometimes, he gets caught up in investigating a crime from Downbelow, but mostly it’s run of the mill property crime with an occasional diplomatic duel.  In Nakir’s, Stephen has friends. Friends he really took to liking, even if they are younger than he is. They are also looking up at the people calling shots and wondering how did they get there.  Durvoon seems to share a similar outlook even if he is a bonehead, but a worker bonehead. It’s too bad he can’t have a beer.

The War of Shadows that is coming isn’t going to be what nearly breaks Stephen.  He will stand up for what is right and overcome what has haunted him since the Earth-Minbari war, but it is when EarthGov slips into a fascist state.  His loyalty is tested because Stephen was always part of the Earth Alliance. It was Earthforce that defined his impressionable years, and when Earthforce stops being something he can look up to, Stephen has to choose how to walk away from the only life he has ever known.   

 

Nakir’s Zocalo Bar Happy Hour Drinking Society Here

Stephen Biggs Human Soldier Sheet

 

BABYLON 5 and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Copyright © 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.  The Babylon 5 2d Edition game is subject to the OGL and was published by Mongoose Publishing.

Episode 56: Origins Wrapup for 2018
Regular Shows

 
 
00:00 / 52:52
 
1X
 

Main Topic

Wellington Mark Filho is our newest member in the Facebook Group.  

 

Origins Wrapup – Origins Games Fair has the reputation in the gaming cognescenti as the “fun” convention.  Here is some of what we got up to and what we think you should take away from a good convention experience.

 

Gaming! It seems obvious, but unlike GenCon, you don’t have to fill every waking minute at the convention with some dice rolling goodness but you should get a few good sessions in! GaM got a few rounds of Starfinder and some Shadowrun in while Joules hit up not one, not two but  three games that weren’t Shadowrun. (Two Fate Plus games and a Puzzle Break)

 

New Gaming! Take the time to find something new to try while at conventions! Origins especially has a great set of options for you to wander into role playing or board game events for new games! Expand your mind a bit and try something new, like the Doctor Who Board Game that GaM weaseled his way into trying… or Joules in a head to head against Zippy in the Battletech Boot Camp, severely beating his tushie tush until he got a lucky shot and asploded her head….

 

Socialize! Seriously! Some of the people at conventions can be your closest friends that you only see once or twice every year if that! Look your friends in the eye and make the time to see them carving out some space to hear their voices and see their face.

 

Network! Gaming can be more than just a little hobby.  If you are a creative, take the time to meet more of the creatives at the convention! Origins allows for that time because it has space to breath like in the Dealer hall.  Seize the GM has some things in the works that are all about the time we spent in the Dealer Hall … but that’s a story for a later post. *spoilers dearie*

 

Closing remarks

Zendead- Wild Sketches #2 By Luis Royo

 

Joules- True Facts

 

Nulloperations- I finished a book!

 

Guard-a-Manger- Tentacle Kitty Coloring Book.

 

Music is courtesy of The Enigma TNG you can find his music on YouTube or on Bandcamp

 

Find us

Show- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Zendead- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Joules- Email, Twitter, Facebook

Nulloperations-Email, Twitter, Facebook

 

Find us on Patreon

“You misunderstand my devotion to fulfilling my calling in the Worker Caste with blind ignorance at your own risk, human.”

System Notes

Talking about the Babylon 5 2e rules with a friend years ago led to a the enduring belief that a Worker Caste Minbari Worker would be one of the most effective and statistically frightening characters to build.  So I built one. Reviews of the game would take jabs at it for having a Worker class sometimes, but when you dig into it you find a lot of really great and useful parts. A Worker class can be white collar, blue collar, or a performer meaning that small variations on this one class let you play the dockworker, the lawyer, and the lounge singer equally so if you are out exploring, you should hope you have a Worker to do the repair work on your ship or a Worker who is your entry to high society and myriad other possibilities.  Similarly, the Worker Caste of the Minbari is the least developed in the show, but also factors into an intriguing development of the Minbari as a whole late in the show.

In the world of Babylon 5, a Blue Collar Technician and Pilot still needs to have a high Intelligence.  After the bonus to Strength and Penalty to Charisma all Minabri have, Durvoon’s Ability Scores are: Strength 17, Dexterity 10, Constitution, 12, Intelligence 16, Wisdom 15, Charisma 10.  Additionally, Durvoon has bonuses to Initiative and Concentration. As a Worker Caste, he has bonuses to Computer Use, Operations, and Technical checks plus can attempt any Technical Check untrained.  Now, you begin to see why the Worker Caste plus Worker Class is beautiful synergy.

For skills, I started with maxing out Computer Use, Operations in both Technical and Sensors, and all three Technical skills – electronics, engineering, and mechanical.  I spread a few points around to skills like Drive and Pilot for future developments.

For feats, Durvoon picked up Spacecraft proficiency because I want him to grow into being the pilot if this crew ever were to set out as backup for one of Mia’s later in life cover jobs. The class skill of Vocation Bonus allows the character to have a bonus equal to their Class level to any one class skill – I chose Computer Use.  Between the Worker Caste bonus and the Vocation Bonus, Durvoon is not just the future pilot but also the hacker of the group if they need to get into any systems!

For Influence, Mia starts with 1D4 influence in two different influences.  Minbari Worker Caste Influence seems appropriate as does Earth Economic with rolls respectively of 3 and 2.   

Some simple weapons like a comically large wrench with which to bludgeon offending Drazi, and modest quarters for one devoted to a life of toil and Durvoon is now present.

Advancement Notes

Advancement in the d20/OGL system is a straightforward affair where saving throws, base attack bonuses, and skills all have improvements as the character levels.  Keeping the six skills listed above maxed out, I turn to adding more knowledges to remove the computer and technical penalty with Earth Alliance equipment. Workers get no new class abilities by third level, but for his general Feat I add Spaceship Dodge to keep that piloting thing going. For advancing Influence, Mia has minorly increased those original Influences to 4 and 3 respectively while adding a single rank of Influence in each Narn Economic and Centari Economic factions from his interactions in the blue collar daily bustle of Babylon 5.

Character Notes

For the Minbari, the Worker Caste ensures that the Federation continues apace.  The Worker caste builds, memorializes, and fixes the artifacts and trappings of the Minbari. Durvoon is one such Minbari.  Other interstellar governments think rarely of the Worker Caste, because it is the Warrior Caste and Religious Caste who take the spotlight.  Neither fighter nor diplomat, the Workers work. Durvoon has learned the ins and outs of Minbari technology, and is even fluent in the usage of Earth Alliance technology.  His personal achievements were part of why he was chosen as an exceptional member of the caste to live on Babylon 5 supporting the Diplomatic mission and any travelling Minbari who would come through.  

Durvoon did harbor some secrets – he found space to be thrilling.  It was in space, and when flying a spaceship that he felt most alive and most at peace with his part of constructing and tending these ships in Valen’s name.  His eyes would drift upward when on planet, in wonderment often more befitting the Religious Caste, but keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground beneath him.  Durvoon’s temper could certainly be something that flares up as he grows weary of being shunted aside – while he may agree with the decisions being made by the warrior caste and the religious caste, the decision to go to war should never be made without the voices of those who build the weapons of war and who inhabit the planets left to be targeted.

A study in contradictions, of a calm and dedicated worker who carries out his job without embellishment and the short tempered idealist who yearns to fly.  In Nakir’s, he has found those with whom he can share that even if alcohol is not in a Minbari’s diet, especially Stephen who feels a similar pull but from the human side of things.

There is a great upheaval in Durvoon’s future. For once, it isn’t about the War that is coming, but the fallout of the War in the Minbari Society.  As he diligently toils, Minbari culture is reshaped and he will be at the heart of the remaking of the Grey Council. The Council traditions are to be broken shortly, and when they are finally reforged it is with a new set of traditions where the Worker Caste is no longer the underfoot and overlooked.  Durvoon may be a leader of the Worker Caste, not quite a Satai standing between shadow and light but holding more in his hands than perhaps was planned.

 

Nakir’s Zoclao Bar Happy Hour Drinking Society Here

Durvoon Minbari Worker Sheet

 

BABYLON 5 and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Copyright © 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.  The Babylon 5 2d Edition game is subject to the OGL and was published by Mongoose Publishing.