This installment of the Pop Culture Catalog-series clocks in at 15 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
This review was moved up in my reviewing queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.
All right, in case this is your first Pop Culture Catalog-installment, the first page recaps the elegant fandom rules the series employs; since I’ve explained those a couple of times now, please consult my reviews for the older installments in the series.
All righty, the first section of this Pop Culture Catalog installment features 8 different wellness service providers: As before, these do offer a price modifier, denote the locations where they can be found, and notes services provided, as well as individual fandom perks. But what can characters do to relax? Well, you could for example go for an aroma therapy by Aromatic Innovations, in their Scentsory Park. (Two bonus points for that pun!) From Trihive Fusion to raspberry Delight and Lady of the Night, the scents do sound delicious, and the company purportedly has been testing robotic massage chairs with aromatic fragrance dispensers. The perk is actually pretty cool – it nets you +2 to scent-based Perception checks and even nets you blindsense (scent) with a 5 ft.-range.
Chalbarez Springs Spa was originally created by the messianic tengu figure imijol River – the story has it, that a natural material on the planet, vergonium carbonate, while not detrimental to tengus, does cause vertigo in most races, and that Imijol’s meditation pointed towards a spring that cleansed the dust from the air, making this place a publicly-available, medicinal place constructed for the people – though more privacy can be bought. Fans of the place may benefit from a bonus to saves vs. the sickened condition and diseases. The E.Z. Exfoliation Services was originally made by a mechanoi as the most efficient way to clean swiftly indeed, making them efficient for workaholics. Speaking of which…I’d totally be a customer! Anyhow, the focus on robotics of this chain’s establishments means that you either gain an insight bonus to Computers and Engineering, or an enhancement bonus to saves vs. technological items and creatures with that subtype.
Re: Nufriend Massage is a homely massage therapy chain founded by a retired skittermander baseball star (which makes so much sense! Oh yeah, and SKITTERMANDERS SHOULD BE CORE.), and the manypalm massage style, plus helpful guidance really helps…staff is encouraged to go for degrees. Yep, this is an actually good company. Can we have those IRL, please? Being a fan of the place does make you harder to demoralize, and provides a bonus to saves vs. emotion and fear effects. Sarvatova’s Seven is obviously tied to the resort introduced in the third Pop Culture Catalog – it’s a luxury spa based on the seven mythical springs. While the magical springs are only made available to the public in a diluted manner. Being a fan here allows you to reroll a save (you must state that in advance) and you can only do so again after spending Resolve to regain Stamina in a 10-minute rest.
The Stellar Vortex River Bath-House consists actually of a network of single bath house that employ hundreds of miles of force fields to transport millions of gallons of water along sight-seeing tracks, making this indeed a decadent and truly wondrous locale. The fandom helps Piloting in the region. Uramesh Ever After caters almost exclusively to…UNDEAD! Hey, just because you’re dead doesn’t mean that you can’t look after yourself, right? From maggot-bathing to similar, strange techniques, this one is pretty cool and macabre – and yep, I’d try that. Also, exposure helps fortify vs. death effects and the abilities of undead creatures, including a reroll. Wild Side Hygienics is all about wellness for less human-like species, offering services like grooming, feather preening, etc., and as such, being a fan helps you interact with species like kitsune, ysoki, etc., and you get one bonus language.
The pdf also defines types of wellness services (bath house, onsen, sauna and spa) and then goes into details regarding the actual services: Acutherapy services like acupressure and acupuncture are explained, and different forms of aroma therapy can be explained. What about controlled acid baths in oozes? Flame baths for those inured to fire, necromantic baths – this section is inspiring. And fyi: This book does offer rules to reward PCs for taking care of hygiene. Ultrasonic baths, body peels, nanodentistry – from the humble classics to choice deeply infused with the aesthetics of Starfinder, this is a great read.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches on a formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the pdf comes with a great array of full-color artworks in Jacob Blackmon’s signature style. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Alexander Augunas’ Pop Culture Catalog-series is quickly graduating to one of my favorite Starfinder-series: Oozing cool ideas, we focus on some much-needed good times for characters, all while still offering a plethora of creative and cool ideas that retain their value beyond the confines of the system. This one is a great continuation of that tradition, and works perfectly in conjunction with the cruises/resort-installment. 5 stars + seal of approval.
You can get this cool supplement here on OBS!
Missed the cruises & resort installment? You can get it here on OBS!