Star Log.EM: Nashi (SFRPG)
This installment of the Star Log.EM-series clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
After the by now expected introduction, alongside the access-granted contextualization of the nashi within the frame of the Xa-Osoro system, we learn about this new race of raccoon folk. Never call them that to their face, though. If you’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy, you’ll know that’s not a smart move. 😉
Anyways, nashi come in a wide variety of patterns, and hail from the home world of Terros, which is actually one star system away from Xa-Osoro; the race had been coexisting with humans, yroometji and kitsune and had already taken to the stars when they were “discovered” by the nagaji. Motivated by progress and technological advancement, nashi are progress-oriented to a fault, lacking on a cultural level the dissent and caution urged by conservatism, which has made some of their progress a circle and their politics…chaotic. 47 nashi governmental regimes have collapsed in a single century. Now this is next level volatility! Relations with other races and their take on adventuring is covered as well, though we do not get notes on “If you play a nashi…/other people think of you as..”
We do, however, get a proper subtype graft, which is a nice plus. Nashi are Small humanoids with +2 Int, 4 HP, a 30-ft. speed, low-light vision and Ingenuity as a 1st level bonus feat. Nashi choose two skills from a brief list, gaining a +2 racial bonus in the skills chosen, and their most unique feature would be the incredibly finetuned tactile precision of their hands, which acts as blindsense (touch) with a range equal to the nashi’s reach. Kudos: This tie between reach and blindsense may not be cheesed with weaponry, but natural increases to the reach could theoretically improve range. Kudos for covering all bases there.
The pdf also includes 4 racial feats: Expanded nashi skill nets you two more skills from aforementioned list and +2 in them. *snore*; more interesting would be (though it requires the previous feat), the follow-up, Versatile Nashi Skill…which isn’t really versatile. It just nets you the +2 racial bonus to all skills in the list; that’d be 9 total, mind you. So for 2 feats, we get a total of 7 +2 bonuses that will stack with pretty much everything…not bad, though you probably won’t want all of them. Personally, not the biggest fan. Enhanced Tactile Precision is more interesting in its idea – it nets you a +2 bonus on skill checks to e.g. identify creatures, magic items, tech, see through disguises etc., provided you can touch them. See, this is interesting, but honestly, here I’d think about increasing the bonus or providing an additional benefit – tactile contact can, after all, be risky. And finally, there would be the core racial feat, which may btw. be taken by all characters with Int 13+: Ingenuity. This lets you choose two skills from a list, and makes you count as always having the proper basic or tool kit. Additionally, circumstance bonuses in these skills are increased by +1, and custom rig is enhanced to apply to three skills, if present, though one of them must be Computers or Engineering.
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the artwork by Jacob Blackmon is cool. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length.
I really like the concept of Alexander Augunas’ nashi – the base race is cool, and I really like the tactile angle. The feats, though, focus them towards the skill monkey angle, and I can’t help but think that the race could really use some more far-out tricks. The tactile angle lends itself perfectly to psychometry-like tricks, and similarly, expert jury-rigging would be another synergy I would have loved to see. So yeah, the race has a ton of utapped potential as written. While I wasn’t perfectly happy with the focus of the feats, I did enjoy the flavor and base race, and as such, I will round up from my final verdict of 3.5 stars.
You can get this neat race here on OBS!