Star Log.Deluxe: Blood Space Species Reforged (SFRPG) (Priority Review)
The third pdf providing reforged versions of Starfinder species with plenty of customization options clocks in at 23 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 2 pages of SRD, leaving us with 18 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 patreon supporters.
All right, so, at this point, I think you’ll all be familiar with the base concept of the reforged species series – if not, please consult my reviews of the first two Star Log.Deluxe-installments dealing with them. (If you’re reading this on my home page, just click on the star log-tag, and you’ll have the list.)
Anyhow, this book covers no less than 7 species rewired in the tradition of this series, starting with catfolk, who apply their ability boost to Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence or Charisma, with a second boost available at the cost of a flaw to Wisdom. Catfolk get 4 HP, have low-light version, and ignore the first 10 feet they fell, take 1d6 nonlethal damage for the next 10 ft., and then 1d6 lethal damage after that. As long as they have 1 HP remaining, they are not prone after the fall, and they can attempt to make a fall a deliberate fall with an Acrobatics check, whose DC increases by distance falling. 2 heritages are provided. Junglewalkers get climb speed equal to base speed, and pridemane catfolk get an extraordinary frightful presence that is governed by Charisma and scales with level, used as a move action, and saving successfully renders you immune for 24 hours; the effect is emotion, fear and sense-dependent mind-affecting. This descriptor array is why I’m not complaining about it not being tied to Resolve, though personally, that’s how I’d have handled this. 8 species traits are provided, and include the ability to assume cat form, rolling a Reflex save twice and taking the better result (at the cost of Resolve after the first use), skill enhancers, climb speed (odd that the junglewalker heritage ability can be gained as a species trait, but not the frightening roar…), charging sans penalties and ferocious charge, blindsense (hearing), properly codified natural weapons (YES!!) and an ability that lets you fall farther sans damage, based on Acrobatics ranks. Solid array! The reference to the page featuring the catfolk species traits is wrong – it should be 7, not 17.
Kitsune apply their ability boost to Dexterity, intelligence or Charisma, and can get a second one for a flaw to Strength or Wisdom, are humanoid shapechangers, and also get 4 HP. They have low-light vision, get change shape into an alternate human form, and there are three heritages to choose from. Feral kitsune get natural weapons, kyubi scions get magical tail and may take it as replacement class feature at certain levels, and yokai kitsune get either realistic likeness or fox shape. 5 species traits are noted, and while fox shape and realistic likeness are pretty much self-explanatory (same goes for natural weapons, which btw. lets you choose slashing or piercing – NICE!), lithe grace lets you choose skill bonuses from a list (including the option to get a single skill as a class skill with bonus as an alternative use). Magical tail is the most interesting one: It nets you witchwarper spellcasting based on CE (Chakra energy) points, with CE costs equal to level and cantrips at-will, with additional taking of the trait providing higher-level spells and CE-increases.
Kobolds get their boost to Dexterity, and can get a second one to Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence or Wisdom in exchange for a Strength flaw, are Small,, get darkvision 60 ft. and low-light vision, as well as 2 HP. They also get natural weapons, and while they get natural weapons, they get a variation that works differently, making their unarmed strikes count as non-archaic, and specifying no damage type; for type, I assume bludgeoning. I also think it’s slightly odd to have this blending of unarmed and natural weapons, but this may be just me being traumatized from some builds my players came up with back in PFRPG. Still, rules-aesthetics-wise, I’d have preferred this to have its own name and not be called Natural Weapons. For the purpose of most games, this should not be an issue. There are two heritages provided: Deepwarren kobolds can extend their darkvision to 120 ft. when resting in dim light or darkness to regain Stamina Points, but at the cost of also getting light blindness. This short rest based mode change is a really cool angle! Kudos! The second heritage is the wyvaran, which makes you a dragon with the kobold subtype and nets +2 racial bonus to saves vs. paralysis and sleep, extraordinary fly speed of 30 ft. with average maneuverability. The latter has btw. a catch that makes you land or fall at the end of your turn until 5th level; in zero-g, maneuverability increases to perfect. In direct comparison, this one seems stronger than the deepwarren angle. 8 species traits are provided, including a bonus to attack rolls versus flat-footed, off-kilter and prone targets, Companion Creature Adept as a bonus feat, a Resolve powered, scaling breath weapon, climb speed, skill boosts (or gained as class skills with bonus) chosen from a list, immunity to one effect or a save bonus based on a dragon graft chosen, or Extra Resolve. My favorite one, though, would be hurried retreat, which nets Mobility, and lets you decrease Mobility’s bonus to increase your speed temporarily. Cool!
Mechanoi determine their boost by heritage chosen, and can get a second one in exchange for a flaw to Charisma. They get 6 HP, are technological constructs and count as living creatures for healing effects, but halve Hit Points regained thus (should specify rounded down), and they require Engineering instead of Medicine when it comes to healing them. They are immune to bleed, disease, death effect, poison, nonlethal damage and sleep effects, but may be targeted by humanoid-only effects, gaining a +4 racial bonus to such saves instead. They don’t eat or drink, but need to go into an offline-mode akin to sleep to recharge their batteries. They also don’t breathe and don’t suffer in vacuum. Three heritages are provided: Compact models get their boost to Dexterity and get a bonus mechanoi trait and reach 5 ft.; Giant model mechanoi are Large and get a bonus mechanoi trait and a reach of 5 ft.; the standard model is Small (boost to Dexterity) or Medium (boost to Strength), and a bonus mechanoi trait. 5 species traits are included. These include the option to get low-light vision and upgrade it to also include darkvision 60 ft., having a technological item or cybernetic augmentation integrated into you (with item level as guideline), drone mods, skill routines…and one trait that is pure awesome, namely the transformation matrix, which nets you an alternate shape as a weapon, technological item or vehicle! Yes, you can play transformers! Epic! And yep, the respective item categories are properly explained. I generally like the mechanoi, but considering how important Stamina is, I think that the construct immunity array is a bit overkill; I’d have made this a selection with a species trait to buy into more of them, particularly considering how e.g. poisons etc. are better in SFRPG than they were in PFRPG.
Nagaji get both the reptilian and nagaji subtypes, have low-light vision, 4 HP, and get both a +1 racial bonus to natural armor, and + racial bonus to saving throws vs. poisons. They apply their ability boost to Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom or Charisma, and may choose a second one in exchange for a flaw applied to Intelligence. Three heritages are includes: Hooded nagaji get mighty presence (Intimidate), a new species trait that nets you +2 to one of the social skills and lets you ignore the prerequisites to a feat based on the skill chosen. Nalaasei have no legs, and instead have a speed of 20 ft, but may move at full speed while using Acrobatics and Stealth as well as Lunge as a prerequisite-less bonus feat; the third heritage, the servitor nagaji nets focused training, which translates to your choice of Skill Focus, Spell Focus, Versatile Weapon Focus or Weapon Focus. The species comes with 8 species traits; these include the ability to spit acidic venom that has the blind critical effect and scale with damage. It is properly codified regarding proficiencies, dirty tricks etc. – cool. We also get natural weapons (the good, precise kind), scent, and a trait that nets you swim speed at land speed + 10 ft. Tolling twice on Will saves, with Resolve for uses beyond the first, and the species can also choose a hypnotic gaze, which lets you use Bluff or Diplomacy to fascinate targets, with additional uses costing Resolve. Really cool one!
The nuar (Medium minotaurs, essentially) get their boost to Strength or Intelligence, with the option for a second boost at the cost of a flaw to Dexterity; they gain 6 Hit Points, and have a base speed of 40 ft., have darkvision, and have a special level-based check instead of Piloting or Survival to orienteer themselves, and they increase this with ranks in Piloting and Survival. The reference to the page featuring the nuar species traits is wrong – it should be 17, not 15. The three nuar heritages include the option to become Large and get natural weapons (reach still 5 ft.); the second nets tech savant (skill bonus/class skill gain), and the third ones nets you Mystic Inkling, or Spell Focus/Spell Penetration if you’re a mystic. 8 species traits are provided, including ferocious charge, weapon familiarity, natural weapons (the good, precise kind), a scent-based blindsense, Improved Combat Maneuver (with synergy, if you have ferocious charge), adding wound critical effect to unarmed strikes (which improves at 13th level to severe wound), and there is a means to use Profession as a substitute to Piloting/Survival and use the combo skill as well as with the regular one.
The final species would be the uramae, who get to choose where to apply their boost, and they can get a second one for accepting a flaw based on heritage: deoxyians can’t apply the flaw to Intelligence, wsjr can’t apply it to Constitution. Minor nitpick: The page reference to species traits is incorrect and should be 19, not 17. They get 40 ft. speed and 4 Hit Points per level; they get a bonus when taking 10 or 20, with further uses costing Resolve; the heritages here matter a lot: deoxyians choose a living species and get the deoxymorphic subtype (would have been nice to get that one here for reference) and that of the chosen species, counting as both creatures, and whatever is worse, if in doubt. This unlocks the species’ senses traits, inherent traits or species traits and movement types, and expand the number of traits by using replacement class feature, representing this part of the species’ relentless genetic engineering. The mumiyah heritage changes your type to undead and the deathly trait (gets dual type right), as well as a +1 racial bonus to saves vs. diseases, exhaustion, fatigue, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, sleep and stunning, unless these also apply to undead. Wsjr uramae get +2 Hit Points at 1st level, and toughness-representing bonus feat (the save boosters or Toughness). The species gets 6 species traits to choose from: These include skilled, gaining one of the save-boosting feats the skill/class skill booster, further enhancing the take-10/20 ability, ferocious charge, and additional augmentation slot.
Beyond these, we also get a couple new universal heritages, which includes being blood-scarred by the blood space phenomenon, which nets you bonus traits at the cost of one bane chosen from a list; being a genetically-engineered giant version of your species is included, and samsarans and vishkanya are represented as heritages as well, which makes so much sense to me. The pdf closes with 9 different universal heritages, which include Skull Focus, being multilingual, +2 Hit Point total, Hauler as a bonus feat, and 5 different shapechanging focused traits, which include options to demoralize and feint with shape changing, using in conjunction with standing up, etc. – these are pretty darn cool!
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level, if not as perfect as in the first two species reforged pdfs. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, with neat full-color artworks for all species provided. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience.
Alexander Augunas’ third species reforged pdf is a great continuation of the series, if one that falls slightly short of the lofty excellence established in the first two installments. On the plus side, we have what I really love, namely species traits that really change the playstyle of the respective species in a compelling and unique manner; it should really be noted that the species are universally better and more compelling than their first iterations. So yeah, I consider this to a success, one that mainly suffers from having to live up to the nigh-perfect balancing of the first two installments; in this pdf here, there are a few different instances where I’d personally tweak the balancing slightly, but it should be noted than most SFRPG tables will experience no issues here whatsoever – this is Alexander Augunas at the helm, after all!. Minor niggles notwithstanding, as a whole, I consider this to a success, which is why my final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded down.
You can get these cool reforeged species here!
Missed the amazing first two installments?
Core Species can be found here!
Vesk Empire Species can be found here!
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