“You Say You Want a Revolution”
Welcome back to 8-Bit WedNESday! Today’s topic is an upcoming release: Awesome Androids by Ismael Alvarez, and what I think is the best part of this release. It’s something that’s not necisarly new to RPGs, but I think the Starfinder Roleplaying Game’s Alien Archive is using it to better effect: template grafts. So, lets dig in!
Paizo’s Starfinder Roleplaying Game had a very successful launch few months ago. Pre-ordered books and PDFs were in the wild before the game even launched. If you were waiting to pick it up an Gen Con 2017, you had to be at the Paizo booth within a few hours of opening, because they sold out amazingly fast. I’m not saying this has been a perfect launch, some core rule books had a bad binding issue (mine included), and there has been some criticim about what has and hasn’t been included in the book. All in all though, I think the CRB did a little bit of everything, and did them pretty well. You can play Starfinder with the rules provided, and there’s clearly room to grow.
Following the CRB, Paizo released Alien Archive, again to some criticism. Many people assumed this would be similar to a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary, but it’s not. To start with, Bestiaries are around 300 pages. Alien Archive is about half of that; for the same price. But, there’s several reasons I think Alien Archive is a superior product. First and formost, the book has a chapter on building NPCs and new creatures (not monsters, these are all alien creatures). With 15-30 minutes of time, you can cranck out an entirely new creature, and know that statistically, it’s going to be pretty well ballanced. That’s awesome for GMs and 3rd party publishers like me. Secondly, Alien Archive is full of aliens that can be used as player races. So, not only is this a sci-fi bestiary, it’s also got some of the DNA from the Advanced Race Guide mixed in. Then, every 4 pages or so, there’s a new piece of equipment or spaceship. That’s more player content mixed into a book that’s usually marketed to GMs. And finally, I love the template grafts.
Template Grafts, I Less Than Three You
If you have stock a dragon, or elemental, you apply a template, and BOOM, different creature. I’ve always hated the bestiaries for the dragon and elemental entries. I don’t need 8 creatures spread out over 16-20 pages, that are all very similar. The template grafts are easy to use, and boil down those bloated entries into 4 pages. On top of that, you can easily build you own grafts. Want a void dragon? A few little tweaks, and it’s done. Want a frozen flame elemental? To quote Mr. Meeseek, “CAN DO!”
So, why am I talking so much about Starfinder? Well, you may remember a few weeks ago when I was talking abou upcoming projects. Ismael Alvarez is bringing us an adroid that steals the powers of robots that have turned against humanity. How’s he doing this? Using template grafts! I’m not sure how Ismael had originally tried writing this ability prior to Starfinder’s release. I can tell you that the grafts have made the mechanics of creating robot bosses, and stealing their powers simple, easy to understand, and easy to exicute. As GMs using Awesome Andoids, you should be able to craft your own Soveriegn Bot (robot bosses) in minutes, because all you need to do is make your own template graft, and adjust the CR of the robot. Easy-peasy.
You know what else is fun? I wrote a race of transforming constructs to be used in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, called the adapticons (Epic Races: Adapticons). I think the race was pretty good, and a nice way to bring some sci-fi into Pathfinder before I’d heard of Starfinder. Now, with Starfinder out, I’m updating the race to be compatable, and guess what? I’m using template grafts too! Now, having a robot race that can transform into cars, boats or jets are that much easier! And the best part of this is that you could swap grafts between the adapticons and the Awesome Androids! What an easy way to make new robots in disguise, or Soveigrn Bots!
As you can tell, I really like the template grafts. Simple. Easy to use. Easy to customize. These things will help save time for GMs and players alike.
Help Your Fellow GM
Have you got any advice on how to run your games faster? How about making creatures even easier? Have you made any awsome creatures that you want to share? Let us know! You can comment on this blog post, or, reply to the social media outlet where you saw this article.
I need Something Cool, Now!
Don’t have time to stat up your own creatures? Looking for some cool player races? Why not give Alien Evolutions: Cosmic Race Guide a shot? Alien Evolutions is a line of books intended to bring outlandish alien creatures to life in your game. Each book will explore myriad topics regarding creatures from distant planets, whether that be playable races, monsters to encounter, world descriptions, or various other things related.
The Cosmic Race Guidebook is a book intended to give the GM and players 25 new playable races with unique physiologies and abilities. Creatures from the aerial Abrial to the free-floating-nervous- system-encased-in-armor Uavaryon should present something enticing for anyone to play. Take a look inside at the colorful, comic-inspired creatures!
That’s it for this week. I’ll see you all again real soon.
Your pixelated GM,