To start this journey I thought I would create a character in each of the official classes starting in alphabetical order. Before I got started I wrote out all the classes, themes, and archetypes I could find from the core rule books (CRB). I don’t like using content from outside the CRB. I am sure content from Adventure Paths and Starfinder Society have been tested and work well but as a GM if I don’t own the content I generally don’t want it in my game. I will never use homebrewed classes. I found 12 classes, 48 themes, and 23 archetypes for a total of 13,824 different combinations if you include not having an archetype. I do not plan on going through every combo because the theme does not have that large of impact.
According to the CRB the steps to creating a first level character are:
- Create a character concept
- Choose a race
- Choose a theme
- Choose a class
- Finalize ability scores
- Apply your class
- Assign skill ranks and choose feats
- Buy equipment
- Fill in the finishing details
When first starting a game it can be hard to come up with a character concept when you have no real concept of how the game plays. My interpretation of this section is basically look at the available races, themes, classes, pick what you like and then figure out how you started your adventuring days. If step one is to do steps two through four, it is a bad step. So let us follow the advice of step one and rearrange the order of things. For this blog, as I want to learn each class I will try to follow the following scheme for character creation until I find a better way:
- Choose a class
- Choose a race
- Choose a theme
- Create a brief background
- Finalize ability scores
- Assign skill ranks and choose feats
- Buy equipment
- Fill in the finishing details
Step 1: Choose a class – Biohacker
The Biohacker can be found on page 40 of the Character Operations Manual. If parts are found in other books it will be noted. I will be using the books to build my characters but if you would like to follow along and do not own the books yourself you can check out aonsrd. I will be making my characters with the help of Hephaistos. I am not doing a full in-depth dive into each class, I am just making a character I would like to play as well as learning some rules and how the class plays.
What is a biohacker?
You’re fascinated by science in all its many facets. You understand that the fundamentals of biology, chemistry, physics, and other disciplines can help you exploit your enemies’ weaknesses and bolster your allies. You might be studious and methodical about your research, pushing your mind to the limit in search of discovery, or you might be a daring experimenter, improvising concoctions and stumbling upon grand revelations. Either way, you use your knowledge of several fields of scientific study to aid your allies, whether in the thick of battle or in crafting a perfect plan.
A biohacker starts with 6 stamina points (SP) and 6 health points (HP). Our key ability score is either intelligence or wisdom and a high dexterity will help us with ranged biohacks. Light armor, basic melee weapons, small arms, and grenades for proficiencies. Grenades are always a fun idea.
As a biohacker we have created a small, customized kit consisting of medical supplies, testing materials, and pharmaceutical compounds, which can be used to evaluate medical conditions and perform several additional tasks. This microlab counts as a basic medkit and a chemalyzer, as an adventurer always having a medkit on you is a good idea. Have you always wanted to be like Ash Ketchum? Well with your microlab you can target a creature within line of sight and range to attempt to identify it.
As part of the microlab there is a specialized micropharmacy of catalysts, nanites, and specialized chemicals. Also included is a small mixing apparatus and syringes used in the making of biohacks. The two varieties of biohacks are boosters and inhibitors
We are proficient with weapons with the injection weapon special property. There is nothing quite like giving strangers drugs against their will from a distance.
Primary Field of Study
Each field gives a unique booster and inhibitor and at level five a breakthrough is gained.
Genetics: Study of living creatures’ inherited characteristics
Immunology: Study of how living creatures’ bodies fight off diseases and other maladies.
Neurochemistry: Study of chemicals that affect creatures’ brains and nerves or related cognitive systems.
Pharmacology: Study of drugs and their effects on living creatures.
Toxicology: Study of adverse effects certain chemicals have on living creatures.
Thaumapathy: Study of inherent magic that suffuses living things, enhancing or dampening that power with the use of eldritch pharmaceuticals. (Galactic Magic)
Anesthesiology: Study of reducing sensation, awareness, and pain sensitivity. (Tech Revolution)
Cybermedicine: Study of integrating biological and technological material and understanding their interactions. (Tech Revolution)
For this build I am going to pick Cybermedicine. The booster gives a living creature or construct a nanite-infused substance that causes them to heal more efficiently. When the creature heals, increase the amount restored by 50% or by the key ability modifier, whichever is lower. The inhibitor delivers a nanite solution interfering with healing or repair. If the creature receives healing it must make a fortitude save or regain no HP.
This is where your choice of intelligence or wisdom come into play. If intelligence is your path you have a studious mind. If wisdom, you have an instinctive mind.
Studious: +X to Will saving throws, +X to some skills
Instinctive: Select two skills to gain a bonus rank at every level as well as +X insight bonus with those skills
I am going to pick studious.
Step 2: Choose a race
Why do I love Starfinder? One of the reasons is the variety of race choices and the move away from old school races. You can still play the old school fantasy races but for the most part (GM allowing) if a creature has a racial traits entry it is a potentially playable race. My DMing style was to limit the number of races the player could pick from because if it was playable I had to figure out how that race fits within the larger world. In Starfinder the galaxy isn’t even the limit to the number of different playable races. As a GM the only races I can think of that I might want to restrict are the large sized. It just makes things easy when each player can fit into one square. I will try my best not to repeat races with each class I make.
Androids: Complex technological creations crafted to resemble humans, androids were originally a servitor race, but they have since broken free to form their own society. Unlike ordinary robots or ship AIs, androids do not simply respond according to their programming; rather, they have independent consciousnesses and are animated by souls—a distinction crucial to their generally accepted status as people rather than property.
Androids get a +2 dexterity, +2 intelligence, -2 charisma and start with 4 HP. They are constructs and humanoid for targeting purposes and receive a +2 bonus to saving throws against disease, mind-affecting effects, poisons, and sleep, unless those effects specifically target constructs. Androids do not breathe or suffer normal environmental effects of being in a vacuum. With exceptional vision androids have low-light and darkvision. However, androids find emotions confusing and bottle them up as such they take a -2 to Sense Motive checks but DC checks against them increase by 2. Being constructed, androids have an upgrade slot that any light armor upgrade can be installed into. There are other android options such as xenometric androids which instead of human looking are other races but I am only listing what I picked for this character.
Step 3: Choose a theme
Normally I do not like using stuff from outside the CRB but for themes all it gives you is a +1 to a stat and some minor bonuses. It also gives you a nice springboard to jump off of for background information. As a GM I would allow anything that is within Hephaistos or aonsrd.
Tinker (+1 intelligence). You are a visionary in the field of micro-scale construction, able to elevate the applications of UPBs and other multifunctional materials to new heights. You might be a researcher who has made a breakthrough in design, a garage experimenter who delights in inventing or creating complex gizmos, or an enthusiast about all things homemade.
Reduce by 5 the DC of Engineering checks to identify technological devices, as well as Culture checks to recall knowledge about organizations and individuals that specialize in invention and do-it-yourself technology crafting. Engineering is a class skill for you, though if it is a class skill from the class you take at 1st level, you instead gain a +1 bonus to your Engineering checks.
Step 4: Create a brief background
Key targets to hit for a background are race, theme, class, recent past, goals. If you have a name ready that is good but I also save that until step eight.
This android was created on Aballon and took an interest into cybermedicine. They liked to go beyond what they were learning in the field and liked to tinker with official designs during their off time. Fascinated by the line between machine and construct, technology and biology their studies took them into the biohacker path. Recently they just finished their training in Aballon and are looking to apply their knowledge into the wider galaxy. Their goal in life is to promote the use of technology with biology, sometimes by force.
Step 5: Finalize ability scores
I will be using the Buying Ability Scores method for character creation. While I love the randomness of dice rolling, whether we like it or not, we must recognize that this is a game and games are meant to be fun. Not rolling a single ability above 15 can be demoralizing as a player when someone else in the group has three 18s. Point buying keeps everyone on the level.
From the table you can see how I spent my points. With intelligence as my main stat I wanted that at an 18 and made my dexterity a 16 to better hit my targets. While Hephaistos doesn’t allow it, unless you override, I would toy with the idea of lowering my wisdom to 8 and raising my constitution to 13 depending on GM allowances and how I wanted to role play. I like the idea of an android raised/learning in a closed off manner so when it comes to social skills this android is very lacking.
Step 6: Assign skill ranks and choose feats
The number of skill ranks earned each level is equal to intelligence modifier plus class amount. Most characters begin with one feat. The biohacker gains four skill ranks as a base and with my intelligence modifier I get eight ranks to spend.
As a biohacker our class skills are Bluff, Computers, Culture, Diplomacy, Engineering, Life Science, Medicine, Perception, Physical Science, Profession, Sense Motive, and Sleight of Hand. By picking a class skill to put a rank into grants us a +3 bonus.
How I spent my skill ranks: Computers, Engineering, Life Science, Medicine, Perception, Physical Science, Sleight of Hand, and Piloting. I chose piloting because I like the idea that the last class the android and to complete to finish their studies was to take a driving class.
The feats I was debating on include Arm Extensions, Cook Grenade, Grenade Mastery, Fleet, Spellbane. I decided to pull a go, go gadget arm extensions: As a move action, you can extend your natural reach to 10 feet, retaining this benefit until you retract your reach to normal as another move action. While your arms are extended, you take a −2 penalty to attack rolls with weapons wielded in your hands and to Dexterity- and Strength-based ability checks and skill checks. You can use this ability to grab an object or surface and pull yourself to that item or surface as a full action, or you can anchor yourself where you are to lower yourself to another surface. When doing so, you move 15 feet as if using a fly speed with perfect maneuverability, ending your movement in a square adjacent to the chosen object or surface. If your movement does not end on solid ground, you either fall or must begin climbing the surface you grabbed (your choice).
Step 7: Buy Equipment
Starting with 1,000 credits we need to get the gear to start our new life as adventurers. A biohacker is proficient in light armor, basic melee, small arms, and grenades so we should buy one of each at least.
|Tactical Syringe Spear||250|
|Rope (50 ft)||1|
|Tool kit (engineering)||20|
|Tool kit (hacking)||20|
As an android I have an armor upgrade slot on my body but in this instance the concealed compartments will be in my second skin armor. After some adventures my priority would be to get another armor upgrade. I don’t feel like I need to explain the other picks.
Step 8: Fill in the finishing details
Let us follow the steps within the CRB and fill in as we go.
Alignment – Chaotic Neutral
EAC is 14 = 10 base + 3 dexterity + 1 armor
KAC is 15 = 10 base + 3 dexterity + 2 armor
Attack Bonuses = +3 to ranged attacks due to dexterity
Carrying Capacity: I am encumbered at 5 and overburdened at 10. With my current items my bulk is at 1.
Deity – Being an android from Aballon I thought it would be fitting to follow Casandalee/Triune.
Description/Background – Born into a hardline sect of Those Who Become following Prophet Tier-38-Mentor based out of Pursuit. A-134 was the 34th android created on the Firstday of Abadius. Just like the rest of their family A-134 looks like an unassuming android with purple tattoo-like circuits through their skin. With the goal of bringing about singularity A-134 studied the line between technology and biology. Everything they learned they had to tinker with it to try and get more out of it to promote singularity. Returning after successfully completing their piloting license A-134 found their home empty with hardly any evidence. After an exhaustive search they found a note hidden within a tangled up 50 foot rope saying “It’s come, RUN!” Will A-134 try to find their family or will they start fresh?
Initiative = +3 due to dexterity.
Languages: Everyone starts with common, racial, and homeworld languages. Androids don’t really have a racial language but there is definitely a machine language (if I was GM) and for the homeworld language I am going to pick a unique language to the cult A-134 was in.
With my intelligence modifier I get an additional four to pick: Drow (to speak with mercs), Dwarven (to get cheaper metals for the cult), Vesk (random), Eoxian (to study the undead).
Resolve Points = 1 + key ability score = 5
Fortitude = +2 from class
Reflex = +3 from dexterity
Will = +1 from Scientific Method
Size and Speed: Medium and 30 ft.
A good backstory will give your GM something to work with. Here I have aligned A-134 to be part of an offshoot of Those Who Become who vanished mostly without a trace. Now there are two factions in my past that could be looking for me, Those Who Wait and Those Who Become. Another faction could have taken down my cult? Who is still around from my cult, literally 100’s of new people were made every week? I picked chaotic neutral as my alignment because A-134 believes it is their job to bring about the singularity so ultimately they would like to see everyone as part machine at least. A-134 will always strongly suggest to party members that have no tech to get some, I mean why carry around a comm unit when you can just implant it?