Saturday, May 19, 2018

Starfinder: Creature Creation

For the last couple of days, I have been playing around with the creature creation rules in the appendices of the Alien Archive book. I decided to have a go at recreating a babau demon for Starfinder. The first step is to select an array. You may choose a combatant, expert or spellcaster array. Since the babau is described as an assassin demon, I chose the expert array since it would require a fair number of skills. The babau is a CR 6 monster in Pathfinder, so that is what I used to acquire EAC, KAC, HP, save modifiers, skill modifiers, ability modifiers and number of special abilities from the array. This results in somewhat lower ability modifiers than the Pathfinder babau and an oddly high Will save, but otherwise reasonable results. We have the option to switch save modifiers to better match the creature concept, so I switch Fort and Will.

Next steps are creature type and subtype grafts, in this case, outsider and demon. The former provides darkvision and some save and attack bonuses, while the latter provides certain immunities, energy resistances and the ability to summon allies. Skipping over class and template grafts, we get to the assignment of special abilities and promptly crash into a brick wall. The Pathfinder babau has a number of abilities not covered under its grafts, including spell resistance, damage reduction, spell-like abilities, natural weapons, multiattack, feats and its unique protective slime ability. However, a CR 6 monster only gets two special abilities according to the array. I believe there is some sort of error here, since there are plenty of monsters in the Alien Archive with far more special abilities than are indicated in the arrays. So, I decide to drop the multiattack, since the babau prefers to use melee weapons anyway. I also drop the feats and spell-like abilities (except summon which is granted by the demon graft). I keep the SR, DR and protective slime ability from the Pathfinder stat block.

Demon, Babau  CR 6
XP 2,400
CE Medium outsider (demon)
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60ft.; Perception +13

Defense  HP 80
EAC 18; KAC 19
Fort +11, Ref +5, Will +5
DR 10/cold iron or good; Immunities electricity, poison;
Resistances fire 10, cold 10, acid 10; SR 17

Speed 30 ft.
Melee spear +15 (1d6+11 P) or claw +15 (1d4+11 S)
Spell-Like Abilities [CL 6th]
1/day - summon allies (1 babau 35%)

Str +5; Dex +1; Con +3; Int +0; Wis +0; Cha +2
Skills Stealth +18, Acrobatics +18, Athletics +18,
Sense Motive +13
Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Draconic, telepathy (100 ft.)
Gear cold iron tactical spear with durable fusion

Environment any
Organization solitary, pair or gang (3-6)

Special Abilities
Protective Slime (Su) A layer of protective slime protects a babau's skin. Any creature that strikes a babau with a natural attack or unarmed strike takes 1d8 points of acid damage from this slime if it fails a DC 18 Reflex save.

Overall, it seems to be a reasonable build. The protective slime ability loses some of its effectiveness because the hardness of advanced materials used in Starfinder is too high to be damaged by the acid. Also, the loss of many of the spell-like abilities did nerf the creature a bit. I might be inclined to give some of those back. One weird observation I did make, the choice of how to assign the ability modifiers seems to have very little effect. The save and skill modifiers are set independent of the ability modifiers that apply to them. Only the damage bonus to melee attacks and initiative modifier change depending on ability modifier assignment. It certainly speeds things up, but is somewhat counterintuitive and makes the assignment of ability scores rather pointless.


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