Guess who’s back with some more character ideas based on Starfinder Themes! I know that I’ve let the backlog of Starfinder content really get the better of me, but I’m ready to hammer things out.
For those of you that recall, I pick two themes in each entry. From there, I give you five character ideas that may fit into that thematic mold. I prefer to prompt your imagination by asking character-based questions to expand the base idea in multiple directions
Maybe by the time I finish these up I’ll have a bunch more Pathfinder 2E content waiting for me to write. It’s a tabletop cycle unlike any other!
Up to this point, we’ve only covered the Starfinder Themes from the Core Rulebook. Going forward, I’ll be noting the sourcebooks for each Theme so you know where you can go for more information.
Enough with the frivolities! We have Starfinder Theme ideas to concoct!
Starfinder Theme Focus: Battle Tech
“You have been trained to treat combat wounds on and off the battlefield. Having operated in high-intensity situations in remote rural locales, on city streets, and amid the din of combat, you have honed your ability to remain calm and collected under duress and heal those around you. Your peers see you as an incredibly valuable member of the team, and because of this, they defend you with their lives.”Starfinder Adventure Path #19: Fate of the Fifth
The key to a good Battle Tech is that they thrive in extreme, stressful situations. Some people gravitate towards that stress, feeding off the duress of others. Maybe it’s because they want to help people get through it, or maybe they just want to be a part of a greater community of shared experiences.
If you’ve ever seen the movie Nightcrawler, you know that heart-pounding, anxiety-inducing stress that I’m talking about. Now, for the case of this character, I’m thinking someone who maybe had some medical training and might have even worked on an ambulance. Perhaps something happened, forcing them out of that work, but they still crave that rush.
Have you ever purposefully caused an accident just so you could be one of the first on the scene? What are your intentions? Do you want to help out or are you more of a gawker? How do get to the scene quickly? Is it with the help of a fast vehicle?
Do you have a network of insiders alerting you to distress calls? Are you trying to impress to get your job back? Do you hold any resentment? Was there an incident that led to your removal from the team? Or maybe you’re still a part of the team, doing everything you can to make the world a safer place.
People cope with stress in many different ways. For some, it’s a bit of exercise or a bite of their favorite takeout. Others might need to take a nap or wander around in a natural environment. You? You are a master of the art of meditation.
Your time out in the field has been beneficial in training you in the medical arts, but you found out early on that you had to adopt a way to handle the stress or you’d go bonkers. Even since then, you’ve trained yourself to clear your mind and void your emotions. After all, in high-pressure situations, emotions can get you in trouble.
Did you train under someone in particular or are you self-taught? Do you pass your training on to your patients? Are you a medical professional first, or do you consider yourself to be more of an assistant? What does your meditation routine look like? Do you have any tricks like using a blindfold or wearing earmuffs?
Are you able to control your bodily functions like blood pressure or temperature? Do you have any augmentations that help in this regard? What are some of your most memorable stories?
Just because a Battle Tech seems to be focused on military operations, it doesn’t mean that animals can’t be involved somehow. And these don’t even have to be domestic animals, either. What about being a part of a highly-trained patrol team that rode on Velociraptors? Now that’s AWESOME.
Imagine rampaging through the underbrush on Castrovel, riding atop a dinosaur while wielding a gattling gun. Even with armor upgrades, I’m sure that those dinosaurs needed someone to care for their wounds, and you were just the person to help.
What animals are your specialty? Were you a part of a team of cavalry or a patrol group that trained creatures to assist you? Or maybe you were an integral part to a medical unit that trained animal assistants? Everyone could use an extra hand or two; that’s where the skittermanders really excel.
Are you only fluent in animal anatomy, or does your knowledge carry over to humanoids? Do you prefer creatures to humans? Did you develop a bond with any particular creatures during your past? What’s your favorite dinosaur and why is it a Plesiosaur?
On-the-Fly Repair Jockey
In the heat of battle, shrapnel is flying and technology is extremely vulnerable. I’m thinking to scenes where R2 units are rolling around X-Wings as they try to make critical repairs. A single stray laser can end it all for those wonderful droids!
Your experience might not be THAT extreme, but it might be pretty close. You love the thrill that comes with high-speed car chases or intergalactic dog-fights. At the same time, you know that people rely on your technological expertise to get them home safely. If it contains oil or a piston, you’re sure to know how its inner workings function.
How did you get into this line of work? Do you have any experience in being a daredevil, stunt-person, or something similar? Do you have a death wish, and you’re just waiting for fate to make its decision? Are any vehicle repairs out of your knowledge-base? What about smaller mechanisms, like droids or augmentations?
How do you feel about technology and magic? Do you believe that they go hand-in-hand, or is one clearly superior to the other? Would you consider getting augmentations? Have you installed any prototypes yourself? What’s the scariest situation you’ve been in? Are you well-versed in zero-G movement?
I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this one, but I’m thinking of someone that uses technology to see inside something or someone. Maybe instead of being focused on the medical side of things, it’s more “techy” than that.
I’m picturing someone who uses tablets to scan and x-ray. Perhaps it started in a medical capacity, but eventually broadened out to something more akin to infiltration. Hacking into augmentations to reprogram them when they go haywire, or unlocking doors to get people to safety.
Were you a part of a military group or covert operations? Do you have any medical background? Are you fascinated with understanding how things work, or is your personality focused on overcoming obstacles? Do you need to over-analyze and have a bunch of information before you make a decision?
Do you require certain tools to do your job? Do you catalog your findings or is everything stored in your memory? Are you an expert in disease or nanotech? Have you worked a lot with blueprints or schematics? How does your mind work?
Starfinder Theme Focus: Biotechnician
“You are a biotech researcher or avid user of such tech, constantly seeking out or developing new biotechnologies and combining existing augmentations with advancements in other fields. You might be a member of the Augmented, a researcher in one of Bretheda’s cutting-edge biotech corporations, a spellcasting genetomancer blending biotechnology with magic, or even a voluntary test subject for new augmentations. Either way, you have taken a strong hand in your own evolution.”Starfinder Pact Worlds
The Augmented, as alluded to in the Biotechnician bio, are a group of like-minded individuals seeking personal perfection through the use of augmentations and cybertech upgrades. You are a firm believer of this mantra, and have grand aspirations for your personal betterment. Sharing that message is a task you’re happy to perform.
Maybe you’re new to the ‘religion’ or maybe it’s old-hat to you at this point. Perhaps you received some augmentations, willingly or not, and that’s what spurned you to seek out others like you. What’s it like to be different?
Have you made a pilgrimage to Verces, where the Augmented caste was originally formed? How do you feel about androids? Are they considered to be lesser or greater in the eyes of the Augmented? What personal upgrades do you already have? Is it easy to tell that you’re humanoid, or are you already more machine than person?
Do you actively try to get others to augment themselves, or is that of little concern to you? Can you do any cool tricks with your augmentations? Did you ever work in cybertech? Have you experimented with augmentations where things didn’t go exactly as planned? Is it possible to alter your hairstyle daily?
Stand back everyone – the Tinkerer has arrived! You have such an odd assortment of gizmos and gadgets, making you the talk of the town whenever you come onto the scene. You might have heaping piles of junk, or some truly one-of-a-kind material; depends on your style.
You might have a compulsion to fix everything that’s broken, or to improve on previous designs to remove flaws. Considering you’re a biotechnician, there also has to be some kind of mash-up with biological, organic matter too. If you recreated the freaky skateboard doll from Toy Story, I’m out. Sorry, I just can’t do it.
Where do you get all of your belongings? Are they for sale, or just to impress others? Do you have the tendencies of a hoarder, or is everything very sentimental to you? What is your greater role in the field of biotech? Are you breaking ground on new enhancements, or do you keep your work to yourself?
Do you have any huge projects that you’re working on, or do you prefer to keep your work on a smaller scale? Have you experimented on creatures? Would an ethical board approve of your work? Do you possess any magical abilities that help with your creations?
With all this talk about stress, military movements, and high-anxiety situations, it’s important to remember that life isn’t always great in a science-fantasy world. There are people living on planets that have little say or care for what takes place among the stars. You care about those people.
Maybe you were the victim of war, forced to become a refugee or displaced from your home. Or maybe you worked for a corporation that was doing some shady business on other planets, out of sight from prying eyes. You’ve seen first-hand the destruction that people can cause others, and you have devoted yourself to improving the lives of people affected by tragedy.
Magic and technology can help out people in a big way, so that is the avenue that you pursue. Do you travel all throughout the galaxy, or have your efforts been mainly concentrated on a planet or two? What’s your background? Did you come from poverty or affluence? What drives you to help others?
Are you a part of a non-profit or another sort of company? Do you receive any financial compensation or backing for your work? Are you more concerned with improving people’s health, or do you use technology to improve their way of life through buildings or mechanisms? Is it easy to train others unsure of technology? What tricks do you employ to make things easy, relatable, and convincing?
Cultivating Cult Leader
Cult-related characters might be better handled in other themes, but by talking about the Augmented, it got me thinking about a rogue religion/cult completely obsessed with deifying their leader. Who, of course, is decked out in all sorts of cybertech. Are you that leader?
There are strict guidelines about what sorts of augmentations are allowed and accepted. Limitations on mental enhancements versus physical ones are closely monitored. Typically, all members are augmented upon initiation. Little do they know that their matching dermal plating couples well with a hidden data-jack…
What’s a cult without a way to exercise control over its members?
Do you follow the code of what’s allowed and what isn’t? Are you infiltrating the cult to root out evil from the inside? Is the ‘cult’ even evil at all? How long have you been a part of it? Are you a legacy? How far are you willing to go to advance up the proverbial ladder?
What is the indoctrination or initiation process like? What are the main tenets of the cult? Are things lax or relatively strict? Do all of the members share a similar augmentation? What might that be? Is the cult’s influence focused in a particular region, or is it widespread? What are the long-term goals? Is it all to stoke your own ego? What if someone were to challenge you for the top spot?
This last one is more of a fleshed-out character concept. At some point, I’ll probably do an entry in the Staying in Character series for Doctor Octavius, but I’ll save those detailed strokes for another time. Today, it’s all about how you can play a version of Doc Ock with the Biotechnician Theme, generally speaking.
You are a scientist. In fact, you’re incredibly smart and gifted in multiple fields. Notable advances in technology have only been possible because of your research and experimentation. Something happened, however, and you began to use cybertech as a crutch instead of a tool.
Now, you’re obsessed with your specialty augmentations. People recognize and maybe even fear you. Before, you were a threat because of your brain, but now you’ve coupled that with the enhanced strength afforded you due to your mechanical arms. I’ve always been confused why he’s an octopus with only the four arms, but I suppose you have to count his human arms and legs as appendages too. Case closed.
What event set you off the deep end? Or, if you’re a good character, why do you always walk around with those ridiculously powerful arms all the time? Did you develop them yourself, or did others help you? What do your friends and family think about your ‘fashion’ choices?
How many other enhancements do you have? Do any of them mess with your mental faculties? Are they all permanent? Do you ever think about getting them removed? What do the augmentations allow that the lack of them don’t? Do you enjoy feeling powerful, or do you finally feel like you get the recognition and attention that you rightfully deserve?
Starfinder Theme Focus: Tech Galore
Like I said, I’m back in the saddle for this series on Starfinder Themes. Some of them might not be the best fits, but hey, it’s just brainstorming, right? Hopefully you can find something that resonates with you from my ramblings.
I’d love to hear about your character creations or see character sheets over on Twitter! Backstories, other ideas, I want to see them all!
Expect to see more of these posts in the not-too-distant future. If you missed the previous installments, you’ll find several links to the original Starfinder Theme posts below.
See you in the stars!
The Original 10 Starfinder Themes: