As we continue our journey through the Themes of Starfinder, you may notice that there is a lot of overlap across Themes. When this series began, there were only ten themes, which means a wide berth of creative freedom.
When new Themes are published, they inherently reflect ideas that are more specific. For example, instead of a Pilot we have a Cult-Hunter. It’s much easier to think of variations on a pilot than it is for someone hunting down cults.
Just keep that in mind when building your characters. A lot of these Themes are specific, so it can be advantageous to give yourself more flexibility by using a broad one. On the other hand, sometimes you just want to take advantage of those sweet, sweet bonuses.
That being said, we’re talking about the Dragonblood and Dream Prophet this week. Let’s hop to it!
Starfinder Theme Focus: Dragonblood
“You can feel draconic magic pulsing through your veins, and the guttural roar of dragons invigorates you. Whether you’re from an area with deep ties to dragons or have simply spent your life studying the magnificent beasts, you understand how dragons’ categorization (metallic or chromatic and specific colors) affects their moods, outlooks, and even ultimate goals. You can harness the power of dragons, and you sing the creatures’ praises wherever you go.”Starfinder Pact Worlds
Much like a galactic version of Charlie Weasley, your expertise lies in the nurturing of baby dragons from egg to adulthood. At a certain point, dragons become absolutely impossible to truly control, and that’s when you let them spread their literal wings and leave the proverbial nest. It takes a great deal of patience to raise a dragon, especially when you can’t provide the same level of upbringing that a dragon might get from its own kind.
Where do you conduct your dragon breeding operations? Where do you acquire your dragon eggs or babies? What angle does your work come from? Are you focused on the academical sciences, humanitarian work, or conservation efforts? What are your primary motivations? What types of dragons do you typically work with?
How do you release dragons back into the wild? Have you experienced any close calls with dragons rejecting you? What are the primary dangers of your position? Have you ever participated in dragon trade? Do you have any dragons that you still keep as companions?
Dragons can be terrifying creatures, but their ecology is something that should be studied. With the many different types of dragons, their physical properties, and habits can hold many keys to a better understanding of what makes these creatures tick. Not only that, but dragons are often regarded as some of the oldest creatures in existence. What secrets do they hold that would be beneficial for the universe as a whole?
What is the end goal of your research? How do dragons fit into the greater picture or vision or your studies? Are you an expert on any particular type of dragon? Do you excel in the study of scales or a different niche of herpetology? Who has consulted you for insight into your research?
Do you have any reptiles as pets? Have you developed any similarities since you spend so much time around reptiles? Do you work in a museum or a laboratory? Have you collected any venomous species? Do you harvest venom? Have you performed house calls for individuals with reptile troubles? Any interest in becoming or serving as a veterinarian? Have you made any discoveries or had any species named after you?
Somewhere out in the galaxy is a planet where dragon-on-dragon combat is a major industry. Dragons can be prideful creatures, and proving themselves as the most dominant force in the universe compels them to compete. Of course, another main incentive is the staggeringly massive amount of royalties split between the combatants. As an attendant or manager of the arena, you deal with squabbles on a daily basis.
What is your role in the DFL (Dragon Fighting League)? Are you a team manager, a worker in the concession stands, or do you serve another purpose? How is the gambling and disbursement of funds handled? What are the general rules of the sport? What are the crowds like? Who keeps the crowd under control? How about the dragons? Are the fights fair? I’m thinking back on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but with more dragons. And that’s my second HP reference of the article, so I’ve definitely hit my quota.
Who are your favorite competitors? Are there any big rivalries that always intrigue you? Are there rival leagues that are trying to offer competition and steal market share? Is this arena dragon-specific, or are there other events held here? How does technology play a role?
Dragons are majestic creatures that can provide a lot of inspiration for novels and other literary works. In fact, they are often the subject of folklore and valiant tales of heroism throughout history. You’ve leveraged this cultural zeitgeist to further your name and enhance your career. And if you happen to make some creative embellishments along the way, so be it. That just comes with the territory.
What sort of books do you write? Are you famous for a single best-seller or are you still getting your feet off the ground? Do you specialize in fiction or non-fiction? How much research do you perform on your subject matter before putting pen to the digital page? Would people compare you to a futuristic bard?
Have your books poked fun at anyone? Are they satire? Do you prefer to write digitally? Are you a blogger? How would you describe your writing style? What’s your target audience? How long have you been writing?
Those involved in robotics know that movement and trying to mimic nature is complicated. The physics and mechanical issues only increase in complexity when you add flight into the equation. Regardless, you are committed to creating the most lifelike draconic representation even seen. Using a combination of materials, technology, and magic, you hope to develop a robotic dragon that is indistinguishable from the real thing.
Is this a personal project or one that you hope to sell to a corporation? What is the status of your endeavor? What challenges have you encountered? Have you tried to make a robot on a smaller scale first? Do you have investors or partners that share your same dream?
How much knowledge on dragons do you have? Why dragons? Are they just the most complicated creature that you can think of? Or do they hold a deeper significance for you? When did you start your robotics journey? Are you self-taught? What crazy programs and algorithms have you developed? Do you relate more to people or to robots?
Starfinder Theme Focus: Dream Prophet
“You were drawn to Liavara by the Dreamers’ songs, which awoke in you a resonance with these enlightened beings. Now you see the world around you in a new light, and you have a transcendent, innate understanding of the mystical power suffusing the universe. You don’t command this energy; the most you can do is accept it and absorb it—and when you become utterly in sync with those psychic reverberations encapsulated in the Dreamers’ songs, you gain oracular glimpses of things yet to come.”Starfinder Pact Worlds
The mysteries of the world are laid out in a tangled web of prophecy, what-ifs, and Monte Carlo simulations. Only with lucidity can one truly understand the complex patterns that make up the formula of the universe. Through your experiences with the Dreamers, you understand what might come to pass. It’s not always crystal clear, but there are moments when you feel so connected with the universe that it transcends normal mortality.
How clear are your visions? Do you normally ‘see’ everyday occurrences, or something on a larger scale? Do you experience any recurring visions? Do others come to you for help or advice? Is your skill-set advertised to others? Do you charge for information?
Are a follower of a specific religion? Do you understand where your abilities come from? Are there people or corporations vying for your attention? Have you experienced visions that you seek to avoid? Have you been successful in that regard, or are your visions always poised to come true?
Understanding dreams and visions can be an important insight into one’s current mental state. Dreams and nightmares can manifest a variety of details for people, particularly things being wrestled with in the subconscious mind. As a sleep specialist, you excel in dream interpretation and ensuring that people’s dreams don’t plague them for the worse. And to your enemies? You’re more than capable of harnessing the power of nightmares to cause distress.
What kinds of sleep studies do you perform? What resources do you rely on for dream interpretation? What is the most common type of dream or nightmare that people tend to have? What are some surefire ways for people to fall asleep? Do you prescribe any supplements like melatonin to assist in promoting a healthy sleep cycle?
Do you have a way to physically watch someone else’s dreams? What terrors have people experienced? Are there any particular signs of magic that can manifest itself in dreams? What’s the worst nightmare that you’ve personally experienced? Do you have trouble sleeping at night?
When people are blessed with the gift of foresight, there’s always someone who wants to use the Farmer’s Almanac or football scores to score gobs of money. That someone? It’s you. For whatever reason, you’re exceptional at predicting patterns in numerical form. Even powerful AI and algorithms can’t hold a candle to your seemingly random methods. It’s uncanny, and it’s bound to get you in trouble.
Do you invest small quantities of money or large ones? Do you fly under the radar, or do you invest out in the open? Do you handle the investments of others? Are you ever making faulty investments to keep the heat off you? Have you ever been investigated by a governing body?
What are you plans for your wealth? Do you typically live within your means or do you flaunt your net worth? Has anybody taken keen interest in your activities? Have you ever been coerced into investing money against your will? What safeguards do you take?
Being hypnotized leaves people in a unique state. On one hand, they’re not asleep or unconscious, but they’re not entirely awake either. Instead, they are able to function as if awake, albeit without the memory that typically accompanies one’s actions. The Dreamers’ songs gifted you with the ability to send others into this limbo state with ease.
Are you a hypnotist by profession? Do you accompany your abilities with an act? When have you hypnotized others to your benefit? Do your actions have any unintended side effects for yourself or others? Are you abilities typically used for good, or do you get up to some shady business? What’s your lifestyle like?
How do you actually hypnotize people? Is it using a particular object or incantation? Do your abilities work on other creatures or mainly just people? Are androids subject to your abilities as well? Can you hypnotize yourself? How long does the process normally take? Do you still have someone hypnotized without them knowing? Have you used hypnosis as a form of meditation?
Lines got crossed when obtaining your powers from the Dreamers, and instead of receiving Oracular powers, you were actually blessed with acute Ocular abilities. As you might expect, you now make an exceptional optometrist, helping others with improving their vision. It’s like that time in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, when Ferris says, “I asked for a car, I got a computer. How’s that for being born under a bad sign?”
What sorts of patients do you help? How do you acquire custom ocular solutions for people with intricate assortments of eyes? Do you perform any surgeries? What’s Space Lasik like? Do you prefer contact lenses or physical frames?
Did you have a medical background before your experience with the Dreamers? Are you actually licensed? What’s your typical exam routine? Do you wear the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)? Have you written any white papers or scientific documentation? What about your personal vision? Can you see better than the average person?
Starfinder Theme Focus: Foresight and Dragons
You can probably see what I mean about the Dream Prophet Theme. The entire premise of the Theme is baked into a specific piece of lore, which makes it much more difficult to envision unique character concepts. Technically my last one doesn’t really work, but I’d still love to try my hand at playing an optometrist accidentally slighted.
That’s it for now! Next time we’ll talk about the Esper and the Gladiator. How fitting; we just had an arena-themed concept this week. I really should have saved that one…
Be sure to check out the other entries of the series, including the original 10 Starfinder themes listed below.
Until next time…see you in the stars!
Original 10 Starfinder Themes: