It’s time for my update on everything Paizo! With all of the content coming out of Paizo HQ, it can be a lot to keep track of, even if you pay attention to the Release Calendar on the Paizo website. So, I’m here to give you a little recap about some of the Pathfinder and Starfinder news and releases that you may have missed!
Starfinder Alien Archive 3 & 4 Battle Cards
Seems like we just got the first batch of Starfinder Alien Archives 1 & 2 Battle Cards and we’re already onto the second wave with the Starfinder Alien Archives 3 & 4 Battle Cards set! As much as I really loved the first set, I’m a firm believer that the best creatures are found beyond the 2nd Bestiary for any game. The first two Bestiaries really take care of all the low-hanging fruit. After that, creativity really starts to shine!
I’ve discussed the Battle Cards multiple times, both on the Starfinder side as well as the Pathfinder Bestiary Battle Cards, so instead of focusing on the basics, I really want to take a deeper dive into this particular set.
Something I really enjoy is seeing a progression of growth between multiple creatures. It’s probably the Pokemon master in me. For example, there’s a freakishly cool creature called the Supenga Pup. It looks like a vaporwave mix between a wolf, a lotus, and a worm. It’s dangerous because of the paralytic enzyme that emits with a bite attack.
However, there’s also a second creature when that pup grows up: the Supenga Titan. It’s a bigger, scarier version of the pup with a much higher DC to avoid the paralytic enzyme effect. On top of that, it’s covered in Supenga Pups, which create a brood aura effect that makes it quite dangerous to get close to. Plus, if the Titan gets hit with slashing damage, the brood aura self-propagates, causing even more damage. It’s just so cool to get the idea of the relationship between the pups and the titan just by quickly glancing at some Alien Archive cards. There are other similar creatures like the Kaion and Huitz’plina.
And then there’s one of my favorite entries in the Starfinder Alien Archives 3 & 4 Battle Cards set, the Grioth Eclipse Seer! They’re sort of a cross between a angelic gremlin wearing daedric armor from the Elder Scrolls series (aka voidglass). They have this ability called Mindshock wherein they unleash a wave of violent psychic energy, causing their foes to be shaken. Additionally, they have a Wisdom Poison if they manage to get ahold of you with their bite. These are upgraded versions of the Grioth, so you can create an entire psychic-centered compound and fill it up with multiple entries from the Battle Cards.
The Starfinder Alien Archives 3 & 4 Battle Cards are definitely my preference when it comes to referencing creatures for my players. They’re transportable, vivid, and contain all of the information you need for encounters. If you have some binder clips, you can even create a little standee to help bring the story to life at your table.
You can find the Starfinder Alien Archive Battle Cards over at Paizo.com, or at your FLGS.
Pathfinder Guns & Gears Decks
Next up are the Pathfinder Guns Deck and Pathfinder Gears Deck for Pathfinder Second Edition. These are two separate products that both accompany and supplement the Pathfinder Guns & Gears book.
If you have a Gunslinger character, or if you’re playing in the Outlaws of Alkenstar Adventure Path, then you may already have the Guns & Gears book for Pathfinder. The Pathfinder Guns Deck, in that case, would also be something for you to consider. If your campaign or adventure isn’t filled with gunpowder, then the Guns Deck has little to no utility for you.
What I really like about the Pathfinder Guns Deck is that there are images for EVERYTHING. Obviously the guns have their own art, but there are even cards for carrying cases, scopes, mounts, and more. I’d suggest this supplement if you really want to have a fun way to keep track of your firearms as they change over time. You can use these cards like modular pieces as you add on Adaptive Cogwheels or a Scope of Truth. You can also keep better track of what ammunition is loaded into your firearm, and swap it out when you reload with something different. Make a Voltron firearm and know exactly what everything does with these cards.
The Pathfinder Gears Deck works in a similar way, but I wouldn’t say that it’s necessarily restricted to people playing an Inventor. The products an Inventor makes are not solely restricted to a specific campaign type like the Gunslinger might be. These products can be distilled throughout Golarion and incorporated into everyday life.
Of course, if you have an Inventor character then you’ll find a broader use of the Pathfinder Gears Deck. As a Gamemaster, I’ll occasionally create cards or use decks like this to really show the party what they’re dealing with or what treasure they’ve acquired. Sometimes it’s hard to conceptualize what a contraption might look like, and this supplement certainly helps out with that.
Pathfinder Alchemy Deck
In a similar vein as the Pathfinder Guns & Gears Deck, Paizo also recently released the Pathfinder Alchemy Deck for Pathfinder Second Edition. This deck contains all those awesome alchemical creations from the Pathfinder Core Rulebook and the Pathfinder Advanced Player’s Guide.
The types of items you’ll find inside include:
- Other Consumables
Again, with all of the alchemical items available in Pathfinder, this is a supplement that brings life to the items that you’ve read about. Using these cards, you can finally see what a container of King’s Sleep looks like, or how Wyvern Poison is stored.
The Pathfinder Alchemy Deck is geared towards players who frequently don the role of an Alchemist character. However, there’s also utility for Gamemasters who want to give tangible images for your players to see and interact with. You can’t really use the cards as handouts for your players to keep and turn back into you as they use them; they’ll have too many potions for that to work effectively. But, you could definitely use it for some of the rarer items in the deck.
Using the deck in this way can stop questions like ‘what does Silversheen do again?’ The players would have that information accessible to them at all times. Which is one less thing you have to worry about as a Gamemaster.
You can find the Pathfinder Alchemy Deck at Paizo.com, or at your FLGS.
Pathfinder Deck of Endless NPCs
The Pathfinder Deck of Endless NPCs is a universal tool that transcends systems and promotes world-building while significantly cutting down on Gamemaster preparation time. It can also be used as a way to generate the loose concept of a character as a player. The possibilities are truly endless!
Using the deck is easy; take four cards from the deck and combine them to generate a unique NPC. With each iteration, you’ll get an ancestry, ethnicity, several name options, motivations, personalities, and specialties. On top of that, just cycling through the cards can give you plenty of inspiration as you check out the character portraits.
This is reminiscent of the Starfinder Deck of Many Worlds, and will immediately go into my GM Toolbox as something I will use heavily. The deck allows Gamemasters to take a brief pause from the fiction, generate an NPC, and jump right back into the action. You can also use it to create a slew of NPCs that your players might encounter as they walk through sprawling city streets.
On top of all that, you can also use the deck to come up with new plot hooks outside of a session. I mean, the huge variety of ways you can use the Pathfinder Deck of Endless NPCs is incredible for any Gamemaster and any system.
You can find the Pathfinder Deck of Endless NPCs at Paizo.com, or at your FLGS.
Starfinder Spell Cards Supplemental
Just last March I talked about the Starfinder Spell Cards, and now Paizo has released a sister-set in the Starfinder Spell Cards Supplemental. Will so much content being released for Starfinder alone, it’s no wonder that there are even more spells that needed to be captured on these Spell Cards.
In case you’re wondering which spells are included in the box, I have you covered! This deck includes all spells from:
- Alien Archives 1-4
- Starfinder Armory
- Galactic Magic
- Galaxy Exploration Manual
- Near Space
- Pact Worlds
- Adventure Path volumes #1 through #39
It’s worth noting again that the spell cards have small text, so make sure that you have plenty of light when trying to read them. And put on those readers!
If you’re a magic-user or a Gamemaster, the Starfinder Spell cards and this Starfinder Spell Cards Supplemental are sure to be well-used. As a player, having everything contained in a single box (or two) is really helpful. Especially since players aren’t generally going to be picking up the Adventure Paths for themselves…that’s for the Gamemaster to do. In that sense, players aren’t going to know what cool spells they’re missing out on.
As I’ve reviewed a lot of the other Starfinder supplement books where these Supplemental Cards pull from, I know that a lot of those are more geared towards Gamemasters as well. That makes this set a much better fit for players, who likely won’t have all this content already. If you’re a Gamemaster, it’s a nice addition to running spellcasters as it will cut down on your prep. But you also might have a lot of this information already. Hence – supplemental.
You can find the Starfinder Spell Cards Supplemental over at Paizo.com, or at your FLGS.
Latest Adventure Path Releases
Two Paizo Adventure Paths just wrapped up! Part 3 of the Outlaws of Alkenstar Adventure Path, The Smoking Gun by Cole Kronewitter, in a thrilling finale featuring plenty of explosions and automatons. The Starfinder Horizons of the Vast Adventure Path also just finished with the Part 6 release, The Culling Shadow by Landon Winkler. This one ends with the party hoping to weather a final storm with the help of recent allies.
Starfinder keeps churning with a new 3-part Adventure Path: Drift Crashers! The first installment, The Perfect Storm by Jessica Redekop, features a wild story centered around the Drift losing its functionality. Within the first session players will be thrown in a direction I guarantee that didn’t see coming! It’s wacky, it’s fun, and it’s one I’m excited to continue reading!
We’ve contributed full articles on several other recent releases, and I’m not going to rehash all of that information again. Instead, I’ll drop some links to the complete articles so that you can pick and choose what interests you the most:
- Pathfinder Lost Omens: Knights of Lastwall Review
- Pathfinder Book of the Dead Review
- Starfinder Drift Crisis Review
Lots more content is on the way in July. My most anticipated release is the Pathfinder Dark Archive, which features the Thaumaturge and Psychic classes! It also promises case files on the supernatural, bound to make some waves utilizing these new mechanics.
We’re gearing up for Gen Con 2022, where Paizo will have their usual presence! Be sure to check out the booth to pick up all of these great products, and meet some of the people who’ve had a hand in their creation!
With all of this fantastic content coming out of Paizo HQ, it’s a great time to be a fan of Starfinder or Pathfinder. Head back here to check out my review of the Dark Archive book once I get it in my hands!
Have fun at your tables, and stay safe!
[Disclosure: Paizo provided copies of the Starfinder Alien Archive 3 & 4 Battle Cards, the Starfinder Spell Cards Supplemental, the Drift Crashers Adventure Path, the Outlaws of Alkenstar Adventure Path, the Horizons of the Vast Adventure Path, Deck of Endless NPCs, Gun Deck, Gears Deck, and Alchemy Deck in exchange for an honest preview.]