I enjoy a lot of science fiction, particularly the subgenres of sci-fantasy and space opera, so it is no wonder that I really like the entire concept behind Starfinder. That said, I currently have all of the Starfinder books, and I have been pleasantly surprised by the Alien Archive series. As with the other bestiaries from Paizo, you can expect a lot of quality art along with a host of interesting creatures and species. These are not the massive - some would say bloated - bestiaries from Pathfinder with 300 to 400 pages of monsters that most people will never use. Alien Archive 3 comes in slimmer at a little more than 160 pages, but that certainly does not detract from the quality of content.
Types of Monsters in Alien Archive 3
The latest release has a host of cool monsters that can be added to your game. Let’s take a quick look at just a couple of them.
Starmetal Dragons brings in several new types of metallic dragons to your game. There are grafts for five of these dragons based on these, well, “star metals”, including the Noqual Dragon, which hunts down and fights evil spellcasters.
There are also denizens of The Drift, such as the Driftdead and Drift Natives like the Time Eaters. The entire concept of The Drift in Starfinder is strange and nightmarish to me, and I imagine there could be some really cool stories told about mishaps in this infinite hyperspace plane.
I imagine that most people will enjoy the Giant Space Tardigrade, as well, which is so large that it is only able to engage in starship combat. These are massive creatures that look just like the tardigrades of earth, except for their size. Some have been known to hold grudges against starships that may have fought and damaged them in the past. Imagine the fun you could have telling a Moby Dick story with a mad starship captain and a great white giant space tardigrade (this is a sentence I never imagined writing).
There are new takes on golems, gremlins, and trolls, as well as a host of other creatures to help keep your games interesting and weird for a long time to come.
New Races and Creature Companions Round Out a Great Book
One of the other benefits of the book is that it will add even more player races to the mix as we’ve seen with other supplements. In all, there are 20 new races in this book that can be used with your GM’s permission.
Some of my favorites include the Brenneri who are essentially adorable otter people who make great diplomats, Espraksa, who are bird people, and the Telia, who are turtle people. Of course, the aforementioned races have far more to offer than just “looking like an earth animal”. To be honest, it just gets weirder from there with these and other species options in the book. Needless to say, there are some really fun options that will make for memorable NPCs and PCs that break out of the standard mold.
The book also has an entire section on creature companions including a list of creature companion feats, which essentially improve your character’s working relationship with the creature. Sure, this might not apply to a lot of players out there, but you know there are plenty out there who want pets. Some options include empathic spiders and canines that can shoot frikkin’ laser beams out of their heads.
Overall, this is a solid addition to the Starfinder line, and if you love the universe Paizo has created, it is well worth picking up and adding to your collection. If you like Starfinder and would like to see more content here, please let me know.