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    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

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    Question [Starfinder] Need Help Picking a Dawn of Flame Concept!

    I've been struggling between two big character concepts to play Dawn of Flame with on the off-chance some GM wants to run it here sometime...and I was wondering if I could get some help picking one to commit to and refine it. Here's the two concepts, both of which are Solarians, since...I mean, come on it's ON THE SUN, this AP is MADE for the class!

    Spoiler: The Star Knight
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    This was the first concept I came up with as a foil to my current Dead Suns character, Arcalinte Soter. The idea is that the character is a Drow Death-Touched Solarian with the Star Knight Archetype for the Knights of Golarion. Her basic story is that she was a student at the Eclipse Academy on Apostae, which trains some of the best Solarians, Mystics and Technomancers in the Pact Worlds but is infamous for its grueling, sometimes inhumane, teaching methods. She only barely survived this training, which is how she became Death-Touched, and began desperately searching for a purpose in life. This search drew her to the Knights of Golarion which, according to Owen K.C. Stephens in this video, like to recruit from species who originated from Golarion. This naturally means humans are the largest percentage of this, but they're not the ONLY species that came from Golarion, like dwarves, space goblins and hobgoblins, orc and half-orcs...and drow!

    While it's a relatively solid character concept, Death-Touched offsetting the drow CON penalty, Star Knight giving the character Heavy Armor Proficiency for free, but it feels kind of...disconnected from Dawn of Flame's plot. Granted, the AP somewhat assumes that the PCs don't START with a narrative horse in the race, strangers who get drawn into a mystery that's a lot bigger than they first expected, but it also means that the character doesn't resonate with the story the AP is trying to tell, which is something very important to me. And I'm struggling to determine if the character should be part of one of the drow houses/corporations, whether to be a lower-middle class drow rising from the capitalistic hellscape of Apostae, or an upper-class one who has decided to abandon her privilege to do the right thing. Besides that, I've only played Human from the core species, and Drow are from outside the corebook, so I feel like I'm not taking advantage of the cool aliens in Starfinder enough, like if I wanted to play elfy-types I'd just play Pathfinder...and of course if I go with this concept, I don't want to be too GRIMDARK-ANGSTY-EDGE.

    Spoiler: The Divine Champion
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    This character is a Shirren Solarian with the Divine Champion Archetype for Desna. Here the character has a narrative stake in the race right away; she's a nice hippy kind of girl who wants to investigate the "bad vibes" coming out of Asanatown that she can detect with her telepathy. I'm kind of stuck on the Theme for this one. Dream Prophet has some solid connections with Desna since she's the goddess of dreams and has some good abilities, but it boosts WIS, which isn't something Solarians depend on and isn't helped by the character's species with the Shirren's WIS boost and CHA penalty. Paranormal Investigator kind of works too, and can boost CHA if you select Diplomacy as the skill it's tied to. On the other hand, Solarians get Diplomacy as a class skill already, so it would only provide a +1 boost rather than make it a new class skill, so it'd feel kind of wasted, even with the additional +2 to Diplomacy shirren have as well.

    I thought playing up the duality element with Desna and the Black Butterfly would be an interesting idea, especially with the icestar staff weapon that shirren developed, but in order to wield that, the character would have to be an armor solarian, and Arcalinte, whom I'm currently playing, is an armor solarian as well, so it might feel kind of redundant to play, even if the trappings are different and the Divine Champion changes a few things up, since Arcalinte doesn't have any archetypes and I created him to be a kind of "vanilla Solarian experience."

    Another issue is that I really, REALLY struggle with coming up with shirren names. I've visited a few generators, and got some ideas, but I feel a lot of them are TOO similar to the iconic "Keskodai," like "Jaskodei," or "Daskemei," or "Xozceme." It's not like more traditional human-and-human-adjacent species where you can just butcher some real-world names to create a fantasy version.

    And finally, WHAT is this character's backstory? There's so many disparate elements that would need explaining: icestar staves were invented on Verces, but the Dreamers who make Dream Prophets are on Liavara, and Desna's faith isn't as popular on EITHER of those planets as it is on Absalom Station, Castrovel, the Idari and Triaxus. Which planet IS this shirren from? Why was she drawn to the CG Desna when most shirren prefer LG? Why does she care about what's going on in Asanatown? If I pick this, how do I roleplay it without being too HIPPY-GOOFBALL-WHIMSICAL?

    Which of these is coolest? How do I know WHAT cool is? Am I overthinking things again and worrying too much?!
    Last edited by Archpaladin Zousha; 2019-08-25 at 06:22 PM.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

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