The various groups of the Starfinder setting, major and minor alike.
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Founded shortly after the Gap, the Starfinder Society was based on fragments of tales regarding a Golarion organization known as the Pathfinder Society. Composed of scholars, explorers, and adventurers, the group seeks to discover and spread new knowledge. Starfinders seek the secrets of both the past and the future, exploring new worlds and researching information lost to the Gap with equal enthusiasm. They're led by the First Seeker, a position currently held by a human named Luwazi Elsebo.
Motto: Fame, glory, and money. We want it all.
The most mercenary of the Starfinder factions. Their goals often involve promoting the Starfinder Society to the extent that it will increase the personal reputation of all members, preferring to send its members on missions leading to personal glory and monetary enrichment. They're led by a vesk called Radaszam the Dealmaker.
- Only in It for the Money: The faction's creation was a direct result of mercenaries and other externally hired operatives recognizing credits and fame to be made from a more permanent merger with the Starfinder Society.
- Private Military Contractors: Besides the ones that are actual members, the faction's leader also runs a PMC called the Obsidian Spiders.
Motto: Knowledge is power.
A faction that works to uncover knowledge and secrets, deciding what to share and what to store in their vast data vaults. They're led by the android Historia-7.
- The Cracker: Hacking is a vital tool in their arsenal to collect information.
- Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: Operatives who can extract information from others are highly prized. Most rely on trickery and subterfuge, but the less scrupulous ones rely on more insidious methods.
Motto: The sword that seeks the darkness.
The most militant Starfinder Society faction. Their creed is to protect the Pact Worlds from external threats, which most often relates to participating in missions to acquire relics or technology of a defensive nature. They're led by a shirren named Zigvigix.
Motto: A new way forward.
A faction dedicated to directly supporting the First Seeker. As a result their goals vary over time, adapting to each new leader's mission. They follow the First Seeker directly, and as such have no real factional leader.
Motto: First into the unknown.
An organization dedicated to fully pursuing the Starfinder Society's mission statement of exploration, the Wayfinders are at the forefront of expeditions to scan a planet, set foot on an asteroid, or greet a previously unknown species. They're led by a ysoki named Fitch.
Azlanti Star Empire
An interstellar empire founded by humans who left Golarion long before the Gap, the Star Empire is driven by the belief that pureblooded Azlanti humans are the most perfect species and seeks to bring all others beneath their rule. Every encounter has ended in bloodshed, leaving both the Pact Worlds and the Veskarium on their guard should the Star Empire make a move.
- The Empire: They're far crueler and more destructive than the Veskarium ever was, and they're totally unwilling to make peace with the Pact Worlds to boot.
- Fantastic Racism: Consider all non-humans and non-Azlanti humans to be little more than vermin to be conquered, enslaved and/or exterminated.
- Not So Extinct: Pureblooded Azlanti humans were long thought to be extinct until the discovery of the Azlanti Star Empire proved otherwise.
Dominion of the Black
A fearsome cabal from the distant reaches of space that utilizes bioengineered monstrosities as soldiers, ships, and weapons. Though they have not yet turned their full attention to the Pact Worlds system, their forces war with those of the Elder Mythos
Cults for control over Aucturn.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Played very straight; they are quite literally the enemies of all other beings in the galaxy.
- Eldritch Abomination: Their leaders are these. Their lower level troops may either qualify as this or "merely" as Starfish Aliens.
- Eviler Than Thou: They have the potential to be this to every other antagonist group in the setting, given their power, reach, and goals; you know they're bad when even the Elder Mythos cares enough to want to keep them out of their turf.
- Omnicidal Maniac: One possible interpretation of their aims.
- Organic Technology: Their primary form of tech.
- Power of the Void: Their magic deals with vacuums and black holes.
A collection of independent worlds in the Golarion star system united by the Absalom Pact. Though formed from many worlds, only a relative few are full Pact members. Most planets in the Pact Worlds system, as well as the starship Idari
, Absalom Station, Kalo-Mahoi and several of Liavara's moons, are full Pact Worlds and hold voting seats on the Pact Council. Aucturn, Liavara, the sun, and Pact World colonies are all considered protectorates and hold non-voting council seats, while the Aspis Consortium enjoys the unique privilege of being the only corporation to be recognized as a self-governing entity by the Pact Worlds.
The Shadari Confederacy
An anarchic coalition led by the sinister Draeliks, the Shadari Confederacy is a haven for criminals and scum.
The militant nation of the vesk. The Veskarium first encountered the Pact Worlds during an expansionist crusade, forcing them to unite to fight back. It was only with the arrival of the Swarm that a truce was brokered so the two superpowers could unite against their common foe. Though tensions remain, the truce has held and the people of the Pact Worlds and the Veskarium intermingle freely.
- Enemy Mine: With the Pact Worlds. They first interacted through open war, and later coexisted in an tense cold war for several centuries, before being forced into an alliance by the rising threats of the Swarm and the Azlanti Star Empire, which neither would be able to face alone. The truce seems to be holding, meaning that Pact Worlds and Veskarium races intermingle more-or-less freely.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Veskarium is a warlike civilization focused on martial values and military expansion. They swiftly conquered their entire star system after achieving space travel, and their first reaction to obtaining Drift technology from the Pact Worlds was to use it to launch a full-scale invasion of the same in an attempt to conquer the Pact Worlds too.
Simultaneously a church and a corporation, AbadarCorp is perhaps the largest company in Pact space. The church of Abadar, the god of commerce and wealth, has leveraged its wealth and power to rise from just another church to a de facto branch of the Pact System government treasury. It spends its power and money funding new colonies, law enforcement organizations, and expanding its own brand far and wide.
- Mega-Corp: An enormous, galaxy-spanning corporation with its fingers in many, many pies. Fittingly, its CEO is none other than the god of wealth and commerce.
A titanic criminal corporation, the Consortium uses its legitimate businesses to mask everything from arming both sides of conflicts to piracy to outright enslavement of remote worlds. Through the strategic use of bribes, pragmatic restriction of business, and a well-maintained public face, the Consortium has so far avoided burning its bridges within the Pact Worlds, though outside the system it will turn to any amoral means to increase the bottom line.
Android Abolitionist Front
A secretive organization dedicated to expunging android slavery wherever it can be found. This group has a quiet working relationship with the Stewards, though public relations remain more strained due to the lack of a cohesive creed, resulting in wildly disparate behavior from different cells.
More of a social movement than a cohesive groups, the Augmented believe in personal advancement though technological, biological, or magical alterations. The Vercite company known as the Cypremacy Collective is widely viewed as the mouthpiece of the movement, carefully balancing pressure on governments and corporations with messages of acceptance and understanding to its adherents. Despite this, terrorist factions such as the Remakers and Next Step
still seek advancement through more radical means.
The Corpse Fleet
When Eox joined the Absalom Pact, many ultranationalist and Eoxian supremacist captains and admirals absconded with their ships rather than risk disarmament. This vast fleet of the dead now lurks in the void, preying on other ships for supplies and entertainment. Though Eox has officially disavowed the Corpse Fleet, many suspect they secretly support the undead navy in its activities.
- Fully-Embraced Fiend: While Eox proper at least tries to act with civility, the Corpse Fleet does absolutely nothing to hide its predatory, alien nature.
- The Remnant: Of Eox's ambitions to become The Empire.
- We Have Reserves: As an undead navy, the Corpse Fleet's biggest advantage is its ability to will thousands of grunt troops into existence from victorious engagements, and creating new officers is only somewhat more resource-intensive.
Cult of the Devourer
A cult in service to the Devourer who seek to speed up their god's timetable and bring about the end of all things. There are three types of cultists: the wall breakers who live up to the stereotype of savage maniacs, hidden ones who move undetected among society to further greater plans, and the atrocities who mastermind destruction on a scale glorious enough to attract the attention of the Devourer.
Elder Mythos Cults
A collective group consisting of those who worship the various Outer Gods and Great Old Ones. Consisting largely of lunatics and monsters, they seek to achieve the circumstances necessary for their gods to assume their rightful roles as the true masters of all. Aucturn is a holy site to them, believed to be the gestating form of a Great Old One. They constantly war with the Dominion of the Black for control over their embryonic god, hoping to one day ensure its birth and receive the dark gifts it will bring.
An association of independent captains whose business of choice is less than legal. Lead by an elected council and based somewhere in the Diaspora, they have no collective goal, though the organization of space pirates remains the target of much ire simply for the disruption they cause.
An ancient crime organization that has existed since before the Gap. Consisting of numerous "families," the League employs tattooed and augmented soldiers and assassins known as Xun alongside their rank-and-file members. Though no single family runs the League, the Ichihara-Hong family is currently the dominant power.
A fanatical organization of mercenaries, the Hellknights value the law above all else. Whether it's set by a benevolent ruler or a fanatical dictator, they'll uphold it with fervor so long as their price is paid. There are seven major orders in the Pact Worlds, each with their own distinctive weapons, tactics, and code.
Knights of Golarion
A military organization that works closely with the church of Iomedae. Though it maintains separation between its organization and the church, and its members may be of any non-evil faith, it is at its core a religious institution. This can cause issues with other law enforcement organizations when the law of Iomedae conflicts with those of mortals, for the Knights have no compunctions breaking laws that contradict those of heaven. As a result, though they have proven vital in combatting numerous threats, they are largely directed towards apolitical struggles.
A mercenary group based on Triaxus that primarily offers its services to those outside of the protection of the Pact Worlds. Many of the legionnaires are bonded with a Triaxian dragonkin, emulating the partnerships practiced by the ancient Triaxian Dragon Legion.
Warrior-diplomats that uphold the law throughout the Pact Worlds. Though quasi-military in structure, with Stewards often operating independently or in small groups, in an emergency the Stewards can utilize a portal network linking various installations to rapidly redistribute forces between worlds.
- Ambadassador: As trained warrior-diplomats it's a given.
- Badass Army: While technically not a government faction, they're the de facto navy of Absalom Station and the Pact as a whole.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Stewards are generally respected, regardless of rank.
- Space Navy: If the Pact Worlds are The Federation, the Stewards are Starfleet. One of their flagships is even named the Paramount.
- Space Police: Their jurisdiction only lasts until the edge of Pact space and the various planets their in give them varying levels of authority.
Believed to have been founded on Castrovel at the dawn of spaceflight, the Xenowardens are an eclectic mix of scientists, mystics, and soldiers who wish to see civilization live in harmony with nature rather than destroy it. Though primarily known as activists, advisors, and masters of biological sciences and renewable energy, they have a number of elite groups like the Greenguards or Wildknights should conflict become necessary.
- Tree Vessel: Their ships are seamless mixes of technology and plant life that are grown as much as built.
- The most common models are modular, podlike ships shrouded in large leaves that act as solar panels and armed with spore pod launchers. The largest, rarest capital ships are essentially spaceworthy forests, with numerous titanic trees anchored around a technological core and protected by force fields from the hard vacuum of space.
- On the one hand, these ships are highly self-sufficient, as they run almost entirely on solar power and can produce enough oxygen and hydroponic food to sustain their crews indefinitely. On the other, their organic makeup makes them very vulnerable to radiation-based weaponry.