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Starfinder – Template Grafts

I was prepping for my next GM session and while working on applying template grafts to my aliens it occurred to me that this might make a good blog post. So, ever wanted to learn more about monster templates and how to add them to your creatures? Here we go!

Like this bad boy, but worse
Kish ghouls, like this bad boy, only worse

A template graft is a simply ‘add-on’ that you can basically slot on top of an existing monster to give it a little more flavor and abilities. You can find a lot of them on page 150 of Alien Archive, and more are sprinkled throughout the various Alien Archives with monsters that have the added templates. In general, templates are an additive process – you simply bolt on the extra bits the template grants to the existing creature. In cases were you come across contradictory abilities, such as applying the Aqueous template to a Magma Elemental, go with the abilities that make the most sense to you as the GM.

Applying a template does increase the CR (Challenge Rating) of a creature, so exercise a little caution. Its easy to increase the total CR of an encounter just by adding a +1 CR template to several enemies. There are many CR calculators online that you can use to make sure the encounter you are creating is in line with your player’s character level. Refer to page 390 of the Core Rule Book for suggested encounter CR.

For my game, my players have been interacting with the Kish, a primitive alien species that is nonetheless quite tough. Unfortunately for them and the Kish, they are about to stumble upon some Kish Ghouls that have been infected by an outside source.

Here is the basic Kish:


Kish CR 4

XP 1,200

N Medium humanoid (kish)

Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +10

DEFENSE

HP 60

EAC 16; KAC 18

Fort +6; Ref +6; Will +5

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.

Melee skirmish kishaxe +13 (1d10+9 S)

Ranged tactical battlebow +9 (1d8+4 P)

STATISTICS

STR +5; DEX +3; CON +0; INT -1; WIS +1; CHA +0

Feats Cleave

Skills Athletics +15, Acrobatics +10, Intimidate +10, Survival +15

Languages Vulgar Kishaleen


And here is the Ghoul template graft:


Ghoul Template Graft (CR 1/2+)

Required Creature Type: Undead.

Suggested Array: Combatant or expert.

Traits: Bite attack that inflicts ghoul fever and paralysis; claw attack that inflicts paralysis.

Suggested Ability Scores: Dexterity, Strength.


So we need to change the type from Medium humanoid (kish) to Medium undead (kish) – this isn’t just a cosmetic change either, as they gain and lose abilities based on type (see Alien Archive page 132). Our Kish already have the Combatant array (see Alien Archive page 129) so they are good candidates for this template graft. They gain a bite and claw attacks from the traits, and for simplicity’s sake I’ll say they’ve chosen to focus on those instead of sticking with the kishaxes they had in life. Refering to table 2 on page 129 of Alien Archive we see the suggested melee damage of 1d6+4+Str, so both their bite and claw attacks will do 1d6+9 damage. Lastly, the suggested ability DC for a CR 4 combatant is 13, so that is what the DC of their paralysis and ghoul fever abilities will be.

Put it all together and we get:


Kish Ghoul CR 4.5

XP 1,200

N Medium undead (kish)

Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +10

DEFENSE

HP 60

EAC 16; KAC 18

Fort +6; Ref +6; Will +5

Immunities undead immunities

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.

Melee bite +12 (1d6+9 P plus ghoul fever and paralysis) or claw +12 (1d6+9 S plus paralyze)

Ranged tactical battlebow +9 (1d8+4 P)

STATISTICS

STR +5; DEX +3; CON –; INT -1; WIS +1; CHA +0

Feats Cleave

Skills Athletics +15, Acrobatics +10, Intimidate +10, Survival +15

Languages Vulgar Kishaleen

Other Abilities unliving

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Paralysis (Ex) When a kish ghoul deals damage to a creature with its bite or claw attack, the target must succeed at a DC 13 Fortitude saving throw or gain the paralyzed condition for 1d4+1 rounds. As a full action, the target can attempt a new saving throw to end the condition. Creatures with the elf subtype are immune to a ghoul’s paralysis.

Ghoul Fever

Type disease (injury); Save Fortitude DC 13

Track physical; Frequency 1/day

Effect A creature that dies of ghoul fever rises as a ghoul within 24 hours.

Cure 1 save


Hopefully these templated Kish will make for a memorable encounter!


As always, if you liked this post, or any of the other material available on Solo Run Studio feel free to spot me some coffee money.

Until next time Starfinders!

Categories: Uncategorized

Jeremy Corff

Artist and Writer