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Starfinder – Elder Things

Back in October I talked about the Shoggoth for Halloween, but it got me thinking about the Old Ones Mythos in general and how that fictional cosmology melds with Starfinder. As mentioned there, the influence of Mythos creatures is certainly present in Pathfinder, and by inheritance in Starfinder, most apparently in the ‘planet’ Aucturn and its inhabitants. Aucturn, more than anywhere else in the Pact Worlds, provides a place for the conflict between the Dominion of the Black and the Outer Gods to play out, and provides an explanation as to why we’ve yet to see more Dominion activity in the setting (Carsi the King and the Outer Gods have largely won on Aucturn and are keeping the Dominion at bay). But what of the other players?


As I mentioned in the Shoggoth piece, there were three ancient star empires that predate much of known history in the Starfinder universe. Going back at least 20,000 years, and more likely millions or even billions of years before that, the Elder Things, Mi-Go, and Flying Polyps vied for the galaxy with their star spanning empires. The Mi-Go are still active in AG 322, though their goals remain just as inscrutable as they were back in old Golarion times, and they’ve yet to be encountered in large numbers. Also, as they serve the Outer Gods and Nyarlathotep, they are very likely at war with the Domion and have been essentially forever.

Elder Thing (artist unknown)

Of the Flying Polyps and Elder Things, no reference has been made. The Elder Things we know were scientists capable of individual interstellar travel (albeit without the Drift, so such voyages were incredibly long) and had a technology that allowed them to create life in various forms to serve them. They also could hibernate, virtually forever if needed, so either in transit or simply waiting somewhere out there, the Elder Things likely persist. There is an update to the PF1 stats of the Elder Thing in Legendary Games Alien Bestiary, but I would argue that this represents a base form, and possibly a degenerate one at that. Elder Things, at the height of their power, should always have a class graft and a CR boost. We’ll get to that in a second, but beyond that what allies and servitors would the Elder Things have? They’ll need to have backup if you are going to build an adventure around Elder Thing ruins or awakened Elder Things. Shoggoth, for sure, but they are the greatest of the Elder’s creations and the equivalent of heavy machinery or siege weapons. Added to that, possible allies or servitors could include Rebuilt, Ursolha, Veshred, Zernivian, and Zoaphorix, as well as any non-sentient ooze or constructs (though such would likely have forms more similar to the radiant symmetry of Elder Things). Now for the high Elders, here is an Elder Thing enforcer with the Evolutionist class graft.

Elder Thing by NathanRosario
Elder Thing by NathanRosario


CR 10

XP 9600

LN Medium aberration

Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +24


HP 165; RP 5

EAC 23; KAC 25

Fort +14; Ref +12; Will +9

Defensive abilities unflankable; Immunities cold; Resistance fire 10; SR: 15 (+ MP)


Speed 30 ft., fly 20 ft. (Ex, clumsy), swim 40 ft.

Melee tentacle slam +19 (2d10+11 B)

Ranged adaptive strike +22 (2d8+10 A) or elite needler pistol (2d8+5 P)

Offensive Abilities area strike adaptation, forceful outburst adaptation


Str +1; Dex +8; Con +5; Int +2; Wis +3; Cha +0

Skills  Acrobatics +19, Stealth +19

Languages Aklo, Elder Thing

Other Abilities amphibious, evolution track, hibernation, limited starflight, niche (Eldritch)

Gear Plexigrass Bodysuit II, Elite Needler Pistol, 3 needler ammo cartridges


Evolution Drain (Su) An elder thing evolutionist can leech genetic material and raw evolutionary potential from others. As a standard action, it can make a special melee attack against a significant enemy’s EAC. If it hits, the target must attempt a DC 23 Fortitude save. If the target succeeds, it gains 1 Mutation Point. If it fails, it gains 1d3 Mutation Points and the target is sickened for an equal number of rounds.

In addition, when it hits a creature with its ranged adaptive strike within its first range increment, it can gain 1 MP as a reaction. After it has used its adaptive strike to gain a Mutation Point in this way, it can’t do so again until in the same combat.

Evolution Track (Su) max MP 6. See Interstellar Species page 11.

Hibernation (Ex) An elder thing evolutionist can voluntarily enter a state of hibernation with 1 minute of preparation. In this state, it is essentially helpless, much like being in deep sleep. The duration has no limit and it does not need to eat or drink, nor does it age. If another creature touches it or it suffers damage while hibernating, an elder thing can attempt a DC 18 Will save. If successful, it awakens after 2d4 rounds. If it fails, it takes 1d4 days to awaken. When it first enters hibernation, it can set a specific duration for the state. When the time has elapsed, it only takes 1d3 rounds for it to be ready to act.

Limited Starflight (Ex) An elder thing can survive in deep space, despite the lack of air. Unlike certain other creatures, it cannot remain conscious during space travel, nor can it travel at extremely fast speeds. It calculates the distance and then relies on inertia and remains in hibernation to survive the journey.

Niche (Eldritch) see Interstellar Species page 16. Includes Spell Bending and Arcane Leap.

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Categories: Article Writing

Jeremy Corff

Artist and Writer