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Chapter 13: Pathfinder Legacy

Monster Conversion

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 501
For the most part, Pathfinder RPG monsters can be used in a Starfinder game with few changes. Detailed rules for creating Starfinder monsters and NPCs from scratch will be presented in the Starfinder Alien Archive using a system of benchmarks similar to those found in Pathfinder RPG Pathfinder Unchained, which allows even relatively new Game Masters to create interesting and balanced creatures by making a few key decisions.

GMs who want to use Pathfinder RPG monsters should take into account that while a legacy monster converted using these guidelines should be usable in a Starfinder game, it won’t be as polished as a monster created specifically for Starfinder. The guidelines below are presented in the order of a creature’s Pathfinder stat block.

Type and Subtype

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 501
Most converted Pathfinder RPG monsters can retain their listed types and subtypes. However, if you are converting a construct, remember that in Starfinder all constructs have either the magical or technological subtype. Choose the one most appropriate to the construct you’re converting. For example, golems are magical constructs and robots are technological constructs. Constructs are not immune to spells, afflictions, and other effects that specifically note that they target or affect constructs.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 501
Senses such as lifesense and scent are presented slightly differently in Starfinder, though they operate essentially in the same way. The various types of senses given to Pathfinder RPG monsters can be used in Starfinder exactly as they are written, but see page 260 for more about senses.

Armor Class

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 501
Starfinder doesn’t use the concepts of flat-footed AC and touch AC, and instead breaks a character’s AC into two categories: Energy Armor Class (or EAC) and Kinetic Armor Class (or KAC). Weapons that deal energy damage (such as a laser pistol) target EAC, while weapons that deal physical damage (such as a longsword) target KAC. When converting a Pathfinder RPG monster to Starfinder, treat its normal AC as its KAC (if the monster functions in a combat role as defined on page 323 of the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary, add 1 to its KAC) and subtract 1 from its normal AC to obtain its EAC. You can ignore the flatfooted AC, because in Starfinder, flat-footed is simply a condition that applies a –2 penalty to both EAC and KAC regardless of the affected monster’s Dexterity bonus.

Hit Points, Stamina Points, and Resolve Points

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 501
Increase a converted monster’s Hit Points by 25%. Any monster abilities that require you to know a target’s Hit Dice operate using the target’s level or CR instead. Unlike a player character, however, a monster doesn’t have Stamina Points, and it will only need to have Resolve Points if you give it a new ability (or a class feature) that uses them. If you do so, a monster should have a number of Resolve Points equal to 3 + one-fifth of its CR (rounded down).


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 501
You might decide to give a converted monster a plasma sword, a laser pistol, or another Starfinder weapon (see Gear and Treasure starting on page 502). If you do so, you need to do two other things. First, ignore any iterative attacks the monster might have from a high base attack bonus. Instead, it can attack once with the new weapon at its highest attack bonus or attack twice by taking a full attack action (with a –4 penalty to its highest attack bonus for each attack). Second, add the monster’s CR to the damage dealt by the weapon (in addition to the monster’s Strength bonus for melee attacks, of course) to represent weapon specialization.

Alternatively, you can use a Pathfinder RPG monster’s full attack as it is listed without doing any conversion, resulting in a larger number of attacks that each deal less damage. This works like the multiattack ability that some monsters have in Starfinder, regardless of whether the attacks are made with manufactured or natural weapons. The monster can still make a Starfinder full attack (two attacks at its highest attack bonus with a –4 penalty to each). A converted monster that makes a Starfinder full attack cannot make a guarded step on the same turn.

For example, a harpy (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 172) has an attack entry that reads, “Melee morningstar +8/+3 (1d8+1), 2 talons +3 (1d6).” The harpy could attack as normal to make two morningstar attacks (one at +8 and one at +3) plus two talon attacks (at +3 each). In this case, her successful attacks would deal the amount of damage listed in her Pathfinder stat block. Alternatively, the harpy could make one morningstar attack (at +8), or two morningstar attacks at +4 each. In this case, each successful attack would deal 1d8+5 damage.

Single Attacks: Monsters in Starfinder are often more accurate than Pathfinder RPG monsters because of how full attacks work in Starfinder; for legacy monsters, the increased accuracy with its first attack in a full attack often makes up for this. If you have a converted monster that is rarely able to make a full attack, you can give it a bonus to its attack rolls when making a single attack, usually +3 or +4.

Critical Hits: A converted monster deals automatic critical damage when it rolls a natural 20 on its attack, with no confirmation roll. However, if a monster’s weapon or attack has an expanded critical range, it must roll to confirm the critical on any result that is in that range but isn’t a 20. For example, if a marilith rolled a 20 on her longsword attack (2d6+8/17–20), she would automatically score a critical hit and deal double damage. If she rolled a 17, 18, or 19, she must hit with a confirmation roll to deal critical damage. Critical multipliers (such as a weapon that deals ×3 damage on a critical hit) still multiply damage by the indicated amount.

Spells and Spell-Like Abilities

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 501
If a Pathfinder RPG monster can cast a spell or use a spell-like ability with the same name as a Starfinder spell, use the rules for the Starfinder spell. Otherwise, use the Pathfinder RPG spell as written. However, if you want your converted monster to have more of a Starfinder flavor, you can take the time to replace those spells with similar Starfinder spells. For instance, you might use explosive blast instead of fireball. Be aware that this takes more time and effort.

Ability Scores

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 502
Starfinder monsters don’t have ability scores like player characters do; their ability scores are described in terms of the ability score modifiers that should be familiar. When converting a monster, you aren’t required to express its ability scores as the associated modifiers unless a Starfinder rule directly references ability score modifiers.

Combat Maneuver Bonus and Defense

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 502
Starfinder doesn’t employ combat maneuver bonuses or Combat Maneuver Defense, so you can simply ignore them when converting a Pathfinder RPG monster and use the Starfinder rules for bull rush, disarm, and other combat maneuvers. If a monster has a combat maneuver feat (such as Improved Disarm) or a special ability related to a combat maneuver (such as grab), use the Starfinder version of that feat or apply any bonus it provides directly to the appropriate type of attack. Immunities to combat maneuvers (such as “can’t be tripped”) still apply, and bonuses against specific combat maneuvers simply apply to AC instead of CMD.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 502
If a Pathfinder RPG monster has a feat that has the same name as a feat or monster special ability found in Starfinder, use the Starfinder rules where possible. Otherwise, use the rules for the Pathfinder RPG feat, adjusting them as needed. For example, a feat that lets the monster do something as a response to an enemy’s action should cost a reaction.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 502
When converting Pathfinder RPG skills as noted on page 500, if a monster has multiple skills that become the same skill, use the highest bonus of those skills. If a monster has an especially high bonus (such as a very high Climb bonus due to having a climb speed), you might want to use a conditional modifier. For example, a Pathfinder creature with Climb +14, Swim +6, and a +8 racial bonus to Climb would have Athletics +6 (+14 when climbing). Specific considerations for specific skills are as follows.
  • Acrobatics: Move any circumstantial modifiers when jumping to the Athletics skill, and possibly adjust the creature’s Athletics if it’s supposed to be good at jumping but didn’t have the Climb or Swim skills.
  • Linguistics: The monster retains the same number of languages, even though the skill is removed.
  • Use Magic Device: Allow the monster to use any magic items it has without attempting checks.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 502
Many of the languages found in the Pathfinder RPG can be found in Starfinder, with the exception of most Golarion-specific regional dialects. However, with a multitude of alien cultures, Starfinder presents a large number of new languages. When converting a monster, you probably won’t need to worry too much about the languages it can speak, but if it would make sense for it to know an appropriate alien language, feel free to change or increase its vocabulary!

Gear and Treasure

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 502
Most of the humanoid monsters in the Pathfinder RPG wield weapons and wear armor that are appropriate to that game’s fantasy setting, and much of it is magic. While this might fit in certain Starfinder adventures (such as traveling to a planet where technology hasn’t advanced very far or a planet that simply benefits from a high concentration of magic), you might want to consider giving a converted monster some cool futuristic gadgets and weapons. Just remember to stick with items of a level that is close to the monster’s CR!

The type of treasure the PCs receive after defeating a converted monster should be commensurate with the guidelines presented on page 391. However, any treasure that grants a bonus to attack rolls or AC (such as the magic items used by a monster) should not be part of that treasure. You will need to convert such items into similar magic items from Chapter 7 before the PCs get ahold of them.

Special Abilities

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 503
Most of a converted Pathfinder RPG monster’s special abilities can be used as written, though some require a bit of adjusting.
  • Abilities that Emulate Spells: An ability functioning as a Pathfinder RPG spell can use the rules for that spell, unless there is a Starfinder spell with the same name.
  • Afflictions: Curses, diseases, and poisons function differently in Starfinder than in the Pathfinder RPG. Use the Starfinder version if it is presented in the sample afflictions starting on page 417 (keeping whatever save DC is listed in the converted monster). Otherwise, you can simulate the affliction with the appropriate track. For instance, if the affliction is a poison that deals Dexterity damage, use the Dexterity poison track, but add any special effects the converted affliction deals.