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Appendix 1: Creating Monsters and Other NPCs / Step 6: Special Abilities

Free Special Abilities

Source Alien Archive pg. 142
Special abilities that aren’t major enough to count toward the NPC’s maximum number of special abilities are designated as free special abilities. Examples include nonstandard modes of movement (such as a burrow, climb, fly, or swim speed), certain senses (see the sidebar above), and limited telepathy (Starfinder Core Rulebook 265). In general, if an NPC needs an ability such as amphibious or water breathing to survive in its natural environment, that ability should be free.

Weaknesses: Special abilities that are actually detriments (such as a dependency or vulnerability) count as free special abilities. In fact, you might want to give a creature a weakness if you have given it many helpful special abilities. Abilities that grant a benefit but impose a drawback (such as mindless) are likewise free special abilities.