Archives of Nethys

Pathfinder RPG (1st Edition) Starfinder RPG Pathfinder RPG (2nd Edition)

All Rules | Downtime Rules

Exploring the Galaxy / Backgrounds

Step 3: Influential Associate

Source Galaxy Exploration Manual pg. 11
Throughout a character’s life, they’ll be influenced by other people: the people who raised them, inspired them, and hurt them; the people they confided in, competed with, and loved; and the people they fought with, squabbled over, or hurt in turn. This web of personalities pulls on everyone within it, influencing some, repelling others, and providing ample opportunity for adventure.
The following table lists influential associates your character might have acquired during their lives alongside suggestions for detailing each connection and the role they might serve in a campaign. These associates include allies, contacts, mentors, and foes. Players should determine the associate’s name, location, and relationship to their character and can use the NPC Toolbox on pages 148–149 to flesh out details. Players are encouraged to work with their GM to incorporate these associates into the wider campaign.

Influential Associate

1–4 A mentor that raised you, educated you, or trained you. They might be a parent, teacher, sibling, boss, or captain. They might be especially fond of you, be indifferent toward you, or treat you unfairly.
5–8 Your idol. The person you look up to, emulate, or who inspired you to follow in their footsteps or surpass to surpass their legend. They might be a relative, mentor, or celebrity. They might not even deserve your praise.
9–12 A socially awkward loner that taught you an important lesson. They’re independent and capable but battling loneliness. They might be an exile, hermit, or introverted intellectual. They’ve likely been hurt or taken advantage of by others in the past, but they trust you.
13–16 A confidante that knows your secrets and has your full trust. They might be a parent, sibling, lover, best friend, or therapist. If you wrong them, they could become a terrifying enemy.
17–19 An old friend that has reinvented themselves, hiding their past to become powerful. They might be a celebrity, corporate executive, politician, or gang leader. They’re never happy to see you, but they might be convinced to help you— at least enough to make you go away.
20–22 An influential friend that’s well-liked and well-connected. If you’re looking to make new contacts, they’re happy to facilitate introductions with other guests if you attend one of their numerous parties.
23–26 A clergy or religious leader that you’ve known for many years. You might confide in this person, seek their advice, or practice at their place of worship.
27–29 Your benefactor or financier. They’ll cover your expenses in exchange for you plying your trade on their behalf. They might expect you to create holographic diversions for them, put on musical performances, or cure their ailments.
30–32 A commanding leader you respect. They might be an educator, head of a crime syndicate, savvy CEO, military officer, or passionate activist. Whatever their role, when they speak, others listen.
33–35 An irresponsible wanderer that flits in and out of your life. They’re fun and you care for them, perhaps as a friend, family, or lover, but they visit only when they need help—and they usually bring trouble.
36–39 A criminal, troublemaker, or layabout that’s a bad influence. You might be friends, family, colleagues, or enemies. You might aspire to be like them or want to get away from them.
40–42 An eccentric storyteller that orates wild tales of adventure that they claim happened to them in their youth. No one believes them, but occasionally their stories prove true. They’re an entertaining but dubious source of information.
43–46 An academic, linguist, or scientist with a love for educating others. Brilliant and long-winded, they’re willing to answer your questions free of charge, though the answers are conveyed through lectures that last hours.
47–50 A doctor, medic, herbalist, or mystic that repeatedly saved your life. When you’re hurt and in need of aid, you can count on them to patch you up–though they might not appreciate your visits.
51–53 An enthusiastic inventor that supplies you with cutting edge, experimental technology in exchange for detailed reports on the objects’ performance. Many of these prototypes glitch, have unfortunate side effects, or explode.
54–57 A trusted mechanic that keeps your starship maintained or upgraded in port. Whether they’re a junker working with spare parts or a corporate innovator, they’re always willing to bump you to the front of their queue.
58–61 The owner of your favorite restaurant or hangout. They might treat you like a VIP, give you a place to hide, or complain whenever you visit. Whatever their opinion of you, they never turn you away.
62–65 A dispatcher, fixer, or intermediary that connects you with clients, jobs, or contacts. When you’re looking for work or short on credits, you can count on them to hook you up, though the work might not be legal.
66–69 A black market fence who’ll always off-loads even the strangest items, no questions asked. They’re shifty and reticent, refusing to engage in idle conversation or exchange personal information with customers, and they use an alias.
70–73 A law enforcer that doesn’t appreciate your meddling but might aid you if they deem your cause worthy. They might let you access a crime scene, give you information, or check a restricted database on your behalf.
74–77 An unwavering professional that, despite their close connection to you, never works for free. They believe everything has a cost that must be paid. When compensated, they complete their work to the letter despite obstacles. They’re reliable, fair, and confident.
78–81 A person you’re indebted to, perhaps a moneylender, loan shark, best friend, landlord, or mechanic. You might be able to renegotiate terms or squeak some leeway out of them, but the cost is steep.
82–85 A treacherous liar, hustler, or swindler who has gotten the best of you before. Every time you think you have the upper hand; they fool you again. You swear next time will be different.
86–89 A longtime rival you’re constantly competing with. Whether good natured or cutthroat, friend or foe, neither of you get the upper hand for long.
90–93 A competitor you bested or embarrassed who despises you for your victory. They likely accuse you of cheating, slander your name, challenge you to a rematch, interfere in your affairs, or sabotage your efforts.
94–97 A criminal, detective, or space pirate that’s pursuing a vendetta against you. Driven by desperation or wounded pride, they hunt you wherever you go. They can’t be bargained or reasoned with.
98–100 An outsider, fey, or other creature that takes pleasure in meddling in your affairs. They might have hold over your soul, claim you have a destiny to fulfill, enjoy messing with you, or be your friend.