Pact Worlds Review


settings rpg starfinder scifi

I've been reading through the Starfinder source book, Pact Worlds. It's a small book, but fits a lot of information into it, so I'm going to post about sections as I finish them.

Aballon is the first planet in Golarian's solar system, and it's home to a race of intelligent machines called anacites. The anacites were, as legend has it, built by the First Ones, a race that's assumed to have existed due to the abandoned cities they left behind. Today, Aballon is a planet of underground foundries producing weaponry and interstellar engines, and it's predominantly populated by anacites and androids.

Aballon is also, notably, the origin of Epoch, a machine god that eventually became one-third of Triune.

Seems like a pretty great setup, and it is for story potential but compared to the overview of the Sun's cities, this one's surprisingly vague. Here's what you know by the end of the section:

  • Most cities are underground
  • The economy is based on manufacturing weapons and engines
  • The planet is mostly barren but for "ice wells" that burrow deep into the surface and harbour lush vegetation
  • Populated by intelligent machines

Detail work

A map of some portion of the planet is provided, so you do at least have a list of significant locations. However, there's no detail about the First Ones, or what adventurers are likely to find in their abandoned cities.

As for the active modern cities, there's no detail whatever. What kinds of amenities do the cities have? Where do anacites live? what do they look like? (According to a Starfinder wiki, they appear in the first Alien Archive, which I should have but the bookstore was out so I only have Alien Archive 2.) There's a picture of a mechanical spider, so I guess that must be an anacite.

Although there's a passing mention of corporate interests, there aren't any specific details about the structure of the foundries. Are they owned by factions of anacites and androids? Or are the planetary inhabitants just worker drones for offworld corporate overlords?

Who are some of the important and influential characters on Aballon?


The character theme provided by Aballon is the Robotocist, which provides a +1 INT and some bonuses for knowledge checks related to robotics and mechanics and repairs. You gain an ability to craft items under a certain level, and at the highest level you can restore a Resolve Point.


From what I can tell, Aballon is essentially a planet of enlightened Modrons (from Mechanus, in the D&D settings). Mechanical beings neutrally dedicated to orderly productivity. I find that pretty interesting, and as with so much in Starfinder, it could be played as a utopia or dystopia depending on what you choose to bring into focus. However, there's not much in the way of details in this section beyond place names and a basic impression of geography. Were I going to run an adventure here, I'd either want a module for it, or I'd need to do a good amount of prep work and writing.

This isn't a bad section, it just doesn't shine quite as brightly as the section on the sun. Castrovel is next, and it has the advantage of having been featured in the first Starfinder adventure path, so I feel fairly familiar it already.

Header photo by Seth Kenlon, Creative Commons cc0.

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