Paizo: Starfinder Livestream News

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Paizo’s recent Starfinder livestream gave us all kinds of juicy new details about the upcoming sci-fi RPG.

In support of their recent charity bundle, Paizo hosted a live playtest and Q&A session of Starfinder, their upcoming science fantasy game due out in August of this year. While the humble bundle they were raising money for is now over, Starfinder got a lot of love. Here’s a real quick overview of what they talk about in the broadcast.

  • Rather than bury the lede let’s start with the biggest piece of news: Starfinder is going to have a supplement for Free RPG Day (6/17/17). First Contact will be a mini-bestiary, featuring 12 monsters/aliens, including robots, space pirates, insectoid creatures, space goblins* (or spoblins) and a SPACE LICH. Also included will be rules for playing some of these monsters as PCs. So if you want a jump start on Starfinder before it (or the upcoming Starfinder bestiary) comes out, this is the one for you. You can also use these in your normal Pathfinder game. So let me leave you with this ringing endorsement: “Why not introduce Space Goblins to your Pathfinder game this June? They have laser guns!!!”
  • Starfinder is going to feel a lot like Pathfinder–if you pick up the core book, it’ll be laid out the same way, and they’re working on making it very newbie friendly, but they are making vital changes to help the game capture the science fantasy aspects of it. Including things like rules for powered armor and starships.
  • Armor and Equipment are going to be a big part of how your hero functions. Every character will have good ranged options from level 1, whether this is a laser pistol or machine gun, or the like–PCs will also have access to high-tech armor from level 1 as well, including filters that protect from poison gas or the vacuum of space. Armor will work differently–there’s a system of different kinds of armor class for energy and kinetic attacks, as well as a stamina/resolve/hp differentiation that seems like it handles “laser guns everywhere” really well.
  • Magic is definitely in the game (nothing new) but they talked about how all casters will be spontaneous casters. And spellcasting will top off around 6th level spells (at least in the core) owing to spellcasting classes all being hybrids. It’s an interesting trend, mirroring the streamlined flexibility of 5e D&D’s casting. They did confirm that Wish and Miracle are in the core book, though.
  • Starships! As one would hope, starships are going to be a huge part of the game. Players are assumed to have one as early as they like, and there are rules provided to help your ship level up along with your characters.
  • Zero-G stuff is making an appearance. They put an emphasis on trying to make sure that there are plenty of options for real cinematic, blasters-a-blazin’ combat in the void of space.
  • There are going to be a Core 20 deities–but who the core 20 are, is going to change. Only 7 of the original core retain that status, others are getting a promotion of sorts.
  • They also almost talked about some of the big threats in the game. There’s a whole chapter detailing threats to the galaxy, including The Swarm, which is like The Flood, but is a Swarm instead.

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All in all, this was some exciting stuff. Seeing it in action, I’ll say it definitely still felt like they were playing Pathfinder (it doesn’t help that they spent a while fighting space goblins)–but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We’ll have to wait and see what other details they release, but I will say I’m heartened by how much they want to capture the feeling of real good science fantasy, with ancient temples, space gods, and star emperors. After watching this, I’m definitely eager to create one of the Solarion (the paladin-esque space knights they talk about) and have laser swords and black holes and…and…look I’m really excited is what I’m trying to say.

Check out the full broadcast.

Read more about Starfinder.

Happy space adventuring in space!


*No word yet on whether or not there will be a W”e Be (Space) Goblins,” but, the whole thing practically writes itself. Not satisfied just adding “space” to everything? All you’d have to do is have the goblins set loose on a stolen space hulk-like starship. Paizo, I’m available.

  • Seb

    Looks interesting and certainly opens up options to convert models from other ranges to use as your Hero or NPCs 🙂

  • GiftoftheMagi

    Ok so could someone timestamp the part where they talk about the ‘history’ of StarFinder, because if they are still going for the “whole universe fell asleep” garbage, this is a pass for me.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    I hope it is as good as Star Wars Saga, which to me, is the definitive d20 Sci-Fi game.

    • Jay Arr

      Me too. Saga was important.

  • Shawn

    If the core book is kept simple enough, that is no “P(math)finder” then I’ll be on board to try it.

  • Zethnar

    Interest plummeted as soon as he said “level 1”. I get that it’s based on Pathfinder, but surely they could figure out a way to untie themselves from a level-based system that is barely justifiable in a fantasy RPG.

    • elraver

      I’m just curious, what kind of progression system are you looking for? Skill Tree like Diablo? Learning what you use like classic Call of Cthulhu? Conceptual metastats like Amber?