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New Starfinder Interview!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

More exciting Starfinder work continues to churn around these parts, and with that, more information about the upcoming roleplaying game has made it's way to the masses! In an interview with Matt Miller over at Game Informer, our own James L. Sutter divulged more details about the process behind Starfinder (and creating this all-new core rulebook full of gameplay and setting material). I've snagged some of the new artwork and other information (including captions from James) to show off here, but you should check out the whole interview for all of the new juicy bits.

First up is our next iconic character, Iseph, the iconic operative!


Illustration by Remko Troost
This is Iseph, our iconic operative. The operative class is all about stealth, speed, and agility—whether you want to be a smuggler, a scout, an intrusion agent, or a black-ops assassin, this is the class for you. You'll also notice that Iseph is an android. Androids in Starfinder were originally created by humans as servitors, but in recent centuries fought for and won independence and recognition as full citizens of the Pact Worlds. While they have some interesting physical properties—they don't age, they handle vacuum much better than humans, and they have internal circuitry that glows when they're stressed—they also strive to distinguish themselves culturally from their former oppressors. One way in which some androids—like Iseph—do so is through the rejection of gender, which they see as an unnecessary mark of their former bondage.

Next, travelling to new worlds is a given in Starfinder—perhaps your future galaxy-hopping group may find themselves on a journey to either Liavara or Verces starting next summer?


Illustration by Leon Tukker
Liavara is a gas giant, with no solid surface at all, and those terrestrial races who come to mine its gasses or trade with the native creatures are forced to live on massive floating arcology platforms like this one. Much of the planet is held as a nature preserve by the Brethedans—gelatinous dirigible-like creatures who can alter their own DNA to produce whatever tools they need, from simple chemical compounds to tailored viruses. What's more, the Brethedans can actively merge together to create linked consciousnesses more intelligent and powerful than the sum of their parts, and some Brethedan biotech corporations are actually single massive entities consisting of millions of merged Brethedans.

Illustration by Sebastien Hue
Verces is a tidally locked world, with one side always facing the sun, the other always facing away. Civilization exists primarily in the narrow band of habitable terrain along the terminator line, where day meets night, and the massive cities that have grown there ring the globe in a single massive urban sprawl. In addition to being at the forefront of Pact World technology and industry, Verces is also the birthplace of the Stewards, a police-like organization of warrior-diplomats sworn to maintain the Pact, who hunt down interplanetary criminals and preserve peace between the sometimes fractious worlds of the solar system.

As always, keep your eye out on the Paizo blog for Starfinder news! You can also keep track up interviews and other features by following us on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.

Chris Lambertz
Community & Digital Content Director

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Iconics Iseph Leon Tukker Remko Troost Sebastien Hue Starfinder Roleplaying Game
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Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

7 people marked this as a favorite.

I really enjoyed this interview, and I'm super excited for everyone to see Iseph! :D

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
James Sutter wrote:
I really enjoyed this interview, and I'm super excited for everyone to see Iseph! :D

In the blog above he's named Ispeh?

Liberty's Edge

Sooo, jedi?

Paizo Employee Community & Digital Content Director

DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
James Sutter wrote:
I really enjoyed this interview, and I'm super excited for everyone to see Iseph! :D
In the blog above he's named Ispeh?

D'oh, that'd be my bad! Still getting used to typing out new iconic names :)


I love seeing new artwork and trying to pick out details that give something away... for instance, the android on the splash page seems to be wearing the heaviest armor we have seen so far and even that only looks to be about as much as a breastplate. Leaves me wondering what real heavy armor will look like, we've heard about power armor but nothing we've seen yet seems on that level.

Another thing i notice is that Iseph's pistol looks to have two needle like points at the end of the barrel, lighting based gun perhaps? We've seen a Ysoki with what looks like machine pistols and the splash page android and kasatha both have rectangular barrel ends that make me think plasma or laser.

Even if i am way off base on what kinds of weapons these are, i hope there is some internal consistency of what the various weapon types look like and how they operate.

cant wait to see the rest of the iconis... and the iconic spaceship, they have to have their own space ship!

Dark Archive

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Come on August......wait come on tax refund then come on August.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I"m really impressed with the art for Starfinder so far, just as much as I'm loving the brief summaries for the planets.

Am I the only one curious if the iconic characters are part of the same crew? Has this already been answered?


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

Android culture! How interesting!

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Paladinosaur wrote:
Sooo, jedi?

I was thinking the Lantern Corps, Darkstars, or Manhunter.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

But most assuredly not iSeph, right?

*ducks*

It's neat to have an iconic that's taken the idea of gender and thrown it into the rubbish bin completely as an antiquated biological function of hoo-mans and not androids.


Gods I can't wait for August, is there anyway in the next few months I can start sending money to just outright buy books for this in advance? No lie, I just want the books because everything I have heard about this just has me excited and anxious to get the freaking books.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Love the artwork! :)

(And it's nice to see someone else than WAR doing the basic iconic art for a change.)

Liavara looks beautiful. Verces' terminator urban sprawl looks very interesting ... sort of like a miniature version of Coruscant (and therefore probably far fewer questions about the laws of thermo-dynamics or whatever that nit-picking was about).


As I said when you shared this on Facebook, good to see a proper interview covering Starfinder. A bit long and covered some familiar ground but there are some interesting gems to be had here. Both about the larger world the players can explore and about some of the behind the scenes bits. I like the story behind the iconics, was not aware of that previously. Iseph definitely sells their class.

As for the Androids in general. They sound interesting but I'm going to defer proper judgement until I see the write-up in full. Even then, not sure how I feel about the whole "ebil hoomons r ebil slave lords" story line. Seen it done before many times, not one of them has been done particularly well. Not that you couldn't be the first to do it justice but still, you'd be the first.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


But most assuredly not iSeph, right?

Or broSeph


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I actually feel Blade Runner and Eclipse Phase do that style pretty well.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

VERCES!!!!!!

For Mikaze!!!!!!!!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
captain yesterday wrote:

VERCES!!!!!!

For Mikaze!!!!!!!!

You mentioned Mikaze, now I'm all depressed.

*Requiem for the Fallen begins to play in background*

Why did they have to leave us?


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I want this to be my Starfinder theme :P

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
The Doomkitten wrote:
I want this to be my Starfinder theme :P

I knew what that was before I even clicked the link :3


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, do genderless androids use the neutral grammatical gender or do they use singular they?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am very much looking forward to Starfinder! Each Blog post I look over gets me more and more excited.

I thoroughly love the idea of genderless androids! This makes more sense than the idea of them trying to determine whether they identify as a "male" or "female" considering they do not have reproductive organs. Plus, I think its well-thought that they would reject such 'antiquated' ideals from the humans that once enslaved them.


I definitely plan on running a Starfinder colonization game inspired by games like Alpha Centauri and Beyond Earth, with a dash of Mass Effect Andromeda.

Paizo Employee Creative Director, Starfinder Team

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Androids will be referred to as "they" unless they identify with a particular gender, in which case they'll get he or she (or whatever pronoun they desire) accordingly.


Cool. Androids and robots having genders when they lack conventional reproductive functions always seemed off to me.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
The Doomkitten wrote:
I want this to be my Starfinder theme :P
I knew what that was before I even clicked the link :3

Despite the fact that Dune is my favorite sci-fi, when it comes to themes for space adventuring with most gaming groups I've been party to...there really is only one option.

EDIT: Well...or:

This one.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
The Doomkitten wrote:
I want this to be my Starfinder theme :P
I knew what that was before I even clicked the link :3

The Sunshine (2007) soundtrack is nicely atmospheric and inspiring. "Adagio in D Minor (Kaneda's _____)" still chokes me up when I hear it.


I loved the theme music to the film Supernova (James Spader, Angela Bassett) ... Supernova Soundtrack, Track 1, Titan, and the first few tracks that come after it of a similar new age-y kind of music (not the whole soundtrack though). 1, 2, 3, 23, 24, 25, 39 and a handful of others. Top of the short list of things to like about that movie. Drone music is not for everyone but I like it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


But most assuredly not iSeph, right?

*ducks*

It's neat to have an iconic that's taken the idea of gender and thrown it into the rubbish bin completely as an antiquated biological function of hoo-mans and not androids.

Lol that just seemed like something to throw at the special snowflakes so they don't complain that rules are disparaging some group or another. Similar to what they did in PF where they never say he, and always say she. If you don't do something along those lines the snowflakes will find an "ist" to call you.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Statboy wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


But most assuredly not iSeph, right?

*ducks*

It's neat to have an iconic that's taken the idea of gender and thrown it into the rubbish bin completely as an antiquated biological function of hoo-mans and not androids.

Lol that just seemed like something to throw at the special snowflakes so they don't complain that rules are disparaging some group or another. Similar to what they did in PF where they never say he, and always say she. If you don't do something along those lines the snowflakes will find an "ist" to call you.

Dude, you're kinda being a yellow snowflake here. :(


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Statboy wrote:
If you don't do something along those lines the snowflakes will find an "ist" to call you.

Careful, you're trespassing upon my purview here.

If anyone's gonna be a killjoy with no regard for others and an inflated view of the primacy of their own worldview, it's gonna be ME!


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Pawns, PFS RPG, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Statboy wrote:
Similar to what they did in PF where they never say he, and always say she.

Similar in that it's objectively wrong?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

There seemed to be a tendency in D&D 3.0 to write 'he' or 'she' depending on whatever gender the iconic for that class was. Anything that referenced a character in the third person--whether it was a feat or a combat maneuver or the user of an item or the caster of a spell--for example if it referenced a rogue (Lidda), wizard (Mialee), or paladin (Alhandra) in the example blurb, that unnamed character was always female. Or, anything that involved, say, a barbarian (Krusk), fighter (Tordek), or cleric (Jozan), the unnamed character was male. (Although there are a few classes where a second iconic was added which were of the opposite gender.)

But it's not a bad tradition for Starfinder to keep. This would mean all examples that reference a operative character would be neutral-they. If anyone decided to complain about it, the Paizo guys could always give the above explanation for why it's 'he' and not 'she' for some characters, or vice versa, or neither.


11 people marked this as a favorite.

*sigh* I figured there would have to be at least one rude person that would crawl out of their hole to complain about an agender iconic.

Inclusiveness has been one of Pazio's claims to famee, I'm pleased at the continuation of the trend.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
Dude, you're kinda being a yellow snowflake here. :(

Can I identify as a grumpy old codger to make it alright? Honestly I feel comfortable with that kind of joking here, because left or right the Paizo fan base is typically not the nutter extremist's but more reasonable. Paizo didn't just make android's androgynous, which is logical and reasonable, they took it a step further and strongly implied its something androids are proud of and identify as.

I'm just saying I get why Paizo worded it that way, and am not making a statement about gender identity. Only that I get tired of the overindulgence of political correctness.

For the record, I support no mention of any identity politics in the rules so that the gamers have more control over the identity of there character. If a PC in my game wanted an androgynous human or a gendered android I'd be ok with both.


11 people marked this as a favorite.

I never get tired of political correctness. For some reason I just don't see a reason to say something that a marginalized group may take offense to. So on that note, let's change the topic away from talking about why a marginalized group should have some representation and towards how awesome the new iconic looks. Because regardless of the gender you identify as, when you've got a laser sniper rifle on your back, the last thing I'm thinking about is pronouns.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

...or a pistol, or a battle-hardened military bearing...


2 people marked this as a favorite.

If we're going to comment on appearances, may I suggest the fact that they appear to have a mohawk - mullet? Party in the front. Party in the back.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Statboy wrote:
Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
Dude, you're kinda being a yellow snowflake here. :(

Can I identify as a grumpy old codger to make it alright? Honestly I feel comfortable with that kind of joking here, because left or right the Paizo fan base is typically not the nutter extremist's but more reasonable. Paizo didn't just make android's androgynous, which is logical and reasonable, they took it a step further and strongly implied its something androids are proud of and identify as.

I'm just saying I get why Paizo worded it that way, and am not making a statement about gender identity. Only that I get tired of the overindulgence of political correctness.

For the record, I support no mention of any identity politics in the rules so that the gamers have more control over the identity of there character. If a PC in my game wanted an androgynous human or a gendered android I'd be ok with both.

But you start off with dismissive language calling other people "special snowflakes", following it up with "overindulgence of political correctness" and "identity politics". That isn't being a codger about in game decisions and flavor. That's attacking real world people, actual players & GMs right here on this board. I'm sorry it seems to bug you, but inclusiveness means a world to many people who have been excluded for so long.

And if anyone's really up for a conversation about agendered androids in Starfinder, create a new thread, because this discussion in a product preview thread is going to get ModHammered (and rightly so).


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I really love the crazy neo art deco style of the city in Verces. Of all of the planets, that's the one civilized one that I really am interested.


Odraude wrote:
I really love the crazy neo art deco style of the city in Verces. Of all of the planets, that's the one civilized one that I really am interested.

I'm kind of interested to see how the core races interact with the other planets. Do they all stay and like on the station or do they migrate to other planets?


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber
Archmage Variel wrote:
Odraude wrote:
I really love the crazy neo art deco style of the city in Verces. Of all of the planets, that's the one civilized one that I really am interested.
I'm kind of interested to see how the core races interact with the other planets. Do they all stay and like on the station or do they migrate to other planets?

Well, Akiton has Ratfolk and a specific human ethnicity, and Castrovel already has elves in residence...


2 people marked this as a favorite.

There's nothing wrong with being inclusive, but constantly drawing attention to a the fact that you are being inclusive makes it feel forced and no longer genuine. It's like the old "look at how not-racist I am!" routine.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
IonutRO wrote:
There's nothing wrong with being inclusive, but constantly drawing attention to a the fact that you are being inclusive makes it feel forced and no longer genuine. It's like the old "look at how not-racist I am!" routine.

Please don't complain about people being included. There is literally nothing wrong with medium including a group that is not often represented in a medium. You don't have to play an agendered android. Please don't start a sentence with there's nothing wrong with [blank] but... I like to think about it as the "Not [Blank] Rule". The rule is simple, if you say I'm not a racist but, or in this case there's nothing wrong with being inclusive but, the thing that follows will likely be offensive to a minority group. Including a minority is not the same thing as marginalizing a minority. Again, if someone's genitalia, or in this case complete biological lack or genitalia, bothers you in any way, DON'T THINK ABOUT IT. It's simply not necessary.

On that note let us talk about something that isn't someones sex or gender. How about the sniper rifle on the back of the android. Looks like the barrel is too small to be anything but a laser sniper rifle so, laser sniper rifles confirmed? It can't be a rail gun because the barrels of sifi rail guns are usually thicker and the guns are usually heavier (at least the one depicted in the pathfinder technology guide). I'm hoping so because I know my girlfriend would love to play an operative sniper.

Liberty's Edge

Archmage Variel wrote:

[

On that note let us talk about something that isn't someones sex or gender. How about the sniper rifle on the back of the android. Looks like the barrel is too small to be anything but a laser sniper rifle so, laser sniper rifles confirmed? It can't be a rail gun because the barrels of sifi rail guns are usually thicker and the guns are usually heavier (at least the one depicted in the pathfinder technology guide). I'm hoping so because I know my girlfriend would love to play an operative sniper.

What if it is a high-powered Magic Missile Rifle?

Grand Lodge

Archmage Variel wrote:
Looks like the barrel is too small to be anything but a laser sniper rifle so, laser sniper rifles confirmed?

Since we can't see the exact barrel length, could just be a normal sniper with a foldable stock to explain why its not hanging down further.

But I'm rooting for lazer sniper too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Verces looks like the planet(forgot the name) at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy.

I like the picture of the space station in/on Bretheda.


Cole Deschain wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
Odraude wrote:
I really love the crazy neo art deco style of the city in Verces. Of all of the planets, that's the one civilized one that I really am interested.
I'm kind of interested to see how the core races interact with the other planets. Do they all stay and like on the station or do they migrate to other planets?
Well, Akiton has Ratfolk and a specific human ethnicity, and Castrovel already has elves in residence...

Yeah I'm kinda really excited for Akiton. From the admittedly singular artwork I've seen of it, it sounds like a mixture of Red Faction, Total Recall, and Barsoom of John Carter fame. I kind of like that idea.


Archmage Variel wrote:
IonutRO wrote:
There's nothing wrong with being inclusive, but constantly drawing attention to a the fact that you are being inclusive makes it feel forced and no longer genuine. It's like the old "look at how not-racist I am!" routine.
Please don't complain about people being included. There is literally nothing wrong with medium including a group that is not often represented in a medium. You don't have to play an agendered android. Please don't start a sentence with there's nothing wrong with [blank] but... I like to think about it as the "Not [Blank] Rule". The rule is simple, if you say I'm not a racist but, or in this case there's nothing wrong with being inclusive but, the thing that follows will likely be offensive to a minority group. Including a minority is not the same thing as marginalizing a minority. Again, if someone's genitalia, or in this case complete biological lack or genitalia, bothers you in any way, DON'T THINK ABOUT IT. It's simply not necessary.

You may notice I wasn't criticising inclusiveness, but rather Paizo.

My point was that Paizo's inclusiveness feels like marketing. People who are really inclusive don't have to draw attention to the fact that they're inclusive, they just are.

As soon as this character's introduced, the first thing we're told about them is that they're agender, their rejection of gender is thrust to the foreground as their defining character trait, they're suddenly not just agender, they're "the agender one". That's not inclusiveness, that's tokenism.

Compare Iseph to Frozen's Oaken. Iseph is immediately codified as being agender before we're even told anything about their life, personality, skills, loved ones, or personal interests. Oaken is introduced as a quirky store owner with a decent amount of characterisation, and not once does the movie stop to tell us "this guy's gay, he's here because we are accepting of gays", they just show us Oaken's family without calling attention to the fact that he has a husband, and by having the characters not react in a negative fashion they show that there's nothing wrong with him being gay.

The same tact should've been taken with Iseph's backstory. Instead of Paizo telling us they're agender, we should've been shown it by the use of singular they when talking about them, and by not bringing attention to it.

By drawing explicit attention to the fact that the person is different you make the difference something that needs to be adressed instead of normalising it.

Archmage Variel wrote:
On that note let us talk about something that isn't someones sex or gender. How about the sniper rifle on the back of the android. Looks like the barrel is too small to be anything but a laser sniper rifle so, laser sniper rifles confirmed? It can't be a rail gun because the barrels of sifi rail guns are usually thicker and the guns are usually heavier (at least the one depicted in the pathfinder technology guide). I'm hoping so because I know my girlfriend would love to play an operative sniper.

This was my last two cents on Paizo and inclusiveness, so yeah, Sniper Rifles. It could also be a nanite based weapon, but you're right, it being laser based seems more likely.


That flavor about the Android isn't being inclusive, its actually being exclusive. Its implying if you want to be gendered don't be this race, and if you want to be androgynous you have to be this race (maybe they'll throw in another intentionally androgynous race). My supported plan of dropping all mention of identity politics is actually more inclusive because it allows any person to make any race without restriction. Rather than throwing a token race their way.


On Iseph's weapons, the knife looks like a knife and judging by the kasatha, regular old' pointy metal is still around. His pistol, based on the two needle like prongs and industrial caution paint job makes me think lightning while the barrel over his shoulder looks like a conventional ballistic weapon profile with an asymmetric (super short) suppressor or (more closely resembling) a muzzle break. I don't think it will be as mundane as a 20th century rifle so I would guess at a smart or payload weapon of some kind. The tech guide handled that as nanite canisters but I could also see gyrojet, ramjet or explosive micro rockets as options.

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