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Starfinder Society, Paizo's Newest Organized Play Program

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Immediately after the announcement of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game last PaizoCon, our community started speculating about an organized play program to support the new game. We spent the ensuing months looking at workflow and charting out a course that would enable us to have both Starfinder and Pathfinder organized play programs. It delights me to end speculation and announce the launch of Starfinder Society at Gen Con 50!

Introducing the Starfinder Society logo, designed by the talented Sarah Robinson!

Before the questions flood in, I want to note that we are still in the active planning phase, and may not have answers to everything yet. Over the next few months, the team will release more information via blog, podcast, and forum posts. If you have questions, please put yours in the comments section, and we will work to get them answered.

Who is working on Starfinder Society?

The structure is very similar to the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. Tonya Woldridge will oversee the program, with John Compton taking on the role of lead developer of both the Pathfinder and Starfinder organized play campaigns. Developer Linda Zayas-Palmer will continue to focus on Pathfinder Society. We've added Thurston Hillman to the team as the dedicated developer for Starfinder Society. Thurston has been a part of Pathfinder Society since Season 1, when he authored Pathfinder Society Scenario #55:The Infernal Vault. Since then, he's both contributed many scenarios (and special events) to the Pathfinder Society as well as writing regularly for various other Pathfinder RPG lines. Thurston brings his depth of experience to the team, along with a bit of zany humor.

Is it going to be called "Starfinder Society?"

The official name is Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, or SFSRPG for short. The Starfinder game takes place in the distant future of the Pathfinder world, and while much has changed (or been forgotten), the Starfinder Society traces its mysterious history back to the Pathfinder Society of present day. The campaign's official name reflects this connection.

Are you making two separate organized play programs?

Yes. Although many similarities exist in structure and format, including a shared volunteer team, they are two separate campaigns with different rules, documentation, and characters.

Do I get to keep my same Pathfinder Society number?

Yes. What was your Pathfinder Society number will now be your number for all three of the Paizo-operated organized play programs: Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild, and Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. Starfinder character numbers will have a unique starting number, most likely 700, making your first Starfinder character XXX-701. The number 700 works really well for this, not only because it leaves space for plenty of Pathfinder Society roleplaying characters, but also because the PZO number (the number we assign to each of our products) begins with 7. Who knows, this bit of trivia may make it in to the PaizoCon quiz.

How much is staying the same from Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild?

We still have quests and scenarios with Chronicle sheets. Adventures will be broken into tiers, grant XP, and provide other rewards. Three experience points (XP) grant a level. There are fairly cooperative factions within the Starfinder Society, based on their worldview and goals. We will reveal more information about the campaign as we get closer to its launch in August 2017.

Illustration by Sebastien Hue

If all that is the same, what is different?

Starship combat!

On a more serious note, we made a couple major changes for Starfinder Society. The first is the tier system. We are closing the gap between subtiers that resulted in so much confusion and consternation with calculating average party level (APL). Starfinder scenarios will include the following tiers: Tier 1-2, Tier 1-4, Tier 3-6, Tier 5-8, Tier 7-10, and Tier 9-12—perhaps more as higher-level play grows in popularity.

The second most noticeable change is that characters have a means of belonging to more than one faction at a time. Unlike the current Pathfinder Society faction rules, Starfinder Society characters will be able to gain favor with multiple groups, choosing which they want to champion on a scenario-by-scenario basis. But just like multiclassing, focusing on several groups won't see the same benefits as focusing on a primary faction. These changes to the faction system tie in with another issue that we are addressing: the handling of boons. One of our goals is developing a way to make the boons on Chronicles more relevant, and not just a stack of paper player's stick in the back of their folder. We'll reveal more about these changes in... the future (see what I did there?)

What is the release schedule?

The Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild launches with 3 scenarios, 1 pre-generated character special, and 1 quest pack at Gen Con. From there, we will publish one scenario a month. Moving to a slower release schedule allows us to spin up the program and settle into the groove of running three organized play programs. During this time, we will solicit feedback and assess the rate of publication for 2018 and beyond.

When can I start playing Starfinder Society?

The fun begins Thursday, August 17th, at 8:00 AM Pacific time in the Sagamore Ballroom at Gen Con. After Thursday morning, anyone, anytime, anywhere, may schedule Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild events.

Next week sees John holding down the fort while I travel to the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas to chat with retailers about our organized play programs. The following Wednesday, March 22, at 7 pm PDT, John, Thurston, and I join the Know Direction crew for a Question and Answer session about all things organized play related. If you have topics you wish us to cover, feel free to drop me an email at tonya.woldridge@paizo.com and we will fit as many answers on the show as possible.

Check out the blog next Monday for more exciting organized play news!

Until next time—Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge
Organized Play Coordinator

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Conventions Gen Con Gen Con 2017 Organized Play Sebastien Hue Starfinder Roleplaying Game Starfinder Society
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Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

W00T! I for one cannot wait!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

Huzzah!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, PFS RPG Subscriber

So glad you included an online community at launch :D Looking forward to help grow that aspect of both society's :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ahhh should have suspected we would get news like this :P. Im looking forward to seeing how the faction system works!

Grand Lodge

Pew pew pew!

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Welcome, Thurston!

We have such plans for this program, and there are some really great adventures coming up!

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I am SUPER excited for this!

Starship combat!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Yar!

Grand Lodge

John Compton wrote:

Welcome, Thurston!

We have such plans for this program, and there are some really great adventures coming up!

Huge congratulations to Thursty! He's going to be great at this, I'm sure. Also, I doubt ANY of his... darker, religious themed space role-play will make it into Starfinder. None at all. Nope. ;-)

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oh man, awesome!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Awesome!! Now that the news has hit here, time to tell the rest who don't follow the blogs.

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Excellent to hear! Don't let the warehouse raptors get you, Thursty!

Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

13 people marked this as a favorite.
Liz Courts wrote:
Excellent to hear! Don't let the warehouse raptors get you, Thursty!

Now we can have space warehouse raptors :)

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, PFS RPG Subscriber

This just goes to further my suspicious of a cooperative special for PFS and SF at GenCon :D

Dark Archive

I'm so excited to hear this confirmed.

Dark Archive

Exciting!!


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

Thursty?
No Grippli will ever be safe again!

Seriously, though. This is AWESOME news!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The only potential issue I see is that this may split the community even further. The last time I saw this was for Core Campaign which by my observation has fallen flat on it's face.

Will there be any preview content for this at PaizoCon? I'm still on the fence about coming this year.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Cool. More Starfinder material.

Any chance there'll be a PDF subscription to the scenarios ready from launch?

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

... Is it too late to volunteer to GM at GenCon?


Awesome, sign me up.

To be honest I knew my home groups would not have much interest in playing Starfinder so I didn't think I would ever play it.

Now I will.


Sweet! Looking forward to seeing this play out. And yes, starship combat!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's official now! :)

The Exchange

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hooray! More opportunities to write for Paizo (maybe)!

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Tonya Woldridge wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
Excellent to hear! Don't let the warehouse raptors get you, Thursty!

Now we can have space warehouse raptors :)

In space, no one can hear the warehouse raptors scream.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Coordinator

Welcome Thursty.

All the fun! All the pew! All the crazy!


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Yes! I can't wait!

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Pawns, Tales Subscriber
Phylotus wrote:
... Is it too late to volunteer to GM at GenCon?

No. We are still accepting volunteer applications.

The Gen Con leadership team is working on the logistics of adding the Starfinder preference to the volunteer application and integrating it into the data already accumulated. Stay tuned for details.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber

I am a fan of SFS characters numbers starting with 700. This means that I could have character #760-760.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Can't wait Hope I am not GMing so I can get in on the 1st game


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
TwilightKnight wrote:
Phylotus wrote:
... Is it too late to volunteer to GM at GenCon?

No. We are still accepting volunteer applications.

The Gen Con leadership team is working on the logistics of adding the Starfinder preference to the volunteer application and integrating it into the data already accumulated. Stay tuned for details.

I'm staying very, very tuned.

Paizo Employee Developer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Welcome aboard, Thursty!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, PFS RPG Subscriber

Will scenarios that have been GM'd in each Society count towards GM stars?

Shadow Lodge RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

THURSTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sczarni

WalterGM wrote:
THURSTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yay! More Thursty deaths!

Liberty's Edge

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

For SFS Online Play:

Starfinder Society Discord Chat Server here:

http://SFSChat.com

Starfinder Society Online Collective Here:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/starfinder-society-online-collectiv e

I imagine things will be pretty slow and quiet up until the material releases


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ad Astra! Glad to see this posted.

Silver Crusade

Will the free RPG day game have a "space" chronicle? Otherwise Yay!


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Sounds good. Hoping new faction system isn't a rep grind. Definitely looking forward to improved chronicle sheets and hope they get implemented across all products.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So excited!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

This looks so cool, murderhobos in space!

Sczarni

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I'll wait patiently for the answer, but I gotta ask the question now:

"Any chance there will be a Boon or some other means of transferring a PFS character to SFS?"


2 people marked this as a favorite.

If we volunteer for Starfinder, will we get to see a copy of the rules before 8:00 am Thursday at GenCon? Or if the Starfinder hardcover is The Book for GMs at GenCon, will we see the rules before Wednesday afternoon?

OK, the logical answer is yes, but how much sooner? A few days, a week, a month? I still remember PFS Season 0 at GenCon with GM's running cold and learning the rules.


Woo! Congrats Tonya and Thursty!

I'm really looking forward to head out into space and to see how ship combat ends up working in society play. Happy day!

Sovereign Court

I hope to be able to jump in the Starfinder Organized Play on my region.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber

So excited for this! Hoping there will be a subscription plan for the scenarios like there is for PFS.. Also still wanting to get the special pdfs for this and pfs too when and if they become available...gotta have em all...


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Congratulations, Thursty!

Excited at the prospect of playing some of the first Starfinder games at my first con!


This is a general assessment of my feelings.

Shadow Lodge

perhaps you get a membership card, and for that faction you double your rewards when you do them a favor

The Exchange

Maybe some of those proposed changes to the boon system could be applied to PFS as well...

Anyway I am super amped for this. We will never run out of content again! Unlike with the core campaign which split things up to replay games we already played this looks like it will split things up by giving us new and exciting things to play!

Hopefully I can snag a seat at one of those Thursday tables to be a part of history...

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