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Hey everybody! I'm really glad folks are excited about the book. I'm just as excited to finally have it out in the world. :)
One request: In the future, please don't post your own previews from our books on the boards. We try really hard to make our books the sort of things you'd buy even if you already knew every detail from them, but the truth is that the excitement of the unknown is part of what drives our sales. We're selling you the answers to things like "What's the Green Mother's obedience? What's the secret history of the gnomes?" And if folks get a bunch of that on the messageboards, it can dampen the excitement, the same way reading a plot synopsis on wikipedia might dampen your excitement to see a movie. And that excitement translated into sales is what keeps us at Paizo eating food, sleeping indoors, and maintaining messageboard servers. :)
Anyway, no harm, no foul, I just wanted to put that perspective out there. Thanks again, everyone!
Starfinder will be using the imperial system, so that we don't attract undue attention from the NSA and other government agencies monitoring for anti-American behavior.*
*Okay, maybe that's not the reason. :) The actual reason is that we want the game to be as compatible with Pathfinder as possible, and since Pathfinder is already in the imperial system, and the bulk of our audience remains in North America, it was easier to just stick with what we're used to.
The imperial system is undeniably stupid. But it's ours.
*waves American flag*
Garrett Guillotte wrote:
The thing I always come back to about the planes is that they're really hard for humans like us to grasp our heads around. The planes are at once *basically* infinite, yet also finite—they have borders and edges, you can walk from one to another given enough time, etc. Yet they're also malleable, regenerating, twisting like Mobius strips, etc. As I discuss in The Redemption Engine, they also change based on the observer—what you perceive of a plane isn't the "truth" of that plane's nature, just your brain's attempt to make sense of it. Otherwise it would be pretty weird that all the afterlives are built exclusively for the comfort of humanoids and not, say, the intelligent fish empires of Regulon-5, right?
So what you've got is a system of nested, quantum-state infinities—they're both infinite and finite at the same time, depending on your perception and purpose. And just like X is always bigger than X minus 1—even when X is set to infinity—there can still be a sense of loss as things are ripped away. (Though it should be noted that the Drift, still being part of the multiverse, isn't removing energy from the system as a whole—it's all still contained with the same reality, rather than any of it going Outside.)
Just my quick thoughts on made-up metaphysics. :D
That picture was originally intended to be the Green Mother, but I've never felt super beholden to the art in that article—I always see illustrations as an artist's attempt to convey and interpret a character, rather than something perfect and set in stone. Plus, with the Eldest, they can look like whatever they want, and likely change frequently for the heck of it. So for what it's worth: the new pictures in this fey book are more "accurate" in my mind than old ones!
Robots are definitely more common than golems in Starfinder. Tech has more prominence than magic when it comes to creating automatons and artificial life forms, in large part due to the economies of scale and efficiency—people have figured out how to make robots on an assembly line, golems not so much.
To be clear, the starship rules are NOT just "let the pilot handle it." You're going to want every player (of whatever sized group) to be involved, and so far in my experience all the different roles have been pretty fun and engaging. It's admittedly a tough nut to crack, but I think the Jasons (Bulmahn and Keeley) have done a great job!
The artwork for Navasi looks really great, but also seems to run smack into a strangely specific trope.
Hey, thanks for the link—I wasn't aware that was a trope, and it's something I'll definitely think about going forward.
If it helps, though, I expect you're going to be seeing a lot of colored hair in the game, and not just on a particular ethnic group—my punk-rock roots refuse to imagine a future without a whole lot of dye. :)
The planar ripping is proportional, and depends on how far you're going. Short jumps don't do much of anything, it's only when you're going across huge stretches of the galaxy that it's a problem. (And as folks say, it allows for Event Horizon-style adventures.) Remember, the planes are infinite—I suspect a lot of people in-world aren't going to worry overmuch about stealing small amounts from an infinite (and thus renewable?) resource, in the same way that most of us still drive cars despite knowing exhaust is bad for the atmosphere. Some folks may indeed object strenuously, and that creates fun stories, but since we know how our own society deals with resources held in common (i.e. tragically), I'm not super worried about everyone deciding to stay home. But it's certainly something to think about, so I'm glad folks said something!
Eox's backstory is basically, "this is why you don't fire the Death Star from atmosphere."
Exactly! When I first created Eox, I was actually thinking of the Manhattan Project, and the old story about how the first time they tested a nuclear bomb, they weren't *entirely* sure whether or not it would actually set the whole planet's atmosphere on fire. And yet they did it anyway. :D
I wonder how much space each of those dozens of adventure locations actually get?
Since it's only a 64-page book, the gazetteer locations range from a paragraph, to a half-page with map for a few of the cities, to a full page for the Eldest's personal realms. In general, I'm a big fan of getting a bajillion interesting locations with just enough detail to get my brain really fired up, so that's the model I take with my gazetteers whenever possible. :)
And yeah, the book's delay is purely a logistical thing related to printing/shipping/etc. Starfinder's messing with many things—my sleep schedule, my novel-writing, my sanity, etc.—but this book is not one of them. :) It'll be here soon! In the meantime, I'll try and get some preview blogs on the schedule...
We were all out of the office on Friday, so I just now saw that this went live. :P
Glad people are excited about the starships! I look forward to doing blog posts about the rest of the game soon, but since the starship combat is the part of the game *most* different from Pathfinder (notice the hex grid!) I wanted to show that off early.
Plus Jason's just super photogenic.
Didn't see this thread until just now...
I hired Sam because I read his most recent novel, THE CITY STAINED RED, and thought it was not only hilarious, but perfectly captured the feel of adventure game fantasy. The titular city in that, Cier D'jaal, felt straight out of Pathfinder, and not so different in aesthetic from my own beloved Kaer Maga. So I hired him to write a book, and wow, am I ever glad I did! His protagonist is everything I wanted: a sassy rogue who actually made me laugh out loud at several points, with some really well done, interesting romantic relationships.
Is it the most Golarion-lore-heavy novel we've done? Not by a long shot—I'd say folks like Liane, or Wes, or Chris J. are probably better at digging deep into the setting lore and pulling out interesting tidbits. But in terms of the voice and the character, the tone of dark comedy, it felt like my favorite home campaigns. So I hope folks will give it a shot!
(And for what it's worth, not only did I not know who his mother was when I hired him, I think it's kind of crummy to bring lineage up when discussing an artist. It's why he and folks like Joe Hill use pseudonyms, and more power to them for trying to make a name totally divorced from their parents.)
I'm looking forward to this, because if nothing else, we'll be getting a greater variety of avatars to choose from. I wonder if we'll get to have starfighters and if there'll be different classes of starships? Are railguns a thing, or is it more energy weapons, like plasma cannons and turbo lasers?
You're going to get what you desire. There will be a lot of variety in starships and weapons! :)
Thank you! :D And I think a cult of Hastur is definitely something most folks would *avoid*, but it's hard to say anything is really *unusual* in Kaer Maga... If you did it in some place like Ankar-Te, I think you'd be fine, as long as you didn't sacrifice anyone with connections. (And most people have SOME sort of connection... it's how you survive in a place ruled by gangs.) But if you tried it in someplace like the Bottoms or Bis, I imagine you'd get ousted pretty quickly.
Steve Geddes wrote:
Aw geez! Ahem:
"I HAVE NO RECOLLECTION OF THE COMMENTS IN QUESTION AND IN FACT BELIEVE THAT THEY WERE CREATED BY MY OPPONENT AS PART OF A SYSTEMATIC CAMPAIGN TO DISCREDIT ME, AND FURTHERMORE—LOOK OVER THERE!"
I'm curious as to any thoughts you might have on how the Caulborn of Kaer Maga reacted when prophecy on Golarion broke.
Hard to say! Though I'm pretty sure they saw it coming, which is one of the reasons they live down in the safety of Xavorax. (Or at least, that particular group does—there are more caulborn out there walking the planes!)
Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Having just read Death's Heretic and finally "getting" Salim's way of thinking, I'm curious as to his feelings regarding the Ascended, like Iomedae and Irori, since Rahadoumi culture values the achievements of mortal reason and effort. As far as I know he hasn't interacted with anyone from those churches (haven't read The Redemption Engine yet, though).
Hmm, that's something I haven't really thought about before! I imagine his attitude would be pretty much "Good for you... now stop trying to tell mortals how to live and go use your immense powers elsewhere." But he's not a complete zealot, and I imagine that he's probably pretty sympathetic to Cayden Cailean's clergy, as their focus on freedom is pretty similar to Salim's own.
They're definitely not a core race, but as for whether they make it into the Alien Archive... that's still up in the air. My inclination is always to introduce *new* stuff, since folks already have flumphs they can convert pretty easily, but we'll see!
Liane Merciel wrote:
I think the highest-level heroes probably show up in Lord of Runes and Hellknight.
I'm starting to feel for the Starfinder team, so much is being expected out of the core book... Not that it will stop me from playing along in games of blatantly wild speculation about what will be there or not.
Thank you. :) It can be hard knowing that no matter what you do, *someone* is going to be angry or disappointed with your choices, but we're just going to make the best game we can within the constraints we've been given, and hopefully a lot of folks will have fun!
The Masked Ferret wrote:
There will be some information and advice in the core rulebook about porting things between the two game systems, and I'm sure there'll be a blog post here or there, but ultimately, the focus in Starfinder will be on playing Starfinder, not using it as an expansion for Pathfinder.
Putting in a fey template that doesn't restrict you so much in terms of your physiology was one of the first things I did. :)
And thanks for the kind words, everybody! I've got my head down in Starfinder right now, but I'm definitely planning on doing some preview blogs before the book releases next month.
Theliah Strongarm wrote:
So, what I'm hearing is: there technically will be more than just the hardcover rulebooks? (Looks at James the Creative Director with the hint of questioning in my voice.)
Yes, absolutely. The intention is simply to have far *fewer* books than Pathfinder. There definitely have to be a few supplements beyond just the Core Rulebook and the AP, though! Half the point of doing a science fantasy game is to get to make big books full of aliens. :)
Oh dear, what a question! I think my answer is twofold: If it were just a question of including all the content I'd love for people to have, I think the book would be about 700 pages. :P But the more reasonable part of me actually wishes we could get the whole book down to about 300 pages, both simplifying the game and leaving out a lot of less-used content so as to make it less intimidating to new players.
The actual answer will be somewhere between those two. :)
There will not be a bestiary section in the Core Rulebook. While we originally considered it, trying to do the full game rules PLUS starship combat PLUS a bunch of setting material PLUS monsters was leading us toward a book that would need to be delivered via forklift. :P That said, we'll be doing a monster book shortly after the release of the core rulebook, and I'm super excited about some some of the ways it'll diverge from the Pathfinder bestiary format!
Oh man... do I dare give up the grippli? It's hard to imagine, but you're right that there's probably a ratfolk avatar in my future somewhere. :)
Thinking about the economy and futuristic services is indeed super fun! But it's also a bit of a challenge, because we've got a *lot* of information to fit in this book, so I'm constantly having to figure out where we can cut and squeeze to get all the necessary rules in. Rest assured, though, that if something like that doesn't make it into the core, there's always the possibility of doing a Starfinder Adventure Path article on it at some point!
Will the standard Pathfinder RPG classes be compatible with this new game, just in case I want to be from a planet full of primitive people or something like that?
Somewhat! It's a different game engine, and some math is very different, so you can't just port your characters over directly with no revision. That said, we're trying to make it reasonably simple to kitbash and move things between the two games—this isn't just Pathfinder in Space, but it DOES share most of the same DNA.
The hardest part of writing for me is always coming up with the ideas. Outlines are like pulling teeth, but once I know what needs to happen, it's much easier to get in the zone and just let the words flow.
Although really, that's only partially true—the hardest part of writing is actually making myself stop procrastinating and start working. The first 100 words can take as long as the thousand that follow. You just have to turn off the internet and push through that inertia. :)
And yeah, I question my ideas (and my work as a whole) all the time. But the thing is, you can't spend your time worrying if an idea is perfect—far better to just write it and see what happens. Sometimes the result will surprise you. And even if it isn't perfect—you're more likely to hit on something people love if you write a dozen stories than if you just write one. As I believe Bradbury (or Clarke?) once said: quantity begets quality.
And also, lest that answer seem too cold and corporate... you can't imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth around here as we came to that conclusion. We *really* wanted to do a full public playtest, and overturned every rock in our search to make it feasible. But in the end it was a trade-off we had to make. :\
In addition to our in-house playtesting, we'll also be doing a closed playtest for Starfinder that's invite-only and will feature other RPG designers and third-party publishers, Pathfinder Society members, and various key members of the industry and community. While we wish we could open the playtest up to everyone, the timeframe involved and scope of the playtest simply make it impractical. (Unlike Pathfinder's class playtests, in order to make this one work, we have to give people the *entire* game.)
That said, we've got some cool ideas on how to give the community previews and get feedback, which we're looking to roll out here in the coming months. So stay tuned!
This is exactly where we're going with it.
In our new grimdark universe, the economy is totally just dwarf parts. "Gimme five teeth for an ear," you'll hear someone say.
Okay, maybe not. Actually, I'm really happy with our idea for the futuristic currency—I think we've figured out a cool way to have it be both physical *and* digital (and plausible) while avoiding some of the pitfalls of either alone. Dunno when we'll be revealing it, but I'm excited to share with y'all!
Will Huston wrote:
I apologize for spreading the crud. Shaking hands is a hard reflex to break!
But yeah, I recovered in fairly short order. Hope you did as well. :)
One thing I should point out in the various narrators' defenses: The Steve West/Ilyana Kadushin books were produced *at the same time* as all of the backlist titles. We signed two separate deals—with Macmillan Audio to make audiobooks of the new Tor-produced novels, and with Audible to release all our backlist. The two companies were working in parallel, recording simultaneously to try and get the whole line out in a relatively short window of time. Trying to use the same narrators for all of them would have created a world of problems, especially since each company had its chosen narrators that it like to use, so in the end we opted to let each company operate independently. (At least this way, if you don't like one narrator, you've got a lot of alternative choices.) But it definitely wasn't that the narrators weren't following each other's leads and trying to maintain continuity with previous narration, because there literally *wasn't* any previous narration when they started!
This has been your Behind the Scenes Business Moment at Paizo! :D
Liar's Island featured some material from** spoiler omitted **, is there any other Pathfinder Tales that have any of the occult classes show up ?
While I can't think of any off the top of my head, Meligaster from occult Adventures features prominently in the Pathfinder: Hollow Mountain comics! :D
We're not planning to do any fiction in the Starfinder Adventure Path—since it's the start of a whole new game, we need all the backmatter space we can get for new setting and rules info! That said, I can pretty much promise you'll see some fiction-like things popping up elsewhere...
The journal debate is dead—long live the journal debate! :P
Seriously, though: Thanks for the feedback, everyone! The idea of doing a short story collection or some sort of short story subscription (like a paid version of the web fiction) is deeply appealing to me as a creator, but so far we've shied away from it because the sales numbers on short story collections are pretty dismal compared to novels. Ditto for short fiction in other formats—the web fiction, while beloved by some, just didn't generate enough buzz by the end to justify the opportunity cost in addition to the *actual* cost. Each web fiction blog cost the company around $500, and even more importantly took some of our top editors away from working on the products that were *making* the company money. As with other discontinued projects like Planet Stories, we kept it going as long as we could out of love for the art form, but in the end, we had to do the responsible thing.
That said, it's really nice to hear from people who appreciate short fiction, and who knows? If the demand is there, perhaps it could return in a new and improved form someday...
Amanda Plageman wrote:
Thank you! I've written those little chapter opener bits for almost all the hardcovers, and I've really enjoyed developing the iconics' personalities through them. So much good-natured snark. :D