Starfinder Core Rulebook

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Starfinder Core Rulebook

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Shoot for the Stars

Blast off into a galaxy of adventure with the Starfinder Roleplaying Game! Step into your powered armor and grab your magic-infused laser rifle as you investigate the mysteries of a weird universe with your bold starship crew. Will you delve for lost artifacts in the ruins of alien temples? Strap on rune-enhanced armor and a laser rifle to battle undead empires in fleets of bone ships, or defend colonists from a swarm of ravenous monsters? Maybe you'll hack into the mainframe of a god-run corporation, or search the stars for clues to the secret history of the universe or brand new planets to explore. Whether you're making first contact with new cultures on uncharted worlds or fighting to survive in the neon-lit back alleys of Absalom Station, you and your team will need all your wits, combat skill, and magic to make it through. But most of all, you'll need each other.

This massive 528-page hardcover rulebook is the essential centerpiece of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, with rules for character creation, magic, gear, and more—everything you need to play Starfinder as either a player or Game Master! The next great adventure in science-fantasy roleplaying takes off here, and the Starfinder Core Rulebook is your ticket to a lifetime of adventure amid the stars!

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • All of the rules you need to play or run a game of Starfinder.
  • Seven character classes, from the elite soldier and stealthy operative to the physics-hacking technomancer and mind-bending mystic.
  • Character races both new and classic, from androids, insectile shirrens, ratlike ysoki, and reptilian vesk to the dwarves and elves of the distant future.
  • An in-depth exploration of the Starfinder setting, including its planets, gods, factions, and threats.
  • Hundreds of weapons, spells, technological gadgets, magic items, and other options to outfit any character.
  • Complete rules for starships, including customization and starship combat.
  • Rules and tips on using Pathfinder RPG content with Starfinder.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-956-1

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****½ (based on 25 ratings)

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Beautiful, Professional, Fun!

****( )

It’s been exactly one year since the Starfinder Core Rulebook was released. After playing the game steadily since then, the timing seems auspicious to do a full review. Having read it cover to cover, I’ll be doing my usual chapter-by-chapter breakdown, but since this is a big book (13 chapters and 524 pages) I can’t be quite as prolix as usual.

Before getting into the content, I have to draw attention to the art and design of the book—it’s simply gorgeous. Paizo is the best in the business when it comes to integrating cool, “on-theme” artwork into their books, and the design of the book is clever and user-friendly, with a running border on the “right-hand” side so you instantly know what chapter you’re in, highlighted tabs at the bottom to tell you what you what section of that chapter you’re in, colourful sidebars and symbols to replace walls of text, and more. I don’t what the art and layout budget for it was, but it must have taken the best work of some very talented people to achieve such results.

Chapter 1 (Overview) is the shortest chapter, and it gives you the sort of thing most gaming books do: an explanation of what a role-playing game is, a quick glossary, an example of play, etc. When you’ve read a couple of these introductions to RPGs, you’ve read them all, but for people who have never gamed before, I imagine they’re pretty important. The example of play was pretty entertaining, and I found myself disappointed when it was over—odd!

Chapter 2 (Character Creation) walks you step-by-step through the process of creating a player character. It’s written in a very clear, straightforward way, and I know the developers spent a lot of time testing the chapter out on people unfamiliar with tabletop RPGs. This chapter is crucial, as it details important game concepts like Stamina and Hit Points (two different “pools” representing health; I don’t really think the distinction is worthwhile), Resolve Points (a pool of points allowing you to activate special abilities or stabilize if you run out of health), and Themes, which are sort of like background character concepts (“Bounty Hunter” and “Icon” are examples); they provide some minor mechanical bonuses, but frankly they’re not really going to change what a character can do and are more for flavour. Alignment is also covered in this chapter, but Starfinder is so wishy-washy on it, and it’s implemented in so few parts of the game, that it could be safely jettisoned entirely.

Chapter 3 (Races) introduces the seven core races of the game: Androids, Humans, Kasathas (four-armed traditionalists), Lashuntas (natural psychics), Shirrens (humanoid bug-like creatures), Vesk (Klingons in disguise), and Ysoki (ratfolk). I really like how attractively the two-page spread for each race is laid out, with male and female examples, highlighted special features, and other useful sections like homeworlds, role-playing tips, and how other races might view your own. None strike me as amazingly original, but they’re all solid and well-integrated with the setting lore of the game.

Chapter 4 (Classes) sets out the seven core classes: Envoys (diplomats and leaders), Mechanics (techies), Mystics (clerics), Operatives (spies and rogues), Solarians (a sort of Jedi), Soldiers (beatsticks), and Technomancers (magic/tech crossover specialists). A nice thing is that for each class, four build examples are given to help new players figure out what direction they want to take the character—so for Envoy, for example, builds are included for an Ambassador, a Military Officer, a Negotiator, and a Scoundrel. I only have space for a quick line about my impression of each class: 1) Envoys are great characters when it comes to teamwork, but it’s weird that their list of special ability (“Improvisations”) stops at level six; 2) Mechanics are loaded with several cool features, and are a fairly complex class to play with two main options (an integrated AI or a drone companion); 3) Mystic is a good, broad interpretation of a cleric from Pathfinder, but much easier to play (the Healer Connection might be too good compared to alternatives); 4) Operatives are the best at anything if they want to be, second-best in the group if they don’t even try—in other words, overpowered with too many skill ranks and bonuses, plus a special ability (trick attack) that has them rolling to resolve something before every single time they attack—it’s annoying in play; 5) Solarian is the most original class, with some really interesting lore involving connections to super novae and black holes that are well-integrated into their gameplay mechanics; 6) Soldiers are mostly what one would expect, with “Fighting Styles” the main distinguishing feature; 7) Technomancer is a cool concept, a class with spells plus “Magic Hacks” that do interesting things to technology. There are a lot of options within each class, they’re flavourful, and (with the exception of the Operative) they seem reasonably balanced with each other. I almost forgot about Archetypes—that’s because they’re completely forgettable (the book comes with two, a Phrenic Adept and a Starfinder Forerunner, but both require a PC to give up so many of their core class features that they’re unlikely to be worth it).

Chapter 5 (Skills) has the same basic system for skills as Pathfinder, but with far fewer to choose from: only twenty. But with every class getting at least 4+Int in skill points, it’s pretty easy to stay maxed out on the most important ones in the game. Indeed, some classes (looking at you, Operatives) get so many skill points that they can be good at almost everything. Designing skill lists must be a tough task in RPGs, as there are inevitably some that are going to come up nearly every session (like Computers) and some only rarely (like Swim). Some skills are too broad (like Culture, which apparently allows one to be an expert on every planet in the universe) and others are too narrow (like Disguise, which won’t let you disguise yourself as a specific person). There’s also still a lot of number-crunching involved in selecting the appropriate DC within each skill, so this is not a fast “rules-light” system. All in all, I would say it’s okay, but not a great leap forward from D&D 3.0 or Pathfinder.

Chapter 6 (Feats) has a lot of good, original ideas, some of which take real advantage of the setting like Amplified Glitch. There’s just over 100 feats in total, which seems like a lot, but many are, of course, really only useful for certain classes or builds, so I don’t think choice paralysis is going to be a problem yet. The interior artwork continues to be excellent in this chapter.

Chapter 7 (Equipment) clearly had a lot of design work put into it, as it’s far more integral to the game than mundane equipment was in Pathfinder. Every piece of equipment has a level attached to it, representing how easy or hard it is for a character to get a hold of it (with higher level pieces of equipment being better, of course). It’s more reminiscent of a video game, but I think it works in context as an abstraction of things like licensing and black market connections, etc. I really like some of the special properties and critical hit effects that weapons have, though I wish the tables would have been divided by level instead of weapon type. There’s some problems I could go into here (such as how annoying batteries are, or how fusions and fusion seals are each good ideas standing alone, but having both doesn’t make sense), but I’ll generally just say that encumbrance has been simplified (for better or ill), there’s a lot of design space for future books, and the problem of every character having a billion magic items has been solved in a way that (to me) is satisfactory. The way equipment is purchased, upgraded, and sold has had a surprisingly large impact on Starfinder gameplay, so this chapter shouldn’t be skipped over when thinking about the game.

Chapter 8 (Tactical Rules) is probably the most important chapter of the book, as it covers combat. The Pathfinder chassis is used here, with some minor differences such as only two types of armor class (EAC and KAC) and thankfully simplified combat maneuvers. Oddly, the dying and death rules are much *more* complicated, and I wish they had stuck with the intuitive negative hp concept (it’s pretty hard to die in Starfinder!). For the most part though, things are laid out clearly and carefully; it’s obvious the writers have learned a lot from their experience with ten years of Pathfinder. There’s also a section on vehicles, a part of the book that I must confess I’ve never used in actual play. It looks okay at first glance, though the speed of vehicles means they will be very hard to integrate with “on-foot” combat. The vehicle chase rules sound interesting, but it’s a whole new subsystem to learn and that’s a lot to ask for something that probably won’t come up too often.

Chapter 9 (Starships) goes through the very cool origin of the Drift (a hyperspace-like realm allowing faster than light travel), discusses how starships are built and modified from a gameplay perspective, and then introduces the important topic of starship combat. I really *want* to like starship combat in Starfinder (I loved it in the Star Wars RPGs, for example), but after some trials I’ve just found it too slow-paced and unsatisfying. It’s really almost a separate little board game in which the PCs aboard the ship don’t have much to do besides roll one d20 each round, and if the gunner(s) miss, the rest of the round doesn’t matter. Ships have too many hit points, weapons do too little damage, and shields are too easy to restore, which means that battles are often a “plink-plink” slog. Further, there’s no way to have cool things happen like starfighters strafing ground targets or being driven off by anti-aircraft, fire, etc. Starship combat and ground combat must never mix in Starfinder, and the missed opportunity is a shame.

Chapter 10 (Magic and Spells) has a lot to like. All spellcasting is spontaneous, there’s no material components, spellcasters only have access to spells of levels 1-6, and the different types of magic (arcane, divine, psychic, etc.) have all been reduced to simply “magic.” Although I haven’t played at very high levels yet, I’m fairly certain we’ll see a lot less of the caster-martial disparity that plagued Pathfinder. In terms of the actual spells, I would say that perhaps three-quarters are familiar from Pathfinder, which is a bit too high a proportion. Some of the new ones are really fun, like “Battle Junkbot,”, “Crush Skull,” “Gravitational Singularity” (make a black hole!), and “Supercharge Weapon.”

Chapter 11 (Game Mastering) contains the standard rules and advice from Pathfinder on topics like experience points, wealth by level, challenge ratings, designing encounters, etc. The system hasn’t really changed much. The chapter contains some other sections as well, such as traps (which tend to be pretty nasty in Starfinder), environmental hazards (which, in a game with so much potential for dangerous environments, are negated 99% of the time by the environmental seals that come with *every* suit of armor), afflictions like diseases and poisons (which follow a very different set of rules and are quite deadly), and more. It’s probably worth mentioning that there aren’t stat blocks for monsters or enemies in this book, and GMs will need to pick up the Alien Archive for that purpose.

Chapter 12 (Setting) is another crucial chapter. I think it has a really solid backstory and set-up, introducing key concepts like the Gap (a period of time in which all records have been erased and memories lost), Lost Golarion (an entire planet missing!), the the Pact Worlds (the solar system of allied planets that is the “home” of the PCs), and more. The chapter presents two pages on each of the planets of the Pact Worlds, including some beautiful, evocative artwork. The planets offer worlds (pun!) of adventure, with everything from a planet ruled by the undead, a creepy Cthulesque planet, a John Carter of Mars-type planet, etc. GMs will have a lot to work with here. There’s also a section called “Beyond the Pact Worlds” that’s one of my favourite sections of the book, presenting so many awesome adventure hooks and campaign premises that I’d love to have time to use. Several pages are devoted to various factions, organisations, and faiths, and again this is very well-done. I know it’s controversial in some quarters, but I think integrating mechanics with a setting is a good choice.

Chapter 13 (Pathfinder Legacy) is surprisingly detailed. I remember when Starfinder was announced how much attention Paizo gave to making sure it was backwards-compatible with Pathfinder, which is somewhat odd since they (secretly) had Pathfinder Second Edition in the works and it has nothing particular compatible with the first edition except the world lore. Anyway, this section has the rules for “legacy races” (elves, halflings, etc.,) as well as some rough conversion guides for bringing Pathfinder classes into the future.

Last up, unlike some gaming companies, Paizo does not skimp on things like glossaries and indices. The back matter is very professionally done.

The Starfinder Core Rulebook is an impressive accomplishment. It deserves the attention and rewards that it has achieved. There are still some clunky mechanics here and there as a legacy of Pathfinder, but there’s plenty of streamlining as well, and lots to love. The kitchen-sink science fantasy setting provides something for everyone, even if it doesn’t have a mind-blowing singular vision. Overall, I’d say if you want a space-themed RPG with enough depth and crunch to support years of gameplay, the Starfinder Core Rulebook is an excellent choice.


Thanks again for another great game! May I have another piece of crow pie?

*****

I started gaming with Star Frontiers and science fiction gaming has always been my true gaming love despite most of the time being spent – unsurprisingly – on fantasy. The fantasy genre has done much over the decades to close the gap to where the affection gap between them is pretty narrow but sci-fi still wins out. However, science fiction and fantasy have always been “two great tastes” that didn’t really taste great together for me. For every Star Wars (and there are few), there are dozens of examples of poorly mashing the genres together. Planetary romance and pulp managed it before Star Wars was a thing but the only thing close to Star Wars that did it successfully IMO was Farscape.

So going into the announcement of Starfinder, I was intrigued but not thrilled. From a Paizo perspective, it made perfect sense – it gave the company the opportunity to satisfy Lisa’s love of Star Wars with Paizo intellectual property and no licensing headaches and also could satisfy Erik’s love of planetary romance/pulp as well as fully realize the science fantasy seeds planted in the PF1 era Golarion system.

I picked up Starfinder and while I was impressed with some elements, others on first glance didn’t quite satisfy my physics-degree based-desire to keep magic out of my science fiction. I’d found Savage Worlds years before and it provides the science-fiction toolbox I was looking for. (BTW, Pinnacle has a kickstarter for the Irongate expansion for their highly recommended Last Parsec setting underway right now).

Specifically, I wasn’t crazy about NPCs operating by different rules, the gear progression system, and what appeared to be the restrictive nature of the base classes. I was running multiple Pathfinder campaigns and struggling to find regular times to run those and still had my intermittent Last Parsec campaign so there was little incentive to add Starfinder to the mix of games I’d run.

But a month ago my eldest son said he wanted to purchase Starfinder with an eye towards running it. For the first time in many years, I would get to be a player rather than a GM, so I threw my Starfinder reservations aside and eagerly dove into Starfinder.

It iS GLORIOUS!!

Yes, it’s more Farscape and Guardians of the Galaxy than Aliens, Dark Matter, The Expanse, or Firefly (but it can do these also). Yes, it has a specific tone/feel just like Pathfinder is for fantasy so it can’t be molded to suit any style of science fiction. Also, yes – it’s a blast to play!

My love of Savage Worlds and free-form/magic-free science fiction caused me to forget a lesson I learned when introducing my kids and their friends to Pathfinder. For most new players, class-based games provide structure that facilitates learning the game vs. being so overwhelmed by possibilities that a player doesn’t know where to start. The same goes for the gear list and while, yes it is a concession to game balance & structure, it’s not as intrusive or problematic as my casual initial Starfinder read-through appeared. And at the end of the day, it’s a game and not a physics simulator which is true of every RPG I’ve played in the past 35 years.

Once my preconceptions and biases were thrown aside, I’ve quickly grown to appreciate the design of this game. We are 4-5 sessions into the campaign and it’s fantastic. Some of my favorite SF facets:

1. Every class is broader than I originally believed. For example an operative, envoy, and even a soldier can be a skilled engineer, not just the Mechanic.

2. Every class is distinct but can contribute to similar roles via different means. The SF classes are very flexible. Themes allow for further differentiation out of the gate. Having multiple characters of the same class in a party isn’t detrimental.

3. Stamina Points + the removal of non-lethal damage provides a smooth cinematic experience without the limitations of Ultimate Combats Wounds+Vitality system. I like it so much I wish it would be in PF2. I understand why it won’t be, but I want it all the same.

4. Starship combat is excellent! It brought back Knight Hawks nostalgia but without the rough edges. If Knight Hawks was a classic car, Starfinder is the refined, high tech model of modern engineering.

5. Ability advancement is vastly superior to PF1. It’s easier to make well-rounded characters instead of having to hyper-specialize.

6. The broader magical classes that are differentiated by themes/sources/story is superior to PF1’s specialized spellcasting classes. I like that Priest is a theme rather than hard-wired into a class. The removal of arcane/divine makes magic seem more like a universal mystical force that can be interpreted multiple ways. In this respect, magic in SF seems more mystical than magic in PF, which is so categorized & defined that it seems more scientific in comparison.

7. Bulk is much more manageable than PF1’s encumbrance system. It has its own quirks but I like the system overall.

I’m still early into the system and have much to learn. While SF may not provide the pure science fiction of say The Expanse or the new Lost in Space out of the box, it does provide an exciting system and setting for science fantasy. As most players and GMs (and Hollywood directors) are perfectly happy moving “at the speed of plot”, the SFCRB provides a new-player-friendly toolkit for expanding beyond FRPGs. It builds off of PF1, the PF Beginner Box, and current media influences and refines the whole into a fun, yet familiar, science fantasy RPG.

Kudos, Paizo! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to prep my ship. We’re heading into the Drift!


I've been playing for half a year now; here are my thoughts.

*****

First off, a review of a core rulebook is pretty similar to a review of a game system, so this is basically that. The short version? I really, really enjoy Starfinder, and I think the Core Rulebook does an excellent job of explaining and showcasing the system.

Alright, the long version:

Character Creation: In comparison to Pathfinder, building characters is less fiddly while maintaining a large array of meaningful customization options. One new addition is Themes (analogous to Pathfinder's traits) which have a small amount of mechanical impact but do a very good job of hooking your character into the world around them.

Races: Starfinder ships with six new alien races as well as all the core Pathfinder races. Most of them largely fall into the category of Star Trek aliens (ya know, humans with masks on), but they have some fairly interesting racial abilities to differentiate them.

Classes: Starfinder has seven classes. Some are familiar (soldiers are basically space-fighters), some are deceptively different (technomancers look like wizards, but they're really not), and some are completely new (solarians are... solarians). Overall, the power curve is pretty tight and each class is interesting, highly customizable, and worth playing.

Feats, Skills, and Spells: Feats are, overall, less important than in Pathfinder (as a corollary, feat taxes have been eliminated; the feat trees are quite short). Skills are arguably more important (especially in starship combat), and the skill list has been condensed in a way that makes skills more accessible. The biggest change to the magic system is probably the addition of undercasting (i.e., some spells can be cast at multiple spell levels), which is absolutely essential, considering that both spellcasting classes in Starfinder are spontaneous.

Tactical Rules: It feels like Pathfinder. There are a host of small to medium changes (iterative attacks have been replaced with scaling weapon damage, for example), but if you like Pathfinder combat, you'll like Starfinder combat (unless, of course, you hate change - Starfinder is a new system, not a setting on top of an old system).

Other Things: Starship combat! I think it's pretty neat and makes a good addition to the game. There's also an expansive chapter on setting, which includes deities, planets, groups, etc. - it's usful to both players & GMs. There's a chapter on game mastering, which is nice. Finally, the art is fantastic through and through.


*****


Ehhh?


While I like some aspects of this game. The over all experience fell flat. The main problem is equipment. The leveled set was so lockstep that it made all of my players disappointed. You could not have a signature weapon or such. It was grind for the next level of gear and toss out the old. No one like it.

The classes were Okay and the concepts were pretty cool. But I can say if this is the basis for pathfinder 2nd ed were not likely going to put out any more money.

One big problem you have is this drive to constantly simplify and stream line. Thing get lost when you smooth out the details to much. Good things get lost. This is not a hobby that tend to attracted people who can handle a few rules, And the simplification feels like our intelligence is being questioned and only the lowest common denominator is being served. I don't know why I am writing this though. Publishers never listen.

Any way the critical flaw is still in the money and equipment.


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KingOfAnything wrote:

Oh, it's popular for sure. But, it is a frustrating spell that (when it works) makes combat a slog. I'm very glad it's not included.

I'm not sure where you got the idea that Starfinder was marketed as Pathfinder 2.0. All the interviews I read made pains to point out that it was a brand new game system that shared a setting with Pathfinder.

If you've got links to some of those interviews, I'd like to see them. If it turns out my perception was wrong, I'd like to go back and edit my review to correct that mistake.

As for the slog, I can't say I ever experienced that. Maybe it's because most of my GMs enforced some variant of the 30-Second Turn.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Even with 30-Second Turns, if no one can reach the enemy, the combat drags on and on.

Liberty's Edge

I don't think you can cast a 6th level spell with a 1 level slot.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Even with 30-Second Turns, if no one can reach the enemy, the combat drags on and on.

That sounds more like an appropriate use problem than a problem with the spell. A confined area is a poor area for a black tentacles placement.


Paladinosaur wrote:
I don't think you can cast a 6th level spell with a 1 level slot.

Some of the spells, like fly, have varying effects based on which spell slot you cast them with. In the original pathfinder, the effects of the fly spell are based on caster level.

Grand Lodge

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

Nevertheless, it is a reason many groups do not love it. Kind of how I hate confusion effects.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Nevertheless, it is a reason many groups do not love it. Kind of how I hate confusion effects.

Fair enough.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GDNS24 wrote:
Paladinosaur wrote:
I don't think you can cast a 6th level spell with a 1 level slot.
Some of the spells, like fly, have varying effects based on which spell slot you cast them with. In the original pathfinder, the effects of the fly spell are based on caster level.

It's actually the undercasting mechanic from Occult Adventures, found here. They just made it a core premise instead of something they came up with later. I'm not sure why being able to use a fly spell to cast levitate or feather fall with a lower level spell slot is a downgrade, though...it seems like an upgrade to me.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed posts. Refrain from back and forth bickering.


Luthorne wrote:
GDNS24 wrote:
Paladinosaur wrote:
I don't think you can cast a 6th level spell with a 1 level slot.
Some of the spells, like fly, have varying effects based on which spell slot you cast them with. In the original pathfinder, the effects of the fly spell are based on caster level.
It's actually the undercasting mechanic from Occult Adventures, found here. They just made it a core premise instead of something they came up with later. I'm not sure why being able to use a fly spell to cast levitate or feather fall with a lower level spell slot is a downgrade, though...it seems like an upgrade to me.

In Pathfinder, and many other systems, spellcasting follows a mixed power/skill mechanic. As you level up, you gain more power (more spell slots, power points, whatever) and the spells you can already cast are cast with greater skill (i.e., fireball does more damage as you level up, fly has a longer duration, etc).

An undercasting core mechanic, as implemented in Starfinder, completely strips out the skill half of the equation, and the only thing you are left with is power. You never actually gain any skill, per se; you just gain power (additional spell choices) and a different kind of power (more spell slots). It removes a lot of the growth, and the changing gameplay thereby, that made casters great.

I kind of like the option of using one spell selection to create a multitude of effects, but that doesn't make the core flaws more palatable to me.

The system would be more acceptable to me if it replaced spell slots with power points, ala Ultimate Psionics; it would have the same effect, but with a flexibility that at least partially compensates for the loss of skill. It would also be better in keeping with the fluff descriptions of magic use as less regimented, more encompassing.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Spell slots are power points, just fixed so that you can't spend all your points on your highest spell.

Silver Crusade

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

Please don't use the word "fluff". Lore, background, setting is all fine, but "fluff" is borderline derogatory.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Spell slots are power points, just fixed so that you can't spend all your points on your highest spell.

In a system where most of the spells increase in effectiveness without having to spend higher level spell slots to get it, that works out. In a system where most spells are either locked into one level of effectiveness (explosive blast) or have completely different effects based on which slot you use (fly), it's not so good.


Gorbacz wrote:

Please don't use the word "fluff". Lore, background, setting is all fine, but "fluff" is borderline derogatory.

Is that some unique community thing with Paizo?

I don't mean to be rude, but I've been using fluff and crunch for years; you're the first to ever express the viewpoint to me.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dunno if it's unique, but the devs have stated on several occasions that the term "fluff" is perceived as belittling and disdainful.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
GDNS24 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Spell slots are power points, just fixed so that you can't spend all your points on your highest spell.
In a system where most of the spells increase in effectiveness without having to spend higher level spell slots to get it, that works out. In a system where most spells are either locked into one level of effectiveness (explosive blast) or have completely different effects based on which slot you use (fly), it's not so good.

Magic hacks are where some of that scaling by level can be realized. Debug Spell increases your average damage and improves at 11th and 17th.


KingOfAnything wrote:
Magic hacks are where some of that scaling by level can be realized. Debug Spell increases your average damage and improves at 11th and 17th.

Honestly, most of those seem kind of bad to me; not enough to compensate for what was dropped. A couple of them caught my interest, though (heal grenades, anyone?)

Gorbacz wrote:
Dunno if it's unique, but the devs have stated on several occasions that the term "fluff" is perceived as belittling and disdainful.

Must be a Paizo thing. Regardless, I'll use “Lore” later.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
GDNS24 wrote:
Must be a Paizo thing. Regardless, I'll use “Lore” later.

Much appreciated mate.


The book appears to be sold out pretty much everywhere. Any idea when it may be in stock?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The reprint should start to reach retail within the next three weeks or so.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Can we please get a pocket edition soon? While I have the Hardcover and PDF, I would really like a pocket-sized one for my downtime at work.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:
The reprint should start to reach retail within the next three weeks or so.

The 2nd printing has arrived in german stores on friday 15th of december.

I bought one for a friend.

Upon having it in hand, i could see immedeately, that the binding was perfect.

In retrospect, i only bought the faulty 1st printing, because i wanted to play the game and all three copies i inspected were of the same bad quality.

I will be buying another copy when either the Pocket Edition or a 3rd printing (with the new starship combat skill DCs) comes out.

Do you expect that to happen in 2018?

Thank you for your great communications skills, "Envoy" Mr. Wertz. ;-)

Silver Crusade

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
maldar wrote:
Can we please get a pocket edition soon? While I have the Hardcover and PDF, I would really like a pocket-sized one for my downtime at work.

Oh yes, pretty please!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

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We don't generally provide advance notice before releasing a reprint that incorporates new errata, as doing so could cause prospective buyers to delay their purchase until we start selling the new version, which would then cause stores to take longer to sell through the previous printing, meaning it could actually delay the release of the reprint.

But since we've only just started shipping the second printing, that should be a pretty good clue that it'll be a while before we need to contemplate a third printing.

There are no current plans for a pocket edition. (Note that the shortest gap between a hardcover release and a pocket edition to date is about two and a half years.)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I like the pocket editions, and will probably buy them all, in spite of the fact that I find them hard to read even with my reading glasses on. :-(


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

You can also put me down for two or three pocket editions if or when they become available.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
There are no current plans for a pocket edition. (Note that the shortest gap between a hardcover release and a pocket edition to date is about two and a half years.)

I think that with how popular Starfinder appears to be, you could make that say... 6 months? Just from the few posts after mine, we can see people interested in them. I know I want one for myself and they would make great prizes when I hold drawings at my store.

Dark Archive

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Vic Wertz wrote:

We don't generally provide advance notice before releasing a reprint that incorporates new errata, as doing so could cause prospective buyers to delay their purchase until we start selling the new version, which would then cause stores to take longer to sell through the previous printing, meaning it could actually delay the release of the reprint.

But since we've only just started shipping the second printing, that should be a pretty good clue that it'll be a while before we need to contemplate a third printing.

There are no current plans for a pocket edition. (Note that the shortest gap between a hardcover release and a pocket edition to date is about two and a half years.)

Thank you for as always well thought out answer. :-)

As Starfinder seems to sell much quicker than Pathfinder, which is in part because the print run was lower than the demand, it will be interesting to see how fast the 2nd printing sells, even if it's too early to calculate that now.

That being said, the concept of a Pocket Edition is still relatively new and if i remember correctly the 1st print runs of both the Pathfinder CRB and Bestiary sold out very fast.
I think the PE has a higher utility appeal than the hardcover, not only because it is usually half the price, but also because it is handy for transport (and some people even find it cute).

I can easily see myself buying 4 Pocket Editions of the Starfinder Core Rulebook to distribute to the players, even with it being having the same content as the 1st printing, but i will not buy a 2nd printing hardcover for myself before my three 1st. printing ones fall apart and even then i'll probably wait for the 3rd. printing or PE.

In short, while a hardcover and PE certainly have some overlap appeal, it is not 100% the same.
I find the decision to first publish the HC financially logical, even though i could see a Pocket Edition following 6-12 months later.

I also know a lot of people who wouldn't spend the money for a hardcover ($40-$60), but would and have immedeately snagged up the PEs (for $20-$30), even multiple copies.
It seems like an apples & oranges thing.

Just some observations i made.

Have a great x-mas holiday, Vic & all others! :-)


Hey Paizo, why is it that when referring to PCs in this books every descriptor is she, her or hers except the "difficult players" section, where every descriptor is he, him or his? why didn't you just keep the same descriptor throughout the book?


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kirk riley wrote:
Hey Paizo, why is it that when referring to PCs in this books every descriptor is she, her or hers except the "difficult players" section, where every descriptor is he, him or his?

You may want to count more carefully. I'm finding male pronouns alternating with female all through the character creation chapter.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Generally, when talking about class features, Paizo's style is to use the pronoun appropriate that class's iconic character.


Is there any chance we can get a corebook lite, or a player's guide? I have the core book, but it would be handy if I, or my players, could get their hands on some smaller, streamlined versions that are just a compilation of classes, races, themes, feats and augmentations all in one?

I'm looking for a cost effective and space saving way to help my players be able to build characters and do level ups.

President, SmiteWorks

The Fantasy Grounds version is available for $9.99 off if you already own the PDF here at Paizo.com and synced your account.

Starfinder Ruleset and Core Rules for Fantasy Grounds

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