Announcing the Starfinder Roleplaying Game!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Ever since Pathfinder Adventure Path #3, when James Jacobs and Wes Schneider had to hold me back from putting a space elevator in Varisia, I've wanted to take Pathfinder to the stars. A year later, I had the honor of writing up Golarion's solar system in Pathfinder Adventure Path #14, and then expanding it further in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Worlds. But I'm not the only one around here in love with outer space and science fiction—I think all of us have at various times said, "Wouldn't it be fun to do a futuristic version of Pathfinder?" Yet aside from the occasional jaunt to other worlds in adventures like Pathfinder Adventure Path #70: The Frozen Stars, it's always been a dream just out of reach.

Until now.

Next August, Paizo will be releasing the Starfinder Roleplaying Game—a new science fantasy RPG based on the Pathfinder universe and rules, but complete and standalone. It'll be backward compatible, so you can still use all those Pathfinder RPG bestiaries, but will feature all sorts of new classes, races, equipment, and other elements uniquely suited to our far-future setting. You want to play a lashunta technomancer using magic to hack the defense grid, or an android assassin with a laser rifle, or a ysoki ratfolk mechanic clambering around the guts of a spaceship as you blast your way through the enemy blockade? This is the place for it. There will also be new races you've never seen before, new worlds beyond Golarion's system that we've never visited, new twists on magic and the rules system itself—and, of course, ton and tons of cool science fantasy gear, from starships and computers to infinitely sharp zero-edge swords and rune-augmented plasma cannons.

The Starfinder RPG Core Rulebook will be releasing at Gen Con 2017, but that's not all—we're also going to be starting a monthly Starfinder Adventure Path in addition to our ongoing Pathfinder Adventure Paths. The Starfinder AP volumes will include both adventures and cool new rules and setting information to help expand your Starfinder game. Plus monsters. Lots of monsters.

So how does all this science fantasy goodness fit into the Pathfinder setting? Simple: Starfinder is set in Golarion's solar system, but far in a possible future—one in which the gods have mysteriously spirited Golarion away to an unknown location, and refuse to answer questions about it. In its place, the cultures of that world have evolved and spread throughout the solar system, especially to a vast space platform called Absalom Station. Gifted access to a hyperspace dimension by an ascended AI deity, the residents of the system suddenly find themselves with the ability to travel faster than light, and the race is on to explore and colonize potentially millions of worlds. But there are horrors out there in the darkness...

As the Creative Director of Starfinder, I can't wait to show you everything we've been building. Joining me as key players on Team Starfinder are longtime Paizo developers Rob McCreary and Owen KC Stephens, as well as Creative Design Director Sarah Robinson on the art side, but all the designers, developers, art staff, and editors are working on different parts of the project—it's an all-hands-on-deck affair. And it's not just us, either—as Starfinder will be released under the OGL, we're looking forward to robust third-party support of the game.


While the size and scope of the new game make a full public playtest infeasible, we'll be starting to bring in key community members to check it out in the next few months, so keep an eye on the blog for your chance to participate! In the meantime, we wanted to give you a sneak preview of some preliminary concept sketches for Absalom Station, androids, and ysoki from artist Taylor Fischer (who you might know from games like XCOM and Civilization)—while these are only our initial explorations, and far from final, it's fun to see the process as things change and evolve. And it's never too early to chime in and chat with us in the new Starfinder forum!

We hope you're as excited about Starfinder as we are, and that you'll join us as we boldly go where Paizo's never gone before!

James L. Sutter
Creative Director

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Starfinder Taylor Fischer
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5 people marked this as a favorite.

Make sure to bring your brains to Aucturn.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Larry's Discount Aberration Hut wrote:
Piiiigs iiiiiin Spaaaaaaaace!

Space Orks?

Scarab Sages

Chris Marsh wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
Sadly, my response is "meh". Mostly because I don't really game much anymore since leaving my old group in Philly and not having anyone to game with in Houston.

Have you considered playing by post? It's an amazingly robust way to get your gaming in. I play plenty of AP and PFS online. I even play with my high school group from the mid 1990s. There are plenty of places to find great games on paizo.com

Also not really an option. Not only does the thought of play by post make my old grognard blood curdle, but (and more importantly) I don't know enough people who play by post whom I also actually like enough to want to game with.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Aberzombie wrote:
Chris Marsh wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
Sadly, my response is "meh". Mostly because I don't really game much anymore since leaving my old group in Philly and not having anyone to game with in Houston.

Have you considered playing by post? It's an amazingly robust way to get your gaming in. I play plenty of AP and PFS online. I even play with my high school group from the mid 1990s. There are plenty of places to find great games on paizo.com

Also not really an option. Not only does the thought of play by post make my old grognard blood curdle, but (and more importantly) I don't know enough people who play by post whom I also actually like enough to want to game with.

Cuuld do what I did and scout the recruitment pages for people who you might be interested in playing with.

When I first came to the Paizo site and the PBPS I didn't know anyone on here, and that's changed a lot since then ^w^


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

I retired and cut some subscriptions, then my wife retired and I cut the rest of them. I think it is time (next summer) to get back into the Starfinder AP Subscription game.

The only problem is that I still have $800 in store credit at my local gaming shop, so I think I will by the monthly softcovers and the initial hardcover from them and buy the PDFs from here. At least till I run out of credit, either buying this or my son or grandson spend the rest (they already spent $250 of the $1050 I started out with).

-- david

edit: As long as it is Babylon 5'esque. I loved that show!
edit2: After Numenera and Legendary Planet, this had to be coming!

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What's all this then?

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Aberzombie wrote:
Chris Marsh wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
Sadly, my response is "meh". Mostly because I don't really game much anymore since leaving my old group in Philly and not having anyone to game with in Houston.

Have you considered playing by post? It's an amazingly robust way to get your gaming in. I play plenty of AP and PFS online. I even play with my high school group from the mid 1990s. There are plenty of places to find great games on paizo.com

Also not really an option. Not only does the thought of play by post make my old grognard blood curdle, but (and more importantly) I don't know enough people who play by post whom I also actually like enough to want to game with.

Depending on WHY it makes your blood curdle, I'd offer up that it's perfectly suited for a grognard:

1. If it's because you have bad memories of the play by post of the 70s and 80s, fear not. It isn't nearly the same level of waiting and frustration.

2. If it's because it's too techy, I'd posit that it's an EXCELLENT way to play an older style of game due to the pace with which you can form in character posts etc.

As mentioned above, you can look around for a group that suits your style. The forum is full of every style of play you could ask for.

Sorry for derailing the thread. Back to your regularly scheduled program.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

This is what we have desperately needed. I have been waiting for a good Sci-fi RPG with Fantasy elements!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm going to admit, I did NOT see this coming. XD


Mine all mine...don't touch wrote:
Okay let me be the first.....minis?

Asking the important questions. Seriously, been running Spacefinder for months and getting scifi minis is the worst part. The biggest thing I'm looking forward to is the inevitable Xenobiology Bestiary and the pawns that come with it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Interesting...

I guess the general direction isn't completely a surprise, considering the demand for more information on Dominion of the Black, space, and technology. The scope is a bit unexpected; at least initially.

On further thought, considering the compromises needed with basically retrofitting high-technology into a primarily fantasy system (while it mostly worked in Iron Gods, there were some rough patches; also, speaking from experience*), "Pathfinder in Space" really needs a more in depth treatment than a typical Advanced, Adventures, or Ultimate hardcover. Many of the baseline assumptions need to be altered, removed, or revised; not just classes, but many other game systems will need to be different; even the technomancer prestige class needs revision in light of the publication of Occult Adventures and the psi-tech discoveries in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Occult Realms. To do it justice, a separate but compatible "science fantasy" line with its own support is probably necessary.

As to whether it will make money, IIRC RIFTS and Shadowrun were more popular for Palladium and FASA than their "pure" fantasy offerings (and both did pretty well for a pretty long stretch). The demand seems to be there.

I'll be looking forward to more details over the next year.

*- Even with just converting and using existing material, it's hard; incorporating completely new systems is even harder.

Shadow Lodge

I really hope we get to playtest this so the core book doesn't go through a year or two of no errata and then suddenly everything fun or useful gets nerfed into wasted space(pun not intended).

Still pretty excited about possibly playing my infamous goblin in space though.


Dragonborn3 wrote:

I really hope we get to playtest this so the core book doesn't go through a year or two of no errata and then suddenly everything fun or useful gets nerfed into wasted space(pun not intended).

Still pretty excited about possibly playing my infamous goblin in space though.

There isn't going to be a public playtest. There is going to be some sort of invitation only playtest.

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I'm not really excited by this at all. I already have plenty of great Sci-Fi games to play and "Pathfinder in SPACE" doesn't sound all that great to me. I just hope this doesn't harm the core product which I love. Maybe I will change my mind as we see more previews, but only time will tell.

Best of luck to you Paizo! And I hope everyone enjoys the new game. :)


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Welp, I don't know about the rest of you, but I am cryofreezing myself till next August so I don't have to endure months of bouncing anticipation.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Any idea when we will see product pages for any of these items?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
quibblemuch wrote:
Welp, I don't know about the rest of you, but I am cryofreezing myself till next August so I don't have to endure months of bouncing anticipation.

I will spend my time assimilating the masses.

Resistance is futile.

Paizo Employee CEO

13 people marked this as a favorite.
Freehold DM wrote:
Squeakmaan wrote:
Wow, just... wow. So it seems Paizo has decided to take just all of my money.
I'm sure Lisa will send some goons over to your house presently.

They are enroute as I type.

-Lisa

Paizo Employee CEO

15 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Publishing an additional 2 Adventure Paths per year is a bit a troubling, since A) I probably won't be able to afford it along with all my other Pathfinder subscriptions I currently have (this is mostly me complaining about not having enough money, not against the idea of Starfinder APs :3), and B) The Adventure Paths they already put out are taxing enough on the staff and resources, wouldn't effectively doubling that cause too much of a strain?

First off, the Starfinder APs will be an entirely separate subscription, so it won't double up your AP sub. So no worries about affording it if you can't. It won't add to your current sub for the AP.

As for staff resources, this was studied at great length and I didn't approve the addition of this line until I was convinced it wouldn't have a detrimental affect on the Pathfinder lines.

-Lisa


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Lisa Stevens wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Squeakmaan wrote:
Wow, just... wow. So it seems Paizo has decided to take just all of my money.
I'm sure Lisa will send some goons over to your house presently.

They are enroute as I type.

-Lisa

:-D

Paizo Employee CEO

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Prismatic Codex wrote:
While I love the idea of the Starfinder RPG and will most definitely be buying the Core Rulebook when it comes out, the letter said that this was an "all-hands-on-deck affair." Does this mean that the normal Pathfinder RPG is going to be falling by the wayside? If so, I can tell you that you ARE going to lose some people on that.

Nope. Not going to affect Pathfinder one single bit. See my post right above this one.

-Lisa

Dark Archive

Will the new AP be priced similarly to the current ?


WOW This is amazing, best of lucks to Paizo, I can't wait to read it

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This has been described as both a new rules system (rather than just a new setting with additional rules) AND backwards compatible with Pathfinder...

Which would seem to put it in a similar position to how Pathfinder relates to D&D v3.5. However, that still leaves a large span of possibilities between how much of the old rules are retained for backward compatibility purposes and how much rules are changed to improve game play.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Given that Spelljammer is my favorite D&D setting of all time, and Dragonstar was my favorite "d20" setting, this is something I am so enthusiastic about.

People have mentioned miniatures. I'd love to see this one as a Card Game too.

This may be my favorite announcement since Mythic, or Pathfinder itself.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

Excellent. Now instead of one great game I desperately want to play but lack the means and opportunity... there will now be two.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Lord Mhoram wrote:
Given that Spelljammer is my favorite D&D setting of all time, and Dragonstar was my favorite "d20" setting, this is something I am so enthusiastic about.

This has all the Awesome of Dragonstar with adventure support!!

This is announced just as I was becoming fatigued with Fantasy (though my playing group was not), and was looking for more Space Opera.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Chris Marsh wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:
Sadly, my response is "meh". Mostly because I don't really game much anymore since leaving my old group in Philly and not having anyone to game with in Houston.

Have you considered playing by post? It's an amazingly robust way to get your gaming in. I play plenty of AP and PFS online. I even play with my high school group from the mid 1990s. There are plenty of places to find great games on paizo.com

I'm super excited, but I have to be realistic about my bandwidth. I have so many questions. I'll be keeping a close eye on announcements.

Off-topic, but I'm one of those folks who's considered playing by post, but am really not confident on the protocol involved.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I really like it. I ask that everyone take their time with it to iron out the tech wrinkles, maybe make a space combat system that actually is simple and works with a D20 system.

Personal opinion - Too bad a superhero type game doesn't work well with a D20 system (many try, yet seem to fall short of the simplicity a "non-linear" system can provide with the genre, such as Mayfair's DC and the old TSR Marvel)


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Playing by Post is not particularly difficult - in fact, it's the main way to play. XD There are several excellent guides available (both for players and GMs), but what it really comes down to is being able to commit long-term to posting on a regular basis. If you can manage a couple of minutes online every evening to post for your game (and that's about how long it takes), you can do PbP.

For GMs, I recommend starting with a small adventure (either a low-level module or a PFS scenario), getting then hang of it, THEN starting a longer game.

@Everyone: Wanna play some stuff in space now?

If waiting for Starfinder is hard, try the Legendary Planet Adventure Path, which involves hopping across all sorts of worlds! The prologue and first main adventure are already out, with the rest planned to follow this year. They're definitely worth taking a look at if you're interested in planet-hopping. XD

Shadow Lodge

Malwing wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:

I really hope we get to playtest this so the core book doesn't go through a year or two of no errata and then suddenly everything fun or useful gets nerfed into wasted space(pun not intended).

Still pretty excited about possibly playing my infamous goblin in space though.

There isn't going to be a public playtest. There is going to be some sort of invitation only playtest.

That's both terrible and against tradition. Gonna see lots of complaints about destructive nerfs in a couple years. :/


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The beginning of the end. Next big bestiary will feature only monsters for this. Bye myth monsters you were great and will be missed.

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Nightterror wrote:
The beginning of the end. Next big bestiary will feature only monsters for this. Bye myth monsters you were great and will be missed.

Lisa Stevens has specifically said this is not going to be the case. She made sure the game we know will not suffer.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lisa Stevens wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Publishing an additional 2 Adventure Paths per year is a bit a troubling, since A) I probably won't be able to afford it along with all my other Pathfinder subscriptions I currently have (this is mostly me complaining about not having enough money, not against the idea of Starfinder APs :3), and B) The Adventure Paths they already put out are taxing enough on the staff and resources, wouldn't effectively doubling that cause too much of a strain?

First off, the Starfinder APs will be an entirely separate subscription, so it won't double up your AP sub. So no worries about affording it if you can't. It won't add to your current sub for the AP.

As for staff resources, this was studied at great length and I didn't approve the addition of this line until I was convinced it wouldn't have a detrimental affect on the Pathfinder lines.

-Lisa

That's kinda what I meant, it's another AP subscription, but one I won't be able to afford even though I would want to so I can haz it along with my other Paizo products :3

Apologies for the vagueness on my part.

And the second part makes me feel a LOT better about this addition, Thankies Lisa ^w^

Silver Crusade

Aberzombie wrote:
Sadly, my response is "meh". Mostly because I don't really game much anymore since leaving my old group in Philly and not having anyone to game with in Houston.

Comicpalooza is a good place to find GMs. There are also several comic shops all over. I don't know where you are in Houston, but 8th Dimension on HWY 6 is one.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragonborn3 wrote:
Malwing wrote:
Dragonborn3 wrote:

I really hope we get to playtest this so the core book doesn't go through a year or two of no errata and then suddenly everything fun or useful gets nerfed into wasted space(pun not intended).

Still pretty excited about possibly playing my infamous goblin in space though.

There isn't going to be a public playtest. There is going to be some sort of invitation only playtest.
That's both terrible and against tradition. Gonna see lots of complaints about destructive nerfs in a couple years. :/

people complain about nerfs even if something is playtested, so don't see that as a reason.

At any rate it's getting a limited invite only playtest. So it will be playtested, but the whole thing won't be available for all to see. My guess is they are going to invite the people who were active in past playtests and who actually provided field performance checks of the classes during real game sessions.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I for one will be aggressively petitioning to be a part of the playtest. I work at a game store that runs PFS. I've run PFS in the past. I'm currently running a Spacefinder game with new and experienced players, I'm a constant consumer of third party scifi Pathfinder products and talk about it a lot in blog form. Put me in coach, I'm ready!


4 people marked this as a favorite.

First off- AWESOME.
Second off- "Little Red, doing SciFi Pathfinder material 2 and a half years before it was cool."


Nightterror wrote:
The beginning of the end. Next big bestiary will feature only monsters for this. Bye myth monsters you were great and will be missed.

You should be happy. Monsters sound like they will be compatible between both editions, so there is a much greater likelihood of a bestiary 6 next fall, which would include a lot of starfinder appropriate critters but would probably also include regular monsters.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
MMCJawa wrote:
Nightterror wrote:
The beginning of the end. Next big bestiary will feature only monsters for this. Bye myth monsters you were great and will be missed.
You should be happy. Monsters sound like they will be compatible between both editions, so there is a much greater likelihood of a bestiary 6 next fall, which would include a lot of starfinder appropriate critters but would probably also include regular monsters.

Way to kick Sincubus in the shins with the news of no Bestiary 6 this year, MMCJawa! You brute! :-P


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nightdrifter wrote:

I find this to be an odd business move considering:

*Lisa is the one who pointed out part of TSR's downfall was due to self-competition with different campaign settings

*Paizo's reluctance to reprint old APs as that would mean competing against current APs

I hope this doesn't come back to bite Paizo in the behind.

TSR had more than 10 completely independent campaign settings running simultaneously. With Golarion as the centerpiece, this feels like a massive extension of the existing CS, though your mileage may vary.

Still, 2 settings over two semi independent games is hardly comparable to TSR's situation. Really the only marketing danger is if WotC decides to relaunch Spelljammer in that window. Which I somehow doubt.

Executive Editor

16 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey everybody!

Between my packed panel schedule here at Paizocon and only being able to access the internet on my phone, my posting ability is super limited until Tuesday, but I'm reading all of these comments! I'm really excited to see so many people enthusiastic about Starfinder. It's a crazy-awesome project, and I'm totally thrilled to be leading it, so I look forward to taking about it with you more once I've got access to a keyboard again. :)

Silver Crusade

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

Keyboard? You're shepherding a science fantasy RPG and you ain't got a neural implant jacked directly into the Cyberspace? :)

Dark Archive

James Sutter wrote:

Hey everybody!

Between my packed panel schedule here at Paizocon and only being able to access the internet on my phone, my posting ability is super limited until Tuesday, but I'm reading all of these comments! I'm really excited to see so many people enthusiastic about Starfinder. It's a crazy-awesome project, and I'm totally thrilled to be leading it, so I look forward to taking about it with you more once I've got access to a keyboard again. :)

James, if you have any chance, and if there is going to be any interest, please consider playtesting with ppl outside the USA, I would love to playtest this!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

This isn't Japan Gorbacz. :-)

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
This isn't Japan Gorbacz. :-)

DOMO ARIGATO MR. ROBOTO!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

This is going to be SO AWESOME! My friends & I have been homebrewing something like this for a couple of years now, but we're not game designers lol. I can't wait to get my hands on it.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

This is definitely the most excited I've been for a Paizo product since Ultimate Campaign, if not ever.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Really looking forward to this one!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It looks like some of my wishes have come true! :D

I will be interested to see how well it meshes with Pathfinder; my homebrew version of Golarion (and other settings from other companies) already use space as a connecting element (not every one can use magic, but with the right tech anyone can travel from one setting to another).

In short: I'm really excited about this!!!!!

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