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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1 person marked this as a favorite.

Please let me have space science... I want to be a man of science in a field that is unstable... I'm not asking for a lot...Just give it to me Paizo.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
I'm not impressed by the art though. Please get WAR front and centre. ;)
No thanks...it's past time for a new direction in RPG art. Besides, a distinct game deserves a distinct look.
Like I said, I understand that feeling. But his work on Iron Gods (and Eberron back in the day) is very good...

I'm a huge fan of Wayne Reynolds' work myself, but I agree it would probably be a better move to let a different artist spearhead the visual design of Starfinder; WAR has well-established himself as the visual "face" of PF (much like Tony DiTerlizzi did with Planescape, or Todd Lockwood with 3rd Edition D&D), so I think maybe rather than dilute Starfinder with "more of the same" (excellent though it undoubtedly would be), we should be looking towards a new creative vision to discover & explore together.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

This!

Matthew Morris wrote:

Agreeing with the cow.

Starfinder is a stellar opportunity to streamline things. Owen's post brings me hope that Starfinder will support Serenity docking alongside the Phoenix and the Spelljammer, and characters who use nanotech healing kits looking askance at being healed by a cleric of Erastil.

Sovereign Court

Lisa Stevens wrote:
Gerald wrote:
I know what Lisa said, but I'm worried this will cause a slip in original PF quality, much like the ACG when the team was distracted with PF Online. That ended up a debacle IMHO. Hopefully they have learned from that and will be fine. I'm definitely worried, though.

I can tell you that there was not a single editorial team resource that got distracted by Pathfinder Online. There was maybe a once every two weeks 1 hour approval meeting. That is that. Pathfinder Online had next to zero impact on the Paizo editorial team.

-Lisa

I worried at the time that a whole bunch of paizonauts writing Thornkeep and Emerald Spire might have an impact. Extra work is extra work.

Paizo Employee CEO

2 people marked this as a favorite.
GeraintElberion wrote:
I worried at the time that a whole bunch of paizonauts writing Thornkeep and Emerald Spire might have an impact. Extra work is extra work.

Remember, those adventures just took the spot of normal adventures. Sure, the Emerald Spire Supermodule was a bit bigger, but we didn't release one of our normal releases to get it done. Heck, Crimson Throne is even larger and we did that without even cutting out other releases.

-Lisa


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Lisa Stevens wrote:

If Starfinder blows up in a good way and there is demand for a lot more product than we are planning, then there will be a lot more employees hired to make that product. I repeat once again, Starfinder will NOT take away resources from Pathfinder. Pathfinder is the goose that laid the golden egg. I will not be risking that goose ever.

-Lisa

Cool. That makes a successful Starfinder a win-win, no matter how one feels about actually playing science-fantasy. A larger pool of creative talent can only help both lines.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm liking this. Yeah it could be spell-jammer like, but imagine now you can create a world like eternia (he-man's world) or possibly future earth like on thundarr the barbarian. Can't wait to see this stuff.


Can't wait for August next year to check this out. The work Paizo has done touching on the 'spacey' parts of the world have been really interesting so far, so looking forward to a system that will explore that further.

Grand Lodge

Lurch wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
I'm not impressed by the art though. Please get WAR front and centre. ;)
No thanks...it's past time for a new direction in RPG art. Besides, a distinct game deserves a distinct look.
Like I said, I understand that feeling. But his work on Iron Gods (and Eberron back in the day) is very good...
I'm a huge fan of Wayne Reynolds' work myself, but I agree it would probably be a better move to let a different artist spearhead the visual design of Starfinder; WAR has well-established himself as the visual "face" of PF (much like Tony DiTerlizzi did with Planescape, or Todd Lockwood with 3rd Edition D&D), so I think maybe rather than dilute Starfinder with "more of the same" (excellent though it undoubtedly would be), we should be looking towards a new creative vision to discover & explore together.

RK Post. I loved his work for StarDrive. He can handle scifi and all the strangeness that it brings.

SM

Dark Archive

Who is doing art for Starfinder anyway? .-.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I have this horrible image in my mind of Techno-Bards running around....


10 people marked this as a favorite.
Jack of Dust wrote:
I have this horrible image in my mind of Techno-Bards running around....

Don't worry, you'll be seeing me with my Ruby Rhod bard on awesome adventures with a taxi cab driving fighter and his orange hair female assassin.

Liberty's Edge

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jack of Dust wrote:
I have this horrible image in my mind of Techno-Bards running around....

Do we get flamer-thrower guitars?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Sundakan wrote:

I've always disliked it. And when I say it's stupid, I don't mean "Yeah it was a dumb idea", I mean it's stupid in universe.

Any given spell is by default cast at absolute max power, and requires the same amount of energy or preparation whether it is or is not. A CL 10 Wizard uses the same amount of resources as a CL 5 Wizard when casting a CL 5 Fireball...would he not have better control over that, given the vast gulf in experience between the two?

You'd think SOMEONE across the millenia would fiddle around and try to fix that...but no. Nobody has succeeded (nor, is it indicated, even TRIED).

/tangent

How are your feelings towards the "undercast"-feature of certain Psychic spells?


Franz Lunzer wrote:
Sundakan wrote:

I've always disliked it. And when I say it's stupid, I don't mean "Yeah it was a dumb idea", I mean it's stupid in universe.

Any given spell is by default cast at absolute max power, and requires the same amount of energy or preparation whether it is or is not. A CL 10 Wizard uses the same amount of resources as a CL 5 Wizard when casting a CL 5 Fireball...would he not have better control over that, given the vast gulf in experience between the two?

You'd think SOMEONE across the millenia would fiddle around and try to fix that...but no. Nobody has succeeded (nor, is it indicated, even TRIED).

/tangent

How are your feelings towards the "undercast"-feature of certain Psychic spells?

I think it's really cool, as a concept. A bit under-utilized since it's a grand total of like 7 spells, and the differences between them are so slight that they being multiple different spells is more book space than really necessary, but a neat concept.


Does this mean I get to fly a hyperdreadnought?


I'd love to be able to run a version of Homeworld as a campaign.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

*raises hand*

Gip, Mighteist of Space Pirates™, asks that Goblins be a Core Race.


Totally excited about this! I've been playing a Castrovel Elf in PFS for years. Totes legal after Sovyrian Intellectual was introduced FWIW—though I started playing him before that but whatever. As the resident and unasked for interplanetary Pathfinder expert at most PFS tables I join, I can't wait to put some of that knowledge to use in a full game!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lisa Stevens wrote:
Hayato Ken wrote:

PF Online failed for completely different reasons and there were actually enough loud people around to cheer that up.

Sadly the majority of people, who tends to be rather casual most likely, and investors thought different. Current trends in online games proof them. The MMO PVP just wasn´t the right thing there it seems.

I don't want to hijack this thread, but Pathfinder Online hasn't been successful to date because it isn't a finished game. It didn't have the funding that it needed to make the game envisioned. That will be changing very soon. You can't judge the success of a game that hasn't been completed because there isn't a lot of people wanting to play the game during its development stages. We shall see what happens in two years once a new company takes over with many millions of dollars of investment and nearly 4 times the staff that Goblinworks had.

Anyway, I don't want to discuss this here, but needed to correct this.

-Lisa

All fair points! I would be most happy to see it successful, even when i personaly would prefer a singleplayer with multiplayer options :D

Scarab Sages

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

This sounds similar to the old DragonStar Series by Fantasy Flight Games.


It says "but far in a possible future" so does that mean the setting won't be canon?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Depends. For what? For Marvel Comics? No. For Pathfinder? Debatable. Is "Days of Future Past" canon for X-Men, because it's a "possible future"? Some would say yes, some no.

For Starfinder? Absolutely. By definition the setting that it lays out in its official core rulebook will be canon.


Odraude wrote:
Jack of Dust wrote:
I have this horrible image in my mind of Techno-Bards running around....
Don't worry, you'll be seeing me with my Ruby Rhod bard on awesome adventures with a taxi cab driving fighter and his orange hair female assassin.

but...I was gonna be ruby rhod....

kicks rock


Samy wrote:

Depends. For what? For Marvel Comics? No. For Pathfinder? Debatable. Is "Days of Future Past" canon for X-Men, because it's a "possible future"? Some would say yes, some no.

For Starfinder? Absolutely. By definition the setting that it lays out in its official core rulebook will be canon.

For pathfinder is what I meant

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Well then you gotta ask yourself what do you actually want/mean out of it being "canon"? You already know it's going to be a "possible future". That means it will never be stated with absolute certainty to be *the* future of Golarion. It also most likely means that they won't go out of their way in Pathfinder to make it impossible for the setting of Starfinder to come to be. Do you mean will they ever reference the Starfinder events in Pathfinder? Why or how would they, given that it's far, far in the future. So, by asking whether it is canon, what are you actually asking?


Samy wrote:
Well then you gotta ask yourself what do you actually want/mean out of it being "canon"? You already know it's going to be a "possible future". That means it will never be stated with absolute certainty to be *the* future of Golarion. It also most likely means that they won't go out of their way in Pathfinder to make it impossible for the setting of Starfinder to come to be. Do you mean will they ever reference the Starfinder events in Pathfinder? Why or how would they, given that it's far, far in the future. So, by asking whether it is canon, what are you actually asking?

I guess I just want a confirmed answer

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It's difficult to answer if they don't know what you mean by canon.


I wanted to know if it's in the official future of the pathfinder universe:|

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

It's a possible future. We already know that. Things may turn out that way, or they may not.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nick O'Connell wrote:
I wanted to know if it's in the official future of the pathfinder universe:|

The answer is yes and no.

Or the answer is that it's as much as Golarion's official future as a universe with time travel will allow. Also this is a future with a huge non-linear gap in time lost that happened across the multiverse so the galaxy could be in the matrix, technically in the past, in another dimension or in the dream of a water-soccer player for all we know.

The question doesn't have a definite answer in context so you're never going to get one.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Malwing wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
I wanted to know if it's in the official future of the pathfinder universe:|

The answer is yes and no.

Or the answer is that it's as much as Golarion's official future as a universe with time travel will allow. Also this is a future with a huge non-linear gap in time lost that happened across the multiverse so the galaxy could be in the matrix, technically in the past, in another dimension or in the dream of a water-soccer player for all we know.

The question doesn't have a definite answer in context so you're never going to get one.

That's okay because this answer satisfies me enough:)

Executive Editor

15 people marked this as a favorite.
Nick O'Connell wrote:
Malwing wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
I wanted to know if it's in the official future of the pathfinder universe:|

The answer is yes and no.

Or the answer is that it's as much as Golarion's official future as a universe with time travel will allow. Also this is a future with a huge non-linear gap in time lost that happened across the multiverse so the galaxy could be in the matrix, technically in the past, in another dimension or in the dream of a water-soccer player for all we know.

The question doesn't have a definite answer in context so you're never going to get one.

That's okay because this answer satisfies me enough:)

Malwing is spot-on. As befits a science fantasy setting, Starfinder is quantum superposition canon: it both is and is not the actual future of Pathfinder until observed by an outside party—you—at which point the wave function collapses and it becomes either canon or not for your game. :D


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Gip wrote:

*raises hand*

Gip, Mighteist of Space Pirates™, asks that Goblins be a Core Race.

Motion seconded on behalf of the Imperial Goblin Space Navy (Someday We Might Even Get A Ship!)


Charles Scholz wrote:
This sounds similar to the old DragonStar Series by Fantasy Flight Games.

Which is an amazing setting that was hobbled by being released in the rules transition from D&D 3.0 to 3.5 and the flood of badly written d20 products. Also, no digital support, the supplements where never finished and FFG is just sitting on the license doing nothing with it.

DS is a natural as a SF setting. :)


4 people marked this as a favorite.
James Sutter wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
Malwing wrote:
Nick O'Connell wrote:
I wanted to know if it's in the official future of the pathfinder universe:|

The answer is yes and no.

Or the answer is that it's as much as Golarion's official future as a universe with time travel will allow. Also this is a future with a huge non-linear gap in time lost that happened across the multiverse so the galaxy could be in the matrix, technically in the past, in another dimension or in the dream of a water-soccer player for all we know.

The question doesn't have a definite answer in context so you're never going to get one.

That's okay because this answer satisfies me enough:)
Malwing is spot-on. As befits a science fantasy setting, Starfinder is quantum superposition canon: it both is and is not the actual future of Pathfinder until observed by an outside party—you—at which point the wave function collapses and it becomes either canon or not for your game. :D

Favorited for the awesome wording.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
James Sutter wrote:
...Starfinder is quantum superposition canon: it both is and is not the actual future of Pathfinder until observed by an outside party—you—at which point the wave function collapses and it becomes either canon or not for your game. :D

A quantum superposition cannon should really be a weapon in the game.

Grand Lodge

I can't wait for it to come out.


Not interested in the least.


6 people marked this as a favorite.

Interested enough to post about it :p

Liberty's Edge

6 people marked this as a favorite.

I can finally play a biker mouse from Akiton.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.
James Sutter wrote:
Malwing is spot-on. As befits a science fantasy setting, Starfinder is quantum superposition canon: it both is and is not the actual future of Pathfinder until observed by an outside party—you—at which point the wave function collapses and it becomes either canon or not for your game. :D

This is pretty much the best way to establish the canon of your home game, regardless of edition, if you're using someone else's setting.

Whether that be deciding if you want to play through the Greyhawk Wars, the Realms Time of Troubles, or to introduce those new races/classes/spells that just came out in the shiny new book, which threaten to turn everything the PCs knew on its head.

It's up to each individual GM to decide what they consider Year Zero for their campaign, and what gets added after that point.
Since Paizo produce material faster than I (or many customers) can run it, play it, or read it, this buffet approach is the only way to stay sane.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: curse you Paizo!

Two APs I'll need to subscribe to? Seriously not cool. NOT COOL AT ALL.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Star Captain Killjoy wrote:
Gip wrote:

*raises hand*

Gip, Mighteist of Space Pirates™, asks that Goblins be a Core Race.

Motion seconded on behalf of the Imperial Goblin Space Navy (Someday We Might Even Get A Ship!)

Goblns can't have nice things, at least not for long...

That's why financing the Goblin Royal Navy is generally considered a sucker bet!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Star Captain Killjoy wrote:
Gip wrote:

*raises hand*

Gip, Mighteist of Space Pirates™, asks that Goblins be a Core Race.

Motion seconded on behalf of the Imperial Goblin Space Navy (Someday We Might Even Get A Ship!)

Can't we all just clump onto a spelljammer helm or ion drive, and cling together like those rafts fireants make of themselves?


I'd like to see mechanics for non-combat encounters included in the core rulebook, but then, I'm the kind of nerd who watches The Jewel in the Crown and thinks "This is like the best space D&D campaign ever, if the British Empire was the Interstellar Empire and the Indians were their Denebian subject race!"


Berk the Black wrote:
Star Captain Killjoy wrote:
Gip wrote:

*raises hand*

Gip, Mighteist of Space Pirates™, asks that Goblins be a Core Race.

Motion seconded on behalf of the Imperial Goblin Space Navy (Someday We Might Even Get A Ship!)

Goblns can't have nice things, at least not for long...

That's why financing the Goblin Royal Navy is generally considered a sucker bet!

Having a side job as "junk collector", you can sell the same thing over and over.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Eal Longwalker wrote:
Luthorne wrote:
It's science fantasy, not science fiction, and while technically anything with psionics could be viewed as science fantasy, I'd rather still have proper magic.
You might find Isaac Bonewits' Authentic Thaumaturgy interesting.

It is an excellent resource.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Huh. Wasn't expecting that. At all.

Well, it remains to be seen how it will turn out. But I'm interested!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

You know that we will need Pawns along with this, of course.

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