New Starfinder Interview!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

More exciting Starfinder work continues to churn around these parts, and with that, more information about the upcoming roleplaying game has made it's way to the masses! In an interview with Matt Miller over at Game Informer, our own James L. Sutter divulged more details about the process behind Starfinder (and creating this all-new core rulebook full of gameplay and setting material). I've snagged some of the new artwork and other information (including captions from James) to show off here, but you should check out the whole interview for all of the new juicy bits.

First up is our next iconic character, Iseph, the iconic operative!


Illustration by Remko Troost
This is Iseph, our iconic operative. The operative class is all about stealth, speed, and agility—whether you want to be a smuggler, a scout, an intrusion agent, or a black-ops assassin, this is the class for you. You'll also notice that Iseph is an android. Androids in Starfinder were originally created by humans as servitors, but in recent centuries fought for and won independence and recognition as full citizens of the Pact Worlds. While they have some interesting physical properties—they don't age, they handle vacuum much better than humans, and they have internal circuitry that glows when they're stressed—they also strive to distinguish themselves culturally from their former oppressors. One way in which some androids—like Iseph—do so is through the rejection of gender, which they see as an unnecessary mark of their former bondage.

Next, travelling to new worlds is a given in Starfinder—perhaps your future galaxy-hopping group may find themselves on a journey to either Liavara or Verces starting next summer?


Illustration by Leon Tukker
Liavara is a gas giant, with no solid surface at all, and those terrestrial races who come to mine its gasses or trade with the native creatures are forced to live on massive floating arcology platforms like this one. Much of the planet is held as a nature preserve by the Brethedans—gelatinous dirigible-like creatures who can alter their own DNA to produce whatever tools they need, from simple chemical compounds to tailored viruses. What's more, the Brethedans can actively merge together to create linked consciousnesses more intelligent and powerful than the sum of their parts, and some Brethedan biotech corporations are actually single massive entities consisting of millions of merged Brethedans.

Illustration by Sebastien Hue
Verces is a tidally locked world, with one side always facing the sun, the other always facing away. Civilization exists primarily in the narrow band of habitable terrain along the terminator line, where day meets night, and the massive cities that have grown there ring the globe in a single massive urban sprawl. In addition to being at the forefront of Pact World technology and industry, Verces is also the birthplace of the Stewards, a police-like organization of warrior-diplomats sworn to maintain the Pact, who hunt down interplanetary criminals and preserve peace between the sometimes fractious worlds of the solar system.

As always, keep your eye out on the Paizo blog for Starfinder news! You can also keep track up interviews and other features by following us on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.

Chris Lambertz
Community & Digital Content Director

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Tags: Iconics Iseph Leon Tukker Remko Troost Sebastien Hue Starfinder
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What did we see of Liavara?


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It's the picture right bellow the android iconic.


Yeah the crazy bubble Cloud City. Looks kind of organic.

Silver Crusade

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Odraude wrote:
Yeah the crazy bubble Cloud City. Looks kind of organic.

Ish a cloud jellyfish.


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Rysky wrote:
Odraude wrote:
Yeah the crazy bubble Cloud City. Looks kind of organic.
Ish a cloud jellyfish.

Which brings us back to tentacles again. ;)

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Hunt, the PugWumpus wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Odraude wrote:
Yeah the crazy bubble Cloud City. Looks kind of organic.
Ish a cloud jellyfish.
Which brings us back to tentacles again. ;)

I'm sensing a theme here...


Aucturn is most likely derived from Yuggoth, which is Lovecraft's 1920s conception of Pluto as a truly alien world. If you want to Google-Image people's artwork of Yuggoth then that should be interchangeable with what you could expect from Aucturn, plus or minus a Dark Tapestry creature or two.

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SnowHeart wrote:

I've also been thinking about a line of miniatures. I don't know if demand would justify multiple series as they do with traditional combat, but I would definitely buy pre-painted plastic minis for ship-to-ship combat. Been looking online the last two days and have had trouble finding anything I liked (i.e., not obviously bound to an existing setting such as Star Wars or BSG) and within my budget.

Anyway, I was listening to a podcast by someone who was able to play test the space combat. This is probably available elsewhere on the forums (or refuted elsewhere), but he said there was no NDA. It was a play test and things could change but what I recall is:
- ships have a movement speed and must move a certain number of spaces before turning one point on the hex
- there are three phases of combat: engineering, movement and gunnery. Each phase is resolved simultaneously. Initiative's role is to determine who has to declare their actions first. You want to declare last so you have the benefit of responding to the other ship's declared actions.
- the three phases help give every PC a role
- roles on the ship are independent of your class abilities, apparently linked to a skill.
- you can pull off special maneuvers but the DCs for these are so high they can only be achieved by the crew working together and giving bonuses to the PC who makes the tough roll. This is by design to encourage crews to communicate and work together (like a real crew)

Take all of that with a grain of salt.

That was me! It was the Gen Con 2016 play test, and I'm sure things have changed since then, of course. We posted up some pictures on our Facebook page, as well.

Picture of the play test in action.

Project Manager

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Luna Protege wrote:

As for Paizo inclusiveness, from the way they phrase it it strikes me as a largely PR move

So I think its a good decision, but I figure the reasons they're claiming it are mostly a bluff roll

Has it occurred to you that the people--especially the women/LGBT people--who make Starfinder and Pathfinder might care about inclusion because we've experienced being made to feel unwelcome in the very games we make because of our gender and/or orientation, and we want to make sure that it doesn't continue to happen to A) us, B) people like us, and C) people on other axes of marginalization?

I mean, we're not going to turn down good PR, certainly, but the idea that it's some sort of "bluff" to care about stopping things that have harmed many of us is strange.

Paizo Employee Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

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To expand on Jessica's excellent response above:

Luna Protege wrote:
As for Paizo inclusiveness, from the way they phrase it it strikes me as a largely PR move; a company inviting diversity has a minimal effect on the actual diversity of the community. The two major ways people get into the game are either because a friend invited them to play, or they were already interested and joined a random group. Thus its more important to make sure its a game people will be interested in and will recommend to their friends than it is to appeal to demographics at all.

Those might be two common (but not exhaustive) ways in which people first try the game, but diversity in the setting and iconic characters communicates which people then feel welcome once they do give the game a try. If a player doesn't see [m]any inspiring, heroic characters with whom she identifies, it's really easy to come away with the impression that the game isn't for her; it's for those people who do look like the heroes. It gets even worse if the game portrays people like her—in appearance, gender, ethnicity, mental faculties, etc.—as villains or uncivilized, conveying that people like her aren't there to be heroes; people like her instead represent negative foils to be laid low in the heroes' pursuit of glory and gold.

Paizo doesn't create diversity by waving a magic wand; it supports it by providing positive and diverse depictions of people from all walks of life so that everyone can have that moment of seeing Seelah, Reiko, Kyra, or Kess and say, "Wow, she's amazing—and I can be too." And if that helps people appreciate Pathfinder and Starfinder as games they "will be interested in and will recommend to their friends," diversity continues to grow. I and many of my coworkers have dealt with exclusion in one context or another, and we're committed to ensuring our games convey as welcoming and empowering experience as possible through our setting, our rules, and our artwork.


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Jessica Price wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:

As for Paizo inclusiveness, from the way they phrase it it strikes me as a largely PR move

So I think its a good decision, but I figure the reasons they're claiming it are mostly a bluff roll

Has it occurred to you that the people--especially the women/LGBT people--who make Starfinder and Pathfinder might care about inclusion because we've experienced being made to feel unwelcome in the very games we make because of our gender and/or orientation, and we want to make sure that it doesn't continue to happen to A) us, B) people like us, and C) people on other axes of marginalization?

I mean, we're not going to turn down good PR, certainly, but the idea that it's some sort of "bluff" to care about stopping things that have harmed many of us is strange.

I can't speak for you, but as far as I'm concerned, if a "bluff" on your end results in positive change in the real world, then I'd be perfectly happy with your "bluff." Whether or not it actually is a "bluff," from my perspective, is less important than the potential good that comes out of what you are doing. Doing something good for the good publicity is still doing something good.

Do I believe that what Paizo's doing with inclusiveness is just a publicity stunt? No, I don't. But even if it were, I'd still think the inclusiveness was a good thing.


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Man I just wanted to talk about art, but we keep coming back to this so here I go.

Early last year, I got a game started with a bunch of cooks I work with. None of them have ever played D&D and only one person really had any fantasy experience, which was sleeping during The Hobbit.

This started because on a random day, while me and my sautee cook Condo were playing some Tekken, his son was looking through all of my D&D books and stuff. He's like REALLY into it and focuses, which is nice because I swear the kid is ADHD. Both him and his son are Haitian and his son has cornrows. This is important.

So while we are playing, suddenly, his son comes running in with my copy of D&D 5e (it was a gift Paizo, I swear! ;) ) and is getting all excited and s$%&. So he shows his dad the picture of 5e's fighter, pictured here, who looks like an older and more buff version of the son. And he's just hyper active, yelling about how it's him over and over again. So we get to talk about it, and the next day, Condo got his son and some of the other line cooks into our first D&D game.

The majority of the cooks were your typical South Floridians. Haitian, Cuban, Jamaican, one Mexican guy, and one white guy. And me, the Puerto Rican. And to all of them, they though it was nerdy white guy s%&!. But, they all played along, had fun, and we ended up running a bunch of adventures before I had to move. So at least for me, it worked out.

See, we are adults and are too busy being all cynical and grouchy, complaining about taxes and politics and comparing fiber amounts in different cereals. So we don't really feel that identification with characters and artwork. At least I don't, but I'm a crotchety prep cook that drinks too much. But the mind of a kid is different. They haven't been beat down and crushed by adulthood yet, so they approach things differently and attach themselves to art. I've run D&D for kids under 12, and it's always the same. The kids always attach themselves to artwork that reminds them of themselves. They don't really care about classes and feats and s+~* like that. Condo's kid wanted to play a fighter because he saw the art that reminded him of him. Same with my girl friend's friend's daughter, that wanted to play the Pathfinder cleric. She didn't give a f@$& about spells and gods. She just wanted to play her because "she had pretty clothes."

And with my other coworkers, they thought that D&D was for "nerdy white guys." I know that not to be true. I've found plenty of people in the roleplaying game community that were cool and love bringing in everyone and anyone into their game. And in South Florida and here in Central Florida, there are gamers of all types. But sadly, there is that perception, usually from newer people that don't know much about RPGs or geekdom. It's a hard stereotype to shake and an unfair bad rap. So I feel any way to shake that preconception and bring in more people is fine by me.

I mean hell, I got a 60 year old dishwasher to play D&D thanks to that fighter. And she had absolutely zero experience with roleplaying. Anything is possible.

So, any more art or interviews? ;)


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Jessica Price wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:

As for Paizo inclusiveness, from the way they phrase it it strikes me as a largely PR move

So I think its a good decision, but I figure the reasons they're claiming it are mostly a bluff roll

Has it occurred to you that the people--especially the women/LGBT people--who make Starfinder and Pathfinder might care about inclusion because we've experienced being made to feel unwelcome in the very games we make because of our gender and/or orientation, and we want to make sure that it doesn't continue to happen to A) us, B) people like us, and C) people on other axes of marginalization?

I mean, we're not going to turn down good PR, certainly, but the idea that it's some sort of "bluff" to care about stopping things that have harmed many of us is strange.

I may have been reading too much into intention. I hadn't considered it from a personal angle, mostly just a pragmatic angle.

John Compton wrote:

To expand on Jessica's excellent response above:

Luna Protege wrote:
As for Paizo inclusiveness, from the way they phrase it it strikes me as a largely PR move; a company inviting diversity has a minimal effect on the actual diversity of the community. The two major ways people get into the game are either because a friend invited them to play, or they were already interested and joined a random group. Thus its more important to make sure its a game people will be interested in and will recommend to their friends than it is to appeal to demographics at all.

Those might be two common (but not exhaustive) ways in which people first try the game, but diversity in the setting and iconic characters communicates which people then feel welcome once they do give the game a try. If a player doesn't see [m]any inspiring, heroic characters with whom she identifies, it's really easy to come away with the impression that the game isn't for her; it's for those people who do look like the heroes. It gets even worse if the game portrays people like her—in appearance, gender, ethnicity, mental faculties, etc.—as villains or uncivilized, conveying that people like her aren't there to be heroes; people like her instead represent negative foils to be laid low in the heroes' pursuit of glory and gold.

Paizo doesn't create diversity by waving a magic wand; it supports it by providing positive and diverse depictions of people from all walks of life so that everyone can have that moment of seeing Seelah, Reiko, Kyra, or Kess and say, "Wow, she's amazing—and I can be too." And if that helps people appreciate Pathfinder and Starfinder as games they "will be interested in and will recommend to their friends," diversity continues to grow. I and many of my coworkers have dealt with exclusion in one context or another, and we're committed to ensuring our games convey as welcoming and empowering experience as possible through our setting, our rules, and our artwork.

When you put it that way, it makes sense. However, a counterpoint is that when it comes to psychological and social influences, typically the more overt influences trump subtlety. The artistic representation of characters is something I'd consider "subtlety" in that regard.

I'm not claiming it has zero effect, just that shouting it from the rooftops makes it sound forced. Subtlety works best when its subtle.

Odraude wrote:

Man I just wanted to talk about art, but we keep coming back to this so here I go.

Early last year, I got a game started with a bunch of cooks I work with. None of them have ever played D&D and only one person really had any fantasy experience, which was sleeping during The Hobbit.

This started because on a random day, while me and my sautee cook Condo were playing some Tekken, his son was looking through all of my D&D books and stuff. He's like REALLY into it and focuses, which is nice because I swear the kid is ADHD. Both him and his son are Haitian and his son has cornrows. This is important.

So while we are playing, suddenly, his son comes running in with my copy of D&D 5e (it was a gift Paizo, I swear! ;) ) and is getting all excited and s$!#. So he shows his dad the picture of 5e's fighter, pictured here, who looks like an older and more buff version of the son. And he's just hyper active, yelling about how it's him over and over again. So we get to talk about it, and the next day, Condo got his son and some of the other line cooks into our first D&D game.

The majority of the cooks were your typical South Floridians. Haitian, Cuban, Jamaican, one Mexican guy, and one white guy. And me, the Puerto Rican. And to all of them, they though it was nerdy white guy s@%+. But, they all played along, had fun, and we ended up running a bunch of adventures before I had to move. So at least for me, it worked out.

See, we are adults and are too busy being all cynical and grouchy, complaining about taxes and politics and comparing fiber amounts in different cereals. So we don't really feel that identification with characters and artwork. At least I don't, but I'm a crotchety prep cook that drinks too much. But the mind of a kid is different. They haven't been beat down and crushed by adulthood yet, so they approach things differently and attach themselves to art. I've run D&D for kids under 12, and it's always the same. The kids always attach themselves to artwork that reminds them of themselves. They don't really care about classes and feats and s~@% like that. Condo's kid wanted to play a fighter because he saw the art that reminded him of him. Same with my girl friend's friend's daughter, that wanted to play the Pathfinder cleric. She didn't give a f#~~ about spells and gods. She just wanted to play her because "she had pretty clothes."

And with my other coworkers, they thought that D&D was for "nerdy white guys." I know that not to be true. I've found plenty of people in the roleplaying game community that were cool and love bringing in everyone and anyone into their game. And in South Florida and here in Central Florida, there are gamers of all types. But sadly, there is that perception, usually from newer people that don't know much about RPGs or geekdom. It's a hard stereotype to shake and an unfair bad rap. So I feel any way to shake that preconception and bring in more people is fine by me.

I mean hell, I got a 60 year old dishwasher to play D&D thanks to that fighter. And she had absolutely zero experience with roleplaying. Anything is possible.

As anecdotal evidence goes, that's quite a good example of circumstances where it works... However, there's a key phrase used here that complicates everything here.

"Nerdy White Guy"

There are two things to break down in that phrase, one controversial, one less so... So let's start with the less controversial: Nerdy.

The word Nerdy is something that's impossible to get away from with any hobby; and if you consider the possibility of the people stating just that as their aversion to playing games like this, then its slightly easier to parse what their actual problem with trying it is. Given that current social trends actually facilitate nerdy pursuits, that leaves us with the most charitable reading of "I don't have time for hobbies"; either because they have other social engagements, or they have responsibilities that keep them from it.

Now for the other half: "White Guys". Or given how cliché it is to say that together, perhaps "White" and "Guys".

In the latter case of "Guys", I want you to consider the question of who's making the assumption that its a "game for guys"; anyone who's played a game like this for long with usually have played with at least one girl during that time, so they already know its not true. It's people who don't play the game who are assuming that, and since a man would have no reason to make that distinction... It has to be girls who don't play. Though even then, they have to be at least peripherally aware that girls play it too, to at least some degree of frequency.

The LEAST charitable reading of that would be "Eww, there are boys playing games? I don't want to play with boys, they have cooties". Though more charitable cases exist in manners such as Odraude laid out; visually minded, usually younger, who are quicker to try new things if they see themselves in it, rather than people in their mid teens to mid 20s or older who may be more prone to experiment for no other reason than because they can.

The remaining fragment: "White", largely has the same argument, just replace "boys" with "white". Though with the least charitable interpretation being even worse due to the currently politicised nature of that distinction. I'll leave that up to the imagination, its too soon to go down that rabbit hole.

I could be reading the whole situation wrong though, but I do want to make it known that somebody has to make a case against what would have been accusations of irresponsibility on creator's parts if they weren't taking the artistically diverse approach, and somebody has to make a case against accusations of malice or discrimination on the player community's part when no evidence exists and the accusations have largely come from those with no interaction with the community.

A really weird position to take, I'm sure. And I'm sure I'm not the best at making that case, but its better than not having one at all.

Now excuse me, I feel dirty from having muddied the discussion. Maybe this is why I should keep cynicism out of discussing anything I enjoy.

Silver Crusade

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Luna Protege wrote:
I'm not claiming it has zero effect, just that shouting it from the rooftops makes it sound forced. Subtlety works best when its subtle.

And when has Paizo been subtle? Why should inclusiveness be subtle? To paraphrase the Creative Director here, when you want people to be included after being excluded for so long you don't look barely poke your head out, look both ways, and say in a hushed tone "Yeah, you can come over, just don't let anyone see you or make a big deal out of it.", you THROW open the door and shout "COME ONE, COME ALL, YOU'LL ALWAYS HAVE A SEAT AT OUR TABLE, BECAUSE IT'S YOUR TABLE TOO!"


Rysky wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:
I'm not claiming it has zero effect, just that shouting it from the rooftops makes it sound forced. Subtlety works best when its subtle.
And when has Paizo been subtle? Why should inclusiveness be subtle? To paraphrase the Creative Director here, when you want people to be included after being excluded for so long you don't look barely poke your head out, look both ways, and say in a hushed tone "Yeah, you can come over, just don't let anyone see you or make a big deal out of it.", you THROW open the door and shout "COME ONE, COME ALL, YOU'LL ALWAYS HAVE A SEAT AT OUR TABLE, BECAUSE IT'S YOUR TABLE TOO!"

I was going to say "Unless its just a cultural myth that they've been excluded." but then again, I suppose the fact that everyone believes that its true means they'll act like its true. So sure, maybe they should be shouting of invitations to the table from rooftops.

Then again, I have made a point that people outside the community throwing around the "its the domain of Nerdy White Guys" line as a reason not to join could be acting exclusionary themselves by using it.

It's also worth noting that "Come One Come All" is a good line... Rattling off invitations specific to race or gender such as "Come all ye girls" however... That is forced.

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Luna Protege wrote:
Then again, I have made a point that people outside the community throwing around the "its the domain of Nerdy White Guys" line as a reason not to join could be acting exclusionary themselves by using it.
That is a toxic and false perception about tabletop games unfortunately.
Luna Protege wrote:
It's also worth noting that "Come One Come All" is a good line... Rattling off invitations specific to race or gender such as "Come all ye girls" however... That is forced.

Where have they done that?


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Luna Protege wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:
I'm not claiming it has zero effect, just that shouting it from the rooftops makes it sound forced. Subtlety works best when its subtle.
And when has Paizo been subtle? Why should inclusiveness be subtle? To paraphrase the Creative Director here, when you want people to be included after being excluded for so long you don't look barely poke your head out, look both ways, and say in a hushed tone "Yeah, you can come over, just don't let anyone see you or make a big deal out of it.", you THROW open the door and shout "COME ONE, COME ALL, YOU'LL ALWAYS HAVE A SEAT AT OUR TABLE, BECAUSE IT'S YOUR TABLE TOO!"

I was going to say "Unless its just a cultural myth that they've been excluded." but then again, I suppose the fact that everyone believes that its true means they'll act like its true. So sure, maybe they should be shouting of invitations to the table from rooftops.

Then again, I have made a point that people outside the community throwing around the "its the domain of Nerdy White Guys" line as a reason not to join could be acting exclusionary themselves by using it.

It's also worth noting that "Come One Come All" is a good line... Rattling off invitations specific to race or gender such as "Come all ye girls" however... That is forced.

As another nerdy white guy, please just stop. Yes certain demographics are excluded from portrayal in various media. That's not a cultural myth, that's a statistical fact. Please stop bringing your post-fact world to this forum. We like facts here. Facts are nice. We like inclusion. White males are already in everything. I can't throw a stone without hitting an advertisement depicting a smiling white male in khakis and a polo shirt. Please for the love of all that is good in this world stop acting like a victim because every media doesn't depict someone who looks like you or me. My dm got into pathfinder because it had someone who was like him. There is nothing wrong with non cisgender white males being portrayed in media. They're selling a product. Yes they're gaining viewership by expanding their audience. No that is not wrong in any way. You're coming eerily close to saying someone is being offensive towards cisgendered white people and I don't want to see the outcome of that.

If you think advertising does not disproportionately target cisgendered white males and depict them in positions of authority, here is a study:

http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1356&context=clc web

P.S. Studies are good. Facts are good. White cisgender males complaining about "cultural myths" on the systematic discussion of minority groups in society is not good.


Rysky wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:
It's also worth noting that "Come One Come All" is a good line... Rattling off invitations specific to race or gender such as "Come all ye girls" however... That is forced.
Where have they done that?

Do they have to have done it to make a point? Arguably its a hypothetical case, not nessacarily something they've done.

What's arguable about it is whether explicit marketing around the iconics' gender and apparent race counts. And aside from the Android, who's gotten spotlight as "possibly agendered", I can't think of any where its been pushed; and even in the android's case, its understandable as its a facet of the race itself.

The Envoy was a case of the right attitude, they created a female character to play the iconic, and left the fact she was female pass largely unsaid. The art spoke for itself.

I think that's a rule in writing, show don't tell.

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Luna Protege wrote:
Do they have to have done it to make a point?
Uh, yeah.
Luna Protege wrote:
Arguably its a hypothetical case, not nessacarily something they've done.
And how does making something up out of left-field help your argument?
Luna Protege wrote:

What's arguable about it is whether explicit marketing around the iconics' gender and apparent race counts. And aside from the Android, who's gotten spotlight as "possibly agendered", I can't think of any where its been pushed; and even in the android's case, its understandable as its a facet of the race itself.

The Envoy was a case of the right attitude, they created a female character to play the iconic, and left the fact she was female pass largely unsaid. The art spoke for itself.

I think that's a rule in writing, show don't tell.

And how, pray tell, would you show someone is agendered without telling?


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Exactly. If Pazio hadn't said Iseph is agender everyone would have just assumed they are male, because that's the default assumption when you presented with an image that is not obviously female.


Archmage wrote:


Luna Protege wrote:
(Words)

As another nerdy white guy, please just stop. Yes certain demographics are excluded from portrayal in various media. That's not a cultural myth, that's a statistical fact. Please stop bringing your post-fact world to this forum. We like facts here. Facts are nice. We like inclusion. White males are already in everything. I can't throw a stone without hitting an advertisement depicting a smiling white male in khakis and a polo shirt. Please for the love of all that is good in this world stop acting like a victim because every media doesn't depict someone who looks like you or me. My dm got into pathfinder because it had someone who was like him. There is nothing wrong with non cisgender white males being portrayed in media. They're selling a product. Yes they're gaining viewership by expanding their audience. No that is not wrong in any way. You're coming eerily close to saying someone is being offensive towards cisgendered white people and I don't want to see the outcome of that.

If you think advertising does not disproportionately target cisgendered white males and depict them in positions of authority, here is a study:
http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1356&context=clc web
P.S. Studies are good. Facts are good. White cisgender males complaining about "cultural myths" on the systematic discussion of minority groups in society is not good.

You're confusing Exclusion with Depiction issues.

Exclusion in this context is saying "You cannot play".

Depiction issues is "this is the figure head, they don't look like you."

(Edit: Also, that link is broken, it directs me to an error page)

Other than that, the only thing I'm going to take issue with is this:

Archmage wrote:
Please for the love of all that is good in this world stop acting like a victim because every media doesn't depict someone who looks like you or me.

I am not a victim, nor am I claiming to be one.

What I am claiming is that nobody is s victim; there is no crime here, there is no sign saying "men only", just a sign saying "open".

I am just perhaps admittedly paranoid about the distant possibility someone is going to cause a stink and say "let's put up a Women Welcome sign instead", only to be disappointed when no more women than already play still don't play, and spurred on by the sign, a vocal group refuse to come in unless they put up a sign saying "women only".

... And if you put up a sign saying "women only", (which I am certain nobody will try anyways because why would they); those same women who claimed they wouldn't join without it still wouldn't join.

Rysky wrote:
tell, would you show someone is agendered without telling?

Isn't that the same point I made? I basically admitted that point before you made this one. I'm just being overly cautious.

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What. The. F+$$?


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Luna Protege wrote:
You're confusing Exclusion with Depiction issues.

There is an interesting study I once read. A group of children of various colors were shown drawings of of children in a line. The drawings were all the same except for their skin color as "the bad child". They were then asked who the good child was and who the bad child was. Both groups disproportionately chose the child with a darker skin color. When all you see is depictions of "the bad child", that's what you grow up to believe. You don't need a "men only" sign to be exclusionary. You just need to convince someone else they are "the bad child" and only show them "the bad child".

On the topic of "men only" and "women only" signs. Believe it or not, those exist. For instance North Carolina bill HB2. this bill prevents individuals who identify as male to use the men's room, and individuals who identify as female to use the women's restroom. By law what this means is big burly men who were born with the female sex are legally required to use the women's room, due to a belief that trans individuals are taking advantage of others in the restrooms. They are believed to be "the bad child" by legislators because this is how people see them and how they are occasionally portrayed.


Rysky wrote:
What. The. F@!~?

I've seen enough insanity to know that whatever I'm saying that's causing you this level of confusion is probably not worth it.

Pretend I'm insane, notice that I admit I'm being paranoid, and then rest easy knowing that in the end, everything is fine, and that I've gone the whole way down slowly admitting that everything seems to be fine.

I'll leave now, clearly I've ether gone mad, or have stared to long into the metaphorical face of the great old ones. Either way, nothing is worth this level of distress over this.

Archmage Variel wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:
You're confusing Exclusion with Depiction issues.

There is an interesting study I once read. A group of children of various colors were shown drawings of of children in a line. The drawings were all the same except for their skin color as "the bad child". They were then asked who the good child was and who the bad child was. Both groups disproportionately chose the child with a darker skin color. When all you see is depictions of "the bad child", that's what you grow up to believe. You don't need a "men only" sign to be exclusionary. You just need to convince someone else they are "the bad child" and only show them "the bad child".

On the topic of "men only" and "women only" signs. Believe it or not, those exist. For instance North Carolina bill HB2. this bill prevents individuals who identify as male to use the men's room, and individuals who identify as female to use the women's restroom. By law what this means is big burly men who were born with the female sex are legally required to use the women's room, due to a belief that trans individuals are taking advantage of others in the restrooms. They are believed to be "the bad child" by legislators because this is how people see them and how they are occasionally portrayed.

Completely unrelated, perhaps this is a good reason to bring up Coed bathrooms, maybe better.

The other thing you say Archemage? Sounds legit, but otherwise I don't recall any instance of that happening in a tabletop game... Or really anywhere. In RPGs, at both best and worst, its villainous white dudes as the level 20 dude, usually undead.

Except maybe when its Orcs. If that's your point, then yeah, fair call.


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My point is that a lack of positive inclusion leads to negative stereotyping which, while it may not happen at your rpg table, does happen. I've been at tables where it happens, and I've called both players and DM's out of it. None of us, at least that I'm aware of, are omniscient. Just because you don't see something doesn't mean it doesn't happen.


Archmage Variel wrote:
My point is that a lack of positive inclusion leads to negative stereotyping which, while it may not happen at your rpg table, does happen. I've been at tables where it happens, and I've called both players and DM's out of it. None of us, at least that I'm aware of, are omniscient. Just because you don't see something doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

Agreed, I wouldn't say it never happens. I just don't want to hear people say its omnipresent.


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Luna Protege wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
My point is that a lack of positive inclusion leads to negative stereotyping which, while it may not happen at your rpg table, does happen. I've been at tables where it happens, and I've called both players and DM's out of it. None of us, at least that I'm aware of, are omniscient. Just because you don't see something doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
Agreed, I wouldn't say it never happens. I just don't want to hear people say its omnipresent.

No one said that. It's quite prevalent but no one said it happens everywhere. Something doesn't have to exist everywhere for a change to be needed.


Archmage Variel wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
My point is that a lack of positive inclusion leads to negative stereotyping which, while it may not happen at your rpg table, does happen. I've been at tables where it happens, and I've called both players and DM's out of it. None of us, at least that I'm aware of, are omniscient. Just because you don't see something doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
Agreed, I wouldn't say it never happens. I just don't want to hear people say its omnipresent.
No one said that. It's quite prevalent but no one said it happens everywhere. Something doesn't have to exist everywhere for a change to be needed.

We're not sure how prevalent, could be anywhere from one in ten sessions to one in a hundred sessions. More information would be required before I can say anything definitive.

One thing I can say, is that such behaviour isn't something that Paizo can really do much about. They can catch any behaviour they see and say "cut that out", but if they don't see any problem behaviour personally, then its hard to justify asking them to decry behaviour even when its left unseen. Its also not fair to list all the cases of it happening, due to a problem I've decided to call "Negative Activism".

If public knowledge becomes flooded with cases of bad behaviour, even if its not indicative of the general behaviour, it will likely deter those who that behaviour affects from joining. This effect has a net worse effect on the "feeling" of inclusiveness, even if authority figures step out to decry the behaviour.

That's mostly a tangential point... Really the only point I should be making though is that its something we're more equipped to deal with if we just scold someone who does it when it happens, like you have. It's kind of in the hands of players to deal with unfortunately.

Which is probably what I've been arguing. Though I'm not sure, this has taken enough turns I'm not really sure what I've been saying.

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And you assume those at Paizo have never dealt with negative and toxic behavior? And even then you're only allowed to deal with something if you've experienced the exactly same situation? Seriosuly?!? WTF?!?!

It's up to the players and GMs yes, but its also up to the company that puts out the game to take a stand, which they do.

"If public knowledge becomes flooded with cases of bad behaviour, even if its not indicative of the general behaviour, it will likely deter those who that behaviour affects from joining."

If the behaviour is just pointed out and nothing is done about it then yes, but the exact opposite is happening. It IS getting called out, people are taking a stand.

"We're not sure how prevalent, could be anywhere from one in ten sessions to one in a hundred sessions. More information would be required before I can say anything definitive."

RESEARCH. You're on the internet obviously so this is not outside your ability. Also listen when people say they have a problem or are uncomfortable, rather than automatically dismissing it just because it isn't all laid out for you with your current understanding of things.


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This is basically the ramblings of a privileged mad man. Insanity is not worth arguing against. So to anyone who doesn't own a white lives matter shirt and hasn't used the term gay in a sentence that does not pertain to sexuality in an unstigmatized light, doesn't Iseph's pistol look like an arc pistol? I think we'll see arc, laser, zero, and other pistols as basic weapons in starfinder, like the daggers and quarterstaves of pathfinder.


Rysky wrote:

And you assume those at Paizo have never dealt with negative and toxic behavior? And even then you're only allowed to deal with something if you've experienced the exactly same situation? Seriosuly?!? WTF?!?!

It's up to the players and GMs yes, but its also up to the company that puts out the game to take a stand, which they do.

"If public knowledge becomes flooded with cases of bad behaviour, even if its not indicative of the general behaviour, it will likely deter those who that behaviour affects from joining."

If the behaviour is just pointed out and nothing is done about it then yes, but the exact opposite is happening. It IS getting called out, people are taking a stand.

"We're not sure how prevalent, could be anywhere from one in ten sessions to one in a hundred sessions. More information would be required before I can say anything definitive."

RESEARCH. You're on the internet obviously so this is not outside your ability. Also listen when people say they have a problem or are uncomfortable, rather than automatically dismissing it just because it isn't all laid out for you with your current understanding of things.

Fair enough.

Archmage Variel wrote:
This is basically the ramblings of a privileged mad man. Insanity is not worth arguing against.

Ramblings of a mad man... Yes, most definitely at this point, I've admitted as much thrice or so.

Privileged though... That's a rabbit hole for another day, needless to say, this is not the time nor place to discuss whether fathers should be allowed to see their children when women can claim full custody by default, or if men deserve the right to financial parental surrender that women currently have.

Neither of those discussions should be taking place here.


Odraude wrote:

Man I just wanted to talk about art, but we keep coming back to this so here I go.

The art is amazing. Though when I look at Iseph, I can't help myself to think that something is missing. Couldn't say what. Just a feeling.

To the subject of inclusiveness, I usually stay away from that subject. And it's not because I'm against it. All the contrary, Paizo could stamp the "COME ONE, COME ALL, YOU'LL ALWAYS HAVE A SEAT AT OUR TABLE, BECAUSE IT'S YOUR TABLE TOO!" like Rysky said in great big bold letters on the book cover and I will still buy them. The reason I usually steer away is because of two things.

The first one is the "You can't understand/know what we are going through" sentence. I've bee thrown that sentence at me so often I stopped counting. The worst part is that when I used to talk about those things, I was saying "I understand/know that there is a problem" but the other person always heard "I understand/know what you are going through." When you get into that spiral of miscommunication and misunderstanding, there is no getting out without someone feeling hurt. So I usually end up walking away and the other person marks me down as racist/sexist/bigot.

The second one is the "All white males are evil" sentence. I did end up in some circles where I had to work my way out of negative assumption because I'm white and male. Does it hurt? Never as much at what the other person went through. It's not even close to being the same. But it does sometimes make me walk away. Why? Because sometimes I just don't have the energy to go through the process. The worst part about it, if I give the person the space, they think I'm avoiding them and therefore I'm racist/sexist/bigot. If I try to talk to them, there is a chance I end up in the first problem of miscommunication.

Heck, where I live, we even have social tension between French and English speaking people. On a weekly basis, I end up having to explain the fear and reasoning behind it to the other side. Anglophone judging me because I'm sending my kids to French elementary schools, francophone judging me because I plan to send my kids to English high school.

Would it make the world easier to live if everyone would fit in the same mold? Yes, but it would be the most boring world ever. Diversity is a wonderful thing. And the day that everyone will get that, we will be able to attain great height.

Did I mention that I love the art!


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Luna Protege wrote:

Neither of those discussions should be taking place here.

Why are you bringing it up then? Please place all complaints about the few privileges cisgendered white males don't have over other people into the suggestion box. It looks a lot like a paper shredder, but they're different, I swear.


Archmage Variel wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:

Neither of those discussions should be taking place here.

Why are you bringing it up then? Please place all complaints about the few privileges cisgendered white males don't have over other people into the suggestion box. It looks a lot like a paper shredder, but they're different, I swear.

Because unfortunately, I cannot find the "Send Private Message" button to be able to discus this forever in private.


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Luna Protege wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:

Neither of those discussions should be taking place here.

Why are you bringing it up then? Please place all complaints about the few privileges cisgendered white males don't have over other people into the suggestion box. It looks a lot like a paper shredder, but they're different, I swear.
Because unfortunately, I cannot find the "Send Private Message" button to be able to discus this forever in private.

**Bbbbbbbbbshhhhhhzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz**


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Luna Protege wrote:
Jessica Price wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:

As for Paizo inclusiveness, from the way they phrase it it strikes me as a largely PR move

So I think its a good decision, but I figure the reasons they're claiming it are mostly a bluff roll

Has it occurred to you that the people--especially the women/LGBT people--who make Starfinder and Pathfinder might care about inclusion because we've experienced being made to feel unwelcome in the very games we make because of our gender and/or orientation, and we want to make sure that it doesn't continue to happen to A) us, B) people like us, and C) people on other axes of marginalization?

I mean, we're not going to turn down good PR, certainly, but the idea that it's some sort of "bluff" to care about stopping things that have harmed many of us is strange.

I may have been reading too much into intention. I hadn't considered it from a personal angle, mostly just a pragmatic angle.

John Compton wrote:

To expand on Jessica's excellent response above:

Luna Protege wrote:
As for Paizo inclusiveness, from the way they phrase it it strikes me as a largely PR move; a company inviting diversity has a minimal effect on the actual diversity of the community. The two major ways people get into the game are either because a friend invited them to play, or they were already interested and joined a random group. Thus its more important to make sure its a game people will be interested in and will recommend to their friends than it is to appeal to demographics at all.
Those might be two common (but not exhaustive) ways in which people first try the game, but diversity in the setting and iconic characters communicates which people then feel welcome once they do give the game a try. If a player doesn't see [m]any inspiring, heroic characters with whom she identifies, it's really easy to come away with the impression that the game isn't for her; it's for those people who do look like the heroes. It gets even
...

That was the point I made in my post. The perception to the outside viewer is that it's a game for nerdy white dudes. Hell, even the one white cook that joined my game thought it was just for smart folks. On a side note, cooks don't have a filter and are very blunt. They will tell you how they think or feel about something, so you can always trust us to give you the straight blunt truth on something.

You and I know otherwise. But that's the problem, is that perception ends up being a reality to people. I have family (generally older, but a few my age) that don't really get geekdom and nerdy pursuits, so to them, their image of nerdom comes from Revenge of the Nerds and Big Bang Theory. They don't understand how a Puerto Rican like me can be into it. Which is funny because most of my family are really into nerdy stuff. Brothers love RPGs and Warhammer, dad loves D&D, anime, and comics. Sometimes thought, the perception comes from within. A few times, when I game with strangers and stuff, I've had people tell me how 'white' I am for gaming. As if playing D&D and video games was enough to erase the years I spent visiting Puerto Rico, enjoying Puerto Rican food, and (attempting at least) speaking Spanish. Of course, sometimes that also comes from my family that just doesn't get it. I think it's funny, because I've gamed in South Florida before and there are so many Cuban kids that love Magic and D&D, that the idea that gaming makes you white is silly.

But even in all of those cases, they were rare. Whenever I've played, 9 times out of 10, the people have been pretty awesome. For every crappy moment that has stuck out in my brain, I've had several awesome games with cool people that don't care if you are a woman, or brown, or trans or whatever. It's just that 1 out of 10 can stick out, especially if you're the target of it. Like the GM that thought I couldn't play D&D because he assumed I couldn't speak a lot of English. Or the GM that literally tried to get sexual favors from a player in exchange for making her character better. Still, I think the RPG community as a whole is a lot more accepting and friendly than we sometimes think. It's still nice to have the diversity in artwork and NPCs and stuff. It's always a continual process. Especially with kids. And I've run for a lot of kids (well over 30) and it's generally the same. They almost always go for the character that looks like them. With the rare occasional one that wants the cool half orc or cute elf. That's kids for you.

That's about my peace on it. I just want to know more about Starfinder personally. I'm tired of these constant derails of people complaining or praising Iseph and inclusion in general. It's to the point where it's simply getting annoying with the constant "diversity is great/terrible/just a PR stunt" that really don't end up going anywhere. I just want to see more Starfinder tidbits! Are we capable of doing that for at least a week, or is that just not going to happen?

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Indeed, Odraude, let's discuss Starfinder.

Luna Protege: if you're going to drop it, then drop it. (If the person whose private message button you were looking for was me, I'm not interested in private discussion with you, so save yourself the clicks.)


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Let's talk about the weapons shown. I see what looks like an arc pistol and a long rifle of some sort slung around the back. The envoys we saw appears to have a laser pistol. Maybe we'll see them as basic weapons? Think we'll see the other pistol types from the technology guide?


Archmage Variel wrote:
Let's talk about the weapons shown. I see what looks like an arc pistol and a long rifle of some sort slung around the back. The envoys we saw appears to have a laser pistol. Maybe we'll see them as basic weapons? Think we'll see the other pistol types from the technology guide?

What I'm curious about is how the weapon interacts with armors. With the introduction of black powder weapon in Pathfinder, armors were bypassed at short distance. Will the same thing apply to Starfinder?

The long rifle on Iseph's back, if it's a sniper rifle, will it ignore the armor value at a longer distance?

August can't get here fast enough! When can we expect the preorder button to appear?

Lemartes wrote:
Only one iconic so far correct?

It's the second one, here the first one


Rannik wrote:

Lemartes wrote:
Only one iconic so far correct?
It's the second one, here the first one

Forgot about that one. Thanks. :)

Anyone know the release schedule for the rest of them?


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Rannik wrote:
Archmage Variel wrote:
Let's talk about the weapons shown. I see what looks like an arc pistol and a long rifle of some sort slung around the back. The envoys we saw appears to have a laser pistol. Maybe we'll see them as basic weapons? Think we'll see the other pistol types from the technology guide?

What I'm curious about is how the weapon interacts with armors. With the introduction of black powder weapon in Pathfinder, armors were bypassed at short distance. Will the same thing apply to Starfinder?

The long rifle on Iseph's back, if it's a sniper rifle, will it ignore the armor value at a longer distance?

August can't get here fast enough! When can we expect the preorder button to appear?

My hope is that it will depend on class. Operatives might utilize the idea of sneak attack damage, allowing any weapon to be usable in a stealth/one hit playstyle when used tactically. So an operative can shoot either a sniper rifle or pistol from the shadows with nearly equally devastating effect, but a technomancer using the same equipment would have a lessened effect due to their lack of training in hitting critical systems and minimally protected parts of the body. Weapons would still be a useful part of the game for other classes, serving as both utility and combat purposes, but the ability to strike from the shadows and act as a marksman would fall to the operative and possibly specialized archetypes of other classes. A technomancer archetype could be made that fuses the operatives critical focuses with magic, but at the cost of magical utility. That way a class is still the archetypal focus of a certain playstyle without completely restricting that playstyle to that class. You don't want to end up with a player that feels unimportant, like with older editions of D&D in the end the wizard was god. Sure the rogue existed, but by the time he reached the orcs a fireball had already killed them.

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(BTW -- and I don't want to veer off into a new tangent, here, but I do want to call this out -- I want to compliment most of the people involved in this thread. That was a beautiful bit of mature community self-policing: refuting behavior and attitudes people don't want in their community, and then shutting it down and moving on. Well done, and thank you.)

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