Starfinder Society, Paizo's Newest Organized Play Program

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Immediately after the announcement of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game last PaizoCon, our community started speculating about an organized play program to support the new game. We spent the ensuing months looking at workflow and charting out a course that would enable us to have both Starfinder and Pathfinder organized play programs. It delights me to end speculation and announce the launch of Starfinder Society at Gen Con 50!

Introducing the Starfinder Society logo, designed by the talented Sarah Robinson!

Before the questions flood in, I want to note that we are still in the active planning phase, and may not have answers to everything yet. Over the next few months, the team will release more information via blog, podcast, and forum posts. If you have questions, please put yours in the comments section, and we will work to get them answered.

Who is working on Starfinder Society?

The structure is very similar to the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. Tonya Woldridge will oversee the program, with John Compton taking on the role of lead developer of both the Pathfinder and Starfinder organized play campaigns. Developer Linda Zayas-Palmer will continue to focus on Pathfinder Society. We've added Thurston Hillman to the team as the dedicated developer for Starfinder Society. Thurston has been a part of Pathfinder Society since Season 1, when he authored Pathfinder Society Scenario #55:The Infernal Vault. Since then, he's both contributed many scenarios (and special events) to the Pathfinder Society as well as writing regularly for various other Pathfinder RPG lines. Thurston brings his depth of experience to the team, along with a bit of zany humor.

Is it going to be called "Starfinder Society?"

The official name is Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, or SFSRPG for short. The Starfinder game takes place in the distant future of the Pathfinder world, and while much has changed (or been forgotten), the Starfinder Society traces its mysterious history back to the Pathfinder Society of present day. The campaign's official name reflects this connection.

Are you making two separate organized play programs?

Yes. Although many similarities exist in structure and format, including a shared volunteer team, they are two separate campaigns with different rules, documentation, and characters.

Do I get to keep my same Pathfinder Society number?

Yes. What was your Pathfinder Society number will now be your number for all three of the Paizo-operated organized play programs: Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild, and Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. Starfinder character numbers will have a unique starting number, most likely 700, making your first Starfinder character XXX-701. The number 700 works really well for this, not only because it leaves space for plenty of Pathfinder Society roleplaying characters, but also because the PZO number (the number we assign to each of our products) begins with 7. Who knows, this bit of trivia may make it in to the PaizoCon quiz.

How much is staying the same from Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild?

We still have quests and scenarios with Chronicle sheets. Adventures will be broken into tiers, grant XP, and provide other rewards. Three experience points (XP) grant a level. There are fairly cooperative factions within the Starfinder Society, based on their worldview and goals. We will reveal more information about the campaign as we get closer to its launch in August 2017.

Illustration by Sebastien Hue

If all that is the same, what is different?

Starship combat!

On a more serious note, we made a couple major changes for Starfinder Society. The first is the tier system. We are closing the gap between subtiers that resulted in so much confusion and consternation with calculating average party level (APL). Starfinder scenarios will include the following tiers: Tier 1-2, Tier 1-4, Tier 3-6, Tier 5-8, Tier 7-10, and Tier 9-12—perhaps more as higher-level play grows in popularity.

The second most noticeable change is that characters have a means of belonging to more than one faction at a time. Unlike the current Pathfinder Society faction rules, Starfinder Society characters will be able to gain favor with multiple groups, choosing which they want to champion on a scenario-by-scenario basis. But just like multiclassing, focusing on several groups won't see the same benefits as focusing on a primary faction. These changes to the faction system tie in with another issue that we are addressing: the handling of boons. One of our goals is developing a way to make the boons on Chronicles more relevant, and not just a stack of paper player's stick in the back of their folder. We'll reveal more about these changes in... the future (see what I did there?)

What is the release schedule?

The Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild launches with 3 scenarios, 1 pre-generated character special, and 1 quest pack at Gen Con. From there, we will publish one scenario a month. Moving to a slower release schedule allows us to spin up the program and settle into the groove of running three organized play programs. During this time, we will solicit feedback and assess the rate of publication for 2018 and beyond.

When can I start playing Starfinder Society?

The fun begins Thursday, August 17th, at 8:00 AM Pacific time in the Sagamore Ballroom at Gen Con. After Thursday morning, anyone, anytime, anywhere, may schedule Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild events.

Next week sees John holding down the fort while I travel to the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas to chat with retailers about our organized play programs. The following Wednesday, March 22, at 7 pm PDT, John, Thurston, and I join the Know Direction crew for a Question and Answer session about all things organized play related. If you have topics you wish us to cover, feel free to drop me an email at tonya.woldridge@paizo.com and we will fit as many answers on the show as possible.

Check out the blog next Monday for more exciting organized play news!

Until next time—Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge
Organized Play Coordinator

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Conventions Gen Con Gen Con 2017 Organized Play Sebastien Hue Starfinder Starfinder Society
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Paizo Employee 5/5 Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

thecursor wrote:
So...Can you spoil the factions yet? I assume vicious Hellknight Space marines are a thing? maybe some bad ass Solarion monks? Maybe an entire faction of just freed Androids who are sick of taking human crap?

Not yet. We're very excited about Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild's factions, but we'll be revealing more about those later.

Scarab Sages

Alexander Augunas wrote:
John Compton wrote:
Marco Massoudi wrote:
Will Thurston still have time to do stuff for Pathfinder now?

Paizo employees are eligible to work as freelance authors on other product lines, which is how I've written for the Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, and Player Companion lines. Thursty's an accomplished author—a key factor in why we knew he was right for the job—and his role in Starfinder Society doesn't prevent him from writing more Pathfinder material as a freelancer. In fact, I'm sure I can convince Thursty to write another Pathfinder Society scenario.

*Schemes*

I feel like all you'd need to do is hand Thursty an envelope with a coupon that said, "LIMIT 1: FREE-REIGN SCENARIO IN DRUMA" and you'd convince him.... ;-)

From John's Serpent's table: "DRUMA LODGE!!!"

Dark Archive

+1 !!!!!!!!!!


I want to become VL, VC or whatever!

5/5 Venture-Captain, Vermont—St. Johnsbury aka GM Harpwizard

Does Paizo have plans to have Starfinder Battles miniatures for characters, monsters, as well as spacecraft? How about flip maps for some space ships and space stations?

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
GM Harpwizard wrote:
Does Paizo have plans to have Starfinder Battles miniatures for characters, monsters, as well as spacecraft? How about flip maps for some space ships and space stations?

I'm looking forward to getting some use out of my old Star Wars Miniatures and associated maps. ^_^

(Of course, that doesn't help newer folks, nor is it specifically accurate to Starfinder. What do you do, though.)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Tonya Woldridge wrote:


Venture-officers are supporting all organized play, including SFSRPG, so that there is one point of contact for retailers, locations, and convention organizers. This doesn't mean they have to run Starfinder Society games, nor be the rules expert for their location. Venture-officers are organizers, first and foremost, and so might reach out to members of their community to be the "experts".

Good...because I fully intend to understand this game system inside and out. I'm gonna be like the "Starfinder Guy" at my lodge. If Starfinder is going to be written in as easy a manner as the Strategy Guide then that shouldn't be too hard. If all goes to plan, you're gonna be seeing me at Paizo Con and you're gonna give me some Stars.

Dark Archive 5/5 Venture-Captain, Florida—Tampa aka Dominick

I am such a junkie for far future RPGs!


Very, very excited to this become a thing! I missed out on getting into early PFS back in the day. I look forward to being a part of the beginning of something wonderful!

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online aka Magabeus

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Great news! I am very curious how SPS will interact with PFS regional support program! If I GM SPS at a place that has the PFS regional support program, does it add to the number of PFS runs I have done there?

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Australia—NSW—Sydney aka sanwah68

It would make more sense to have a regional support of its own, with its own boons.

First (edit) Space Master race boon...cat folk, only because I have many sci fi cat folk miniatures from different companies

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online aka Magabeus

It is likely that in Starfinder a GM is called a SpaceMaster ;-)

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Magabeus wrote:
It is likely that in Starfinder a GM is called a SpaceMaster ;-)

That would mean I'd have to change my license plate from CARPEGM to CARPESM (which might garner weirder looks than it already does).

Liberty's Edge 1/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Any chance that a pocket edition of the core rulebook will be released contemporaneously with the hardcover? I'm sure some of us looks around, shrugs, points to himself would be interested in buying both up front.

3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

1 person marked this as a favorite.
thecursor wrote:
So...Can you spoil the factions yet? I assume vicious Hellknight Space marines are a thing? maybe some bad ass Solarion monks? Maybe an entire faction of just freed Androids who are sick of taking human crap?

More importantly, will Seoni make it to space?


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Duncan7291 wrote:
thecursor wrote:
So...Can you spoil the factions yet? I assume vicious Hellknight Space marines are a thing? maybe some bad ass Solarion monks? Maybe an entire faction of just freed Androids who are sick of taking human crap?
More importantly, will Seoni make it to space?

I tried it once, with Merisiel and Kyra. To be honest, I prefer the reliability of solid ground.

Silver Crusade 5/5

9 people marked this as a favorite.

My one hope for Starfinder Society is that Drendle Dreng is still around handing out missions with no explanation given.

5/5 ⦵⦵

I have my own desires and curiosities as well.

5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

sssh, they will find out soon enough...

3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

Seoni, Iconic Sorcerer wrote:
Duncan7291 wrote:
thecursor wrote:
So...Can you spoil the factions yet? I assume vicious Hellknight Space marines are a thing? maybe some bad ass Solarion monks? Maybe an entire faction of just freed Androids who are sick of taking human crap?
More importantly, will Seoni make it to space?
I tried it once, with Merisiel and Kyra. To be honest, I prefer the reliability of solid ground.

Don't like the answer but love the response ;)

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 8

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
My one hope for Starfinder Society is that Drendle Dreng is still around handing out missions with no explanation given.

I also expect the Blakros (planetoid/asteroid) Museum orbiting Absalom Station. That surely survived whatever calamity befell Golarion...even if it was the likely source of the cause...

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The first scenario has to involve a pipe organ =)

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Diego aka RAdeMorris

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Bring on the Space Tea Sets.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Joseph Yerger wrote:
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
My one hope for Starfinder Society is that Drendle Dreng is still around handing out missions with no explanation given.
I also expect the Blakros (planetoid/asteroid) Museum orbiting Absalom Station. That surely survived whatever calamity befell Golarion...even if it was the likely source of the cause...

Ah the Blakros Family, being vaguely evil while claiming to be vaguely good since the Death of Aroden.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
The Aspis Consortium wrote:
I have my own desires and curiosities as well.

I for one look forward to quashing your evil plots on a more intergalactic scale.

Silver Crusade 2/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 aka cartmanbeck

I am pretty danged excited about this! I might have to plan a Starfinder Society opening event here in the DC area the weekend of GenCon, since I can't be there this year!

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I keep throwing money at the screen but nothing happens!

3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Can I be an Ice Pirate and own fighting robots?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Duncan7291 wrote:
Can I be an Ice Pirate and own fighting robots?

Yes but if you contract Space Herpes, they will threaten to remove your wiener.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Nefreet wrote:
The first scenario has to involve a pipe organ =)

Scenario Spoilers Ahead!:
*Shudders* I still have nightmares about running that combat over PBP... Luckily I was running my Brawler and was able to pick up Blind-Fight and most of the other PCs were not able to make the checks to climb the pipes and were ranged-based PCs. I pretty much carried that entire combat for the undead up on the pipes...
Venture-Captain, Missouri—Springfield aka Quintz

Definitely put me down for the Gen Con help. As with much of everyone else!! I can't wait to see/play/run this!!!

Grand Lodge 2/5

Well color me excited.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

1 person marked this as a favorite.
claudekennilol wrote:
Well color me excited.

You look so nice in purple!

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Paducah aka axian

Now to begin scheduling SFS games for after GenCon at my FLGS.

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online aka Magabeus

1 person marked this as a favorite.
axian wrote:
Now to begin scheduling SFS games for after GenCon at my FLGS.

Already done ;-)

3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Louisiana—New Orleans aka Duncan7291

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm sure we will get more info later but will need to discuss promotions with local stores. Also, can we have We Be Space Goblins?

Shadow Lodge 5/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Dragnmoon wrote:
I just want a Pig

In space, no one can hear you Squealy Nord.

Grand Lodge 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm sure we're giving Thursty all kinds of idea. *Cough*Rats of Round Asteroid*cough*

Paizo Employee 5/5 Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Woran wrote:
I keep throwing money at the screen but nothing happens!

Try putting it in a stamped envelope and sending it to Paizo, ATTN: John Compton

Well, maybe just continue supporting the organized play programs, buying our current books, and preordering the Starfinder Core Rulebook.

Silver Crusade 5/5 Venture-Captain, Colorado—Colorado Springs

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Joseph Yerger wrote:
Eliandra Giltessan wrote:
My one hope for Starfinder Society is that Drendle Dreng is still around handing out missions with no explanation given.
I also expect the Blakros (planetoid/asteroid) Museum orbiting Absalom Station. That surely survived whatever calamity befell Golarion...even if it was the likely source of the cause...

I'm still hoping for space kobolds to have set up their own colony on an asteroid....


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

I'm a huge fan of Larry Wilhelm. Do you think you could ask him to write a starfinder society scenario?

Paizo Employee 5/5 Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Larcifer wrote:
I'm a huge fan of Larry Wilhelm. Do you think you could ask him to write a starfinder society scenario?

Hey Larcifer, it's good to hear you're such a fan of Larry Wilhelm! If you'd like to encourage him to write for Starfinder Society, I recommend sending his account a private message encouraging him to contact the developer and convey interest in working on future Starfinder projects. Be sure to tell him (Larry, Thurston, or both) what a handsome devil he (Larry, Thurston, or both) is.

Spoiler:
And before I get people pointing it out, yes, I know who Larcifer is.

Dark Archive

Starfinder Superscriber

Can I sign up to just volunteer for the Starfinder stuff at GenCon?

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Here's an obvious question: Will SFS have the same level 1 rebuild rule as PFS?

Given the lack of system master we'll all have at GenCon this year, I certainly hope so. Just thought I'd ask.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

I would think that will be included in SFS because how player friendly the rule is.

1/5

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Why stop at L1?

Why not make it the entire 'first tier', but it's a one-time deal, and cannot be 'gamed'?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
SCPRedMage wrote:
Dragnmoon wrote:
I just want a Pig
You can have all the pigs you want. You'll find them in the Starfinder Core Rulebook, listed as "space rations".

Space Rations is People!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Will the info for altering the volunteering for GenCon slots be posted here, in the Gen Con Volunteers thread, or both?

Grand Lodge 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

John Compton wrote:
Woran wrote:
I keep throwing money at the screen but nothing happens!

Try putting it in a stamped envelope and sending it to Paizo, ATTN: John Compton

Well, maybe just continue supporting the organized play programs, buying our current books, and preordering the Starfinder Core Rulebook.

Is there any way to pre-order a PDF? I'll order the hardcover if it will get me the PDF!

Hmm

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A *killer* incentive programme would be to give GMs who are running this at GenCon a pre-release copy say, a month before GenCon, if possible

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