Hi everyone! I’m Payton, your Social Media Producer. Just like us here at Paizo, you are probably stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meaning your weekly game sessions with friends around the table might have stopped. So I wanted to help people find ways to help your friends continue the adventure.
This Pathfinder & Starfinder Home Gaming Guide is built to help introduce you to various tools and tips to smoothly get your campaign back on track. Since I have generally played tabletop RPGs online, I want to share what I’ve learned with all of you.
If you have any tips and tricks you’d like to add to this guide, please leave a comment down below this blog, or help out another fellow player on social media!
Virtual Tabletop Options
Astral currently only supports just the Pathfinder Second Edition Core Rulebook, but it has a lot of amazing tools and features to manage your campaign. Features like animated maps, weather effects, line of sight, an intuitive interface to help keep up with the game’s rules, and so much more! I have been using Astral to run demos of Pathfinder Second Edition, and I love it more and more every session. With its easy drag and drop interface, I find myself being able to Game Master fairly efficiently with my improv style storytelling.
Astral as of this time is opening up their paid features for free until the end of April, so for newbies and veterans of virtual tabletop, now is the time to give Astral a try.
For those needing help learning how to use Astral, I highly recommend checking out Astral’s tutorials provided here to help you get started.
Roll20 is a popular option for many players. If you want to quickly pick up a Starfinder or Pathfinder Adventure and play, you will find that Roll20 supports a large number of Pathfinder & Starfinder products. Several of our adventures are ready for you and your group to play right now!
For those wishing to set up homebrewed campaigns, Roll 20 has various features to help keep your games organized. Along with a large assortment of tools to build your maps in-game, such as line-of-sight, lighting, support for animated images, 3d dice rolling, turn orders, character sheets, and so on. The list is vast, making many campaigns I’ve run so much easier thanks to Roll20.
You can find Starfinder and Pathfinder Second Edition content prepped and ready for you within Roll20’s marketplace.
Pathfinder Second Edition: https://roll20.net/pathfinder2
Fantasy Grounds is an incredible virtual tabletop system. The amount of tools and features it supports is too vast to list in the blog, but let me link you to their feature list for you to browse yourself here.
One of my favorite things about Fantasy Grounds is that nearly every Adventure Path Paizo has put out is fully converted and prepared in Fantasy Grounds. So for those wanting to play through Pathfinder Second Edition’s Extinction Curse Adventure Path or any other Adventure Path you can do so fully prepared for your Game Master and players in Fantasy Grounds. The support for Starfinder & Pathfinder is huge on this platform, and we highly recommend it for those looking to get set up with a premade adventure as quickly as possible.
D20PRO is a fantastic platform that helps automate a lot of Starfinder’s systems to help you focus on the role-playing aspect of your campaign. Along with saving you time during your play sessions. You can find a list of their features here.
They currently only support Starfinder at the time of writing this blog, in which you can start your star-fairing adventures here.
These are the majority of the virtual tabletop platforms that have support for Pathfinder or Starfinder. We encourage you to pick and choose whichever one of these best fits your group.
Voice Chat Options
Discord is a popular communication platform that hosts tons of servers dedicated to various topics. Also, shout out to all the Pathfinder & Starfinder fan-made discords out there (I’m lurking in a few of them). Discord allows you to host private chats & calls to help organize your tabletop RPG campaigns. And the best part is that the entire service is free! One of the significant advantages of Discord is the ability to find games within various servers. Check your favorite fan websites or fan groups, and see if they have a Discord server. Then ask if anyone is up for playing a game! Discord is a great platform to find like-minded communities, gaming sessions, and friends!
You can add a bit of flair to your gaming sessions with dramatic sounds, use additional tools to make character creation easier, or use tools to make looking up rules and details a breeze. Here is a collection of resources that can help improve your gaming experience.
Syrinscape is a fantastic source for music and sounds to help enhance your Starfinder and Pathfinder gaming sessions. You can take a look at their collection for Pathfinder here, along with Starfinder here.
Hero Lab Online is a great tool to help create your Pathfinder and Starfinder characters. I use all the time when drafting characters and when playing our in-office Extinction Curse Adventure Path campaign. Hero Lab also has support for player-content from our books such as backgrounds, classes, and options found in Pathfinder Lost Omens Gods & Magic or Starfinder’s Character Operations Manual.
Hero Lab keeps track of what is correct or incorrect for your character, helping those new to character creation.
Archives of Nethys is our official system reference document (SRD) for all your rules needs. If you are looking to look up a rule, affliction, or effect quickly, this is one of the most useful tools in your arsenal.
Whew! That’s a lot of resources to take in, but once you utilize and practice with all of these tools in your gaming workshop, you’ll wonder how you ever gamed without them.
Of course, the community itself has made a lot of amazing tools that make your gaming sessions a lot easier. There are just too many to list in this blog, and we’d hate to play favorites. So I encourage you to post your preferences in the comments down below! We’d love to hear about your favorite tools.
Please be safe out there, and please prioritize your health and safety.
May you forever continue being a critical success!
Social Media Producer
This is a first in a series of blogs on online gaming. Next up, two blogs on using these resources and finding games from Organized Play on Thursday!
Marketing and Media Manager
Pathfinder & Starfinder Home Gaming Guide
Tuesday, March 24, 2020