New Starfinder Playtest For 2020

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

At its core, Starfinder is a game about exploration and possibilities. Whether you’re excited to uncover new expressions of heroism through new character options in the Character Operations Manual, explore the Pact Worlds’ closest neighbors in Near Space, dramatically expand what’s possible in spaceflight with the upcoming Starship Operations Manual, meet extraordinary lifeforms in Alien Archive 4, or just blast into uncharted space with the Galaxy Exploration Manual, the past year and upcoming 12 months’ hardcover books keep bringing new reasons for excitement!

So forgive my Zo!-like theatrics in saying: “But wait, there’s more!”

That’s right! Why pine longingly for amazing 2021 content when you could playtest it this summer? Beginning in July 2020, Paizo is launching not one—but two—different Starfinder playtests, opening up new possibilities for your gaming experience and inviting you to become part of the creative process! Final versions of both playtests’ contents will appear in an upcoming, yet-to-be-announced book.

A New Class!

As a guiding philosophy when designing new classes, the Starfinder team is always pushing to expand innovative ideas and territory: the biohacker brings a new spin to the scientist trope, the vanguard weaponizes the multiverse’s fundamental energies to redirect damaging forces, and witchwarper takes a fresh approach to magic, superimposing alternate realities to create supernatural effects. Naturally, an additional class we’d make would want to meet or exceed those standards for conceptual novelty, visual wow-factor, and fun at the game table. It’s a high bar!

Enter the nanocyte.

The nanocyte’s body houses nanites in untold numbers, granting them impossible strength, transforming into tools, and coursing between obstacles to overwhelm their foes. The same nanites can reshape the nanocyte’s body to avoid harm as easily as they reconfigure features to conceal their presence or mask a lie, making the nanocyte an adept combatant and infiltrator able to manifest weaponry at a moment’s notice. Whether their powers stem from excruciating experiments, accidental infection, or voluntary symbiosis, the nanocyte’s nanites grow stronger by the day as the character evolves into a being more machine than mortal.

Ysoki, humanoid rat, leaning against mech

A New Way to Play!

Starfinder allows for so many stories and ways to play: infiltrating an embassy ball, trading shots across a shell-cratered battlefield, racing after villains in futuristic vehicles, soaring through space in elegant starships, and more! But since Starfinder’s debut in August 2017, the fans have echoed the same question: Where are the mechs? Sure, Starfinder provides powered armor that enhances a user’s natural abilities, and there are even a few larger powered armor suits that give that tower-over-the-opposition feel. Yet the game so far lacks the ability to pilot that giant robot, that titanic vehicle whose power far exceeds that of its pilot.

Not anymore! In July Starfinder will publicly playtest new mech rules, allowing PCs to jump into single-seat mechs or team up with friends in even larger behemoths to stomp, fly, and jump-jet around the battlefield! Mech combat is designed to use most of the familiar tactical rules and 5-foot squares you already use in your games, making mechs a feature you can as easily drop into a single encounter as you can build entire campaigns around them. And as you would expect, mechs represent a significant power boost, allowing PCs to take on far greater challenges than they might on their own—just what you’d expect from a system that lets you customize your mechs’ frames, limbs, armaments, power cores, and more!

Get excited and follow along for more updates! The action begins this July!

John Compton
Starfinder Senior Developer


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Tags: Alien Archive Character Operations Manual Near Space Starfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game
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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The nanocyte sure looks interesting, I look forward to seeing more about it.


14 people marked this as a favorite.

*cues up Pacific Rim theme*

Time to cancel some apocalypses!

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Does this mean mechs are this game's version of mythic? ;p

Making joke about that because I could see "greater challenges" meaning level 26-30 stuff at level 20 :D

Scarab Sages

Very cool! I’m excited about the new class, and mechs sound like a lot of fun.

Liberty's Edge

HERE.

FOR.

THIS.


Very jazzed for that nanobots class! Can't wait to play around with it. X)


Oh yes more class for starfinder good. What is it this new class for playtest ? DO we no what class is it. what it look like ?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am here for all of this, and I am stoked!

Dark Archive

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

Hopefully a Starfinder party can combine their single-seat mechs. I want to punch an Endbringer Devil.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I am not going to lie, but my hype thrusters are blasting straight to plaid.


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I am super-excited!

Second Seekers (Roheas)

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Mech rules yay!

Nanocyte....is this a superhero class? Can't say I'm too excited for it based on the above description.


I could care leas for the mech. The powered armor was fine.

Man I can’t wait to see the class. Sounds cool. I do not want to wait till July. So far far away.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I am so in for both of these. They sound AMAZING!


Starfinder Superscriber

Cannot wait, the nanocyte sounds awesome


Nanocyte hype!!!!! :D Can't wait to check it out!


yes the nanocyt are awesome for me too. I really hope zoomer or kind of this class come official in starfinder and why not pathfinder 2 edition too.


Are there plans for testing the Playtest in Starfinder Society?

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

14 people marked this as a favorite.
Tempest_Knight wrote:
Are there plans for testing the Playtest in Starfinder Society?

For mechs, stay tuned! Nothing to announce just yet.

For classes, we'll be announcing that closer to the release of the nanocyte class. Right now expect something similar to what we did for the Character Operations Manual playtest; in order to give people some flexibility in testing out the nanocyte class!

Also, it's so neat seeing a name I randomly pitched for the class suddenly becoming the class name O_O

Paizo Employee Starfinder Senior Developer

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Also, it's so neat seeing a name I randomly pitched for the class suddenly becoming the class name O_O

It's a good name!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Congrats, Thurston! and whee bring on the mechs!


NGL my first thought on reading about the Nanocyte class was "Android on steroids". That said, totes looking forward to seeing it. Especially if it can form weapons from those Nanites, or at the very least Unarmed Strikes that can be reflavored as weaponry.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Very excited to try out these new options and see what new excitement I can bring to my games. Love all the work you all are putting into Starfinder. I've had so much fun in this universe.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Ooo and ooo


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The new class makes me think of certain terminator robots which sounds very cool.


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I can't properly convey how excited I am for mechs because until now, I've been doing space type mechs only using ship rules and haven't had many good excuses to work them in. Hard mech support is exactly what what I've been praying to Desna for

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

YES!

I know you are all listening to our feedback and also your inner voice that has been crying out for Mech Rule since the CRB release but seeing this makes me so happy, I wish I could properly express it.

NOW - This begs the question: Can we expect to see a 3-part AP where Mech Combat plays a central role in the story and missions?


Nanocyte: Sounds very interesting. I like the concept -- sort of a shapeshifter/cyborg.

Mechs: Great. I'd been hoping for this to come eventually.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Oh please tell me there will eventually be a mech that transforms between bi-pedal mode and starfighter. It doesn't have to be named Valkyrie because it copyright, though, looking similar to an F-14 is just sexy.

Grand Lodge

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So now I can play Warlock from the New Mutants?! YAY!

And I fly a VF-1 Valkyrie or help crew a Gundam?! MEGA-YAY!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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A shapeshifter class?

AND mech rules? Not a vehicle or a power armor but actual new rules for piloting a robot?

My squees of delight would rupture the fabric of reality right now.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.
StarMartyr365 wrote:

So now I can play Warlock from the New Mutants?! YAY!

And I fly a VF-1 Valkyrie or help crew a Gundam?! MEGA-YAY!

Or an EVA. Can't leave out the EVAs.

They get temperamental.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Thurston Hillman wrote:
Tempest_Knight wrote:
Are there plans for testing the Playtest in Starfinder Society?

For mechs, stay tuned! Nothing to announce just yet.

For classes, we'll be announcing that closer to the release of the nanocyte class. Right now expect something similar to what we did for the Character Operations Manual playtest; in order to give people some flexibility in testing out the nanocyte class!

Also, it's so neat seeing a name I randomly pitched for the class suddenly becoming the class name O_O

The flexibility of the COM playtest was a real boon. Being able to try several builds instead of having to play one up to high level really helped.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

“Gentlemen, you had my curiosity… but now you have my attention.”


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm frankly a little less than excited for mechs as I feel that balancing encounters around them is going to be a nightmare and their presence strains certain narrative factors while forcing high-power play into one specific paradigm. I severely hope the existing vehicle rules are going to get some more love soon so they aren't rendered irrelevant.

The Nanocyte sounds pretty awesome though. Raw flexibility as a class feature is always interesting to me and I'll be interested to see how the class fills specific niches.


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

I see that I correctly guessed the scale of mechs -- they do indeed seem to be a scifi version of mounted combat.

The Exchange

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Pathfinder LO Special Edition, PF Special Edition Subscriber

It doesn't sound like it has Wis as a key score but it would certainly be nice.


Both of these are great to see

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nanomachines and Mechs, for that true Metal Gear Solid feel. I can dig it, just don't forget to let me hook up nukes to my giant bipedal tanks. ;)

Second Seekers (Jadnura)

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Sounds exciting! I do see a common theme, with really big and really small robots. Maybe that somehow ties into this unanounced book they are coming in, assuming they are planned to be in the same book.


Mech Rules: Not my thing but eh, we'll see what you have cooked up.

New Class: *looks at the list of possible classes he thought the new class would be* Whelp, guess I better get cracking on those class ideas.

As for the Nanocyte. I suspected it would be something weird and science/tech-based so I'm not surprised on that count. As for the rest of the description... we'll see. Reminds me of Generator Rex a little bit so might be cool.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I see a very Voltron campaign coming up for my players.


Richard Redmane wrote:
<snip> As for the Nanocyte. I suspected it would be something weird and science/tech-based so I'm not surprised on that count. As for the rest of the description... we'll see. Reminds me of Generator Rex a little bit so might be cool.

This'd be AWESOME if so!!

Also, MECHS!!

:D


Nanocyte weirdly sounds like an idea I had.
"what if barbarian rages just made your arm electricity".

But ffffffffffff MECHS YSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY GUNDAM I HAVE?... It's too many.

Also, there have been so many little notes here and there in various books about gigantic monsters. I was just hoping for an adventure path that featured kaiju battle but full on mecha is awesome! Starfinder continues to put out my favorite stuff!

Dark Archive

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

Mechs with a cool yskoki! <3


Zero the Nothing wrote:
“Gentlemen, you had my curiosity...but now you have my attention.”

Truer words were never spoken...

That being said...are there any mech-related add-ons included in the July playtest, like starship-based hangars and launch catapults for mechs? And are there rules in the pipeline for designing vehicles other than starships, or for adding weapon fusions to starship weapons?

And are there any more upcoming rulebooks in the works besides the Galaxy Exploration Manual (perhaps a guidebook similar in vein to the Pathfinder Advanced Race Guide, that features new character options for the core and uncommon races as well as rules for creating new alien races for use in the Starfinder setting)?

On that last note...any chance of someone doing, in the near future, an adaptation of Dream Pod 9's Jovian Chronicles RPG using the Starfinder ruleset?

Dark Archive

Some of posters make it sound like Nanocyte is scifi version of Shifter ;p

...I could actually kinda see that in a way huh


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

I fervently hope more data is collected and useful for the Starfinder Shifter Nanocyte and it transcends to a level of Awesome.

However, after some disappointment with Shifter in PF1, I'd be a liar if I didn't admit some concerns...

When we're talking 'Mechs, are we talking Pacific Rim, Battletech, or 'Robotech'?

Just sayin' it'd be kind of cool to have a starfighter that became a robot... :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:

I fervently hope more data is collected and useful for the Starfinder Shifter Nanocyte and it transcends to a level of Awesome.

However, after some disappointment with Shifter in PF1, I'd be a liar if I didn't admit some concerns...

The Difference between the Shifter and the Nanocyte is that this class is getting a playtest while the Shifter never had one. A Mistake Eric Mona has sworn to never repeat ever again.

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