Tech Revolution Playtest: Organized Play

Monday, July 27, 2020

With the release of the Starfinder Tech Revolution Playtest, the Starfinder Society Organized Play Program is also opening its doors to a limited form of playtest, specifically for the nanocyte class. Since this class won't be released until 2021, we're looking at allowing players the chance to test out this new during the playtest period.

A vesk recruiter and alien recruits

Art by Sebastian Rodriguez

Playtest Period: The availability for these rules runs from the publishing of this post until the end of the playtest period (September 18th, 2020.) Once this period has expired, players can no longer use the Starfinder Tech Revolution Playtest class until the publication of the book in 2021.

How It Works: We're opening up Society play for the playtest class via the use of custom-created characters that operate much like our pregenerated characters. We believe this should encourage players to test the waters with custom builds, be it with current scenarios or through our growing stable of repeatable options.

Creating a Playtest Character: Prior to playing a scenario in the playtest period, a player can determine if they want to playtest the new class. Depending on the tier of the scenario, the player can then use a 1st-, 4th- or 8th-level character using the nanocyte class presented in the Starfinder Tech Revolution Playtest and created using the following guidelines:

  • Class: The character must have all levels in the nanocyte class. Although multiclassing ramifications are important for the playtest as a whole, we're keeping to single classes in the organized play portion of the playtest for simplicity.
  • 1st Level: The character can be created using the character creation rules presented in the Starfinder Core Rulebook and Guide to Organized Play: Starfinder Society.
  • 4th Level: This character follows the same rules as above, except it can select one 4th-level armor or weapon and one 3rd-level armor or weapon. In addition, the player can spend up to 4,000 credits on other available equipment.
  • 8th Level: This character follows the same rules as above, except it can select one 8th-level armor or weapon and one 7th-level armor or weapon. In addition, the player can spend up to 18,000 credits on other available equipment.

Credit: The credit earned for playing a playtest character follows the same rules and guidelines as presented on page 7 of the Guide to Organized Play: Starfinder Society. This means that you must choose which of your characters will receive the credit at the beginning of the adventure. Credit must be assigned to characters of lower level than the playtest character.

Resolving Conditions: We recognize that players taking the opportunity to playtest these characters are performing a service for the game and campaign. As a result, whenever a player playtests a 4th- or 8th-level version of these characters, the cost to purchase a raise dead is reduced to 6 Fame and subsequent restorations to remove the negative levels are only 1 Fame each. This means that there's still some risk to your established characters, but the penalty for dying as a playtest character is far less onerous than it would be for a normal character or pregenerated character.

Applying Credit: As we want to encourage extra play of the higher-level versions of the nanocyte, we're also going to open up the rules for applying credit when playing a playtest character. A player using a non-1st-level playtest character may choose to apply the earned Chronicle Sheet to an existing Organized Play character. To do so, simply replace the credits earned on the Chronicle Sheet with credits from the list below that match the level range of the existing player character.

  • Levels 1-2: 720 credits (2,160 credits for Adventure Path module)
  • Levels 3-4: 1,460 credits (4,380 credits for Adventure Path module)
  • Levels 5-6: 4,085 credits (12,255 credits for Adventure Path module)
  • Levels 7-8: 5,835 credits (17,505 credits for Adventure Path module)

Mechs: Organized Play does not have a direct connection with the mech playtest that is occurring simultaneously with the nanocyte playtest. However, we strongly recommend that members of the Paizo Organized Play community get involved with testing the new mech system and providing feedback. We’ve made sure that the mech survey captures Organized Play member involvement, so we can further analyze the impact our community has on these various playtests.

With all this in mind, we encourage our players to take an active part in the playtest, both by sharing your opinions online in the Playtest forums and by completing the playtest surveys. We hope that by opening up the means in which players can create and customize characters for the playtest, that we can see some unique and fun builds using this new class and that such tests will provide the design team with priceless "field agent" feedback!

I look forward to hearing from each of you about your experiences with the Starfinder Tech Revolution nanocyte class and am even more excited to see this class join the roster of Starfinder classes officially in 2021.

Thurston Hillman
Starfinder Society Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Organized Play Starfinder Starfinder Playtests Starfinder Roleplaying Game Starfinder Society
Liberty's Edge 1/5

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

HUZZAH!!!!

Also, as a volunteer GM for Starfinder games at GenCon I am now *cramming* this information, HARD.

I can't be mad though, I 100% dropped a L1 Moonscared Barbarian on a GM at GenCon the day it went legal and they had no idea WTF was going on because they didn't have the book yet :D

I am hype as heck for this, and am only a *litle* sad at no Mechs in SFS Playtesting :D

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

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I am pretty darn happy that I did not elect to offer Starfinder games at Gencon if I am honest, I am plenty busy preparing for my tables without trying to cram a playtest into my head.

Venture-Agent, Online—VTT aka NicoleH

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Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
I am pretty darn happy that I did not elect to offer Starfinder games at Gencon if I am honest, I am plenty busy preparing for my tables without trying to cram a playtest into my head.

Ha, we already have enough with the APG ;) but will def have to consider it AFTER Gen Con

Second Seekers (Jadnura) 5/55/55/55/5

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Coolness abounds!

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey, I recognize that art! Sebastian Rodriguez did such a lovely job with it!

Hmm

3/5

How does investment work (carry over between sessions?) in society play?

3/5

DrakeRoberts wrote:
How does investment work (carry over between sessions?) in society play?

Not that I suppose it matters for the playtest because they function as pregens. I guess it would work similar to the Utility Belt exploit (which I also am not sure how that works in Society play)?

Wayfinders 4/5 5/55/55/55/5

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"Did someone ask about a Utility Belt exploit?" A bright yellow skittermander comes in, wearing a snappy looking suit and sporting a gold Abadar Corp Key. "As a ship-to-ship salesrep for the largest corporation in the Pact Worlds, it's important for me to carry my sample case with me. This belt is my sample case! When I pull something out of it, it pulls credit from an account that I keep with Abadar Corps, but then I have to keep the item because I took it out of its original packaging."

The Utility Belt is a flexible purchasing plan. If you load it up with enough credits, you'll always have that oddball consumable you need, but each of those is a permanent purchase. You're just getting to do that purchase ANYWHERE. No returns for dissatisfied customers, so you need to be certain before you pull the item out of that belt!


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

That Vesk drill Sargent appears to be canceling an apocalypse.

3/5

Aba Calling wrote:

"Did someone ask about a Utility Belt exploit?" A bright yellow skittermander comes in, wearing a snappy looking suit and sporting a gold Abadar Corp Key. "As a ship-to-ship salesrep for the largest corporation in the Pact Worlds, it's important for me to carry my sample case with me. This belt is my sample case! When I pull something out of it, it pulls credit from an account that I keep with Abadar Corps, but then I have to keep the item because I took it out of its original packaging."

The Utility Belt is a flexible purchasing plan. If you load it up with enough credits, you'll always have that oddball consumable you need, but each of those is a permanent purchase. You're just getting to do that purchase ANYWHERE. No returns for dissatisfied customers, so you need to be certain before you pull the item out of that belt!

What I meant was that stuff doesn't generally carry over from game to game in society play. So do we just mark on our chronicle sheet how much is in the Utility Belt at the end of each session, or what?

3/5

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More on topic, for building a Nanocyte at a higher level, how do we determine minor/major forms, since in theory the chosen forms at each level are based on a combination of level at the time you took the form as well as how much your Nanite Investment was at those times?

Exo-Guardians

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A tall lean man with obvious cybernetic parts walks into the room. He looks over the blog post and smiles. He takes out a cigar, uses his nanites to form a blowtorch. He lights the cigar.

Hell...it's about time.

5/5

DrakeRoberts wrote:
More on topic, for building a Nanocyte at a higher level, how do we determine minor/major forms, since in theory the chosen forms at each level are based on a combination of level at the time you took the form as well as how much your Nanite Investment was at those times?

Also with the addendum in the playtest forum about being allowed to add starting wealth to your investment... for a 4th or 8th level character, "starting wealth" is a bit of an odd thing.

I feel like the investment should be fixed on the level table instead of relying on eating found weapons, because it will just result in the nanocyte eating the most expensive item found during a session, which is greedy and I'm not sure is the intent of the ability.


Dracomicron wrote:
I feel like the investment should be fixed on the level table instead of relying on eating found weapons, because it will just result in the nanocyte eating the most expensive item found during a session, which is greedy and I'm not sure is the intent of the ability.

If they did it that way it would basically just be giving the nanocyte a free weapon of his level + 1 every time he levels up (e.g. when he hits level 5 his investment is automatically high enough to choose a level 6 weapon) otherwise the whole system would be pointless. The way it's currently written it sounds like nanite investment is based on the price of a single weapon you consume plus the optional 10% worth of UPBs you can contribute, which will of course lead to the nanocyte eating the most expensive item found in any given session.

I think they should change it to the nanocyte can consume any number of weapons and other technological items to increase his nanite investment. Now instead of eating the most expensive item in any encounter, he can eat the outdated weapons and tech items his party members no longer need when they upgrade. For example, the nanocyte's party are all level 13 and they all have level 10 weapons. They go see a vendor and they each replace their level 10 weapons with level 14 weapons. Instead of consuming one expensive piece of equipment, the nanocyte can consume their discarded level 10 weapons and raise his investment to the value of all weapons consumed, allowing him to make his own level 14 piece of equipment.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

What the heck? Now they're doing a Starfinder Second Edition?!

Second Seekers (Jadnura) 5/5 5/55/55/5

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Aba Calling wrote:
"Did someone ask about a Utility Belt exploit?"

I just have a bottomless cheek pouch.

5/5

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CaptainTrips27 wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:
I feel like the investment should be fixed on the level table instead of relying on eating found weapons, because it will just result in the nanocyte eating the most expensive item found during a session, which is greedy and I'm not sure is the intent of the ability.
If they did it that way it would basically just be giving the nanocyte a free weapon of his level + 1 every time he levels up (e.g. when he hits level 5 his investment is automatically high enough to choose a level 6 weapon) otherwise the whole system would be pointless. The way it's currently written it sounds like nanite investment is based on the price of a single weapon you consume plus the optional 10% worth of UPBs you can contribute, which will of course lead to the nanocyte eating the most expensive item found in any given session.

"A free weapon" is basically what Vanguards and Solarians get; further, the amount doesn't HAVE to be enough to buy a level+1 weapon. It can be less. It could be modified by Knacks, Faculties, or other effects.

Tying this class feature directly to destroying in-game items could lead to unforeseen circumstances ("While house-sitting, I absorb the planetary governor's Blue Star Plasma Cannon, worth 950,000 credits, and never need to absorb another item, ever. Come at me, bro" or, for a less absurd option, "I eat this high-level item we were given. Whoops, it was important to the plot! Eh, worth it").

Making GMs constantly monitor the value, level, and necessity to the plot of items provided in the game does not seem worth it for society play. I'm not even sure how bookkeeping on that would go, session to session.


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Thomas Keller wrote:
What the heck? Now they're doing a Starfinder Second Edition?!

... no? We're getting another Class and rules for Mechs.

Dataphiles

can anyone explain how playing as a playtest nanocyte would work in terms of xp? I understand you can apply credits and reputation/fame earned as a playtest nanocyte to an existing society character of lower level, but am I correct that you don't get to apply any xp? couldn't see an answer in the society guide but I may just be missing something

I'd like to test out the class and feed into the playtest but I also don't want to lose out on ma xp for my main!

5/5

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Halicon_3000 wrote:

can anyone explain how playing as a playtest nanocyte would work in terms of xp? I understand you can apply credits and reputation/fame earned as a playtest nanocyte to an existing society character of lower level, but am I correct that you don't get to apply any xp? couldn't see an answer in the society guide but I may just be missing something

I'd like to test out the class and feed into the playtest but I also don't want to lose out on ma xp for my main!

"Apply credit" includes XP. It's just like the lower level character had played the adventure, except that the money is fixed.

I'm a little confused as to how one could apply credit to a character of lower than 1st level, though.

5/5

Dracomicron wrote:
CaptainTrips27 wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:
I feel like the investment should be fixed on the level table instead of relying on eating found weapons, because it will just result in the nanocyte eating the most expensive item found during a session, which is greedy and I'm not sure is the intent of the ability.
If they did it that way it would basically just be giving the nanocyte a free weapon of his level + 1 every time he levels up (e.g. when he hits level 5 his investment is automatically high enough to choose a level 6 weapon) otherwise the whole system would be pointless. The way it's currently written it sounds like nanite investment is based on the price of a single weapon you consume plus the optional 10% worth of UPBs you can contribute, which will of course lead to the nanocyte eating the most expensive item found in any given session.

"A free weapon" is basically what Vanguards and Solarians get; further, the amount doesn't HAVE to be enough to buy a level+1 weapon. It can be less. It could be modified by Knacks, Faculties, or other effects.

Tying this class feature directly to destroying in-game items could lead to unforeseen circumstances ("While house-sitting, I absorb the planetary governor's Blue Star Plasma Cannon, worth 950,000 credits, and never need to absorb another item, ever. Come at me, bro" or, for a less absurd option, "I eat this high-level item we were given. Whoops, it was important to the plot! Eh, worth it").

Making GMs constantly monitor the value, level, and necessity to the plot of items provided in the game does not seem worth it for society play. I'm not even sure how bookkeeping on that would go, session to session.

Actually I stand corrected. Since you learn (or switch) your forms at level-up, and level-up never happens during a Society session (except maybe in campaign mode for an AP, but I digress), increasing your nanite investment, at least during the playtest, is utterly meaningless. You can't DO anything with the stuff you ate.

When Nanocyte goes live, I can't imagine that we'd be allowed to keep our investment, session to session, for things that we eat that we didn't already own.

I'm having the problem now trying to create a 4th level Nanocyte, that the order in which you get investment compared to when you can change your forms means that even at 4th level, I'm stuck with a 3rd level advanced melee weapon, because I can't increase my investment to a significant degree to buy my level+1 before I get my forms, and it doesn't say you can "save" your forms for when you have the juice to buy something good.

You get major forms at 3rd and 5th, but you can only buy items at your level+1 (or level for Additional Resources sources) after you get to a level. So, for a 4th level character, any item that I want as a gear array I have to "buy" with the investment of an item I bought at 2nd level. Doesn't really feel good.

Seems like we should not have to wait to 5th level to start swapping out forms.

Wayfinders

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

This will be fun to test out.

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

thecursor wrote:
That Vesk drill Sargent appears to be canceling an apocalypse.

Haha I got the same vibe!

Superb artwork!


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am liking what I have played so far in SFS. It is pretty easy to make a list of my forms. It is not like the damage scales greatly ever level with weapons so saving money for when I want to buy something for my Nanite investment and recording what I did seems super simple.

Of course, I guess it is easier for me as I don't look at always using the gear array as the other two offers good reasons for them also. I can't even think of what I would want bad enough to be trying to get "weapon/tech +1" every level. I have seen level 4 characters still using level 1 weapons and doing just fine.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Hmm wrote:
Hey, I recognize that art! Sebastian Rodriguez did such a lovely job with it!

Now that it is the 30th, I can say where that art is from. It's the Vesk Spell Sergeant from my "Magical Academies" article in Threefold Conspiracy, Puppets without Strings!

“So, you want more in-depth magical theory and spellwork? Fine. Here's a hypothesis for you: If you don't use your magic to kill your enemy, he will he shoot you in the face! Care to test that one in the field? Look, you want to waste months fine-tuning a bit of spellcode? Go to the Arcanamirium, SENOT, or the Prit. If you wash out, maybe Nerundel Halls will let you bask in First World auras. But you're here, where my job's to teach you to kill and survive, and that's what you will learn!”

— Spell Sergeant Vaya Bodgusk, Karchizara Battle Magic Academy on Vesk Prime

Grand Lodge 1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I guess it's time to break out the MIU and rejoin the Collegia Titanica again ;)

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

So..I've looked over the Tech Revolution Playtest stuff again and something just occurred to me. And again, I am trying to be sure what is in my head is not an abuse of that system.

-----
Applying Credit: As we want to encourage extra play of the higher-level versions of the nanocyte, we're also going to open up the rules for applying credit when playing a playtest character. A player using a non-1st-level playtest character may choose to apply the earned Chronicle Sheet to an existing Organized Play character. To do so, simply replace the credits earned on the Chronicle Sheet with credits from the list below that match the level range of the existing player character.

Levels 1-2: 720 credits (2,160 credits for Adventure Path module)
Levels 3-4: 1,460 credits (4,380 credits for Adventure Path module)
Levels 5-6: 4,085 credits (12,255 credits for Adventure Path module)
Levels 7-8: 5,835 credits (17,505 credits for Adventure Path module)
-----

So reading this, a question hit me. From the wording, does that mean one could play a 1-4 Scenario with a 4th level Nanocyte and then apply that credit to a higher level character, such as a level 5-6, and gain the listed credit amount in the process?

Because while I do know it mentioned the intent is to encourage people to playtest the Nanocyte, I worry this sounds a bit abuseable to pump up a character.

5/5

Credit: The credit earned for playing a playtest character follows the same rules and guidelines as presented on page 7 of the Guide to Organized Play: Starfinder Society. This means that you must choose which of your characters will receive the credit at the beginning of the adventure. Credit must be assigned to characters of lower level than the playtest character.

If you're not doing a level 1, you have to apply credit to a lower level character.

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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Gotcha, thank you for clarifying.

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