Starfinder Core Rulebook

4.60/5 (based on 32 ratings)
Starfinder Core Rulebook

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Shoot for the Stars

Blast off into a galaxy of adventure with the Starfinder Roleplaying Game! Step into your powered armor and grab your magic-infused laser rifle as you investigate the mysteries of a weird universe with your bold starship crew. Will you delve for lost artifacts in the ruins of alien temples? Strap on rune-enhanced armor and a laser rifle to battle undead empires in fleets of bone ships, or defend colonists from a swarm of ravenous monsters? Maybe you'll hack into the mainframe of a god-run corporation, or search the stars for clues to the secret history of the universe or brand new planets to explore. Whether you're making first contact with new cultures on uncharted worlds or fighting to survive in the neon-lit back alleys of Absalom Station, you and your team will need all your wits, combat skill, and magic to make it through. But most of all, you'll need each other.

This massive 528-page hardcover rulebook is the essential centerpiece of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, with rules for character creation, magic, gear, and more—everything you need to play Starfinder as either a player or Game Master! The next great adventure in science-fantasy roleplaying takes off here, and the Starfinder Core Rulebook is your ticket to a lifetime of adventure amid the stars!

Inside this book, you'll find:

  • All of the rules you need to play or run a game of Starfinder.
  • Seven character classes, from the elite soldier and stealthy operative to the physics-hacking technomancer and mind-bending mystic.
  • Character races both new and classic, from androids, insectile shirrens, ratlike ysoki, and reptilian vesk to the dwarves and elves of the distant future.
  • An in-depth exploration of the Starfinder setting, including its planets, gods, factions, and threats.
  • Hundreds of weapons, spells, technological gadgets, magic items, and other options to outfit any character.
  • Complete rules for starships, including customization and starship combat.
  • Rules and tips on using Pathfinder RPG content with Starfinder.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-956-1

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4.60/5 (based on 32 ratings)

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To Dance Among the Stars

5/5

Okay, first off, the art is absolutely gorgeous.

It's a lot to go through for the hwole book so I'm just gonna ramble.

The classes all look interesting, enough to pry me away from the Solarion or Soldier and maybe make try one of the others.

A lot of this stuff I was hesitant about but i'm liking what i see so far, we'll just have to wait and see if I actually like it in play but I'm hopeful. Themes instead of traits look really interesting, and the new way point buy is handled has my attention. The two universal archetypes presented are kinda meh but that's one of the few downers I've seen in this book so far.

Well, that and all magic being the same and alignment not looking like it matters much but this is a whole different system so it's not enough for me to hold it against it, being well, a whole new system.

I'm, still finding stuff I'm wary of and stuff I'm really excited for but haven't really found anything I hate outright so I think that''s pretty good ^w^


To Infinity (but not quite beyond)

4/5

The review is fresh so it may take some time before the final result comes to light, but the initial reception is very positive. The Starfinder Core Rulebook is an excellent start, keeping some of the Pathfinder feel while finally breaking away from the chains that tied it to 3.5 and letting it experiment with new design and ideas. Almost everything is well-balanced, and thanks to the modular design of the classes, feats (which have finally gotten rid of massive prerequisite chains!), and equipment, new material can feasibly be added without strange interactions and long chains of requirements that make something nearly impossible to use effectively.

Not everything is perfect of course. The Envoy is the major sticking point on that matter, and while it has some interesting ideas around using its actions to give boosts and buffs to allies, those buffs might be overtuned. Unfortunately we don't have enough material to make a complete judgement, but the bonuses may range between invaluable in combat to completely negligible depending on how the math shakes out. It feels a lot like the original Rogue: keep them around for skills and the occasional help in combat, but you don't miss much if they're not present and they don't work well alone. Other sections in the book, like Feats, feel a bit lacking too, but I imagine that's more due to space restrictions than design issues. Like Pathfinder, once the game has more material out (especially more material for the Envoy) and more room to breathe it'll be fantastic, but right now it's just an excellent start.


Fantastic new rules!

5/5

The PDF unlocked for me when my subscription order finalized, and I spent the weekend reading it cover to cover. Other than the obvious "It's Pathfinder with aliens and spaceships!" there are a few small changes in the rules which I really like, and would likely back-port into Pathfinder as house rules for my ongoing games.

- No more dump stats: A more simplified Point buy is the norm for character generation, and the scores for normally-created characters will not be below 8 (unless very specific circumstances). You can voluntarily lower a score for roleplaying reasons, but you do not get to reallocate the points!
- Ability score increases are now slightly further apart, but more meaningful in terms of shaping a character.
- Crits are automatic if you would hit with the natural 20 roll

I really look forward to playing a game this coming weekend in preparation for Organised Play being released at GenCon, and will update this review with further comments at that time.


Amazing

5/5

Got the PDF August 3rd, very prompt. Began reading, read it nearly all day. Next steps; generate a few characters and try out the combat, skill system, vehicles, ships, and the magic system.

So far reading the book, the layout is good, the artwork is solid, and the whole book has a really nice flow.

The system itself is very 3.5 / Pathfinder at its core, but a lot of the more prickly parts of the system have been cleaned up. It just feels more smooth and streamlined. Two examples. No more iterative attacks. Thank you! I expect this will speed up combat at higer levels quite nicely. Also, magic only goes to 6th level and their are no more full 9th casters. Once again, thank you. From what I am reading, martials are in a much better place in Starfinder.

Overall, this game looks really amazing, can't wait.


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KingOfAnything wrote:

Oh, it's popular for sure. But, it is a frustrating spell that (when it works) makes combat a slog. I'm very glad it's not included.

I'm not sure where you got the idea that Starfinder was marketed as Pathfinder 2.0. All the interviews I read made pains to point out that it was a brand new game system that shared a setting with Pathfinder.

If you've got links to some of those interviews, I'd like to see them. If it turns out my perception was wrong, I'd like to go back and edit my review to correct that mistake.

As for the slog, I can't say I ever experienced that. Maybe it's because most of my GMs enforced some variant of the 30-Second Turn.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Even with 30-Second Turns, if no one can reach the enemy, the combat drags on and on.

Liberty's Edge

I don't think you can cast a 6th level spell with a 1 level slot.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Even with 30-Second Turns, if no one can reach the enemy, the combat drags on and on.

That sounds more like an appropriate use problem than a problem with the spell. A confined area is a poor area for a black tentacles placement.


Paladinosaur wrote:
I don't think you can cast a 6th level spell with a 1 level slot.

Some of the spells, like fly, have varying effects based on which spell slot you cast them with. In the original pathfinder, the effects of the fly spell are based on caster level.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Nevertheless, it is a reason many groups do not love it. Kind of how I hate confusion effects.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Nevertheless, it is a reason many groups do not love it. Kind of how I hate confusion effects.

Fair enough.


Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GDNS24 wrote:
Paladinosaur wrote:
I don't think you can cast a 6th level spell with a 1 level slot.
Some of the spells, like fly, have varying effects based on which spell slot you cast them with. In the original pathfinder, the effects of the fly spell are based on caster level.

It's actually the undercasting mechanic from Occult Adventures, found here. They just made it a core premise instead of something they came up with later. I'm not sure why being able to use a fly spell to cast levitate or feather fall with a lower level spell slot is a downgrade, though...it seems like an upgrade to me.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Manager

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed posts. Refrain from back and forth bickering.


Luthorne wrote:
GDNS24 wrote:
Paladinosaur wrote:
I don't think you can cast a 6th level spell with a 1 level slot.
Some of the spells, like fly, have varying effects based on which spell slot you cast them with. In the original pathfinder, the effects of the fly spell are based on caster level.
It's actually the undercasting mechanic from Occult Adventures, found here. They just made it a core premise instead of something they came up with later. I'm not sure why being able to use a fly spell to cast levitate or feather fall with a lower level spell slot is a downgrade, though...it seems like an upgrade to me.

In Pathfinder, and many other systems, spellcasting follows a mixed power/skill mechanic. As you level up, you gain more power (more spell slots, power points, whatever) and the spells you can already cast are cast with greater skill (i.e., fireball does more damage as you level up, fly has a longer duration, etc).

An undercasting core mechanic, as implemented in Starfinder, completely strips out the skill half of the equation, and the only thing you are left with is power. You never actually gain any skill, per se; you just gain power (additional spell choices) and a different kind of power (more spell slots). It removes a lot of the growth, and the changing gameplay thereby, that made casters great.

I kind of like the option of using one spell selection to create a multitude of effects, but that doesn't make the core flaws more palatable to me.

The system would be more acceptable to me if it replaced spell slots with power points, ala Ultimate Psionics; it would have the same effect, but with a flexibility that at least partially compensates for the loss of skill. It would also be better in keeping with the fluff descriptions of magic use as less regimented, more encompassing.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Spell slots are power points, just fixed so that you can't spend all your points on your highest spell.

Silver Crusade

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

Please don't use the word "fluff". Lore, background, setting is all fine, but "fluff" is borderline derogatory.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Spell slots are power points, just fixed so that you can't spend all your points on your highest spell.

In a system where most of the spells increase in effectiveness without having to spend higher level spell slots to get it, that works out. In a system where most spells are either locked into one level of effectiveness (explosive blast) or have completely different effects based on which slot you use (fly), it's not so good.


Gorbacz wrote:

Please don't use the word "fluff". Lore, background, setting is all fine, but "fluff" is borderline derogatory.

Is that some unique community thing with Paizo?

I don't mean to be rude, but I've been using fluff and crunch for years; you're the first to ever express the viewpoint to me.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dunno if it's unique, but the devs have stated on several occasions that the term "fluff" is perceived as belittling and disdainful.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
GDNS24 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Spell slots are power points, just fixed so that you can't spend all your points on your highest spell.
In a system where most of the spells increase in effectiveness without having to spend higher level spell slots to get it, that works out. In a system where most spells are either locked into one level of effectiveness (explosive blast) or have completely different effects based on which slot you use (fly), it's not so good.

Magic hacks are where some of that scaling by level can be realized. Debug Spell increases your average damage and improves at 11th and 17th.


KingOfAnything wrote:
Magic hacks are where some of that scaling by level can be realized. Debug Spell increases your average damage and improves at 11th and 17th.

Honestly, most of those seem kind of bad to me; not enough to compensate for what was dropped. A couple of them caught my interest, though (heal grenades, anyone?)

Gorbacz wrote:
Dunno if it's unique, but the devs have stated on several occasions that the term "fluff" is perceived as belittling and disdainful.

Must be a Paizo thing. Regardless, I'll use “Lore” later.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
GDNS24 wrote:
Must be a Paizo thing. Regardless, I'll use “Lore” later.

Much appreciated mate.


Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

The book appears to be sold out pretty much everywhere. Any idea when it may be in stock?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

The reprint should start to reach retail within the next three weeks or so.

Scarab Sages

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Can we please get a pocket edition soon? While I have the Hardcover and PDF, I would really like a pocket-sized one for my downtime at work.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:
The reprint should start to reach retail within the next three weeks or so.

The 2nd printing has arrived in german stores on friday 15th of december.

I bought one for a friend.

Upon having it in hand, i could see immedeately, that the binding was perfect.

In retrospect, i only bought the faulty 1st printing, because i wanted to play the game and all three copies i inspected were of the same bad quality.

I will be buying another copy when either the Pocket Edition or a 3rd printing (with the new starship combat skill DCs) comes out.

Do you expect that to happen in 2018?

Thank you for your great communications skills, "Envoy" Mr. Wertz. ;-)

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
maldar wrote:
Can we please get a pocket edition soon? While I have the Hardcover and PDF, I would really like a pocket-sized one for my downtime at work.

Oh yes, pretty please!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

2 people marked this as a favorite.

We don't generally provide advance notice before releasing a reprint that incorporates new errata, as doing so could cause prospective buyers to delay their purchase until we start selling the new version, which would then cause stores to take longer to sell through the previous printing, meaning it could actually delay the release of the reprint.

But since we've only just started shipping the second printing, that should be a pretty good clue that it'll be a while before we need to contemplate a third printing.

There are no current plans for a pocket edition. (Note that the shortest gap between a hardcover release and a pocket edition to date is about two and a half years.)


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

I like the pocket editions, and will probably buy them all, in spite of the fact that I find them hard to read even with my reading glasses on. :-(


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

You can also put me down for two or three pocket editions if or when they become available.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
There are no current plans for a pocket edition. (Note that the shortest gap between a hardcover release and a pocket edition to date is about two and a half years.)

I think that with how popular Starfinder appears to be, you could make that say... 6 months? Just from the few posts after mine, we can see people interested in them. I know I want one for myself and they would make great prizes when I hold drawings at my store.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Vic Wertz wrote:

We don't generally provide advance notice before releasing a reprint that incorporates new errata, as doing so could cause prospective buyers to delay their purchase until we start selling the new version, which would then cause stores to take longer to sell through the previous printing, meaning it could actually delay the release of the reprint.

But since we've only just started shipping the second printing, that should be a pretty good clue that it'll be a while before we need to contemplate a third printing.

There are no current plans for a pocket edition. (Note that the shortest gap between a hardcover release and a pocket edition to date is about two and a half years.)

Thank you for as always well thought out answer. :-)

As Starfinder seems to sell much quicker than Pathfinder, which is in part because the print run was lower than the demand, it will be interesting to see how fast the 2nd printing sells, even if it's too early to calculate that now.

That being said, the concept of a Pocket Edition is still relatively new and if i remember correctly the 1st print runs of both the Pathfinder CRB and Bestiary sold out very fast.
I think the PE has a higher utility appeal than the hardcover, not only because it is usually half the price, but also because it is handy for transport (and some people even find it cute).

I can easily see myself buying 4 Pocket Editions of the Starfinder Core Rulebook to distribute to the players, even with it being having the same content as the 1st printing, but i will not buy a 2nd printing hardcover for myself before my three 1st. printing ones fall apart and even then i'll probably wait for the 3rd. printing or PE.

In short, while a hardcover and PE certainly have some overlap appeal, it is not 100% the same.
I find the decision to first publish the HC financially logical, even though i could see a Pocket Edition following 6-12 months later.

I also know a lot of people who wouldn't spend the money for a hardcover ($40-$60), but would and have immedeately snagged up the PEs (for $20-$30), even multiple copies.
It seems like an apples & oranges thing.

Just some observations i made.

Have a great x-mas holiday, Vic & all others! :-)


Hey Paizo, why is it that when referring to PCs in this books every descriptor is she, her or hers except the "difficult players" section, where every descriptor is he, him or his? why didn't you just keep the same descriptor throughout the book?


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
kirk riley wrote:
Hey Paizo, why is it that when referring to PCs in this books every descriptor is she, her or hers except the "difficult players" section, where every descriptor is he, him or his?

You may want to count more carefully. I'm finding male pronouns alternating with female all through the character creation chapter.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Generally, when talking about class features, Paizo's style is to use the pronoun appropriate that class's iconic character.


Is there any chance we can get a corebook lite, or a player's guide? I have the core book, but it would be handy if I, or my players, could get their hands on some smaller, streamlined versions that are just a compilation of classes, races, themes, feats and augmentations all in one?

I'm looking for a cost effective and space saving way to help my players be able to build characters and do level ups.

President, SmiteWorks

The Fantasy Grounds version is available for $9.99 off if you already own the PDF here at Paizo.com and synced your account.

Starfinder Ruleset and Core Rules for Fantasy Grounds


Is there currently (as of Jan 08, 2019) any substantive difference--or any difference at all--between the contents of the 1st edition hard copy book and the most current version of the PDF?


I hope not, because they're hugely deficient on necessary FAQs, so it would seem like a huge waste of time to have done an edit and new typesetting based on the minimal stuff they've bothered to correct so far.


My point being: if I own a physical copy of the CRB, there's not a compelling reason (aside from the advantages of a digital version) of buying the PDF just yet.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The shortest time between the release of a hardcover and a pocket edition will soon be 18 months with the release of "Ultimate Wilderness Pocket Edition" in may 2019 (the hc came out in november 2017).

The Starfinder CRB was released in august 2017, 17 months ago.

I don't know how many copies of the 2nd printing are actually left, but i would rather buy a pocket edition than a 3rd printing.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In august 2019 the CRB will be out for two years.
As i don't know how many copies of the second printing are left and those need to sell out first, i won't ask for an ETA of the third printing hardcover.

My question is:
-How are the chances of getting a Starfinder Core Rulebook Pocket Edition in 2020?

This is probably a question for @Vic Wertz or @Erik Mona.

Thank you in advance. :-)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I would also like to know when we can expect a Pocket Edition. Personally, once I know when they will be release I will be placing an order for 5 of them at my local game store. One for me and the rest as prizes.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

We haven't announced one yet. (I'm confident that one will eventually be announced, but I couldn't say when. There are a couple of causality chains that have to work themselves out.)

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