Speculation about the development of classes


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As we know the planet is 'missing', but I'm curious what kind of developments have been made for the classes. I imagine for tech we'll just see what we saw in the tech guide on steroids, but imagine the breakthroughs in arcane, divine, and especially psychic magic in the years since Pathfinder. Gunslingers will have advanced weaponry, I imagine alchemists have been developing pharmaceuticals, etc. What do you guys think we'll see?


Well for me I've been using the following materials so I would suspect that such things would be in Starfinder;

Anachronistic Adventures. These are basically Pathfinder d20 Modern classes with six classes based on six attributes that share a pool of archetypes. This alone would be a good way to streamline the whole thing by slotting in technomancy, casting and so on into archetypes rather than having a class for each subject. I don't expect that it will happen but it does support one thing that I hope is in the core rulebook, which is mundane classes. At the very least I would expect some kind of space marine class, a rogue-like agent class, and a mundane mechanic/pilot class.

Machinesmith. I certainly hope that they don't make technology like spells the way that the machinesmith and numerous technomancy classes do but having a technomancer is a must, hopefully one that is magic agnostic. There's also the concept of a techno enhanced cyborg class that would be the to the technomancer what the Paladin is to the Cleric.

Fleshwraith. Just because mechanical technology is almost a certainty we can't ignore bioenhancements and biological technology. Since I'm using Pathfinder classes as examples, the Technomancer would be like a wizard and the biomancer would be a Wizard. Some kind of techno alchemist could serve as the Paladin-like of biomancy.

Psionic classes. Well we already have the Occult classes, which aren't quite psionic but since psionics already exists, and would probably put out something if they aren't automatically compatible, its easy enough to just throw the Psychic in there and call it a day. But I could see some kind of Esper class on it's own with a martial counterpart.

I use other things but those are the main bases to cover. If it's directly comparable to Pathfinder it would look like this.

Esper - Cleric
Martial Esper/Precog - Paladin

Technomancer - Wizard
Martial Technomancer/Cyborg - Magus

Biomancer - Druid
Martial Biomancer/Splicer - Ranger

Mundane Martial/Marine - Fighter/Barbarian

Mundane Skill Monkey/Technician - Bard

Mundane Sneak/Agent - Rogue

So that's about 9 different classes to work with that have different flavors and comparable to Pathfinder logic. If you take out the martial counterparts to the three 'magic types'(Bioscience, mechanical engineering and mental science) then you still have 6 things to work with that are much more broad. Either way its the concepts that I really think should be in there.


I hope to see completely different approaches to the classes, as opposed to science-fiction equivalents of what PF has. I don't even know what that means except that u would be bored by "this is the sci-fi wizard, this is the sci-fi cleric, this is the Gunslinger."

This is a different genre and I'd like to think Paizo would be willing to start from scratch in some sense.


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Coffee Demon wrote:

I hope to see completely different approaches to the classes, as opposed to science-fiction equivalents of what PF has. I don't even know what that means except that u would be bored by "this is the sci-fi wizard, this is the sci-fi cleric, this is the Gunslinger."

This is a different genre and I'd like to think Paizo would be willing to start from scratch in some sense.

Probably, but that's not what I expect. I think things will diverge sure but they'd have to repeat some roles or reprint some classes if is Pathfinder compatible AND sold as its own core rulebook. I expect some role mirroring or the d20 Modern approach.


Well, I think the stats and progression need to be consistent but that doesn't mean we need space-wizards and space-clerics. That could be done well, in a kind of gonzo Mutant Futures way where you get simple building blocks and the sky is the limit for how those classes exist in the world. But since Paizo likes to lock down their universe, the choice of classes will be related to the rules of the universe in some way.

I guess I'm saying that I want character options to blow my mind, not simply meet expectations.

And I suppose that will have to come with pretty cool ideas of how this space-universe works, and how different entities inhabit it.


Let it be known that I'm super optimistic about this, though. After playing RPG's for over thirty years, I have become loyal to Paizo because they consistently surprise me with their creativity and ability to nail what I (and presumably many others) want to see in RPG products. I'm not a fan of the thin handbooks and some fairly lacklustre scenarios (esp those written by newer writers), but I love all the hard bound books and adventure paths.


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I think I'm communicating wrong. When it comes to mirroring like how I mentioned above I mean it like this:

Abover I made the comparison of a Technomancer and 'Cyborg' as an equivolent of a Wizard and an arcane Paladin. I don't know what Paizo's idea of technomancy would look like (I hope it's something like words of power build-a-device thing) but it probably wouldn't look like a wizard but it's role and general structure might. An Int-based squishy guy that probably has 1/2 BAB that can solve a ton of problems by producing pre-made somethings that do things. A Cyborg in turn would be something that has access to some things that the Technomancer would do but is much more martial about it and doesn't have as much expertise, so would be the magus of the situation and probably have full or 3/4 BAB.

I Compare the above concept of Biomancer to Druid mainly because the role is basically the same. Make living thing from one thing to another thing or make it do something different.

Whatever it may look like theres probably definitely going to be some sort of mundane military grunt that has full BAB and a d10 hit die.


I got the impression is that they were entirely new classes that will be constructed similar to "Pathfinder" classes, but won't simply be archetypes of the existing ones, nor necessarily use things like existing spell lists. It sounds like the core rule book should be somewhat stand alone?

I think we will see vague niches in pathfinder, so a class specialized in combat, classes that buff or debuff, "caster" types, skill monkeys, but I am thinking they will probably be built very differently and reflect different tropes.


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In terms of roles I think the bare minimum is; athletic damage dealer, skill monkey, control, support. A 'sneak' may be put in there but may merge with skill monkey, but for the purposes of this being capable of being a stand alone I think the basic roles (Fighter/tough guy, cleric/support, rogue/skill monkey, and wizard/controller) will likely be preserved but split off into at least 8 classes.

In terms of tropes, there's space marines/Buzz Lightyear ranger-types, mechanical weird science, biological weird science, sneaky agent types, espers, and pilots/technicians as your broad categories.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 32

I'm hoping we start seeing less reliance on classes being related to a single attribute. Advanced technology/weapons/bio enhancement/etc make those stats less important especially with alien races.

I'm REALLY hoping to see alien magic systems.


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I'm hoping to see no new magic classes. If things are backwards compatible then I think it sufficient to just port over some classes from Pathfinder if you really want magic so there isn't much of a need for it. If magic were heavily involved I would get heavily concerned. Magic tends to take over too many things.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Assuming some of Pathfinder's classes make up the majority of the base classes, and assuming twelve classes:

Barbarian (Space Barbarians woo!)
Fighter (Space Marines for all! Maybe even with bonuses to piloting/dogfighting?)
Cleric (The gods still exist even if they aren't answering some questions)
Rogue (Because who else will be our scoundrels with hearts of gold)
Wizard (Because there's still magic)
Psychic (Because Sci-Fi)
Kineticist (Also sci fi)
Ranger (for our fringers/planetary explorers)

+ room for 4 new classes.

My guesses


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I need my Space Druids and Space Bards


I'm seeing some cool ideas here. I'm hoping for an alternative to the traditional divine healer with some sort of chemist class that will supplement, not replace, the cleric role, for those who are still interested in the gods. It would be awesome if the outer gods feature more prominently. Where they go with psychic magic is of utmost interest to me as well, given that it's so new.

I personally see Starfinder as being akin to Warhammer's 40k, so I'm wondering what will become of the races. It seems at the very least that ratfolk (for whatever reason) have thrived, and the secrets of replicating android technology have finally been uncovered. Where will this leave the more traditional fantasy races? I'm really looking forward to seeing how they've adapted, if at all.


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Entryhazard wrote:
I need my Space Druids and Space Bards

I think Bards in Space actually has huge room for a fun and interesting niche. The setting so far described seems like a place where knowledge and tales of other worlds could demand prestige and perhaps even a high price.


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Hell yeah. You gotta have space bards. How else am I going to play Ruby Rhod?


Odraude wrote:
You gotta have space bards.

Yeah! Absolutely!

You rock, dude!

Odraude wrote:
How else am I going to play Ruby Rhod?

...

...

...


...

Odraude wrote:
Ruby Rhod

I hate everything about you.


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Perhaps a nod to the jedi?


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AngryNerdRageDemon wrote:

...

Odraude wrote:
Ruby Rhod
I hate everything about you.

Dawww, you're too kind :D


Hopefully there will rules for how the old classes would mesh with this "new" setting.


I really hope that it's maybe 4-5 new classes at most and some archetypes/alternate rules that make most of the old classes fit into the setting. We already have classes that do most everything, so we don't need a lot of new things.


Maybe reactivate Words of Power, where technological advancement puts minds to figuring out how to program magic in a way that had for a long time fallen out of favor?

(And absolutely nothing wrong with putting in some World of Darkness feel along with this, as long as it doesn't trigger a lawsuit . . . .)


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AngryNerdRageDemon wrote:

...

Odraude wrote:
Ruby Rhod
I hate everything about you.

Tactics sweetheart, what was that? It was BAD! It had no fire, no energy, no nothing! Y'know I got a Game to run here, and it must pop POP POP! So tomorrow from 5 to 7 will you PLEASE roleplay like you have more than a two word vocabulary. It must be green, okay? Bzzz.


It would make sense that technological healing reduces the reliance on divine magic, so the role of divine classes gets blurred somewhat. But that could be a good thing.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

The most I.portant thing to remember is that the classes will be compatible, meaning that you can take a class from one and use it in the other with little issue. As for what classes generally look like, I'd say, look to unchained, ACG, and OA: open choices (arcanist) where your last choice may have nothing to do with the previous choice, classes with themed choices (shaman, unchained summoner, kinectist) where your later class choices are limited based on an early decision (but not by much), and classes that can do more than heal (warpriest, hunter).

Beyond that, don't expect to see some radical new approach to class design.


I actually haven't seen Paizo say that classes will be interchangeable. They said monsters will be interchangeable. So don't expect to see the same systems of progression in SF, and definitely don't expect to see the PF base classes in SF.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

The name dropped classes were soldier, technomage (which may have been more concept than class, not sure), and " solarion"


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From the Blog thread:

Owen K C Stephens wrote:

James Sutter covered the question of Starfinder being "the same system" as Pathfinder in the panel we had today, and that's not quite what we mean when we say it'll be backward compatible. We intend for you to be able to use Pathfinder material, especially monsters, with Starfinder. That should require very little work, though that doesn't mean the game are identical.

After that our #1 goal is produce a complete RPG that produces a fun and satisfying science-fantasy experience and is the best system for telling the kinds of stories we foresee people being most interested in for the Starfinder setting.
The systems will certainly be very similar, and knowing how to play Pathfinder will be a significant step up on knowing how to play Starfinder. But we will handle some things differently, so some amount of conversion effort may be needed to use Pathfinder material in Starfinder, or Starfinder material in Pathfinder. Since we're very early in the process of creating this game, we can't currently say the two games will be exactly 98% compatible, just that making the best game we can, and making it work with our existing game material, are both important considerations to us.
The Pathfinder core classes won't be the core Starfinder races, but we will give the rules you need to play them in Starfinder (and background material on what elves, dwarves, half-orcs and so on are doing in a campaign where their homeworld is gone). We won't represent all the pathfinder classes, because we're building classes designed to work best in the science-fantasy setting of Starfinder, which will best utilize the Starfinder game systems.
We can't say exactly how much work it'd take to play an elven paladin in Starfinder. We can say it'll be easy to create a character matching that iconic concept using Starfinder on its own.
I'm sure we'll discuss this more in the months ahead, but until we're further along in the process, details on how we're handling some of these questions aren't settle, so we really can't get into details. :)

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

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Coffee Demon wrote:
I actually haven't seen Paizo say that classes will be interchangeable.

From the Starfinder page (link):

Starfinder wrote:
Best of all, Starfinder is designed to integrate easily with the Pathfinder roleplaying game, meaning your power-armored marine can still go toe to toe with orcs and dragons.

Liberty's Edge

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

Hmmm...

Soldier, engineer, adept, vanguard, sentinel, infiltrator.

That ought to cover it nicely.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

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In the seminar there was mention that if you really wanted to play an elven paladin in Starfinder, SF should be compatible enough that you can do so using PF classes and races, even though neither elf or paladin will be in the game, but that they're hoping you'll instead build a similarly themed character using the classes in the SF book.

And to expand on that, while elves and dwarves and such will be in the setting, it sounds like they're unlikely to be core races in the core rulebook.


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Just saying, you can still have backwards compatibility while streamlining new classes, making them more coherent and making the martials better in a setting where tech rules over magic.


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Assuming the technology does rule over magic. I'm not really a bit fan of swinging the pendulum to the other side and making mages the inferior choice.

Scarab Sages Developer

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All the core races of Pathfinder will exist in Starfinder, and rules for all of them will be in the core rulebook. But they won't generally be the "core races" of Starfinder.


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Wish: more flexible customization instead of "all or nothing" packages.

Sneak Attack is a combat maneuver instead of a class feature.

Tech crafting classes/options come in "Standard", Divine, Psychic and Arcane flavors, none having the upper hand over the others.


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KM WolfMaw wrote:
Sneak Attack is a combat maneuver instead of a class feature.

Holy carp. Why have I never seen or thought of this before.

WELP.

(Additionally, I'm hoping most sneak attack is replaced by studied combat and studied strike.)

Shadow Lodge

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AngryNerdRageDemon wrote:

...

Odraude wrote:
Ruby Rhod
I hate everything about you.

I love space bards. Bring on Plavalaguna and Macross muses.


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Muser wrote:
AngryNerdRageDemon wrote:

...

Odraude wrote:
Ruby Rhod
I hate everything about you.

I love space bards. Bring on Plavalaguna and Macross muses.

Idol singers!!! Noooooooo!!!

:)


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But but... I wanna play futuristic Hatsune Miku!

Also that may have literally killed me typing that.


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Eric the Kitten-Bee wrote:
Tactics sweetheart, what was that? It was BAD! It had no fire, no energy, no nothing! Y'know I got a Game to run here, and it must pop POP POP! So tomorrow from 5 to 7 will you PLEASE roleplay like you have more than a two word vocabulary. It must be green, okay? Bzzz.

You know, I somehow missed this post the first time.

I'm just going to assume it was because I somehow managed to block it out of my senses and then buried it in a sea of blissful forgetfulness. Yep. That's what happened once, and it shall again. Oh, how it shall again... I hope


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Odraude wrote:

But but... I wanna play futuristic Hatsune Miku!

Also that may have literally killed me typing that.

Why? Holograms as a PC race is a classic trope. Look at Arnold Rimmer, Jor-El, The Doctor and Andromeda.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

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KM WolfMaw wrote:
Sneak Attack is a combat maneuver instead of a class feature.
Tacticslion wrote:
Holy carp. Why have I never seen or thought of this before.

Agreed, that is a good idea.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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I'm hoping the classes are broad enough that there is something for each player to do is these common sci-fi situations:

Ship to ship combat
Exploring/surviving an alien wilderness
Exploring a derelict ship
Character-scale combat
Specialist scenario*

* what I mean by this is a problem that usually, in a TV show, focuses on one character - a plague, a computer hacking problem, a spacetime anomaly, so forth.

A few things they could do to help allow this:
Minimum 4 skill points a level(not a fan of this in Pathfinder, but in a sci-fi setting with presumed public education it makes a lot more sense).
Most skills can be rolled untrained.
All classes should have a combat component, a noncombat component, and a ship role that they can easily fill.


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With the ability to access data and information via the ship's network or, in the case of the being on an advanced enough world, the planet's internet, I'd like to see some bonuses for using a search engine to figure out stuff. Especially for Knowledge skills. Googling a weakness for a hydra would be interesting for a starfaring crew.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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Thinking about the sorts of main roles we have in Sci-fi/space opera, I'm thinking we need to have classes for the following:

-A fighting person - soldier, merc, etc.
-A wits/luck person - scoundrel/gambler type
-A magic user - not sure if they are going to preserve the arcane/divine/psychic divide, but while we should have a magic specialist class, maybe it can be just be one class with different spell options.
-A engineer/science/tech person - someone who uses science and tech to get by, possibly specializing by using talents or something

Then we can have some hybrids:
Fighting/magic person - basically a Jedi
Tech/magic person - technomancer


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Most if not all classes should have knowledge(engineering) as a class skill.

At least 4+int skill points.

Feats that grant minor psychic abilities to anyone.

Alternate weapon prof. for old classes to fit the more modern setting.

All new classes should be prof. with small fire arms.


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

Three of the items above can be taken care of by making Background Skills from Pathfinder Unchained a standard part of the system and by using the "Guns Everywhere" option from Ultimate Combat.

I am also thinking that the Technologist feat should effectively be given to all standard characters in that setting. There should also be a standard feat that grants the more primitive abilities that every Pathfinder character would have but that a standard Starfinder character is likely to lack.


In general i would like a "Classless" system where you pick a basic package of BAB and Magic/Techno Power progression and can flavor it as you choose. Choose a BAB specialty and a Magic/Techno specialty that progresses based on your first chosen path. (ie.e Full BAB, 3/4 BAB 1/2 BAB and accompanying choice of "special power" and then you choose a power theme and BAB theme. Archetypes are just new themes that progress at your 1:1 1:.75 and 1:.5 rate.)


David knott 242 wrote:

Three of the items above can be taken care of by making Background Skills from Pathfinder Unchained a standard part of the system and by using the "Guns Everywhere" option from Ultimate Combat.

The problem with the Background Skills System is which skill is in which category, so, for many classes, it is very different from just adding +2 extra skill points per level.

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