The Default Starfinder Setting ...


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RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Is it a ban-able offense to really dislike the default setting for Starfinder?

Many of Starfinder's systems are interesting - not the least that I would be able to find players for it - but a couple parts of the settings bothering me.

The elements that I really don't like are ...


  • The Drift. I don't actually like a couple elements of "The Drift." First, that it was "gifted" to the sentient races of the galaxy by the Gods - minimizing human/vesk/elven/etc. accomplishments. The second is that it is slowly destroying the other planes by breaking off pieces of the other realms that connect to it - I would hope that something from the Gods would be more "environmentally friendly" then that.
  • The Gap. I know what it was done, but it seems like a bad thing. It implies that the Gods will step in and stop any cataclysmic event if the players in the Pathfinder fantasy setting "blow it" - even if one or more Gods were behind the event that the heroes were opposing.

Are other companies developing Starfinder settings?

Of course, there is always going back to Dragonstar, but that setting is not problem free either.


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Lord Fyre wrote:

Is it a ban-able offense to really dislike the default setting for Starfinder?

Many of Starfinder's systems are interesting - not the least that I would be able to find players for it - but a couple parts of the settings bothering me.

The elements that I really don't like are ...


  • The Drift. I don't actually like a couple elements of "The Drift." First, that it was "gifted" to the sentient races of the galaxy by the Gods - minimizing human/vesk/elven/etc. accomplishments. The second is that it is slowly destroying the other planes by breaking off pieces of the other realms that connect to it - I would hope that something from the Gods would be more "environmentally friendly" then that.
  • The Gap. I know what it was done, but it seems like a bad thing. It implies that the Gods will step in and stop any cataclysmic event if the players in the Pathfinder fantasy setting "blow it" - even if one or more Gods were behind the event that the heroes were opposing.

Are other companies developing Starfinder settings?

Of course, there is always going back to Dragonstar, but that setting is not problem free either.

I haven't read much about the setting yet, but would it not be easy enough to dismiss those things? Especially the 'gods' aspect of it... How hard would it be to just make them natural phenomenons or something that the elves/humans/dwarves did that may or may not be attributed to the gods in the centuries that followed?

I thought I heard something about history being unreliable in the first place and people not really knowing what happened...


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Lord Fyre wrote:
Is it a ban-able offense to really dislike the default setting for Starfinder?

No. I don't think you'd do this, but just don't be annoying or nasty about it.

I'll probably remove the Gap (my players, in general, know nothing about Golarion lore anyway) and at least tweak the Drift. I may end up keeping the number of initially-known star systems at a dozen or less; I don't know how this will compare with Paizo's version.


Yeah, I also feel the default setting is revolting, even though I really liked Pathfinder as a setting. I personally like the idea of trying to use this system for 40k - drift drives can be decently reasonably changed into warp drives, and adjusting races shouldn't be too hard either.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lord Fyre wrote:


The elements that I really don't like are ...

  • The Drift. I don't actually like a couple elements of "The Drift." First, that it was "gifted" to the sentient races of the galaxy by the Gods - minimizing human/vesk/elven/etc. accomplishments. The second is that it is slowly destroying the other planes by breaking off pieces of the other realms that connect to it - I would hope that something from the Gods would be more "environmentally friendly" then that.

What if, in your version of the setting, it wasn't the "gift" it seemed? Perhaps, shortly after Triune ascended, some mortal discovered that their personal plane was somehow accessible via technological means - and then, rather than letting just that one individual maintain control over the power of FTL travel, Triune decided to level the playing field by stealing the mortal's plans and distributing them across the galaxy?

Lord Fyre wrote:
  • The Gap. I know what it was done, but it seems like a bad thing. It implies that the Gods will step in and stop any cataclysmic event if the players in the Pathfinder fantasy setting "blow it" - even if one or more Gods were behind the event that the heroes were opposing.
  • If you don't care about the future of Pathfinder!Golarion, then I don't think there's really any need for the Gap. Make a call about what happened to Golarion, make sure Absalom Station was built before whatever happened happened, and boom! Everything's chill.

    Lord Fyre wrote:
    Are other companies developing Starfinder settings?

    I think Legendary Games has said they will be releasing their Legendary Planet AP in Starfinder-compatible format, and will be supporting the accompanying setting with SF material going forward... There's also Starjammer, who has likewise said they will be going forward with SF-compatible material for their setting.

    Scarab Sages Developer, Starfinder Team

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    I certainly HOPE a lot of people use the rules for settings other than the default.

    The fact that we are presenting setting and rules in one book doesn't mean they can't be separated. It just means we are putting front and center our specific answers to lots and lots of science-fantasy questions. My hope is that this actually makes it *easier* to use it for other settings, because we TOLD you what our background assumptions are.

    All my favorite RPGS are things I have looked at and thought "Hey, I could run something different and neat with that!" I used Star Wars SAGA to run a pulp-era mystery men game. I've run RIFTS games... just never using the RIFTS rules.

    (Though I played in a couple of Paladium RPOG games using those rules for *other* settings).

    No one setting is going to appeal to everyone. I hope you take what you like, and feel free to use it in any way that leads to you and your players all having a good time.

    RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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    Mashallah wrote:
    Yeah, I also feel the default setting is revolting,

    "revolting"? I wouldn't go that far. It is just that a couple of elements (that I listed) bother me.


    Lord Fyre wrote:
    Mashallah wrote:
    Yeah, I also feel the default setting is revolting,
    "revolting"? I wouldn't go that far. It is just that a couple of elements (that I listed) bother me.

    I largely feel disheartened because so far it seems like they butchered all the setting elements of Pathfinder that I liked a lot.

    And given that I really enjoy Pathfinder as a setting, that alone makes me strongly dislike Starfinder's setting.


    I generally don't like how Paizo did Golarion so I'm probably not the target market, but yeah I'm probably never going to use the default setting for Starfinder. Things like magic being flavourless and bland just leave me wondering why bother.


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    The Drift was revealed by one god and very likely not created by it. There is nothing that says the rest of the gods are happy about it.

    Personally, I'm pretty sure that the Drift is a cosmic scale life boat. The assumption is that entropy will eventually win out and the Devourer might just make that happen much sooner than any acceptable natural time frame. The Drift could be the next Material Plane, once it is done growing.


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    Stone Dog wrote:

    The Drift was revealed by one god and very likely not created by it. There is nothing that says the rest of the gods are happy about it.

    Personally, I'm pretty sure that the Drift is a cosmic scale life boat. The assumption is that entropy will eventually win out and the Devourer might just make that happen much sooner than any acceptable natural time frame. The Drift could be the next Material Plane, once it is done growing.

    I'm half on board with that thought, and half for the tin-foil hat, "Triune made the Drift, and rules the Drift. She's letting mortals break off little bits of the other planes bit by bit, expanding her scope and power, until one day she owns all the planes."

    Both are fun.


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    To me the drift is abit annoying because it removes one of the cool features of the Shadow Plane.


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

    Reading through these posts, I guess I can understand why some people are uncomfortable with Starfinder's setting. When something you like and have been living with for years changes, it's like losing an old friend. I generally think that, given that Starfinder's supposed to be its own franchise, independent from Pathfinder, its priorities should be about what works best for it, not what works best for being a sibling to Pathfinder. Not to say anyone is wrong for feeling one way or another - I wasn't too keen myself on DC's New 52 when that was released, and stopped reading DC comics for a while because the comics they were releasing were so different from the comics I had enjoyed before (I was particularly disappointed by Cassandra Cain ditching the Batgirl cowl).

    I'd wanted to offer a counter opinion here, however, if it helps. I only very recently got into roleplaying games, beginning with D&D 4E in 2014, and predominently 5E after that. Pathfinder interested me, but I didn't feel like investing the time to learn a complicated ruleset to play the same type of game I was already playing, and I figured Golarian wasn't that different than any other D20 setting. It wasn't until Starfinder was announced last August that I actually started picking up Pathfinder books at my local bookstores, and discovered how very much I've been missing out on. I'm actually at the point of phasing 5E out for Pathfinder, and certainly for the campaign setting. Freaking Hellknights.

    That said, my knowledge of Golarion's history is still fairly limited, not to mention D&D-style RPG mythos in general, as it's a fairly recent discovery for me. When I first considered running a Starfinder game, one of my big worries was having to spend dozens of hours studying through Golarion's lore so that I'd know how to effectively run an AP campaign. When the Gap was introduced, I breathed a sigh of relief. Not only could I draw from some of my favorite elements of Pathfinder freely, but, more importantly, I wasn't limited by my lack of familiarity with Golarion. Paizo was introducing a new world in relative infancy, that would allow me to connect my campaign to Pathfinder at my own pace. The Gap is the perfect tool to distance Pathfinder just enough from Starfinder that it isn't absolutely essential to the campaign setting, but it's also just closely enough connected that I can draw inspiration from it in future. In effect, the Gap, for this newcomer, has given me freedom to make Starfinder my own, despite being new at all this.

    As for the Drift, I mostly agree with Stone Dog - in fact I seem to recall in an interview the other gods distrust Triune's intentions with the Drift as well. I'm not convinced the Drift is supposed to be a completely benevolent thing, and I think the mystery surrounding its purpose, and the question of how galactic civilization decides to approach this ethical dilemma, is what makes it intriguing for me. Who would have thought FTL travel would play such a significant role in an over-arching sci-fi plot? My plan? Wait until the game comes out, play it, then decide whether I like it.


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    So far, the only issue I've had have been not being 100% on the deities- but they seem like an overall improvement on the Pathfinder set, so it's not much of a complaint.

    The Drift is great! It provides a plot element (I plan on having Qlippoth trying to grow Abyss chunks cut off from the flow of souls, for instance), a way to provide encounters (which is otherwise much more limited in space), some enforced downtime, and a solid setup for a gold rush/land grab feel that's all around good for making things dynamic. (*high-fives the design team*)

    I'm neutral on the Gap in play, and glad to have it for the setting material. I plan on largely ignoring it, but the break (along with Golarion going missing) is great to avoid bogging things down by focusing on what happened to this country or that. Glad to have it included- it'll make the fresh start of Starfinder more satisfying, even if it's not something that I'll be focusing on personally.


    Opsylum wrote:

    Reading through these posts, I guess I can understand why some people are uncomfortable with Starfinder's setting. When something you like and have been living with for years changes, it's like losing an old friend. I generally think that, given that Starfinder's supposed to be its own franchise, independent from Pathfinder, its priorities should be about what works best for it, not what works best for being a sibling to Pathfinder. Not to say anyone is wrong for feeling one way or another - I wasn't too keen myself on DC's New 52 when that was released, and stopped reading DC comics for a while because the comics they were releasing were so different from the comics I enjoyed before then (I was particularly disappointed by Cassandra Cain ditching the Batgirl cowl).

    I'd wanted to offer a counter opinion here, however, if it helps. I only very recently got into roleplaying games, beginning with D&D 4E in 2014, and predominently 5E after that. Pathfinder interested me, but I didn't feel like investing the time to learn a complicated ruleset to play the same type of game I was already playing, and I figured Golarian wasn't that different than any other D20 setting. It wasn't until Starfinder was announced last August that I actually started picking up Pathfinder books at my local bookstores, and discovered how very much I've been missing out on. I'm actually at the point of phasing 5E out for Pathfinder, and certainly for the campaign setting. Freaking Hellknights.

    That said, my knowledge of Golarion's history is still fairly limited, not to mention D&D-style RPG mythos in general, as it's a fairly recent discovery for me. When I first considered running a Starfinder game, one of my big worries was having to spend dozens of hours studying through Golarion's lore so that I'd know how to effectively run an AP campaign. When the Gap was introduced, I breathed a sigh of relief. Not only could I draw from some of my favorite elements of Pathfinder freely, but, more importantly, I wasn't limited by my lack of...

    The thing is: I'm almost certain I would have been far happier with a WHFB/WH40k-like split where there is no timeline between the two. The attempt to shoehorn in continuity in the most nonsensical way possible is one of the worst aspects of the setting for me.


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

    I guess I just don't understand how it's nonsensical. Since it appears Pathfinder and Starfinder don't appear to be significantly affecting each other either way (I believe Starfinder was expressly stated as a possible future), Starfinder seems only to benefit from having Pathfinder's rich legacy to draw from, while keeping it's own history fresh, tidy, and concise. Unlike WHFB/WH40k, I won't have to spend hours reading about the setting to become familiar with it - I'm witnessing this world's genesis. Or exodus, really. Golarian's past is only as important as I want it to be, and Starfinder's own galactic history can be as complex or simple as meets the campaign's needs.


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    Mashallah wrote:
    The thing is: I'm almost certain I would have been far happier with a WHFB/WH40k-like split where there is no timeline between the two. The attempt to shoehorn in continuity in the most nonsensical way possible is one of the worst aspects of the setting for me.

    Having seen how WotC handled the 4E transition of Forgotten Realms, I can safely say that this is not the most nonsensical way possible.

    I think your major issue is that you're treating this as the definitive future of the Golarion setting.

    I'm pretty sure it's been stated at least once (possibly more) that it is not.

    Rather, it is a possible future of Golarion.

    I don't know how much you like comics, but I'm going to use them as an example.

    It is effectively a variant What if...? comic, turned into its own franchise. Compare Earth X with the future represented in Marvel comics by, say, Cable or Bishop - there is a 100% incompatibility with "canon" future and Earth X future, but Earth X is the way it is to tell a very particular kind of story.

    In this case, Starfinder is a setting and style of story meant to convey a particular theme or set of themes. For that purpose, the Gap and similar elements are placed into the game, and several elements the creators couldn't use as well were taken out.

    And believe me, I'm not bashing you for not liking it - your dislike is entirely valid, if it's not your cuppa - and I, too, feel the loss of some things, rather keenly: I'm sad for the loss of Calistria, Erastil, and Shelyn as a core deities, as just one example (note: I haven't been able to keep up, so if they've been revealed as part of it, color me both happy and surprised! Nonetheless, my point stands, as these are just one example). But the thing is, that's not really part of the way the the team was building the setting. They are taking it in a thematic direction that is right for them and how to showcase their ideas.

    And by doing so, even if I don't like every choice they've made, they will likely be able to make something better than they would be by not doing so. And that's pretty cool.

    Opsylum wrote:
    I guess I just don't understand how it's nonsensical. Since it appears Pathfinder and Starfinder don't appear to be significantly affecting each other either way (I believe Starfinder was expressly stated as a possible future), Starfinder seems only to benefit from having Pathfinder's rich legacy to draw from, while keeping it's own history fresh, tidy, and concise. Unlike WHFB/WH40k, I won't have to spend hours reading about the setting to become familiar with it - I'm witnessing this world's genesis. Or exodus, really. Golarian's past is only as important as I want it to be, and Starfinder's own galactic history can be as complex or simple as meets the campaign's needs.

    ... also this thing. What this ninja right here, said. :)


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    The last 'official' setting I used when running a game was Eberron. I don't anticipate any difficulty making my own for Starfinder, if the game itself looks worthwhile. I'll reserve judgement on that last until I can see the complete game. It doesn't look bad, I just wouldn't want to commit based on the random peeks seen so far.


    Opsylum wrote:
    I guess I just don't understand how it's nonsensical. Since it appears Pathfinder and Starfinder don't appear to be significantly affecting each other either way (I believe Starfinder was expressly stated as a possible future), Starfinder seems only to benefit from having Pathfinder's rich legacy to draw from, while keeping it's own history fresh, tidy, and concise. Unlike WHFB/WH40k, I won't have to spend hours reading about the setting to become familiar with it - I'm witnessing this world's genesis. Or exodus, really. Golarian's past is only as important as I want it to be, and Starfinder's own galactic history can be as complex or simple as meets the campaign's needs.

    With a WHFB/WH40k-like split, you would have still been witnessing the genesis of a new setting, especially as then SF would have been entirely independent from PF.

    There's only so much you can read about a setting when it's an entirely new one, so I don't get this argument at all.

    Tacticslion wrote:
    Having seen how WotC handled the 4E transition of Forgotten Realms, I can safely say that this is not the most nonsensical way possible.

    Honestly, the 4e FR transition felt like less of an offender. The spellplague at least attempted to explain why things changed the way they changed, while being necessary to explain the mechanical departures.

    Here, they just took the laziest writing trope in the world (amnesia) and applied it on a galactic scale, while breaking a lot of what made the setting good in the first place without any explanation other than "noone remembers what happened". Voila.

    Liberty's Edge

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    The only thing I'm not 100% on board with is "flavorless" magic. I liked the differences between arcane and divine. But other than that, I'm aboard the Starfinder hype train!


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    Mashallah wrote:

    Honestly, the 4e FR transition felt like less of an offender. The spellplague at least attempted to explain why things changed the way they changed, while being necessary to explain the mechanical departures.

    Here, they just took the laziest writing trope in the world (amnesia) and applied it on a galactic scale, while breaking a lot of what made the setting good in the first place without any explanation other than "noone remembers what happened". Voila.

    Probably the reason it doesn't bother me so much about the way they twisted and change Golarion... is that we still have Golarion. Starfinder and Pathfinder are both still here and may or may not have anything to do with one another... and if you don't like Starfinder, than you can keep going with the pathfinder you DO know and love.

    That's the biggest difference with this and 4E. WOTC gutted the Realms and canceled everything to do with the tradional realms and even shot their novel line 100 years in the future and left everything else out in the cold.

    Had 4E Realms been released like their Arcane Age Nethril/Cormanthyr settings as alternate timelines to play in while the 'real' timeline progressed naturally... I don't think there would have been the kickback that it got. Instead they flushed everything and started over from scratch. That at least is one thing that I think Paizo did right here. A new setting that isn't carved in stone as 'Golarion's one and only future'


    phantom1592 wrote:
    Mashallah wrote:

    Honestly, the 4e FR transition felt like less of an offender. The spellplague at least attempted to explain why things changed the way they changed, while being necessary to explain the mechanical departures.

    Here, they just took the laziest writing trope in the world (amnesia) and applied it on a galactic scale, while breaking a lot of what made the setting good in the first place without any explanation other than "noone remembers what happened". Voila.

    Probably the reason it doesn't bother me so much about the way they twisted and change Golarion... is that we still have Golarion. Starfinder and Pathfinder are both still here and may or may not have anything to do with one another... and if you don't like Starfinder, than you can keep going with the pathfinder you DO know and love.

    That's the biggest difference with this and 4E. WOTC gutted the Realms and canceled everything to do with the tradional realms and even shot their novel line 100 years in the future and left everything else out in the cold.

    Had 4E Realms been released like their Arcane Age Nethril/Cormanthyr settings as alternate timelines to play in while the 'real' timeline progressed naturally... I don't think there would have been the kickback that it got. Instead they flushed everything and started over from scratch. That at least is one thing that I think Paizo did right here. A new setting that isn't carved in stone as 'Golarion's one and only future'

    Except the only justification they ever provided for the Gap is that Starfinder is the canon future of Pathfinder and they didn't want to provide canon answers to some questions as part of that.

    Regardless, it doesn't even matter.
    What matters is that Starfinder feels horribly unimaginative, lazy, and poorly thought-out while gutting all of the interesting setting elements.


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    I like the setting.

    The Drift: I like that there are negative environmental consequences to using FTL. It should trouble players,

    The Gap: the universe needs a big mistery, and this one keeps things compatable with the Pathfinder universe. It is also a convenient tool for the GM if the want to handwave some cultural anomaly.

    Both serve to add a bit of darkness and paranoia to the universe.


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    Fardragon wrote:
    the universe needs a big mistery, and this one keeps things compatable with the Pathfinder universe.

    Why does it need a Big Mystery? Mysteries I can see as being necessary, but "One Mystery to rule them all" doesn't seem very necessary. Especially one that isn't mysterious because there is no answer it's just Nope....


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    Milo v3 wrote:
    Fardragon wrote:
    the universe needs a big mistery, and this one keeps things compatable with the Pathfinder universe.
    Why does it need a Big Mystery? Mysteries I can see as being necessary, but "One Mystery to rule them all" doesn't seem very necessary. Especially one that isn't mysterious because there is no answer it's just Nope....

    Yeah, I'm generally ambivalent to the 'one big mystery' concept. If it's there, whatever... if it's not? That's fine too.

    Star Trek... Star Wars... They're the most popular and well documented Sci-fi universe... what were their big mysteries. Forgotten Realms, Middle Earth? I'm really hard pressed to think of any of my favorite books or settings that were built around a great mystery...

    Mysteries are better served being a part of an adventure or Campaign and then solving them.


    You don't think there is anything mysterious about the Force?!


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    Fardragon wrote:
    You don't think there is anything mysterious about the Force?!

    Not really. There is nothing mysterious about a slab of fiat, and why bother looking for answers about something which specifically is never going to have answers.

    In starwars canon, you don't see anyone trying to look into the mysteries of the force. It just is there to let the writers do what whatever mystic effects they want.


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    Mashallah wrote:
    Except the only justification they ever provided for the Gap is that Starfinder is the canon future of Pathfinder and they didn't want to provide canon answers to some questions as part of that.

    I'm pretty sure you're wrong, though I'd happy to have a quote proving me incorrect instead. I'm pretty sure they wanted it to be compatible, but aren't making it the setting canon. Those are two different things.

    Mashallah wrote:

    Regardless, it doesn't even matter.

    What matters is that Starfinder feels horribly unimaginative, lazy, and poorly thought-out while gutting all of the interesting setting elements.

    I can respect that you feel that way, but I disagree with the sentiment, unless you start naming specifics. For example:

    - the Gap is something I'm ambivalent about for reasons others have stated, but it doesn't really do anything offensive; it leaves the core Golarion intact, and it is an explicit and implicit promise by the Devs to avoid negating any permanent changes that I or the APs of PF make to the world of Golarion as a whole (unlike, say, the Spellplague, which, sure, tried, bless it's non-extant heart, but managed to ham-fistedly hack a setting to pieces, re-paste it together - shoddily - with bits and pieces from other settings, and fundamentally change the character of the world for the worse - while negating and trampling canon lore -, while simultaneously telling the players and fans that they're stupid for not liking said changes... or at least the people running told players and fans they're stupid for not liking the changes)*

    * As an aside, please bear in mind that I still play in the 'Realms, and updated my canon to follow the 4E stuff, 'cause I like to follow official things. Despite the fact that I liked some of the elements of the setting, the transition was handled very poorly, and the justifications for many things were far more ridiculous than, "Well, no one knows..." as they literally dropped one continent on top of another continent and everyone on the new one and all their buildings survived. That is literally a thing that happened. That's dumb, and I don't care how cool Dragonborn are, that's a terrible way to introduce them.

    - the races are cool and interesting, and whether my "favorite" races become core conceits or not is irrelevant, compared to how the "science fantasy" theme they're seeking comes off

    - the "flavorless" magic is, frankly, a pretty reasonable approach to the whole thing I prefer power-point-based psionics-style stuff to all of it; but it makes more sense that the "this works the same way, except when it doesn't" magic all actually, you know, works the same way; it's not my favorite thing, but it's not really relevant to much, either

    - the drift is an interesting feature, with interesting story potential; I don't like what it does, but then again, I don't like that you aren't allowed to stat up gods in PF, or that there aren't precise rules for how a Mana Waste happens, or the amount of hand-wavium used in crafting the setting when you've got a pretty solid system for doing that for you, so...

    - one thing I saw that you disliked recently (for clarity: I wasn't checking your posting history or anything, I just happened to stumble across your thread about the cool concept of an Azlanti space empire, and someone mentioned "they're from space the whole time!" which you didn't like) turned out to be based on false information: it seems (based on OCKS' post)
    they were a colony from the Azlanti empire that grew into a powerful space-thing on their own, instead (which removes one of your potential dislikes - you may well have plenty of others, which is actually valid)

    I mean, feel free to go into more details, but that's all I can pick up. And, you know, you're free to disagree - that's fine, too. It's a legitimate thing not to like something.

    But I don't find the choices either lazy or stupid, and they certainly compare favorably, by permitting two different related settings to function at the same time without interference.


    Mashallah wrote:
    phantom1592 wrote:
    Mashallah wrote:

    Honestly, the 4e FR transition felt like less of an offender. The spellplague at least attempted to explain why things changed the way they changed, while being necessary to explain the mechanical departures.

    Here, they just took the laziest writing trope in the world (amnesia) and applied it on a galactic scale, while breaking a lot of what made the setting good in the first place without any explanation other than "noone remembers what happened". Voila.

    Probably the reason it doesn't bother me so much about the way they twisted and change Golarion... is that we still have Golarion. Starfinder and Pathfinder are both still here and may or may not have anything to do with one another... and if you don't like Starfinder, than you can keep going with the pathfinder you DO know and love.

    That's the biggest difference with this and 4E. WOTC gutted the Realms and canceled everything to do with the tradional realms and even shot their novel line 100 years in the future and left everything else out in the cold.

    Had 4E Realms been released like their Arcane Age Nethril/Cormanthyr settings as alternate timelines to play in while the 'real' timeline progressed naturally... I don't think there would have been the kickback that it got. Instead they flushed everything and started over from scratch. That at least is one thing that I think Paizo did right here. A new setting that isn't carved in stone as 'Golarion's one and only future'

    Except the only justification they ever provided for the Gap is that Starfinder is the canon future of Pathfinder and they didn't want to provide canon answers to some questions as part of that.

    Regardless, it doesn't even matter.
    What matters is that Starfinder feels horribly unimaginative, lazy, and poorly thought-out while gutting all of the interesting setting elements.

    Im incredibly curious, what about pathfinders setting is so riviting and interesting compared to starfinders, specifically speaking only from the original core rule book.

    Personally the Gap and Drift are both incredibly interesting story elements to me. The Gap is interesting due to the fact that the gods refuse to talk about means either theyre bound to silence or they themselves do not know. What could possibly wipe out all knowledge like that. Hell the gap could have been the result of a reality wide backlash, an unintended consequence of whatever happened to Golarion.

    The Drift is interesting for several reasons, was it made by Triune or discovered by Triune? Does the drift hold some future purpose or is it more like the malestorm? How do the gods feel about the drift? We know the new god of magic views technology as something for casua... er something inferior to magic due to magics complexity (or percived complexity), must be pretty frustrating that the drift (which is magical in nature) is only accesable through technology!


    Yeah, there is nothing particularly interesting about Glolarion AKA FR mk2 AKA Genericfantasyland(TM).

    Dark Sun, Planescape, Ravenloft are all far more interesting.


    Tacticslion wrote:
    Mashallah wrote:
    Except the only justification they ever provided for the Gap is that Starfinder is the canon future of Pathfinder and they didn't want to provide canon answers to some questions as part of that.

    I'm pretty sure you're wrong, though I'd happy to have a quote proving me incorrect instead. I'm pretty sure they wanted it to be compatible, but aren't making it the setting canon. Those are two different things.

    I don't have a convenient opportunity for quote-digging at hand right now. I do, however, clearly remember them saying that the main benefit of the Gap is that they don't have to canonically answer questions like "what happened to the whispering tyrant or to the worldwound?". So take that as you wish.

    Tacticslion wrote:


    Mashallah wrote:

    Regardless, it doesn't even matter.

    What matters is that Starfinder feels horribly unimaginative, lazy, and poorly thought-out while gutting all of the interesting setting elements.
    I can respect that you feel that way, but I disagree with the sentiment, unless you start naming specifics.

    Well, let me name a few, then. The overall issue is that it tries to combine "this is totally the same universe with continuity between the two" with "the continuity is absolutely pointless as it's divided by an information-annihilating buffer rigidly separating the two", which is plainly absurd.

    As a specific example, elves come to mind. Elves of Pathfinder were one of my favourite varieties of elves overall and one of my favourite things about Pathfinder. They were explicitly big on space, with their not-webways spanning multiple worlds, with them colonising Golarion from another planet rather than being locals, and with one published Pathfinder module (Doom comes to Dustpawn) even featuring an elven spaceship the players can visit and explore, explicitly meaning elves even had spaceships.
    Except, in Starfinder, a game about space, they're suddenly irrelevant, apparently because the Gap traumatised them too hard, effectively writing away to the sidelines one of the coolest races of the setting.

    Another thing I very much dislike is how unimaginative and just plain illogical many of the new deities are while awesome deities like Asmodeus didn't even make it into core 20. Devourer, a god of Supernovae, which are literally the furnaces of the universe and one of the main reasons life can even exist, is somehow CE? Really? And Oras reads like a god of Spore-the-game rather than a god of actual evolution and is just painful to read about for me due to having an academic background. Those are just the two prime offenders, I have quite a bit of issue with many other choices regarding deities.

    Moreover, they simply retconned away Lashunta sexual dimorphism, the one interesting defining trait of the race that made them memorable, while Lashunta are now supposed to be a core race.

    The Drift, while decent itself, has an extremely boring origin story. Agoddessdidit is just about as boring as you could get. Literally any other way of mortals getting access to it would have been better.

    Also, "Deities can and will intervene to completely and utterly change the world into something barely resembling what it was before" is one of the most disempowering events you can possibly have happen in a setting backstory.


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    Fardragon wrote:
    You don't think there is anything mysterious about the Force?!

    Nope. It's not something that gets solved... it's not something that people sit around all day wondering what it is or where it comes from... It's just something that's 'there' and for people like Han Solo and Lando it's never influenced their lives in any way.

    For the jedi, they get the 'it's created from life' speech which later is stupidly retconned to midichlorians and then ignored again.

    That's like taking Pathfinder and claiming 'why does magic work' is the overall mystery of the setting.


    I was planning on completely scrapping Starfinder's setting not because certain facets of it bother me, but because I want to have a setting more like Destiny or Starcraft, not just fantasy races transplanted into space like Dragonstar.

    Not that I'd try to make a more "hard sci-fi" setting, but the window dressings in the setting would be less fantastical. There wouldn't be elves or dwarves or goblins, dragons, etc. Magic becomes psionics. The cosmology of the setting wouldn't revolve around the astral plane, heaven/hell, etc. Other dimensions would exist but they simply wouldn't resemble traditional D&D/Pathfinder dimensions at all. Gods are very much like they are in Eberron: people worship them, people might even receive some otherworldly power from them (or from SOMETHING, at least) but whether they truly exist or not is up in the air.

    Since people seemed to misread my motivations for this: I'm not trying to run a more "realistic" sci-fi game, but again the aesthetic would be different. Destiny doesn't have actual magic or elves or dragons or undead, but they sure as hell have analogues for all of those that just look or are named differently.

    I'm not interested in throwing goblins into space and try to make anything interesting from that. Or dealing with stuff like "ELVEN SPACE EMPIRE! It's elves but SPACE! IN SPACE! PLANETS! LASERS! BUT ELVES THOUGH".


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    I'm down with the new continuity. It's basically just a nice blank slate for GM's to fill in space (hehehe) where they please and how they think the world might have changed from between Pathfinder and The Gap and the results of Starfinder.

    AP Spoilers:

    (although, there is a specific adventure path that I'm thinking of that, should the failure state have occurred, has some hilarious ramifications for that villain given the fate of Golarion. Oh you joker, Mephistopheles.)

    It means previous writers don't have to stress out about what happens in the future, or stuff in the past influencing Starfinder too much, short of a planet wide extinction event, which is something most AP's only hint though don't really deliver on. And that's good enough to me, because that same stress isn't on any GM to have their lore or information match up with stuff in Pathfinder or consider how exactly the starsystem has changed in the spanning time. Again, it's a nice blank slate and one that I think the system needed for it's stories to work alongside Pathfinder's, while maintain some similar content or expanding upon information already present in Pathfinder that wouldn't have been touched on in Pathfinder (like some of the other planets in the Core star system).

    I do wish the elves had a bigger presence given that they were the first colonisers of various planets, and would have loved to see what their opinions on galactic expansion would be like. I suppose it's down to what Forlorn are like in the new world.

    Also, since there are half-orcs, and definitely goblins, that can only mean that there are orcs as well.

    And that means....

    SPACE ORCS! YAAAAAAY!

    (I hope there are hobgoblins and gnolls as well! space gnolls!)


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:

    I'm down with the new continuity. It's basically just a nice blank slate for GM's to fill in space (hehehe) where they please and how they think the world might have changed from between Pathfinder and The Gap and the results of Starfinder.

    ** spoiler omitted **

    It means previous writers don't have to stress out about what happens in the future, or stuff in the past influencing Starfinder too much, short of a planet wide extinction event, which is something most AP's only hint though don't really deliver on. And that's good enough to me, because that same stress isn't on any GM to have their lore or information match up with stuff in Pathfinder or consider how exactly the starsystem has changed in the spanning time. Again, it's a nice blank slate and one that I think the system needed for it's stories to work alongside Pathfinder's, while maintain some similar content or expanding upon information already present in Pathfinder that wouldn't have been touched on in Pathfinder (like some of the other planets in the Core star system).

    I do wish the elves had a bigger presence given that they were the first colonisers of various planets, and would have loved to see what their opinions on galactic expansion would be like. I suppose it's down to what Forlorn are like in the new world.

    Also, since there are half-orcs, and definitely goblins, that can only mean that there are orcs as well.

    And that means....

    SPACE ORCS! YAAAAAAY!

    (I hope there are hobgoblins and gnolls as well! space gnolls!)

    Why even have this kind of pseudo-continuity instead of just saying "this is a completely independent and separate setting" without having to resort to very weird plot devices?


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

    I mean I don't see the Drift as being an issue as there are a ton of planes out there, most of them infinitely large, so pulling small chunks likely won't have any effect on the game itself and be more of a 'this could be a problem in like 500 years' kind of thing.

    As for the Gap I feel like it was kind of a lose-lose situation for them. If they said time just continued as normal there would be loads of salt from Pathfinder players who wanted to know about how Golarion developed since loads of people would know even before it disappeared. However with the Gap there's just loads of salt that they just used a 'lazy' excuse (which I don't even think is that lazy, they've used it to cool effect). I just think it's something they couldn't have done without pissing people off, but on the plus side, now we have paranoid space elves which I'm very excited about!


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Luke Spencer wrote:

    I mean I don't see the Drift as being an issue as there are a ton of planes out there, most of them infinitely large, so pulling small chunks likely won't have any effect on the game itself and be more of a 'this could be a problem in like 500 years' kind of thing.

    As for the Gap I feel like it was kind of a lose-lose situation for them. If they said time just continued as normal there would be loads of salt from Pathfinder players who wanted to know about how Golarion developed since loads of people would know even before it disappeared. However with the Gap there's just loads of salt that they just used a 'lazy' excuse (which I don't even think is that lazy, they've used it to cool effect). I just think it's something they couldn't have done without pissing people off, but on the plus side, now we have paranoid space elves which I'm very excited about!

    As far as I remember Pathfinder lore, only the Abyss, the Maelstrom, and the Astral plane are infinite. All other planes are explicitly finite in size.

    Thus, I imagine literally all the gods would be angry at Triune and want to smite her for butchering their planes.

    As for the gap, just saying "this is a new setting with no timeline continuity" would have been much better.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Mashallah wrote:
    Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:

    I'm down with the new continuity. It's basically just a nice blank slate for GM's to fill in space (hehehe) where they please and how they think the world might have changed from between Pathfinder and The Gap and the results of Starfinder.

    ** spoiler omitted **

    It means previous writers don't have to stress out about what happens in the future, or stuff in the past influencing Starfinder too much, short of a planet wide extinction event, which is something most AP's only hint though don't really deliver on. And that's good enough to me, because that same stress isn't on any GM to have their lore or information match up with stuff in Pathfinder or consider how exactly the starsystem has changed in the spanning time. Again, it's a nice blank slate and one that I think the system needed for it's stories to work alongside Pathfinder's, while maintain some similar content or expanding upon information already present in Pathfinder that wouldn't have been touched on in Pathfinder (like some of the other planets in the Core star system).

    I do wish the elves had a bigger presence given that they were the first colonisers of various planets, and would have loved to see what their opinions on galactic expansion would be like. I suppose it's down to what Forlorn are like in the new world.

    Also, since there are half-orcs, and definitely goblins, that can only mean that there are orcs as well.

    And that means....

    SPACE ORCS! YAAAAAAY!

    (I hope there are hobgoblins and gnolls as well! space gnolls!)

    Why even have this kind of pseudo-continuity instead of just saying "this is a completely independent and separate setting" without having to resort to very weird plot devices?

    I mean the gap isnt needed to keep starfinder and pathfinder seperate you can just say starfinder takes place waaaaay further in the future to do that

    Maybe the devs are a fan of the series Big O in which everyone lost their memory of events about 40 years ago which leads to a ton of interesting intrigue as people try to reclaim their lost memories

    The Gap is in the end a tool players and devs can use to create interesting stories around. Do the players discover lost information somewhere in the drift? Do they run across someone who was alive during the gap whos desperatly trying to recover their memories? Do you find information that connects an individual to a powerful and wealthy legacy from pregap sociecty that (due to the gap) they were unaware of?

    And of course in the end you dont even have to use the gap. Its a tool, and its up to you to use or not


    Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
    Mashallah wrote:
    Luke Spencer wrote:

    I mean I don't see the Drift as being an issue as there are a ton of planes out there, most of them infinitely large, so pulling small chunks likely won't have any effect on the game itself and be more of a 'this could be a problem in like 500 years' kind of thing.

    As for the Gap I feel like it was kind of a lose-lose situation for them. If they said time just continued as normal there would be loads of salt from Pathfinder players who wanted to know about how Golarion developed since loads of people would know even before it disappeared. However with the Gap there's just loads of salt that they just used a 'lazy' excuse (which I don't even think is that lazy, they've used it to cool effect). I just think it's something they couldn't have done without pissing people off, but on the plus side, now we have paranoid space elves which I'm very excited about!

    As far as I remember Pathfinder lore, only the Abyss, the Maelstrom, and the Astral plane are infinite. All other planes are explicitly finite in size.

    Thus, I imagine literally all the gods would be angry at Triune and want to smite her for butchering their planes.

    As for the gap, just saying "this is a new setting with no timeline continuity" would have been much better.

    Well my bad then, though I imagine they're big enough that it isn't an immediate issue and I'm sure if it were causing a big enough problem the gods would step in, but that's just how I look at it. The no continuity would've been a great solution if they didn't want there to be continuity but I don't get that impression, if they want this to link to the original canon Golarion I think it was a good way to do it without ruining any of Golarion's secrets that they're saving for future stories.


    lakobie wrote:
    And of course in the end you dont even have to use the gap. Its a tool, and its up to you to use or not

    The setting seems to be written entirely around it as a base assumption. To remove it from the setting, I'd have to rewrite half of it, at which point using a different setting is simpler.


    Luke Spencer wrote:
    Mashallah wrote:
    Luke Spencer wrote:

    I mean I don't see the Drift as being an issue as there are a ton of planes out there, most of them infinitely large, so pulling small chunks likely won't have any effect on the game itself and be more of a 'this could be a problem in like 500 years' kind of thing.

    As for the Gap I feel like it was kind of a lose-lose situation for them. If they said time just continued as normal there would be loads of salt from Pathfinder players who wanted to know about how Golarion developed since loads of people would know even before it disappeared. However with the Gap there's just loads of salt that they just used a 'lazy' excuse (which I don't even think is that lazy, they've used it to cool effect). I just think it's something they couldn't have done without pissing people off, but on the plus side, now we have paranoid space elves which I'm very excited about!

    As far as I remember Pathfinder lore, only the Abyss, the Maelstrom, and the Astral plane are infinite. All other planes are explicitly finite in size.

    Thus, I imagine literally all the gods would be angry at Triune and want to smite her for butchering their planes.

    As for the gap, just saying "this is a new setting with no timeline continuity" would have been much better.

    Well my bad then, though I imagine they're big enough that it isn't an immediate issue and I'm sure if it were causing a big enough problem the gods would step in, but that's just how I look at it. The no continuity would've been a great solution if they didn't want there to be continuity but I don't get that impression, if they want this to link to the original canon Golarion I think it was a good way to do it without ruining any of Golarion's secrets that they're saving for future stories.

    The thing is, this kind of continuity is superficial and pointless. Since no events in either universe can affect the other in any way whatsoever, it doesn't give you any advantage over no continuity whatsoever.

    On the other hand, it has the massive drawback that is the Gap.
    Big drawbacks for no advantages aren't good decisions.


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    Mashallah wrote:
    The thing is, this kind of continuity is superficial and pointless. Since no events in either universe can affect the other in any way whatsoever, it doesn't give you any advantage over no continuity...

    It has one advantage, it means they can use the old organisations and gods (even if those organisations should probably be 100% completely unrecognisable and extinct by now).


    Milo v3 wrote:
    Mashallah wrote:
    The thing is, this kind of continuity is superficial and pointless. Since no events in either universe can affect the other in any way whatsoever, it doesn't give you any advantage over no continuity...
    It has one advantage, it means they can use the old organisations and gods (even if those organisations should probably be 100% completely unrecognisable and extinct by now).

    You don't need continuity for that.

    WHFB and WH40K share many of the gods despite there being no continuity whatsoever between the two.


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    Fardragon wrote:
    The Gap: the universe needs a big mistery, and this one keeps things compatable with the Pathfinder universe.

    The Gap isn't a mystery; mysteries can be solved. The Gap is a secret.

    Quote:
    Both serve to add a bit of darkness and paranoia to the universe.

    I prefer less darkness and paranoia in my game universes.


    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    Distant Scholar wrote:
    Fardragon wrote:
    The Gap: the universe needs a big mistery, and this one keeps things compatable with the Pathfinder universe.

    The Gap isn't a mystery; mysteries can be solved. The Gap is a secret.

    Quote:
    Both serve to add a bit of darkness and paranoia to the universe.
    I prefer less darkness and paranoia in my game universes.

    Yeah, a mystery isn't interesting when it's a base assumption that there will never be any answers or anything resembling answers.

    See Aroden. Noone cares what happened about him because the "mystery" surrounding him is one of the least interesting parts of Pathfinder as a setting and falls flat.

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