The Default Starfinder Setting ...


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avr wrote:
There are those that do care about, say, their ancestors being merchandise. It's much more common in those whose ancestors were slaves in the 19th century than in Slavs whose ancestors gave us the word 'slaves' in the middle ages.

There are also those still upset about their merchandise being taken away from them.

"The South shall rise again!" and all that.

But to circle back to the point, even that was far more common in lives closer to the event. When it's you or your parents, that's far more traumatic than stories that your grandparents passed down from thier grandparents.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber

FWIW I quite agree with this last point

Just wanted to point out that terrible events of the past still reverberate more than 10 generations later

The time just after the Gap must have been fascinating with all the quests and experiments to try and find a solution, a cause, an answer only to come back entirely empty-handed


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The Raven Black wrote:
IonutRO wrote:
Do you know anyone who feels affected or really cares about what tragedies befell their ancestors 10 generations ago?

French Revolution

Napoleon's wars
Slave trade
Wiping out Native Americans and Incas
Jewish diaspora out of Israel

And those are only the first that came to my European mind

The one major flaw in every example you cited: Those are things that PEOPLE did to other PEOPLE that they all remember.

The Gap is, for lack of a better word, an alteration of all reality, a cosmic 'act of nature'. No on knows why it happened, how it happened or who made it happen. There are no horrors endured to remember and blame someone for. There are no enemies with faces to carry on hate for. There is nothing to point a finger at and blame.

There is just a huge chunk of existence missing. And if it did not happen directly to you then it's impact is nothing more than a footnote in a history book.

It more akin to 45 records to today's 20 somethings than genocidal wars or acts of inhumanity that burn into a cultures psyche. Sure their parents know what 45 records were and even remember using them. But your young adults today who grew up on Ipods and MP3's have no clue and don't really care.


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So this is a ridiculously long post. I've edited it a couple of times for length and tone. Feel free to skip over it and apologies if anyone is offended by the tone it has.

The tldr:- a lot of what people are up in arms about is either SOP for Paizo or stuff they are literally making an issue for themselves at their tables. If anyone's sole gaming outlet is organised play then I can understand having such a big issue with Starfinder. But then again I'd expect them to have a big issue with any setting.

Lord Fyre wrote:
First, that it was "gifted" to the sentient races of the galaxy by the Gods

Was it actually gifted to them? Or was it gifted to the Golarion system? Either way, I'll be running it as the Golarion planets only just got drift access whereas other systems may or may not have developed Drift technology themselves.

Lord Fyre wrote:
I would hope that something from the Gods would be more "environmentally friendly" then that.

Why? Sure you have your Imodaeans and Cayden Caileans. But some gods just want to see the whole galaxy burn. Furthermore, the Drift would be destroying the planes regardless of whether Golarion's inhabitants used them, so why not let Golarion's people in on the action to compensate them for losing one of their major planets.

Lord Fyre wrote:
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.

I can see why you say this, but I think it is only true if you want it to be true. There is nothing to say that a party of PCs didn't do something to save Golarion and result in the Gap and it's disappearance. The fact the gods aren't revealing anything doesn't mean they were the main force behind the event. At the end of the day, mythic level stuff went down and caused the Gap. What it was or how it happened is up for you to decide.

Tacticslion wrote:
several elements the creators couldn't use as well were taken out.

As I mentioned in the other thread, I'm looking to add as much of the Pathfinder setting into Starfinder as I reasonably can and as would enhance the enjoyment of my table. Keeping in mind I don't just want "wizards in space" but instead want "science-fantasy in space with an emphasis on science". However I'm not really sure what (setting) elements they couldn't include in Starfinder. Have you got any examples?

Tacticslion wrote:
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

Not being a core deity is not the same as not being a deity of the setting. Look at Inner Sea Gods. There are tons of deities in there not covered in the CRB. Starfinder has been said to incorporate most (if not all) of the Golarion deities. There is no reason to think that Calistria, Erastil and Shelyn won't be part of the Starfinder setting.

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

I always found much of Golarion to be copy-pasta from real life history and kitchen sink settings. The setting as it exists at the table has actually evolved quite significantly into it's own very flavourful setting. But I put that down largely to the mechanics we choose to play with and the campaigns I've happened to be involved in. THanks to that, I can see a very clear line between Pathfinder's setting and Starfinder's setting. But I get that had we emphasised different mechanics and had I played in different campaigns it might have been much more generic and medieval.

My biggest disappointment is that Paizo have yet to do a single damn thing with the giant Stargate in Riddleport.

Mashallah wrote:

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.

I get some people are really upset with how elves are being treated. I personally think they sidelined elves because they wanted Starfinder to be more than just "Elves in Space!!!!" and I think if they did give elves their due, then what we'd get is Starfinder, Elf Edition because gamers tend to latch onto what's familiar rather than give something new a try.

That said, I don't plan on treating elves as Mashallah has indicated she would/the setting does. In my version (pending more details being released) elves had a vast multi-stellar empire using portals and sublight ships that (coupled with their long lives) meant they could keep up an empire despite the vast distance between the stars. Now given drift technology has just entered the scene, elves are struggling to remain relevant and adapt to this sudden shift in power.

Effectively, elves are the old power while humans (and other shorter lived races) are the new power thanks to drift-tech. There's nothing stopping elves from using drift-enabled ships. But it means their sublight ships are no longer the cutting edge of technology but have since become antiques. It also means that they have no advantage when it comes to interstellar travel as anyone can now easily survive the time it takes to travel between stars. I personally will probably run a Core Race only campaign to start with (so the core Starfinder races, not the legacy Pathfinder ones) and then slowly over time explore how the Pathfinder races are in the 43rd century.

Mashallah wrote:
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.

Dunno if you've played Iron Gods, but in our campaign

Spoiler:
Kassandalee (or however her name was spelt) left Golarion after a few centuries after the campaign ended to go journey between stars using regular old space. The fact that she is now part of the Triune means that she returned to Golarion at some point, potentially with the knowledge of Drift technology. Where she got that knowledge is currently undefined and is open for me, as a DM, to explore and reveal
Mashallah wrote:
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.

Where have you gotten this from? I can't find anything that backs up the assertion that the god's were behind the Gap.

From James Sutter

Quote:
The Gap is one of the most important parts of the Starfinder setting. The past several millennia have been completely wiped from all memories and all records in the known universe. Everyone is rightfully anxious about this gap, but long-lived races like the elves, many of whom remember life on Golarion before the Gap, are particularly perturbed. Thus, the Starfinder Society has emerged to track down the Gap’s cause.

(Emphasis mine).

The idea that it was the gods that caused this or "Nope. Can't ever find out what happened with the Gap" is one I've only seen on these forums. Has anyone got actual quotes to back up the idea that the god's were behind the Gap and DM's will be prohibited from exploring what caused the Gap?

Mashallah wrote:
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?

So people like me can come along and have fun throwing in bits and bobs that connect the two settings? Myself. I love the idea of the Azlanti Empire existing beyond Golarion. I'd have been less on board the Azlanti Empire being present in a completely separate setting.

Mashallah wrote:
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.

Aroden's death wasn't important to any DM who didn't make it important at their table. It's key role was to be a big cataclysm that sent the world into upheaval and made it ripe for world shattering events as they unfold at the individual tables. The Gap plays the same role in Starfinder. It explains how and why the galaxy may be given big shake ups as the powers that be drastically change thanks to the mass amnesia potentially wiping out access to whole swathes of resources (as people simply forget where they are) causing groups to actively seek out new resources to replace what they've lost.

Benjamin Medrano wrote:
they had a wormhole/rift drive before the ship crashed into Numeria.

The tech was experimental, possibly only on that one ship, and the ship crashed into some backwater planet on another Galaxy. In my home campaign, Cassandalee saw to it that the divinity drive wasn't recreated or used (and it's name was more than a little apt given her fate).

Benjamin Medrano wrote:
There's an interplanetary teleport spell, too.

Which is great for intra-system teleporting. Not so good for interstellar travel though.

Benjamin Medrano wrote:
Sure, it'd be as expensive as heck to build one of the teleport drives ala Dragonstar, but it should be possible with just what's in Pathfinder.

It's definitely possible. But I don't think it's a certainty that existing civilizations have this tech and use this tech.

Benjamin Medrano wrote:
There are other options. If they don't even mention them, I'm going to be even less impressed.

I've seen mention somewhere of individuals who planehopped between star systems. But I get the impression there was no mass-travel through such a method.

Benjamin Medrano wrote:
I should add, I remember James Jacobs specifically stating that Androffa (homeworld of the ship from Iron Gods), Earth, and Golarian are all in different galaxies.

Pretty sure the Androffan gods also wiped out all of Androffa and started fresh (with Droffa becoming a medieval fantasy world that knew little to nothing of it's past by Pathfinder's current era). But yes, James Jacobs has mentioned they're all in different galaxies (and thus inaccessible via current Drift technology).

Mashallah wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
Is it canon that a god was entirely responsible for the drift?

As far as I can tell, it is, which breaks my suspension of disbelief entirely.

According to the Geekdad preview on Drift:

Geekdad wrote:
The Drift was gifted to the races of Starfinder by Triune, an AI that ascended to godhood. See, no science necessary!
This was also mentioned multiple times in multiple other places.

Drift technology was given to the mortal races of Golarion's star system. Nothing here suggests that the gods created the drift.

Mashallah wrote:
On the other hand, it has the massive drawback that is the Gap.

The only drawback I've seen anyone mention of the Gap is that it's an overused trope. But this is Paizo, the company that gave us yet another rendition of Fantasy Egypt and have even given us Fantasy America and Fantasy France. Old tropes is kind of Paizo's thing. I struggle to see why someone who loves Golarion so much would have a problem with a tired old trope being used.

Milo v3 wrote:
Why does it need a Big Mystery?

I don't see it so much as a big mystery as a big hook. Star Trek's Hook: To boldly go where no-one has gone before. Star Wars' Hook: To fight against the Empire/Sith lords. Pathfinder's Hook: To kill monsters and get their stuff.

For me the Gap makes Starfinder's hook: To find out more about the universe and our past.

Milo v3 wrote:
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.
Milo v3 wrote:
Especially one that isn't mysterious because there is no answer it's just Nope....

I would certainly hate to be playing a Starfinder game and be told "DM says no because it isn't in the book." If that's your expectation for Starfinder I can see why you wouldn't enjoy the game.


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James Sutter himself said that Triune discovered the Drift, or so it claims. It was in one of the interviews he did with one youtuber or another, can't exactly remember which one.

Creative Director, Starfinder Team

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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Remy P Gilbeau wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

For those who care, there is a canon reason for why and how the Gap happened. We worked that out very early in our worldbuilding. It's in a file the Creative Director maintains.

I don't expect we'll ever go into details as to the why or how, because those seem unlikely to be the most interesting stories to tell (though it is literally not my decision to make). But if we did, we'd have kept consistency with that reason from the beginning.

... soooo, what I'm hearing is that if some enterprising young rogue were to break into the Creative Director's filing cabinet, we could have all the answers. Not that any of us would do that, of course. *wink, nudge* Say no more!

*begins humming Mission Impossible theme*

We'll you'd have to get past the warehouse raptors, defeat the Redemption Engine Security Device, avoid Blue Rover, figure out WHICH pile is the "filing cabinet," manage not to bury yourself in a stuffslide, recognize a Packet of True secrets in a slurry of Rejected Crud...

But sure!

The greatest security feature of the information on my desk is the quantity of information on my desk. :P


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My Starfinder setting will probably be a lot more manapunk than the default setting of Starfinder.


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Gilfalas wrote:


The one major flaw in every example you cited: Those are things that PEOPLE did to other PEOPLE that they all remember.

The Gap is, for lack of a better word, an alteration of all reality, a cosmic 'act of nature'. No on knows why it happened, how it happened or who made it happen. There are no horrors endured to remember and blame someone for. There are no enemies with faces to carry on hate for. There is nothing to point a finger at and blame.

Except that isn't true. One of the examples they specifically used was people 'came to' out of the Gap while at war. They didn't know why or how, but they knew they were fighting and probably found out that they and/or their enemies had done, well, almost anything in the course of that.

That would be extremely terrifying and scarring, with definite people to blame. Suddenly refugees with a specific group to blame and no idea why. But maybe they know...

Couple that with the paranoid nature of the human mind. A lot of groups would quickly find someone or something to blame. It probably had a big effect in bolstering or sinking some of the major religions. A helpful, wide ranging clergy would create a lot of good will, but some of the more indifferent gods or clergy would be seen as part of the problem.

Nethys comes to mind here- his traditional indifference would be a problem. Zon-Kuthon's church ironically probably capitalized on all this 'loss' to keep him relevant.


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I don't see where Interplanetary Teleport is limited to intra-system travel only - "truly no range limit and you do not need to have seen your destination, though you must have a solid grasp of which world you wish to travel to" makes it pretty clear casters with access to 9th-level spells can go anywhere in the universe they please.


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Doc_Outlands wrote:
I don't see where Interplanetary Teleport is limited to intra-system travel only - "truly no range limit and you do not need to have seen your destination, though you must have a solid grasp of which world you wish to travel to" makes it pretty clear casters with access to 9th-level spells can go anywhere in the universe they please.

You can even use simple Greater Teleport for that.

Or even just two castings of Plane Shift (which is 5th level for, say, Clerics).

Both have no limitations on distance whatsoever, either.


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Those spells do get insanely more powerful when characters are no longer limited to knowledge about one planet!


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Azih wrote:
Those spells do get insanely more powerful when characters are no longer limited to knowledge about one planet!

Sort of?

I mean, they're still basically plot device spells. Get you quickly from one part of the campaign setting to another. There's no practical difference to the game whether that's from Cheliax to Kyonin, from Avistan to Garund, from Golarion to Akiton or from Absalom Station to Androffa , despite the huge difference in distance.

Liberty's Edge

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Mashallah wrote:
Doc_Outlands wrote:
I don't see where Interplanetary Teleport is limited to intra-system travel only - "truly no range limit and you do not need to have seen your destination, though you must have a solid grasp of which world you wish to travel to" makes it pretty clear casters with access to 9th-level spells can go anywhere in the universe they please.

You can even use simple Greater Teleport for that.

Or even just two castings of Plane Shift (which is 5th level for, say, Clerics).

Both have no limitations on distance whatsoever, either.

Per Distant Worlds, this isn't true in Golarion. Greater teleport is limited to planetary distances, and plane shift can only really be used to move between planets if you're really familiar with both planets already (so you can't get started that way).


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Since Starfinder is a new game system that plays out on a galactic scale, I am sure that the core rulebook will rebalance the Teleport spells appropriately for the setting.


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Shisumo wrote:

Per Distant Worlds, this isn't true in Golarion. Greater teleport is limited to planetary distances, and plane shift can only really be used to move between planets if you're really familiar with both planets already (so you can't get started that way).

Reason number #4492 why I don't play in Golarion (for godsake, the GMG even acknowledges that you can do space travel really easily with Greater Teleport).


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David knott 242 wrote:

Since Starfinder is a new game system that plays out on a galactic scale, I am sure that the core rulebook will rebalance the Teleport spells appropriately for the setting.

Assuming the higher ones even exist, given the changes in magic in the system.


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thejeff wrote:
Azih wrote:
Those spells do get insanely more powerful when characters are no longer limited to knowledge about one planet!

Sort of?

I mean, they're still basically plot device spells. Get you quickly from one part of the campaign setting to another. There's no practical difference to the game whether that's from Cheliax to Kyonin, from Avistan to Garund, from Golarion to Akiton or from Absalom Station to Androffa , despite the huge difference in distance.

Well Plane Shift x 2 would mean that you only need to Drift to another planet one time and then you can just Plane Shift there and back instantaneously. That changes the dynamic of space travel quite drastically.


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Within a solar system, there are already multiple ways to get from one planet to another, so having Interplanetary Teleport or some similar spell able to get you from one planet to another probably presents no issues.

One question in regard to teleporting between solar systems is whether the setting assumptions intend to allow for there to be something superior to the Drift Drive for getting between solar systems, even with the limitation of the destination being known to the caster.


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Azih wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Azih wrote:
Those spells do get insanely more powerful when characters are no longer limited to knowledge about one planet!

Sort of?

I mean, they're still basically plot device spells. Get you quickly from one part of the campaign setting to another. There's no practical difference to the game whether that's from Cheliax to Kyonin, from Avistan to Garund, from Golarion to Akiton or from Absalom Station to Androffa , despite the huge difference in distance.

Well Plane Shift x 2 would mean that you only need to Drift to another planet one time and then you can just Plane Shift there and back instantaneously. That changes the dynamic of space travel quite drastically.

Much like teleport lets you go back and forth instantly from different continents without months on a boat. Changes the dynamic of on-world travel drastically.

The scale changes, but the actual effect on the game is likely about the same.

Given the magic changes, it's also possible Plane Shift/Greater Teleport/etc will all be only commonly available at the highest levels.


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I'm not sure why the Drift slowly nibbling away at the planes is such a big deal. Canonically, as I recall, the outer planes are all being eaten away at by the Maelstrom, and they regenerate thanks to the influx of souls from the material plane. Given that the outer planes are generally bigger than the entire material plane, it seems unlikely that drift drive activity is going to make that much of a difference unless there's a ridiculous amount of it going on, or the balance is more delicate than is immediately obvious.

And hey, if you drive a car despite knowing that it's slowly contributing to pollution, doesn't seem that much worse.

And yeah, I'm pretty sure that they've said the Drift existed the entire time, but it was a plane that can't be accessed via magical means, so people were generally unaware of it since most people only accessed other planes via magic. Triune not only cracked the secret, but shared it widely.

But to the primary point: nothing wrong with not liking the default setting. Personally, I loved Distant Worlds so I'm happy to see this expansion on the setting there, and I'm also happy to get away from the core races as the existing default, while still having them around for those who want to play as them. I mean, hey, elves are fine and all, but I've had tons of opportunities to play as them over the years.

Of course, as usual, you may want to consider how you phrase that dislike and where you share it. Using offensive terminology rarely engenders good feelings, and if you're sharing your opinions, you have to be ready for people who may have different opinions to share their own.


Not responding to the points of John's post that weren't to me. Well, except one, that I'm curious about, and isn't person-specific.

John: no problem with your tone (to me) at all, but I wanted to point out...

John Lynch 106 wrote:
Not being a core deity is not the same as not being a deity of the setting. Look at Inner Sea Gods. There are tons of deities in there not covered in the CRB. Starfinder has been said to incorporate most (if not all) of the Golarion deities. There is no reason to think that Calistria, Erastil and Shelyn won't be part of the Starfinder setting.

Erm:

Tacticslion wrote:
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

I'm more than aware that being "Core" doesn't mean "not existing" - it does, however, reduce their significance to the setting, in the same way that non-Core deities aren't nearly as important as the Core deities in the Pathfinder Golarion setting.

I just really like those three, in particular, and want them to be more front-and center.

Tacticslion wrote:
several elements the creators couldn't use as well were taken out.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
However I'm not really sure what (setting) elements they couldn't include in Starfinder. Have you got any examples?

Only what they have taken out.

I suspect that you're reading "could use" differently than I intend the phrase, though I could be misreading you. I mean it simply as this: they felt they "couldn't use" thing X, so removed it to change the tone from "This is Pathfinder, only now you're going into space." to "This is Starfinder, which is related to Pathfinder, but different." As an example, they eliminated the difference between magic types. I suspect that decision was partially mechanical, partially theming - if the strict walls between the different magic types were maintained, I suspect the "feel" they were going for/inspired by would have suffered, so though "couldn't" use that element.

Similarly, to discuss the deities above, they probably felt they "couldn't" use Erastil, because, frankly, a farming and small-community nature deity isn't really all that important on a giant space station.

Similarly, Calistria isn't really all that important in the wake of the Gap because, frankly, who're you gonna take revenge one? The gods? Great! You hate the gods! So here's one to worship! ... wait. Someone that wronged you? Sweet! ... who was that again, and how did they do that? When?

I figure the loss of Shelyn was just to replace her slot with something more appropriate in theming, but, you know, I can only guess.

By "couldn't" use, I'm only suggesting that the theme they were going for simply didn't quite support the views or elements they chose. I can't clarify for certain, yet, what that theme is, as I don't have the finished product in my hands and, though I tend to use a lot of words, I suspect I couldn't anyway, given that a lot of theming is vague enough that even when we have it codified - ala "genre" of films - people will still argue whether or not something fits into that theme (or genre), or what elements do and do not belong within.

Just out of curiosity,

John Lynch 106 wrote:
Which is great for intra-system teleporting. Not so good for interstellar travel though.

... why?

As a quasi-not-yet-posted edit, I've noticed several people have commented on this. Mostly, I'm just curious if you've any sources or suggestions that this is a limit within the nature of the spell, like how Distant Worlds changes the paradigm of greater teleport, compared to the GMG's use of the same spell.


Luthorne wrote:
Of course, as usual, you may want to consider how you phrase that dislike and where you share it. Using offensive terminology rarely engenders good feelings, and if you're sharing your opinions, you have to be ready for people who may have different opinions to share their own.

Quoting this to be extra clear - no matter whether you like or dislike something, this is extremely important to remember.

I liked space elves and miss that they're not Core. I am not too thrilled by the loss of the three "Core" deities mentioned.

... but I'm really, daggum hype for SF, and, frankly, if someone else is excited or happy about the changes, that's really awesome! Those people are who those changes are for, not me, and that's excellent!


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Tacticslion wrote:
I liked space elves and miss that they're not Core. I am not too thrilled by the loss of the three "Core" deities mentioned.

Am I the only one who does not care if something is 'Core' or not? Core only means that those 'things' were voted prom king/queen. It does not mean the rest aren't at the prom and cannot have a good time or make an impact.

Core just means those are top dogs. We don't know by HOW MUCH those top dogs lead the pack.

In the end I think not being 'Core' is not a death knell for the topic at hand, be it a race or a deity or whatever.


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Gilfalas wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
I liked space elves and miss that they're not Core. I am not too thrilled by the loss of the three "Core" deities mentioned.

Am I the only one who does not care if something is 'Core' or not? Core only means that those 'things' were voted prom king/queen. It does not mean the rest aren't at the prom and cannot have a good time or make an impact.

Core just means those are top dogs. We don't know by HOW MUCH those top dogs lead the pack.

In the end I think not being 'Core' is not a death knell for the topic at hand, be it a race or a deity or whatever.

In the long run perhaps. In the short run, Core is all there is. Anything else you want, you'll likely have to port in yourself or wait for it to show up somewhere else. Core will probably continue to get more attention and development over the long run as well.


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No, core is not all there is, there will be at least EIGHT other races besides the core races at launch!


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Gilfalas wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
I liked space elves and miss that they're not Core. I am not too thrilled by the loss of the three "Core" deities mentioned.

Am I the only one who does not care if something is 'Core' or not? Core only means that those 'things' were voted prom king/queen. It does not mean the rest aren't at the prom and cannot have a good time or make an impact.

Core just means those are top dogs. We don't know by HOW MUCH those top dogs lead the pack.

In the end I think not being 'Core' is not a death knell for the topic at hand, be it a race or a deity or whatever.

Core stuff generally gets vastly more attention and content dedicated to it than non-core stuff.

Outright boring deities like Devourer getting more attention than Asmodeus is fairly disheartening.


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Mashallah wrote:
Gilfalas wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
I liked space elves and miss that they're not Core. I am not too thrilled by the loss of the three "Core" deities mentioned.

Am I the only one who does not care if something is 'Core' or not? Core only means that those 'things' were voted prom king/queen. It does not mean the rest aren't at the prom and cannot have a good time or make an impact.

Core just means those are top dogs. We don't know by HOW MUCH those top dogs lead the pack.

In the end I think not being 'Core' is not a death knell for the topic at hand, be it a race or a deity or whatever.

Core stuff generally gets vastly more attention and content dedicated to it than non-core stuff.

Outright boring deities like Devourer getting more attention than Asmodeus is fairly disheartening.

I find Asmodeus kind of boring myself. "Haha I always win!" gary stu villains aren't interesting.


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For those of you who are getting what you want in Starfinder: Great! I'm glad you're getting what you like! This isn't sarcasm or anything, I'm honestly glad that someone likes it.

For myself... I'm just finding the setting more frustrating the more I find out about it. Literally the only thing I've been happy with so far has been hearing about the Azlanti Star Empire, but we don't even have details on that, so who knows? Most of it just leaves me unimpressed or annoyed.

The system has been making me happy, on the other hand. It sounds like the core system is going to make me happy, so at least there's something.


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Tacticslion wrote:
I just really like those three [deities], in particular, and want them to be more front-and center.

Fair enough. I figure we have plenty of information on the Inner Sea gods and using the ones that have been transported across, could easily make any deity from Pathfinder front and center at the table you/I play at.

Tacticslion wrote:
I mean it simply as this: they felt they "couldn't use" thing X, so removed it to change the tone from "This is Pathfinder, only now you're going into space." to "This is Starfinder, which is related to Pathfinder, but different." As an example, they eliminated the difference between magic types. I suspect that decision was partially mechanical, partially theming - if the strict walls between the different magic types were maintained, I suspect the "feel" they were going for/inspired by would have suffered, so though "couldn't" use that element

Fair enough. Then yes, they "couldn't" use the distinction between magic. When you fill half a book with options for <insert element of the game here> then you either consciously or subconsciously tell the players <insert element of the game here> is very important, so important they dedicated half the book to this element. When you have a SCIENCE fantasy game that is trying to differentiate itself from a FANTASY game, I can see why they wanted to limit the number of casters and magic in the game. It's why we don't have a dedicated spellcraft skill anymore. It's not because they "coudln't" use it. It's because they didn't want to overemphasise the magic portion of Starfinder.

That said, I'm looking at ways to slowly incorporate the different types of magic into my Starfinder game. Unlike Paizo, I have no restriction on page count so I can go wild. In particular I want to get sorcerers and wizards back into Starfinder. I'm considering creating new Mystic connections and powers that would emphasise those feelings (so one connection would be to a draconic bloodline while another one would be to a mystical tome). I agree with the decision not to inundate the game with spellcasting classes and so I don't want to just do a straight port of these classes into the game. Hence why I'm looking at adapting the current mechanics to fit the flavour I want.

Tacticslion wrote:
Similarly, to discuss the deities above, they probably felt they "couldn't" use Erastil, because, frankly, a farming and small-community nature deity isn't really all that important on a giant space station.
Tacticslion wrote:
Similarly, Calistria isn't really all that important in the wake of the Gap because, frankly, who're you gonna take revenge one?
I don't agree with either of those things. I think Erastil and Calistria make perfect sense in a science fantasy game. I think what happened is...
Tacticslion wrote:
I figure the loss of Shelyn was just to replace her slot with something more appropriate in theming, but, you know, I can only guess.

This. They had 20 slots and wanted to include non-Pathfinder deities and so decided to cut out some of the core Pathfinder deities and Erastil, Calistria and Shelyn made the chopping block simply because someone had to. I see no issue with having Erastil be important in space (even in the future you still need food and small communities spring up everywhere, especially on space stations that have hydroponic gardens and a small community due to a lack of physical space). Likewise when the Gap ended people found themselves in a war they couldn't remember the reason for. Inventing reasons and then attacking the other side is something humans excel at and is definitely something Calistria worshipers could do.

Tacticslion wrote:
... why [can't teleport spells be used for interstellar travel]?

Because I simply assumed so.

Much like greater teleport doesn't have any technical language that restricts it to a single planet, I think given the context of the game it was clear that it was always intended to be a teleport limited to a single planet. Likewise although interplanetary teleport also doesn't have any restriction, I think given the context of the game it was clear that it was always intended to be limited to within a single star system (hence the name interplanetary and not interstellar).

Now you could rules lawyer either spell into saying "I can teleport anywhere in the universe so long as I follow the strict wording of the spells" and probably successfully argue you're case. Except for the fact it completely negates an entire portion of the game setting. Which is that travel to other worlds is hard and that travel to other star systems is even harder and that travel to other galaxies is intended to be downright impossible (at this time). Now despite the fact the setting says intergalactic travel isn't possible (without a deus ex machina), according to a strict wording of greater teleport, I can still teleport to any other galaxy so long as I follow the strict wording of the spell. That just doesn't make sense to me.

On the other hand if you as DM want to say "I'm allowing it and thus remove a significant portion of the Starfinder setting" then go for it. I personally think the teleport spells are way more trouble than they're worth and I'm inclined to simply get rid of the more powerful ones as unthematic.

Mashallah wrote:
Devourer getting more attention than Asmodeus is fairly disheartening.

I've had 9 years of Asmodeus getting plenty of attention. If I want to use Asmodeus or his followers in my game, I have lot of material to draw from. On the other hand I literally know nothing about the Devourer. I could definitely use some more information on that deity. I don't see anything disheartening by this at all.

Seriously. My Pathfinder books aren't spontaneously combusting. Using the Pathfinder deities they do include as a template, I can pretty easily update any Pathfinder deity I so desire.

Myself, I'm disappointed Alseta hasn't been moved up front and center in Starfinder. There's a deity I could use more information on.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
When you have a SCIENCE fantasy game that is trying to differentiate itself from a FANTASY game.

Funnily enough, that's so far my biggest issue with Starfinder. I was hoping for Science Fantasy, not Sci-Fi (with some fantasy). They said they wanted it to Space Opera what Shadowrun did to Cyberpunk... but the more they diminish the fantasy element, the less point there is for Starfinder to exist.

Quote:
Much like greater teleport doesn't have any technical language that restricts it to a single planet, I think given the context of the game it was clear that it was always intended to be a teleport limited to a single planet.

Except in GMG it specifically acknowledges that it can be used for space travel.


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Do we even know the Teleport spells are still in Starfinder? Particularly the high level ones, since they've lowered the available magic levels.

It doesn't really make sense to say a 9th level spell will "remove a significant portion of the Starfinder setting" if you're limited to 6th level spells outside of the equivalent of Epic magic and artifacts and such.
Even if they've dropped Interplanetary or Greater Teleport to 6th level, it's still only removing that portion of the setting for the highest levels of the game. And frankly, that's a consistent feature of D&D/PF - travel and environmental hazards that are a big problem at one level are trivially bypassed later on.

You might also have reason to travel by ship, even if you could teleport. For one thing, it means you have your ship with you.

Scarab Sages Developer, Starfinder Team

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As far as the distinction between divine and arcane magic goes:
What, in the core rulebook, makes a distinction between arcane and divine magic (as opposed to a distinction between different class spell lists, because we STILL have those).


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John, I could be wrong (and my apologies, if so; please correct me, if I'm wrong, here!), but your framing makes it feel like you're either trying to argue me into liking elements of the setting that I'd prefer to be different; or you're trying to suggest that my personal methods of dealing with it are... off, somehow.

But let me try to be clear.

I'm super-hype for Starfinder. Specific instances or choices are not to my like (similar to yourself and Alseta), but I'm trying to be clear - that's just me and my preferences.

The fact is, I'm hype for the setting, hype for the game, hype for the system! It's awesome!

---------

Seems we basically agree on why they "couldn't" add some things, then - we just use that particular word to imply slightly different things with different tones.

I just am noting that I like some of the things from PF the developers didn't think they could use while maintaining their own vision within self-imposed limits - that they "couldn't" use it, because, if they did, it would change how they presented their product. And that's fine.

:)

---------

As far as the gods, your arguments against my reasoning... meh? My point was not to read minds, but to help explain why some got the chopping block (from Core, not from existence) and others did not. I doubt (though I could be wrong) that they spun a wheel and randomly chose which to nix.

The reasoning provided as examples may not make sense to you, but I offer it as a possible explanation, not the only one. Obviously, Owen is posting here, as is James, so either of them could come in and go, "No, see, here is what we were thinking." (which, frankly, would be super-awesome - whether I like a particular decision or not, I'm always interested and enthused to hear someone giving clarity on intent, even if I disagree with it for my own games).

As for incorporating Erastil (and Calistria, and space elves) I'm actually planning on all those things, myself. Point in fact, one interpretation, some star-farers from the new Society land on a backwater, primitive world, and find an unsophisticated, tribal people who revere a creepy god, using their blood rites and leather-and-bone-decor (and clothes)... turns out it's good old lawful good Erastil, and these are hunter-farmers of a small community, to whom family is important.

On a related note: family can always be important. Community can always be important. Food can always be important.

When you live on an uber-sized space ship in the future, communing with "nature" in non-industrialized small townships, with a focus on simple, earthy craftsmen who wield a bow... notsomuch. This is what I meant. Having Erastil be Core would mean trying to put this conceit front-and-center into a Sci-Fantasy setting. Luke may have been a moisture farmer, but he wasn't in tune with nature (though he did have a particularly mystical side, later).

Lust (that is, sexual desire, i.e. the thing what leads to making babies and thus new people - a pretty important thing for mortals) and trickery never leave, as far as needs go.

But with elves leaving the spotlight, most particular needs for vengeance either suddenly gone or unremembered, Calistria's importance likely waned, heavily. She might not have been a strictly elven deity, nor the head of their pantheon, but she was always depicted as an elf. Now that elves are less, and a third of her portfolio was (however temporarily) negated, she, herself, was likely diminished (not necessarily in power, but in terms of mortal needs, locally speaking).

These aren't supposed to be canon. They are supposed to be methods by which someone (namely, me, right now) can cope with the, "Wah! My favoritest setting elements of all time aren't super-pumped right to the center! Wah!" emotion that fan-wangst can create. :)

The only thing I can come up with for Shelyn is that she was originally Azlant, and, outside of their space empire waaaaaayyyyy "over there," they suddenly became a lot less important, it seems.

And I'm not saying they have to vanish entirely. But I'm suggesting they simply aren't as important to the people of the station as they were to the people of the planet. Hence, not so much Core anymore.

---------

As far as teleport spells negating a portion of the setting... meh? It never did until someone (after-the-fact) introduced a thing that suggested that it did.

If you mean in Starfinder... frankly, I'm not sure that's the case. I don't know enough about the setting to talk, but certainly it doesn't seem like the setting is broken because a few insanely powerful entities that can override reality can move really fast to a few places a few times per (relative) day*.

* I'm presuming that Starfinder chose a slightly different terminology than "uses per day" as people wouldn't necessarily be on a planet with a day/night cycle - but I honestly don't know, and don't have a good way of naming it that wouldn't rile up some especially vocal fans, so... I'unno.

Quasi-edit (as I started writing this, but then noticed others had posted, before I finished): Also, Milo and thejeff had good points. :D


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

As far as the distinction between divine and arcane magic goes:

What, in the core rulebook, makes a distinction between arcane and divine magic (as opposed to a distinction between different class spell lists, because we STILL have those).

Mmm. One comes from gods/higher power, and is generally tapped by faith/devotion and requires a holy symbol; and the other comes from the universe around, is generally tapped by will/know-how, and generally requires obscure 'thingies' (technical term).

That's not a perfect thing, but I think that's the 'view' most people think of when discussing the divide. Arcanists don't need gods (or 'divine' nature herself) for their stuff, but divine- uh... 'divine-folks'?... do.

I think the thing is you allow both your caster classes to stack CL with each other, which is where people are getting the loss of "divide" between them.

(For what it's worth, I think you did a cool thing.)


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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

As far as the distinction between divine and arcane magic goes:

What, in the core rulebook, makes a distinction between arcane and divine magic (as opposed to a distinction between different class spell lists, because we STILL have those).

Arcane Spell Failure quickly comes to mind.

Liberty's Edge

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Mashallah wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

As far as the distinction between divine and arcane magic goes:

What, in the core rulebook, makes a distinction between arcane and divine magic (as opposed to a distinction between different class spell lists, because we STILL have those).
Arcane Spell Failure quickly comes to mind.

Except all the classes or other abilities that allow you to ignore it to one degree or another.


JRutterbush wrote:
Mashallah wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

As far as the distinction between divine and arcane magic goes:

What, in the core rulebook, makes a distinction between arcane and divine magic (as opposed to a distinction between different class spell lists, because we STILL have those).
Arcane Spell Failure quickly comes to mind.
Except all the classes or other abilities that allow you to ignore it to one degree or another.

Exceptions don't make a rule.

The general rule outlined in the CRB is "Arcane casters have ASF, Divine don't".

Liberty's Edge

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Mashallah wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Mashallah wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

As far as the distinction between divine and arcane magic goes:

What, in the core rulebook, makes a distinction between arcane and divine magic (as opposed to a distinction between different class spell lists, because we STILL have those).
Arcane Spell Failure quickly comes to mind.
Except all the classes or other abilities that allow you to ignore it to one degree or another.

Exceptions don't make a rule.

The general rule outlined in the CRB is "Arcane casters have ASF, Divine don't".

My point is that that's never really been a hard distinction between the two. The line is already blurry with the Bard getting healing and not having ASF in light armor, and then there was even more crossover with later classes. So the difference between the two hasn't really been a very strong thing even in early Pathfinder.


Gilfalas wrote:
Tacticslion wrote:
I liked space elves and miss that they're not Core. I am not too thrilled by the loss of the three "Core" deities mentioned.

Am I the only one who does not care if something is 'Core' or not? Core only means that those 'things' were voted prom king/queen. It does not mean the rest aren't at the prom and cannot have a good time or make an impact.

Core just means those are top dogs. We don't know by HOW MUCH those top dogs lead the pack.

In the end I think not being 'Core' is not a death knell for the topic at hand, be it a race or a deity or whatever.

^this

I like the new core races, but the old races will as far as it makes sense still be commonplace


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Ventnor wrote:
I find Asmodeus kind of boring myself. "Haha I always win!" gary stu villains aren't interesting.

He gets slightly more interesting if you assume he's just a liar and spin master putting the best face on everything, and isn't always winning at all. "Ha, ha! That's what I meant to do! That was my plan all along! Really! And I didn't make any of that up, either!"


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Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

As far as the distinction between divine and arcane magic goes:

What, in the core rulebook, makes a distinction between arcane and divine magic (as opposed to a distinction between different class spell lists, because we STILL have those).

Others have noted the lack of arcane spell failure with divine (and psychic) magic.

Also, prepared divine casters tend to know all their spells, while prepared arcane casters have to find them and store them in a book/familiar instead. There aren't any prepared casters in Starfinder (yet?), so that difference wouldn't show up.


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Tacticslion wrote:
John, I could be wrong (and my apologies, if so; please correct me, if I'm wrong, here!), but your framing makes it feel like you're either trying to argue me into liking elements of the setting that I'd prefer to be different; or you're trying to suggest that my personal methods of dealing with it are... off, somehow.

Not at all. I was just offering my opinions and the reasoning I use as to why I don't share the same opinion as you.

Milo v3 wrote:
Funnily enough, that's so far my biggest issue with Starfinder. I was hoping for Science Fantasy, not Sci-Fi (with some fantasy).

It's pretty much impossible for them to get a game where the science and fantasy elements are exactly balanced off each other and are represented equally. Because it's very subjective as to what people will latch onto and emphasise. Although I do think it's clear they did err on the side of sci-fi over fantasy, at least for the core rulebook.

Milo v3 wrote:
the more they diminish the fantasy element, the less point there is for Starfinder to exist.

Had they erred on the side of emphasising

Milo v3 wrote:
Except in GMG it specifically acknowledges that it can be used for space travel.

*shrug* I don't really remember every single thing I've read in every single book for a game. For me, travelling through space should be more difficult than a wizard casting a single spell. In Iron Gods

Spoiler:
Divinity was miraculous not just because it could teleport an entire ship, but because it could teleport interstellar distances. At least IMO

I acknowledge that for Pathfinder, if you exclude setting specific books (based on what others have posted it seemed Distant Worlds errata'd the GMG), then yes they intended Greater Teleport to work for anywhere in the universe. For me, I'd rather not have Greater Teleport be that powerful at my table. I admit it's a personal preference thing.


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The reason I brought up Divinity and Interplanetary Teleport was to point out that interstellar travel was possible long before Starfinder, if difficult. It's showing that it's possible, and since it is possible, I'll be very disappointed if Drift drives are the only method shown of interstellar travel. Nothing more.

Personally, I always assumed greater teleport was restricted to planetary distances, especially since the succubi in the Moonscar module had to fly for something like 2 years to get to Golarion from the moon. Interplanetary teleport, though? As a 9th level spell, and requiring knowledge of where you're going, it seems perfectly fine to allow interstellar travel (if not necessarily intergalactic travel).

I just want options, not only the one that sticks in my craw sideways.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
For me, I'd rather not have Greater Teleport be that powerful at my table. I admit it's a personal preference thing.

Funnily enough, iirc the section of the GMG it's from is the part on making your own settings and is saying something like "Hey, this spell can do space travel do you want to acknowledge that in your setting, do you want to change that because you don't think that fits with your world, or you could simply ignore it?"

Silver Crusade

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

Actually it's asking if you want to allow it, not change it.

Game Mastery Guide wrote:
Teleportation spells are important to consider when establishing extraplanetary locations. Can a wizard simply cast greater teleport or wish, or is more required to reach the stars? Be warned that easy access to the galaxy brings a host of concerns—such as why, if interplanetary travel is easy, aliens aren’t thronging your base world.

Also Distant Worlds didn't say Greater Teleport couldn't be used for space travel, just that it was difficult.


Tacticslion wrote:
John, I could be wrong (and my apologies, if so; please correct me, if I'm wrong, here!), but your framing makes it feel like you're either trying to argue me into liking elements of the setting that I'd prefer to be different; or you're trying to suggest that my personal methods of dealing with it are... off, somehow.
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Not at all. I was just offering my opinions and the reasoning I use as to why I don't share the same opinion as you.

Super fair! As noted, it was probably an illusion based on my reading of your framing, and my apologies for it! :)

Scarab Sages Developer, Starfinder Team

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Distant Scholar wrote:
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

As far as the distinction between divine and arcane magic goes:

What, in the core rulebook, makes a distinction between arcane and divine magic (as opposed to a distinction between different class spell lists, because we STILL have those).

Others have noted the lack of arcane spell failure with divine (and psychic) magic.

Also, prepared divine casters tend to know all their spells, while prepared arcane casters have to find them and store them in a book/familiar instead. There aren't any prepared casters in Starfinder (yet?), so that difference wouldn't show up.

There's also no somatic components in Starfinder, so ASF wouldn't show up either. :)


Wait, no material or somatic components?

So is silence the king of shutting down Spellcasters or are verbal components out too? Spell casting as just a thought construct?


All components are gone.


AND the AoO is triggered AFTER casting

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