>>Ask *Joe Pasini* Anything!<<


Off-Topic Discussions

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Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Lord Fyre wrote:

In other news ...

Would Starfinder benefit from a Game Mastery Guide?

Absolutely—in fact, I think it benefits from any solid guide for game masters.

The Pathfinder First Edition Game Mastery Guide was the first Paizo product I ever picked up (for a game I was running in a different system), and I'm really liking what I'm seeing go into the Second Edition book.
(Watch Leo and Logan talk about it here!)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Joe Pasini wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:

The way equipment (especially armor) is carefully stat-ed out for each level results in an equipment list that is needlessly long and essentially redundant.

I would have the armor and weapon tiers go up less frequently.

Ascalaphus wrote:
Joe Pasini wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
(Disclosure: I HATE the way equipment (particularly Armor and Weapons) is handled in Starfinder.)
Genuinely curious: Why? And what would you change?

I'm not entirely fond of it myself, although I've come around to it a bit. I have a couple of gripes:

[thoughtful list of concerns]
Thank you both for your feedback! I'd love to take some time and discuss your points further; hopefully things'll calm down enough here in a month or two that I'll be able to do that.

Actually, Ascalaphus proposed a good approach that would avoid rebuilding the game.

Ascalaphus wrote:
* You have to somehow know when you should be upgrading gear. This is not skill that you just automatically get. This is a bit easier with armor, it seems that you do alright if you pick a particular flavor of armor (say, lashunta tempweave) and keep upgrading to the next mark when it becomes affordable and available (level). This tends to keep pace nicely with rising Dex and max Dex on armor.

Developing gear as chains that kind of guide a player when to upgrade would be a good way forward. (It also helps with my "look" issue. Minor costume changes between season or story arcs are not that uncommon.)

Paizo Employee Developer

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What's one science fiction/science fantasy sub-genre or trope you think "Boy, I wish Starfinder could handle this better than it does right now"?

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Ron Lundeen wrote:
What's one science fiction/science fantasy sub-genre or trope you think "Boy, I wish Starfinder could handle this better than it does right now"?

Open-ended, planet-of-the-week, scrappy-starship-crew-takes-on-the-galaxy adventures!

(Which is a big part of why I created the Deck of Many Worlds. ...And I've now made this seem like a planted question. Oh well!)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Joe Pasini wrote:
Ron Lundeen wrote:
What's one science fiction/science fantasy sub-genre or trope you think "Boy, I wish Starfinder could handle this better than it does right now"?

Open-ended, planet-of-the-week, scrappy-starship-crew-takes-on-the-galaxy adventures!

(Which is a big part of why I created the Deck of Many Worlds. ...And I've now made this seem like a planted question. Oh well!)

Do you mean?

(... but Modiphius already has that licence.)

Sovereign Court

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Joe Pasini wrote:
Ron Lundeen wrote:
What's one science fiction/science fantasy sub-genre or trope you think "Boy, I wish Starfinder could handle this better than it does right now"?

Open-ended, planet-of-the-week, scrappy-starship-crew-takes-on-the-galaxy adventures!

(Which is a big part of why I created the Deck of Many Worlds. ...And I've now made this seem like a planted question. Oh well!)

On that note, I think it would be exciting to see APs play up the freedom and field-adaptability that UPB crafting and your own ship design can give you.

When I first laid hands on Starfinder and discovered how much easier crafting was compared to Pathfinder, I assumed that a typical mission might be like "so, we landed on this planet, and it seems the local fauna is immune to X and vulnerable to Y, so before we go into the main area, let's fab some appropriate weapons".


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
How do I deal with the growing sense of FOMO I've been getting when I find out the updates to the canon that come from SFS play in later published stuff or updates to the Starfinder Wiki, and the increasing resentment that builds because I don't have time for Organized Play?
Kishmo wrote:

I nearly did a spit take reading this, because I feel this so hard.

If it helps at all, I've found luck playing online, in small chunks, breaking up scenarios over multiple sessions. I've got a small-but-stable group of players that I GM for, who play for 2ish hrs a week. It means that we need two to three sessions = two to three weeks to get through a single scenario, but it means that I am at least not getting behind on what's happening in the Society. The Org Play rules do state that you can't play another adventure with a character while it's still "playing through" a scenario broken into multiple sessions, but otherwise it's totally compatible with the greater Org Play world.

(If you're free 8pm to 10-ish pm EST on Tuesdays, and can join a Discord/roll20 game, we've got room in the group! If the internet bit causes hesitation, don't worry - it's pretty straight forwards once you've done it a couple times. We're about to start season 2 stuff, with Pact World Warriors, and I intend to run Four for the First after that. PM me if interested :D)

Joe Pasini wrote:
Handling FOMO is something I know very little about. If you figure it out, let me know!

FOMO is real, but you can overcome it!

(This is a SciShow Psych video, for the record.)

Silver Crusade

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

Question for you, Joe!

If my Starfinder players ever encounter Zo!, should I attempt my best Tim Curry impersonation, or my greatest Vincent Price impression when portraying him? Both actors seem to have the right blend of flamboyance, menace, sleaze and impressive mustaches...it's so hard to choose!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:

Question for you, Joe!

If my Starfinder players ever encounter Zo!, should I attempt my best Tim Curry impersonation, or my greatest Vincent Price impression when portraying him? Both actors seem to have the right blend of flamboyance, menace, sleaze and impressive mustaches...it's so hard to choose!

Jason Keeley does an excellent Zo!—I'd follow his lead (you can listen here). An Rocky Horror–level Tim Curry is definitely an excellent choice too!


What is one thing you've wanted to put into SF, but haven't been able to (or haven't been willing to), yet? Why (if you can comment on it)?

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Tacticslion wrote:
What is one thing you've wanted to put into SF, but haven't been able to (or haven't been willing to), yet? Why (if you can comment on it)?

Well, there's [redacted] and [redacted], but most of all, I want to see [redacted]! Hopefully one day...

Oh, and reasonable prices for medicinals. (But watch the skies; we have a plan...)

Otherwise, I've been lucky to work with folks that come up with fun and interesting ideas and find a way to make them happen. The only real limitations have been our team size and the inexorable march of time—it takes a surprising number of person-hours to make these things happen!


I am surprised at the number of person-hours it takes to make these things happen!

Also, [redacted] and [redacted], sound amazing, but I totally agree that [redacted] is top tier!

And huzzah for medicinal pricing!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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How do you like equipping humanoid NPC that are less then CR1? The information on Alien Archives pp 137-141 is not clear.

Do you treat the NPC as CR1, or do you have some different formula?

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Lord Fyre wrote:

How do you like equipping humanoid NPC that are less then CR1? The information on Alien Archives pp 137-141 is not clear.

Do you treat the NPC as CR1, or do you have some different formula?

I just follow the guideline in the Gear section on page 137:

Alien Archive wrote:
Gear has a minimum level of 1 and a maximum level of 20. For example, if a creature’s CR is 1/2 or if the creature’s CR is 1 and the graft suggests an item of “CR – 1,” you would give it level 1 gear."

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Joe Pasini wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:

How do you like equipping humanoid NPC that are less then CR1? The information on Alien Archives pp 137-141 is not clear.

Do you treat the NPC as CR1, or do you have some different formula?

I just follow the guideline in the Gear section on page 137:

Alien Archive wrote:
Gear has a minimum level of 1 and a maximum level of 20. For example, if a creature’s CR is 1/2 or if the creature’s CR is 1 and the graft suggests an item of “CR – 1,” you would give it level 1 gear."

You know, it helps if I actually read the rules from time to time. :(

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Lord Fyre wrote:


You know, it helps if I actually read the rules from time to time. :(

Me, every workday.

Sovereign Court

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Does forced movement provoke AoOs in Starfinder?

Shadow Lodge

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Does the Skyfire Legion have any official color scheme for their uniforms/banners/insignias?

Thanks in advance!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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CanisDirus wrote:

Does the Skyfire Legion have any official color scheme for their uniforms/banners/insignias?

Thanks in advance!

I've polled the team, and it sounds like brass and red are the go-to color scheme!


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I like that “brass” is a color scheme. :D
Makes me happy.

Shadow Lodge

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Joe Pasini wrote:
CanisDirus wrote:

Does the Skyfire Legion have any official color scheme for their uniforms/banners/insignias?

Thanks in advance!

I've polled the team, and it sounds like brass and red are the go-to color scheme!

Awesome! Thank you! I'm going to be painting at least one mini for a Skyfire Centurion character, and I wanted to see about finding the right colors! Thank you tons!

Also - not a question, but I wanted to thank you for devising the Deck of Many Worlds. The idea behind that is amazing, and seeing the preview images catapulted it to the top of my wishlist!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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CanisDirus wrote:
Also - not a question, but I wanted to thank you for devising the Deck of Many Worlds. The idea behind that is amazing, and seeing the preview images catapulted it to the top of my wishlist!

Say, thanks—I hope you get your wish and share some of the worlds you create with me!

Relatedly, Jason Keeley and I had a blast on the Twitch stream last week making a few worlds (with chat voting on which cards we used)—YouTube video just went up.

Shadow Lodge

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Joe Pasini wrote:
CanisDirus wrote:
Also - not a question, but I wanted to thank you for devising the Deck of Many Worlds. The idea behind that is amazing, and seeing the preview images catapulted it to the top of my wishlist!

Say, thanks—I hope you get your wish and share some of the worlds you create with me!

Relatedly, Jason Keeley and I had a blast on the Twitch stream last week making a few worlds (with chat voting on which cards we used)—YouTube video just went up.

I am only 13 minutes into the video (water world + intergalactic race) and I can already see how you can get billions of combinations. The attribute bar, alone, that you and Jason pulled already gave me at least 3 different ideas on how to write a story for a high-tech, high-religion, low-accord world!

Yep, I now officially love this twice as much as I did before (which was already a lot)! Bravo!

...Now I need to devise a way to convince Thurston to let GMs use this in SFS somehow, too!

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

SFS already has one repeatable scenario (1-12, Ashes of Discovery) that lets us create a world and a culture for our players. I could see us developing another repeatable based on that idea. I think it might work best if we could do one that uses both sides of a large flip mat, and allows GMs to pick and drop the monsters like the PF1 scenarios Tome of Righteous Repose and Beyond the Halflight Path did.

Being able to be unpredictable about monster placement is part of what makes a scenario really repeatable, but it would be cool to have an element that could use some of the ideas from the Deck of Many Worlds.

BTW, happy holidays to you and the rest of the team, Joe!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Hmm wrote:
BTW, happy holidays to you and the rest of the team, Joe!

Thanks! Same to you =)

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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The more I have looked at other systems, the more I am liking ... Starfinder.

Have you had a similar experience?


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

Do you have any backwards bat s!$+ crazy town you have to visit family in during the holidays.

We live in the Midwest, so it's a given for us.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Am I helping?

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Lord Fyre wrote:

The more I have looked at other systems, the more I am liking ... Starfinder.

Have you had a similar experience?

I find that my appreciation for Starfinder grows in proportion to my appreciation for other games =)

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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captain yesterday wrote:

Do you have any backwards bat s@%+ crazy town you have to visit family in during the holidays.

We live in the Midwest, so it's a given for us.

Nope—no required visits for me! Funnily, (part of) my hometown was just featured on Atlas Obscura.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Lead Designer

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Lord Fyre wrote:
Am I helping?

Someone, somewhere, sometime—and that's all anyone can do!

Sovereign Court

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Ascalaphus wrote:
Does forced movement provoke AoOs in Starfinder?

Not to be nagging, but..

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