Do they eventually plan on releasing Starfinder Campaign Setting & Player Companion books?


General Discussion


So if there's been an official statement on this I haven't been able to find it.

Basic question is if Paizo has any plans on scaling up production to include equivalent's to the monthly/semi-monthly releases of Pathfinder's Player Companion & Campaign Setting product lines?

Is this something the player base even wants?


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Not me, certainly. I like having fewer, more substantial books.


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FormerFiend wrote:

So if there's been an official statement on this I haven't been able to find it.

Basic question is if Paizo has any plans on scaling up production to include equivalent's to the monthly/semi-monthly releases of Pathfinder's Player Companion & Campaign Setting product lines?

Is this something the player base even wants?

I don’t want any Player Companions. Can’t get enough campaign setting books and modules though.

I’m hoping the dropoff in PF2 next year and the recent expansion of the Starfinder staff (appointing Amanda) will lead to more SF books.


Starfinder Superscriber

I'm really hoping they go to 4 rulebooks a year (2 Crunch + 1 Setting +1 AA) in 2019 instead of just 3, but otherwise (especially after making the AP's monthly later this year), I think I'm satisfied. If they started with another line of source material I'd probably have to drop my accessories and/or map sub to afford it.


It seems to me like they are throwing in some of that content in the AP books.


Remember, now that in SF lore is core, you don't really have to have player companions be a separate thing. That was all the original player companions were, just lore supplements to the setting-neutral system rules.


Dark Midian wrote:
Remember, now that in SF lore is core, you don't really have to have player companions be a separate thing. That was all the original player companions were, just lore supplements to the setting-neutral system rules.

That is one aspect of it, to be sure, but another facet of them was to give a more detailed, indepth look at aspects of the setting that may otherwise be too obscure to fit into a hardcover book that needs to cover a more broad range of topics.

If they were to implement them that's what I'd be more interested in seeing; books that covered the view on the ground of specific cities, countries - or likely more commonly in SF, specific planets/moons that might be relegated to a single paragraph in something like Pact Worlds - for the player perspective.

Or books like the "Blood of" or Races of Golarion series' where you can cover more depth about a race that would get a page or two in an alien archive, maybe cover a few subraces that would take up too much space in said alien archive.


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Dark Midian wrote:
Remember, now that in SF lore is core, you don't really have to have player companions be a separate thing. That was all the original player companions were, just lore supplements to the setting-neutral system rules.

I view the distinction between campaign sourcebooks and Player Companions as being DM-focussed vs Player-focussed. To my tastes, the lore component of the Player Companions is too diluted by mechanical gizmos.

I’m always going to want more campaign setting books than Paizo can produce. If they start filling them up with player options though, my interest will definitely wane. Pact Worlds had more mechanics than I’d have liked, though I was glad they quarantined most into their own chapters (my only complaint is that I wish the themes had gone there too).


The slow but big release schedule bothered me a little at first, but since I've gotten my hands on Pact worlds, I'm fully on board.

I think Pact Worlds hit a good ratio of story information and character options. Hopefully this remains true.


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Player Compainons were crap. Most of them were TOO SITUATIONAL. Most of the player options were very subpar and not at all worth printing. It became a quanity over quality to me. I have several player companions that I wish I didn’t buy.

Campaign Settings are meh to me. If they don’t have player options then I have no interest in them. NOW I do understand the purpose of the Campaign Settings. But as a player they mean little to me, especially if they have no options for players. I only GM in society. And that is rare.

Right now I am happy with the Core Rulebooks that have been release and soon to come. I want Paizo to put quality things out and don’t need new things every month. I want a chance to use some things before the next new thing comes out and try an stay on top of it.

Now I want it where if I wish to stick with the power curve I HAVE TO buy the next book. I felt that I had to do that with Pathfinder. If I didn’t have the newest book then I was already behind the power curve.

I haven’t read all of Pact Worlds, as I usually don’t care for that stuff, I just want the stuff roll dice and kill things, but Starfinder is different as I LOVE THIS setting. So I can’t wait to finish reading this book, I want Starfinder to stay this way, keep things new interesting.

Scarab Sages Starfinder Design Lead

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We certainly haven't made an announcement about the idea of smaller monthly books for Starfinder, other than to note there's no immediate plan.
We're still open to feedback, in both the form of forum posts and tangible things like sales and how our schedule survives the inevitable hiccups that are part of any project now that we have gone to monthly Adventure Paths. We're not trying to force any pre-determined plan into reality, but instead trying to see what actually makes sense, and carefully mold plans to fit the facts on the ground.


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Supplement glut is a plague on the gaming industry. Mind you, it is, to some extent, inevitable if a game continues to be published for a long time, but larger, sturdier, and more comprehensive installments is the way to go.

Starfinder APs are already serving as the "monthly small bonus content" for Starfinder, but they largely work because they detail things that are generally directly used in the AP itself. Mind you, I don't really like them, because I have little interest in buying a $23 module that I'm never going to run because I want some gear or race stats, but I can't deny that it is an effective marketing tool.


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Dracomicron wrote:

Supplement glut is a plague on the gaming industry. Mind you, it is, to some extent, inevitable if a game continues to be published for a long time, but larger, sturdier, and more comprehensive installments is the way to go.

Starfinder APs are already serving as the "monthly small bonus content" for Starfinder, but they largely work because they detail things that are generally directly used in the AP itself. Mind you, I don't really like them, because I have little interest in buying a $23 module that I'm never going to run because I want some gear or race stats, but I can't deny that it is an effective marketing tool.

I largely agree. I am not a fan of paying for the Adventure Path and not really having a chance to run it.

I think what would be a really good idea, is after all parts of an Adventure Path have been release, then create a new book with everything found in the Adventure Path books but without the actual adventure path. So have all of the player options, equipment, alien archives, planet information, any other information that is in the Adventure Path books. Put this all in one book for people who want the information but not the Adventure Path. Then you don't have to add this into another book, like Alien Archives. Everyone has access to it but to the part they want.


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Micheal Smith wrote:


I think what would be a really good idea, is after all parts of an Adventure Path have been release, then create a new book with everything found in the Adventure Path books but without the actual adventure path. So have all of the player options, equipment, alien archives, planet information, any other information that is in the Adventure Path books. Put this all in one book for people who want the information but not the Adventure Path. Then you don't have to add this into another book, like Alien Archives. Everyone has access to it but to the part they want.

Oooh, AP Crunch books!

I would totally buy the "Dead Suns: The Crunchbook" with the extra race stats, the mystic connection, the necrografts... yeah, that would be awesome for players who don't intend to ever run the adventure but want to use their Elebrian boon or whatnot. Since it's all pre-published content, it would not be that expensive to make; you could practically release it alongside the AP's pawn collection.


Micheal Smith wrote:

I largely agree. I am not a fan of paying for the Adventure Path and not really having a chance to run it.

I think what would be a really good idea, is after all parts of an Adventure Path have been release, then create a new book with everything found in the Adventure Path books but without the actual adventure path.

From a production standpoint (on an already more spread out schedule than the core PF line), this will only slow production down even more. This isn't something you can copy and paste, unless you're willing to sacrifice on Paizo's usual standard of quality. It still needs to see layout, design, and possibly art (if new is used, rather than repeating art from the AP). It sounds like an easy and quick cut and paste. It very much is not.

Price point on such a small book (the cost between finding any profit for the layout, design, and proofing work needed to be done) on what would inevitably be a microproduct gets even more difficult to figure out. That's assuming the product goes with the idea of publishing after each AP is completed, so you're looking at a very small page count for each index type product.

None of this begins to address the creative tax as well. Staff needing to work on what is effectively the same product twice isn't exactly the best expenditure of creative resources.

Looking to an SRD source is a better option here. Hopefully Starfinder will get one, in particular as some non-Paizo ones are having some issues at the moment.


Dread Moores wrote:


From a production standpoint (on an already more spread out schedule than the core PF line), this will only slow production down even more. This isn't something you can copy and paste, unless you're willing to sacrifice on Paizo's usual standard of quality. It still needs to see layout, design, and possibly art (if new is used, rather than repeating art from the AP). It sounds like an easy and quick cut and paste. It very much is not.

Price point on such a small book (the cost between finding any profit for the layout, design, and proofing work needed to be done) on what would inevitably be a microproduct gets even more difficult to figure out. That's assuming the product goes with the idea of publishing after each AP is completed, so you're looking at a very small page count for each index type product.

None of this begins to address the creative tax as well. Staff needing to work on what is effectively the same product twice isn't exactly the best expenditure of creative resources.

Looking to an SRD source is a better option here. Hopefully Starfinder will get one, in particular as some non-Paizo ones are having some issues at the moment.

As I don't have any of the APs, what is the page count of the crunch sections for each one? It feels like all of them for one AP together would possibly add up to one of those thin "The Corgi Slayer's Handbook"-style folios I see at the used bookstore all the time. Are those some drastic difficulty to make?

(for reference, it is a corgi who is a slayer, not a slayer of corgis).

And if Paizo used the opportunity to fill out the remainder by providing a little more content related to the AP, just to tempt people who had bought all of the AP books as they were released, then I wouldn't be opposed to that.

For sure, getting a good SRD would be wonderful, too, but money is money.


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Dracomicron wrote:
As I don't have any of the APs, what is the page count of the crunch sections for each one? It feels like all of them for one AP together would possibly add up to one of those thin "The Corgi Slayer's Handbook"-style folios I see at the used bookstore all the time. Are those some drastic difficulty to make?

I can't say they're particularly difficult to make (anymore than any quality RPG product is X value of difficult to make). And they may very well decide to do so. Personally, I wouldn't get my hopes up on it. Any game only has a particular amount of slots in its production schedule (and SF clearly isn't the same sort of schedule as PF). So however small these are, and with the recent switch to what looks to be 3 part APs, that means a book every 3 months. And that work/pay/staff needs to come from an already built schedule. (Many RPG production schedules are built a whole lot of months and more frequently years in advance, just because of lead times required for printing/shipping/design). So if the end result is, for example, the next Pact Worlds style book gets cut down in size to accommodate these quarterly books...is that trade off worth it? To you? To Paizo? No clue. That doesn't even start to figure out pricing. Or that any new material you add to increase the book's size is going to require even MORE resources than just a copy/print/summary splatbook. And that pushes the price point up again. And the production schedule.

The RPG industry is one of the weirdest I've ever encountered. Economics students should be doing thesis papers on this stuff. My hats off to the Paizo folks to try and figure all this crap out. :)


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Dread Moores wrote:
Micheal Smith wrote:

I largely agree. I am not a fan of paying for the Adventure Path and not really having a chance to run it.

I think what would be a really good idea, is after all parts of an Adventure Path have been release, then create a new book with everything found in the Adventure Path books but without the actual adventure path.

From a production standpoint (on an already more spread out schedule than the core PF line), this will only slow production down even more. This isn't something you can copy and paste, unless you're willing to sacrifice on Paizo's usual standard of quality. It still needs to see layout, design, and possibly art (if new is used, rather than repeating art from the AP). It sounds like an easy and quick cut and paste. It very much is not.

Price point on such a small book (the cost between finding any profit for the layout, design, and proofing work needed to be done) on what would inevitably be a microproduct gets even more difficult to figure out. That's assuming the product goes with the idea of publishing after each AP is completed, so you're looking at a very small page count for each index type product.

None of this begins to address the creative tax as well. Staff needing to work on what is effectively the same product twice isn't exactly the best expenditure of creative resources.

Looking to an SRD source is a better option here. Hopefully Starfinder will get one, in particular as some non-Paizo ones are having some issues at the moment.

First of all the content IS ALREADY DONE. Not much would need to be done. Maybe some reformatting etc. You can get and easy 25+ page book with all of the content. So it's not that small of a book. So coming for a Society point, one of the boons YOU MUST HAVE THE 1st ADVENTURE PATH to use it. So now you are paying $20 (physical) $15(Digital) to use only 3-4 pages. THAT IS ABSURD. So why not give them all of the extra fluff and aliens archives for nearly same price point. Give them all of the player options. You can get 24 pages just out of the The ruined clouds. You figure each adventure path has 4-8 pages just on Alien Archives. Even at 4 per book in a 6 book AP, you are looking at 24 Pages. HARDLY a small book.

Creative Tax. Are you really bringing this up? Lets shift to Pathfinder on this. Adventures Guide, from the numbers I seen other people post was MORE than 50% reprint. So therefore they are already doing this. I know the ultimate wilderness has several reprints in it as well. So this a weak point.

So the biggest concern I have is I have to pay $15-20 for and AP book to effectively use about 8 pages (don't have the actual count). And to make use of a boon I got. Some of the race boons out there are from the AP. So to play that race I have to pay $15-20 for 2 pages. Where 50% of the book will do nothing for them.

Coming from a business standpoint, this can only help. You are now opening another product line that people clearly want. I have talked to a lot of people who don't like buying AP. Defiantly something to look into an maybe give a test run.


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Also you can work on this book as each book is being designed. The AP are finalized I bet several months in advanced. So plenty of time to through it together. All of the content is there. Change a few pages, if book title is on there change that. Change the chapters and page numbers.


You and I have some different expectations on what design and layout requires, even when it is reprinted material. It's entirely possible that I'm biased from exposure to friends who do that work in the RPG market. I was only trying to offer a bit of limited insight into potential hurdles. Either way, it's not an argument I'm really looking to engage in. :)

I mentioned previously that Paizo may very well do a product like this. Owen noted that they're looking at their options. I'm not sure I'd use Pathfinder products as an example, just because of the differences in scale on the two product lines. But that's simply personal preference there. I'd certainly like to see a product like this. I don't think it's incredibly likely, but I'd still like to see it. I know that I haven't been able to bring myself to get the APs yet for many of the same reasons. So differences aside, we agree on that.

If you're not willing to do $15 for the digital AP, what would you want to see as a price point for a summary book like this? Lower than that, I'm guessing.

Grand Lodge

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Adding my support: I would definitely pay for a collection of "here's all the non-adventure content from that AP!" PDF. I think the crunchy stuff (new races, items, class options, etc) would be best, but if there was additional setting stuff in there (Gazetteers, planet or deity write-ups, etc) all the better. Costed at the same price point as any individual volume of that AP (so like $16 for the PDF) seems fair to me.


I also would like to see a compilation of the AP related materials that come at the back of each. I know I couldn't buy the AP materials because I'm a player in that and wanted to avoid spoilers, but a crunch book would have been fine. Also after playing through the AP I doubt I would go ant buy the AP just for the crunch.


Since the portion that is not the AP scenario is pretty clearly differentiated from the scenario itself, it isn't that hard to just not read the scenario, while still reading the planet, equipment and race writeups.


Brian Adams wrote:
Since the portion that is not the AP scenario is pretty clearly differentiated from the scenario itself, it isn't that hard to just not read the scenario, while still reading the planet, equipment and race writeups.

Sure, but do you really want to spend $23 for a book, 2/3 of which you won't read?


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I for one hope they do campaign setting books. There is a wealth of story and background info to be told in the game setting. Loved the pactworld book so anything more like this is welcome


Dracomicron wrote:
Brian Adams wrote:
Since the portion that is not the AP scenario is pretty clearly differentiated from the scenario itself, it isn't that hard to just not read the scenario, while still reading the planet, equipment and race writeups.
Sure, but do you really want to spend $23 for a book, 2/3 of which you won't read?

34 pages of the 68 page pdf for part 1 are scenario or summary. Another 5 pages are covers, ads and table of contents. That's significantly less than 2/3.


Brian Adams wrote:
Dracomicron wrote:
Brian Adams wrote:
Since the portion that is not the AP scenario is pretty clearly differentiated from the scenario itself, it isn't that hard to just not read the scenario, while still reading the planet, equipment and race writeups.
Sure, but do you really want to spend $23 for a book, 2/3 of which you won't read?
34 pages of the 68 page pdf for part 1 are scenario or summary. Another 5 pages are covers, ads and table of contents. That's significantly less than 2/3.

Okay. I still don't want to spend $23 and not be able to use 7/12 of the book. I would maybe spend $10 for that, if I just got paid.


I'd particularly like to see things that flesh out the huge number of playable races we're getting with new feats, gear, ships, etc. If we exclusively get hardcovers, I don't see how they'd keep up.


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There’s an economic disincentive to regularly producing compilations - namely that some people will opt out of the initial release and wait for the stripped down version. That could ultimately be bad for all of us since it could reduce sales, which could increase per unit/cost which could reduce profit, which could lead to a reduction in allocation of resources, which could lead to less material being produced...

The AP model is essentially a “magazine in book form” and it’s pretty common for a magazine to contain a scattering of articles which will appeal to a variety of customers (I’m in the opposite boat than some of you - I buy it for the adventures primarily. The support articles are far more hit and miss, in my case). It’s a rare magazine reader who likes every column in their chosen periodical.

The downside of the current structure is that we all have to face buying some part of it we don’t want and that whatever pricepoint Paizo set there will be a cohort of customers for whom it is too much. The upside is that by consolidating various forms of material into one book, volume of sales goes up, so cost/unit goes down so the line is more profitable and Paizo can hire more employees to produce more content via this or other, standalone product lines (and hopefully pay the staff more too thus attracting great people and keeping them for longer).

Tweaking that format (and splitting adventures from support articles, for example) would be less risky than regular compilations of backmatter - those who don’t want the adventures will still leave it that loss will be mitigated somewhat by the people who only want adventures.

Having said that, the AP model has been a huge success for Pathfinder (and the shift to monthly releases suggests it’s working for Starfinder too). It’s generally a bad idea to fiddle with your core business if it’s roaring along - the potential gains have to be enormous if you’re risking such a central part of your business’s revenue.

I’d be surprised if they changed the format of Starfinder APs. I could see them expanding the books to 96 pages (reducing the cost/page to the consumer makes the calculus of signing up for some material of less utility more palatable) or introducing new product lines (as per the OP’s query).

The Exchange

I'm actually quite happy with the 2-3 core a year pace we have. It's worlds faster than 5Es and we are getting lovely crunch/fluff mixes with each book! Honestly, if they keep up this pace by next year we'll have a solid core of gear, critters, and AP based setting building. Sure, I really am looking forward to stuff like the Azlanti League book, and more details about stuff outside of the core setting. But I'm sure that's to come.

Also keep in mind the Starfinder team is smaller than the Pathfinder one. 2-3 big core books with a nice steady short form AP seems to be a nice middle ground. I'm liking it!


Truth be told part of why I made this thread is that I while I like Pact Worlds, I found it lacking in a few areas.

For example, Arkanen. A heavily populated moon and one of the few moons in the system to have full member status in the Pact, and we got very little information on it, and half of what we got was just repeated & reworded from other sources. There is as of yet, so far as I'm aware, no artwork for dirindi or sazarons, even though one would think they'd be among the more common races in the Pact Worlds.

And also so far as I'm aware, no Starfinder source has actually named the native race of Nchak as the trox; I had actually forgotten that that was were the trox originated from. The few paragraphs on Nchak refer more to the shirren & haan immigration while glossing over it's natives.

Now, if Paizo was doing monthly releases of setting books I don't think it's unlikely we would have gotten a Campaign Setting book released along side Pact Worlds that could have covered stuff like this. As it stands, maybe we'll see dirindi & sazarons & trox in an Alien Archive, maybe as early as Alien Archive 2 later this year(one of the hints at a playable race from AA2 might refer to the trox, maybe) or otherwise in an Adventure Path release, but that's all a bit of a crap shoot.

One thing I'm pretty sure of is that we won't be getting a Pact Worlds 2 book before the Veskarium book, or the Azlanti book, and maybe not before a Shadari book.

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