3-rd party publishers that publish outside work.


Third-Party Starfinder Products


I've been sending out emails and trying to contact some third party publishers about a RPG book I've written. I was wondering if anyone knew which publishers are looking for outside work additionally I would need an editor and a illustrator (tentative on illustrator).
from what I understand most publisher prefer to use their own editors anyways to make it the format they are comfortable with?


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If your book is content complete, and just needs the publishers' stuff, you may be able to interest Zenith Games, following the guidelines here.


Thanks I talked to them a little bit. I was a bit late for their open call.


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Consider using Kindle Direct Publishing via Amazon. Unless you have to have hardcover, they can handle most options you might be looking for.


Kuma wrote:
Consider using Kindle Direct Publishing via Amazon. Unless you have to have hardcover, they can handle most options you might be looking for.

Oh cool thanks for that. First I've heard of it. I guess I need to read up on how it works and also check out Paizo's copyright stuff in depth.


For Starfinder? The #1 thing to read up on is the Open Gaming License, and probably the Starfinder Compatibility License as well.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Kuma wrote:
Consider using Kindle Direct Publishing via Amazon. Unless you have to have hardcover, they can handle most options you might be looking for.
Oh cool thanks for that. First I've heard of it. I guess I need to read up on how it works and also check out Paizo's copyright stuff in depth.

Sure, man. And they do print on demand, so you don't have to sink a bunch of money into ordering and shipping your own stock.


There's also the publishing stuff from OBS (DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, etc.), which might be significantly more visible if you want to sell to the Starfinder audience. I think it'd do better than Amazon, at least.


GM Rednal wrote:
There's also the publishing stuff from OBS (DriveThruRPG, RPGNow, etc.), which might be significantly more visible if you want to sell to the Starfinder audience. I think it'd do better than Amazon, at least.

For sure you'd want to link your product to more places than Amazon but I don't think OBS does p-o-d. That's a big hurdle.


Actually, they do. ^^ It's mentioned in their FAQ, as well as on the homepage (down at the bottom).


Kuma wrote:
For sure you'd want to link your product to more places than Amazon but I don't think OBS does p-o-d. That's a big hurdle.

OBS definitely does Print-on-Demand, soft cover, hard cover, premium to lower grade paper, and they have a printer in the US and a printer in the UK, so shipping costs to Europe for N. American publishers are far more reasonable.


Very interesting. I will look into all of that.


Ah, I stand corrected and will take a second look at them myself.


They also do limited poster printing for maps, and they do card printing as well, not just books.


It's POD that makes or breaks it for me. I can't be wasting time and money ordering a bunch of books and then trying to ship them myself.

It's a little annoying that they want a 5% fee just for the privilege of selling my pdf elsewhere, though.


anyone know much about drive thru rpgs. I know they sell just the PDF's Say I did the editing and got it viable in PDF form what does it take for them to basically I guess be the middle man?


So I'm reading the starfinder compatibility for their license

"In order to make use of the compatible content, your product must operate under and rely on the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. Standalone game systems are in no event authorized hereunder."

So Am I right in my reading assuming that for that license the product must essentially function fully under the star-finder rules without exceptions. So for example my game would have to follow each and every rule in the star finder book in order to meet the compatibility. say I wanted to use a different rule set for items. then I wouldn't qualify for the compatibility license?


Kuma wrote:

It's POD that makes or breaks it for me. I can't be wasting time and money ordering a bunch of books and then trying to ship them myself.

It's a little annoying that they want a 5% fee just for the privilege of selling my pdf elsewhere, though.

Which is why I won't let them be my only distritubor of products, though I will say, that I sell in the Paizo Store too, but don't get nearly the same level of purchases as I get at DTRPG.


Vidmaster7 wrote:

So I'm reading the starfinder compatibility for their license

"In order to make use of the compatible content, your product must operate under and rely on the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. Standalone game systems are in no event authorized hereunder."

So Am I right in my reading assuming that for that license the product must essentially function fully under the star-finder rules without exceptions. So for example my game would have to follow each and every rule in the star finder book in order to meet the compatibility. say I wanted to use a different rule set for items. then I wouldn't qualify for the compatibility license?

You know how Pathfinder is basically 3.5 that's been tweaked? That's what they mean by a standalone game system. You can absolutely print alternate sub-systems as long as they aren't stand-alone content.


I'm trying to understand this but I think im a little fuzzy. could I get an example of a stand alone versus a non-stand alone maybe?


A stand-alone game system is basically a new core rulebook. Pathfinder is a standalone game system, as are 3.5, Starfinder, Apocalypse World, Dungeon World, Numenera, 5e, etc. The advanced player's guide, Ultimate line of books, assorted setting supplements, players companions, as well as all published 3pp material are not stand alone systems; they're Pathfinder supplements, because they require the pathfinder core rulebook to function.

To give an example: if you published a supplement which contained basically everything in starfinder, but it still worked according to the pathfinder core ruleset (so 9th spell-level casting, no item levels, etc); you could publish it as pathfinder-compatible under the pathfinder compatibility license and pathfinder OGL---you could even include optional subsystems which implement things like item levels and it'd be ok (basically imagine a 3pp version of unchained), although if you pushed it too far Paizo might tell you to stop publishing it or make certain revisions before you were allowed to publish it.

You could also release something called 'My starfinder universe setting,' a starfinder compatible product which could be as extensive as you want it to be, and as long as it's intended to work within the starfinder rules (written to include starfinder races/classes/vehicles/environmental stuff, etc) it's not a standalone system.

If you published a book called StarSearcher which used its own core ruleset, you'd be in violation of the compatibility license and OGL, because that would be its own separate product and not a product written for compatibility with starfinder. You could still publish StarSearcher (ideally with a name which is less closely linked to starfinder), but it couldn't make use of the Starfinder ruleset, and you couldn't publish it as compatible with Starfinder; you'd need to publish it as a d20/d20 modern system (since the d20 OGL lets you), or your own system (in which case make sure you get your lawyers to draft a game license/OGL).


Hmm that leaves me with quite the quandary. So my system is basically the starfinder rules with really one exception. (Items working differently) but the setting is modern/super hero type world with its own history. I made it with the ideal that the super power rules could be used with starfinder (originally it was pathfinder but the new rules worked so much better for it) if you wanted a more guardian of the galaxy type game or you could play it with just itself or cross over like have a superhero with your starfinder group.


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Different Setting: Not a problem. Plenty of third-party publishers have their "home" settings they make content for. As an example, Frog God Games has the Lost Lands. This is literally never a problem for publishing content - it's not a different game, it's just a different place the game is happening in.

Items Working Differently: Not a problem. That's just a variant rule for the existing system. Nobody's even going to blink twice at it.

From what I've heard, you're good to go.


Yeah, I'm working on my own third party setting for Starfinder - which has nothing to do with Golarion, the Gap, or the Pact Worlds (as third party, I'm not allowed to use Paizo IP). I've been updating my published Kaidan setting of Japanese Horror (PFRPG) which I published as an imprint under Rite Publishing. There will be new themes, classes, archetypes, magic, spells, equipment, magic items, starships, races and monsters. Nine planets will be detailed with maps, globe view, list of major sites, etc.

I've already gotten the compatibility logo approved for use, and I've already released 4 products: Rude Awakening (a free one-shot module), Dead in Space (a book as a series of one-shot space horror modules), Starships, Stations and Salvage Guide (a rules supplement for starship and station options), and Ultimate Vehicle (a rules supplement for createing custom vehicles for Starfinder).

I'm creating content that I feel is missing in the Core rules with my rules supplements.


That's awesome to hear. so In that situation would I put the standard star finder rules into my book. not like each individual feat class and item but mostly the combat section and the how to or would you think it would be better just to reference them in the SF core?


You needn't and shouldn't reprint the actual rules from the core, just title your section as Feats (or whatever), and present your content with mechanics and description in appropriate stat block, with a table. If it's a combat feat, list them that way.

If you add a new combat feature (?), just state where, when, how it's used and the mechanics appropriate for it. You don't need to reprint the combat rules, though you can mention a reference to a subject found in the core (don't use page numbers, as that could change with new printings).


In two products I developed for my Kaidan setting of Japanese horror by Jonathan McAnulty as author/designer - Way of the Samurai (PFRPG) and Way of the Yakuza, I wanted rules to create custom samurai clans and yakuza gangs based on the Pathfinder city stat block, so I directed Jonathan to go that route, and he did all the design. It's designed as a subsystem to work with the Core rules. It was simply a chapter in my guide titled Custom Samurai Clan Creation Rules - and the rules were presented, along with many tables, and a stat block was created (based on the Pathfinder city stat block). Since that's not the way Pathfinder creates a faction as it's closest comparison, it's a subsystem.

Just present your rules, don't reprint actual Core rules.

Here's a look at my subsystem on d20pfsrd...

Creating a Samurai Clan


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@Vidmaster7: In most cases, it's better to simply add your new rules and assume players have access to the combat rules found in the CRB. You might start the section with something like "Use the rules found in the Starfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, with the changes described below".

Under the OGL, you can reprint the combat rules, but you shouldn't unless you need to. That would significantly pad out the page count, and most people don't enjoy buying repeated content that way.

(The exception to this would be if you did a major reworking of the rules and many small parts were changed. In that case, rather than listing the changes individually, it would be easier to present it in a comprehensive form.)


Well thank you guys. You've all be a big help. I'm going to start looking into self-publishing more since most of the publishers I've contacted haven't really got back to me with a few exceptions. I am either going to learn how to do editing myself or try and find one most likely the first option, and continue to check out publishing options. Kick starter is on my list too.

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