New to starfinder / Pathfinder society, little confused


Starfinder Society


So, I only understood paizo -Society scenarios as organized play in a consistent world, but Now that I've started getting my stuff together to make a proper go at joining in I'm seeing a lot of stuff about Boons and something of a lack of local events for my area. I wasn't really sure where to start with the materials on the main site, does anyone have a recommendation on where to begin on joining a Starfinder Society game?

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Boooooog wrote:
So, I only understood paizo -Society scenarios as organized play in a consistent world, but Now that I've started getting my stuff together to make a proper go at joining in I'm seeing a lot of stuff about Boons and something of a lack of local events for my area. I wasn't really sure where to start with the materials on the main site, does anyone have a recommendation on where to begin on joining a Starfinder Society game?

Hello new person

Unofficial guide but it gives you a good big picture on how it works.

The official guide for the nuts and bolts. Don't worry if some of it doesn't make sense, it'll come together when you do it a few times.

Flat rolling surfaces map will tell you where to find organized play. Its not broken up between pathfinder and starfinder though.

If you want to get in a few games online the cosmic crit discord has games going off on most days. Most played on roll 20

How to get over the learning curve of playing online

Boons come in two varieties:

Scenario boons come for playing a scenario. For example if you Save ClickClakClick the Shirrens life in the adventure ClickClaks Catastrophy you might be able to get a 10% discount on force fields from his shop from the chronicle sheet.

Convention boons are their own sheet, and they'll let you do everything from play an otherwise not allowed race to get a custom robot that follows you around hauling stuff.


Alright, this covers the brunt of what I was concerned about. Is it only ever point-buy character constructuon or are you allowed to roll for it?

Silver Crusade 4/5 Venture-Agent, Ohio—Cincinnati

Boooooog wrote:
Alright, this covers the brunt of what I was concerned about. Is it only ever point-buy character constructuon or are you allowed to roll for it?

That is covered in the links above, but we do not use random generation.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Boooooog wrote:
Alright, this covers the brunt of what I was concerned about. Is it only ever point-buy character constructuon or are you allowed to roll for it?

Only point buy. Since you can play your character in new york, california, cyberspace, and australia we don't want someone from new york showing up in australia with the all 18s they rolled "fair and square" unbalancing the table, or people rolling, getting terrible stats, covering themselves in BBQ sauce and running right at the monster. Then making a new character and rolling stats... dip rinse repeat until you have god stats.

The vast majority of the rules make sense if you figure "alright, how is THAT GUY from the group going to abuse this if we don't do X..." and then remember that there's 50,000 geeks to have a "that guy" from.


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That makes sense. Thanks much!


That explains not allowing players to roll for stats.

Not allowing ability quick picks seems absolutely arbitrary. Really gears society play into a meta of choosing a race with attributes that line up with the class, so you never see those Shirren Envoys (ambassadors, medics) or Engineers (technicians) that the books talk about being common on starship crews.

Wayfinders 5/5

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Axtin is a happy Shirren Envoy.

3/5

Pathfinder Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Sven Vincent wrote:

That explains not allowing players to roll for stats.

Not allowing ability quick picks seems absolutely arbitrary. Really gears society play into a meta of choosing a race with attributes that line up with the class, so you never see those Shirren Envoys (ambassadors, medics) or Engineers (technicians) that the books talk about being common on starship crews.

It's arbitrary in the sense only that they don't tend to allow optional rule variations, which is what the quick picks are listed under. This way, everyone's characters are created under exactly the same ability score generation. Simpler for everyone.


I've seen plenty of "cross type" characters. The point buy system basically just means that you get the character you want, and you have to make some tough decisions sometimes.


Ability Quick picks are simple for everyone, you just choose 1 of the 3 arrays and ignore Ability bonuses from race and theme. This is even simpler than point buy. Ability Quick Picks mean you can have any race and class combination with at least +6 total modifiers to your important attributes. You can make the character you want and it is virtually impossible to make a bad character using the Quick Picks unless you are trying to do so as a joke.

Yes, you can also make any class/race combination with Point Buy. If you are happy in a 7-person game where you fail every single role and are superfluous to the few group members that have even basic optimization.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

Sven Vincent wrote:


Yes, you can also make any class/race combination with Point Buy. If you are happy in a 7-person game where you fail every single role and are superfluous to the few group members that have even basic optimization.

My Ysoki operative started with an 18 strength and she does fine at skills. It evens out a lot after level 5 and people get their stat bumps.

Dataphiles 4/5 ⦵⦵

You seem to be confusing the result of the effects of hyper specializing versus 'jack of all trades' ing. Like pathfinder, this is a game that more or less rewards hyper specializing. You can claim that aspect is either good or bad, but it just is. The point buy system doesn't really get in the way overly much on that aspect.

As a side note, if you are playing with one or more operatives, I can understand that sentiment as well.

Also, I am confused as to the purpose of having racial ability modifiers if you just ignore them during character creation (with the stat arrays).

Wayfinders 1/5

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Since the hard cap at 18 for stats at start is a part of the intended rules for society play (including capping Steliferra at 14 strength to account for their ability to boost strength by 4), arrays would actually make compliance harder. And since your clearly stated intent is to circumvent that cap, your argument is a nonstarter.

Dataphiles 4/5 ⦵⦵

Raia of Jabask wrote:
Since the hard cap at 18 for stats at start is a part of the intended rules for society play (including capping Steliferra at 14 strength to account for their ability to boost strength by 4), arrays would actually make compliance harder. And since your clearly stated intent is to circumvent that cap, your argument is a nonstarter.

I believe you misunderstood the concept of the arrays of which Sven spoke. He spoke of a total of the ability modifiers (i.e. +4, +2, +0, +0, +0, +0; or +3, +1, +2, +0, +0, +0; etc...).

The argument for stat arrays that ignore racial adjustments is a fine idea (with the exception of the steliferra situation). My only argument against it is that it removes part of what makes each race different. If one is that enthusiastic about starting on level ground, I would ask why all racial modifications are not gotten rid of and every character is not created as if they were human. One could then use a stat array, build a "human" and then flavor the character as whatever race they wish. You may claim that this is an exaggeration upon the foundational idea of stat arrays, but it seems a logical jump. I see little difference between "+2 Con, +2 Wis, -2 Cha" and "+2 to acrobatics checks, dark vision 60ft, etc..".


I have a question about making a character for Organized Play.

I played in one convention game as a pregen, and would like to be able to play in future convention games, but with my own character.

I don't have any of the books. I'm just trying out the game for now, and won't be able to play outside conventions anyway. I have seen in that unofficial guide, and I think I've been told by OP GMs, that I can use Core Book Rules (and no other sources) for my character without buying that book. However, the Starfinder Society Guide says "The Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild requires all members to have the Starfinder Core Rulebook and the Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide (this document)."

So, which is true and legal for Organized Play / SFS events? Can I legally make and play character without buying the core rulebook?

And, is there a difference between Organized Play, Starfinder Society, and Starfinder Roleplaying Guild events and/or chargen rules?

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

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Organized play has 4 parts

-Starfinder society
-Pathfinder Original recipe society
-Pathfinder 2e society
-Pathfinder adventure card guild.

So SFS events are one part of organized play.
I think the general guideline for the book is get it.. eventuallyish. Getting the PDF is legit and its only 10 bucks.


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The game rules can be found at Archives of Nethys for free (approved by Paizo). At least as long as you are considered a 'beginner', nobody's going to give you hard time for not owning the books.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Boooooog wrote:
So, I only understood paizo -Society scenarios as organized play in a consistent world, but Now that I've started getting my stuff together to make a proper go at joining in I'm seeing a lot of stuff about Boons and something of a lack of local events for my area. I wasn't really sure where to start with the materials on the main site, does anyone have a recommendation on where to begin on joining a Starfinder Society game?

Hello new person

Unofficial guide but it gives you a good big picture on how it works.

The official guide for the nuts and bolts. Don't worry if some of it doesn't make sense, it'll come together when you do it a few times.

Flat rolling surfaces map will tell you where to find organized play. Its not broken up between pathfinder and starfinder though.

If you want to get in a few games online the cosmic crit discord has games going off on most days. Most played on roll 20

How to get over the learning curve of playing online

Boons come in two varieties:

Scenario boons come for playing a scenario. For example if you Save ClickClakClick the Shirrens life in the adventure ClickClaks Catastrophy you might be able to get a 10% discount on force fields from his shop from the chronicle sheet.

Convention boons are their own sheet, and they'll let you do everything from play an otherwise not allowed race to get a custom robot that follows you around hauling stuff.

That Discord link is no longer working. Got an updated one?

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Cosmic Crit discord

Liberty's Edge 3/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

Ade wrote:
The game rules can be found at Archives of Nethys for free (approved by Paizo). At least as long as you are considered a 'beginner', nobody's going to give you hard time for not owning the books.

While this is true, the point behind the requirement is to get money to Paizo. So people should not feel comfortable using material for free that they are EXPECTED to purchase.

I have never required a player to produces a book or email-imprinted PDF. But all players need to still follow this requirement as soon as practical for them.


I would not consider using something from a book I didn't own, and I would not allow a player at my table to use an item in a book that they didn't own.

Paizo is kind enough to put their rules online for reference purposes; we should return that kindness by actually buying the books with the stuff our characters use, so that they can afford to keep making books for the game we like to play.

Sovereign Court 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

Doing a bit of "try before you buy" with the Core Rulebook is innocent enough. Using material from five different books without buying them is clearly not intended.

And yeah, the PDFs are very convenient, and fulfill the ownership requirement.

Scarab Sages 3/5 Venture-Agent, Nebraska—Bellevue aka JohannVonUlm

Gary Bush wrote:
Ade wrote:
The game rules can be found at Archives of Nethys for free (approved by Paizo). At least as long as you are considered a 'beginner', nobody's going to give you hard time for not owning the books.

While this is true, the point behind the requirement is to get money to Paizo. So people should not feel comfortable using material for free that they are EXPECTED to purchase.

I have never required a player to produces a book or email-imprinted PDF. But all players need to still follow this requirement as soon as practical for them.

Honestly, I tell people the point is not to sell stuff for Paizo. The point of this requirement is readily obvious in PF1. There are a multitude of hard back books, soft cover player companions and other sources of information. Asking the player to own the documents he/she uses with their character is a courtesy to the GM. It means the GM is not required to bring those multitude of books to a game session and is not required to memorize all those rules in said documents.

If the player says feat A plus Feat B plus item trait C = megadeath. He better have said information handy if the GM says "show me."

On a new player note, I'd never give a new player a hard time about not bringing a core rulebook. If this is a game they decide they love, the best way to show that support is to purchase the rulebook. In practice, new players either keep coming back (eventually with a rulebook) or they disappear (meaning they didn't enjoy the game enough.

Liberty's Edge

Hello I'm new to Starfinder Society too. I'll be playing with my first SFS char soon. I was wondering if I could repeat certain scenarios with different characters.

Dark Archive 5/5

soulnova wrote:
Hello I'm new to Starfinder Society too. I'll be playing with my first SFS char soon. I was wondering if I could repeat certain scenarios with different characters.

If the scenario has the repeatable tag, you can.


DrParty06 wrote:
soulnova wrote:
Hello I'm new to Starfinder Society too. I'll be playing with my first SFS char soon. I was wondering if I could repeat certain scenarios with different characters.
If the scenario has the repeatable tag, you can.

And this category includes a good number of the low level scenarios.

(Free Quest) Into the Unknown (Level 1)
1-02 The Commencement (1-2)
1-12 Ashes of Discovery (1-4)
1-16 Dreaming of the Future (1-4)
1-25 Beacon Code Dilemma (3-6)
1-32 Acts of Association (1-4)
2-03 The Withering World (1-4)
2-07 Four for the First (1-4)
2-10 Corporate Interests (1-4, currently preorder only)

Judicious use of these repeatables could get you to level 3 without ever playing a "one and done" scenario, and that is part of why five of my eleven characters are level 2 or 3.

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