Any other fans of Pathfinder’s sci-fi elements?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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scipion wrote:
I hate this crap, dont ever mix sci fi with fantasy or include any sci fi elemnts in fantasy worlds

Welcome to the forums! Digging up a thread from two years ago to bash the topic’s an interesting introduction; I hope you can share what you like with us all soon :)


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Since that particular comment isn't really worth engaging in, I'd like to point out for those who don't know already: Due to the OGL situation many of Paizo's priorities have become more fluid, and one thing they're discussing internally is moving up the schedule for updating Starfinder to both scoop out OGL1.0a content and install "killer apps" (Erik Mona's phrasing) from PF2. They aren't ready to announce anything yet, and who knows, it might go nowhere, but I'm looking forward to a Starfinder that's much more compatible with PF2.

That would allow poaching much more easily.


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scipion wrote:
I hate this crap, dont ever mix sci fi with fantasy or include any sci fi elemnts in fantasy worlds

So lemme get this straight: you aren’t a fan of Pathfinder’s Sci-Fi elements?

Ok: can you please list all the ones you a) actually know about and b) list them from least to super-least favorite. Please provide your reasons on a separate sheet for verification and analysis. You have… [checks stopwatch]… two years…


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If anything, I think as the official setting is becoming less and less "bog standard fantasy", which is a great thing, the sci-fi stuff belongs more, not less.


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WatersLethe wrote:

Since that particular comment isn't really worth engaging in, I'd like to point out for those who don't know already: Due to the OGL situation many of Paizo's priorities have become more fluid, and one thing they're discussing internally is moving up the schedule for updating Starfinder to both scoop out OGL1.0a content and install "killer apps" (Erik Mona's phrasing) from PF2. They aren't ready to announce anything yet, and who knows, it might go nowhere, but I'm looking forward to a Starfinder that's much more compatible with PF2.

That would allow poaching much more easily.

I've got mixed feelings on a Starfinder 2E. On the one hand, I personally would absolutely love it. I think that PF2E's rules would play even nicer with a lot of SF's game conventions, what with it being a half-step between the old and new systems.

On the other, I know a fair number of people who love playing Starfinder because it's got that older-but-slightly-updated Pathfinder feel who would be bummed if the game suddenly shifted on them. Granted, SF has a lot of material out now and it wouldn't be hard to keep playing with what's been produced so far.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I'd be very curious how a potential SF2E would handle a number of systems and classes. Soldiers and operatives are basically fighters and rogues in space, respectively, so would they use a fighter and rogue chassis and call it good, gain some new feat lines, or would they be their own new classes with mechanical identity?
How about magic? Starfinder puts much, much less emphasis on spell traditions than Pathfinder does; would that continue with an SF2E, or would it be retconned? Would there be some new way of tagging spells for the different flavors of caster could use them? And what about 7th-10th level spells? By and large they don't exist in Starfinder (which I almost misspelled as Starfinger), largely because of shifts in the setting and, I suspect, because of issues regarding high level balance. That isn't as much of a concern in PF2E though.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Perpdepog wrote:
Starfinder stuff

I'm quite curious about sales data and system utilization metrics, because from my experience after PF2 came out SF's online presence appeared to fall off a cliff. The SF forum became a ghost town, the subreddit activity dwindled, my own 3 Starfinder games all fizzled out, and Hero Lab has all but abandoned it. My gut says SF isn't doing all that well because it's surviving on players aligned with PF1, which is also a dwindling breed. This is all compounded by the fact that sci-fi is a smaller market for TTRPGs anyway.

For me, an updated SF would bring it back from the dead.

As for your other questions, I've asked myself them a lot. I don't know how Paizo will handle any of them, but I kept coming back to the reality that I could easily see myself playing PF2 with a Starfinder coat of paint.

[MASSIVE PERSONAL OPINION ALERT]
The classes from Starfinder are too narrow thematically, trying to go for specific niches that don't actually give you nearly as much freedom as PF2 classes do. Most SF class flavors could live comfortably as class paths, archetypes, or feat trees inside PF2 classes.

The de-emphasis of magic was a bit of a waste, since every group I was in had someone who wanted to play a full on Space Wizard but really couldn't to their satisfaction, so bringing back PF2 style magic would be a boon. Fully embracing the PF2 caster-martial balance allows tech and magic to fit together gracefully without magic taking an overly back-seat position as it felt in SF. Also, the long level gaps between new spells in SF was the pits.

Zero of the people I played with enjoyed the equipment of SF, finding it fiddly, overwhelming, treadmilly, and tedious. I had to prepare so many shortlists of options for my groups because they didn't know how to tackle the massive lists, even with search functions. So, wholesale borrowing the PF2 equipment system, and putting the word "Futuristic" in front of every item would be preferable.


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WatersLethe wrote:


The classes from Starfinder are too narrow thematically, trying to go for specific niches that don't actually give you nearly as much freedom as PF2 classes do. Most SF class flavors could live comfortably as class paths, archetypes, or feat trees inside PF2 classes.

The de-emphasis of magic was a bit of a waste, since every group I was in had someone who wanted to play a full on Space Wizard but really couldn't to their satisfaction, so bringing back PF2 style magic would be a boon. Fully embracing the PF2 caster-martial balance allows tech and magic to fit together gracefully without magic taking an overly back-seat position as it felt in SF. Also, the long level gaps between new spells in SF was the pits.

Zero of the people I played with enjoyed the equipment of SF, finding it fiddly, overwhelming, treadmilly, and tedious. I had to prepare so many shortlists of options for my groups because they didn't know how to tackle the massive lists, even with search functions. So, wholesale borrowing the PF2 equipment system, and putting the word "Futuristic" in front of every item would be preferable.

Yeah TBH I feel the "big problem" of SF was that it lacked any real theme or tone, which is vital for any RPG (even the "universal" ones). This made it really awkward and difficult to familiarize players with anything and even to worldbuild as a GM.

Frankly, in retrospect, SF suffered a lot from basically almost being a proto-testbed for things that would later be hammered out in PF Playtest and 2e proper.


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WatersLethe wrote:
The de-emphasis of magic was a bit of a waste, since every group I was in had someone who wanted to play a full on Space Wizard but really couldn't to their satisfaction, so bringing back PF2 style magic would be a boon. Fully embracing the PF2 caster-martial balance allows tech and magic to fit together gracefully without magic taking an overly back-seat position as it felt in SF. Also, the long level gaps between new spells in SF was the pits.

Yeah, I think high-level magic would be much more workable in PF2E's design framework. Pulling other options up while reigning magic in a bit really helped in that regard, not to mention all the capstone abilities of SF casters are basically 10th-level spell features before they existed.

WatersLethe wrote:

[MASSIVE PERSONAL OPINION ALERT]

The classes from Starfinder are too narrow thematically, trying to go for specific niches that don't actually give you nearly as much freedom as PF2 classes do. Most SF class flavors could live comfortably as class paths, archetypes, or feat trees inside PF2 classes.

That's fair. I personally kind of dig the super specific focusing in on tropes for the SF classes. I like how it pushes the design toward really out there ideas because of how narrow a focus might be, things like the Biohacker injecting magical chems into ley lines or an unarmed Soldier being a plasma monk, or the different flavors of caster. Sure those kinds of options can always show up, I've just always felt that they cropped up sooner because of the focus that a class identity had to maintain.

WatersLethe wrote:
Zero of the people I played with enjoyed the equipment of SF, finding it fiddly, overwhelming, treadmilly, and tedious. I had to prepare so many shortlists of options for my groups because they didn't know how to tackle the massive lists, even with search functions. So, wholesale borrowing the PF2 equipment system, and putting the word "Futuristic" in front of every item would be preferable.

I'm definitely in that camp. Wading through massive item tables is a nightmare when you have to use a screen reader and move through a table cell by cell. I don't think remaking equipment in a hypothetical Starfinder 2E would be especially hard, either; all the crit abilities on weapons would become traits, I imagine.

Come to think, being more liberal with traits on weapons and armor in general would emulate a lot of Starfinder's big weapon and armor variety, and be a big boost for the latter.


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Talk about Starfinder's failings and how best to build a second edition might be better suited to a thread on that topic :)

I've greatly enjoyed the couple of interplanetary jaunts in PF2 so far, and the new Castrovel gazetteer is an absolute delight! Give me Formians and Lashunta as Ancestries, and I might not need to set foot back on Golarion for a good long while :p


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I love the sci fi elements. We are currently playing in a game where I am a goblin inventor with an android partner who is another player character. We've fluffed that stuff like share overdrive, and helpful tinkering only work between my goblin inventor and her because they are actual upgrades connecting my goblins techs to her. The limitation can be difficult sometimes but it has created fantastic rp.


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I can see the appeal, perhaps more than most, for a bog standard medieval stasis fantasy setting--it's at least useful for creating a tightly themed world after all--but if you're going to give me a massive fantasy world, don't even waste my time by pretending there's no magic in space nor aliens with vessels powered by magic or science, with their own poppets or automatons made of metal and lightning instead of wood and arcana.


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If I had my way, we'd have an official Solarian class in PF2!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like it in moderation. Reign of Winter and Iron Gods are some of my favorite APs, as I generally prefer the more experimental paths. I probably wouldn't like it as much if the elements were used more commonly. Tech and such wouldn't feel special if it was common.

I'd love to see a full AP focused on the Dominion of the Black. I think that would be a great place to put more science fiction elements in.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
If I had my way, we'd have an official Solarian class in PF2!

Solarion and the Envoy are the two classes I would love to see be transferred over.

Some classes come close to Envoy but come up short in certain ways.

I think witchwarper also has some potential.


Yeah, it's still good to establish some sense of 'normal' to the fantasy world from which the rest of the elements can deviate--unless perhaps you're going full magitech space fantasy setting, which is a choice all its own.


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In the same reason that Osirion and Ustalav serve very specific niches, so too do Numeria and elf-gates to Castrovel. The greatest strength of the Lost Omens setting is that some corner of it is likely to be the flavor you want, and ignoring whatever you don’t is trivial.

Some groups would play Quest for the Frozen Flame as a very grounded faux-Ice Age narrative… and others would allow an Android PC from the nearby eastern lands. Both can be happy!


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I modify Paizo adventure paths to provide the narrative that my players want. Each feature available in the Golarion setting has its own flavor, such as the fantastic wonders of magic, the tribalism of exotic intelligent species, the mystery of ancient ruins, and the scope of empire. Science fiction has a modern flavor that suits my players' modern sensibilities.

My current campaign is the Ironfang Invasion adventure path, converted to PF2 rules. The mostly-hobgoblin Ironfang Legion has invaded the nation Nirmathas for two purposes. First, they want a homeland where they and other monstrous humanoids (as the humans call them) won't be second-class residents snubbed by the civilized humans, elves, and dwarves. Second, they hate humans, so they like beating and enslaving the humans in the lands they conquer. The seven-member party has zero humans, zero dwarves, and only one elf, so they have no objection to a nation of uncommon species and Nirmathas has room for immigrants. But the PCs despise slavery. Thus, the players hope for a compromise in which the hobgoblins surrender and give up slavery in exchange for unoccupied land.

When Paizo announced that they would de-emphasize slavery in Golarion adventures, I decided to go extreme about ending slavery, How can I remove slavery from Ironfang Invasion? My chosen tool for this is industrialization. In U.S. history the industrialized northern United States had given up slavery and found itself in opposition to the agriculural southern United States that retained slavery.

Three of the seven players in Ironfang Invasion had been in my science-fictional Iron Gods campaign. Their PCs there had taken over the monopolistic Technic League and transformed it into the cooperative Technic School. Between the 3rd and 4th modules of Ironfang Invasion, a Numerian dimension-hopping spaceship landed near the Nirmathi iron-smelting town of Longshadow and asked to set up manufacturing that used the local mineral wealth. The Numerians made the same offer to the Ironfang Legion. Industrialization has begun.

Five days ago, we had the second Numerian intervention in the Ironfang Invasion. The party was in the fifth module, Prisoners of the Blight, where their opponent was Queen Arlantia of the Darkblight rather than the Ironfang Legion. They saved some Ironfang soldiers from mind control by Arlantia and teamed up with them. But I added a trap. Arlantia sent them into a demiplane that she used as a prison for the former Queen Gendowyn and for rebels. Dimensional-travel spells would not work there. The party could escape, because they had a consumable item that could make a dimensional gate, but they wanted to save the item for its intended plot purpose. Instead, they called the Numerians by ingenious, roundabout methods that got around the planetary-only range on the Sending spell. The spaceship with dimension-hopping ability cracked open the demiplane prison from the outside.

In the fourth module, Siege of Stone, the party had a quest to learn the secrets of the interdimensional Stone Road that the Ironfang Legion used for fast troop movement. Now they can consult with the Numerian former PCs (I ported Val Baine to PF2) for the science of interdimensional travel, which opens up another ending for the sixth module that better justifies a slavery-ending compromise.

Science fiction is a tool for removing barbaric ancient practices from the setting.


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keftiu wrote:
scipion wrote:
I hate this crap, dont ever mix sci fi with fantasy or include any sci fi elemnts in fantasy worlds
Welcome to the forums! Digging up a thread from two years ago to bash the topic’s an interesting introduction; I hope you can share what you like with us all soon :)

Looks like they deleted it. So now it looks like my "yes" dug this thread up.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I think a lot of us migrated to Starfinder.


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keftiu wrote:

In the same reason that Osirion and Ustalav serve very specific niches, so too do Numeria and elf-gates to Castrovel. The greatest strength of the Lost Omens setting is that some corner of it is likely to be the flavor you want, and ignoring whatever you don’t is trivial.

Some groups would play Quest for the Frozen Flame as a very grounded faux-Ice Age narrative… and others would allow an Android PC from the nearby eastern lands. Both can be happy!

To focus solely on the example raised, this is another reason why I feel PF's setting needs more "different time period support" (while also having at least some kind of justification for that).

Like, Quest for the Frozen Flame is clearly intended to depict adventures in a more or less Neolithic region (though it fails to commit in certain ways) in a fantasy world. In the same vein I would like for maybe a Bronze Age area, perhaps in a different place.

Oh, and the specific image of something like an Android neolithic tribesperson just feels really fun to me (probably for the same reason I found Numeria to be novel). This is even sort of implemented in the AP itself via allowing characters that join the focused-on neolithic tribe to be from outside of the actual region.

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