Starfinder Roleplaying Game to be published by Paizo

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Starfinder Roleplaying Game to be published by Paizo

Postby Big Mac » Sun May 29, 2016 10:52 am

Back in July 2012, Sarah Counts pointed me at something called Starfinder: Pathfinder in Space that was to be published by d20pfsrd.com.

Now Paizo have just announced something else called Starfinder on their blog. I don't see Loki's name mentioned on that one, so I don't think they have bought in the same product mentioned in the topic from 2015. Lets have a quick scan through their press release:
Paizo blog wrote:Announcing the Starfinder Roleplaying Game!
Saturday, May 28, 2016

Ever since Pathfinder Adventure Path #3, when James Jacobs and Wes Schneider had to hold me back from putting a space elevator in Varisia, I've wanted to take Pathfinder to the stars. A year later, I had the honor of writing up Golarion's solar system in Pathfinder Adventure Path #14, and then expanding it further in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Distant Worlds. But I'm not the only one around here in love with outer space and science fiction—I think all of us have at various times said, "Wouldn't it be fun to do a futuristic version of Pathfinder?" Yet aside from the occasional jaunt to other worlds in adventures like Pathfinder Adventure Path #70: The Frozen Stars, it's always been a dream just out of reach.

Until now.


I guess that "Starfinder" is a fairly obvious name for a space version of Pathfinder.

The "futuristic version of Pathfinder" thing, suggests that this isn't quite going to cater to the Spelljammer fanbase. Maybe it will cater more to the Dragonstar fanbase.

Paizo blog wrote:Next August, Paizo will be releasing the Starfinder Roleplaying Game—a new science fantasy RPG based on the Pathfinder universe and rules, but complete and standalone. It'll be backward compatible, so you can still use all those Pathfinder RPG bestiaries, but will feature all sorts of new classes, races, equipment, and other elements uniquely suited to our far-future setting. You want to play a lashunta technomancer using magic to hack the defense grid, or an android assassin with a laser rifle, or a ysoki ratfolk mechanic clambering around the guts of a spaceship as you blast your way through the enemy blockade? This is the place for it. There will also be new races you've never seen before, new worlds beyond Golarion's system that we've never visited, new twists on magic and the rules system itself—and, of course, ton and tons of cool science fantasy gear, from starships and computers to infinitely sharp zero-edge swords and rune-augmented plasma cannons.


Key facts are:
  • You don't need Pathfinder to play Starfinder,
  • You can use Pathfinder monsters in Starfinder,
  • Starfinder will add new worlds, outside the Pathfinder solar system

So this looks like Paizo has decided to take the d20 Modern concept (which is OGC) and tie it into the Pathfinder world, instead of making it a separate gameworld with compatible rules (as WotC did).

Paizo blog wrote:The Starfinder RPG Core Rulebook will be releasing at Gen Con 2017, but that's not all-we're also going to be starting a monthly Starfinder Adventure Path in addition to our ongoing Pathfinder Adventure Paths. The Starfinder AP volumes will include both adventures and cool new rules and setting information to help expand your Starfinder game. Plus monsters. Lots of monsters.

So how does all this science fantasy goodness fit into the Pathfinder setting? Simple: Starfinder is set in Golarion's solar system, but far in a possible future-one in which the gods have mysteriously spirited Golarion away to an unknown location, and refuse to answer questions about it. In its place, the cultures of that world have evolved and spread throughout the solar system, especially to a vast space platform called Absalom Station. Gifted access to a hyperspace dimension by an ascended AI deity, the residents of the system suddenly find themselves with the ability to travel faster than light, and the race is on to explore and colonize potentially millions of worlds. But there are horrors out there in the darkness...


So it's Pathfinder Future...but with the Pathfinder planet taken away. That sounds a bit like what you have in Krynnspace after Takhisis steals the world. I'm not sure why they did that, but it does mean that all the Pathfinder maps are going to be of no use to a Starfinder GM, because they can't land on Golarion and explore updated places.

The FTL travel is a different (science fiction) solution to the problem that Jeff Grubb solved with magic. That suggests that Starfinder material is going to need some level of rebooting to be used by Spelljammer or Space 1889 fans. I'm not familiar enough with Dragonstar to guess how compatible the two games might be.

Paizo blog wrote:As the Creative Director of Starfinder, I can't wait to show you everything we've been building. Joining me as key players on Team Starfinder are longtime Paizo developers Rob McCreary and Owen KC Stephens, as well as Creative Design Director Sarah Robinson on the art side, but all the designers, developers, art staff, and editors are working on different parts of the project-it's an all-hands-on-deck affair. And it's not just us, either-as Starfinder will be released under the OGL, we're looking forward to robust third-party support of the game.


If they are releasing this under the OGL, it might facilitate some sort of retro-clone attempts by the OSR folks.

I'll be interested to see if the Starfinder OGC spins off as many retro-clones as WotC's SRD did. I suspect there will be less retro-clones, but I might be wrong. Perhaps the focus on this being futuristic, but Pathfinder compatible will appeal to people who have played things like Alternity, but who want to have new rules they can publish.

Paizo blog wrote:While the size and scope of the new game make a full public playtest infeasible, we'll be starting to bring in key community members to check it out in the next few months, so keep an eye on the blog for your chance to participate! In the meantime, we wanted to give you a sneak preview of some preliminary concept sketches for Absalom Station, androids, and ysoki from artist Taylor Fischer (who you might know from games like XCOM and Civilization)-while these are only our initial explorations, and far from final, it's fun to see the process as things change and evolve. And it's never too early to chime in and chat with us in the new Starfinder forum!


No public playtest!

We have had public playtests for Pathfinder (while WotC created 4th Edition privately) and then we have had WotC do a public playtest for D&D Next/5th Edition. There is obviously some sort of cost vs benefit equation to public playtests that Paizo considered before deciding to drop out of the public playtest market.

The "key community members" thing might mean that they can invite in people that they found "useful" during the Pathfinder public playtest, while excluding anyone who created a lot of "noise" without actually suggesting anything positive.

However, they do have an open forum for Starfinder. (I wonder if The Piazza will ever get a Starfinder forum.) I'm guessing not, at least the moment, as there has not yet been enough interest in Golarion to create enough critical mass to split the Pathfinder forum here into a "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game" forum and a "Pathfinder Campaign Setting" forum. (And we have had one Pathfinder forum here for quite a long time now.) But I might be pleasantly surprised. I do like Paizo, as a company, even if I don't like all of their products enough to buy them, so it would be nice to see more of their products discussed at The Piazza.

Paizo blog wrote:We hope you're as excited about Starfinder as we are, and that you'll join us as we boldly go where Paizo's never gone before!

James L. Sutter
Creative Director


With that sign off, it's a shame the Creative Director's first name was not "Dan". It's a shame that his middle name was not "Dan". It's a shame that his surname was not "Dan-Dandandandandan-Dan-Dan". ;)

There is some more information on the Starfinder webpage:
Starfinder webpage wrote:Take your favorite fantasy RPG to the stars! Set thousands of years in Pathfinder's future, Starfinder is a stand-alone roleplaying game evolved from the Pathfinder rules and designed to bring you a whole new universe of science fantasy adventures. Play alien races both new and familiar as you explore the mysteries of a weird galaxy. Will you be an android assassin fulfilling corporate contracts, or a plucky ratfolk mechanic? A spellhacking lashunta technomancer, or a rakish human pilot? Uncountable worlds are waiting for you and your intrepid crew!

The Starfinder line will include both a hardcover core rulebook and key hardcover rules supplements, as well as a monthly Starfinder Adventure Path that provides you with epic campaigns, expanded rules elements, and new monsters to battle. Best of all, Starfinder is designed to integrate easily with the Pathfinder roleplaying game, meaning your power-armored marine can still go toe to toe with orcs and dragons. So what are you waiting for? The galaxy needs you!


Maybe this will work for people who are looking for things like "Blackmoorian technology" to add to a 3.5 Blackmoor game. :?

It will be nice to see what happens next year.
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Re: Starfinder Roleplaying Game to be published by Paizo

Postby Angel Tarragon » Sun May 29, 2016 12:30 pm

:shock: :o :twisted: I think I just had a gamergasm....
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Re: Starfinder Roleplaying Game to be published by Paizo

Postby Havard » Sun May 29, 2016 1:08 pm

Pretty interesting.

Ever since Pathfinder was launhed I was hoping Paizo would look into the possibility of making their own version of d20 Modern or d20 Future. One mistake WotC did with d20 Modern was that this game was never fully compatible with D&D. This was made even worse by WotC launching D&D 3.5 shortly after the release of d20 Modern. It looks like Starfinder will be avoiding this situation making both Paizo games be fully compatible. At least monsters can be used between Pathfinder and Starfinder. I hope the same is also true for races, equipment etc.

The idea of expanding Golarion's galaxy with futuristic worlds accessible through space travel is also extremely interesting. I suppose Paizo have been teasing this idea ever since they placed a crashed space ship, Dave Arneson style, into Golarion's Numeria, but while Blackmoor, Greyhawk and Mystara always toyed with similar concepts, I like that Paizo now seems to be taking these concepts to their logical conclusion.

The one risk I see with this is the sense of disconnect that I sometimes get from sci fi RPG universes. If the universe is so big, why should we care about what happens on Golarion anymore? And why haven't these more advanced worlds conquered Golarion yet? I wonder if this is something we will see adressed in the books. Anyway, I am very curious to see what Starfinder will be like!

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Re: Starfinder Roleplaying Game to be published by Paizo

Postby night_druid » Sun May 29, 2016 1:51 pm

There could be any number of reasons why a more advanced civilization doesn't conquer a world like Golarion. Depends mostly on setup. Perhaps Golarion lacks resources to interest a space-fairing civilization (larger resource pools more readily available). Perhaps star travel is difficult, in that it might be possible to move around small groups of people (aka adventurers), but not whole armies (I get a little irritated by games like Battletech, where worlds are "conquered" by armies measured in dozens of mechs and maybe a couple of thousand troops; always seems off to me). Perhaps Golarion sits somewhere that is difficult to reach, and therefore not worth the bother. Or is simply "lost". Or maybe advanced civilizations just don't conduct war as we know it.

Like I said, anything is possible.
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Re: Starfinder Roleplaying Game to be published by Paizo

Postby RobJN » Sun May 29, 2016 2:15 pm

Havard wrote: why haven't these more advanced worlds conquered Golarion yet?


Isn't that against the Prime Directive?
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Re: Starfinder Roleplaying Game to be published by Paizo

Postby jreyst » Sun May 29, 2016 2:42 pm

I'm John Reyst, owner of d20pfsrd.com Publishing and d20pfsrd.com (as well as several other sites etc.)

Here's the scoop as it relates to the product under development by d20pfsrd.com Publishing.

d20pfsrd.com Publishing was developing a product called "Starfinder", announced a couple of years ago. Development stalled for some time but is now in wrap up phase and could theoretically be released this summer.

Paizo called me a few months ago discussing their plans to release a product in 2017 called Starfinder but noticed I have something in the works with that name and wondered what could be done. I suggested that I'm not 100% married to the name Starfinder and would happily change it.

Erik Mona indicated Paizo would be happy to share the development files for Starfinder as they develop it so that my team could...

a. Help playtest it,
b. Retrofit MY product to match the new rules, and,
c. Develop an SRD website to support it similar to d20pfsrd.com.

That seemed a more than reasonable arrangement. Thus, the product formerly known as Starfinder by d20pfsrd.com Publishing, is now called Starjammer and should theoretically release sometime around Gen Con 2016.

I, and the others on my team, are all under signed NDAs so we can't discuss the details of their product or plans more than that.
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Re: Starfinder Roleplaying Game to be published by Paizo

Postby RobJN » Sun May 29, 2016 2:47 pm

jreyst wrote:I'm John Reyst, owner of d20pfsrd.com Publishing and d20pfsrd.com (as well as several other sites etc.)

Here's the scoop as it relates to the product under development by d20pfsrd.com Publishing.

d20pfsrd.com Publishing was developing a product called "Starfinder", announced a couple of years ago. Development stalled for some time but is now in wrap up phase and could theoretically be released this summer.

Paizo called me a few months ago discussing their plans to release a product in 2017 called Starfinder but noticed I have something in the works with that name and wondered what could be done. I suggested that I'm not 100% married to the name Starfinder and would happily change it.

Erik Mona indicated Paizo would be happy to share the development files for Starfinder as they develop it so that my team could...

a. Help playtest it,
b. Retrofit MY product to match the new rules, and,
c. Develop an SRD website to support it similar to d20pfsrd.com.

That seemed a more than reasonable arrangement. Thus, the product formerly known as Starfinder by d20pfsrd.com Publishing, is now called Starjammer and should theoretically release sometime around Gen Con 2016.

I, and the others on my team, are all under signed NDAs so we can't discuss the details of their product or plans more than that.

As long as both sides are happy, more power to you both!
Rob
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Re: Starfinder Roleplaying Game to be published by Paizo

Postby Big Mac » Mon May 30, 2016 7:13 am

jreyst wrote:I'm John Reyst, owner of d20pfsrd.com Publishing and d20pfsrd.com (as well as several other sites etc.)

Here's the scoop as it relates to the product under development by d20pfsrd.com Publishing.

d20pfsrd.com Publishing was developing a product called "Starfinder", announced a couple of years ago. Development stalled for some time but is now in wrap up phase and could theoretically be released this summer.

Paizo called me a few months ago discussing their plans to release a product in 2017 called Starfinder but noticed I have something in the works with that name and wondered what could be done. I suggested that I'm not 100% married to the name Starfinder and would happily change it.

Erik Mona indicated Paizo would be happy to share the development files for Starfinder as they develop it so that my team could...

a. Help playtest it,
b. Retrofit MY product to match the new rules, and,
c. Develop an SRD website to support it similar to d20pfsrd.com.

That seemed a more than reasonable arrangement. Thus, the product formerly known as Starfinder by d20pfsrd.com Publishing, is now called Starjammer and should theoretically release sometime around Gen Con 2016.

I, and the others on my team, are all under signed NDAs so we can't discuss the details of their product or plans more than that.


Thanks for coming over and posting this John. I've crossposted your post in the topic about your product (which has been renamed from "Starfinder: Pathfinder in Space" to "Starjammer: Pathfinder in Space" to reflect your new name.

If you have any free time, you might want to pop over to the topic about your product, and check out the questions people have been asking about it, in case there is any information you can provide that helps.

(You might also want to edit your Piazza forum signature, to link to your various SRD websites, so that if anyone talks to you at The Piazza, they can quickly find any of your sites that they are interested in. :) )
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Re: Starfinder Roleplaying Game to be published by Paizo

Postby Havard » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:55 pm


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