But it didn't. It lasted on the shelf for at least 2 weeks, and yesterday I had the money, so I bought it.
The blurb at Piazo says:
The rules are quite streamlined, and simple enough for a busy blue collar guy like me to have an easy rules read in one night and be able to understand it all. The rules differ slightly from the main Starfinder rules, but the two are not incompatible. The Beginner Box (BB) allows characters to advance to 4th level, and includes 6 pre-gens to be played with the adventure featured in the GM's book. (I haven't read much of the GM's book yet, so I cannot comment on that book yet.)Starfinder Beginner Box
Starfinder Beginner Box
Add Print Edition $39.99
Add PDF $9.99
Explore the Galaxy!
Launch into an exciting universe of science fantasy adventure with the Starfinder Beginner Box! Create and customize your own futuristic hero to play through challenging adventures and action-packed battles against dangerous foes! With streamlined rules, this deluxe boxed set is the ideal introduction to the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, an imaginative tabletop roleplaying game for 2-7 players. Welcome to the best launchpad for a lifetime of pulse-pounding adventure among the stars—the only limit is your imagination!
The Starfinder Beginner Box has everything you need to get started:
A 96-page Heroes' Handbook, detailing character creation and general rules for playing the game, plus a short solo adventure
A 96-page Game Master's Guide containing an adventure, alien adversaries, and advice on how to create your own science fantasy tales
A complete set of seven polyhedral dice
More than 80 full-color pawns depicting diverse heroes and aliens
24 plastic pawn bases
Six pregenerated character sheets to throw you right into the action
Six blank character sheets to record the abilities of your custom-made hero
Six player aid cards for quick rules references
A durable, reusable, double-sided Flip-Mat play surface that works with any kind of marker
The Beginner Box only offers 6 races, 6 themes and 6 classes, for a total of 216 character combinations - opposed to the full rules that offer a whopping total of 490 combination possibilities! (Of course, some theme/class combos don't make sense to me, but I'm sure that avid SF players will find a way to make those combos work!)
The GM book has a mini bestiary with creatures that I can only guess are also featured in the SF Core Alien Archive series, but are streamlined for 'beginner' play.
I was able to compare the Beginner Box books with the Core rules to see what the differences were, and I am glad I did. The Core rules are much more approachable now that I've grokked the BB rules.
The only thing I had an issue with was the double sided flip mat. If I could run any scenario without using this, I wouldn't miss it. The mat is thick gloss paper, and won't fold out flat without setting something heavy on it. If you don't have a glass pane from, like a desk or something, or a sheet of plexiglass from a picture/poster frame, the flip mat will just reject the cardstock standies (pawns) that are included with the set. I mean, the pawns will fall over or slide right off the edges. (I love the pawns, btw. Every starter set should have one for any RPG boxed set.)
Oh, a non-issue for me, but this might matter to dice aficionados, but the dice are black with white numbers, and are very plain. I haven't even taken them out of the sealed plastic bag they came in. Its a non-issue for me because I have plenty of pretty dice that I'd use instead of these. But I can say that if Piazo is going to include something in the box, it might as well be useful. The dice are useful to absolute beginners, but not to any player who already has several sets of pretty dice. The plain, cheap dice might explain the $39+change price tag - and at this price, the box is worth it!
The Player's rulebook starts off with a short pick-a-path adventure that explains how a very simplified combat system works. The actual BB combat rules are much more detailed than this portion, but this part is for the neophyte beginning player, not just for the new to, or experienced PF/SF crowd.
My interest in Starfinder is rekindled, and I've even found some players that are interested in a SF campaign if our schedules work out. I could definitely get into a SF campaign now, and even run it (!) using the BB as a 'Basic" set, and use the Core rules to add detail & fluff to the highly playable streamlined rules in the BB.