Opening up the Starfinder Armory
  • Opening the Starfinder Armory


    Good news, you space-faring fans of Starfinder: the STARFINDER ARMORY is here and it is stuffed to the gills with gear! There are new ways to frag, slag, burn, kill, maim, and otherwise cut a swath across the Core Worlds and beyond in this book, so letís get cracking!



    Letís kick things off with a discussion of what everyone comes to a review of a gear book for: the art! Kudos to all the artists associated with this product, the art is uniformly rich and evocative. Full-page spreads really help sell the potentially epic scale of a Starfinder campaign, and the interstitial pieces, while infrequent, are both refreshing against pages of text and a delight in their own right.

    Now, on to the gear! Unfortunately, while Starfinder has all the guns youíll ever need, that information isnít easy to read or reference. There are over 17 contiguous pages of tables JUST for weapons, which makes for a disorienting read even when using the physical book. A corollary to this problem is that since the tables are all squeezed together, so too are the weapon descriptions. These two issues form a nasty intersection: by the time you get to the weapon descriptions, youíve likely forgotten what entry in which table a given description refers to.

    While I canít begin to claim the kind of layout design expertise that Paizo has, my instinct would have been to break up the weapons tables with the weapon descriptions, and more of the excellent interstitial art. Full-page art spreads are nice, but I think readability is more essential in a table-heavy book like a gear supplement.

    On to more good things! Weapon modifications and manufacturers are a lovely bit of customization for everyone to use, and you full-attackers and snipers will find some welcome toys in the Weapon Accessories section. The wording is a little fuzzy on the Modifications section; youíll want to work out with your GM whether the additional 10% cost based on the base weapon or on the modified total.

    Other stand-outs to me are the new Augmentations. The magitech augmentations really strike a great balance between creepy and cool Ė youíll see what I mean Ė and I will never not be amused by the Fluttering Heart augmentationís groveling ability. The Necrografts (NECROGRAFTS!) really steal the show for me, because what adventurer doesnít relish the idea of grafting bits of dead things onto themselves for a power boost! Sure, the munchkins will like the moonlight fibers, which can give you haste for a round, but Iím here for the Squirming Entrails, which let you eat anything and extrude your organs for an extra limb!

    Finally, itís the little details that really sell a gear book to me. Iím already planning on tricking a player into drinking mercury because of how x-ray serum is ďa fluid that looks like mercury and tastes like metalĒ. I have to give a tip of my hat to Paizo for including strategy games in their strategy games. And for all of you missing your favorite wand of wonder, fear not: Starfinder Armory brings it back, this time in grenade form.

    Even the personal items section is a delight, perfect for adding some real meat to the pretty bare-bones adventuring items section in the Core Rules. Other fun expansions on the Core Rules include the short explorations of the culinary cultures of the core races, as well as expanded rules for hirelings!

    At the end of the day, youíre picking up the Starfinder Armory for guns, guns, and more guns, and you better believe that the Starfinder Armory delivers.

    This article was contributed by Ben Reece (LongGoneWrier) as part of ENWorld's User-Generated Content (UGC) program. We are always on the lookout for freelance columnists! If you have a pitch, please contact us!
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Ymdar's Avatar
      Ymdar -
      More info on augmentations?
    1. LuisCarlos17f's Avatar
      LuisCarlos17f -
      Since I bought ďEclipse PhaseĒ I miss the creation of forked in the rest of sci-fi rpgs.
    1. David West's Avatar
      David West -
      One of my biggest complaints about Starfinder is having the equipment dependent on level. If level increases damage, it should be on the character's generic level and not the equipment. That way, a freeze gun drops and the party can use it, but maybe not as effectively due to the enemy being higher level. Now, if the weapon is out of level of the party, they can't use it which I see as an artificial restriction.
    1. Azgulor's Avatar
      Azgulor -
      Quote Originally Posted by David West View Post
      One of my biggest complaints about Starfinder is having the equipment dependent on level. If level increases damage, it should be on the character's generic level and not the equipment. That way, a freeze gun drops and the party can use it, but maybe not as effectively due to the enemy being higher level. Now, if the weapon is out of level of the party, they can't use it which I see as an artificial restriction.
      Actually, they can. Just like if a +4 sword drops from an opponent slain by 3rd-level characters in PF1/D&D. The level is there to clue everyone in as to appropriate power level but nothing prevents the item working when it's picked up.

      There is a certain amount of handwavium involved - weapon permits, available sellers, etc. if a player wants to buy a higher level item.

      The leveled-gear system, while not perfect, is far less onerous/intrusive than I originally thought it would be.
    1. Doctor Futurity -
      Quote Originally Posted by David West View Post
      One of my biggest complaints about Starfinder is having the equipment dependent on level. If level increases damage, it should be on the character's generic level and not the equipment. That way, a freeze gun drops and the party can use it, but maybe not as effectively due to the enemy being higher level. Now, if the weapon is out of level of the party, they can't use it which I see as an artificial restriction.
      Not quite true:

      From SF Core, page 167:
      "In Starfinder, all armor, equipment, and weapons (whether magic, technological, or hybrid) are assigned an item level. While characters can utilize items of any level, Game Masters should keep in mind that allowing characters access to items far above their current level may imbalance the game."
      I've been selectively violating this guideline in my own game and the only noteworthy effect is comparable to giving a lower level Pathfinder PC access to higher level magic items....they get more effective in battle, basically. As GM as long as you're okay with it, everything is fine. OTOH if you're balancing encounters and following guidelines on treasure distribution anyway, then on average PCs won't be able to afford more expensive items (or get them) until they are level appropriate, anyway.

      It is a weird thing, though, because it's obviously a game artifact of design....I got used to it once I implicitly accepted Starfinder as "Pathfinder, but with high tech stuff," and just went with it. I did tell my players they could buy anything they could afford, regardless of level, but ironically since I'm sticking to the rules on treasure distribution, they rarely manage to buy above their station, anyway....a clever effect of the game's design.
    1. Doctor Futurity -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ymdar View Post
      More info on augmentations?
      There are 12 pages of new augments, including biotech, cybernetics, magitech and the necrotech mentioned in the article. Not as much as guns, but the stuff here is cool.
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