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SF 3 New Official Starfinder Classes Out For Playtesting

Pathfinder 2nd Edition isn't the only thing Paizo is play testing right now! Last night they announced three new Starfinder classes - biohackers, witch warpers, and vanguards! These are available to play in the free Character Operations Manual Playtest (which you can download as a 28-page PDF).


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You can playtest the classes until January 16, 2019 (well, you can playtest them for as long as you want, but the playtest surveys will be available until that date). Here's the full announcement:

REDMOND, WASHINGTON (December 3, 2018): Today, Paizo Inc. launched the worldwide Character Operations Manual playtest of new playable character classes for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. Players are invited to go to StarfinderPlaytest.com, download the free Character Operations Manual Playtest PDF, roll up some characters, and run them through their paces!

“This is our first opportunity to add new classes to Starfinder since the game’s release in August 2017, and we need your help to do it! Try out these new classes in Starfinder Society scenarios, Starfinder Adventure Paths, or your own adventures. Then tell us what you and your friends thought of the experience. Paizo needs your feedback to make the classes in the Character Operations Manual the best they can be,” said Starfinder Creative Director Robert G. McCreary.

This playtest focuses on three new classes for the upcoming Starfinder Character Operations Manual, a sourcebook full of new character options that is scheduled to release in late 2019. First up is the biohacker, a brilliant super-scientist who analyzes their enemies and creates injections that can help allies or hinder foes. Biohackers specialize in scientific fields of study and utilize a scientific method that is either studious and methodical, or instinctive and improvisational—the hallmarks of any good mad scientist! Next is the vanguard, a martial character who excels in melee fighting and channels the entropic forces of the universe to manipulate their surroundings, bolster themselves and their allies, and power their devastating unarmed strikes. Finally, Paizo presents the witchwarper. This Charisma-based spellcaster pulls from alternate realities to power their magic and alters the environment and even nearby creatures to the witchwarper’s advantage. This playtest is a chance to get a look at early versions of these classes and have a hand in their development before they hit shelves next year!

The playtest will run until January 16, 2019. Feedback surveys on StarfinderPlaytest.com will be open throughout the playtest.

There are plenty of ways to participate in the playtest. Starfinder Society organized play will also open up the playtest classes via the use of custom created characters that operate much like pregenerated characters during the playtest.

Players can engage with other players and designers on the Character Operations Manual Playtest forums, discussing the new classes and possibilities for the future. While Paizo wants to focus on actual play feedback, they are interested in hearing all ideas about the classes.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Russ Morrissey

Comments

I hope to be not off-topic, but sometimes I wonder about a d20 version of transhuman technology with morphos and egos like the ones from "Eclipse Phase RPG". The Ego could be a monster class and the morphos like magic item. How would be transhumanism in a space fantasy setting where souls and undead spirits are real?
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
I have to say the concept of the biohacker leaves me a bit cold, feeling like the description could have been filled by alternate class feature picks for the mechanic; however, the vanguard and witchwarper sound pretty cool and add a lot of flavor. The Vanguard feels ripped straight out of Mass Effect, and the WitchWarper is a trope I know I've heard before in some sci-fi or sci-feantasy I've read, but I am completely drawing a blank right now...
 

Wait... they’re doing a playtest for a month and a week?
Over the holiday season?!

They’re going to get a tonne of armchair design and people who played a class at one level for one session for maybe two combats.

A quarter of their feedback is going to be “this kinda worked but I misread a power and it only sorta worked, and only used it correctly for part of a session.”
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Wait... they’re doing a playtest for a month and a week?
Over the holiday season?!

They’re going to get a tonne of armchair design and people who played a class at one level for one session for maybe two combats.

A quarter of their feedback is going to be “this kinda worked but I misread a power and it only sorta worked, and only used it correctly for part of a session.”
That’s what all playtest feedback is like. Well, aside from the 90% which is “I skimmed through the book. Here are my house rules.”

As long as the survey is well designed, it should be able to filter down to the solid playtesters. You don’t need all that many.
 

That’s what all playtest feedback is like. Well, aside from the 90% which is “I skimmed through the book. Here are my house rules.”

As long as the survey is well designed, it should be able to filter down to the solid playtesters. You don’t need all that many.
With a longer playtest you might be able to get two or three sessions of play in. There’s just more opportunity for people to be solid playtesters.
Especially when you’re not trying to compete with Christmas and New Years. (I normally play every two weeks, but over the next month and a half I’ll be lucky to squeeze in a game.)

And with more time, you’d have more opportunities to work in the character to test, and perhaps even see play at multiple levels, rather than trying to awkwardly force it into an already planned session.
A slightly longer playtest at a different time could result in twice the feedback.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
With a longer playtest you might be able to get two or three sessions of play in. There’s just more opportunity for people to be solid playtesters.
Especially when you’re not trying to compete with Christmas and New Years. (I normally play every two weeks, but over the next month and a half I’ll be lucky to squeeze in a game.)

And with more time, you’d have more opportunities to work in the character to test, and perhaps even see play at multiple levels, rather than trying to awkwardly force it into an already planned session.
A slightly longer playtest at a different time could result in twice the feedback.
I'll bow to your playtest management expertise.
 


JeffB

Legend
I'd wager

They need to get this off to the printers ASAP in order to maintain a schedule
They are already 95% set on the way classes are and are just looking at tweaks.
Keep people's interest up while most of fanbase is focusing on PF2
 


coldermoss

First Post
So... Biohacker is the alchemist, Witchwarper is the bard and Vanguard is the Jedi. Am I correct?
What I'm getting is that Witchwarpers are like Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite and Vanguards are like psychic monks. Solarians are Jedi. I agree about the biohacker.
 

I'd wager

They need to get this off to the printers ASAP in order to maintain a schedule
They are already 95% set on the way classes are and are just looking at tweaks.
Nope.

The timetable is based on making sure we have enough time to analyze the playtest feedback, develop alternatives, iterate them, and engage in at least internal playtests of new versions, all before the book goes to the printer.

There would be no point in having a playtest if the classes weren't playable, so I understand how they might look "done." But these are third drafts of what is normally a six- or seven-draft process.
 

Eponymous

First Post
See Stars Without Number

I hope to be not off-topic, but sometimes I wonder about a d20 version of transhuman technology with morphos and egos like the ones from "Eclipse Phase RPG". The Ego could be a monster class and the morphos like magic item. How would be transhumanism in a space fantasy setting where souls and undead spirits are real?
Stars without number second edition has d20 Eclipse phase if you want that (the tanshumanist souce book too). However its not the model you're envisioning its more straight forward yet very cool.
 

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