Paizo Announces Starfinder 2nd Edition

As part of the keynote presentation for Gen Con 2023, Paizo announced Starfinder 2nd Edition.

SF2_Playtest_Banner_new logo.png

A new edition is coming for Starfinder, making it fully compatible with Pathfinder 2nd Edition and the Remaster Project. The new edition will be published under the ORC License and implements the three-action economy.

“With the finalization of the ORC License, and considering that Starfinder 1st Edition has been evolving since its release in 2017, we felt now was a perfect time to bring the system into the future,” says Starfinder’s Managing Creative Director, Thurston Hillman.

Taking the lessons of Pathfinder’s latest edition and everything they have learned since Starfinder began, Paizo is looking forward to making the next version of Starfinder better. This will be the most open playtest Paizo has ever launched, with deeper looks into the development process.

The roundtable discussion with the Starfinder team highlighted some key elements of the upcoming playtest and new edition:
  • Pathfinder 2nd Edition and Starfinder 2nd Edition rulesets will be completely cross-compatible provided your GM allows it. That includes classes, creatures, and more.
  • The first four classes announced for the playtest are:
  • Mystic, represented by the iconic shirren mystic Chk Chk
  • Soldier, represented by the returning iconic vesk soldier Obozaya.
  • Envoy, represented by the returning iconic human envoy Navasi
  • Solarion, represented by a new iconic pahtra solarian, openining up the feline pahtra as a core ancestry.
  • As part of the ‘open playtest’ model, the Starfinder team will be keeping players updated and involved with “Field Tests”- the first of which release today alongside the announcement at stafinderplaytest.com. The first Field Test includes the Soldier Class from levels 1 to 5, new equipment, and new creatures like the Computer Glitch Gremlin and Laser Wolf.
The Starfinder Playtest Rulebook will be available in summer 2024 as a softcover rulebook. Base system rules will not be a part of the playtest as Starfinder 2nd Edition will be using the Pathfinder 2nd Edition ruleset. The playtest will focus on the core elements of gameplay, including new classes, a scaling equipment system, new skills, and more.
 

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Dawn Dalton

Dawn Dalton

I wish I could like this because I really want "fantasy Sci Fi" but they did everything wrong in the Starfinder setting from my preference POV.

I wanted fantasy in space - they gave us all new sciFi ancestries, not tied to any 'fictional IP' I have an attachment to nor even any 'mythos' to inspire. Not even 'people in funny costumes' to feel relatedness to.

Then they had all the fantasy ones 'go into hiding or become rare'. Elves even went into a pocket dimension and said 'nope' to existence.

I wanted galactic space exploration. We're locked to one solar system with no warp drive. That's what I prefer in 'hard science science fiction', but not 'fantasy sci fi' where I want exploration.

So then I want "futuristic Glorantha" - so they zapped the planet out of existence.

I would have preferred something like Shadowrun did - fantasy brought into a sciFi genre.

Now I'm just hoping I'm wrong about most of that or the setting gets major updates.
I ran Starfinder for a few years, enough to decide I do not like it, but only one item on your list is correct (no SF version of Golarian.) The rest is....well: it has too much fantasy in space for my preference; it builds a SF universe that doesn't seem to account for the huge amount of magic and fantastical influences adequately; none of the traditional fantasy races go into hiding or become rare, they are all over the place (including and especially elves); they have tons of galactic space exploration, but we had to wait several years for a book focused on the other worlds and the vast; they don't have warp drive, technically, but only because its called drift drive and it works by magic instead of science (or technomancy, I guess).

My problem with Starfinder was it had an artifically game-based level mechanic for equipment and starships that sidestepped any sort of actual economy that required everyone to just accept the rules' take on advancement without question. Why is that ysoki's blaster level 20 and this ysoki's blaster level 1? Because the ysoki are level 20 and level 1 respectively. It was the same mistake D&D 4E made, where the world was gamified and worked according to the rules arbitrarily and out of necessity, rather than the rules reflecting or suggesting a more interesting world. Why did your starship get better? Because the group got better. SF1E and PF2E made the entire experience of leveling arbitrary and unfun.
 

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I tend to agree. PF2 is a well designed and put together. I was, and continue to be, disappointed it doesn't really work for me. There are elements that I really, really like, the three-action economy, reigning in of caster supremacy, rituals, I even like the rune system. I wish they had kept the item restrictions from play test though.

As a crunchy, tactical, game with a ton of player options I am the target consumer. It just doesn't work for me. I will keep trying though. I am running Abomination Vaults via Foundry so we'll see how it goes. The players just made 3rd level. I'd like to get to at least 5th before I think about pulling the plug.
If it helps any, Abomination Vaults is one of the earlier APs that breaks a lot of people. You might more recent APs to be a better experience.
 


Reynard

Legend
Can't believe Paizo fell to the wayside like WotC did. Never trusting another TTRPG again.

Now both sides are just churning out new editions far too fast. Editions should last 15-20 years. Wish I owned my own TTRPG, I'd blow both of them out the water in quality and sales.
There has never been a 15-20 year D&D edition. 2E was the longest running and only if you don't consider S&P a 2.5.
 




Thomas Shey

Legend
I'll freely admit the CR was wildly inaccurate in 3E/PF1. Though, I do think you can tighten it up a bit as 5E can attest.

Well, I'm not competent to make the comparison not being a D&D5e guy, but I haven't exactly heard a lot of compliments to 5e CR.

The tightness of PF2 that I dislike, is also part of the tactical over strategic design choice. Part of it is just the way the game is played.

I'm not going to deny it. I just think that your issue (and to make it clear, you absolutely aren't alone here) is the price of having a CR system that actually works.

(I'll admit to being a little cynical that the problem in some cases is people kind of want an encounter to look dangerous without actually being dangerous. In other words, they kind of want the CR system to lie to them. Again, I don't want to say that's what's going on with you, but it seems the case with some people here, who don't want to take the action of deliberately going to down-level encounters (where characters who are played at all carefully can absolutely kick butt) because its too obvious they're down CR. Yours seems to be that there's a limit as to what strategic planning can do (which is absolutely true, but in my 3e days at least, after a while it seemed to turn the process into an SOP that made it all kind pointless to do anything but turn up the difficulty on encounters).

Not really. There is a hard point where PCs will struggle to hit, let alone even be able to crit. Spell list shrink as your best spells will be saved against easily. etc... Best I can say is the ceiling is too low, IMO. This is a taste thing not a mechanical problem thing.

I'm just going to have to disagree with you here, because I've seen the difference with "We go in with this particular material or element ready" and not (because I'm now playing a gunslinger who can do some book cooking there) and it can be pretty stark. Even if you are missing a fair bit, if the hits are very punchy (because ever one is doing an extra 20 damage) or you're ignoring the resistances (because you don't use the thing they're resistant to). Yeah, spells that are save based used uphill can be pretty pointless, but that's the advantage of strategic planning--you go in ready to do other things.

Now, as you said, there's some things that can feel rough individually in uphill solo battles--but at some point I think if that bothers you the best thing to do is avoid solo battles. Honestly, if a purely solo endboss type is not going to be a paper tiger, there's a limit to what any one individual can do, or what are the rest of them there for?

We did a constant "can we rest 10min GM?" shuffle. It got to the point where if I GM I'll just wave that obnoxious part away.

Yeah, that was the thing, we'd just either retreat (if absolutely necessary) or forge on figuring that being down ten hit points when you had a hundred and twenty wasn't that big a deal in cases where we obviously couldn't take the rest. I was very conscious of it in that campaign because I had a character that got good use of of his Focus spells, so I was always wanting to scavenge back a Focus point if I could.

Often one and the same, but yes, I suppose there are some camps.

Sometimes, but there are people who have a lot of emotional attachment to the red dragon being the big draconic terror, and having that term not be in use even if there's another big draconic terror, or not some other specific recognizable opponent or spell will bother them in a way few mechanical changes would.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
I tend to agree. PF2 is a well designed and put together. I was, and continue to be, disappointed it doesn't really work for me. There are elements that I really, really like, the three-action economy, reigning in of caster supremacy, rituals, I even like the rune system. I wish they had kept the item restrictions from play test though.

As a crunchy, tactical, game with a ton of player options I am the target consumer. It just doesn't work for me. I will keep trying though. I am running Abomination Vaults via Foundry so we'll see how it goes. The players just made 3rd level. I'd like to get to at least 5th before I think about pulling the plug.

Its fair. I can't even say I don't have a parallel: D&D 4e. I respect the heck out of what it did systemically in most ways. But somehow it just left me cold.
 


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