Paizo Announces Starfinder 2nd Edition

As part of the keynote presentation for Gen Con 2023, Paizo announced 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


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payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
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).
I think you are discounting other options as if PF2 is the only way to do it. Like any accurate CR is going to produce these exact results.
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?
Na, the math eventually makes it so that you are darting in and out praying to hit as a melee, and wizards are using their cantrips as a mere annoyance. The PCs become the paper tigers now and that is not the feel I prefer. I would rather be using cantrips and standard attacks on low level fights and save the big bangs for big fights. So, again, its a subjective taste thing. Mechanically, PF2 does solos better than any edition I can think of. So, I do praise it for that. I just don't prefer it.
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.
For us it was like being down to 10-20 out of 120 HP and retreat really isn't an option. At that much damage neither is going forward and hoping to survive a battle. This is hardly unique to PF2 though I still remember the cure wands spammage. Also, 5E has a lot of variance at tables on just how long s short rest really is. Ideally, you'd just do something like 3 short rests a day at 1st level more at higher levels, that fully recovers you if you can spend 5 min (out of encounter). Starfinder is in a unique position where you can just have some science magic way of waving away the GM may I mini game.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
I think you are discounting other options as if PF2 is the only way to do it. Like any accurate CR is going to produce these exact results.

I kind of think it probably is (though it doesn't have to have the tight PF2e math necessarily, which may make it worse, but I think that's an artifact of actually having levels that really mean something and go that high; but then I'm not exceptionally a fan of level based systems so that may show through there). I only know three games in the D&D family that seem to have working CR, and its true to one extent or another in all three (PF2e, D&D4e, and 13th Age. Its a little less pronounced in the last because 13th Age has level compression and has moved much farther away from certain D&Disms than the other two, which may bother someone up-front, but once they get over that will probably bother them less in this particular area. I'd be willing to be pointed at a case where encounter calculation math that works doesn't produce some of this, but if so, its managed to stay below my radar (most of the D&D sphere seems either consider balanced encounters antithetical or just throw up its hands about it and tell everyone to eyeball--which, to be fair, latter is what most games do, but it doesn't make much of an argument for actually having encounter calculations work while producing what you and some others want at the same time).

Na, the math eventually makes it so that you are darting in and out praying to hit as a melee, and wizards are using their cantrips as a mere annoyance. The PCs become the paper tigers now and that is not the feel I prefer. I would rather be using cantrips and standard attacks on low level fights and save the big bangs for big fights. So, again, its a subjective taste thing. Mechanically, PF2 does solos better than any edition I can think of. So, I do praise it for that. I just don't prefer it.

I don't know what to tell you man, but that really doesn't fit my experience with anything but (to a degree) solo battles, and I've played the game up to 20th once and (checks current level) 14th a second time now. I'm not going to deny your experience here, but there's obviously something that makes a big difference between what you've seen and what I have. Are you playing with a big group of PCs by any chance? (That's the only thing I can think of that might, and to be clear, its a shot in the dark).

For us it was like being down to 10-20 out of 120 HP and retreat really isn't an option. At that much damage neither is going forward and hoping to survive a battle. This is hardly unique to PF2 though I still remember the cure wands spammage. Also, 5E has a lot of variance at tables on just how long s short rest really is. Ideally, you'd just do something like 3 short rests a day at 1st level more at higher levels, that fully recovers you if you can spend 5 min (out of encounter). Starfinder is in a unique position where you can just have some science magic way of waving away the GM may I mini game.

See, I only rarely saw anyone that far down, and I'd have to think if I ever did for the whole group. If it happened it happened a couple times in two campaigns. And I'd probably have noticed at least in one of the three campaigns since I've played, respectively, a sword-and-board Fighter, a Champion/Bard (both of whom were pretty much the group tanks) and a Gunslinger (who only has two speeds: untouched and badly chewed up (the latter on the rare case when she has actively annoyed an opponent with good mobility).

This is what makes this so weird to me; its like we're talking almost entirely different games. Admittedly the middle game we were playing hybrids, but we were also in Age of Ashes which is notoriously unkind, so...
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
I kind of think it probably is (though it doesn't have to have the tight PF2e math necessarily, which may make it worse, but I think that's an artifact of actually having levels that really mean something and go that high; but then I'm not exceptionally a fan of level based systems so that may show through there). I only know three games in the D&D family that seem to have working CR, and its true to one extent or another in all three (PF2e, D&D4e, and 13th Age. Its a little less pronounced in the last because 13th Age has level compression and has moved much farther away from certain D&Disms than the other two, which may bother someone up-front, but once they get over that will probably bother them less in this particular area. I'd be willing to be pointed at a case where encounter calculation math that works doesn't produce some of this, but if so, its managed to stay below my radar (most of the D&D sphere seems either consider balanced encounters antithetical or just throw up its hands about it and tell everyone to eyeball--which, to be fair, latter is what most games do, but it doesn't make much of an argument for actually having encounter calculations work while producing what you and some others want at the same time).

I don't know what to tell you man, but that really doesn't fit my experience with anything but (to a degree) solo battles, and I've played the game up to 20th once and (checks current level) 14th a second time now. I'm not going to deny your experience here, but there's obviously something that makes a big difference between what you've seen and what I have. Are you playing with a big group of PCs by any chance? (That's the only thing I can think of that might, and to be clear, its a shot in the dark).
4 PC groups. Playtest, a few one shots, and a short lived campaign. I'll admit I have never been above level 12.
See, I only rarely saw anyone that far down, and I'd have to think if I ever did for the whole group. If it happened it happened a couple times in two campaigns. And I'd probably have noticed at least in one of the three campaigns since I've played, respectively, a sword-and-board Fighter, a Champion/Bard (both of whom were pretty much the group tanks) and a Gunslinger (who only has two speeds: untouched and badly chewed up (the latter on the rare case when she has actively annoyed an opponent with good mobility).

This is what makes this so weird to me; its like we're talking almost entirely different games. Admittedly the middle game we were playing hybrids, but we were also in Age of Ashes which is notoriously unkind, so...
At any rate this is getting very off topic. My main point is that I am optimistic that SF2 will likely follow very closely to the chassis, but also bring a few new things to the table. At the very least there may be some new interesting variants that allow you to adjust the way the game plays. Although the playtest went in a direction I didnt like, I do appreciate Paizo giving options to tweak the game. In yet another ironic way, Paizo provided us the modularity that WOTC never delivered.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
At any rate this is getting very off topic.

You're absolutely right, and I'm sorry to have assisted in dragging it far afield.

My main point is that I am optimistic that SF2 will likely follow very closely to the chassis, but also bring a few new things to the table. At the very least there may be some new interesting variants that allow you to adjust the way the game plays. Although the playtest went in a direction I didnt like, I do appreciate Paizo giving options to tweak the game. In yet another ironic way, Paizo provided us the modularity that WOTC never delivered.

Well, bluntly, I'm not sure WOTC every considered it a true virtue, but whatever changes happened between PF1e and PF2e, Paizo always seems to having as much variation as practical a virtue.
 


Thomas Shey

Legend
The only active one I can think of is GURPS 4e

And even the prior there wasn't that far apart if you count the Revised 3e. Honestly, only reason there's probably not been a 5e is GURPS is on semi-life support; its obvious that SJG doesn't consider it an important part of its publications any more.
 

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.

That’s silly, there’s never been an edition of D&D that lasted so long.

Wish I owned my own TTRPG, I'd blow both of them out the water in quality and sales.
Oh yeah? Nothing’s stopping you from writing your own. Lots of people do. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
That’s silly, there’s never been an edition of D&D that lasted so long.


Oh yeah? Nothing’s stopping you from writing your own. Lots of people do. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.
Yeah. It's safe to say something like "I'd build such a better smart phone" or "I'd run such a better restaurant." But the cost to to design a D&D killer? Your time. Of course it costs money to print and publish, but if it's that good surely you'll crowdfund whatever you need.
 

Yeah. It's safe to say something like "I'd build such a better smart phone" or "I'd run such a better restaurant." But the cost to to design a D&D killer? Your time. Of course it costs money to print and publish, but if it's that good surely you'll crowdfund whatever you need.
Yep. And if you’ve got a decent product, you can find traction in digital before you ever commit to print. Not saying it’s easy to publish something, but you’re exactly right: writing a TTRPG has a really low barrier to entry, and the main cost will be his time.

So, with that in mind, I looked forward to seeing Erdric Dragon’s D&D-killer 20-year-lifespan game! It’s gonna be perfect, apparently!
 

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