log in or register to remove this ad

 

SF Talking With Starfinder Creative Director At Gen Con


While at Gen Con, I had the opportunity to briefly meet with James Sutter, the Creative Director for the new Starfinder game from Paizo Publishing, as well as the co-creator of the Pathfinder role-playing game. We met in the first hour of the con, before Starfinder sold out, when the press of bodies at the convention was trying to get to the Paizo booth and grab their copies of the game. Moving along the line of people waiting to pay for their copies was Sutter, moving along the line with a pen in hand to sign the copies of anyone who wanted a signature. He talked with everyone, and laughed with many.

The first day of Gen Con 2017 was a busy one for everyone, but no one publisher felt that quite like Paizo. This wasn't the first time that Paizo dominated a Gen Con and sold out their new core rules, either. I was at the Gen Con, nine years ago, when Pathfinder debuted and sold out then. This Gen Con had a similar feel to it. Not far from the booth, Paizo had a demo area where they were running Starfinder games for those attending the convention.

When I asked about Sutter what he thought about the reception that Starfinder was getting from Paizo fans he said "This is crazy. This is great." He said that neither he nor the company expected lightning to strike twice like this. "We knew that people were excited and engaged" but until seeing the crowds at Gen Con and interacting with them they didn't know just how excited that people were about Starfinder.

In fact, the best part of working on the project for Sutter was the audience's reaction to it as they launched previews and reveals of the game. He said that the work in getting the game together and out to the people was hard, but seeing the excitement of the fan base made all that hard work worthwhile.

Sutter said that his favorite race in the game were the ratfolk. He lobbied for their inclusion because he know that Starfinder groups would have people in that would love the race as much as he did.

As a big fan of science fiction, you could see some of the early threads that would lead to Starfinder in earlier Pathfinder works by Sutter, like Distant Worlds. Writing about space elevators and particle accelerators in the Pathfinder game excited him, but he (and his editors) knew that they had to pull back on the more overt science fiction for that game. But it laid the ground for what would end up being the Starfinder game.

We talked about those people who weren't happy about the disappearance of Golarion, and the idea of The Gap. Sutter said that this was "crucial to Starfinder succeeding" so that Pathfinder campaigns and adventures wouldn't have their agency removed, or have things spoiled by Starfinder being the future of Pathfinder.

The next big product for Starfinder that Sutter was excited for was the upcoming Pact Worlds Campaign Setting hardcover. This will give expanded information on the core setting of the Starfinder game. The book was designed with their goal of pushing content that would benefit both GMs and players, having new equipment and gear, races and options for characters and players.
SaveSave
 

Comments

Zarithar

Adventurer
Not sure if this is the place to ask... but will Paizo have any Starfinder books available at PAX West?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

vongarr

First Post
You think that the people who spent months producing a gorgeous several-hundred page full-colour book are "lazy"? Not just lazy, but "incredibly lazy"?

Tough audience.

God I hate the internet sometimes. It successfully parodies itself so often.
The art in the book, the layout, the typesetting, the flawless editing, all of these things could be world class and breaking new ground in RPG design. And having a cop out gap would still be lazy.

The book having a particular characteristic has nothing to do with another, unrelated characteristic, in other words. Now, if someone is so incensed they can simply fill out the gap themselves. That's assuming they think the system and setting are worthwhile enough to put that much work into fleshing out the historical underpinnings of the setting.
 

ddaley

Explorer
My group has not played Pathfinder or used Golarion... but I would like to use the published adventures for Starfinder. I am hoping that this Gap concept isn't integral to their APs.

...Now, if someone is so incensed they can simply fill out the gap themselves. That's assuming they think the system and setting are worthwhile enough to put that much work into fleshing out the historical underpinnings of the setting.
 

vongarr

First Post
My group has not played Pathfinder or used Golarion... but I would like to use the published adventures for Starfinder. I am hoping that this Gap concept isn't integral to their APs.
If you don't mind me asking, why use starfinder at all then? Nothing I've seen in any of the world building done by Paizo has impressed me, and it in general seems to be favored for its breadth of material more than the quality of that material. And the rules are very arguably even worse (not that they're bad, but that the system overall has issues that cannot be resolved with rule revisions and sourcebooks).
 

ddaley

Explorer
I have been wanting to run a SciFi game. I have been playing D&D off and on since around 1980... so am familiar with the system. I like the D20 system. I am willing to give Starfinder a decent chance.

We tried FFG's Star Wars. I was not crazy about the zone system and their dice mechanic is interesting, but too involved for a action oriented RPG.


If you don't mind me asking, why use starfinder at all then? Nothing I've seen in any of the world building done by Paizo has impressed me, and it in general seems to be favored for its breadth of material more than the quality of that material. And the rules are very arguably even worse (not that they're bad, but that the system overall has issues that cannot be resolved with rule revisions and sourcebooks).
 

vongarr

First Post
I have been wanting to run a SciFi game. I have been playing D&D off and on since around 1980... so am familiar with the system. I like the D20 system. I am willing to give Starfinder a decent chance.

We tried FFG's Star Wars. I was not crazy about the zone system and their dice mechanic is interesting, but too involved for a action oriented RPG.
Thank you for the explanation. My perception is that the paizo types are going to be those who are going to be the ones getting into starfinder.

I've done the FFG star wars too, and while I like the system, I do not really care for the setting. And a lot of the concepts are very gamey and counter intuitive for those who aren't going to sit down and learn the system (which unfortunately seems to be lot when it comes to players...).
 

ddaley

Explorer
Well, my hope was that Paizo would try to appeal to non-Pathfinder people as well...

Thank you for the explanation. My perception is that the paizo types are going to be those who are going to be the ones getting into starfinder. ...
 

madchappy

First Post
I have full intentions of embracing Starfinder and having fun. Isn't that what it is all about anyways. Besides there are some things "man" will not understand or comprehend. Such as where do my socks in the dryer disappear to or if in space could someone really hear you scream?

So I am fine with The Gap. Personally I am glad Paizo has a new system so all their eggs are not in one basket as I think they do an excellent job supporting their base.

Play at games and have fun. Life is to short to do otherwise.

Well that is my two cents for what it is worth. Also, I enjoy ready this site so keep up the good work.
 

TrickyUK

Explorer
When I first skimmed the book, I was not impressed with The Gap. Felt too much like a cop-out; would have simply preferred a different universe. I also think that the Pathfinder Legacy chapter could have been a free download and the pages used for something else (a handful on monsters?) as this seemed to contrast with the idea that Golarion had disappeared. If they wanted keep some distance between the two games (which the Gap successfully creates) then I found it odd they made the effort to include Pathfinder races - I really like the default alien races as they suit the sci-fi setting. I guess I could also say this view extends to the magic in the game, which just feels like a holdover from Pathfinder.

I've since gone back and started reading the book from front to back (so not got to Setting chapter yet). I'm hoping that I like the system enough to look past this element of the setting and do as others have mentioned, and look forward and ignore (for want of a better word) the past because I like what I've read so far.
 

Shasarak

First Post
I think, from my POV, that having the Gap and the disappearance of Golarion allows the Starfinder team to use anything from Pathfinder without having to actually upgrade everything from Pathfinder.

I mean, can you imagine the work that would have to be done to have a "modern day" Golarion?
 

AriochQ

Adventurer
Don't play Pathfinder, probably won't play Starfinder, but I just googled "The Gap" and it seems pretty lame, essentially an extreme case of hand-waving. Any other number of explanations would have sufficed (e.g. SF is 100,000 years in the future, Golarion is very far away in an undiscovered sector, etc.).

"[FONT=&quot]The [/FONT]Gap is a recent phenomenon affecting all the memories and records across the multiverse. All memories and records of the planet Golarion were removed from all of the multiverse's inhabitants along with all memories of an indeterminate number of years. Even the deities are silent on the subject, vaguely referring to the safety of the lost planet of Golarion. No members of any species remembers what happened during the unknown number of years covered by the Gap."
 

Feeroper

Explorer
Well I for one love the game and the setting. I played a bunch of games at Gen Con and just had a blast! It stands apart from Pathfinder and in many instances is more streamlined mechanically, but it also has its own unique flavor while also being a recognizable descendant of Pathfinder. The setting really invokes a sense of wonder for me, and I think the Gap is such a great idea even outside of its stated purpose - I like the idea that some planets have memories that go a little further back than others and think this will be a good place to get some interesting stories from.

I'm a regular player of D&D 5e and sometimes play Pathfinder - I will make sure I have time to play this game regularly too after playing at Gen Con. I have always liked Golarion and this sci-fi version is an amazing addition. I am not usually as into Sci Fi as much as Fantasy, but Starfinder really has its hooks in me so far. I'll be really curious to see how it does once the newness factor wears off.
 

Shasarak

First Post
Don't play Pathfinder, probably won't play Starfinder, but I just googled "The Gap" and it seems pretty lame, essentially an extreme case of hand-waving. Any other number of explanations would have sufficed (e.g. SF is 100,000 years in the future, Golarion is very far away in an undiscovered sector, etc.).
A 100,000 years? Why not

View attachment 87760
 

rknop

Explorer
They did want to use some things from Golarion -- Iomedae, Hellknights, Absalom (after which the stationed is named), the starstone, the planets from Distant Worlds, memories of the Pathfinder Society after which the Starfinder Society patterned itself, etc. All of these things would make much less sense 10^5, 10^6, or 10^7 years into the future. (Or more.) They also wouldn't make sense if it were set in a distant sector of space.

They wanted a future version of the same setting, but they wanted to do it in such a way that GMs and players wouldn't see that the future was "set" in the metaplot, so nothing they did in the Pathfinder era mattered. The Gap solves that problem. It's also a pretty cool memory.

(Think about what happens if you fly FTL to 300+ light-years away from the Golarion system, and look back. What do you see? If you build a big enough telescope with a sufficiently precise coronagraph, you should be able to resolve the planet Golarion, and watch as it disappears. So... are the photons *just not there*? Or are they garbled somehow? And the notion that the *gods themselves* don't seem to remember the gap -- certainly less exalted extraplanar beings don't -- indicates that there's something *really special* about the Golarion system, but it's ineffable what is. It gives you a nice sense of mystery about the setting. You can then run games on top of this much like the first couple of seasons of Babylon 5, where the mystery is there and part of the background, but doesn't necessarily impact all of the stories all that much.)
 

jimtillman

First Post
They did want to use some things from Golarion -- Iomedae, Hellknights, Absalom (after which the stationed is named), the starstone, the planets from Distant Worlds, memories of the Pathfinder Society after which the Starfinder Society patterned itself, etc. All of these things would make much less sense 10^5, 10^6, or 10^7 years into the future. (Or more.) They also wouldn't make sense if it were set in a distant sector of space.

They wanted a future version of the same setting, but they wanted to do it in such a way that GMs and players wouldn't see that the future was "set" in the metaplot, so nothing they did in the Pathfinder era mattered. The Gap solves that problem. It's also a pretty cool memory.

(Think about what happens if you fly FTL to 300+ light-years away from the Golarion system, and look back. What do you see? If you build a big enough telescope with a sufficiently precise coronagraph, you should be able to resolve the planet Golarion, and watch as it disappears. So... are the photons *just not there*? Or are they garbled somehow? And the notion that the *gods themselves* don't seem to remember the gap -- certainly less exalted extraplanar beings don't -- indicates that there's something *really special* about the Golarion system, but it's ineffable what is. It gives you a nice sense of mystery about the setting. You can then run games on top of this much like the first couple of seasons of Babylon 5, where the mystery is there and part of the background, but doesn't necessarily impact all of the stories all that much.)
that could be a fun mission to run
 

jedijon

Explorer
From the little I understand the sort of comic book style tie in between "finders", it does seem goofy and unnecessary.

So I still don't know if this is for me. The silliness of gamma world is more what I want in an alternate rules set.

Or Cadwallon..,
 

jedijon

Explorer
Grr, can't edit. I mean - it's like the definition of deus ex machina. Don't we frown on that sort of storytelling device in this hobby?
 

Guang

Explorer
Watching a mystery being gradually figured out over time is interesting to me. A mystery that will always be mysteriously mysterious stops being interesting to me and becomes something I just skip over mentally. Kind of like the show Lost. Usually I binge watch shows a season at a time, but for Lost I only wanted to watch the first episode and the last one.

But I love aliens and alien worlds, so lots looks interesting here beyond the Gap, especially the upcoming Pact World setting book *drool*
 

Remathilis

Legend
Grr, can't edit. I mean - it's like the definition of deus ex machina. Don't we frown on that sort of storytelling device in this hobby?
I dunno, D&D is full of them; the cause of the Day of Mourning in Eberron, the nature of the Dark Powers of Ravenloft, the origin of the Lady of Pain in Planescape, etc. I see the Gap as the same kind of mystery that looms in the metaplot but never will be cannonically answered.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Don't play Pathfinder, probably won't play Starfinder, but I just googled "The Gap" and it seems pretty lame, essentially an extreme case of hand-waving. Any other number of explanations would have sufficed (e.g. SF is 100,000 years in the future, Golarion is very far away in an undiscovered sector, etc.).
Sure. Any number of trivial easy tedious boring ideas. It would have been easy to pick one of them. Maybe they have something better in mind?

You don’t have to know everything right away. Who’s Snoke? What’s up with the zombies in Walking Dead? How long did we wait to find out who Ice and Fire were (though we suspected!)
 

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

Advertisement1

Latest threads

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top