What's Next for Starfinder

We talked with Thurston Hillman and Jenny Jarzabski at Gen Con about what we can expect in the next few years from Starfinder.

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With the announcement of Starfinder 2nd Edition, the pressure is off the development team and they can finally talk about it. I got a chance at Gen Con to talk with Thurston Hillman, Managing Creative Director, and Jenny Jarzabski, Senior Developer, about what we can expect in the coming years for Starfinder.

First Things First​

First things first, there are still a few books coming for Starfinder 1st Edition. Starfinder Enhanced will be out in October. This is not a soft playtest of the new edition, but full of enhancements for your first edition characters. After that, there will be two more hardcover Adventure Paths: Scoured Stars and Mechageddon. These are the last books announced for first edition, but Thurston would not confirm that there aren’t any more coming.

Speaking of Mechageddon, Jenny’s favorite mech is a swarm mech with little AI controlled bits and bobs that can be sent out to do limited things. Thurston’s is the clock mech that has too many numbers on its face.

Now for 2nd Edition, it has been in the talks for years, but they have been trying to find the right time to bring it forward. It will be 100% compatible with Pathfinder 2nd edition and under the ORC license. This means there can be time travel shenanigans with gunslingers and operative snipers. This may have already been done with the development team.

Thurston is super stoked about finally getting three action economy for the game so now the games will have parity and not always be one step behind each other. In fact, Jenny and Dustin Knight spent time with the Pathfinder Remaster team, helping them and working on the books. This means they have a great handle on the rules and can hit the ground running with 2nd edition.

Field Testing at Gen Con​

As of opening day of Gen Con, Field Testing has been started for 2nd edition. This is really a chance for Paizo to keep their fingers on the pulse of the community and to allow fans to see the process of how the game is made. Already changes have been made to feats in the Soldier class because they were named the same as feats from other classes. If you got your hands on the physical copy of the Field Test, it will be different than the PDF online.

This is the most open playtest Paizo has put on and is a big behind the scenes on how your favorite games are made. They also promise to show some of their internal playtests and how they approach things. This could include blogs about their process and maybe streams of their playtests.

“Gaming is about community. And by bringing the community into what we are doing, it’s going to make the product better,” said Thurston.

Changes Are Coming​

Changes are coming. Not just by bringing Starfinder into the 2E engine, but narratively. Who are the big players? What lore needs updating? Are there places in the setting that need tweaking? This edition will allow them to lay a good foundation for the setting and drill down into the roots of it to bring more flavor into the setting.

“The classes you will see will be unlike classes you’ve seen before," said Thurston. “The classes we are doing for Starfinder 2nd Edition are not just sci-fi versions of Pathfinder classes.” They will be adding domains for Starfinder deities, even though there are no classes in Starfinder that need them. Those will be for when you bring over your Pathfinder classes into Starfinder. This means you can play a cleric in space.

Some other tidbits Thurston and Jenny shared:
  • Spellcasters will be happy to note that there will be up to tenth ranked spellcasters for cool space wizardry.
  • If Jenny has anything to say about it, mechs will find their way back into Starfinder eventually, just not in the near future.
  • Solarian’s will be taken in an interesting way where their abilities key off different attunements for different results depending on your attunement at the time.
  • 2024 will see the release of the Playtest rulebook to allow fans to playtest the game and help the team work out any of the kinks in the system. This will allow the community to be very involved in the process and fill out a feedback survey.
  • 2025 is the planned release of the 2nd edition.
  • Spoiler exclusive for E.N. World from Thurston: They are going to blow up a planet in the Pact Worlds, for reasons Thurston wouldn’t disclose. There will be a new Pact World joining, just not in the Golarion system.

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Dawn Dalton

Dawn Dalton

Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
I don't think they'll market SF2e as an expansion to PF2e, if that's what your fear is.
But it appears that they are.
They will be adding domains for Starfinder deities, even though there are no classes in Starfinder that need them. Those will be for when you bring over your Pathfinder classes into Starfinder. This means you can play a cleric in space.
Make of that what you will. I wouldn't say anyone is genuinely afraid, but there is basis for some who feel concerned. I understand everyone may feel differently about it. But it begs the question if SF2 will cater more to PF2 players to bring them over at the risk of alienating SF fans who are not already in that pool?
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