Starfinder What's the state of Starfinder?

Reynard

Legend
I ran a pretty successful Starfinder game a few years ago. I like the setting, thought the rules were pretty well done, and really enjoyed the spaceship combat. But I haven't been following the line at all since then.

So, what's the state of the game? Is it still well supported by Paizo? How about by 3rd parties? Have there been any real stand out adventures, APs or supplements?
 

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gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
I purchase the main supplements, not the APs, nor adventures, but I'm third party as Gamer Printshop (obviously) mostly sold at DrivethruRPG. I published several one-shots and a two-shot module, as well as a one-shot anthology. Supplement wise, I've released Starships, Stations and Salvage Guide about 5 years ago, which was the most popular third party Starfinder product for 6 months - it's been superceded to a slight degree by Paizo's Starship Operations Manual, but it's still a useful supplement - new frames, 47 new bays, new weapons, armor, systems, etc. My most recent release is The Planet Builder a 39 page supplement with tables created by an astrophysicist to generate custom, entire scientifically viable star systems and their stat block, with a planet point system allowing you to build resource stations and extra-planetary structures to grow your system over time. I'm currently developing a line of setting guides for my default setting.

I know Legendary Games puts out good supplements and APs - I'm one of their primary freelance cartographers.
 


Green Onceler

Explorer
It was brought to my attention recently that the Starfinder Adventure Path Line had been reduced to bi-monthly releases. One can only assume this is not due to its great success.

I enjoy the Starfinder system. I have found their adventures do fail to grab my interest, though. The Paizo default setting is just too goofy for my tastes.
 

Porridge

Explorer
It was brought to my attention recently that the Starfinder Adventure Path Line had been reduced to bi-monthly releases. One can only assume this is not due to its great success.
FWIW, they've also added bi-monthly stand-alone Starfinder adventure releases. So they're still releasing a Starfinder adventure each month, it just alternates between an AP release and a stand-alone adventure.
 

Ixal

Adventurer
Not sure how well Starfinder is doing but judging based on forum activity, PbP advertisments for Starfinder games and the changes in release schedule I don't think its all that successful.
Personally I am a fan of the concept of Starfinder but not its executions. The designers are still stuck in a fantasy mindset and have no clue how to incorporate SciFi elements into it which is why the adventure paths ship you off into unexplored wilderness where the PCs can dungeon crawl without having to worry about things like laws, ect.

From the rules side starship combat was a bust and it seems Paizo quietly tries to remove them with the newer APs not even having starships or just using them once or twice instead of them being a part of the group to be upgraded.
 
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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I enjoyed playing it at my local gaming convention and I like the Glass Canon podcast's Starfinder liveplay, but I didn't buy it. Don't have a lot of time for a whole new game and for Sci-Fi I like to get away from DnD inspired mechanics and flavor and would rather play The Expanse, Paranoia, or something built with Cortex Prime.

With Spelljammer coming out, I think it will be more difficult for Paizo to attract many new players. Even though Starfinder offers a much more detailed and rich setting and many more options, Spelljammer will let people play DnD in space without buying a new system. And for those interested in space ships, technology, laser guns, etc.--rather than space fantasy--they have The Expanse, Star Trek, Star Wars, and on and on.
 

Green Onceler

Explorer
FWIW, they've also added bi-monthly stand-alone Starfinder adventure releases.

I don't believe the modules are bi-monthly. The next two scheduled releases are for July and October. Seems more like a quarterly schedule like the old PF1 Module line?

Anyway, I do enjoy the Starfinder system, as already stated, but I feel the adventures do let the system down. And, yeah, starship combat is not fun.
 



gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
Not sure how well Starfinder is doing but judging based on forum activity, PbP advertisments for Starfinder games and the changes in release schedule I don't think its all that successful.
Personally I am a fan of the concept of Starfinder but not its executions. The designers are still stuck in a fantasy mindset and have no clue how to incorporate SciFi elements into it which is why the adventure paths ship you off into unexplored wilderness where the PCs can dungeon crawl without having to worry about things like laws, ect.

From the rules side starship combat was a bust and it seems Paizo quietly tries to remove them with the newer APs not even having starships or just using them once or twice instead of them being a part of the group to be upgraded.
Honestly, it doesn't matter which game system or edition, whether D&D or Starfinder, I never use the default setting, nor the APs and adventures. I just need the Core rules, rules supplements, bestiaries - setting and adventures are my creations. I've never needed that kind of game support, I create that myself. And now as a third party publisher, I publish it too. I am definitely not a fan of the Pact World setting, but I don't need to be. As 3PP, that's hands-off, and I'm glad for it, as it's not a setting for me either. I've written and published a two-shot called Rogue's Run and getting your ship upgraded at the end, is a part of the module. The fact that I don't care for the 1st party setting is a non issue for me.
 

beancounter

(I/Me/Mine)
I played StarFinder for a few months about 2 years ago. I found the spaceship combat rules confusing, as well as the level up process.

Also, how they priced weapons and armor in the game world just did seem to be consistent.

I was looking for a pure sci-fi experience having loved Star Frontiers, and Star Finder just didn't fill that void.

In terms of popularity, I could only find one YouTube channel that focused on it, and then only for a short time before the guy went back to covering Pathfinder and D&D. A quick search on YouTube today, the most recent video is 8 months old. At the time, I also noticed that Star Finder had the lowest number of active games/players on Roll20 relative to other games from major publishers.
 

Staffan

Legend
I and my group gave Starfinder a shot shortly after it was published, and were about to give the Against the Aeon Throne AP a whirl. We got close to finishing the first part but gave up after the PCs' ship lost a space fight.

To me, the whole thing felt too much like D&D 3.5/Pathfinder but set in space with the thinnest of sci-fi veneers. You got classes and levels, which I can live with, but one of the things that really bugged me was the gear dependency. Even more than D&D 3.5/Pathfinder, the game revolves around acquiring loot which you convert into better weapons and armor and to some degree other gear. So a 1st level soldier will be using an Azimuth Laser Rifle dealing 1d8 points of damage, which they bought for 425 credits. Checking in on the same character at 13th level, they've spent 53,800 credits on a 5d6 perihelion laser rifle instead. That just feels... wrong. If you look at Star Wars, Leia is just as deadly with the standard-issue Stormtrooper rifle as she is with her own sporting blaster – or possibly more, given that one is basically an assault rifle and the other is a target shooting pistol.

The same went for adventure design – again, D&D with the serial numbers filed off. The adventure had at least two sections that I'd classify as straight-up dungeons.

Starship combat is also very sensitive to how many players there are. In the fight at the end of the adventure in question, the players go up against a hostile ship with a crew complement of 6: captain, engineer, pilot, two gunners, and a science officer. Each of these can do things that help with the fight. The PCs typically have a crew of 4, because that's the AP standard. So when the enemy is doing boss stuff, damage control, flying, shooting twice, and managing shields, the PCs will only be doing four of those things, which is a huge disadvantage, and one that doesn't really show if you look at the ship stats themselves.

The way you essentially rebuild the group's ship every level doesn't really sit well with me either. It is such a naked game concept that it's hard to rationalize, particularly since the ship is completely unrelated to any actual money the PCs have.

There are also way too many places where there are all too obvious "Red Queen's Races" going on, running faster and faster just to stay in the same place or even lose position. Again, starship combat is one of the more obvious places, particularly in the original printing. Your starship tier will almost always be the same as your level, and there are lots of checks in starship combat that's against something like "15 + 2 x starship tier" (I think most of these got errataed to be 1 or 1.5 x tier, but still). That kind of thing makes me feel like I'm just pushing my skill ranks down a black hole where I keep spending them but there's no notable effect. There are similar things all over the place, not just starship combat, but space combat is where it's the most noticeable.
 

Reynard

Legend
In terms of popularity, I could only find one YouTube channel that focused on it, and then only for a short time before the guy went back to covering Pathfinder and D&D. A quick search on YouTube today, the most recent video is 8 months old. At the time, I also noticed that Star Finder had the lowest number of active games/players on Roll20 relative to other games from major publishers.
If this is the metric then the only game that is successful is D&D, specifically for new GMs.

I don't think the preponderance of YouTube videos is a good measure.
 


Ixal

Adventurer
At least the setting overhaul seems to be canceled.

There was a book announced which, based on the titel and promotion material could be interpreted to overhaul the way drift (the starfinder version of hyperspace) works which would be a bigger change to the setting.

But based on what people with advance copies said the crisis happens but at the end everything is nearly back to what it was.
 



You can find tables about sci-fi spaceships, but Starfinder has got a lot of exclusive races and creatures that don't easy to be found in the sci-fi virtual tabletops. Can you say any virtual tabletop to play a Star Wars RPG, or with aliens from Star Trek?
 

Reynard

Legend
You can find tables about sci-fi spaceships, but Starfinder has got a lot of exclusive races and creatures that don't easy to be found in the sci-fi virtual tabletops. Can you say any virtual tabletop to play a Star Wars RPG, or with aliens from Star Trek?
Have you used a VTT before? The VTT doesn't decide what's "in" it -- you do. Starfinder already exists on Fantasy Grounds, for example.
 

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