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Made in us
Morphing Obliterator






My local group refuses to allow me to run D20 Future (3rd Edition) because they hate the rules, so I'm looking for an alternative. I heard about this game called Starfinder and I wondered if anyone here might have experience with the setting.

A few questions:

D20 Future had rules for running different Teirs. How does Starfinder handle the question of different technology levels?

How fluid is the system, is it simple to use? Is it based off a D20 System, or is it more akin to something else?

How does its skill system function?
   
Made in us
Posts with Authority






It is indeed based off of the D20 system - and Paizo has the rules for free in the SF SRD

It is very much science fiction D&D.

The Auld Grump

Kilkrazy wrote:When I was a young boy all my wargames were narratively based because I played with my toy soldiers and vehicles without the use of any rules.

The reason I bought rules and became a real wargamer was because I wanted a properly thought out structure to govern the action instead of just making things up as I went along.
 
   
Made in us
Horrific Hive Tyrant






Do you enjoy pathfinder?

It's Pathfinder but replace fantasy races with bugs and greys and blues and gak.

Add laser guns and psychic powers instead of bows and magic.


These are my opinions. This is how I feel. Others may feel differently. This needs to be stated for some reason.

 JohnHwangDD wrote:

The Nazis were right. It's better to be a Nazi than a fan.

Thank you for getting me on the side of Milo and the Nazis.

 
   
Made in us
Morphing Obliterator






 Lance845 wrote:
Do you enjoy pathfinder?

It's Pathfinder but replace fantasy races with bugs and greys and blues and gak.

Add laser guns and psychic powers instead of bows and magic.


I've never played Pathfinder before, but I've been told it's basically D7D 3.5

But I am glad to know it is a base d20 system. Thanks! I noticed on their website that there are quite a few books in the game series, how many do you actually need in order to play?

-Curtis
   
Made in us
Horrific Hive Tyrant






Like all d20. In theory you just need a phb.

In practixe a mm is essential and a dmg is a real nice tool.


These are my opinions. This is how I feel. Others may feel differently. This needs to be stated for some reason.

 JohnHwangDD wrote:

The Nazis were right. It's better to be a Nazi than a fan.

Thank you for getting me on the side of Milo and the Nazis.

 
   
Made in us
Morphing Obliterator






 Lance845 wrote:
Like all d20. In theory you just need a phb.

In practixe a mm is essential and a dmg is a real nice tool.


Thanks, I think I'm going to push for giving this a try.
   
Made in ca
Trustworthy Shas'vre






 Togusa wrote:
My local group refuses to allow me to run D20 Future (3rd Edition) because they hate the rules, so I'm looking for an alternative. I heard about this game called Starfinder and I wondered if anyone here might have experience with the setting.

A few questions:

D20 Future had rules for running different Teirs. How does Starfinder handle the question of different technology levels?

How fluid is the system, is it simple to use? Is it based off a D20 System, or is it more akin to something else?

How does its skill system function?


It doesn't have different tech levels. However, more advanced/powerful weapons cost more and can house more enchantments. Basically, your equipment is limited by level and wealth, and the GM can control wealth fairly easily. If you've played Pathfinder or D&D, it's pretty similar - high tech is incredibly expensive.

System wise, it's D20, not much changes. Spellcasters have 6 levels of spells instead of nine, and ranged combat is more emphasized than physical, because guns.

Skills are basically the same as Pathfinder/D&D3.0/3.5 - skill ranks included, with relevant skills like Computer, Engineering and Pilot added.

   
Made in us
Morphing Obliterator






 John Prins wrote:
 Togusa wrote:
My local group refuses to allow me to run D20 Future (3rd Edition) because they hate the rules, so I'm looking for an alternative. I heard about this game called Starfinder and I wondered if anyone here might have experience with the setting.

A few questions:

D20 Future had rules for running different Teirs. How does Starfinder handle the question of different technology levels?

How fluid is the system, is it simple to use? Is it based off a D20 System, or is it more akin to something else?

How does its skill system function?


It doesn't have different tech levels. However, more advanced/powerful weapons cost more and can house more enchantments. Basically, your equipment is limited by level and wealth, and the GM can control wealth fairly easily. If you've played Pathfinder or D&D, it's pretty similar - high tech is incredibly expensive.

System wise, it's D20, not much changes. Spellcasters have 6 levels of spells instead of nine, and ranged combat is more emphasized than physical, because guns.

Skills are basically the same as Pathfinder/D&D3.0/3.5 - skill ranks included, with relevant skills like Computer, Engineering and Pilot added.


The only thing I don't like is the focus on "magic." But I might be able to just cut that out.

Thanks!
   
Made in us
Horrific Hive Tyrant






 Togusa wrote:
 John Prins wrote:
 Togusa wrote:
My local group refuses to allow me to run D20 Future (3rd Edition) because they hate the rules, so I'm looking for an alternative. I heard about this game called Starfinder and I wondered if anyone here might have experience with the setting.

A few questions:

D20 Future had rules for running different Teirs. How does Starfinder handle the question of different technology levels?

How fluid is the system, is it simple to use? Is it based off a D20 System, or is it more akin to something else?

How does its skill system function?


It doesn't have different tech levels. However, more advanced/powerful weapons cost more and can house more enchantments. Basically, your equipment is limited by level and wealth, and the GM can control wealth fairly easily. If you've played Pathfinder or D&D, it's pretty similar - high tech is incredibly expensive.

System wise, it's D20, not much changes. Spellcasters have 6 levels of spells instead of nine, and ranged combat is more emphasized than physical, because guns.

Skills are basically the same as Pathfinder/D&D3.0/3.5 - skill ranks included, with relevant skills like Computer, Engineering and Pilot added.


The only thing I don't like is the focus on "magic." But I might be able to just cut that out.

Thanks!


Either dont let players pick those classes or call them psionc abilities. Or just steal the psionic classes from pathfinder.


These are my opinions. This is how I feel. Others may feel differently. This needs to be stated for some reason.

 JohnHwangDD wrote:

The Nazis were right. It's better to be a Nazi than a fan.

Thank you for getting me on the side of Milo and the Nazis.

 
   
Made in us
Sister Oh-So Repentia





Los Angeles

As mentioned above, Starfinder is simply Pathfinder in space, and Pathfinder was created as an extension of D&D's 3.5 era (D&D's peak, in my opinion) after it moved onto other editions. Which is why i permanently quit D&D and happily graduated to Pathfinder.

And as a big sci-fi fan (and believer in Paizo since they clearly shared my love for D&D 3.5 enough to revive it and explore its continued evolution) i tried out Starfinder as soon as it came out and have been playing it ever since.

So yes, Starfinder is literally D&D in space, plain and simple. Just add spaceship combat, some new mechanics for tech and shooting, and aliens, etc. But the skills, tech, and any other system-related stuff is simply the same as D20 D&D and Pathfinder.

All you need is the Core Rulebook, and optionally one of the adventure modules if you don't want to come up with something of your own.
All-around solid game.

Extras: the Alien Archive is just a monster manual, so fun but not necessary. The Armory, on the other hand, is pretty meaty by adding a lot of cool new equipment and expands some classes. Again not necessary, but definitely filled with substance.


 
   
Made in gb
Humorless Arbite





Hull

Disclaimer; I have not personally played nor ran Starfinder.

A GM I know was very fond of Pathfinder and eagerly awaited the release of Starfinder. He preordered books and ran a campaign the moment it released. He ran that campaign for a year.

As of two weeks ago, he told me that if you want to run a starfinder, just run a pathfinder in space. There are significant issues with Starfinder that he hopes will be resolved in 2nd edition but for now, Pathfinder with space stuff is better.

   
Made in us
[DCM]
Abel





Washington State

Starfinder would have been a fantastic system if it had just stuck with space and technology. But no, they had to add in magic. Let's just say there are a lot of interesting and inconsistent rules interactions. For example, Token Spells, basically cantrips, say you can slowly move a light bulk object. Bulk in the game concerns itself with the weight and unwieldiness of an item. Well guess what. In space, there is not 'weight', only mass. So I argued that in the big boss fight where we suddenly turned off the gravity, I should be able to use my token spell that allows no saving throw, magic resistance, or requires a skill check or attack roll, to rotate the big bad guy so that his back is to us, and because he isn't close to a hand hold or has any kind of "jet pack", I should be able to keep him in place for the full duration of the spell.

Similarly, star ship combat is measured in hexes, but no size is given for the hexes... it's very, very abstract. This is no Full Thrust or Star Fleet Battles style combat. I will say they did a great job using crew, so that each party member can actually do something that affects the combat.

Basically, as others have said, it's Pathfinder... in space. There is nothing unique here, except the weapons are far more deadly. "Here, let me hit you with my Ultraserrated Longsword that does 8d10 damage and on a crit, you'll take 6d6 bleed damage." And that's a pretty tame melee weapon. Armor class is split between an Energy and Kinetic Armor Class, and it's relatively easy to get a 25+ AC in both. Pazio had to introduce item levels to rate the... effectiveness? Dangerousness of items, and give a strong warning about allowing characters to have items above their level. I'm like "OK, we have this futuristic, high technology culture with guns that throw black holes, but I can't have one because I'm only level 3? What can I use? Oh, a Lazergun that does 1d8 damage. Hmm...."

There is a lot of potential in the system, but it needs a lot more work, and far too much is left up to the GM to fix. I'd give it a pass until 2nd ed.

Kara Sloan shoots through Time and Design Space for a Negative Play Experience  
   
Made in us
Morphing Obliterator






 Tamwulf wrote:
Starfinder would have been a fantastic system if it had just stuck with space and technology. But no, they had to add in magic. Let's just say there are a lot of interesting and inconsistent rules interactions. For example, Token Spells, basically cantrips, say you can slowly move a light bulk object. Bulk in the game concerns itself with the weight and unwieldiness of an item. Well guess what. In space, there is not 'weight', only mass. So I argued that in the big boss fight where we suddenly turned off the gravity, I should be able to use my token spell that allows no saving throw, magic resistance, or requires a skill check or attack roll, to rotate the big bad guy so that his back is to us, and because he isn't close to a hand hold or has any kind of "jet pack", I should be able to keep him in place for the full duration of the spell.

Similarly, star ship combat is measured in hexes, but no size is given for the hexes... it's very, very abstract. This is no Full Thrust or Star Fleet Battles style combat. I will say they did a great job using crew, so that each party member can actually do something that affects the combat.

Basically, as others have said, it's Pathfinder... in space. There is nothing unique here, except the weapons are far more deadly. "Here, let me hit you with my Ultraserrated Longsword that does 8d10 damage and on a crit, you'll take 6d6 bleed damage." And that's a pretty tame melee weapon. Armor class is split between an Energy and Kinetic Armor Class, and it's relatively easy to get a 25+ AC in both. Pazio had to introduce item levels to rate the... effectiveness? Dangerousness of items, and give a strong warning about allowing characters to have items above their level. I'm like "OK, we have this futuristic, high technology culture with guns that throw black holes, but I can't have one because I'm only level 3? What can I use? Oh, a Lazergun that does 1d8 damage. Hmm...."

There is a lot of potential in the system, but it needs a lot more work, and far too much is left up to the GM to fix. I'd give it a pass until 2nd ed.


Stuff like this shouldn't be too big a problem for our group, we use the rules more like a set of optional guidelines, not as 100% must be followed. Thanks all! I'm going to check this out!
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






I tried Starfinder and the best way to describe it would be as a Science Fantasy rpg and NOT scifi. It really did feel like playing D&D in the future/space and not in a good way for me as I was expecting a fully fleshed out scifi game. Firing your futuristic plasma weapon is mechanically no different than firing a bow and all that future tech gives you no additional options for the most part. Things like burst fire, indirect, or semi/full auto fire for example that you'd expect to find in a modern setting RPG are largely absent except from a select few (usually "heavy") weapons. After GMing for two sessions after playing in one (and as the only player willing to do so), we called it quits.

In the month since, I've seen the armoury book that just came out and it did introduce a few additional options for modern/scifi combat basics like bipods/tripods and more but it's too little, too late for us. I really enjoyed the look of the alien races and armor in it (moreso than any scifi universe I've been introduced to since Mass Effect just prior to the release of the 3rd game in that trilogy) but, despite the open beta, it felt like a half assed port of Pathfinder into space. The reuse of the actual Pathfinder Universe (Golarion and its races and magic) hand waved into the distant future didn't help with that either. If you're OK with D&D3.85 in space then I'd say definitely look it up.

Here is my first impression (literally after the first game where I wasn't GM yet) if you want to read a lengthier version of the above.

http://sitzkrieg.blogspot.com/search/label/Starfinder

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/11/03 00:40:35


   
Made in nl
Bounding Assault Marine






Quite a few things have already been mentioned, and rightly so, about Starfinder. Most importantly, that the setting is basically Pathfinder in Space.

Having played and DMmed Dragonstar, I must say I am having a little trouble adapting to a setting like this. Warboss said it; "Firing your futuristic plasma weapon is mechanically no different than firing a bow and all that future tech gives you no additional options for the most part". Something just doesn't seem right when, instead of a human, an elf and a dwarf entering a dungeon, this time a human, a lashunta and a vesk enter a seemingly deactivated big cruiser. Thematically being in space, but still wandering dangerous corridors (metal instead of stone), dodging traps (internal defense guns instead of crossbows fired by pressure plates), fighting its inhabitants (space-skeletons instead of skeletons, or space-rat-people instead of rat-people, etc.). All there to find loot and XP, so they can grow in power and wealth levels. In our last Dragonstar campaign the players even literally entered a (space)pyramid laden with archaic traps and ancient undead skeletons, zombies and mummies. Literally a dungeon crawl with stone walls, crossbows, and classic opponents.

As far as the system goes, not just the setting, there are moving parts, the rules. Some are added, to simulate tech. There are starships. There is burst fire and auto fire. But some of these, like the aforementioned item levels, seem arbitrary. Why can't a level 1 character pick up a level 2 full-auto squad heavy support weapon? It means the DM must take care not to have such higher level items in the game until the characters are ready for them. But it feels forced, even if just for balance issues. I don't have to guess for the level of fun when a low-level character grabs a laser machinegun and mows down a horde of enemies (hopefully not at full XP when aided by an item obviously far above the intended power level?). I don't have to guess for the level of fun when the player characters are caught in a crossfire of three full-auto sentry guns, losing their 10, 20 hitpoints to tremendous amounts of damage (either from ten single shots or from concentrated fire).
On the other hand, I have found very few rules about bursts and full auto to my liking. In any system. Here you have automatic rifle X. It can be fired single shot (one attack roll, one possible hit on one target?), burst fire (three attack rolls, one to three possible hits on one to three targets?), or on full-auto fire (ten attack rolls, one to ten possible hits on one to ten targets?). Or should full auto suddenly become an area of effect cone, with a maximum amount of targets equal to the amount of ammo actually spent? But what about narrowing your full auto area of effect so you only target two opponents? How would this work in a system where you get far more attacks than your character level should have? If area of effect means saving throws and each target in the area getting hit once, why would you want to concentrate fire? If you can, how many saves would the targets make? As you can see, different rules systems each have their own pros and cons. in the end, Paizo made a choice to handle things the way they are in the book now, and it is up to personal preference whether we like it or not.

Tamwulf mentions hexes of indetermined size for space combat. That, too, is a choice. FFG Star Wars even does away with map grids altogether. You are just at narrative range bands from eachother (close, short, medium, long, extreme), and that determines your options and weapon ranges. Interestingly, a starfighter dogfight all happens at close range, like some sort of melee combat. Narratively, the starfighters are flying around, making passes at eachother, trying to get behind the foe and make that one shot. Non-narratively, if you use any miniatures at all, the two are shoved to touch eachother, and the models are never moved away until one side succesfully disengages.
So, back to those hexes, one time the hex is 100 meters, at other times 10,000? (Conceptually, of course, for the sake of the arguement.) The fun starts when movement rates are given in hexes instead of feet (meters, kilometers, nanometers, whatever-eters). Star Wars D20 Saga did this for their basic character movement stat in squares. So, if a hex (or square for that matter) is 100 meters this time, and a starship moved its maximum speed of 10 hexes, did it move ten times as fast the next time, when the hexes were set at 1,000 meters to accododate that 300 meter cruiser, and it moved its 10 hexes? Or would it suddenly move 0.1 hex if it moved ten 100-meter-hexes one time, and then the hexes turned 10,000 meters in that encounter for some reason? How would you move your miniature 0.1 hex anyways?
That seems to be a problem any time one of the moving parts, or rules if you will, involves numerical values set against abstract measurements.

As answered, the basic system is the D20 system from D&D 3.5 / Pathfinder (unofficially also known as D&D3.75). Most task resolution is "D20 plus bonus needs to roll equal to or over a target number". It has races, classes, polyhedral dice for different hit dice and damage rolls, etc. Different tech levels are simply handled by having item levels or increased price for more advanced items.

So, do I think Starfinder is bad?
No. In fact, I have the core book and a few of their monthly adventure path modules. It is just something you need to realize a few things about. It is not hard-core science fiction, but fantasy in space. There are rules systems in place that may, or may not, be to your liking. I would suggest to look before you buy, and TheAuldGrump gave a link to an SRD below. Starfinder is definately not a rehash of D20 Modern/D20 Modern; Space.
   
 
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