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Pathfinder studio to add narrative starship combat and revised classes in sci-fi RPG Starfinder Enhanced

Play as a kitsune or the remnants of a dying star with the upcoming sourcebook.

Starfinder RPG artwork
Image credit: Paizo

Starfinder, the science fiction tabletop RPG sibling to fantasy-flavoured Pathfinder, is due for a major revision, according to publisher Paizo. Classes, starship combat, character options and new species have all been touched-up, rebuilt or expanded in Starfinder Enhanced, available for pre-order in October of this year.

Paizo announced Starfinder Enhanced on social media and its official website February 28th, saying the 192-page hardcover book will contain “totally revised fundamentals” alongside new systems player options. The studio put specific emphasis on the revised core classes - Envoy, Solarian, Technomancer and Witchwarper - which have been fundamentally rebalanced for ease of play and to bring them more in line with design sensibilities reflected in the more recently published classes.

Players will also have access to a suite of new class features and character options that will be compatible with all published classes, not just the core five listed above. Among these are 90 new feats alongside additional archetypes, equipment and spells. Equipment will enjoy a new scalable system that will allow characters to keep a trusty pistol or favourite piece of tech as they continue to grow in power.

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Those nplayers looking to roll a new character when the book drops, or those many new players coming to D&D alternatives, will choose amongst 12 species, including the apparent fan-favourite kitsune and novians, who sound like tiny beings borne from post-mortem gaseous wake of dead stars.

The announcement mentions a new “narrative starship combat” subsystem, and though details are fairly slim at the moment it sounds like the writing team are paying special attention to parts of roleplay that don’t necessarily focus on a character sheet’s statistics. More spending opportunities for Resolve and further work on the creature companion feature will further grow those roleplay possibilities at the table.

Paizo clarified on Twitter that Starfinder Enhanced is not meant to be a replacement to the core rulebook, which they note is still recommended to use in coordination with the upcoming revision. Nor is it a new edition of Starfinder, laying the groundwork to a Pathfinder 2.0 situation for the stellar-themed RPG. It falls closer to 2015’s Pathfinder Unchained - a collection of rules, systems and other bits that are showing their age in light of more modern design choices. Whether it signals Starfinder 2.0 the way Pathfinder Unchained did remains a point of speculation, as Paizo made no move to verify their intent to establish a new clean slate.

Starfinder Enhanced’s writing team includes Kate Baker, Michael Bramnik, Jessica Catalan, John Compton, John Curtin, Anthony Dollinger, Ivis K. Flanagan, Kim Frandsen, John Godek III, Joan Hong, Jason Keeley, Sasha Laranoa Harving, Quinn Murphy, Emily Parks, Joe Pasini and James Rodehaver. Pre-orders for the book are currently planned to start October 18th, 2023, and a physical hardcover will cost $45.

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