Starfinder, the science fiction-themed tabletop roleplaying game that began as a Pathfinder spin-off, is getting a second edition.
The first edition of Starfinder was released in 2017 and took many of the major gameplay mechanics from Pathfinder – which began life as a version of Dungeons & Dragons: Third Edition – and applied them to a sci-fi setting. Rather than having players fighting dragons and giants in a fantasy world, Starfinder sees players travelling across a galaxy populated by alien creatures. Whilst various tropes associated with fantasy are present in Starfinder – such as elves and magic – the setting enables players to use weapons like laser rifles, pilot spaceships and explore planets.
As in the original tabletop RPG Pathfinder, Starfinder has players creating their characters by selecting from a collection of different classes, as well as choosing various abilities and deciding on their core stats. Whenever player characters encounter any potential obstacles or threats, they roll a d20 and add any relevant modifiers to the result. Similarly, to Pathfinder, Starfinder features and supports various adventure paths for players to experience, with each path being separated into a series of episodes.
Starfinder: Second Edition will be published under the ORC License, an open gaming licence that provides creatives and companies with a legal “safe harbour” in which to share rules and collaborate. The ORC was created by Paizo – the publisher behind Pathfinder and Starfinder - alongside an alliance of 1,500 other tabletop RPG publishers and creators, in order to ensure that tabletop roleplaying game content can still be created without fear of legal reprisals from other companies.
Starfinder’s managing creative director, Thurston Hillman, commented that “with the finalisation of the ORC Licence […] we (Paizo) felt now was the perfect time to bring the system into the future.” In regards to what players can expect from Starfinder 2E, Hillman said “we want to […] take all the things we’ve learned since Starfinder began, as well as lessons from the success of Pathfinder’s latest edition, and synthesize those together into a new and better version of Starfinder.”
Paizo confirmed that the rules in Starfinder: Second Edition would be compatible with Pathfinder 2E, enabling players and game masters to bring in content with either into one another.
A playtest version of the sci-fi TRPG will be made available next summer, thereby allowing players to experience a version of Starfinder 2E that will be able to changes further down the line. Four playable classes have been confirmed for the RPG playtest including the mystic, soldier, envoy and solarian, with players able to try out the revamped classes through a collection of pre-set characters. Paizo has also confirmed that a new core ancestry – which are the species backgrounds in Starfinder – will be introduced in the Starfinder 2E playtest: the feline pahtra.
The Starfinder: Second Edition Playtest Rulebook will be released via a softcover rulebook in summer 2024, with updates arriving via Field Test announcements - including one being made today on the Starfinder Playtest website, which will feature the first five levels of the soldier class, some new equipment and new creatures to encounter.