Starfinder Review

Since War Possum focuses on science fiction games with a post-apocalyptic twist, I read purchased and read through the newest release by Paizo: Starfinder RPG.

First, Starfinder is not science fiction, but instead science fantasy. Its a small difference, but notable, especially since the Xenomega game is science fantasy post-apocalypse and I considered the rules for Xenomega. In the end though, I have to turn it down.

Based on d20 and Pathfinder, Starfinder has a solid core and some good rules for running science fantasy. But I fear it focuses too much on the fantasy and brings along some parts of Pathfinder that have bothered me ever since the expansion books started coming out for Pathfinder. It modified some things for a future setting, cleaned up some others, took a little bit from other successful games, and resulted in a beautiful hard cover book (or PDF), that is a treasure to hold.

The races and classes are good, and aside from the Solarian, they can be used in the post-apoc setting of Xenomega. Standalone, it works, races, classes, skills and feats are all solid.


My main gripe though with Starfinder is the same problem I have with Pathfinder: Archtypes. In Pathfinder, every new rulebook as well as some of the setting books come out with new archtypes. And then more, and more, and more. There are dozens of archtypes for each class. I don’t understand why, it seems that with skills and feats, you can customize a character pretty well. Archtypes add more customization, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but they also add a lot of complexity. Its made the point of classes less weighted because each class can have so many differing options that what makes a class becomes nearly meaningless.


For Xenomega, I may take some ideas from Starfinder, we’ll see when the SRD comes out, but if having a ton of archtypes on each class is the norm, I think I’ll pass.


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