Silverfoxdmt73
 member, 337 posts
 Long time gamer
Fri 21 Dec 2018
at 09:33
Opinions on Starfinder please.
What are your opinions on Starfinder as a sci-fi RPG?

It's been out a while now and I'm thinking about picking up a copy, but I wanted to know if it was a 'good' buy. I know that's very much a subjective thing, but I'm keen to see if there are any issues with any aspect of the system, if the background is well thought out, how well combat works etc.

Thanks in advance.

This message was last updated by a moderator, as it was the wrong forum, at 10:39, Fri 21 Dec 2018.

NowhereMan
 member, 264 posts
Fri 21 Dec 2018
at 10:37
Opinions on Starfinder please.
I found a lot of the material to be really fun ideas, but I hated the level-based equipment and starship rules. You cannot buy anything for your ship with money, and without (basically house-ruled) GM permission, you can't buy equipment above a certain level.

It doesn't matter if your 2nd level character just came into a billion credits, you're still stuck with your crappy ship and your starter weapons, because you simply aren't allowed to buy anything better.

I'm sure that there are plenty of people that will come in here after me and say that's not an issue for them, but it pretty much killed the system for me and my group, especially when they found out they couldn't spend their hard-won credits on their ship at all, regardless of their level.
Silverfoxdmt73
 member, 338 posts
 Long time gamer
Fri 21 Dec 2018
at 13:29
Opinions on Starfinder please.
Hmm, that seems like a very limiting ruling to me.

I got Coriolis a while back by Fria Ligan, and I really love the setting but its a hard sell to prospective players. I was looking to Starfinder as an alternative but that seems like an unreasonable restriction.
azzuri
 member, 366 posts
Fri 21 Dec 2018
at 15:14
Opinions on Starfinder please.
If you like Pathfinder, with all of the stuff that your RL money can buy, you should love Starfinder. Yes, you will be limited in organized games, but among your own group- have at it!

This message was last edited by a moderator, as it was against the ToU, at 16:00, Fri 21 Dec 2018.

PCO.Spvnky
 member, 377 posts
Fri 21 Dec 2018
at 16:08
Opinions on Starfinder please.
Boring, uninspired, and generic.  Looked through the book when my friend bought it and saw no reason whatsoever to play it and I love PF.
CaesarCV
 member, 328 posts
Fri 21 Dec 2018
at 16:36
Opinions on Starfinder please.
From what I've seen, the game has some interesting underpinnings, but lacked a lot of playtesting and has some unfortunately half-baked mechanics that undermine the experience. The mechanics are kind of a weird mix of trying to go towards other game styles, but have to be compatible with all of the old rules so things feel a bit out of place and strange. It's stuck in a bad place. I admit that I'm not an expert, I more bounced off of the game than became a deep diver, but these are opinions anyhow ha ha.

A few more specific examples of messy mechanics include the leveled items thing someone mentioned earlier. In theory this is fine, but in practice it also means that at certain levels classes don't have proper upgrades, meaning power levels vary widely between classes. If you're playing a melee rogue/ninja type, you may just not have properly leveled weapons, and you'll fall behind. Additionally, the skill progression was poorly implemented, and with DCs increasing at a faster rate than player skill levels. This means that during higher level play characters become less competent, especially at things like Hacking or Starship combat. Casters still reign supreme, although it's a bit better than in normal Pathfinder.

The lore and world is fun enough, although the science and fantasy aspects aren't always convincingly meshed. It also has the high art quality and professionalism that one would expect from a major publisher, and it's easy to find too. That being said it's hardly more interesting than the myriad other Sci-Fi games out there like Shadowrun, the Fantasy Flight Games Star Wars titles, or Fragged Empires. It's an interesting experiment, but like lots of Paizo's mechanical experiments it's kind of a mess. If you're really into in Pathfinder it might be worth a shot, but sadly enough it's not exactly the preeminent science fiction adventure game it wants to be. I'm not terribly fond of Pathfinder anymore, but was looking forward to Starfinder since it was supposed to be different and new. It was more of the same, and not terribly well done either.

This message was last edited by the user at 16:38, Fri 21 Dec 2018.

NowhereMan
 member, 265 posts
Fri 21 Dec 2018
at 17:37
Opinions on Starfinder please.
CaesarCV:
It was more of the same, and not terribly well done either.


Funny, I have the same outcome from a completely opposite opinion. It wasn't more of the same. The main selling point for Starfinder for a lot of its following was that it was supposed to be space-opera Pathfinder. They billed it as being largely compatible with Pathfinder, while introducing a lot of new content that would have allowed for some truly interesting opportunities, but they didn't deliver.

Sure, there's a "conversion guide" in there somewhere, but Paizo's claim that it was compatible with Pathfinder was pretty far from the truth. Yeah, you can make conversions, but you can make those conversions from practically any product that ever even looked at a d20 with about the same amount of effort. If the conversion from 3.5 to Pathfinder was like going from baseball to softball, the conversion from Pathfinder to Starfinder is like going from baseball to tennis.
GreyGriffin
 member, 254 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Fri 21 Dec 2018
at 23:02
Opinions on Starfinder please.
I think the best thing that Starfinder has going for it is the art and the overall theme.  It really does look and feel like space fantasy, and it embraces magic and technology as parts of its setting in ways that other space fantasies don't.  Magic might get a bit underplayed on the PC side of the equation, but it's a much better effort.

I do, however, agree with a lot of the above complaints.  The Ship Points system and the leveled equipment are extremely "gamey," requiring not only resources but opportunities to go shopping that just might not occur in a regular game, and some weapon categories that are thematically cool are just underserved.

The weapon levels and ship levels also kind of break the setting.  If you have the resources to make a plasma cannon that does a million damage, why settle for one that does ten?  Encountering, buying, and finding level appropriate gear and opponents feels much less genuine in a science fiction setting, especially when that gear is one of your primary means of character advancement.

So I think your enjoyment of it really depends on how well you can separate the elements of the game which are very, deeply "gamey," like the economy and combat system, and enjoy the parts of the game which are cockamamie bug person techno-wizards in space.