Paizo end speculation and announce the launch of Starfinder Society at Gen Con 50! The official name is Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. The Starfinder game takes place in the distant future of the Pathfinder world, and while much has changed (or been forgotten), the Starfinder Society traces its mysterious history back to the Pathfinder Society of present day. The campaign's official name reflects this connection.
It will be separate from Pathfinder organised play, with different rules, documentation, and characters, although many similarities exist in structure and format, including a shared volunteer team.
How much is staying the same from Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild?
We still have quests and scenarios with Chronicle sheets. Adventures will be broken into tiers, grant XP, and provide other rewards. Three experience points (XP) grant a level. There are fairly cooperative factions within the Starfinder Society, based on their worldview and goals. Paizo will reveal more information about the campaign as we get closer to its launch in August 2017.
Do I get to keep my same Pathfinder Society number?
Yes. What was your Pathfinder Society number will now be your number for all three of the Paizo-operated organized play programs: Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild, and Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild. Starfinder character numbers will have a unique starting number, most likely 700, making your first Starfinder character XXX-701. The number 700 works really well for this, not only because it leaves space for plenty of Pathfinder Society roleplaying characters, but also because the PZO number (the number we assign to each of our products) begins with 7. Who knows, this bit of trivia may make it in to the PaizoCon quiz.
If all that is the same, what is different?
Paizo made a couple major changes for Starfinder Society. The first is the tier system. They are closing the gap between subtiers that resulted in so much confusion and consternation with calculating average party level (APL). Starfinder scenarios will include the following tiers: Tier 1-2, Tier 1-4, Tier 3-6, Tier 5-8, Tier 7-10, and Tier 9-12—perhaps more as higher-level play grows in popularity.
The second most noticeable change is that characters have a means of belonging to more than one faction at a time. Unlike the current Pathfinder Society faction rules, Starfinder Society characters will be able to gain favor with multiple groups, choosing which they want to champion on a scenario-by-scenario basis. But just like multiclassing, focusing on several groups won't see the same benefits as focusing on a primary faction. These changes to the faction system tie in with another issue that we are addressing: the handling of boons. One of the goals is developing a way to make the boons on Chronicles more relevant, and not just a stack of paper players stick in the back of their folder.
What is the release schedule?
The Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild launches with 3 scenarios, 1 pre-generated character special, and 1 quest pack at Gen Con. From there, Paizo will publish one scenario a month. Moving to a slower release schedule allows Paizo to spin up the program and settle into the groove of running three organized play programs. During this time, Paizo will ask for feedback and assess the rate of publication for 2018 and beyond.
When can I start playing Starfinder Society?
The fun begins Thursday, August 17th, at 8:00 AM Pacific time in the Sagamore Ballroom at Gen Con. After Thursday morning, anyone, anytime, anywhere, may schedule Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild events.