So Paizo Publishing made their official Starfinder webspace available, and set up preorders for Starfinder Roleplaying Game as well as released its own Compatibility License -- so if you've been on the Internet for the past few days and paying any kind of attention to Third Party Publishers of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game -- you've seen everyone and their sibling saying they are looking forward to "supporting Starfinder" etc. etc. etc. I mean, it feels like everyone has been talking about it...
And so as to be clear and get in on the bandwagon -- of course Fat Goblin Games is excited to get on the Starfinder 3PP Support Hype Train -- so much so that we've released stuff that's in the same vein as Starfinder long ago.
Call to Arms is a book line for players and gamemasters alike. Each book focuses on a different type of item, expanding rules for those items and adding everything from new mundane and magical examples of the item to new character options related to the item. Call to Arms: Fantastic Technology brings new eras of scientific advancement into your setting, including rules, setting, and plot options for researching and developing new technologies and applications. New kingdom-building rules let rulers build their fantasy nations into technological juggernauts, and new crafting rules help engineers bolt and tape technology onto their favorite mundane and magical weapons and armor. New setting concepts ease the gradual introduction of tech into fantasy worlds, gremlin-tainted crafting materials offer new ways to “curse” technological gear, and new artificially intelligent item options help get digital life out of its shell and into your sword. Capped with a new artifact, new legendary item abilities, and new feats, Call to Arms: Fantastic Technology makes it easier than ever to add super-science tech to classic swords and sorcery.
CLASSifieds: The Technopath
Artificial intelligences—strange consciousnesses made of code—can lurk in the circuits and processors of robots and other fantastic technologies. When combined with the soul and arcane powers of a technopath, however, an AI can gain new ways to influence the material world around them, transforming into a new sort of entity: a technogeist. Capable of possessing robots, unlocking new powers in technology, and even manipulating reality from a virtual demiplane, this summoner alternate class is well suited to fantastic settings where iron robots and technological gods run rampant.
CLASSifieds product line is devoted to bringing you new and exciting classes for your Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Each product includes complete rules for a single class, feats, archetypes, equipment, and an assortment of other rules to bring your characters to life.
But ok, ok -- from everything I've read (single best article if you're not up to day IMHO), the Starfinder Roleplaying Game is going to be about as "different" from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game as Pathfinder was different from the 3.5 era, so we'll need to do a bunch of work to port stuff over. That said, I have a second comment RE: Starfinder that I haven't seen people talking or thinking about as much, and that's this:
Even more than fantasy, science fiction requires you to make some pretty big assumptions about "how things work" and thus it might not be as easy to release "support" for Starfinder as it has been for Pathfinder (where a multitude of voices has been fine echoing into the room).
The Importance of Settings & Assumptions in Sci Fi
Without something better to go off, lets look to the Guide for Technology or G4T (as we at Fat Goblin Games variously took to calling it) that Paizo Publishing released for their Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Specifically, lets look at how that book plays with a single idea that's taken from both real-world but really science fiction: gravitons.
From Wikipedia (linked above, emphasis mine):
In theoretical physics, the graviton is a hypothetical elementary particle that mediates the force of gravitation in the framework of quantum field theory.
Gravitons are used in the G4T a lot of different ways from weapons to armor, and even have an entire type of lab named after them. And that's not in the least a bad thing, BUT there are whole set of assumptions you need to make about gravitons, how they work, and what you can do with them to make force effects that grant armor bonuses or to use manipulation of them as a weapon. And its fun. And its fine.
But Google "alternative theories of gravity" and you can find a LOT of great ideas:
- Alternative theory of gravity explains large structure formation -- without dark matter
- New theory of gravity might explain dark matter
- Beyond Science, Good to Know 9 Scientists Who Dispute Theory of Gravity
And see, here's the rub (typically speaking) -- science fiction, at least "hard science fiction" is built on assumptions about scientific theories being "right" -- and normally only one set is right, universally (so these alternate theories, etc. are "wrong").
Now, I've read that Starfinder is going to be more "science fantasy" which makes it a "soft science fiction" type to even speculative fiction type of world, and I think that Paizo Publishing trying to say they are going to almost exclusively release "world-specific books in support" makes a ton of sense -- they need to make assumptions, they don't want to try to "design for everyone."
What Is My Point?
My point, my TL;DNR is that Starfinder may be harder to offer "generic" support for the way everyone does for Pathfinder, AND it wouldn't surprise me if more companies make a specific "breaking point" to even "setting" that "diverges" from the assumptions of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game and Golarion circa year 3,000 (or whatever the right date is).