Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Revamped!

pathfinder adventure card game core set
Sneak peek of the upcoming Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Core Set! Awesome!

Exciting news from Paizo this week as more spoilers and sneak peeks for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game were shared with the world.

For those of you who don’t know, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is a cooperative strategy card game that allows 1 to 6 players to take on the role of heroes and pits them against monsters, traps, henchmen, and villains. Players will also have the opportunity to discover treasure, magical spells, divine blessings, and allies, as they struggle to complete their goals. “Each player has a unique character composed of a deck of cards and a set of stats. Roleplayers will find the stats very familiar—characters have classes such as fighter, wizard, and rogue, as well as numbers that define strength, dexterity, intelligence, etc.” Over time you’ll customize your deck and character, either by earning new rewards, or by buying Character Add-On Decks (there’s a whopping twenty-seven of these, by my count!). To begin play you need one of the Base Sets, each of which includes the first chapter of an adventure path and all the cards you need to play it. Once you’re done the Base Set you can continue with follow up Adventure Decks, which continue the story for yours characters. Base Sets currently include Rise of the Runelords (along with it’s five Adventure Deck expansions: The Skinsaw MurdersThe Hook Mountain MassacreFortress of the Stone GiantsSins of the Saviors Deck, and Spires of Xin-Shalast), Skull and Shackles (along with it’s five Adventure Deck expansions: Raiders of the Fever Sea, Tempest Rising, Island of Empty EyesThe Price of Infamy, and From Hell’s Heart), Mummy’s Mask (along with it’s five Adventure Deck expansions: Empty GravesShifting SandsSecrets of the SphinxThe Slave Trenches of Hakotep, and Pyramid of The Sky Pharaoh), and Wrath of the Righteous (along with it’s five Adventure Deck expansions: Sword of ValorDemon’s HeresyThe Midnight IslesHerald of the Ivory Labyrinth, and City of Locusts).

But, there’s changes coming to the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game! Lots of changes!

Last year it was announced that the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game was getting revamped. Not rebooted, mind you. All of your old cards will still work with new ones. But, updated.

Why?

In short, they want to make the game better, faster, and smarter. When asked what challenges the game faces, Mike Selinker explained the following issues:

  • “The game is a bit too slow in all phases: how long it took to set up, how long it took to take a turn, how long it took to tear down. We looked for solutions that sped up everything, even if we gained just a few seconds here or there.”
  • “For a game set in one of the most expansive fantasy worlds ever made, we gave you too little story. The opportunity we had to tell stories was mostly limited to tiny boxes on the backs of cards, and conveyed very little of the depth the orignal storytellers had given us.”
  • “Though we tell many different stories, the game often gives off a feeling of sameness.”
  • “Groups of players get varying experiences by group size. A solo character is less likely to run out of time and more likely to die; the reverse is true for large groups. While that’s fine, giving people the ability to toggle those variables seemed smart.”
  • “Many cards have complicated text. We’ve piled template upon template, sometimes requiring three or four powers on a card before we started making it interesting. Certain card types like armors and spells got burdened in ways we never envisioned.”
  • “Some sets were easy and some were hard, but regardless there was no way to control difficulty. If you wanted to make the game harder, you were on your own. We will benefit from giving players controls for this.”
  • “For a cooperative card game, the game is often not interactive enough. When you want to help your friend, the game generally tells you that you can’t unless you have a card that does so. It’s a co-op game, so it should feel more cooperative.”

They’ve come up with a lot of ways to solve these problems and over the last few months they’ve shared some of the results with us. Further changes and details will continue to be released up until the release of the Core Set this summer. So what do we know so far?

The game boxes will be smaller. The Core Set will measure 9″ x 12″ with Adventure Paths measuring 7.5″ × 9″. That’s a huge improvement!

The story your players go through in each game will be focused on more, and made much more clear. Personally, I’m thrilled for this change, as it’s the rich stories and worlds which drew me to Pathfinder in the first place. Inspired by the exciting stories of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Guild, they’re getting rid of Adventure Path, Adventure, and Scenario cards, and creating a storybook instead, which will have much more story and content. Each scenario will have a two-page spread in the 5.5″ x 8.5″ storybook. For the Core Set this storybook will be 24 pages long. Curious what this would look like? Check below!

sample story - core set - adventure 1 - welcome to belhaim - scenario 0 - rumble road
An unfinished sample of Scenario 0 from the Core Set Dragon’s Demand Adventure Path. Image courtesy of Paizo Inc.
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A finished sample of Scenario 1C from the Core Set Dragon’s Demand Adventure Path. Image released during PaizoCon 2019, courtesy of Paizo Inc.

There’s also going to be a variety of ways for you to change the difficulty and length of your games — which is awesome! As a player with young kids, this is a must have for everyone to enjoy the game. Shockingly, my kids don’t like dying all the time. Haha. To aid with this you’ll have the ability to use small, medium, and large locations, and you’ll be allowed to add or remove cards from the Blessings Deck, which is now going to be called the Hourglass. They’ve also added Wild Cards, which can alter scenarios and affect difficulty.

This past week they unveiled some further changes which highlight how they’re streamlining and simplifying the game, it’s text, and its rules. This would make it easier to understand, play, and would fix up any known rules quibbles and difficulties. Simple, right? Not so! That’s a ton of work and much easier than it sounds! Haha. New key words have been added to the game which allowed them to get rid of a lot of repetitive and confusing text that appeared on the cards. Reload, Local, Distant, Hour, Hourglass, and Vault are among some of the new terms. But, you can bet there’s plenty more where that came from. Other terms, like Basic and Elite, were removed from the game. The rulebook will contain a glossary, for ease of reference, and some notes on how to use cards from generation one that feature removed terms.

Want a sneak peek at some of the new cards? Below are some examples of what Paizo has shared with the public so far.

Looking good!

So, how is this going to affect the actual products we’re buying? For starters, all you need to play is the new Core Set.

pathfinder adventure card game core set

The core set contains 440 cards and is based on the mega-module Dragon’s Demand, an adventure that sees your players stranded in a small town called Belhaim. Shortly after arriving an old tower in town collapses, some kobold corpses turn up, and the town wizard goes missing. In time they’ll see there’s more going on here than meets the eye, and face off against a legendary dragon who was supposedly killed long ago. The Core Set allows 1-4 players to play. It contains 12 character pawns of the Iconic Classes (the eleven Core Iconics, plus Fumbus the new Iconic Alchemist), a set of dice, tokens for tracking scourges, a quick start guide, a rulebook, and the storybook for running the Dragon’s Demand Adventure Path. In addition to the cards needed for Dragon’s Demand, the Core Set also contains “a modular core for infinite scenarios that allows you to control the difficulty and speed of play.” Colour me intrigued!

In addition, they’ll continue to release Adventure Paths. To play, you mix the cards from the Adventure Path in with the Core Set, and you’re good to go. Want to play a different Adventure Path? Just mix the Core Set with a different Adventure Path. This will even work with the previous Adventure Path releases, like Rise of the Runelords. As an added bonus, this allows you to play with a fifth and sixth player (if you so choose). And the first Adventure Path they’re releasing? Curse of the Crimson Throne, which is one of my very favourite Adventure Paths. So exciting!

pathfinder adventure card game - curse of the crimson throne

This one Adventure Path release contains the entirety of the Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Path. Yup! No more multiple expansions needed. Just this one box and the Core Set. Awesome! It contains 550 cards, a 48-page storybook, and four new character pawns (Hakon the skald, Kess the brawler, Quinn the investigator, and Varian Jeggare the wizard). It’s going to be awesome!

Want to read more about the changes? Click on the following links to read the full spoilers on Paizo’s website: Designing the Next Pathfinder ACG, Injecting Story into the Pathfinder ACG, Varying Challenge in Pathfinder ACG, and Rethinking Complexity in Pathfinder ACG: Part One. More details will be released in the coming months.

Can’t wait to get your hands on the Core Set and Curse of the Crimson Throne? Neither can I! Preorders are expected in May 2019.


UPDATE: The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is OUT! You can also download a free copy of the rules from Paizo here! Want to buy a copy? Check out the links below!

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Core Set

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Core Set (direct from Paizo)

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Path

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Path (direct from Paizo)

Free RPG Day 2019 Products Announced!

Exciting news from Paizo as their upcoming releases for Free RPG Day 2019 have just been announced!

Established in 2007, Free RPG Day works with participating hobby game retailers and RPG publishers to bring new and exclusive RPG products and adventures into the hands of gamers worldwide. Fans can grab brand new material for a variety of RPGS for free by stopping by their local participating game and hobby shop.

Last year my family had a ton of fun with Free RPG Day, particularly with Paizo’s two releases: Skitter Shot, a first level Starfinder adventure featuring a crew of excitable skittermanders, and We Be 5uper Goblins, a hilarious sixth level Pathfinder adventure featuring some infamous goblin heroes on their most epic and amazing adventure yet! For those of you who missed FREE RPG Day 2018, both modules are available as a free download on Paizo’s website, or as a physical copy for five dollars.

This year Free RPG Day will be held on June 15, 2019, with Paizo’s free downloads of the PDFs being available on July 1, 2019. So what are they bringing to the table this year?

For starters, our skittermander heroes from Skitter Shot are set to continue their adventures in Skitter Crash! Written by Jason Keeley, this is a third level Starfinder module that sees our skittermander heroes crash their ship on a mysterious swampy planet after a run in with space pirates and an interstellar cyclone! They’ll need to find their ship, deal with the space pirates, and (of course!) make some nu-friends! It sounds like a blast! I’m absurdly excited for this!

skitter crash - free rpg day 2019

Their second release is called We Be Heroes and will be a Pathfinder Playtest adventure, using the final version of the Playtest rules. This adventure will not grant Playtest Points, but will instead provide players with a chronicle they can apply to a second edition Pathfinder Society character once the new edition is released. We Be Heroes is a first level adventure written by Brian Duckwitz which continues the tradition of the super popular We Be Goblins series (We Be Goblins!, We Be Goblins Too!, We Be Goblins Free!, We B4 Goblins!, and We Be 5uper Goblins!). However, this adventure features a whole new team of goblin adventurers who are set to take on the minions of the Whispering Tyrant! (And zombie pigs?!) Driven by hunger and the orders of their chief, the goblins of the Crookedtoes tribe are tasked with finding out why all the animals in the forest have fled the region, and what happened to the tribe’s best scout. They get to meet up with some heroic knights, explore a wrecked farmhouse, and… be heroes! I’m excited to give this one a read.

we be heroes? free rpg day 2019

For more information on Free RPG Day, check out the official website! They’ll have more information up in the coming months. Got any stories about previous Free RPG Days you want to share? Let us know in the comments!

Jessica

We Be (Good) Goblins
My daughter’s reaction when she realized goblins would be a playable races in Pathfinder Second Edition. Guess her dreams just came true!

Alien Archive 2

For my birthday yesterday my family gifted me a wonderful book I’ve been itching to get my hands on: Starfinder Alien Archive 2! And what better way to celebrate than to share it with all of you? So today we’re taking a deep dive into the latest Alien Archive! Ready?

Let’s go!

Starfinder Alien Archive 2
Starfinder Alien Archive 2

Alien Archive 2 is an awesome supplement book for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game. This book has a hardcover, and is 159 pages in length. It’s got an American cover price of $39.99, which means that if you’re Canadian (like myself), you’re looking at a cost of around forty-five to fifty dollars for the book online, or up to sixty in your local game store. It’s currently on sale for around $32 Canadian on that handy link I posted, so I highly recommend picking it up cheap while you can.

At it’s core, Alien Archive 2 is a book of monsters. You’ll find a ton of creatures to fight and ally with inside this book, as well as some new player races. The book is easy to use, adaptable, and well organized. It also has some new character options, like new spells, equipment, and feats, scattered amongst the monster entries.

The Alien Archive features lovely cover art by Remko Troost which depicts a glitch gremlin, a mi-go, and a trox. The inside front and back covers feature an image of the Pact Worlds. After that we come to the table of contents. Alien Archive 2 has sixty-five distinct monster entries inside it, many of which have more than one stat block or variation of that creature, making the actual number of foes inside larger than it seems (around one hundred and twenty-six by my count). Of these, sixteen are playable as character races. There are also three starships, and twenty-six template grafts.

Combatant
Combatant

After the table of contents we reach the introduction. This is where we learn how the races are oriented, and how to read a stat block. While most of this is basic information that only a player new to d20 games will need to read, some of the information is quite important. Of course, all of this will be business as usual for owners of the first Alien Archive.

Expert
Expert

Each of the stat blocks inside the Alien Archive is sorted into one of  three categories: combatants (which excels in physical combat), experts (who are most effective with skills), and spellcasters (who rely on spells or spell-like abilities). These categories are represented by an icon in the left margin. These images are easy to distinguish and provide a quick and easy way for GMs to realize the role each monster plays in combat, which makes it super easy to find the type of creatures your looking for, or to quickly discern a creature’s tactics.

Spellcaster
Spellcaster

There’s also a few interesting things to note about the stat blocks themselves. Very few of the creatures inside have Resolve Points and none have Stamina Points. A creatures ability scores aren’t listed, instead, their stats show their ability modifiers. This is a simple change that will make it easier for GMs — especially new GMs — to handle unexpected situations (like unlisted skill checks) in combat. Not all of a creatures feats are listed in their entry. Instead, only feats that grant new combat options will be shown. Feats that grant static bonuses (like improved initiative, or skill focus) are already factored into the stat block and will not be listed anywhere at all. This really streamlines the stat blocks, and makes it easier to find important information fast. Similarly, not all of a creature or NPCs spells will be listed in a stat block. Instead, it only features their most powerful spellcasting options.

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Starfinder Alien Archive

Every one of the bestiary entries in this book is two side-by-side pages long. These entries include information on the creature, where they’re found, their use throughout the Pact Worlds, and their society — if they have one. Many of the entries include more than one stat block on a theme. For example, the Forman entry gives us stats for a CR 7 taskmaster, along with a CR 10 myrmarch. Similarly, the akata entry features the both the akata and the void zombie, which are controlled by its parasitic offspring. Some entries include many stat-blocks (such as the herd animals, predators, and dinosaurs) or include simple grafts that can be added to a featured creature to make it into other versions (such as metallic and outer dragons). Many of the archive entries introduce new gear, rules, or consumables. My personal favourites include the arquand horns found on the arquand gazelle’s entry, the glass skin of the glass serpent, and the apocalypse solarian weapon crystals from the living apocalypse.

Alien Archive 2 - Glass Serpent -Armor
Armour made from a Glass Serpent

After this we come to the meat of the book: the aliens archive itself. There are a ton of cool creatures in this book, and even some that I wasn’t sure I’d like on first perusal, I ended up really enjoying. Some of my favourites you should check out include the squox, a CR 1/3 or 1 creature which is utterly adorable and makes a fabulous pet. I also adored the adaptable entries on dinosaurs, herd animals, and predators, each of which comes with a sample stat block for a creature of each size, followed by simple rules for how to make an innumerable combination of custom creatures of those types. It’s simple, incredibly useful, and has awesome art. LOVE IT. Glitch gremlins were a fun low level challenge I also really enjoyed, as were the akatas, which I’m thrilled to see included. For a great high-level challenge check out the calecor and the living apocalypse.

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Starfinder: Alien Archive Pawn Box

Mixed amongst the monster entries are sixteen playable races. Each entry features two different CR stat blocks representative of their race, a bunch of interesting information on their societies and home worlds, and a side bar which include the rules for playing them as a race. Although many of these were ‘humanoid shaped’, with arms and hands or some sort, there were some which were not, most notably the mollusk-like embri, and the  silicon-based quorlu. This was just awesome to see, and I really enjoyed it! Some of the races and monsters from old Golarion were up for selection, including aasimar, tieflings, ghorans, hobgoblins, orcs, and trox,  but many were brand new. I honestly loved a TON of these races, but my favourite new additions are damai, osharu, pahtra, and the wolf-like vlaka.

Curious about the playable races available in this book? Well, look no further! The Alien Archive includes:

  • Aasimar: celestial blooded humanoids you’ll find under ‘planar scion’
  • Bolida: armoured burrowing arthropods with a wide array of senses
  • Damai: pale, scrappy humanoids forced to hide underground from the colossi they share their world with
  • Embri: masked, mollusk like aberrations with a rigid social order secretly controlled by the forces of hell
  • Ghoran: delicious plant beings from Golarion who have terraformed their own planet-paradise and genetically split into two subraces: oaklings and saplings
  • Hobgoblin: tall, war-mongering, militaristic humanoids with faces similar in appearance to goblins
  • Kanabo: a red-skinned oni, which is a type of evil spirit given a physical form
  • Orc: strong humanoids conditioned as slave labour by the drow of Apostae
  • Osharu: slug-like creatures that view religion and science as intertwined
  • Pahtra: asexual cat-like humanoids that adore music and battle
  • Phentomite: agile humanoids acclimated to thin atmospheres and high altitudes that live on a broken planet
  • Quorlu: silicon based quadrupeds with tentacle arms and eyestalks capable of digging through earth and stone
  • Tiefling: fiendish blooded humanoids you’ll find under ‘planar scion’
  • Trox: large, chitinous, gentle humanoids that have been magically transformed since their time on Golarion
  • Uplifted Bear: intelligent, bipedal bears that you’ll find under ‘bear’
  • Vlaka: wolf-life humanoids from a dying world often born deaf or blind

Past the statistics for all those snazzy new aliens we come to the Appendixes, of which there are eleven. Appendix One contains two pages of creature subtype grafts and Appendix Two contains two and a half pages of environmental grafts. Appendix Three contains rules for the polymorphing creatures. This section is around seven pages long and frankly, feels quite complicated to me. Definitely not something my kids could use. Appendix Four contains all of the universal creature special abilities. Appendix Five, Six, and Seven are very short, sorting the creatures in the Alien Archive 2 by CR, type, and  terrain. Appendix Eight lists the template grafts and the pages they can be found on, while Appendix Nine lists the new character options and gear and the pages they can be found on.  Appendix Ten contains a chart of average vital statistics for all playable races from Alien Archive, Alien Archive 2, and for the Legacy Races from the Starfinder Core Rulebook. Finally, Appendix Eleven is a list of the playable races and their page numbers.

StarfinderCover
Starfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook

That’s it. We’ve come to the end of the Alien Archive 2.

And what did I think?

In short: I loved it. Alien Archive 2 is packed full of a wide array of monsters and cool races. Many of the stat blocks are highly adaptable, there’s plenty of new templates and grafts that help with monster creation, summon spells, and polymorph. There’s content in here for players and GMs. I’m supremely happy to own Alien Archive 2, and highly recommend it to fans of Starfinder!

Want a sneak peek at some of the playable races? Check out the image below! Got a favourite creature from Alien Archive 2? let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

Jessica

 

Starfinder Wednesday: Playtest Talk

This past Wednesday brought us another great episode of Starfinder Wednesday! For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, you really should give it a watch. In it the loveable host Dan Tharp and special guests Owen K.C. Stephens and Robert G. McCreary discussed the newest Starfinder Playtest Classes, and answered questions from the fans. No idea what I’m talking about? All the more reason to watch it! Haha. You can also check out my previous blog post on the Starfinder Playtest Classes for the inside scoop on Biohackers, Witchwarpers, and Vanguards! For full details be sure to head over to StarfinderPlaytest.com where you can download the new classes and fill out surveys on how you feel about them.

Want even more details? Fear not! Over the next month Starfinder Wednesday will dedicate an episode to each of the three new classes with their lead developers as special guests. Be sure to tune in to Paizo’s Twitch Stream to check it out!

December 12th: Jason Keeley and Owen K.C. Stephens discuss the Biohacker.
December 19th: Amanda Hamon Kunz and Owen K.C. Stephens discuss the Witchwarper.
December 26th: They’ll be airing a pre-recorded show about the beginnings of Starfinder.  Colour me intrigued! Because this is pre-recorded there won’t be a Q&A session afterwards.
January 2nd: Joe Pasini and Owen K.C. Stephens discuss the Vanguard.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait! I think the new Starfinder Classes are awesome.

But, I’ll have to bid you farewell for now. Tonight’s Pathfinder Friday! In just a few hours Dan Tharp and special guest James Jacobs discuss the Runelords! (Pardon me while I squeal in glee). It’s sure to be a great show.

Tuning in,

Jessica

Sunburst Games

Earlier this week I mentioned that I was working on a special project with my brother called Realms of Atrothia by Sunburst Games. Today, I’m thrilled to bring you more information!

Sunburst-Games-LogoSunburst Games is an independent Tabletop RPG company focused on Pathfinder Compatible content for the next generation. It’s founder is a bold, enthusiastic guy near and dear to my heart: my brother, Kris Leonard. In addition to independent work, Kris is a Freelance Author who has written two Pathfinder Society Scenarios: #6-13: Of Kirin and Kraken, and #9-10: Signs in Senghor, and has contributed to the newly released Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Construct Handbook. He’s a bombastic GM, a rules guru, and a creator of exciting content and original adventures. Sunburst Games is proud to have him as our Founder and Lead Developer!

OUR STORY

Sunburst Games began with a simple vision: Continue a legacy. For over 35 years, Tabletop RPGs have inspired us to be something more than ourselves, to be heroes, villains, and sometimes even a little bit of both. They have forged friendships, made unforgettable memories, and even allowed the most timid among us to feel the freedom of being an outspoken, confident bard, or an unrelenting barbarian. Sunburst Games is proud to continue on this legacy, inspiring a whole new generation with limitless imagination.

OUR VISION

Sunburst Games was established to ensure the legacy of d20 compatible RPGs, such as the 1st edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game can continue on for years to come. We aim to create original, exciting, and inspired products of only the highest quality, with stunning artwork, well-balanced character options, and unforgettable stories. Our first product, Realms of Atrothia: Legacy Races Revisited, will be available as a digital (.pdf) download! After this we’ll be releasing  Realms of Atrothia: Primary Expansion which will be both a digital (.pdf) and a hard cover release. (Kickstarter on NOW!) With a successful launch, Sunburst Games will also release additional products to the line, including Realms of Atrothia: Bestiary, Realms of Atrothia: NPC Codex, and the first official full length Realms of Atrothia Campaign: Legacies of Corberus, an original adventure taking Players from 1st to 25th level!

OUR TEAM

Sunburst Games is more than a person. It’s a team. So when Kris wanted someone to help breathe life into his creations, and to enrich his world, he called me. And who am I? Well, we’ve talked about that before. Perhaps, ‘why would he call me’ is a better question.  Short answer: he’s seen my work. I agreed to do some freelance work for Sunburst Games without hesitation, because I knew it would be something special. Something great. Something I’d be proud to be a part of.

And I am.

But that’s not all! We’ve teamed up with the amazing artist Rigrena, to bring the Realms of Atrothia to life!

Rigrena’s interest for games began when she made her first D&D character at the age of 10, which affected her artistic journey and inspired her to become a digital artist and an illustrator. Following her passions for gaming and art, she has been working in the gaming industry as a concept and 2D artist for almost 6 years. Thanks to her vibrant personality she brings a unique flair to the art she creates. Her work is absolutely gorgeous. You can follow Rigrena on Art Station, DeviantArt, and Twitter.

As for Sunburst Games? Check us out at sunburstgames.com or support us on Patreon!

Be sure to join us later this week when I share details on Sunburst Games current projects: Realms of Atrothia: Primary Expansion, and Realms of Atrothia: Legacy Races Revisited.

See you then!

Jessica


UPDATE: Realms of Atrothia: Legacy Races Revisited is now available!! You can pick it up from these fine sources:

Help Realms of Atrothia: Primary Expansion a reality by supporting their Kickstarter!


Sophias anguish Rigrena.png
Enjoy this sneak peek of some of the amazing art featured in Realms of Atrothia by the wonderful artist Rigrena!

 

Starfinder: Armory

Hello and welcome to d20 diaries! Today we’re taking a look at Starfinder: Armory! This is one of the few Starfinder sourcebooks that’s available for purchase. It’s a hardcover book that focuses on new gear and equipment for use in the Starfinder Roleplaying Game.

This article isn’t meant to be a thorough review or critique of Starfinder: Armory. It won’t replace the book (nor would I want it to!). It’s a quick breakdown of what’s found inside, and what I liked best in each chapter. It’s a collection of my favourites parts of the book, and some highlights. It’s here so that fellow gamers and fans can take a look and get a real a feel for what they’ll get out of the book. Hopefully it helps you decide whether this product is right for you.

Starfinder: Armory is a hardcover sourcebook 159 pages in length. Nearly all of that is dedicated to gear, with the remaining pages offering new character options for each of the seven Starfinder core classes. It features delightful cover art by Remko Troost which depicts Obozaya (the iconic vesk soldier) and Quig (the iconic ysoki mechanic) shopping. The inside covers feature a nice image of the Pact World System (which is not to scale). Following that is the table of contents and the ‘Overview.’ Basically, the two page introduction just lets you know what kinds of gear you’ll find in this book, and explains the difference between the different types of equipment categories. Perhaps the most useful tidbit? A tiny sidebar about minor equipment. Basically, any random technological item you want to invest in that’s not a weapon — things like cameras, clocks, headphones, so on and so on. Each of those items is available if GM approval for a price of 5 credits. Easy. Done. Love it. My daughter tends to try to purchase a lot of frivolous gear like this, so it’s nice to have a proper baseline for it.

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Starfinder: Armory

After this its on to Chapter 1: Equipment. At a whopping 130 pages long, this chapter is by far the bulk of the book. These pages are filled with all new gear (not reprints) sorted by category. Equipment categories include: weapons, weapon accessories, weapon fusions, special materials, armour, powered armour, armour upgrades, augmentations, technological items, magic items, hybrid items, personal items, drugs, medicinals, poisons, other purchases, and vehicles.

Up first? Weapons. In general this book provides a wider array of weapons for each damage type at various levels, and some new abilities. And the number of choices? Huge! Just looking at the weapon charts there are six pages of melee weapons, four pages of small arms, three of long arms, three of heavy weapons, one of sniper weapons, a quarter page of untyped weapons, a quarter page of ammunition, a half page of solarian crystals, and a half page of grenades. That’s hundreds of new weapons up for sale — not even counting the new modifications and weapon fusions. There’s some awesome artwork in this section, with the art for the Bravado Handcannon (a small arm projectile with critical knockdown), the Exhorter Shout Projector (a sonic heavy weapon with critical demoralize), the Grave-Class Void Rifle (a cryo longarm with critical suffocate), the Matrix Resonant Pistol (a sonic small arm with critical deafen), the traditional battle ribbon (an uncategorized advanced melee weapon), and the warfan (and uncategorized advanced melee weapon), all numbering among my favourites. There are 46 new weapon special properties (breach, drain charge, free hands, and gravitation are my favourites), and sixteen new critical hit effects (blind and stifle are my favourites). There’s also an array of weapons manufacturers, each of which can add special abilities to your gun (for an extra fee, of course!). I’d be sure to buy from AbadarCorp and Ringworks Arsenal Group’s lovely weapon selection.

Kent Hamilton-Armory Spread
Some of the many weapons available in Starfinder Armory. Illustrated by Kent Hamilton.

But that’s not all! There’s also new weapon accessories, weapon fusions, and special materials up for offer. For accessories be sure to check out the bayonet bracket and collapsing weapon. I like a lot of the new weapon fusions, but my favourites probably turned out to be accurate, conserving, guarded, obscuring, rebounding, and soulfire. For special materials I was surprised to find I enjoyed horacalcum and inubrix the most.

 

After leaving behind sixty pages of weapons and weapon-related products we’re heading out into the wide world of armour. There’s six pages dedicated to light and heavy armour (with two of those being full-page art), followed by six pages dedicated to powered armour (with two of those being full-page art), and finally six more pages of armour upgrades. The upgrades are a lot of fun. I particularly enjoyed adaptive energy shield, agility enhancer, auto injector, easy access kit, glamour projector, long strider module, medical interface, stabilizer springs (a nice low-level option), and (my personal favourite) the computer interface, which essentially lets you make a ‘Jarvis’ for your ‘Iron Man’ suit.

Up next? Augmentations. Biotech has two pages dedicated to it (be sure to check out the mighty vocal chords and regenerative blood), Cybernetics has two pages (I like the optical laser), Magitech has four pages of options (check out antimagic skin and arcane lenses), and finally Necrografts fill the last four pages (I like the bore blade and the healing larynx).

Armory - Power Armor Spread Leonardo Borazio
Some of the Powered Armour found in Starfinder Armory. Illustrated by Leonardo Borazio.

Then we move right on to Technological items. This section fills up a whopping twelve pages! Some of it is new, while others are pleasantly familiar, either because you can find them in our world, or because they were introduced in Pathfinder’s Technology Guide (such as ion tape and zipsticks). I particularly enjoyed the auto cartographer, datapad, domestic drive, emergency raft, evenfire unit, holographic sashimono, hoverskates, ion tape, nanite hypopen, and the many new tool kits. There’s lots of useful stuff!

Magic Items are up next, where you’ll find ten more pages of new equipment to spend your credits on. To start with there’s some cool aeon stones, my favourite of which is the kaleidoscopic icosahedron. The very expensive containment tesseract is also pretty nifty. I also enjoyed the cover seed, darksight goggles, dented kasa, diffraction cloak, figurine of wondrous power (which summon creatures to fight for you), ofuscated journal, plasma beads (pretty much a necklace of fireballs), Starfinder backpack, and the tangle burst seed. This is followed by three new artifacts: Atrocite Sphere, Trafodi Paradox, and, my personal favourite, the Book of Unwritten Truths.

Fusing Technological Items and Magic Items are the delightful Hybrid Items, which take up eight pages. I enjoyed the captive-star amulet and various vital seeds most, although I’m sure there’ll be lots of fans of the new hybrid grenades (of which there are many). I got a great laugh out of computer idols, and the software imp! Be sure to give them a read.

Ysoki Gear - RatAfter this is four pages of Personal Items. Although not the most exciting category of items, it’s certainly useful. My favourites are staples! The gear maintenance kit, mess kit, and books. (I know, I know. I’m really stepping out of my comfort zone there! Haha!).

Drugs, Medicinals, and Poisons all share the next two pages (which aren’t really my cup of tea), followed by two pages of ‘Other Purchases.’ This section is mostly flavour, but I found I really enjoyed reading about the types of cuisine created and favoured by the core races of the Pact Worlds. The ysoki were hilarious! (Don’t eat their food. In fact, I’d stay away from Shirren cuisine, as well!).

Finally, there’s two pages of new vehicles, the cheapest of which is the level two motorcycle for 1,900 credits. And that brings us to the end of the new equipment. 140 pages have flown by just like *snaps* that! But, that’s not the end of the book. That simply brings us to the next chapter.

Armoury Android Envoy Alexander Nanitchkov
Android Envoy by Alexander Nanitchkov.

Chapter 2: Character Options. Here you’ll find one new archetype, plus two pages of new class options for each of the core classes. All of these options are focused on equipment —- typically using your equipment to the best of its ability (or beyond its normal capabilities). The archetype comes first and is called Augmented. These guys are great with — you guessed it — augmentations! They get more, pay less for them, and can make their augmentations do more than they’re built to. The Augmented grants alternate class features at 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 9th levels. I really enjoyed it (and know at least one character created by my family who’ll be using it!).

The Envoy’s class options include four new low level improvisations, two sixth level improvisations, and two eighth level improvisations, followed by seven new expertise talents. Be sure to check out fire support, brace yourselves, improved brace yourselves, terrifying blast, and improved terrifying blast for improvisations, and expert advice for talents.

The Mechanic’s class options include four new level two tricks, three more level eight tricks, two more level fourteen tricks, and four new drone modifications. My favourite tricks were provisional repair and recalibrate engine, both of which are available at level two. My favourite drone mods were barricade, and grease.

The Mystic class options were both the least adaptable, and my favourite! They introduced a new mystic connection, and two new spells granted by that connection. So what is it? The Geneturge! These guys are capable of altering their genetic code (and even those of others). In application their abilities mostly involve biotech, and sudden evolution. I particularly enjoyed their Personal Modification third level ability, their Warping Strain ninth level ability, and their Instant Evolution fifteenth level ability. The two new spells are detect augmentation, and reject augmentation (which sounds awesome! Haha).

Armoury Human Mystic Alexander Nanitchkov
Human Mystic Genethurge by Alexander Nanitchkov.

The Operative class options include sixteen new exploits (six at level 2, five at level six, four at level ten, and one at level fourteen). and one new operative specialization. Of the exploits, I particularly enjoyed armour optimization, fast aim, pistol whip, trap spotter, and ricochet shot. The new Specialization is the Gadgeteer, a very cool inventor which makes use of two new exploits: utility belt, and quick deployment. His trick attacks involve using a custom device to distract the enemy. Such fun!

The Solarian class options include one new stellar revelation and one new graviton revelation for each level (level two, six, ten, and fourteen), and for zenith revelations. That makes for ten cool new options total. I had a hard time picking my favourites, but in the end I decided I liked constructive interference, stellar equilibrium, attractive force, debris field, particle field, and particle wave, which turned out to be an even split between stellar and graviton powers. Awesome!

The Soldier class options include ten new gear boosts and a new fighting style called ‘Shock and Awe.’ The fighting style is supposed to focus on making a real spectacle of yourself. I like it in theory, but in execution I wasn’t that impressed. Still, it’s different. Fighters who take this style will want to make use of sonic weapons and weapons with the bright special quality. As for gear boosts, there’s a ton of useful options. My favourites were steady sniper, twinned threat, and unstoppable strike.

StarfinderCover
Starfinder Core Rulebook

Finally we come to the Technomancer’s class options which include five new magic hacks of varying levels, and three new spells. My favourite magic hacks were recode gem (which is available at level two), and enchanted fusion (which is available at fifth level). As for spells, I rather enjoyed animate armour, and incompetence. The third spell, electroplating, is also quite useful.

And that’s it! All that’s left is the index and the end. 160 pages of awesome.

Honestly, I think that Starfinder: Armory is one of those books you’ve got to invest in. It’s not a frivolous extra purchase. You’ll reference it ALL the time. Every time you need to spend your credits you’ll crack out the Starfinder Core Rulebook and the Armory. For players, I’d say its more important than the Alien Archive (and Alien Archive 2) and Pact Worlds. For GMs? Well, hard to say. If you only GM it’s going to be less useful for you than the Alien Archives and Pact Worlds. But you’ll still get your use out of it. I adore this book and think it’s well worth the money.

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek inside Starfinder: Armory with us!

See you in the Drift!

Jessica

 

Summer Flies By! (And other news)

Well, it’s been a busy summer so far. We’ve visited family, celebrated birthdays, gone swimming, tended our garden, played at the park and… Well, frankly my allergies are acting up like CRAZY! Whoo, I feel horrible! Haha. Still, my kids are happy, and I’d rather get out and enjoy the summer than I would let it pass me by.

In gaming news we’ve had a chance to play the Mummy’s Mask Adventure Path a few times, Reign of Winteronly once, Shackled City a few times (look for an update soon!) and haven’t had a chance to play Iron Gods at all (sad!). In fact, we haven’t had a chance to play Starfinder at home lately, either. (Double sad!).

A while ago my daughter asked me if I would start moving some of our d20 games online to play-by-post. She felt that she never got to play her many, many, many adventures and characters because when the weekend comes we only have time for one game, and it’s going to be one of the ones everyone agrees on. That means that we could go months without playing some of her characters.

“Pleeeeeeease, Mom?” she asked. “Some of my characters might as well be DEAD! I would rather play them one post a day than take no turns EVER! PLEEEEEEASE!?!?”

She’s a little dramatic, but she got the point across. Haha.

So, at my daughter’s request, we moved one of our ongoing family PFS games online and we moved our family Dead Suns Adventure Path online. My kids and I also have a lot of campaigns that involve only me and them. I told them they could choose one to move online for now. They gave this a great deal of thought and, although they have a ton of characters they enjoy playing, they also have campaign envy.

What?

Campaign envy.

Every time the grown ups play Mummy’s Mask, or Iron Gods, or Reign of Winter they are desperately jealous. A while ago they began their own Mummy’s Mask campaign and they’ve been begging me to let them start Iron Gods and Reign of Winter ever since. In the end, they chose the Mummy’s Mask Adventure Path. I’m actually really excited, since they created a very entertaining group of characters that shook up our typical party dynamics. More details on that will come in an upcoming blog post.

In other news, Gameday VII will start in another few weeks, which is super exciting! I can’t wait! GenCon is coming up (for those of you lucky enough to attend such things), and Paizo recently released their Puzzle Hunt from PaizoCon online for mass consumption. No idea what that is? In short, its a series of Golarion-themed puzzles within puzzles that were given out at PaizoCon back in May. It’s a free download on their website, and you can talk about the puzzles with other gamers on the boards. I gave them a read and am actually super excited to try them out. It looks fun!

Paizo recently announced their upcoming Pathfinder Society Scenarios, which include the finale for Season 9 and the start of Season 10! They’ve also shared details on the next four Starfinder Society Scenarios. Soon we should get information on two new Adventure Card Game adventures, and the first three of their upcoming Pathfinder Playtest Scenarios! I can’t wait to get my hands on these beauties at the end of the month!

Speaking of the Playtest, there have been some awesome spoilers lately. My favourite turned out to be the BARD. Now, I’ve always had a soft spot for bards, so I was pretty sure I was going to love it no matter what they did. After reading their recent blog post on the topic I was elated! It’s got full spellcasting, performances are now a special sort of bard only cantrip called a composition (which means you’re not going to run out of music!), and some of the performances are reactions (counter song, here’s looking at you)! It’s just… awesome! I can’t wait to read the whole class!

Luckily, we don’t have much longer to wait. Pathfinder Playtest releases on August 2nd, along with the Doomsday Dawn Adventure, free maps to go with it, and a trio of Playtest Society Scenarios. I’ve had the good luck to join up with a group of play-by-posters who are going to be playing all three PFS scenarios in a row, which will give me a chance to try the game as a player. Meanwhile, I’ll be GM for Doomsday Dawn (and perhaps even the PFS Scenarios) for my family at home. I expect there will be a lot of characters being made around the house at that time, so who knows what we’ll end up playing with! It’s exciting.

Now I just have to find the time to read all of that…

Today I’m going to leave you with a photo my daughter took especially for d20 diaries. And yes, it has rabbits.

Enjoy

Jessica

d20diaries rabbit

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