The Vega - Light Freighter
Ship image courtesy of

Over a year ago now Paizo published a system titled Starfinder. It’s essentially their fantasy setting with about 10,000 years of advancement tacked on.

They retained all the races and have added aliens, space flight and an expansive universe of locations and cultures to explore. You have high tech Androids right next to Spell-slinging elves and even stranger things.

The task of exploring the system is daunting but the possibilities made it impossible to ignore. This is my first pass after digesting what I can prior to running the setting for one of my groups.

Flavor: Starfinder, to me, is similar in many ways to Dark Matter, Killjoys, Firefly, Stargate and even a little Babylon 5. It feels like a gritty SciFi setting; a dystopian future run by vile corporations. The rule set would also probably work well for a Judge Dredd in Space spin off or about any other campaign based on modern Science Fiction.

Magic vs Science: Technology appears, to less advanced cultures, like magic. Yes, there are still mages and clerics in Starfinder but they’re Technomancers and Mystics allowing for the advancement of technology in parallel to magic instead of replacing it. The planes of existence are still accessible and creatures from them still influence the material universe in various ways. What better place for a portal to the plane of fire than a sun?

Travel through the verse: Hop a starship, teleport by magic or jump through a static portal from planet to planet. Being a space focused game the players are intended to have a ship. There’s no real hard fast rule on how they get transport.

Setting: The core rule book only really focuses on the solar system that holds what once was Golarian. Long story short, the planet vanished along with every race’s memories of a specific time during which it vanished referred to as the Gap. Kind of a cheesy cop-out in my opinion with all the world breaking mechanics available in the Pathfinder system you’d think they could have some up with a better story. I guess it’s so they could focus on the setting more and not rehashing all the planet side drama.

Running the Setting: There are a few adventure paths out for Starfinder already but I longed for a unique angle outside the official Paizo storyline. So I’ve taken to researching gritty SciFi TV and Movies for inspiration. We’re gonna start with a ship heist and all the associated trouble involved with stealing your primary mode of transportation. Then we’ll see how the players progress to shift gears as needed.

I thought about opening with purely terrestrial characters with zero space skills and nearly as limited knowledge on space flight’s existence. Scoop them up in a slave expedition and now they’re spaceborn. That’d be rude but quite interesting to see the adaptation as they progress.

Currently we have two Ysoki (rat-men), one Lashunta (telepathic race) and a Human. Class spread is operative, mechanic, envoy and soldier in that order. The Mechanic is an Ace Pilot, the Operative is a Criminal, the Envoy is also a Criminal and the Soldier is a Mercenary. What a motley crew.