Sunday, September 03, 2017

Starfinder - Character creation 1

The much-awaited Starfinder Core Rulebook is finally available at your FLGS and I have my copy. This will be my first in a series of posts on the new game. I will be looking first at character creation. The first step in this process is to conceptualize your character and select your race, theme and class. Pathfinder players will certainly be familiar with race and class, but theme is something new.

Starting with races, there are humans, androids, two subspecies of lashuntas, kasathans, ysoki, vesh and shirrens. Anyone who has played the Iron Gods AP will have some familiarity with androids, kasathans and lashuntas, although the lashuntas have been altered somewhat. The ysoki are simply space-faring ratfolk. The vesh and the shirrens are your obligatory reptilian and insectoid races respectively. The other Pathfinder races such as elves, dwarves and halflings are not core races, but it has been hinted at that they will be introduced later*.

Classes are mostly self-explanatory. They are envoy, mechanic, mystic, operative, soldier, technomancer and solarian. The envoy is the party "face". The mystic and technomancer are the cleric and wizard respectively. The operative is the rogue, while the solarian is a sort of space monk, like a Starfinder jedi.

Themes are aspects of your character that reflect background and/or motivations. The options available in the core rules are ace pilot, bounty hunter, icon, mercenary, outlaw, priest, scholar, spacefarer, xenoseeker and themeless. Somewhat counterintuitively, there are no restrictions regarding combinations of themes and classes, so it is possible to have a priest mechanic or a mercenary mystic. Clearly some combinations will require exotic backstories. The purpose of themes is to provide a starting ability score bonus to one stat and a few minor boons to the character as he gains levels.

I decided to try out the character creation procedure by making a kasathan spacefarer mystic named Kolrez. After making those preliminary decisions, it is time to get to the number-crunching. The point buy system is a bit different in Starfinder as compared to Pathfinder. You start with straight 10s, then adjust your ability scores based on race and theme modifiers. Kolrez gets +2 STR and WIS and -2 INT for being a kasathan and +1 CON for being a spacefarer. So his starting ability scores are: STR 12, DEX 10, CON 11, INT 8, WIS 12, CHA 10. You have an additional 10 points to spend on a 1-for-1 basis, although no ability score can exceed 18 at this point. Note that ability modifiers are the same in Starfinder as Pathfinder. With that in mind, I distribute my additional points to improve CON, INT, WIS and CHA as follows: STR 12, DEX 10, CON 12, INT 9, WIS 18, CHA 12. You cannot transfer points from one ability to another.

Next, we look at hit points (hp), stamina points (sp) and resolve points (rp). Stamina points represent general toughness. They are lost first and relatively easy to recover. Hit points indicate actual capacity to endure injury. Resolve points represent willpower and are used to activate certain class features and regain resources such as stamina. None of these points are rolled, all are fixed based on your character race, class, ability modifiers and level. At 1st level, Kolrez gets 4 racial hit points and 6 class hit points for a total of 10 hps to start. At 2nd level and each level beyond, he only gets the 6 class hps. Stamina points are based on class and CON modifier. Kolrez starts out with 6 class sp and 1 CON sp for a total of 7 sp. Finally, resolve points are equal to half your level (minimum of 1) + modifier of your key ability score. Since Kolrez has WIS 18, he gets 4 + 1 rps.

In my next post, I will discuss class features of the mystic, gods and alignments.


*Edit: There is a section in the back of the core book which provides some information on Pathfinder races for those wishing to use them to make Starfinder characters.

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