Some big updates are coming to Starfinder. Let’s start with the simple one: As of August 11, 2020, the Starfinder Core Rulebook is getting a pocket edition. Don’t be fooled by the name - it’s not actually any smaller, and it certainly won’t fit in your pocket. However, it is cheaper; a third the price of the hardcover book, in fact. Somehow, its still containing all the same sci fi roleplaying goodness! Being produced as a soft cover helps: this is a great way to make Starfinder a lot more accessible to new players, letting groups make sure they have multiple books at the table during a game.
Second, Paizo is playtesting a new class called the nanocyte, and it sounds pretty awesome. Basically, it’s a class that uses nanomachines to do… well, just about anything, it sounds like. From Paizo’s blog:
The Gundams Are Coming, The Gundams Are Coming!
And finally, the inevitable: Mechs have come to Starfinder. In addition to hopping onto a spaceship to adventure among the stars, you can also hop into a robot and smash heads the new-old-fashioned way. There are rules for both single seat mechs and larger ones that take multiple people to pilot, Pacific Rim style.
There have been some… concerns… about the attack rules for mechs, and we have to admit the rules as written look pretty ugly.
That’s a lot of modifiers, and dear God, why are there fractions?
That's a lot of modifiers... and dear lord, are those fractions?!
But let’s be honest here: it’s no more complicated than calculating an attack in 5e. It just looks a lot nicer when (character level/4 +1 (rounded up)) is rewritten as "proficiency bonus.”
A couple of things to keep in mind, too: First, that these numbers aren’t going to change very often, only when you level up or buy new parts for your mech, so you should be able to just do the math once and go from there. Second, remember that these are playtest rules, and may be changed if needed or rewritten to look a little less brain-melty.
Could it be? Has my dream come true?
Basically, what I'm saying is that I’m really hype about these mechs and it’s going to take more than a few scary numbers to keep me from piloting one.
If you’d like to try out the new class and mech rules for yourself, you can find the downloadable playtest here. In summary, I'm just really excited to see that Paizo continues to promote Starfinder while also making it more accessible. There aren't a lot of sci-fi RPG games that feel readily accessible like the big players in the industry.
If you need me, I’ll be in my robot.