Starfinder takes tabletop RPG players beyond the high-fantasy setting and into the stars. A sci-fi version of Paizo’s Dungeons & Dragons-inspired Pathfinder, Starfinder is set in the same universe, albeit thousands of years in the future. Technology and space-travel reign supreme, and though some of the races are the same, aliens and androids are present, and the skillsets and abilities that define each class have evolved to fit the setting.
Magic still exists, but in some cases, it goes a step further, incorporating technology into the mix. Here, instead of wielding swords and lances, players will carry guns and grenades. Plus, mechanics are more than simple tinkerers; their mastery of machines allows them to create drones and AI companions to work alongside them in the field. Here’s what you should know about Starfinder‘s various classes.
Magic and technology may seem to have little in common, but Technomancers know the two are more alike than they seem. When combined, the effects are far more powerful than those of either discipline on its own, and Technomancers understand exactly how to use technology to draw the energy needed to harness and boost magical abilities.
These magic-wielding expert hackers carry around a spell cache, which could be anything from an implant to a pendant. Their experience grants them the ability to rewire their mind to increase their skills in magic and technology. As they grow more powerful, the knowledge they hold allows them to combine lower level spell slots to create higher level slots for more devastating magic.
Starfinder‘s version of the classic Rogue class, Envoys are the self-preservationists traveling from port to port, always looking for opportunities to make a quick buck. Witty, charming and silver-tongued, the Envoy often serves as the party’s negotiator and tactical strategist because they know what to say and how to keep themselves as far from trouble as they can get.
With a skillset focused around Charisma, Envoys are masters of improvisation that grow more cunning as they level up. They are also manipulators, gaining expertise in abilities that allow them to roll an extra d6+1 to abilities they are proficient in, a power that improves as they gain levels.
As long as there are living beings in the universe, there will likely be war, meaning Soldiers will be a necessity. These powerful warriors are protectors, glory seekers and avengers, perhaps even hiring themselves out to earn a living. Their skills and abilities rely on Strength and Dexterity with a hint of Charisma for Intimidation. They are also proficient in light and heavy armor, as well as a wide array of weapons, including grenades.
Starting out as masters of one fighting style, Soldiers grow more formidable with every level, eventually gaining mastery over a second fighting style. Upon reaching level 20, the Soldier earns the Killshot ability, which allows them to force an enemy that doesn’t outright die from a hit they’ve made to make a Fortitude save or die.
Whether dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge or a hardcore experimenters, Biohackers rely on their expertise in multiple fields of scientific study to help their allies. Similar to Clerics, they use their microlab to create serums and specialized solutions containing things like nanites and chemicals that either aid their allies with ability boosts or subject their foes to debilitating effects that could, for example, lower their armor class.
Biohackers are always imagining ways to improve their experiments and serums, and they can use their sharp minds to help the party strategize. As they progress in levels, they gain additional fields of study and can create Superserums with incredible effects that could even bring someone back from the dead.
In a universe reliant on machines like starships and Artificial Intelligence, the Mechanic’s mastery over such technologies makes them a valuable asset to any squad. Their intricate knowledge gives them the ability to start the game with an AI companion, such as a Drone or Exocortex, which can help them in their endeavors to hack or infiltrate complicated systems.
As they advance, Mechanics can augment equipment to improve its functionality or perform necessary ship repairs. After gaining a Superior Rig at level 19, they can communicate through encrypted channels and even pilot their ship from afar. At level 20, their technological mastery grants them opportunities to create technological weapons, armor and items or improve any that already exist.
Change is one of the only constants in the universe, and Vanguards harness the power of that change to make themselves stronger and more capable so they can stand protectively between their party and whatever they might face. Relying heavily on Constitution as their core stat, Vanguards have a supernatural ability that allows them to affect and change the flow of energy around them. Drawing from a pool of Entropy, they can focus it into powerful strikes with the power to tear things apart at their very core.
As they grow in power, Vanguards can significantly reduce the damage they receive. They can even channel their power to create immunity to the special properties of weapons that would give their attacker advantages against them, making them a bulwark between danger and whoever stands behind them.
Solarians draw their power from the universe’s forces of creation and destruction. Similar to the Jedi from Star Wars, these are enlightened warriors who can summon and manipulate the energy of stars. With a solar manifestation in mote, they form weapon or armor, drawing their power from either photons or gravitons. By the time Solarians advance to level 20, they are kin to the stars themselves, raising and lowering the level of light surrounding them as they move. They can also use their attunement points to switch between photon or graviton mode depending on what the situation requires.
The Witchwarper knows that everything is manipulatable and malleable, and they reach through the thinly veiled fabric of existence to shape reality to alter time and outcomes. Drawing from Charisma to enhance their spellcasting abilities, they have access to a unique list of spells that alter the nature of reality.
Their ability to see through time and all possible outcomes and realities allows them to alter potential outcomes and unfold the nature of existence, forcing reality itself to stutter. This allows Witchwarpers to use their Resolve points to alter reality, which could come in handy if the party finds themselves in a sticky situation and need to quickly take control of it.
Mystics know that the forces others consider magical are simply the connection between all things in the universe. As they tap into that power, Mystics understand that (no matter the source) they are just a conduit for that energy. Even those who study the arcane arts know it is as unpredictable and dangerous as powerful and beneficial. Mystics know how to manipulate and exploit the unseen bonds around them, either to aid allies in combat or debilitate the opponent.
Not only do they have access to a collection of Mystic-specific spells, they can use their power to heal their allies and create mindlinks with creatures to communicate telepathically. As they advance in their craft, they eventually become so powerful they transcend and achieve enlightenment, which causes them to stop aging and grants them immunity to death through old age.
Stealth and subterfuge are the core tactics for the Operative class, who make their livings as assassins, bounty hunters, scouts and smugglers. With Dexterity as their core stat, they rely on their ability to move undetected and get the job done. Not only are they incredibly agile, they can employ exploitative tricks.
Using trickery and cunning to provoke enemies to drop their guard, Operatives gain trick attacks that take foes by surprise. As they advance in levels, they gain the ability to make up to four melee attacks on their turn and can swap out their tactics to suit a situation, giving up abilities reliant on the previously-employed tactic for the duration. While that may sound risky, Operatives know what they’re doing and why it’s necessary.
While not a player class, Mechanics begin the game with an AI of their own design. One option for this is the Drone, which players will need to build, choosing everything from its chassis to its stats. Drones will also level alongside the Mechanic, making them similar to sidekicks. Over time, Drones can be improves with new mods and skillsets. At level 10, Drones get an upgrade to their power cores, which function as the first step towards it acting without the Mechanic’s control. Eventually, a Drone becomes an Expert, then a True AI, able to act of its own volition on the Mechanic’s turns.
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