Tag Archives: #paizo

Thoughts on Hero Lab Online & Starfinder Support

I will lead with the fact that I understand WHY Lone Wolf has gone this way. This gets them Android devices, which is not insignificant in and of itself. The argument that it allows them to take HL forward to be more than just a character and statblock builder also makes sense.

That said, I’m not thrilled with the decision for Starfinder to be HLO only (at least at release). While it’s true that they won’t be able to do things like group starship combat with HLC, that shouldn’t keep them from releasing the features that it can support.

To be fair, they’re not saying they *won’t* support Starfinder in HLC, but they’re also pretty carefully not saying they will either.

For this to work for me, Starfinder needs support for both HLO and HLC. Until it has both, I have no reason to subscribe.

They do say that, ultimately, purchased content will work for both once legacy game systems are supported. It would help if they were pulishing some sort of timeline on when they expect legacy game systems to be supported.

It’s also not clear to me how or if they will accommodate those that purchased additional secondary licenses.

Additionally, it’s not clear if you will still be able to make use of custom user data files with HLO. If not, that’s gonna hurt for me, which encourages me to stick with HLC.

So… for now at least, I’m going to hold off on adoption until there is Starfinder support in HLC. Hopefully more of my questions will be answered by then.

It also means I am now less enthusiastic about running Starfinder, at least until it’s supported for both.

Toss off character ideas for Pathfinder…

One of the curses of being the GM is that you can have all sorts of great ideas for characters, but you rarely get to use them since you’re the GM. Sure, you can turn them into NPCs, but it’s just not the same.
Here’s a short list of (odd) character ideas I’ve had over the years based on either the kitchen sink setting of Golarion, or inspiration from character crunch…

  • Golarion Goblin Bard, with Perform (Puppetry)
  • Tengu Plague Doctor – *takes mask off* “You have got to be kidding… Really?!”
  • Sanctified Rogue of Abadar – “Credit is a sacred trust, it’s what our society is founded on. Do you think they give a damn about their bills in Rahadoum?”
  • Android Monk (yes, I know, not terribly optimal) with the Apotheosis (Story) feat. This one has a name. I call him Rild.
  • Goblin Gunslinger (Gun Scavenger) – Utini!
  • Halfling Bard (Archaeologist) with all of the Halfling helper feats and Halfling Luck. Just need to get him a cigar, some sort of fancy hat, and a bullwhip.

More Starfinder Thoughts

Sorry for the scattered brain dump posts like this, but if I don’t put this to bits, I’ll likely forget it later.

Subtle difference between 3.x and Starfinder: Typically, you are only caught flatfooted when you are surprised in Starfinder. Previously, you were flatfooted if you were surprised, or until your first action in the round.

As I said before, character generation is fairly straightforward. Pick a race, a theme, and a class. The combination of theme and class effectively is your class archetype (though it’s not called that). For example, Envoy plus the Outlaw theme can be a Scoundrel. These are, effectively, suggestions for how to build a type of character more so than an actual archetype.

This combination is fairly versatile, and easily covers a lot of  characters from fiction. Han Solo? Envoy/Outlaw. Chewie? More complicated but I would likely go with Soldier/Outlaw (an argument could be made for multi-classing). Luke? Solarian/Ace Pilot.

I could totally do Jim Starlin’s Dreadstar with Starfinder. Vanth is so obviously a Solarian it’s not even funny.

I can only guess what the various inspirations were to the creative team (I miss having a Bibliography like in GURPS books) but some of them are pretty obvious. Star Wars, Mass Effect (Biotics is basically space magic) and Guardians of the Galaxy are all pretty clear.

Since the setting is tied to Golarion, there is a chapter for Legacy Races, such as Elves, Dwarves, etc. I’m not sure I’ve ever wanted to play a Half-Orc so badly as I do here. One of the more common choices for the Half-Orc is basically a professional pioneer. They go in do the hard work of taming the world, and then they sell their stake and move on to the next world.

I think that’s it for now. I need to finish the tactical combat chapter and see what other changes they’ve made.

Green Ronin’s Advanced Bestiary for Pathfinder

If you’re a Pathfinder GM and you’re only going to purchase one single third party product, my recommendation would be this book right here.


The Advanced Bestiary was originally released for D&D 3.0, and it was a good book but kind of got lost in the glut of 3.0 books that everyone was doing.

However, it was getting regular use by the folks at Paizo on their early D&D 3.x adventure paths. This and Tome of Horrors were a mainstay in section 15 of their OGL listing.

So, when Paizo decided to publish Pathfinder, it was only a matter of time before both the Advanced Bestiary and the Tome of Horrors were published as Pathfinder compatible. Both books are excellent, and I recommend both, but this post is focused on the Advanced Bestiary.

In a nutshell, the Advanced Bestiary is a book of monster templates. As a GM, I have found this invaluable… there are roughly 120 templates in the book. Multiply that by however many bestiaries you have, and well… 🙂

For example…

http://gojira-and-gaming.tumblr.com/post/119898227316/another-example-of-how-awesome-the-advanced

Starfinder RPG, First Thoughts

image of Starfinder cover
Starfinder RPG

Unlike many of my tribe, I am NOT attending GenCon 50. I have attended in the past, but I am not a fan of huge conventions these days.

However, I did pre-order Paizo’s new RPG, Starfinder, based on my experience at PaizoCon earlier this year. Thanks to said pre-order, I have a copy of the RPG in hand.

Starfinder is, in my opinion, not Spelljammer for Pathfinder. It is not D&D in space, but rather space opera with magic. Closer, thematically, to say Star Wars or perhaps Shadowrun in a space setting. As such, this is pretty much right in my wheelhouse.

While I have not yet read the book cover to cover (I’m not THAT fast of a reader), I’ve managed a decent scan through what’s needed for character creation so far.

As I understand it, and if someone in the know wants to comment in more details please feel free, two of the major design goals were to:

  • Make the game more accessible for less experiences gamers, and
  • Ensure that they did not obsolete previously published materials, most specifically, the Bestiaries.

My personal opinion, is that in many ways it is essentially a Pathfinder 2.0 fork. Not wanting to repeat the mistake of how D&D 4th was handled, they did this with a new game and setting, rather than just declaring a new edition and waiting for the edition wars to die down.

At this point, the core mechanics behind Pathfinder are 17 years old, and it is a crunchy game that encourages system mastery, and there is a lot of published material for it.

That’s all well and good if you’ve been gaming as long as I have been, but I would never call Pathfinder ‘friendly’ when it comes to new gamers.

So, coming back to the first point, character generation does appear to be less complicated than Pathfinder, and one of the more common min-max exploits has been removed.

Effectively, to create a character you select a race (human, android, etc.) , a theme (Ace Pilot, Outlaw, etc.), and then your class (soldier, technomancer, etc.). Once all of this is complete, you may spend 10 points (1 to 1) to raise your stats. You  are allowed to lower stats as well, but you do not get points for this. No stat can be higher than 18 at start, and in general, you may only have one stat as low as an 8 due to racial stat modifications.

I’m still looking through skills and feats, so I will be posting again. I also hope to be posting a sample character, but Paizo has not yet updated their Community Use document. I assume that should happen shortly.