Starfinder: The Classes [COMPLETE EDITION!]
Meet the new guardians of the galaxy.
In Starfinder, the average adventurer looks much different from average party on old Golarion. Understandings have shifted, old disciplines have faded out of vogue, and everyone has friggin’ laser beams.
So while it’s possible to convert some of the old Pathfinder classes, the bulk of adventurers in the Pact Worlds will likely adhere to one of these six new disciplines. Check it!
Envoy is Starfinder’s intrigue and tactics focused class. They possess the most skills out of any class (tied only with the Operative) and their Skill Expertise feature allows them to specialize in certain favored skills; granting them an extra 1d6 insight bonus, and allowing them to perform acts that skill doesn’t usually grant. For those of you familiar with Pathfinder, think of it as a cross between an Investigator’s inspiration feature and the skill unlocks of an Unchained Rogue.
Their main class features are Improvisations; non-magical abilities which allow the Envoy to manipulate the battlefield; they can make enemies Flat Footed, warn allies of impending dangers, or even grant their friends additional actions in a turn.
Play the Envoy if you…
- Want to be a social butterfly.
- Enjoy using unexpected tactics both on and off the battlefield.
- Want to be the undisputed master of a narrow set of skills (without sacrificing other proficiencies).
Mechanics are masters of machines. Unlike the more academic Technomancers, Mechanics aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty working with the futuristic technology of the Pact Worlds. Some even go so far as to augment themselves with advanced cybernetics!
A Mechanic’s best friend is their trusty artificial intelligence; a digital construct they personally designed. At first level, the Mechanic can choose between implanting this AI into a drone (granting them an autonomous robotic ally who can fight alongside them) or into an implanted exo-cortex (augmenting the Mechanic’s cognitive abilities and allowing them access to stronger armor and weapons). As the Mechanic levels up, they can augment their AI (or themselves!) even further. A high level Mechanic can even split their attention between a drone and an exocortex, becoming a cybernetically augmented mastermind with a personal robot honor guard.
When they aren’t trying to turn themselves into the singularity (or just make a really sweet robot), Mechanics are masters of technology in all forms; they’re master hackers, brilliant engineers, and can make that ray gun work really well in a pinch.
Play the Mechanic if you…
- Want to play a pet-focused class.
- Don’t want to play a pet-focused class, but would love to play a heavily armored ranged combatant with a wide array of skills.
- Want to be a master of technology in all its forms.
- Want your character to be more machine than person.
Mystics are the spiritual successors of Golarion’s divine and occult spellcasters, and often fill similar societal roles. Understanding magic to be a manifestation of the connection between all living things, the Mystic channels the fundemental nature of the universe to a variety of effects.
Mystics are one of Starfinder’s two spellcasting classes, viewing the fundamental forces of magic through a more esoteric and philosophical lens than their Technomancer colleagues. Their spells tend to be focused more on living things; affecting both the mind and body. Of course, this doesn’t mean they can’t draw upon natural forces as well; Mystics are more than capable of flooding a room with gamma radiation if they feel like it.
All Mystics can establish a link with other creatures, which manifests first as a healing touch, and then eventually evolves into a party-wide telepathic network you can use as a conduit for their other abilities.
Mystics also all have a connection to a force they see as the source of their power; they may choose to be an akashic, empath, healer, mindbreaker, overlord, or star shaman, with each connection changing the lens through which a Mystic views the universe. An Akashic may view their powers as coming from the divine records that govern reality, while a Star Shaman may take a more religious viewpoint. Healers focus on restoring the vitality of their allies, while Mindbreakers focus on crushing the psyches of their foes.
Play a Mystic if you…
- Want to play a support focused character with strong healing potential.
- Want to be a psychic or similar character.
- Want to play a more magical character with minimal scientific influence.
- Love enchantment spells like charm person.
- Want to have a connection with natural forces.
- Want to define your own supernatural tradition (in SPACE).
Operatives live on the fringe of society. More than just simple thieves and assassins, the Operative represents any sort of character willing to utilize underhanded tactics and dogged determination to get the job done.
Every Operative chooses a specialization (daredevil, detective, explorer, ghost, hacker, spy, or thief) which grants them access to unique exploits; similar to the talents of a Rogue or Vigilante in Pathfinder.
Their most unique ability, however, is the trick attack. Unlike the Rogue, an Operative has need to hide in the shadows to surprise their enemies. Instead, they use a skill (usually Bluff, Intimidate, or Stealth, but some specializations can use other skills) to gain an advantage over their enemies; allowing them to deal extra damage and inflict a variety of detrimental effects on their foes. Operatives are also one of the only classes capable of becoming snipers, granting them additional combat options.
Like the Envoy, an Operative is a master of skills. Unlike the Envoy, they lack the same level of focus; the Operative’s edge class feature grants them a bonus to all skill checks (and initiative checks) and they can gain special bonuses to skills in which they’ve taken the Skill Focus feat for. Of course, Operative specializations can grant uses for skills that an Envoy could never hope to accomplish, so perhaps its all relative.
Play an Operative if…
- You want to play a character on the fringe of society, like a spy, vigilante, or assassin.
- You want to be the ultimate skill monkey.
- You enjoy stealth and subterfuge (or dashing derring do)
- You love the massive payoff from a perfectly set up attack.
Solarians believe in the power of the stars; that they are the ultimate expression of the powers of creation and destruction. They guide worlds with their gravity and give life with their light and heat, yet can also obliterate with supernovas and black holes. Solarians seek to be agents of this cycle of preservation and annihilation, channeling the forces of their stars themselves in battle.
All Solarians have a mote of fundamental energy or entropy that accompanies them, which can either transform into a
lightsaber Solar Weapon, or augment the Solarian’s armor.
In battle, Solarians are one of the few classes who specializes in melee combat (indeed, while they gain access to Advanced Melee Weapons, they lack proficiency in any ranged weapon more complicated than a blaster pistol). To make up for this, Solarians are capable of making more melee attacks than other classes (three in a round, rather than the normal maximum of two) and can utilize the power of the stars for a variety of spectacular at-will effects.
Solarians can choose to attune themselves to either Photon or Graviton energy; each of their powers is connected to one of these two energies, and as they build up their attunement these powers grow stronger. After spending three rounds attuned exclusively to a single type of energy, the Solarian can activate a spectacular manifestation of cosmic force known as a zenith power. Even at level one, a fully attuned Solarian can explode in a miniature supernova, or draw distant enemies closer to them with the power of a black hole. These powers only grow stronger as the Solarian’s experience and understanding of the cosmic balance grows.
Play a Solarian if you…
- Want to play a knight attuned to the cosmic forces of the universe.
- Want to be a melee focused combatant with a variety of at-will effects that can shift the battlefield.
- Want to wield the very power of the cosmos themselves.
- Enjoy characters with a more philosophical bent.
If the Solarian is a master of melee combat, the Soldier is a master of combat, period. Heavily armored, proficient in every kind of weapon, and trained in the culmination of thousands of years of tactics, the Soldier’s skill in a fight is unparalleled. Not only do they have access to more combat options than nearly anyone else.
All Soldiers specialize in a combat style to specialize in (arcane assailant, armor storm, blitz, bombard, guard, hit-and-run, and sharpshoot), and can pick up a second fighting style at level 9. In addition, they can pick up gear boosts that increase the effectiveness of their equipment, representing the modifications they’ve made to their favored combat kits. It doesn’t matter if it’s magic or technology; if it can give a Soldier an edge in combat, they’re willing to give it a shot.
Of course, they wouldn’t be the main combatants of Starfinder if they didn’t have access to bonus Combat Feats. Unlike in Pathfinder, combat feats in Starfinder are far more streamlined (requiring at most one other feat and some BAB and ability score requirements to access). This allows Soldiers to gain access to advanced combat options quickly and easily; for instance, a second level soldier could gain Weapon Focus with every single weapon they are proficient in (which is to say, all of them) with only a two feat investment. And since Weapons in Starfinder are capable of a wide variety of effects (including creating beams, cones, and bursts that would make a Wizard jealous), a Soldier can prove to be one of the most versatile and effective combatants in the game.
Play a Soldier if you…
- Want to be a bad-ass power-armored space marine.
- Want to be a melee combatant but don’t like all that weird cosmic stuff.
- Want to modify your weapons and armor to fit your combat style.
- Want to combine magic, technology, and martial prowess.
- Want to be able to use almost any weapon you can pick up.
- Want to have a jetpack. Anyone can have a jetpack, but you’re the best at jetpacks.
- Want to take a variety of combat feats while still having slots left over.
In the Pact Worlds, Magic and Science are effectively the same thing; a fundamental set of rules that governs reality. While Mystics and Solarians focus on the esoteric connections between things, a Technomancer’s approach to magic is much more practical. Using a combination of the scientific method, advanced technology, and a bit of old-fashioned wizardry, Technomancers can hack into the very fabric of the universe to achieve a variety of effects.
Unlike the Mystic (who is more focused on connections between nature and living things) a Technomancer’s spells are more focused on interfacing with technology, or fiddling with the laws of physics. They can conjure small technological devices, hit things with logic bombs, bend light to create illusions, and drop fireballs like no one’s business.
What makes the Technomancer unique is their approach to magic; by viewing it as a scientific force, they can break the rules of magic as they’ve been known in the universe since the days of ancient Golarion. They have access to a spell cache, which starts out as a way to bypass the need for a spell slot, and can eventually be used to keep certain spell effects running for 24 hours. They can also fuse lower level spell slots together to achieve higher level effects; the most powerful Technomancers can even fuse two of their 6th level spell slots to cast 9th Level spells like the fabled wish.
Technomancers also have access to Spell Hacks, special abilities focused on manipulating magic, technology, or both. Fueled by spell slots, these magic hacks can modify how your spells and equipment function. You can drain the battery from your weapon to power up a spell, modify how a spell functions, force technology to do things that shouldn’t even be possible, or even fabricate equipment from nothing.
Play a Technomancer if you…
- Want to play a dedicated spellcaster.
- Like your magic with a healthy side of science.
- Want to blend both magic and technology into a single discipline.
- Are willing to mess with your class resources to achieve an optimal effect.