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Starfinder – Galactic Magic

Galactic Magic

I know a lot of subscribers already have Galactic Magic in hand, as it dropped for download last week (after the long shipping delay.) If you don’t, and/or have been waiting for some feedback on what is in the book, here’s a run down for you. Magic has often been something of a secondary concern in Starfinder. It’s always present, but given the Sci-Fantasy setting (and the existence of PF1, PF2, and various other Fantasy TTRPGs) the magic element of Starfinder has taken a back seat to all the future tech wonders. The release of Tech Revolution and Galactic Magic perhaps highlights this – TR brought us Mechs and Mech combat, something a lot of folks have been chomping at the bit for since the game first came out, while it hasn’t been entirely clear what the hook of GM would be. So let’s find out.

Precog

Classes: There’s a lot of meat in here, but we start with the Precog. Of course, sad as it may be, while Dex is still the primary stat for the class, they moved the Precog’s casting stat to Int. Not a surprise, but it made the playtest fun to have Dex monster Precogs. Still, a change I can well understand. The Precog gets somewhat better Proficiencies than the other casters, getting a choice between advance melee, longarms, or sniper rifles. They retain the paradox mechanism from the playtest, storing a bank of rolls to swap out or cash in for various effects, which I found to be a lot of fun. The Anchors are more fleshed out now, and the Temporal Anomalies abilities are quite strong. I’m eager to dig in to the new spell list and see what they can really do. Also, worth noting, they included the Precog Class Graft with the class this time, so you can build NPC Precogs without having to wait for an Alien Archive, which is a good change. For the other classes – Biohacker gets some alchemy-like options that make a lot of sense, Envoy gets a psychic option that I know some players will love, Mechanic gets a magical apparatus that seems a bit like maze-core items (I’m going to have to dig into this to figure out what you can do with it), Mystic gets Arcane and Fey connections that look great (and Mystic Step epiphany which is mostly flavorful but I predict will be very popular), Nanocyte gains a magical nanites option (with spells) that is intriguing,  Operative adds the Magical Assassin option (think Spell Thief, which is literally the name of their first ability), Solarians can now specialize in Photon or Graviton mode to the exclusion of the other, Soldier has new style options that allow them to summon weapons or specialize in bows, Technomancer adds Planar options to the class that look neat, Vanguard learns a way to marry defense with offense a bit (and access a little magic in their Disciplines), and Witchwarper gains an Infinity Lash (think Magus) that is freaking awesome. Also, schools of magic are back, with Archetypes that let you specialize.

Gear: Time to start worrying about those limited magic/hybrid item slots, because we’ve got a whole bunch of new magic and hybrid items here for all levels. Lots of weird and fun stuff in here, including the face printer from Mission Impossible and a portable hole to put your pet in. A couple new Aeon stones, and lots of Faith related magic items as well. New serums (potions), weapon and armor fusions, and a few Artifacts just for fun.

Aegis

Spells: Over one hundred new spells. Each casting class gets an expanded list, with the Precog getting several unique spells that I’m excited to see in play. If you’ve felt limited by your class spell list, this is the book for you, as they’ve really expanded what casters can do here. A couple of my favorite standouts include Mystical Aegis (think Shield spell), Fist of Damoritosh, Psychokinetic Shove (get your Jedi on), and Star Touch (read the description folks. OUCH). They’ve also added a Variant rule for cantrip scaling that lets casting classes use their damage cantrip throughout their character career. Ron Lundeen talked a bit about this on Digital Divination, and it’s cool to see it in print. Though if you want to really focus on that kind of play, I’d suggest Planar Adepts from Legendary Games 😊 Last but not least we get Rituals (ala PF1 & 2) for bigger magic and group magic effects that aren’t really suited to the round by round combat system. I like the ideas here, and it also presents the one of the few ways to do FTL communication in the game.

Desna

Faiths: an interesting musing on the nature of Faith and how that works in an interstellar society, before we get to the expanded Pantheon. I like the section on Characters of Faith especially. On to the Gods! I really like the art for Damoritosh, Desna, and Nyarlathotep, though all the gods get some sweet art here. Honestly dig all the write ups, though I’m guessing Triune might need an update after the Drift Crises later this year. Urgathoa, Lamashtu, Zyphus, and Cayden are back/never left (I especially like the new take on Cayden btw.), Yaraesa and Kadrical jump from SFS to core here, Asmodeus get’s a half page and no art which seems a shame, and we get several quarter page write ups as well. Nice to see more about Angradd, Chaldira, and Calistria. Lissala continues to patron the Azlanti of course. Also a full section on the Elder Mythos, including the Outer Gods and Great Old Ones, as well as the Eldest of the First World. A selection of minor powers that includes some old and new faces. Finally, a few philosophical movements.

Magic in the Galaxy: This section examines the place of magic in the galaxy, offering some insights about its use, why technology has achieved something of a primacy on it, and how it shapes society in the Pact Worlds and beyond. A section on Magical Colleges, which could each be a campaign in and of themselves, and magical factions that can add color and story to your caster characters. A particular standout is the Order of the Gate, marking the return of another Hellknight Order. We close with Magical Phenomena – occurrences that change or completely transform environments and areas of space.

The book is out for subscribers now, and you can get your own copy of Galactic Magic from Paizo or your FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store) January 26th.


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Categories: Article Writing

Jeremy Corff

Artist and Writer