Putting Spooky Season on hold for a weekend, the new Starfinder Enhanced book is out for subscribers this week. I really like what I see in this book, and the art is fantastic. Let’s do a quick dive.
Character Options & Equipment
11 themes, 9 new archetypes, 12 creature companions, 12 species (some pulled from APs and the Character Deck), 90 new feats, new spells, and rules to design your own spells. There’s also pages of augmentations, magic items, hybrid items, grenades, serums, and rules for scaling equipment. There’s a lot of player content in this book!
Of the themes, the Beastblood stands out as an interesting option that hasn’t been explored before, and compliments my Xenowarden posts from last month quite well. I’m also a fan of the Paranormal Investigator, updated here from a previous AP.
A lot of the species have appeared in APs, but I’m particularly happy to see Grippli updated (Do a barrel roll!) and Kayal (Fetchlings). Kitsune will be on top of a lot of lists out there as well. With the new Novians you can finally make Pac-Man in Starfinder (paranormal investigator who specializes in ghosts, obviously) so get ready for that 😊 Also, the Scuriday is adorable, easily competing with Brenneri and Skittermander for the ‘cutest PC species’ spot.
In classes, the Biohacker gets a host of options, including a lot of Fungus focused stuff, which is an interesting way to take the class. Envoy gets a total re-write, taking them in a much more active direction than the original class. I really like the new action economy, and would be more interested in playing an Envoy than I have been, especially with some of the great new improvisations (Vexing Style and Dooooom!) which have some of the best names I’ve seen in Starfinder (Diplomatic Immunity!)
Moving on, Evolutionist gets a Divine Niche for all your nascent godling character concepts, and a host of much needed adaptation options to broaden out the class. Mechanic gets a bunch of new tricks (many which take advantage of Resolve Points) that offer some new builds. Mystic gets several new connections, including a Shifter one that makes for a great Druid-like build. They also gain access to what looks like the most powerful polymorph effect in the game. Nanocyte gain access to the Transmutation Faculty which is seriously powerful for a class that already has a lot of powerful options – watch out for Nanocyte! They also get new Knacks, including Nanitic Escape which lets you make a car out of nanites on the fly, for hilarious possibilities. A First Responder specialization for Operative gives the sneaky skill wizard a healing option, and more exploits (my favs are Shank and You Are Already Dead, based on names alone.) Definitely give Psychokinetic Assassin a look. Precog gets a new Seer anchor and several anomalies, including Reverse Extinction which lets you spend a paradox to summon an extinct critter to fight by your side.
Solarian is one of the other full rewrite classes, provided ways to use attunement outside of your 3rd round zenith, meditate to gain attunement faster, and added benefits from using zenith powers. There are also a whole bunch of new revelations, including Striking Spaghettification (stretch like you are on an event horizon!) and Singularity Servant / Solar Summoner (summon a pet star to fight with you), as well as lots that manipulate mass and light. Anyone who played with a Solarian could well attest that the class was no slouch before, and these new changes expand options considerably. Soldier gets a couple new fighting styles (including a Mech specialist) and some gear boosts that are simply awesome (Area of One and Impossible Redirection for instance).
Technomancer gets a very wizardly re-write with schools of magic (a last hurrah for a system that is going away for Starfinder and Pathfinder soon). There are a lot of magical hacks as well, with some intriguing new powers that expand on Technomancer abilities quite a bit (Phase Stride!!! Antimagic Sphere!!!!) Vanguard gets a couple new aspects and a smattering of disciplines that provide a few new ways to spend Entropy Points which is nice. Finally we have the Witchwarper re-write, which is a straight upgrade to the Infinite Worlds ability and more. Like the Envoy, the new Witchwarper has a much more active action economy. The new paradigm shifts include support for the Infinity Lash alternate class feature from Galactic Magic, which is cool, an Infinite Self ability with multiple alternate forms, and the truly devastating Infinite Cataclysms.
The archtype section starts right out of the gate with a Starfinder version of the Hellknight Signifier (expanded to a variety of organizations and applications) that makes battle casters so, so much better. The Audocyte has their own leitmotif and more music based abilities. The Combat Controller is a captain’s captain. The Counselor has an ability called Additional Spoons that I can think of several real world applications for. The Exalted Champion provides a deity related alt class feature at 9th level for the holy characters. Lightsplayer is a hologram focused Mysterio-esque option for the those interested in illusions. Major League Coach and Menagerie Manager do exactly the kinds of things you’d expect. And last but not least, Thaumaturgic Trigger is the Outlaw Star spellgun archetype.
A full bevy of Feats in the Feat section. Some standouts include Gag Gift (slip a foe a primed grenade), Maestro’s Flourish (extra effects and damage with sonic weapons), and Doorbuster (open locked doors to surprise foes, Oh Yeah!!!). Definitely worth digging through here for the new options. Battle Thaumaturgy is going to make some battle casters very happy, while Death From Above is the key element of Final Fantasy style Dragoon builds. Spell Gem Eater is just fun, full of RP potential while still having a useful effect. Vile Rejection is the projectile vomiting feat I never knew I needed.
The Spells section has a brief breakdown on how to create new spells, which is nice to have codified, and a modest selection of new spells. I like Chronosphere as the new 1-6 level damage spell for Precog. Fantastical Transformation is the magical girl transformation sequence you’ve been secretly longing for. Hardlight Spheres takes Dancing Lights and turns it into a combat useful spell, which is a fun tweak. Lava Floor does exactly what it says on the label, and there is nothing wrong with that. Technomancers get Shrapnel Shot as their new 1-6 damage spell, and it’s a really solid one. Stop Heart takes what could be a Save or Suck effect and turns it into an ongoing damage and debuff that is really nasty if they fail the save, but still pretty bad if they succeed. Precog also gets a host of Time related spells. We also get some new rituals (ala Galactic Magic) including Akashic Compilation (think Legend Lore) and Rejuvenation (regenerate limbs, remove afflictions, or regain negative levels) which is a much needed bit of downtime recovery magic.
The Companions section isn’t long, but does offer a significant expansion on available critters to be your buddy. A few that caught my eye are the Bone Familiar (undead buddy), Ebrilare (bat pupper), Liminal (phase cat), Poypoik (tamagotchi + pet rock), and the Scootaroot (plant buddy).
The equipment sections starts off with Scaling Equipment rules, which is cool in its own right, but this section also gives you the tools to create your own gear. Y’all won’t need me to make up new items for you anymore, now you have the tables to do it yourselves! The augmentations include biotech, cybernetics, magitech, and species grafts. The magitech Godheart is a particularly interesting one, best used by the more devout characters. The magic items section provides some classics as well as a few new ideas. I got a chuckle out of the Instant Foxhole. The technology section offers a banquet of scifi gear, including Endearing Ears (think catgirl add-ons for headphones), a broad selection of audio tech, Swivelshot (for shooting around corners), and even VR Vidgames. Hybrid items have the fun Anti-Gravity Puck, the Spaceballs-esque Canned Atmosphere, and the Hardlight Pole for those that have always wanted a retractable 10 ft pole to adventure with. Grenades have their own section, and it is brimming with new ways you can kill foes with credits. I’m particularly tickled by the Instant Aquarium grenade, think use of the Irradiator Grenade should probably be a war crime, and the Stinking Goo grenade just became the favored weapon of all space goblins. Serums (space potions) offers a few more options for the consumable, including the useful Locomotion Serum and the energy drink equivalent Serum of Rejuvenation. In an interesting innovation, the Personal Items section offers a two page illustration with the items detailed in break out boxes on top (it works quite well, and I’d love to get that Air Purifier IRL.)
Narrative Starship Combat! I know folks have mixed feelings about Starship Combat, and while I’ve found it enjoyable in the past, I’m also intrigued by the new Narrative combat rules. It’s basically starship encounters as theater of the mind with skill challenges, which isn’t as crunchy as the original system, but sounds a LOT faster. I’d say talk to your players and find out which they prefer, but the system here seems both robust and solid.
GM tools provides a quick Skill DC by Level/CR that can be helpful, especially if you need to come up with DCs on the fly. Also presented is the Free Archetype Variant, which (like its counterpart in PF2E) lets players add an archetype onto their character for free instead of replacing class features, and even continue in the archetype if they multiclass later. It’s a small power boost, and probably best for experienced players, but I like the option. We also have Milestone Leveling (a longtime favorite of mine) and story-based wealth.
The expanded uses for Resolve Points are interesting. You don’t just get the new options, you have to choose one of the new options at the start of an adventuring day, and can only use it once per day. The actual abilities blur the lines between PF2E’s Hero Points and Starfinder’s Resolve in fun ways, but I’d only want to introduce this system to a group that’s already very comfortable with the Starfinder rule set.
And that’s a wrap on the last Starfinder 1st Edition official rules book we are going to get. I’d definitely recommend the book, based on the class options for Envoy, Solarian, Technomancer, and Witchwarper alone, but there’s a lot more to love here. Don’t miss this love letter to the best Sci-Fantasy TTRPG on the market.
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